Papa’s Family

I know I’ve talked a lot about Nannie and Gankie, my mother’s parents. Papa had parents, too, but Papa’s father was dead by the time I was born. His mother rode the train across the country to attend Mama and Papa’s wedding in Texarkana, and she regularly came to see us wherever we were living until her Parkinson’s disease became too much.

Papa’s father was born in Illinois, near Peoria, after his father was dead. His father was born in Germany and immigrated to this country as a young man. His name was Francis Xavier Griesser. At some point before he married my grandmother, he changed his name from Griesser to Greisser. He was one of six brothers and as nearly as we can tell any Greisser or Griesser in this country is related to us.

Papa’s father was Victor H. Greisser, and his mother was born Bessie Hutchinson. My cousin Susan named her Gaga, and we kept that name for her. Gaga immigrated from England with her family when she was about 2 years old. Her father was a Methodist minister and they lived near Peoria, Illinois through the 1880s. I always (think of her family as being like Little House on the Prairie after they moved to town.

Shortly after Grandfather Griesser and Gaga married they moved West. Grandfather Gerisser got a job with a mining firm and they lived in Boise, Idaho, where two of their three boys were born. Shortly before my father was born they moved to Spokane, Washington. Grandfather was a civil engineer and worked on some of the dams and locks on the Columbia River. There is a particular type of lock mechanism that he invented and is named after him.

Grandfather Griesser had heart trouble in the late 1920s and moved Gaga to Palo Alto, California where he died in 1933.

One of Papa’s older brothers lived in Menlo Park, the next town over from Palo Alto. He had a daughter who was six years older than I was. When we visited Gaga, we often stayed with Uncle Vic, Aunt Franche and Susan.

Papa’s oldest brother lived in Portland, where he was an engineer for Portland Power and Light working on the dams on the Columbia River. Aunt Ester outlived him by many years. They had one Son, Art, Jr;, who was 10 years older than I was. After we moved to Tacoma, we reconnected with Aunt Ester, Art, Jr, and his wife, and one of his children. We visited them in Portland a couple of times, but unfortunately we’re not close.

We lived near enough to Gaga to visit monthly the two times I lived in California. She also came to visit us when we lived in Houston. She was a comfortable grandmother who required little to nothing of me. I wish I had known her better because she and Grandfather led an interesting life in the frontier of Washington and Idaho.

Gaga was afflicted with Parkinson’s disease in her later years, and died in 1967 at the age of 99.

Remember – #rethinkchurch

(Once again I’m following ReThinkChurch’s prompts for a photo-a-day during Lent.)

Nannie & Gankie's 50th Wedding Anniversary

As we approach our 50th Wedding Anniversary in June, I’m remembering all the 50th Weddings that have gone before us. This is my grandparents – the first 50th Wedding celebration I remember. Also BOTH my parents AND Big Al’s parents had 50th Wedding celebrations. I wonder if the daughter-in-laws knew what they were getting into when they said “I do.” With the history in this family, they better understand they don’t get out of it easily.

Home

2017 Laurel

This photo is part of the Lenten Photo-A-Day Challenge.

This is the house my mother grew up in and my grandparents lived in all my childhood. Although they moved from there after a fire in 1964, it’s the first place I think of when someone says HOME.

The lectionary passage that spoke especially to me today was from Psalm 27:4

4   One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.

Love

Nannie & Gankie (2)

This photo is part of the Lenten Photo-A-Day Challenge.

These are my grandparents. When I think of LOVE, they are the first ones I think of. They loved each other, they loved their family, they loved their church, they loved their world, they loved God – best of all they loved ME!

The lectionary passage that spoke especially to me today was from John 3:16

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

More about Me as a Child

Did you get an allowance? How much? – Yes, when I was in 4th grade I started getting an allowance. I got $.50 a week, and half of that went in my envelope for Sunday School.

Did you spend it right away, or save it? What did you buy? – I usually saved it until I had enough to buy something a little bigger – a book, or a game. If I spent it right away, I usually spent it on candy or snacks at the little store.

