One of the papers this service offers is from Nashua, Iowa. The Nashua Reporter from 1899 to the early 1980s. Early on, there were news notes from each town and township I call the "gossip column." It is chock-full of who went to this house or that for dinner, shopped out of town on the weekend, or visited or had visiting relatives. It's a great source to find spouse names, what they did, where they moved to once they left the area, and service information, especially during World War II.
I've found the answers to many mysteries or at least grabbed a thread that allowed me to fill in blanks in standard records. I discovered the long, interesting marital history of my great aunt Mary and just recently discovered that her sister, Bernice Smith Beckage, who lost her husband Andrew Beckage suddenly in 1947, almost immediately remarried her second husband whose existence I've never heard about from anyone. My guess is the marriage didn't last too long and she reverted to her first husband's name after that marriage.
Papers like the Nashua Reporter were a treasure. They show the ties that span through families and marriages and the triumphs, trials, and tribulations of generations of relatives. While I'll never find out why my Great Grandma Kate Smull Smith was so ornery, I do get to see that her children and their children were frequent visitors and who cared for her through the years after her husband's death.
I took a liking to this young fellow, who married one of my relatives, I couldn't for the life of me
figure out why they left Iowa for Albuquerque, New Mexico. I had assumed it was job-related - he was a grocery wholesaler and retailer throughout his life. Turns out I was wrong- it was a very bad case of tuberculosis that sent him to drier climes and he had a sister, Mrs DO Marshall living in Albuquerque. He also went into the real estate business in 1929 (Walter K Spurgeon Realty - later Walter K Spurgeon Courteous Realty) and as late as 1945, not the grocery business. He returned to that business, as a clerk, once they moved to California. This is what I found on he and his young wife, Leona Smith Spurgeon, daughter of Harland Smith and Fannie Magoon Smith:
Walter Spurgeon, who had been spending a few days at the Harland Smith home, returned Friday morning to his home at Boone. Miss Leona Smith accompanied him as far as Cedar Falls.The Spurgeon's moved to Southern California after New Mexico, and died there.
Nashua Reporter March 26, 1914
Walter Spurgeon, who had been spending a few days at the Harland Smith home, returned Friday morning to his home at Boone. Miss Leona Smith accompanied him as far as Cedar Falls.
Nashua Reporter March 26, 1914
LEONA SMITH A BIRDE
WEDS WALTER SPURGEON AT BOONE DECEMBER 27
At the home of Otis L Spurgeon, 1515 12th St Des Moines on Wednesday afternoon, at 5:00, occurred the marriage of Walter K Spurgeon, of Boone, Iowa, to Miss Leona Smith, of Nashua, Iowa. The ceremony was performed by Otis L Spurgeon, brother of the groom. The bride is the daughter of Mr & Mrs Harland Smith of this city. She was a former member of Mr Spurgeon's congregation at Nashua, he having baptized her into the church. She was during his stay here his efficient organist. The bride is of charming personality and a fine musician. Mr Spurgeon has been for a number of years a traveling salesman, but with the first of the coming year will enter into business with his father at Boone, where the parent is already engaged in the grocery and meat business. The young couple go to housekeeping at once in a home already furnished and will be at home to their friends on 10th St, Boone, Iowa.
Nashua Reporter January 4, 1917
Mrs Walter Spurgeon who had been spending a couple of weeks at the house of her parents, Mr & Mrs Harland Smith, returned Friday to her home at Boone.
Nashua Reporter August 1, 1918
Mrs Harland Smith went to Boone Thursday morning to nurse her daughter, Mrs Walter Spurgeon through a case of influenza. Mr Spurgeon is just recovering from an attack of the disease.
Nashua Reporter November 21, 1918
Mrs Harland Smith returned from Boone Monday where she had been called by the illness of her daughter Mrs Walter Spurgeon. She reports that Mrs Spurgeon is much improved and able to be about once more.
Nashua Reporter May 8, 1919
Mrs Walter Spurgeon of Boone, who had been spending a few weeks with her parents Mr & Mrs Harland Smith, went to Minneapolis Thursday to visit her sister, Mrs Corey.
