Friday, December 31, 2010

Just Married - John and Jennie Hunt

This is a wedding photo for John Hunt and Jennie Johnson. It is captioned on the reverse as follows: in hand writing is, "John Hunt and Wife" "John Hunt & Jennie (Johnson)" "Married 27 May 1896". Then typed on the back is "We were married the 27 may this was taken in june 1896".

John Hunt (1869-1965) and Jennie Johnson (1878-1914) were married in Blair, Washington County, Nebraska. They are both buried at Coleridge Public Cemetery, Coleridge, Cedar County, Nebraska.

The connection to the Brassfield surname is that their daughter Thelma Sarah Hunt (1898-1976) married Floyd Gipson Brassfield (1898-1961). John and Jennie are my 2nd Great Grandparents.

I uploaded the 5 MB version of this image suitable for printing to imageshack. Click the photo to see it much larger.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Alexander and Mary Fowlie

This image is a scan of an 8x10 labeled Alexander Brown Fowlie and Mary (Kiesel) Fowlie. Personally, when looking at the full 1200 dpi scan, the image looks very odd, like the faces don't match the bodies. It doesn't look like a photo, maybe some kind of drawing?I have no other details, dates, etc on this image.

Alexander was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland in May 1834. He emigrated to the US in 1870 and married Mary Kiesel December 19, 1872 in Benton County, Iowa. Mary was born in Kankakee County, Illinois. In 1880, they were living in Jackson township, Benton County, Iowa. By 1900 they had moved to Twin Lakes township, Calhoun County, Iowa. Alexander Brown Fowlie died January 12, 1906 and was buried at Rosehill Cemetery, Rockwell City, Calhoun Cty, Iowa. Mary died July 22, 1923 and is also buried there.

Alexander Brown Fowlie (1834-1906) and Mary (Kiesel) Fowlie (1854-1923) had 13 children. Mary would have been pregnant for 9 years and 9 months, for those that might keep track of that sort of thing. Their first child was born in 1874 and the last in 1899 when she was 45 years old. Even more incredible, according to the 1900 census she was listed as having 13 children and 12 were still living. Given the infant mortality rates back then, that's pretty impressive.

Their 11th child was Frank Brown Fowlie (1892-1977). His daughter married Elvis John Brassfield and that is the connection to the Brassfield surname.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Irene Brassfield

This is a photo of Irene Shirley Brassfield (Terzo-Ireland) (1924-2010). It is most likely a college graduation photo, I'm guessing she was around age 20, so about 1944. She graduated from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Sioux City, Iowa (now St. Luke's College). According to her obituary, she went on to receive a BS from Western Connecticut State College and a Masters of Education degree from Columbia University, specializing in mental health and psychiatric nursing.

She was the third child of Floyd Gipson Brassfield (1898-1961) and Thelma Sarah (Hunt) (1898-1976).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Oak Hill Cemetery

This is a September 2009 photo facing north looking towards the south entrance of Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette County, Wisconsin. I've mentioned this cemetery in previous posts about the Alexander and Parker surnames.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Joachim Prigge - 1000 Emigrants To America From The District Of Harsefeld

This post is pretty far off my normal subject matter, as in not related to me. Instead, Joachim Prigge (1823-1910), is connected to the Brassfield surname by his 3rd great grandson marrying a Brassfield. According to this source, Joachim and his family arrived in New York 7 May 1868 on the steam ship Allemannia. They settled in Utica township, Winona County, Minnesota before 1880. His son Johann Nicolaus Prigge (1858-1943) had a daughter named Mathilda Prigge (1889-1964). She married Hugo Dorn (1885-1972). Their daughter Meta Dorn (1915-1994) married Herbert G. Gensmer (1914-2003). Their daughter, then had a son that married a Brassfield.

Also, there are many members of that family buried in the cemetery at Silo Immanuel Lutheran Church (LCMS) north of Lewiston, MN. Founded in 1862, Immanuel Lutheran must have been the home church for that group of German immigrants.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Elvis starts a fire in December 1973

This is a photo from Clara (Ross) Fowlie's photo album. It is her son-in-law, Elvis John Brassfield, starting a fire in December 1973, at his home in Jefferson, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - F.G. Brassfield's Dodge Truck - 1934

This photo is dated 1934 and shows one of Floyd Gipson Brassfield's Dodge trucks that he used at his trucking company to haul ice, milk and other things in western Iowa.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Lloyd and Norma Parker

This is the tombstone of Lloyd and Norma (Alexander) Parker at Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette County, WI. It is located near the Alexander plot where Norma's parents are buried.

