Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: May Shrode Reep

The Obituary of Mrs. May (Shrode) Reep from Leola (Workman) Crapser's files:

Mrs. May Reep Dies McIntire Resident

May Shrode, daughter of Conrad and Barbara Workman Shrode, was born May 1, 1873, on a farm near McIntire, Iowa.  She was one of eight children, three of whom are still living: Eugene and Charles Shrode of Riceville, and Mrs. Sadie Eliason of Zion, Illinois.

May joined the McIntire Methodist church on September 22, 1889, and was married there on November 17, 1901, to William Reep.  to this union were born four children: Mary Reep of Mason City, Iowa; Rev. Louie Reep of St. Joseph, Missouri; Mildred Reep, who died at the age of two and Rev. Ora Reep of Silver City, Iowa.

Mrs. Reep is well-known to this community, having lived here all her life except for the past three winters when she has made her home with her daughter Mary who teaches in Mason City.  She had just recently transferred her membership to the Wesley Methodist church in Mason City, where the Rev. Peterson showed her much kindness.

May died at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, 1956, in Park hospital, Mason City, after one day's illness.  She lacked just 12 days of being eighty-three years old.  Left to mourn her passing are two brothers and one sister; her three living children; two grandchildren, Norma Lou and John Reep; nephews and nieces and many friends.

The funeral service for Mrs. Reep was held in the McIntire Methodist church at 2 p.m., April 21.  Conducting the service were the Rev. Misses Luella G Kroether and T. Janet Surdam, co-pastors of the Riceville-McIntire charge.  Mrs. Viva Newhouse and Mrs. Alden Harshbarger sang "Lead Kindly Light" and "Abide With Me," accompanied by Mrs. Riley Sloan.

Interment was in Riverside cemetery, Riceville, the casket being carried by Gayloard Aspel of Ostrander, Minnesota, Harold and Kenneth Aspel of McIntire, Wilbur Danforth of Osage, Peter Johnson of Little Cedar, and James Ellis of LeRoy, Minnesota.

After the services, the McIntire Methodist Woman's Society of Christian Service served lunch to relatives and friends.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Follow Friday: Greene County, New York on Rootsweb
The Greene County, New York Rootsweb Site has been very beneficial while researching the Crapser lineage.  The Crapser family came from the Catskill area of Greene County, New York.   I've found many cemetery transcriptions, church records and more items for the family and extended family.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Don!

Today is Grandpa Don's 82nd birthday.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Those Places Thursday - Postcards: Susanville, California

In Grandma Leola's box of treasures, is a stack of postcards. Most of them were written on and sent to Leola or her parents by family and friends. There are a handful though that have no writing on them at all.

I remember picking up postcards on my adventures for souvenirs. In fact I have a shoebox full of postcards from places like Rapid City, Washington D.C., various places in Spain, and any zoo or tourist attraction that I visited as a child. None of mine have any writing either.

So curiosity strikes this genealogist again. What significance did the places on these postcards have for Grandma Leola?

The first postcard place is Susanville, California:
The wording at the bottom of the picture says:
"Looking east on  Main St." Susanville, Calif.  J.H. Eastman #B-359-B
Grandma Leola and her family lived in the Bell Gardens, California area during the 1940s.  Bell Gardens is about 570 miles from Susanville, roughly a 10 hour drive.

What significance might Susanville, California have in Leola's life?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Bell Gardens School

Below is a photo of children in front of the Bell Gardens School  The children of Oral and Leola Crapser attended Bell Gardens School in California between 1942 and 1948.

This photo is from Grandma Leola's collection.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Welcome Jude Allen Fleming!

Welcome to the world Jude Allen Fleming! Proud parents are Ryan Fleming and Holly Peterson. He was 6lbs 15oz and 18.5 inches long.

Jude was born today at 10:59 AM.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mystery Monday: Blanche Workman in Greeley, Colorado

In Grandma Leola's collection of treasures, are a couple of pieces that beg for a few more answers.  

