Eddie’s “Collection of Junk:” Sister Miriam Graduates from Cheney High School!

September 26, 2013

Vivian and Gordon had finished with high school and were moving on in their lives. Miriam was right behind them.  She was about to graduate from Cheney high school and planning to attend the Cheney Normal School.

I return to the School Census that I posted about in March of 2013.  For more details go here:  March 28, 2013 “School Census for Cheney, Washington.”  It covers 1920 through 1926.

In 1923 Miriam and Gordon are listed as doing 36 weeks while Edna, Jean and Keith are doing 35.

Based on the information that I have discovered, Jean was moved ahead a grade.  I learned this when I found she was graduating the same year as Eddie and I knew Eddie was a year older.  I was rather surprised but Jean’s granddaughter confirmed it.  After studying Eddie’s scrapbook and the documents I have found it looks like Jean jumped ahead before high school.

The following year in 1924 Miriam was at “Normal.”  Eddie and Jean were in 11th grade and Keith was in 7th. Gordon is teaching in Big Timber, MT.*  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Timber,_Montana

1925 was a big year for the siblings.  Mariam (another spelling of her name) was at the Normal School and about to graduate.  Edna and Jean were in 12th grade attending Cheney High School an getting ready to graduate as well.  Keith was in 8th grade.  I do not know what grade school Keith attended.

I contacted the Eastern Washington State Archive Regional branch and asked if they had any information about the schools in the area between 1920 an 1925 in Cheney, specifically the grammar schools.  They were not able to provide that information and I wasn’t really surprised because in my research Cheney was still a young town.  I suppose I could dig further but I am content at the moment.

Here is an interesting pdf on the first 100 years of Spokane County Schools.  I suppose it is possible they went to Spokane for grammar school?

http://www.spokaneschools.org/cms/lib/WA01000970/Centricity/Domain/26/SPS_First_100_Years.pdf

In 1926 we find Miriam is listed as “teaching.”  Miriam was in Noxon, Sanders County, Montana from July 1925 to June 1926 for a 9 month term. Based on what I have found online about Noxon in Sanders County it would be in the wilderness.

Edna’s status was “no school” indicated with a note “in Spokane.” I do believe that she attended the Normal School for a short time because she is listed with Miriam as a member of the Avon Club.  Jean is at Cheney with 36 weeks probably attending the Normal School and Keith is in Spokane with 36 mos. So the family is making the transition from Cheney to Spokane about 1925.

Now that we have a better idea of what is happening with the siblings.  Let’s focus on Miriam and her journey.

In Eddie’s “Collection of Junk” we find two items about her older sister Miriam.

Eddie kept the Cheney High School Commencement Program, for Thursday, Evening, May 24, 1923, Eight O’Clock P.M., Processionist: Miss Nellie Wright, Invocation Rev. O.A. Adams, Solo Hazel Cox, Address Frank Funkhauser, Presentation of Diplomas J.W. Lindley, Music Girl’s Glee Club.

1923 Normal School Commencement Program, Cheney, WA

1923 Normal School Commencement Program, Cheney, WA

Arthur Church
Paul Cordill
Paul Merriman
Cecil Morgan
Lee Reeder
Clarence Stamper
John Rutherford
Mary Bruihl
Clista Casey
Lillian Flaig
Merle Holman
Matzie Lance
Gladys Morton
Clara Powell
Miriam McDonald
Robert Schick
Inez Lambert
Eunice Montgomery*
Evelyn Fritz*
Willene West
Helen Allbaugh
Raymond Smith
Iva Colyar
Doris Butler
Retha Haggard
N.D. Showalter
Mildred Morgan
Hazel Land
Mabel Svenson
Hazel Cox
Vesta Smith
Sarah Sankey
Ray Wimmer
Maryland Kuehl
Zola Hylton

*Some of the listed graduates had a check mark by them?  Miriam’s name was circled.

Senior Class Day 1925, Cheney High School

Senior Class Day 1925, Cheney High School

2.  Senior Class Day, High School Auditorium May 24, 1923.  Some of the names above are listed in this play.

The Red and Black, Student Body

“Redhead,” Eunice Montgomery

School Days: -

Teacher:  Miriam McDonald

Scholars:  Lillian Flaig, John Rutherford, Mabel Svenson, Paul Merriman, Hazel Land, Paul Cordill

Let’s All Be Good Pals To-gether, Senior Class

Prophesy, John Rutherford

Kid Days, Hazel Cox

The Class Will, Cecil Morgan

Farewell, Schoolmates, Senior Class

Miriam graduated from High school and went straight to the Cheney Normal School.