Their connection to the Brassfield surname is that their granddaughter married a Brassfield.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Closing out sale - 60 years ago today

On December 20, 1950, a closing out sale was held marking the end of Floyd Gipson Brassfield's career as a farmer at age 52. He lived there from 1946 to 1950 and moved west. He died in 1961 and was buried at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, Vancouver, Clark county, Washington. He was a farmer or rancher in South Dakota for a few years in the early 1920s, then moved to Cherokee, Iowa for a couple years. Around 1926, they moved to Lake City, Iowa until 1946. At least part of the time he operated a trucking business in Lake City, delivering Milk and Ice and other things.

I've marked the approximate location of the farm, on the location feature below. It looks like it was in Thompson Township, Guthrie County, Iowa by the description in the ad. Looking at the topography of that area, it doesn't seem very hospitable to farming.

The text of the poster is after the jump.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Moses Bates - The history of Black Hawk County via Google Books

Following up on the census records from Saturday, here is a paragraph or two from the book "The history of Black Hawk County" (Iowa) by Western Historical Company, 1878. Moses Bates was the father of Gipson Bates, father of Nellie Belle Bates-Brassfield-Evers. Gipson Bates was also the namesake of Floyd Gipson Brassfield. Moses Bates would be my 4th great grandfather.

Moses Bates was an early settler of Black Hawk County. His family was one of only 26 families and was one of 135 people in the county in 1850. I linked the middle of section 14 of the township in the location field below. More info at Rootsweb - Rea Genealogy.

The history of Black Hawk County - Google Books
Couldn't Scare Him.

About 1847, Moses Bates, from Western Indiana, located on Section 14, Township 87, Range 11 (Spring Creek Township), on the bank of Spring Creek. Bates appears to have been connected with the gang of prairie bandits, and was a 'hard case.' On one occasion he went to the cabin of Henry Gray, who had settled near him. Abruptly entering his neighbor's house, he roughly inquired of Gray if he knew who his visitor was. Gray said he had that honor, whereupon Bates, who was armed with a rifle, tomahawk, three revolvers and a bowie-knife, informed his quiet neighbor that he might have just three days to pack up his 'traps' and leave the county. Gray, however, did not belong to a timid family ; he didn't ' scare' worth a cent. His trusty rifle was hanging just over his head. He coolly took it down, 'drew a bead' on his surly neighbor and exclaimed, 'D--n you, Bates, I'll give you just three minutes to get out from here. Git!' It is needless to add that before the three minutes had expired, Bates had placed himself at a safe distance from Gray's rifle.

On another occasion a German from Allamakee County, in search of some horses that had been stolen, found them in Bates' possession. There were other evidences of Bates' propensity to appropriate to his own use the property of others, without rendering compensation, and about a dozen stalwart settlers gathered, took the offender into the woods, stripped him and tied him securely to a tree. The men then prudently formed a ring with their backs to the center while the irate owner of the stolen horses applied a liberal dose of hickory to his bare back. Bates afterward had his castigator arrested, but as there were no witnesses who had seen him chastised, he was unable to maintain his accusation. Bates sold out to John Clark in 1852, and removed to Boone County, where he died.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Census Saturday - Gipson Bates

Census Bureau seal
I conducted a search of census records via HeritageQuest online. I was looking for details on Gipson Bates, father of Nellie Belle Bates. She was Elvis John Brassfield's Grandmother. Basically all I'm starting with is Census Records and a gravestone in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, saying Gipson Bates and dated January 7, 1834 - June 15, 1910. The Census records seem to differ on spelling and date of birth, but that is fairly typical for the census.

The executive summary of this information is:
  • Gipson Bates was born in Vermont in 1834, his father appears to have been Moses Bates. Moses Bates was apparently a rather infamous person and mentioned as a "Prairie bandit" in the "History of Black Hawk County, Iowa" book in 1878. Gipson moved from Vermont to Iowa between 1835 and 1837. 
  • In 1850, he was living in Black Hawk County, Iowa.
  • In 1860, he was living with his brothers in Sergeant Bluff Township, Woodbury County, Iowa.
  • In 1870, he was married to Elizabeth and had three children living in Sioux City Township, Woodbury County, Iowa. Their first child was born around 1864.
  • In 1880, he was still married to Elizabeth and had eight children living in Liberty Township, Woodbury County, Iowa.
  • In 1893,his wife Elizabeth died buried at Sergeant Bluff Cemetery, Sergeant Bluff, Woodbury County, Iowa.
  • In 1894, Gipson married Lorena (Jett) Brassfield.
  • In 1900, he was living in Liberty Township, Woodbury County, Iowa and was married to Lorena. He had 2 children with Lorena at that point.
  • In 1910, he was still married to Lorena and was living with their two daughters in Sergeant Bluff, Woodbury Township, Woodbury County, Iowa.
  • Gipson Bates died June 15, 1910 and is buried at Sergeant Bluff Cemetery, Sergeant Bluff, Woodbury County, Iowa.
Gipson Bates is connected to the Brassfield surname through his daughter Nellie Belle. She married Elvis H. Brassfield. Another very interesting thing is that his second wife Lorena (Jett) Brassfield appears to have been previously married to Nelson P. Brassfield. Nelson was the brother of Elvis H. Brassfield, so Gipson married the former wife of his daughter Nellie's brother-in-law. No blood relationship, but still a complicated situation.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Floyd, Thelma and Elvis Brassfield photo