The first piece is an envelope addressed to Mr. Jesse Workman in Brookings, South Dakota and has a postmark dated Oct 7, 1939 from Greeley, Colorado.

Flip the envelope over and we see an address for Mrs. Jesse Workman (aka Blanche).  The address is 303 11th Ave,  Greeley, Colorado.

Intrigue sets in here. Jesse and Blanche were married in her hometown in Iowa and raised their family, including their daughter Leola, in Brookings County, South Dakota.  I don't know much about Blanche's family, but I'm pretty sure they all stuck fairly close to home in Iowa.  Therefore Blanche likely doesn't have relatives in Colorado. Jesse had relatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin - none that I knew of in Colorado.

After a little more digging through grandma's treasures I found a calendar, one of those complimentary calendars from businesses.  This calendar is from "Workman Pine Tree Service Station" on the corner of 11th Ave and 5th St, Greeley, Colorado.  The calendar attached displays the November 1941 page.  A note hand-written on the back of the calendar reads: "Dear, Kids will drop you a line or two.  Mrs. Scoop".

Okay, so we now have Workmans in Colorado.  Now the sleuthing begins: Who?  Why was Blanche staying there?  How long was Blanche there?

To find the answers, I started with   The 1940 U.S. Federal Census would be the best place to find the answers, but that isn't available yet.   Unfortunately, was providing too many possibilies for directories in Boulder, Denver and other larger cities not much for Greeley.   So I wandered over to the Weld County, Colorado Rootsweb site.

Guess what I found!!  .. That's right - several directories, including the1940 directory, transcribed and indexed!!

Among the entries were "Workman Auto Works, Leslie Workman prop 1103 5 st Greeley"   and "Workman Leslie (Mathilda) Prop Workman Auto Works r 1103 5 St Greeley" both in the 1940 Greeley City and Rural Route directory. (

So it appears the Blanche was likely visiting her oldest child Leslie in 1939.   I know that Leslie and Mathilda had 4 children, though I don't have their birthdates. However, Leslie would have been about 35 at the time. 

Is it possible that Blanche went to help care for a new grandbaby?  I guess it's time to find some decendants of Leslie Workman and Mathilda Krosska.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Chilly Chat Outside

Another photo from Grandma Leola's collection:

Does anyone recognize this building? 

Happy 60th Anniversary Don and Jeannette Crapser!

Sixty years ago today, Grandpa Donald Crapser and Grandma Jeannette Carter were married in the little town of Lake Benton, Minnesota.

Now because these two fell in love,
Along came three children -
Two boys and a girl.

All too soon the children fell in love.
Blessing them with eleven
Little ones to spoil.

The oldest grandbabies fell in love.
Bundles of joy now total eight
To hug and kiss.

Happy 60th Anniversary, Grandpa Don and Grandma Jeannette!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Norman Jorenby

The death notice and obituary of Norman S. Jorenby from Stella Jorenby's scrapbook

Norman Jorenby Dies This Morning
Norman Jorenby, well known farmer who grew to manhood in this community, succumbed at his farm home two miles west and one south of Volga early this morning.  he had been ill for some time with heart trouble and other complications.
Funeral arrangements are being made for Saturday afternoon.  Further details were not available as we go to press.

Funeral Saturday for Norman Jorenby
Funeral services were held Saturday at the Lutheran church for Norman Jorenby, who passed away at his farm home early last Thursday morning.  Rev. Karl Kildahl officiated and interment made in the Lutheran cemetery.

Norman Sanford Jorenby was born to Mr. and Mrs. John Jorenby at Dows, Iowa on June 8, 1902.  At the age of 10 he came with his parents to Volga, S.D. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church.  He attended the Volga Public Schools.

On February 8, 1922 he was united in marriage to Miss Stella Waage and to this union were born ten children: Lyle, Donald, Carroll, Betty, Marjorie, Burton, John, Clifford, David and Sharon.  After his marriage he commenced farming with the exception of one year, spent the rest of his life on farms near Volga.

He passed away February 12, 1942 following a lingering illness at the age of 39 years, 8 months and 4 days.

