Monday, September 7, 2015

Scandal Sheet: My Father, My Husband, My Sister, My Daughter


Virginia "Jennie" Woodington married Albert E Harper after the death of his first wife, Lillie Belle.

Albert and Lillie Belle had four children. Those children were grown or mostly grown by the time of Jennie's marriage to Albert in 1913 in Grant County, Wisconsin.

Gladys Harper was the third of the children, born 28 Sep 1893. Gladys Harper briefly married Robert Walter Van Riper of Franklin County, Iowa at about age 15. What was probably a shotgun wedding was not so rare, even in those days, so that in itself wasn't necessarily so scandalous. Their daughter Grace was born on 14 Jul 1909. By 1910, Gladys was living back with her family.The Van Riper’s divorced. 

Gladys married Charles Dewey Hansell in 1916 in Brown County, South Dakota while both residing in Aberdeen. Charles was also from Franklin County, Iowa. In 1920, Gladys and Charles resided in Marmath, Slope County, North Dakota. Gladys gave birth to Lorraine Hansell in about 1922 after their return from The Dakotas to Franklin County. Gladys died on 24 May 1924 in Hampton, Iowa. Charles, acting as father, continued raising his now 15-year-old step-daughter and his thee year old daughter.

On 12 Jul 1927, Charles married his step-daughter Lillian Grace Van Riper in Mason City, Iowa, In what I'm sure was a shocking move to the families. I wonder if they felt the need to leave the area because of the scandal of it all and not return.

They moved with Lorraine to Chicago, where Charles worked in a foundry and later as a waiter.
Charles and Grace had three children while living in Chicago: Betty Lou (1930-1940), George Charles (1932-1948), and Jacqueline Jean (1937-1942). 

The Hansell’s lived in Jefferson County, Wisconsin beginning in the mid-1940s and remained there until their deaths. Their son George was the last surviving child and died at age 16 after an auto accident in Jefferson.

Lorraine, Grace’s half-sister and step-daughter, left home and was boarding in Chicago by the time she was 18. She was married, at least once, to Wallace Craig, whom she married in 1957. No other information is available on what became of her.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Scandal Sheet: The End of the Frank & Grace Noble Marriage

William Cooper > Amos Cooper > William Lloyd Cooper > Ann Cooper Thompson > Omar Hazzard Thompson > Grace Lorene Thompson & Frank Noble 

Ann Cooper Thompson Hardy lost her first husband, Daniel Thompson after 14 years of marriage in 1864. They had seven children, including Omar Hazzard Thompson, the second born. Ann remarried Andrew Hardy and had two more children, one of whom died in infancy.

Omar and his wife, Mary Louisa Herbst married in Chickasaw County, Iowa on 25 Sep 1872. They moved west and by 1880, were living in Wheeling, Nebraska. They had six girls and finally a boy, Grace being the third child, born in October 1882 in Burwell, Garfield County, Nebraska.

Grace Lorene Thompson met and married Frank Noble of Illinois on an unknown date. They moved around a bit in Nebraska, then moved Haxtun, Phillips County, Colorado, where they were found in 1920. By this time, they had four children and owned a small hotel. Also noted in the 1920 census, was the fact that they also housed four lodgers: John Dill, Michael Burn, Charles Kester, and Hugh McLane.

1933 Billings MT City Directory
Frank and Grace were then divorced some time prior to 1929 when Mr. Hugh McLane, bachelor, married the divorcee, Grace Lorene Noble, in Livingston, Park County, Montana on 03 Sep 1929. They had been residents of Dillon, Montana. There is no indication that Grace kept the by-then teenage children, with her. They are all found in Nebraska on their own or married in 1930.

1933 found Hugh and Grace living in Billings, Montana. After this, no record is found, but I did find a grave marker for a "Grace L. McLane" located at Crown Hill Cemetery, in Park County, Wyoming which may be hers. No trace of Hugh exists either...except he may have gone to Colorado and worked as a woodcutter as of 1940, living with his business partner. I can't confirm this either.

Frank Noble reportedly died in 1958, though I've not been able to confirm. Three of their four children survived, Frank Jr. dying at age 53 in 1966 while living in Grand Island, Nebraska, after he was hit by a car while driving his son's motorcycle. Daughter Hilda died in Minnesota in 1995 after a long marriage to a railroad man and subsequent remarriage after his death. Daughter Helen married as well, dying in Nebraska in 2001.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Micro-Memory: Moderntone Dishes

My mother, who is from the other side of my family and unrelated to all the people I've discussed
here so far, visited me yesterday as she had various errands to run in town. She lives way out - having retired to an idyllic rural setting about 70 minutes from here about 20 years ago.

She had called me the night before she left to see if I was interested in some things she was going to be clearing out. Included in those things were some beloved small specialty dishes, like a relish tray, that my grandmother had always used on special occasions. I was interested.

Then, she mentioned she had her grandmother's Moderntone dishes made by Hazel Atlas in the 1930s. I leaped all over that. My great grandmother had used those depression-era plates and bowls every day, though I have no memory of her using them. I do remember that my grandmother used them all the time. I adored them. It was all part of the "going to Grandma's" experience. She always saved the blue set for me.

This morning, I will be washing those up and putting them into my buffet, excited that I will be able to use them come Thanksgiving. I care naught for fancy china and silver, but will be using my grandparents silver-plated flatware and Modertone dishes for all of my special occasions.