High school memory books are some of my favorite types of family memorabilia. I’ve blogged about my grandmother’s 1930 book on this blog previously HERE and HERE. These “memory books” are an amazing glimpse into a special year for most … Continue reading
Category Archives: Nebraska
Helen Gutz Ganesbom, definitely a Lutheran
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!
Blanche Rambo, lost in Kansas (and yes I did just like the name)
Blanche Rambo is number 18 on the nicely identified high school class picture in Seneca, Kansas, 1908. (You can see the full photo in this post.) Her known story is a short one, I’m hoping others can fill in the blanks.
Blanche was almost the only child to Elmer Elsworth Rambo and Jessie L. Richards. She was born in Nebraska in 1891 and was without a sibling until 1908 when younger sister Lucile was born the year this photo was taken. The small family lived in Seneca during the 1900 and 1910 census where Elmer was a brakeman for the railroad. In 1900, Blanche’s maternal grandfather Francis Richards lived with them.
It’s likely that Blanche married and moved on shortly after this photo but no evidence of her marriage, residence, or death can be found. The same is true for sister Lucy. Her parents and Lucy continued to live in Seneca through 1920. But, at least by 1929, maybe sooner, Elmer and Lucy had moved back to Nebraska where they had married in 1889. In 1930, the elder Rambos were both working in Gage County, NE for the Nebraska Institute for Feeble Minded; Elmer as a shoemaker and Jessie as a laundress.
I certainly hope you find some descendants Blanche!
Earl Thomsen and Elmer Schuettler – a generation bound for war
Earl Thomsen, the son of Harry Thomsen & Anna Ertzner, was born in Nebraska on June, 19, 1920. In 1930 the family lived in Osmond; Earl was the second oldest of 4, although there would be six siblings eventually with Earl as the only son. Harry and Anna were both from Nebraska, and 3 of Earl’s 4 grandparents were born in Germany. Mr. Thomsen was the proprietor of a gravel pit. And in 1940, still in Osmond, Earl had completed high school and worked as a laborer in his father’s gravel pit. The day before the 1940 census Earl has worked 72 hours in the gravel pit in one week! No wonder signing up for the war looked good. According to his gravestone Earl was Tech 4 in the US army. Father Harry was also a veteran, he served in WWI. Earl died in Nebraska on April 11, 1989 and is buried in Immanuel Cemetery with a sister, his mother and father in Osmond. I have no information on whether or not he married and had children.
Elmer August Schuettler (love the hair!), was also a WWII veteran. He was born March 14, 1921 in
Osmond and died July 13, 1996 in Omaha. When he enlisted in the army in 1942 he was single with no dependents, working at a gas station, and had completed high school. He enlisted at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. Elmer was the son of Henry & Elizabeth, both of Illinois. In 1930, Elmer was the youngest of 4 living in Plum Grove, Nebraska; although he had other older siblings who had already left home – 7 in all I believe. 1940 Elmer lived with his brother Rudolph and family – still in Plum Grove. His brother was a farmer. Elmer (age 19) was an attendant at a gas station. All 4 grandparents were from Germany. He married a Norma Huey. Elmer is buried in Immanuel Cemetery (same place as Earl Thomsen). However, Elmer’s parents are buried in Rose Hill cemetery in another town in Pierce county.
These gents had similar paths to many young men of their time I imagine. Graduating high school in a nation still struggling with the Depression. Likely not a lot of jobs (gas stations, gravel pits not exactly living the dream), and, with so many sibling, it would have been hard for parents to send them to college. Signing up to fight for their county was likely a very attractive offer.
Also interesting is that these men, and many others, were going off to fight a country that their grandparents had immigrated from. Was that a cause for pause? Did their parents or grandparents feel torn? Both of these graduates from Osmond High School in 1938 came back from the war and settled in or near their home towns.
Melvin G. Roach – the “sponsor” of Osmond High School
Rather than focus on another student of Osmond, Nebraska High School, I decided to research the “sponsor” as he’s identified in the photo. M. G. Roach was Melvin G. Roach. In the 1940 census he was listed as the Principal or teacher of the public High School in Osmond, Nebraska. This handsome young man was 32 at the time of this photo.
Melvin was born in South Dakota on January 30, 1906. His parents were Frank G. and Minnie Roach. Frank was a farmer, originally from Ohio and Minnie was born in Iowa. In 1910 and 1920 the family lived in South Dakota. By 1930, Melvin had become a teacher like his oldest sister and moved to Osmond, NE where he was a boarder. One short year later on April 11, 1931 he married Olinda Rhode, a native Nebraskan. They had two children in the 1940 census.
Melvin died on February 5, 1998 and is buried in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Osmond. I found an online obituary for Mr. Roach:
Mr. Roach taught and coached in Nebraska and South Dakota. Later in life he managed lumber yards in Nebraska and South Dakota. He then returned to teaching in Butte. In 1990 he and his wife retired to a home that they built on an acreage near Page.
His wife, 4 brothers, and 3 sisters all died before he did. But he was certainly not alone with 2 children, 12 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren! I’ve added his photo to the FindAGrave memorial as well.
Iona Schultze of Osmond, Nebraska
This is 1938 class of the local high school in Osmond, Pierce County, Nebraska. I love the handwritten names at the bottom of each photo. These are charming faces. I’m starting randomly as usual with Iona Schultze – bottom row, third from the right.
Iona was born in Nebraska in 1921. Therefore the first census she’s in is 1930. Iona was the 4th of 9 children at that time. The family’s home was in Plum Grove, Pierce, Nebraska – same county as Osmond. Ferdinand and Bessie Schultze, also from NE, were the parents. Ferdinand was a farmer, his parents were from Germany. He was born in 1889 and married when he was 26. Bessie was 17 at the time of the wedding. In 1930 with 9 children she was only 32! In 1940 Ferdinand and Bessie and 8 children (not included Iona) still lived in Pierce county. Ferdinand’s mother, Anna, lived with them as well. Both Ferdinand and Bessie are buried in Osmond Cemetery.
There’s not much else out there in online documentation about Iona however. The few family trees that include her have only the 1930 census linked to her as “evidence”. Although a husband and child are both mentioned, there are different ideas on who the husband was (Drake or Van Tassel, maybe both?). An Iona (Schultze) Van Tassell is mentioned in the book Osmond Nebraska 1890-1990, A Century of Memories. Hopefully, this photo will be a kick start to more research.