==========

Note:  I was in error.  Gordon was in Big Timber, MT. teaching per the school census instead of Tuscor, MT.


Eddie’s “Collection of Junk” – Brother Gordy early 1920’s!

September 12, 2013

Eddie’s Collection of Junk scrapbook had a few artifacts that featured her older brother Gordy.  He was formally named Ronald Gordon McDonald and get’s confused with his father Ronald Sandfield McDonald.  He was always “Uncle Gordy” to me.

While Vivian was graduating from Cheney High School and attending the Normal School, Gordon was also growing up. Vivian was the oldest and Gordon followed her.  They were older siblings of Keith the subject of this blog.

I love this picture of Gordy, his hat and his outfit in the following photograph.

Gordon in the Spring of 1921

Gordon in the Spring of 1921

Miriam writes about her brother:

Gordon and Geometry

Gordon and Geometry

The following photograph shows Gordy in what I would call a football uniform and it was probably Cheney High School 1921. Gordon and brother Keith were built almost exactly alike.  They were both about 5 feet 4 inches tall and about 150 lbs. so they were not big men; however, they were stocky built.  Here we see Gordon with a full head of hair.  It wasn’t going to last, eventually, both brothers would become bald but not till the mid 1930’s.  If you look at the shadow in this photograph in front of Gordon it looks like a girl took the picture?

Apparently he was on the football team at Cheney High School

Apparently he was on the football team at Cheney High School

Eddie writes about the Athletic Letter in the photograph below.  I am not sure she was happy about it, but apparently brother Gordon interfered? More about Eddie’s involvement in sports in a future post.

Cheney High School Letters

Cheney High School Letters

Below is what looks like a graduation picture of Gordon.  I lean toward it being his Cheney High School graduation picture because he is younger looking.

Gordon's graduation photo probably Cheney High School about 1921

Gordon’s graduation photo probably Cheney High School about 1921

Eddie had a rusty button that she kept among her memorabilia.  From what I can determine the Older Boys Conference might have a connection to church activities.

Older Boys conference 1922 - Gordon McDonald

Older Boys conference 1922 – Gordon McDonald

This is the page of honor, page 71, where the above pin was kept.  It had fallen out of the “Collection of Junk!”

Page 71 in Eddie's scrapbook

Page 71 in Eddie’s scrapbook

Below are two pages from the Kinnikinick Yearbook in 1923 for the Normal School now Eastern Washington University in Cheney.  I do not know what the Senior B Class means but Gordon is listed in the 3rd column eighth one down.  I do not see him in the picture.

Gordon is listed with the Senior B's in 1923 Normal School Yearbook

Gordon is listed with the Senior B’s in 1923 Normal School Yearbook

This other page from the yearbook for the Normal School dated 1923 shows Gordy with the track team. He is in the front row second from the left, seated.  He was so serious in those days.

Gordon was part of the track team for the Normal School 1923

Gordon was part of the track team for the Normal School 1923 – click to open and use back button to return

Eddie had this ticket for entrance into a track meet in 1923.  It is not listed on the yearbook page above but it might be one that Gordy participated in or maybe they attended together?  It does mention High School and he was out of high school by about 1921.

Track meet Ticket 1923 Eddie's collection

Track meet Ticket 1923 Eddie’s collection

Eddie saved her brother Gordy’s graduation envelope, announcement and cards in her “Collection of Junk.”  This is from Gordon McDonald’s August 1923 graduation from Normal School.

Gordon's Graduation from Normal School 1923

Gordon’s Graduation from Normal School 1923

Gordon's Graduation from Cheney Normal School 1923

Gordon’s Graduation from Cheney Normal School 1923

Here we have a photo of Vivian and Gordon with parasol’s.  These parasols seemed to be a big thing in the early 1920’s.

Vivian and Gordon 1925 with parasol's.

Vivian and Gordon 1925 with parasol’s.