This is a photo of Floyd Gipson Brassfield, his wife Thelma (Hunt) Brassfield and son Elvis John Brassfield. It is captioned only with the year 1937. Note in the background the sign that says Ice Phone 289.289 was the phone number for the trucking company on Floyd's business cards and the milk lids.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Elvis the scout

Here is another photo of Elvis John Brassfield (1920-2006). The only caption was on the reverse and it said "scout". Looks like he must have been a boy scout or something similar. There appears to be a reel lawn mower in the background, maybe he was out mowing lawns? No date is listed, but it is with photos from the early 1930s.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bates siblings 1932

Here is another photo in the sequence of Bates family photos in from 1932. On the reverse it is captioned Nellie Belle Evers, Dr. Smith Bates, Mrs. Rose Smith, Will Bates, Mrs. Lizzie Barbour, Robert Bates. It is also stamped by the photo developer, "Toller's Photo Finishing, A Mirro-tone print, Sep 7, 1932, Davidson Building." The Davidson Building was located in downtown Sioux City, Iowa.

This photo was on the same page as the photo of just the Bates sisters and the photo of just the Bates brothers that I posted earlier this week. This photo depicts 6 children of Gipson and Elizabeth Bates of Woodbury County, Iowa. According to my notes there were at least 9 children in that family, but several died at a young age. I need to do a bit more research on this family. The woman listed as Rose, is also listed as Rosie and Rosa so that is a variable in searching for details on this family. I have Lizzie listed as Elizabeth as well.

The connection to the Brassfield surname is that Nellie Belle Bates (1873-1940) married Elvis H. Brassfield (1870-1904). Nellie was Elvis John Brassfield's (1920-2006) Grandmother.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bates Brothers circa 1932 - Smith, Rob and Will

This one is a followup to the Bates sisters photo on Monday. It appears to have been taken the same day. It is captioned "Smith Rob Will" on the front. On the back it says "Bates Brothers, Uncles of Floyd Brassfield, Smith, Rob, Will" It is also stamped by the photo developer, "Toller's Photo Finishing, A Mirro-tone print, Sep 7, 1932, Davidson Building."

These are brothers of Nellie Belle (Bates-Brassfield) Evers. My notes from the census records differ a bit, I have no males named Smith in that family. I have a Willie, James S. and Robert G. Bates. I'll have to do a bit more research, maybe the S. is James Smith? The Bates family lived in Woodbury County, Iowa during the 1880 census. Their parents, Gipson and Elizabeth Bates were buried at Sergeant Bluff Cemetery, Woodbury County, Iowa. Several Brassfield's and Bates family members are buried there as well.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Robert E. Alexander

This is the tombstone of Robert E. Alexander at Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette county, Wisconsin. Robert was the son of Henry (1831-1899) and Elizabeth (Dewar) Alexander (1850-1916). He is not exactly connected to the Brassfield surname, but his brother Gilbert Alexander has a Great Granddaughter that married a Brassfield. Robert E. Alexander would be her great grand uncle and my 2nd great grand uncle .

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Bates Sisters circa 1932 - Nellie, Rosie and Lizzie

I finally finished scanning Elvis's Brassfield-Hunt memories album so I have quite a few photos to post again from the 1930s and early 1940s. They a few of them were quite difficult to remove from the "magnetic" sticky album, and I used that trick with the dental floss to remove them with out much damage. Still tricky to remove, but no bending. Luckily the majority of the sticky stuff had dried and most fell right out.