He is survived by his wife, Stella, and ten children; his mother, Mrs. Belle Jorenby; three sisters, Mrs. Henry Swiggum of Blanchardville, Wis., Mrs. Carlton Leite, and Miss Ruth Jorenby of Volga; and four brothers Harold, Oliver, and Everett of Volga, and Raymond of Seattle, Wash.  his father and three brothers preceded him in death.

Relatives and friends from a distance who attended the funeral were: Mrs. and Mrs. Raymond Jorenby of Seattle, Wash.; Mrs. Henry King, Dan and Oscar Rud of Valley City, N.D.; Mrs. Lena Jacobson and son, Marvin, of Nevada, Iowa; Mrs. Henry Opstvedt of McCallsburg, Iowa; tom Wicks of Radcliffe, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. Kermit Kiner of Madison; Mrs and Mrs. Tom Waage and family of Colman; and Mr. and Mrs. Louis Anderson of White.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Follow Friday: It's All Relative
I stumbled upon the It's All Relative blog over the weekend.  I really like Laura's "Standard Operating Procedure" post.  Now if only I had the time to organize my family files.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Occupation: Junk Dealer

Many of the men in my family were farmers all their lives.  When I began researching the Crapser family several years ago, I had no idea what Grandpa Oral Crapser had done for a living.  I was under the impression that he had lived in town all his life, so I knew it wasn't a farmer.   It wasn't until I located the family in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census in Brookings, South Dakota that I learned of Grandpa Oral's occupation.

The census taker had marked the occupation as "Junk Dealer".
Source:, 1930 U.S. Federal Census.  To see the census lines for the Crapser family, click here.

Upon seeing "Junk Dealer" my initial reaction was a laugh.  I finally understood that it was Grandpa Oral, who shared with his sons and grandsons the passion for collecting random items.

Much to my surprise, while digging through Grandma Leola's collection of photos, I found a photo of Grandpa Oral's truck taken a few years later. 

The signage clearly states:

"Oral Crapser, Dealer in Hides & Furs".

Ah ha!  Mr. Census Taker, it's not junk he deals! It's hides and furs!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spanish American War Roster Added to SD Historical Society Website

December 15, 2010 press release from the South Dakota State Historical Society-Archives:

The South Dakota State Historical Society-Archives recently added to its website the roster for the First Regiment, South Dakota Volunteer Infantry in the Spanish American War.

The information dates back to 1898.

The roster includes 1,004 South Dakotans who served with the South Dakota regiment.  The soldiers’ information on the website includes name, rank, hometown and company.  The roster can be accessed via the State Historical Society website at under the “For Genealogists” link, with the heading “Spanish American War Roster.”

To donate items relating to the history of South Dakota, please contact Dan Brosz, curator of collections, at (605) 773-6013, or Matthew Reitzel, manuscript archivist, at (605) 773-3615.

The State Archives is located in the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The office is open Monday through Friday and the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST. Contact the archives by email at or by phone at (605) 773-3804.

(Not So) Wordless Wedding Wednesday: John and Belle Jorenby

This photo is the wedding photo of John Jorenby and Isabelle "Belle" Anderson. John and Belle were married on February 24, 1897 in Dows, Iowa.

Thanks go out to Linda Santema, who shared this photo at the Jorenby reunion last Sunday.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mappy Monday: Vernon Township, Wright County, Iowa

John and Belle Jorenby were married and raised their first seven children in Wright County, Iowa.

This map, which I found on, shows the southeast sections of Vernon Township.  John and Belle's land was on the west edge of Section 23.  Two of Belle's brothers, Almond and Otto Anderson owned land in Section 27.

