Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sibling Saturday

Siblings are our closest relatives, and often our closest friends. Here are some pictures of siblings in our family's history!

The Brewer sisters 1930s

                                              John, Mary, Larry, & Jim Mulry 1970s

                                                         The Bruns children 1890s
Patty, Jim, Jackie, & Tom Mulry 1940s

                   And my siblings and I - Kristin Andrews Stout, Nicholas Andrews, and me 2007

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Almira King Holsclaw

More on Almira King Holsclaw, my great-great-great grandmother
 North Vernon, Jennings, Indiana

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday's Obituary: Almira King Holsclaw


  Mrs. Almira Holsclaw, eighty-nine years old, died Thursday, October 8th (1931), at the home of her granddaughter Mrs. Homer Bullard west of this city.  Funeral services were held at the First Baptist Church in this city Saturday, conducted by the Rev. W. H. Dillard.  The burial took place in the Vawter Cemetery.      Mrs. Holsclaw was the daughter of George and Frances king and was born in Jennings County April 10, 1842.  She was married to William T. Holsclaw and all of their married life was spent in the Deer Creek neighborhood in Jennings County.  Mr. Holsclaw died about a year ago and since that time Mrs. Holsclaw has made her home with relatives.  She is survived by five children: Mrs. Bertha Searles, Spokane, Wash. Harry Holsclaw, Auburn, California; Esra Holsclaw of near Franklin, Mrs. Edwin Carson, of near Seymour; and Mrs. Oscar Beeman, North Vernon Route 5.  She is also survived by twenty-nine grandchildren, nineteen Great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren and by one brother, Elvin King of Lincoln, Nebraska.  She was a faithful member of the Baptist Church and was a woman of sterling qualities of character, respected by all who knew her.

I'd have to say Almira is my favorite ancestor, if you can have such a thing. She is my great-great-great grandmother. She wrote a short memoir of growing up in southern Indiana, of which I have a copy (you can read an excerpt here: My grandmother, Mary Holsclaw Andrews, remembers visiting her when very young, she writes: “William and Almira Holsclaw lived in a ‘little house on the prairie’ type house in North Vernon, Indiana. They had no electricity. They had a pedal organ. The bedroom was very small; it was off the living room. It had a built in featherbed bunk bed. She had a pillow filled with pine needles in the parlor; it had a very strong smell that made me sick! The dining room was the biggest room in the house. Outside the back door, several feet to the right was a little hill with a chicken coop.”

My favorite line from Almira's memoir is in my book:

"I can see my life like a pattern woven in with the lives of so many others. It seems, as I look at it from here, now that it is so nearly finished, that there is plenty of brightness to offset the dark, gloomy part of my weaving."

I can feel her impact even today- her optimistic outlook on life, the impact she made on her descendants, and "the sterling qualities of her character" have been passed down. She concludes her memoir with this, "And so my prayer is, may war be outlawed from the land. May peace and joy and gladness come to take its place."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: James Whitcomb Riley

I've always loved James Whitcomb Riley. Hoosiers know him best. How many of us have climbed the hill at Crown Hill Cemetery to put pennies on his grave? Riley Children's Hospital in downtown Indianapolis is named after him, and has saved countless lives. After all, children loved him. Most of us know his famous line, "er the gobble-uns 'll git you ef you don't watch out!" His poems were always written in Hoosier dialect, which has really helped me be able to write books set in historic Indiana. So I was pretty excited when I found this book in my grandma's house. It belonged to my great-great grandfather, Elmer K. Oder.

The Hoosier Book of Riley Verse
On the inside of the book, just for us Hoosiers:
"There's ever a song, somewhere, my dear,"
sang Riley in his day;
And though he is gone his songs are here
To cheer you on your way.
This volume, we hope, will gain a place
Among your treasures rare,
And may you find in each page a trace
Of Hoosiers smiling there.
- William Herschell