This photo is captioned 1932, Nellie, Rosie, Lizzie on the front, but on the back it says Bates sisters, Nellie, Lizzie, Rosa. Another photo captions the woman on the right as Lizzie (Bates) Barbour (spelling?) and the one in the center as Rosa (Bates) Smith. My notes have a Rosa and an Elizabeth Bates, from the 1880 census of Liberty, Woodbury county, Iowa.

Nellie Belle (Bates-Brassfield) Evers (1873-1940) was Floyd Gipson Brassfield's mother and Elvis J. Brassfield's Grandmother.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Frank Fowlie with his shovel in 1973

This is a photo of Frank Brown Fowlie (1892-1977). It is dated April 8, 1973 and captioned "Frank shoveling." He is standing in front of the Fowlie home on Black Hawk Lake at 117 Denison Beach Drive, Lake View, Iowa. A bit of research shows me that this was a massive snowstorm setting records and dumping more than 15 inches of snow in some parts of Iowa. On April 11, 1973, UPI attributed the storm with 42 deaths in the Midwest. Frank was over 80 years old, so that's some pretty impressive shoveling.

Interesting things in the photo is the Pontiac in the garage. I noticed the license plate number is 117, matching the house number. I wonder if that was a personalized plate or if that was something that was normal at the time in Iowa. Also noteworthy is the green color of the home. Seems like he painted everything that color.

I tweaked this photo a bit by rotating it 5 degrees and cropping off some of the corners. Clara (Ross) Fowlie was in her mid-70s when she took this photo, so I'll cut her a bit of slack for not holding the camera perfectly level...

The connection to the Brassfield surname is that Frank's daughter married Elvis J. Brassfield.

For more about the storm, see an article about disaster response in Des Moines by the Disaster Research Center, in Ohio. Des Moines got 13" of snow and 50 mph winds creating drifts 8 to 20 feet tall. On top of that, the snow was very wet, 50 pounds per cubic ft instead of normal 5-10 lbs pr cubic ft. Pretty heavy stuff for an 80 year old to shovel!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ceramic Christmas tree

Here is a photo of my Christmas tree. I received it from Grandma Parker a few years ago, prior to her death in 2009. It's pretty much the only Christmas decoration I have on display. It is labeled "Parker '80" on the bottom along with "Atlantic Mold 74" so I'm under the assumption that she made it 30 years ago. It was a familiar fixture in the Parker home around Christmas time. From an electrical standpoint, it was probably one of the safest decorations they had, no fire hazard and only one plug on it.

To try to learn more about it, I googled Atlantic Mold Christmas Tree and found a similar looking "Vintage Lighted Ceramic Christmas Tree 16" Large Lites" selling for $175 on E-bay. I don't know if they will sell it for that price, but I do know that mine is worth way more than that to me.

All that I could find out about the mold is that it looks like a model 74 or A74 mold made by Atlantic Mold of Trenton, New Jersey. According to their website from 2001, they made their first ceramic tree mold in 1958. They closed their doors in March 2001. Some of the molds are still around, but I have no idea about model 74. Maybe they broke the mold on these.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Irene and Ben

This is a photo of Irene Brassfield (1924-2010) with Ben Evers (1872-1954) in front of his home in Cherokee, Iowa in 1925. Ben Evers was married to Nellie Belle (Bates, Brassfield) Evers (1873-1940). He would have been the equivalent to Grandpa to Elvis and his siblings since Elvis H. Brassfield (1870-1904) died many years before they were born.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Floyd Gipson Brassfield Family in Lake City 1926

Floyd Gipson Brassfield and his family moved to Lake City, Iowa around 1926. This photo was taken after the move and is captioned only 1926. It is Irene, Thelma, Elvis, Floyd and Betty Brassfield in front of Middleton house on South street in Lake City. I'm assuming they rented the house from someone named Middleton and the for sale sign just behind them appears in several photos even a year later. Behind them are some plants that are trying to climb some strings similar to the ones in the Cherokee, Iowa photo.Also notice the truck at the right. Floyd operated a trucking company after moving to Lake City, so I thought I should leave that in the photo.