Looking at this map I noticed the Jorenby land was between four schools. I tried to determine where the the children might have attended school.  The four schools were located in
  • Section 22, NW corner - This appears to be closest to their home (which is marked by the little tiny dot above the "n" in Jorenby).
  • Section 24, N center - If each school served children in a specific quad of the sections, children in Sections 13, 14, 23 and 24 probably attended this school.
  • Section 34, NW corner - The Anderson cousins likely attended this school.  I initially thought that maybe the oldest Jorenby child, Pearl, might have tagged along with her Anderson cousins in her first year.  However, I believe that Pearl Jorenby was older than the Anderson children.
  • Section 36, NW corner - This one appears to be the farthest away.
In thinking about those good-old South Dakota winters,  - would they have attend the school in Section 22?   Especially since their walks were probably "uphill both ways"!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Blanche Workman

The obituary of Blanche Workman From Leola (Workman) Crapser's files:

Mrs. J Workman Died Monday After Few Days Illness

Mrs. Jesse Workman passed away Monday at the Municipal hospital where she was taken Saturday.  Cause of death was dropsy and heart trouble.

Funeral services will be held Saturday afternoon at the home at 2:00 o'clock, and at the Rude funeral chapel at 2:30 in charge of Capt. B. A. MacNichol of the Salvation Army.  Burial will be at Greenwood.

Blanche D. Heard was born to Frederick and Annette Heard May 2, 1885 in Shiloh township, Grundy county, Iowa, the third child in a family of six.  She was called to her heavenly rest in Brookings July 16, 1945, after a short illness, aged 60 years, two months and 14 days.

She was educated in the Grundy, Hardin and O'Brien county schools of Iowa.  She taught in the Osceola county, Iowa, rural schools one year and also a year in the Brookings county schools.

She was united in marriage to Jesse Workman Dec. 15, 1903, at Grundy Center, Iowa, and they came to Brookings county and settled on the Workman farm, 10 miles north of Brookings where they made their home until 1925, when they moved to Brookings.

To this union were born six children, two dying in infancy.  Surviving are Leslie; Leola Crapser, Bell Gardens, Calif.; Ada Gillman of Brookings, and Sara Loganella of Philadelphia.

Besides her husband and four children, she leaves to mourn her loss, seven grandchildren; two sisters, Ethel of Melvin, Iowa, and Lelah of Grundy Center; and one brother, Dale of Lake Wilson, Minn.

Her father, mother and two sisters preceded her in death.  She also leaves a number of nieces and nephews and a host of friends.  She was a wonderful wife and mother, a good neighbor and friend, in the best meaning of the term, "a good woman."

Mrs. Workman was made a soldier of the Brookings Salvation Army corps Aug. 21, 1927, and held the following local officers positions until her death: home league treasurer; recruiting sergeant since Jan. 15, 1940; cradle roll sergeant, since Jan. 1, 1940, and company guard since May, 1941.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 Jorenby Family Reunion

Tomorrow afternoon the little town of Volga, SD will be bustling as the family of John and Isabelle "Belle" Jorenby gather for the annual Jorenby Family reunion.

Below is a picture of John and Belle's family around 1930.  They had eleven children Pearl (1898), Norman (1902), Raymond (1904), Marvin (1907), John (1910), Leona (1912), Oliver (1917), Everett (1920), Ruth (1923).  They had two children die in infancy; one was born in September 1900 and died in October 1900 and then Donald was born in November 1914 and died in January1915.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Blizzard of January 1888

Here we are in midst of piles of snow in South Dakota in January.  I know this isn't a big surprise to anyone that has lived in this area.  But today, I ran across an old blog post "Beadle County and the Deadly Blizzard of 1888" on the Ancestor Soup blog, that mentioned a blizzard on January 12, 1888. 

While reading the post, I began to realize that I had read an article a while back about a blizzard in the Midwest many years ago that was very deadly.  I wondered if the two were in fact the same blizzard, so of course I started digging around.  It turns out the "article" I read was actually a Wikipedia entry titled "Schoolhouse Blizzard".

Anyway, as the articles above state, the January 12th blizzard was preceded by a snowstorm on January 5th and 6th and then brutally cold temperatures from the 7th to the 11th.  Many people had finally been "freed" from their homes to run their errands and go to school.  Those venturing out ended up caught in the blizzard and over 200 people died as a result.

So I urge you to keep your eye on the weather - and with the help of the radio and television stations and their meteorologists that should be a little easier than it was in 1888.