Nashua Reporter July 31, 1919
Mrs Walter Spurgeon of Boone, who had been here visiting her parents, Mr & Mrs Harland Smith, left for Minneapolis Monday to visit her sister, Mrs Percy Corey.
Nashua Reporter April 1, 1920
Mrs Walter Spurgeon and baby of Boone, arrived Saturday for a visit with her parents, Mr & Mrs Harland Smith.
Nashua Reporter February 9, 1922
Mirt Smith and Harland Smith autoed to Cedar Falls Monday to visit the latter's daughter. Mrs Walter Spurgeon and little son of Boone, who came for a visit with her parents and other relatives and friends.
Nashua Reporter June 22, 1922, p 1
For Marcelles 50 cents and bob curl 25c. See Leona Spurgeon, 1st door north of Reporter office. 16-2
Nashua Reporter December 3, 1924
Mrs Beulah Lewis and little daughter, Betty of Boone, came Saturday evening to visit her brother and his wife, Mr & Mrs Walter Spurgeon, at the Harland Smith home.
Nashua Reporter February 4, 1925
Methodist Episcopal Church, Elmer Shafer, Minister
...The special musical number for the morning was the solo by Mrs Leona Spurgeon, sung in a very effective manner. It was entitled, "Oh, What a King."
Nashua Reporter February 25, 1925
Mrs Walter Spurgeon and little son arrived Wednesday of last week from Boone, to remain a few weeks with her parents, Mr & Mrs Harland Smith.
Nashua Reporter August 19, 1925
Walter Spurgeon, who Has been for several weeks receiving treatment at the sanitarium at Oakdale, is able to return home and is with his family at the Harland Smith home.
Waterloo Evening Courier January 8, 1925, p 14
Walter Spurgeon who had been spending several weeks with his wife at the home of her parents, Mr & Mrs Harland Smith, went to Boone, Iowa, Thursday to spend a few weeks with his parents, Mr Spurgeon, who had been at Oakdale Sanitarium for some time taking treatments, before coming to Nashua, is gaining steadily in health.
Nashua Reporter March 4, 1925
Mrs. Leona Spurgeon and little son Richard have returned to Boone. after visiting at the home of her parents.Mr. and Mrs. Harland Smith
Nashua Reporter September 2, 1925, pg 8
Friends of Mr & Mrs Walter Spurgeon, who went to Albuquerque, NM, about a year ago to seek relief for Mr Spurgeon who was suffering from tuberculosis, will be glad to learn that he is much better and expects soon to go to work. At first, he did not improve satisfactorily and the only chance he had, which was one out of ten, was to have his affected lung collapsed, and he took the chance with the above result. Mrs Spurgeon is employed in the offices of the Great Western Railway.
Nashua Reporter December 8, 1926
Mr & Mrs Walter K Spurgeon, 1208 East Roma Ave, are enjoying a visit fro Mr Spurgeon's brother, Rev Otis L Spurgeon, pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo. Rev Spurgeon was a chaplain in the World War and is a captain in the 443rd Field Artillery, ROTC. He is also a lecturer widely known over the country, being in demand before public schools and dinner clubs for his lectures on Character Analysis and Applied Psychology. Also a Kiwanian and a Mason, Rev Spurgeon is also a brother of Mrs DO Marshall of this city.
Albuquerque Journal March 28, 1929
Walter K Spurgeon Real Estate 1208 East Roma Ave Phone 2867-R.
Albuquerque Journal July 2, 1929
Modern home with big sleeping porch, price only $3,000 on easy terms. Walter K Spurgeon, 694 East Central.
Albuquerque Journal August 26, 1929
In a pretty home wedding Wednesday morning, Rev Otis L Spurgeon peformed the ceremony uniting his daughter, Miss Velma Spurgeon and Herbert C Chandler of San Francisco in marriage. The ceremony was read at 10 o'clock at the home of the bride's uncle, Walter K Spurgeon, 1208 East Roma Ave.
The bride was gowned in a blue chiffon velvet ensemble, the jacket covering a blouse of eggshell satin. Her hat of dark blue velvet and other accessories matched. Miss Roberta Spurgeon, who attended her sister as maid of honor wore a dress of heavy flowered crepe in blue and white. Walter K Spurgeon the bride's uncle, acted as best man to Mr Chandler.