What responsibilities did you have at home when you were young? – I was the oldest sister, so I was responsible for helping herd the younger ones. I was “supposed” to keep my room cleaned up, and help watch Betty and Harriet. When I was 11 years old, Bill was born, and I helped with washing and hanging out his diapers. Mama also taught me to cook when I was in 4th or 5th grade, and I made breakfast on Saturday mornings, and helped make lunch and supper. I also had to set and clear the table. We had a VERY OLD-FASHIONED dishwasher, and about that time, I learned how to rinse the dishes and load it.

What kind of school did you go to? – After kindergarten, I went to public school.

Were you a good student? – I was a terrible student, but I got really good grades. No kudos to me – I never tried, and I never studied – I just have a fly paper brain.

What was your favorite subject? – I liked reading and history, mostly because I lived a lot in my own head – not unlike my older son, Ray.

What was your least favorite subject? – I didn’t like anything that I had to work at – I was basically lazy. I did fine in arithmetic once I finally learned my multiplication tables, but I suffered through memorizing them.

Who were your friends? – My friends were mostly kids from the neighborhood (and I lived in several different neighborhoods). I was in Brownies and Girl Scouts when we lived in California.

During the summer at Nannie and Gankie’s house in Texarkana, my friends were my cousins and children from their church. They were the only people I knew for more than 3 years at a time.

The cousins and me cooling off in the summer at Nannie and Gankie’s when we were 3 and 4 years old.

My 6th birthday party in Texarkana, with the cousins and various kids from the church.

The cousins and sisters with our dolls on Christmas Day,  1952.

Who was your favorite teacher and why? – I liked all my teachers about the same. None of them made enough of an impression on me for me to remember their names. I do remember when we were in California, in 5th and 6th grades I had two men for teachers. That was the first time I knew that men could BE teachers.

Grandparents – Mama’s Family

Did you have grandparents? – If you’ve been following this series, you know that so far my posts have been FULL of information and stories about my mother’s parents – Nannie and Gankie.

Where were they born? When were they born? – They were both born in southwestern Arkansas in 1888. Gankie’s birthday was July 10th, and Nannie’s birthday was December 8th.

What do you remember about them? When did they die?

William Barr Oglesby, Sr.

Gankie was born in Hope – yes, the same town where Bill Clinton was born, but many, many years earlier. His family can be traced back to the late 18th and early 19th century in this country. One of the early Oglesby daughters was taken by the Indians in a raid on their homestead in Kentucky – the same raid that Davy Crockett’s sister was stolen in. His mother died at his birth and he was raised by an aunt and later an older sister. He was a twin.

His name was William Barr Oglesby, and his twin brother was Stuart Roscoe Oglesby, Jr. They had an older brother named Micajah Oglesby, and a couple of much older sisters named Rosa and Fanny (or Fanny may have been an aunt). Their father was a banker in Hope and, also the Sunday School Superintendent at the Presbyterian Church. In those days the Sunday School Superintendent was the lay leader. Gankie went on to be a banker all his life, ending up as Vice President of State First National Bank in Texarkana, Arkansas, and an elder in the Presbyterian Church. Uncle Stuart was a preacher, and retired in an Emeritus position from Central Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Here are Gankie (on the right) and Uncle Stuart in about 1945.

When Mama and I lived with Nannie and Gankie before Papa came home from the war, Gankie used to say, “Are there any little girls around here who love their Gankie?” and I would hold up my hand and say “Here’s one!” He always called me his first little “Here’s one.”

Here he is in the living room at 2017 Laurel just before Nannie and Gankie’s 50th Wedding Anniversary in May of 1962.

Here he is as one of the four Williams – Uncle Billy (William Barr Oglesby, Jr), Gankie (William Barr Oglesby, Sr.), Billy (William Thomas Watters), and Bill (William Robert Greisser). This was taken when Billy was baptised in the spring of 1972. Gankie died just before Christmas that same year.

Annabel Eakin Oglesby

Nannie was born in Washington, Arkansas. Washington, Arkansas was where Jim Bowie made the first Bowie knife. Her father, William Eakin, was a lawyer, and her grandfather was also a lawyer and a Supreme Court Justice in the Confederate State of Arkansas. Her mother was Mary Harris Eakin – one of the Harrises of Virginia. The Eakins were Scotch-Irish and came to this country in the first decade of the 19th Century. (If anyone ever wants to get into the Daughters or Sons of the American Revolution there is an Eakin ancestor who fought in the War of 1812). She was related to many of the old Southern families – I know there’s a Searcy, as well as the Harrises in her lineage.