P.S. If you're wondering how I ended up at Wikipedia reading about blizzards, I assure you that I was not researching blizzards.  I was instead checking my facts for the "Happy 121st Birthday to the Dakotas!" post back in November -  I thought I should at least post accurate information about my home state.  From the South Dakota history on Wikipedia, I was somehow linked to the Schoolhouse Blizzard entry.

Follow Friday: Ancestor Soup, Faces of My Family and 2338 W Washington Blvd

Today's follows were created by the ever-amazing network of Geneabloggers:
  1. and
  2. and
I recently started following the 2338 W. Washington Blvd. blog.  Margel was also given the Ancestor Approved award in early December.  The address used as a blog title is what caught my eye here and thus began my venture through her blog posts, which I've enjoyed reading.  She led me to the Faces of My Family blog with her "Follow Friday. . . Oh Whoops, It's Tuesday" post.

The Faces of My Family blog intrigued me because, afterall, in the electronic media "faces" usually indicates photos exist.  By now I'm sure you've learned that I've amassed quite the collection of family photos.  So I'm always interested in seeing what others have learned about their family photos.  Lisa's recent posts don't have many photos, but they have some fun stories.  She led me to Ancestor Soup via her list of favorite blogs;  "Ancestor Soup" was just a name that jumped out and caught my attention.

The most recent post on Ancestor Soup mentioned Huron, South Dakota.  I got all excited that I'd stumbled upon another genealogist from South Dakota that blogs!  Then after a little reading, I discovered she was actually from Minnesota.  But I think Karen may provide some inspiration and insight that is a little closer to home for me than most of the other genealogy blogs I follow.

... And so the crazy world of social media has led me astray from catching up on my blog reading!  Or maybe it's just given me MORE to read!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Girl and Her Teddy Bear

Below is a pair of photos of a little girl and her teddy bear from Grandma Leola (Workman) Crapser's collection:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Emma Rittman

Below is the Obituary for Emma Rittman From Leola (Workman) Crapser's files.  Handwriting on the side of this article indicates Dec 12, 1918, likely the day the article was published.

Mrs. John Rittman Died Last Night

Mrs. John Rittman died at her home in this city Wednesday night of influenza, at the age of fifty-six years.  Funeral services will be held at the home Saturday afternoon at 1:00 o'clock, conducted by Rev. I. M. Hargett, and also at the Sterling church, and the body will be laid to rest in the Sterling cemetery beside her husband.

Mrs. Emma Rittman was born in Indiana April 1, 1862, and died at her home in Brookings, 706-6th street, after a short illness.  She came to South Dakota in 1880 and was married to John F. Rittman of Sterling township, where they lived until his death in 1908.  Mrs. Rittman remaining on the farm until last fall, when she purchased city property, upon which she spent about $4,000 in improvements and fitting it with modern comforts, preparatory to enjoying a rest after many years hard work on the farm.

She gave her heart to God early in life and united with the German Methodist church of Northfield, Minn.  She was a devoted christian woman and recogized as a staunch church woman in her community and was a member of the Woman's Missionary society of her church and was always ready and willing to do her part in any christian service.

Mrs. Rittman was the mother of ten children, two boys and eight girls, six of whom are still living.  Those living are, Nora, now Mrs. Joseph Conn of Eureka township.  Ella, Mrs. Wm. Cochran of Lansing, Minn.  Minnie, Mrs. Frank Billet of Sterling township.  Fred, who is in the Expeditionary Forces in France, and Lydia and Emma who are at home.

She leaves her son, five daughters, three brothers and four sisters and many other relatives and friends to mourn her sudden death.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Inspiration for Rosie the Riveter

A recent post over on the Genealogy Insider blog titled Inspiration behind WWII Rosie the Riveter "We Can Do It!" Poster Dies, struck a chord today.  The original inspiration behind the Rosie the Riveter posters passed away last Sunday.

Grandma Leola Crapser was one of many "Rosies" who worked in the factories during World War II.  She worked at the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Factory in California between 1942 and 1945.