This photo presented a unique problem. It was a bit crooked and I had to rotate it 5 degrees, but then I would have had to crop out some of the minor details like the truck in the background on the right and things at the top. So, instead of doing that, I used the clone tool and filled in a large blank area of grass at the bottom right so I could keep the detail on the right side. Here are the two photos, the top one is the rotated and cloned image, the bottom one is the original. You can see the grass area at bottom right is fake and wasn't in the original photo.At this resolution you can't really tell, but I didn't blend the area in, so you can make out the line if you look closely.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Elizabeth Alexander

This is the tombstone of Elizabeth (Dewar) Alexander. She was the mother of Gilbert Alexander, who was the father of Norma Elizabeth Alexander. Norma was the wife of Lloyd Ira Parker. Elizabeth Alexander was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Elizabeth was born in Canada to Duncan Dewar of Scotland and Anna Webb of New York (state). She was married to Henry Alexander November 7, 1867 in Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Irene Thelma and Betty Brassfield in 1927

This one was only captioned 1927. It is Irene Shirley Brassfield (1924-2010), Thelma Sarah (Hunt) Brassfield (1898-1976) and Betty Lucille Brassfield (1923-2003). This was taken after the move to Lake City, Iowa and other photos are also labeled "LC" so I have to guess it was taken in Lake City.

The Floyd Gipson Brassfield family rented the Middleton house on South Street in Lake City, Calhoun County, Iowa starting around 1926. I think they lived there until Spring 1946, moving to a farm a few miles north of Casey, Iowa in Thompson Township, Guthrie County before moving to Oregon in December 1950.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Home in Cherokee, Iowa

Here's a photo of the house in Cherokee, Iowa where the Floyd Brassfield family lived for a few years in the 1920s starting around 1924 before moving to Lake City around 1926. The caption on the back says Cherokee 1925. Betty Lucille Brassfield (1923-2003) and her father, Floyd Gipson Brassfield (1898-1961) are posing in front of their home. There is also a dog in the photo, another photo labels the dog "Dick." Unfortunately, I have no information on the location of this home, except that it was near Cherokee.

In the album this photo is 4" x 2.5" so it's pretty hard to see what's going on. After scanning, I could tell that it was Betty in the photo, not Elvis. This is only 1/3 the size that I scanned, but you can still see some interesting details. There's a chicken in the photo, also there's a broom hanging outside the door on the right. By the door on the right there are some plants and several strings running from the ground to the roof. I'm guessing it must be some kind of climbing plant that probably climbed the strings during growing season. There is also something attached to the chimney, maybe some kind of lightning rod? No TV back then and I doubt it was radio related, so it pretty much has to be a lightning rod, right?

Interesting house, looks like it had a fireplace in the center and probably not many rooms. It looks pretty small, too and there were 5 members of the family at that time.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Magic wand first test

Well, I couldn't resist so I bought a hand held scanning gadget called the VuPoint Magic Wand. It looks like it will work very well with genealogy and should be quite handy for scanning things you can't take home with you from the library, the court house or a family member's collection.

Here are two photos, one of the magic wand with a dreaded "magnetic" sticky photo album. The second is the very first scan I made with the device, straight out of the box, and without reading any instructions. I reduced the size to upload it by 25%. You can see from the image I didn't quite go in a straight line, it's a bit wavy, but it did I pretty good job. Even with the imperfections, I'd say it will work well for photos and even better for text, land records, etc. It won't replace my flatbed scanner while at home, but the portability will be a big help.

Some of the negative things so far are that it requires a micro SD card, but it doesn't include one. This is probably not that big of a deal, but it raises the initial cost a little bit. Luckily for me, Best Buy was practically giving micro SD cards away yesterday, so it wasn't a problem to find a low cost one.

Another disadvantage is that the surface has to be very smooth. It didn't work too well trying to scan over those old construction paper albums with the glue in corners that hold the photos in. Those corners seem to grab the scanner and you can't pull it across the page very evenly. The magic wand needs a fairly smooth surface, or you won't get very good results.

The main advantage to the magic wand is that you don't need a computer with you to make it work. However, I can see that it will be nice to bring a handheld device of some kind just to double check that the scans worked. I'd hate to scan for an hour at a court house and get home only to find out the scans didn't come out.

It's too early to tell if this is going to fully live up to expectations, but so far so good. It seems to be working as advertised and I'm sure it will come in handy.

The-gadgeteer had an excellent review and helped me research the purchase before hand.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Glen Bird Parker with car

Here's a photo of Glen Bird Parker (1899-1960). I don't have a date or caption for this photo so I'm guessing 1930 based on the number 30 on the license plate. (see World License plate page). Glen was the youngest son of Valois Denemore Parker and Anna Belle Wood. I am guessing his middle name of Bird came from Valois's sister's married name, Charlotte Temple Bird. She married civil war Captain J.N.P. Bird. Bird was a wounded veteran of the 2nd Battle of Bull Run, but I'll save that for another post.

A couple of interesting things in the background of this photo: the boxes piled up against the building say Westfield Bottling Company. On the top of the spare tire are the words "Fort Atki", which could mean that he bought the car in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.

