Helen Gutz Ganesbom, definitely a Lutheran

Helen Gutz, 1938 Osmond, Nebraska

Helen Gutz, 1938 Osmond, Nebraska

I will thank my lucky stars for easily found obituaries once again. I would not know much about Helen were it not for hers. This is a splendid photo; I love the clasp on her shirt, the hair style. Helen is another 1938 graduate from Osmond High School in Osmond, Nebraska.

Helen was born October 4, 1919 to Amandus and Alvina Gutz. She was the 2nd youngest of about 8 children. The family lived in Foster, Pierce county, Nebraska in 1930 and 1940 – the same county as Osmond. There appeared to be a link to a Mr. Gansebom as her husband. But I had little evidence to go on – until I found her obituary in the Norfolk Daily News mobile site. She died on November 17, 2008, several years after her husband Everett Gansebom.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess she was Lutheran (here are a few quotes from the Norfolk Daily News):

She was baptized on Oct. 26, 1919, at Immanuel Lutheran Church by Rev. William Brueggemann and confirmed on April 9, 1933, by Rev. Eric Holstein.

She attended school at District 34, a rural one-room elementary school, Immanuel Lutheran Parochial School and graduated from Osmond High School in 1938.

On Sept. 8, 1946, Helen was married to Everett Gansebom at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Osmond by Rev. Theo Weiting. They farmed southwest of Osmond and operated a diversified grain and livestock operation until they retired and moved into Osmond in 1982. Helen’s greatest joys were her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also enjoyed working with her flowers and in her garden.

She was a member of the Immanuel Ladies Aid and the LWML. She regularly attended Tuesday morning Bible class and the ladies Wednesday Bible study. She was also a member of the VFW Auxiliary. She taught Sunday school for many years.

Now that’s a lot of great info packed into one obituary. The Lutheran’s were lucky to have you Helen!

Altje Roley, The Noble

Weaving together someone’s life story from a few census records and death certificates constantly¬†leaves me longing to know more. Miss Altje Roley is no exception. Her name gave me some issues as I misread her last name as Roby. Finding no one with a first name of Altje, I considered that it might be a nickname. But, upon further inspection, I decided the last name could be Roley – and then her life opened up.

Miss Ruby

Altje (a germanic name meaning noble kind) Roley was born on June 23rd, 1905 in Ohio. Her father Otto Roley and mother Vesta Pearl Roley were also native to Ohio. It was Otto’s grandparents who were from Germany, and the culture seems to have stuck for a few generations considering the name choices. Altje appeared to be Otto and Pearl’s only child. In 1910 the family lived in Hilliar, Knox, Ohio where Otto was a tailor. By 1920 they had moved to Liberty, Fairfield, Ohio where this high school graduation photo of Altje was taken at Liberty High School in 1923.

I was unable to find Altje in the 1930 census, but in 1940 a very confusing census listed her as a male head of household named Altje Larrence – although it should have been Torrence. Otto and Pearl were living with her though their last name was misinterpreted as Raley. She had 3 children who were mistakenly listed with the last name Raley as well. I was able to piece together that between 1923 and 1930 probably, Altje married John Henry Torrence. John Henry died of basal meningitis in Canton, Ohio in 1936. Altje was likely pregnant with their youngest child at the time. It makes sense then that she would choose to live with her parents again for help. In 1940 while she/he is listed as head of household, Altje didn’t have an occupation. Her father Otto however owned a restaurant in Basil, Ohio.

At some point Altje remarried. She is buried in Old Basil Cemetery with Elza Weaver, who preceded her in death by 9 days. Otto and Pearl and John Henry are also buried in this same cemetery. An interesting life that I wish I knew more about. Good luck Altje!

Lonely Lola Miller

Lola Miller, 1923 Liberty Union High School, Liberty, Ohio

Lola Miller, 1923 Liberty Union High School, Liberty, Ohio

While I hope the title is incorrect, the evidence doesn’t look good. Lola was born on January 5, 1905 to Jesse A. Miller and Jennie Hizey in Liberty, Ohio. Jennie is also known as Hannah in later census records. She was the second and last child born to the Millers. Older sister Doris was 5 years Lola’s senior.

Following the census path showed Jesse, Hannah, Doris and Lolo G. in Liberty in 1910 and 1920. Jesse was a farmer and both Lola’s parents were also born in Ohio. In 1930 Jesse, Hannah, and 30 year-old Doris still lived in Liberty, but Lola wasn’t with them. She may have married and moved, but no marriage record was found. There was a Lola Miller (aged 25) living in Liberty who worked as a servant for the Seever household. It’s hard to know if this is the same person.

Jesse, Hannah and Doris are all still living together in 1940 as well. Still in Liberty. I’m not sure where Lola is by then. Both of Lola’s parents died in the early 1950’s and are buried in Union Evangelical Cemetery in Fairfield county, Ohio according to Find A Grave.

Hopefully Lola married and lived a long and happy life. Her sister Doris doesn’t seem to have married, but no death record found in her name either.

William W. Bronson, Dr? or no?

William W. Bronson, 1931, Plymouth High School

William W. Bronson, 1931, Plymouth High School

The third in the series from Plymouth High School in Plymouth, Michigan 1931 is William W. Bronson. Mr. Bronson was the oldest son and child of Walter and Elizabeth Bronson; born about 1913. He had a younger brother Donald, and a younger sister, Maryan (also went by Patricia). The Bronson’s lived in Detroit in 1920 where Walter was a commercial traveler (salesman) for a button company. By 1930, the family lived in Plymouth where William attended high school. Dad was still a traveling salesman. He must have traveled to Canada at some point because that’s where William’s brother Donald was born. By 1940, the last census available so far, William and his sister were still at home with their parents. The family was back in Detroit. Walter was a traveling rep for wholesale dry good and William (who was in 5th year college) worked as a technician in a hospital. Was he in medical school?

Those are all the facts I can attribute to young William Bronson. Find A Grave does have a listing for a Dr. William W. Bronson born in 1913, died in 1981, buried in Evergreen cemetery in Lansing, Michigan. I don’t know yet if this is the same William or not. I hope a family member can confirm.

Mary Virginia McKinnon, so much still unknown

Mary Virginia McKinnon, 1931, Plymouth High School

Mary Virginia McKinnon, 1931, Plymouth High School

This is one of those photos that I just had to force myself to stop researching! Still so much to find out, but I do have enough to pass on to a hopefully searching descendant.

Mary Virginia McKinnon was born in Oregon about 1914. The rest of her family was born in Michigan, where they lived most of their lives. Her family included dad, Donald Neil McKinnon (1899-1966); mom, Dorothy B. McCorkle (1899-?); sister, Dorothy Paterson McKinnon (1920-?); grandmother, Mary E. Barnes McCorkle (1864-?); and a great-aunt who lived with or near them, Cordelia McCorkle (1853-1945).

It appears that only Mary’s birth and her parents marriage (Canada) took place outside of Michigan. Why the family was in Oregon is unknown, other than it was likely work. Mr. McKinnon worked as a salesman for steel products. His daughters lived at home at least through 1940 when Mary was 27. Neither of the girls were listed as having a job. If they married after that is unknown. Donald McKinnon’s death and aunt Cordelia’s were confirmed through the Social Security Death Index and Find A Grave. ¬†I can’t find when/where wife Dorothy passed away. But there are University of Michigan year books from 1910 that show she was a student there. She and Donald married in 1912.

Good luck Mary Virginia!