This is a picture of Nannie and Aunt Mary who was just a year younger than Nannie. Apparently there was a traveling photographer who went around southwestern Arkansas taking these pictures of young kids, since this is a match to Gankie and Uncle Stuart.

Nannie had two older and two younger sisters, but the youngest one died at the age of two. Her name was Elvira Searcy and we always said she died in protest to her name. Her older sisters were Florida Elizabeth – called Floy – and Pauline. Aunt Floy married a railroad man named Arthur Allen, and later moved to Colorado after he came down with tuberculosis. They had two sons – Arthur, Jr., and Nat. Aunt Pauline married Stuart Wilson – a banker, who hired Gankie to be the head Teller in his bank in Texarkana – and they had three girls – Pauline (always known as Little Pauline), Mary Adele, and Margaret (Mama’s bosom buddy and best friend growing up). Aunt Mary (also called Aunt Mamie) married an engineer, Jim Dawson, and had a daughter named Mary Lou.

There are the Eakin girls on the porch of Aunt Pauline’s house in Texarkana in 1915.  From left to right: Mary Dawson, Annabel Oglesby, Pauline Wilson, and Floy Allen.

Here’s the whole family five years later (I know the year, because Mama was born in 1920, and she’s the baby.) From left to right: Mary Adele, Little Pauline, Aunt Pauline, Nat Allen, Aunt Floy, Arthur Allen, Nannan (Mary Harris Eakin), Mary Lou and Bill Oglesby (in front), Aunt Mary, Nannie (Annabel Oglesby), Mama (being held by Gankie), Gankie, Jim Dawson.

Here are Nannie and Gankie in the fall of 1944.

And here they are for their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1962.

This is Nannie and Aunt Mamie (in the wheelchair) in 1973, shortly before Aunt Mame died.

And here’s Nannie in 1978. She was living with Mama and Papa at the time at 1924 Laurel. Shortly after that her Alzheimer’s progressed so far that she had to go to a nursing home. She died in early January 1982.

Sorry…

For all of those hanging on my “Family History” posts, sorry that I’ve not posted anything since Sunday. I’ve been at a church conference and I just flat didn’t have either the time or the energy left at the end of the day to post anything. I promise I’ll get started again tomorrow, with Grandparents – Mama’s family.

Grandparents – Papa’s Family

Did you have grandparents? – Papa’s father was dead by the time I was born, but his mother was still alive and I knew her well.

Where were they born? – Papa’s father was born in Illinois, near Peoria, I think, in the late 1860s or early 1870s. His father was born in Germany and immigrated to this country as a young man.

Papa’s grandfather’s name was Francis Xavier Greisser. He changed it from Griesser to Greisser. He was one of six brothers and as nearly as we can tell any Greisser or Griesser in this country is related to us. His wife (Papa’s grandmother) was Harriet Evans also from Peoria, Illinois.

What do you remember about your grandparents? When did they die?

This is Papa’s father – Victor H. Greisser. Papa’s mother was Bessie Hutchinson (Gaga). She immigrated from England with her family when she was about 2 years old. Her father was a Methodist minister and there were three girls in her family. They lived near Peoria, Illinois through the 1880s and 1890s (think Little House on the Prairie after they moved to town.)

Grandfather Griesser and Gaga married and moved to Spokane, Washington, where Grandfather was civil engineer and worked on some of the dams and locks on the Columbia River. There is a particular type of lock mechanism that he invented and is named after him.

These are Papa’s parents in 1916, about five years after Papa was born. Papa had two older brothers, Victor Percy Greisser was seven years older than he and Arthur Hutchinson Greisser was nine years older than he.

Grandfather Griesser had heart trouble and moved Gaga and Papa (Uncle Vic and Uncle Art were grown by that time) to California where he died in 1933 in Palo Alto, California.

This picture was taken when we lived in California when I was two years old – both grandmothers, me and Mama.

This is another picture from that year – Gaga, me, and Nannie.

This picture is in Gaga’s backyard during the time we lived in Concord. The man is Uncle Vic, and the woman next to him is Aunt Esther, Uncle Art’s wife. Mama is sitting to Gaga’s left.

Gaga was afflicted with Parkinson’s disease in her later years, and died in 1971 at the age of 99.