Glen is the youngest one in this photo I posted a few months ago. According to my notes, Glen died in December 1960 and was buried at Grace Chapel Church Cemetery, Lee County, North Carolina.

The connection to the Brassfield surname is that Glen's Grand niece (his brother Lloyd's Grand Daughter) married a Brassfield.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Henry Alexander

This is the tombstone of Henry Alexander. Henry was the father of Gilbert Alexander, who was the father of Norma Elizabeth Alexander. Norma was the wife of Lloyd Ira Parker. Henry Alexander was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Henry was born in Scotland. He married Elizabeth Dewar (1850-1916), who was born in Canada, November 7, 1867 in Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gilbert Alexander Family Photo

This is a group photo of the Alexander family of Marquette County, Wisconsin in the late 1920s or early 1930s. From left to right, Henry James Alexander (1906-1987), Vera (Alexander) Kemnitz (1905-1986), Glenn G. Alexander (1907-1971), Margaret (Maggie Haney) Alexander (1881-1939), Norma Elizabeth (Alexander) Parker (1902-1970) and Gilbert Alexander (1873-1959).

The connection to the Brassfield surname is Norma Elizabeth Alexander married Lloyd Ira Parker. Their Grand Daughter married a Brassfield.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Norma and Lloyd Parker with service flag

Here is a photo of Norma Elizabeth (Alexander) (1902-1970) and Lloyd Ira Parker (1895-1961) standing in front of their home in Westfield, Wisconsin during World War II. Behind them in the window is a service flag showing two blue stars, one star for each son in harms way overseas.

One of their two sons had a daughter that married a Brassfield, connecting with the theme of this blog.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Long Lost Tuesday's Tip: Safe removal of photos from magnetic album pages

I'm a little bit behind this week because of work, but I did see this article earlier in the week. Many of the albums I've been working with have the "magnetic" sticky material. Sometimes the photos fall right off and sometimes they don't. The video she links to shows removing the photo with dental floss, so that's a pretty interesting approach. Take a look if you want and please don't ever use those magnetic albums with sticky pages!

Long Lost Tuesday's Tip: Safe removal of photos from magnetic album pages.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Gilbert Alexander

This is the tombstone of Gilbert Alexander, father of Norma Elizabeth Alexander. Norma was the wife of Lloyd Ira Parker. Gilbert Alexander was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Gilbert was born June 1873 in Wisconsin to Henry Alexander (1831-1899), who was born in Scotland and Elizabeth Dewar (1850-1916), who was born in Canada. Gilbert Alexander married Maggie Haney July 28, 1901.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Elvis and the chickens

Here's another photo of Elvis John Brassfield from the Brassfield Hunt memories album. It is not captioned, but looks like it is from the early 1920s on the ranch near Fairfax, South Dakota. A chicken pecks at some food in front of him and he is holding what appears to be either some kind of flowers or a small tree branch with leaves on it. I like the little chicken coop in the background, too.

Elvis John Brassfield (1920-2006) was the son of Thelma Sarah (Hunt) and Floyd Gipson Brassfield.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

WWII in HD — The Air War —

Tonight I stumbled upon WWII in HD — The Air War —, so I started to record it. I'm only 30 minutes into it out of two hours, but so far it's looking pretty interesting.

Elvis John Brassfield flew more than 30 missions over hostile territory and I think it gives an interesting, perspective into what he went through during the air war. He spent 8 months overseas starting around August 1944 flying in B-24s as an armorer-gunner. The photo at the right is of B-24's from his bomb group during the time he served. The program focuses on a time frame prior to when Elvis was over there and on B-17 bombers, but it still gives a glimpse at air combat of that time period. So keep that in mind if you chose to watch The Air War. It's narrated by Rob Lowe.

Be warned about the graphic footage of wounded, etc, so it's not suitable for the kids.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Photo Effects

Randy at Genea-Musings blog has a regular feature called Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. This week's fun was to try out samples of various photo effects and post a sample. Here's the link over to his blog:
Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Photo Effects

This photo is cropped to show just Frank Brown Fowlie (1892-1977) from a group photo of Fowlie's from the mid-1920s. Frank looks super-serious in this particular photo and the look always struck me. The engraving photo effect makes it look like he belongs on a $50 dollar bill or something. The original photo looked like it could belong on a wanted poster or something, but I couldn't think of what he would be wanted for. Maybe he would be wanted for excessive use of that certain shade of green paint? It's probably been 50 years since he bought that paint and I bet there is still stuff laying around that has that color on it....

