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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 Ancestry.com.   The 1940 U.S. Federal Census would be the best place to find the answers, but that isn't available yet.   Unfortunately, Ancestry.com 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. (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cowcgs/contents-dir.html)

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.

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