So my great grandfather W.F. Bryant hit a nerve. Since I heard his stories about how he abandoned his family, and left his wife and child, I must confess his family stories did not interest me. I held this man in quiet contempt and tried to ignore his existence. Still, as I researched and discovered hidden gems about my great-grandmother, Annie, I could not skirt around this man, for his life began to unfold before me. Continue reading “Denial”→
The town of Cherryvale was nestled among the gentle sloping hills of southeastern Kansas. The town was aptly named for wild cherry trees bloomed every spring and an outpouring of wildflowers graced the landscape. By 1886, the railroad boom provided an atmosphere of adventure as this town began growing. The St. Louis-San Francisco Railway along with the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway had laid its tracks into this upcoming hamlet. Many businesses flourished and helped establish this developing area. Cherryvale had its own privately owned fire station. The town had six different brick factories; so many streets, sidewalks and buildings were built from sun-dried bricks. The city made use of the natural gas from the oil fields, for it was an inexpensive source of fuel. Electric streetcars ran the course of Main Street and provided access to the local businesses. Cherryvale had a bank, churches, and a school. This growing community boasted three newspapers, The Herald and the Cherryvale Torch, and the Cherryvale Republican. It even had its very own opera house. The population had grown to about 2400, and life flourished in Cherryvale. Continue reading “Finding Annie Part Two”→
Since I began researching my family tree, one great grandmother has eluded me. This great grandmother, Anna Strassburg, has initiated many restless nights as I have tried exploring her life. She has haunted me as I have searched record after record and web site after website. I have always wanted to learn more about her, but for a long time, it appeared that Annie just vanished. Once she left her home in Cherryvale, Kansas and arrived in Colorado, all trails ended in Gunnison. Continue reading “Finding Annie – Part One”→
While researching information about blogs, I came across an old genealogy blog challenge for 2015 by Amy Johnson Crow. Her blog challenges caught my attention, and I thought it would be fun to give it a try even though I am about 16 months late!
When I think of someone who made it when everything was stacked against her, I automatically think of my grandmother, Elva Marie Allen. Although her life was not an easy one, she never complained, and she always had a smile on her sweet face. Continue reading “Against the Odds”→
“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.” Teaching children values and giving them the opportunity to excel are essential to good parenting. However, I feel I must also provide my children (and myself) insight into the ones who came before us: our ancestors whose lives and stories have shaped us into who we are. This is my journey; these are their stories…