100th post

Iowa 100
Well, my first post here was on August 17, 2010 and this one will be my 100th post. Numerically it's somewhat of a milestone, but in reality the vast majority of posts have been photos without much detail. I still have some pictures left to post, but I have a mountain of photo albums to dig through and scan. Looks like I'll have to dust off the scanner and scan some more photos sometime, too.

I've chosen the Iowa State Highway 100 logo to mark the occasion since many of my posts are about Iowa. I have mixed feelings about the state of Iowa, it was home to many of my ancestors, but now it is a 330 mile obstacle that separates the family. Too bad it isn't 100 miles wide.

I'm not sure what posts will be favorites to others, but the ones I enjoyed the most were the ones that introduced new material and new stories I'd never heard. A recent example was the sad history of Joseph Fowlie and his 20 year stay in an insane asylum. Another interesting one was when I learned that Vilas Parker's remains were found more than 40 years after his plane crashed during World War II. Another one was learning the story of Frank Brassfield, a 3rd cousin to this line that was a hero in World War I. All the stories are light on details, but they provide a good overview.

I'm looking forward to telling at least 100 more stories and 100 more pictures.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blue Star - Serving our country

Here is another service flag. It is possibly from World War 2 and may have belonged to Elvis John Brassfield's parents. The material feels synthetic, so I don't know if it could be that old, but I also don't know of any more recent family members that this flag would apply to. It would be nice to have a bit more information on this artifact.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day 2010

Romagne-sous-Montfaucon - crossesWorld War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, and after the war November 11th became a day of remembrance. Following World War II, November 11th became a day not just to remember World War I, but to honor all American veterans.

So on this day, I'd like to point out some of the veterans that I am connected to. The list is not complete, so I'm sorry if I've forgotten someone. Out of respect for privacy, I'm not going to mention veterans still living, but I am still grateful for their service.

All gave some, some gave all. The list is after the jump.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Medical Corps service flag

Here is a photo of a service flag labeled Medical Corps. I'm still looking for the back story behind this artifact. It came from the Elvis John Brassfield family, though I'm not sure who was in the medical corps and which war they served in.

If you should see one of these flags with a blue star hanging in a window, it means that household has a family member in harm's way. A gold star signifies that a family member died in service to the country.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Maggie Alexander

This is the tombstone of Maggie (Haney) Alexander, mother of Norma Elizabeth Alexander. Norma was the wife of Lloyd Ira Parker. She was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Maggie was born in 1881 in Wisconsin to James Haney (1842-1923), who was born in Canada and Minnie Polenske (1858-1895), who was born in Ireland. Maggie Haney married Gilbert Alexander (1873-1959) July 28, 1901.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Madness Monday - Joseph Fowlie

Joseph Fowlie was the uncle of Frank Brown Fowlie. Their common ancestors are George Fowlie and Margaret Cantley. Today I discovered his obituary from the Rockwell City Advocate on 25 March 1909, on an internet message board.

Joseph Fowlie was born in 1829 in Aberdeen, Scotland to Margaret (Cantley) and George Fowlie. He had at least nine siblings and many of them came to the US via Canada, then to Illinois and finally settling in Benton County and Calhoun County, Iowa. According to his obituary, Joseph was judged insane about 1890 near age 61. He was committed to a mental institution and in 1900 he was a patient at Iowa Hospital for the Insane at Independence in Buchanan County, Iowa, according to the US Census. I've ridden past the hospital on US20 many times over the years and have been intrigued by it, now it seems I have a sad family connection to the facility. It will certainly change the way I look at it next time I drive past.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lake Creek Cemetery, Cahoun County, Iowa

Cemetery template
This post is to help me prepare for a potential future trip to Lake Creek Cemetery, Lake Creek Township, Calhoun County, Iowa. I have some notes and there are a few transcriptions available online as well.

More after the jump...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rosehill Cemetery, Rockwell City, Iowa

Cemetery template
This post is to help me prepare for a potential future trip to Rosehill Cemetery, Rockwell City, Iowa. I have some notes and there are a few transcriptions available online as well.

