Monday, January 07, 2008

Where Was My Family in 1908?

A couple of days ago, Lisa, on her 100 Years In America blog, wrote about where her family was living in 1908 and discussed some of the events of that year. She also issued a challenge for the rest of us to answer the question Where Was Your Family in 1908?

In 1908, all four of my grandparents were living, as were seven out of sixteen great-grandparents, and seven of my thirty-two great-great grandparents. All except three of them were living in Indiana. Most of them were farmers.

On the maternal side:

Jacob Phend(1829-1917), great-great grandfather, was 78 years old and living with his daughter and son-in-law, Sophia and John Ernest, in the Sugar Grove community in Elkhart County. Jacob is my only immigrant ancestor still living in 1908. He had been born in Switzerland and was just 3 years old when he came to this country with his parents in 1832.

Lovina Berlin Yarian (1845-1932), great-great grandmother, was 62 years old and living alone in her home in the town of Locke in Elkhart County. She had been a widow for 13 years, her husband Eli Yarian was killed in a tree cutting accident on January 28, 1895.

Henry Phend (1865-1958) and Susie Lula Yarian (1872-1956), great grandparents. Henry was a building contractor in Columbia City. Susie would give birth to her 9th child in October 1908.

Rolland Victor Phend (1893-1891). Grandpa was 14 years old, living with his parents at their home on Ellsworth Street in Columbia City. The oldest son of Henry and Susie, he worked with his father in the construction business in Columbia City.

Hazlette Brubaker (1902-1984). Grandma would celebrate her 6th birthday on January 16th while living in Traverse City, Michigan with her parents Charles Romain Brubaker (1871-1945) and Maude Catherine Wise (1977-1953). Grandma wrote about the variety of jobs her father held while her mother sometimes sold magazine subscriptions to help out, in addition to taking care of their three children.

William Brubaker (1843-1912) and Malissa Joslin (1849-1937), 2nd great grandparents, were still living on the Goose Lake Farm in Whitley County. Within the next two years they would move to Columbia City.

William P. Wise (1852-1935) and Sophia Dunfee (1850-1916)were living on their farm in Troy Township, Whitley County. Just one of their four children was still living with them.

On the paternal side:

Naomi Bray Wiseman (1824-1908), great-great grandmother, lived at Long Run, near Vevay, in Switzerland County. She would be 84 years old in March and was still living in her own home. She passed away on December 8th; cause of death was bronchitis and heart trouble. She was born near Vevay and lived her entire life in that area. Her husband, Charles Wiseman, had died in 1895.

Samuel Bray Wiseman (1855-1944) and Amanda Alexander (1860-1950), great grandparents, lived on the farm in Tippecanoe Township, Kosciusko County that Samuel had purchased in 1885. They had both an apple and a peach orchard, operated a maple sugar camp, and grew their own swag tobacco for his personal chewing. Both were excellent marksmen. It has been said that she could shoot the head off of the chicken that she wanted to serve for supper!

Charles Wilson Wiseman (1886-1943) was 22 years old. In 1906 he had married Elsie Shuder (1885-1926) and in February of 1908 their 2nd child, Eva Leah, would be born. It was also in February 1908 that Charlie sued the Portland-Sandusky cement company in Syracuse over the loss of his arm. His arm got caught in a cement mixer and it had to be amputated two inches below the elbow. I don't know exactly where they were living at the time though it was somewhere in Kosciusko County. A one-line item in the "Local News" column of "The Northern Indianian" of March 7, 1907 stated "Charlie Wiseman and family moved into the McMellon house this week."

Nancy Jane Lavering Shuder (1854-1954), great grandmother, had just turned 53 the previous December. Her husband, Isaac, had passed away from "cardiac dropsy" in August of 1905. Of their nine children, five were still living with Nancy Jane on the family farm in Tippecanoe Township, Kosciusko County.

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