After the ceremony, a wedding breakfast was served to the bridal party and the ten guests present: Rev & Mrs Otis L Spurgeon, Mr & Mrs SA Spurgeon, Mr & Mrs WK Spurgen, Mr & Mrs DO Marshall, and the mIsses Esther Jensen and Carrie Swendson.
Mr & Mrs Chandler left Wednesday afternoon for a short honeymoon of unannounced destination after which they will be at home at the El Centro apartments, 270 Turk St, San Francisco, Cal.
The bride attended Des Moines College, the bridegroom Texas University. Mr Chandler is branch manager on the west coast for the Holcomb & Hoke Manufacturing company of Indianapolis. Mrs Chandler was formerly secretary to Dr OA Cox.
Albuquerque Journal October 17, 1929
Mr & Mrs Walter Spurgeon and son, of Albuquerque, NM, arrived Tuesday evening of last week by auto for a visit with Mrs Spurgeon's parents, Mr & Mrs Harland Smith, and her brother, Will Smith and family.
Nashua Reporter July 22, 1931
Mrs Walter Spurgeon of Albuquerque, NM, who was called here by the illness and death of her father, the late Harland Smith, returned home Wednesday of last week.
Nashua Reporter December 13, 1933
Mrs Walter Spurgeon of Albuquerque, NM, came last week to visit her mother, Mrs Harland Smith.
Nashua Reporter May 20, 1936
Mr & Mrs Walter Spurgeon of Albuquerque, NM, came last week for a visit with her mother, Mrs Harland Smith, and her brother, Will Smith and wife. Mrs Harland Smith accompanied them to Minneapolis, where they visited another of her daughters, Mrs PE Corey and husband. They also visited relatives and friends at Duluth returning to Nashua last Wednesday, after which Mr & Mrs Spurgeon started home.
Nashua Reporter June 18, 1941
Mrs Fannie Smith, who suffered a severe stroke Thursday, was slightly improved Friday. She was alone in her home at the time she was stricken, and was found lying across the bed by Mrs John Anderson, who went to the home to call. Her daughter, Mrs Percy Corey, and husband of Minneapolis, Minn and another daughter, Mrs Leona Spurgeon of Albuquerque, N M were summoned to her bedside.
Waterloo Daily Courier April 12, 1942, pg 20
Mrs Walter Spurgeon of Albuquerque, NM, has returned to her home, after helping care for her mother, Mrs Harland Smith, who suffered a stroke about a month ago.
Nashua Reporter May 13, 1942
Couple 18 years residence wants unfurnished duplex or apartment. References Walter Spurgeon. B Apartment No 21.
Albuquerque Journal April 12, 1944
Attractive Duplex in Heights. Two bedrooms ech. Walter Spurgeon with Karr A Kichenberger, 311 West Gold.
Albuquerque Journal June 10, 1944
PFC Richard K Spurgeon, son of Mr & Mrs Walter Spurgeon, 1002 North Fifth, is serving as a photographer at an air depot of the Air Service Command in the Netherlands East Indies.
Albuquerque Journal April 18, 1945
SMALL grocery and filling station, stock andand fixtures only, Good little business. Walter K. Spurgeon. Fifth and Grant e5840 Albuquerque Journal May 29, 1945
Albuquerque Journal May 29, 1945
30 Years Ago
Grandpa and Grandma Harland Smith are waring the smile that won't come off, all on account of a card which they received telling of the birth of a 7-pound son at the home of Mr & Mrs Walter Spurgeon in Duluth, on Aug 3, 1920.
Nashua Reporter August 16, 1950
Built for two, home and half acre, furnished. Walter K Spurgeon, 5840.
Albuquerque Journal May 31, 1945
30 Years Ago
Mrs Harland Smith went to Minneapolis Friday to get acquainted with the new grandson at the Walter Spurgeon home.
Nashua Reporter August 23, 1950
Without this valuable resource, Walter's life might have been missed in a cut and paste the records and move on kind of way.