Interestingly, there are two cemeteries with similar names in Calhoun County, Iowa. Rosehill Cemetery in Rockwell City and Rose Hill Cemetery in Manson. I believe the majority of the graves I am interested in are located in Rockwell City, but there is potential for confusion in my notes since Manson, Iowa is not too far away. There are some Ross and Fowlie surnames at Rose Hill, so it might be woth a trip there as well.
The list is after the jump...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mary (Stotler) Ross and her daughter Clara

This photo appears to have been shot around the same time as Tuesday's photo, the early to mid 1920s. It is Mary Hay (Stotler) Ross and her daughter Clara Bernice (Ross) Fowlie. Clara was born June 1, 1897 and Mary (Stotler) was born January 27, 1864 putting Clara in her mid to late 20s and Mary in her late 50s. Both would reach their mid-90s.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 3rd birthdays

Nuvola apps cookie
According to my notes, a couple of birthdays occurred today. Howard Hunt, brother of Thelma Sarah Hunt, was born November 3, 1907. Arnold Schauer, father of June Schauer, was born November 3, 1894.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Frank and Clara

This is a photo of Frank and Clara (Ross) Fowlie. It dates to the early or mid 1920s. Frank Brown Fowlie was born September 19, 1892 and Clara Bernice Ross was born  June 1, 1897, so Frank was around 30 in this photo and Clara was around 25.

Their connection tho the Brassfield surname is that their daughter married Elvis John Brassfield.

Monday, November 1, 2010

An interesting group photo

This group photo was in the Brassfield-Hunt memories album. Unfortunately it is not captioned. It appears to have Nellie Belle (Bates) Brassfield in the back row, left side. Another photo labels the man in front of her as her husband Elvis H. Brassfield. I hate to dispute that, but the man to the right of her seems to greatly resemble her son Floyd, so my first guess for Elvis H. would have been the man to the right of Nellie. See yesterday's photo and compare for yourself. Nellie and Elvis had 3 sons, Clarence, Floyd and Adrian. Elvis H. Brassfield died in 1904 and Adrian Brassfield was born in 1902, so that could be Elvis H. at left with Adrian on his lap, but it's all guesswork at this point.

Maybe this photo is some of the Bates relatives. I still have photo albums to look through, so I'll keep trying to figure out who is who.

On a side note, I'd like to point out that on November 1, 1873, Nellie Belle Bates was born in Sergeant Bluff, Woodbury County, Iowa.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Floyd on the farm

This is another photo from Elvis Brassfield's Brassfield-Hunt memories album. It is a photo of Floyd Gipson Brassfield and some chickens on the farm, most likely near Fairfax, South Dakota.

Floyd Gipson Brassfield (1898-1961) was the son of Nellie Belle (Bates) (1873-1940) and Elvis H. Brassfield (1970-1904).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Elvis feeds a coyote chasing dog

This is another photo from Elvis John Brassfield's Brassfield-Hunt memories album. Captioned "Elvis and dog S.D. - dog chased coyotes" on the front side. On the reverse it says "Elvis Brassfield feeding dog who chased coyotes S.D. ranch."

The Brassfields lived near Fairfax, South Dakota in the early 1920s before moving to Cherokee, Iowa between April 1923 and June 1924. Other photos show chickens on the ranch, so it was probably necessary to have a dog to chase off predators.

In this post he was wearing the same hat.

Elvis John Brassfield (1920-2006) was the son of Thelma Sarah (Hunt) and Floyd Gipson Brassfield.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Artifact - Give blood

At right is an artifact that apparently belonged to Elvis John Brassfield. It is a 2 Gallon pin for blood donation that he received June 19, 1973.

Everyone has a personal reason for donating blood, whether it is a civic duty, or the just right thing to do. I don't know what his reason was on that day in 1973, but everyone's reason is unique.

Here's a link to an 86 year old that reached the 40 gallon mark. That's pretty impressive. You can go to for more information on donating blood.

Today, I passed the one gallon mark by providing a double red cell donation. That's 2 units of only the red blood cells. It takes a little longer each time, but you only need to donate half as often since it is 112 days between donations. At my age, 1 gallon is not very impressive, but I took quite a long break.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nellie Belle Evers with the family

Here is another photo from Elvis Brassfield's Brassfield-Hunt memories album. It is captioned, "Grandma, Clarence, Floyd, Jennie, Elvis, Thelma."

Grandma is Nellie Belle Evers, she married Ben Evers after Elvis H. Brassfield died. Her two sons Clarence and Floyd Brassfield are standing next to her. A third son, Adrian, died a few years before this photo was taken. Jennie (Martinson) is in the front row at left. Clarence married Jennie in 1924. In the front row on the right is Thelma Sarah (Hunt), wife of Floyd with her son Elvis John Brassfield. Elvis was born in November 1920, so that dates this photo to 1922 or so.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Irene Brassfield

The original caption is "1925 - Irene - Cherokee." It is Irene Shirley Brassfield (1824-2010), daughter of Floyd and Thelma (Hunt) Brassfield when the family lived in Cherokee, Iowa.