This photograph was taken in about 1925 of Gordon.  He is with someone who he seems to be very friendly with for he is smiling.  I am wondering again if this is not Claude Penglase?  Claude Penglase was to marry Mary Helena McDonald, Angus’ daughter.  Angus was Gordon’s Uncle.

Gordon with a friend in 1925

Gordon with a friend in 1925

In 1926 Gordy was living in Seattle, Washington which sort of strengthen’s the theory that the boy above is a Penglase. Gordy sent this postcard to his sister Eddie and she kept it!  It is addressed to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, so it shows the transition of the family from Cheney to Spokane by 1926.

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Gordon to Eddie in 1926

Gordon to Eddie in 1926 – click on the photos and use the back button to return

Tracking my Uncle Gordy has been a challenge.  Single men move around and he definitely was on the move in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Gordon did not marry till after 1950.  When his mother Grace died, Gordon became the older brother who watched over everyone.


The McDonald’s find work in Tuscor, MT 1924-25!

August 28, 2013

A series of photographs were included in Vivian’s scrapbook but their meaning was unclear.  They featured Vivian and her father Ronald (R.S.) .  If you will recall, the Cheney school census’ mentioned something about brother Gordon being in Tuscor, MT. He was really in Big Timber, Mt.  

Well, I was hoping to bring you some great history about the location of Tuscor, Montana but this was about all I could find at Google and Bing:

Sanders County. Along the Clark Fork River and the former Northern Pacific line north of Trout Creek, Tuscor was once home to a depot and a combination store and post office. The post office was active from 1914 to 1956. The 1920’s were a relatively busy time in Tuscor and the original store was replaced by a much larger building in 1926; the second floor provided a room that served as a dance hall for local residents on Saturday nights. The building burned in 1933 and was replaced by a smaller store building. In 1956, Washington Water Power purchased the town prior to the construction of the Noxon Rapids Dam on the Clark Fork River; the townsite is now under water. Pictured is the Tuscor siding sign along the current Montana Rail Link line.  

From Flicker – Postmarks for Montana http://www.flickr.com/photos/outlawpete/5960942937/

So it appears that Tuscor, Montana was a logging area at one time and my grandfather Ronald (R.S.), Vivian, maybe Hilary and my father Keith, and Uncle Gordon were there for a time.  Here is grandfather Ronald looking very businesslike:

R.S. In Tuscor, MT 1924

R.S. In Tuscor, MT 1924

In the photo below, R.S. is standing next to a man who is not familiar to me, but for some reason I ponder.  Is this Uncle Angus?  There were rumors that he was in Idaho but my information has him living in West Seattle by 1910?  I do not have any pictures of Uncle Angus, Ronald’s brother only photos that are speculation.

R.S. with a unknown man 1924 Tuscor, MT

R.S. with a unknown man 1924 Tuscor, MT

The train at Tuscor, Montana 1924:

Tuscor Train, Montana 1924

Tuscor Lumber Co. Train, Montana 1924

Vivian standing by a shack 1925

Vivian by a shack Tuscor 1925

Vivian by a shack Tuscor 1925

R.S. and his daughter Vivian sitting on a log by a clothesline near shacks?

Vivian and probably her father R.S. on log and probably in Tuscor, MT

Vivian and probably her father R.S. on log and probably in Tuscor, MT

Vivian and Keith, my dad, probably taken in Tuscor, MT in 1924-25.

Vivian & Keith probably in Tuscor, MT 1924-25

Vivian & Keith probably in Tuscor, MT 1924-25

Team at work in Tuscor, Montana 1925

Horses working at Tuscor MT 1925

Horses working at Tuscor MT 1925


Vivian McDonald becomes a teacher 1923!

August 15, 2013

In this post, I am going to go back in time just a little before Vivian married Hilary McKanna in the summer of 1923.-1924.

Vivian was the older sister to Keith, Gordon, Miriam, Eddie and Jean.  She finished up her schooling before her marriage to Hilary, and became a teacher.

Once she married Hilary the law  or policy of firms and school boards did not allow her to teach.  It wasn’t till years later after these laws/policies were abandoned, that she went on to get her Bachelor of Arts Degree in education and resume her teaching profession.

From July 1, 1923 to June 30, 1924 she taught school in Sprague, Washington.  Sprague is a little southwest from Spokane in Lincoln County, Washington.  The highway I-90 passes by the town as you head east to Spokane.

Here is a picture of Hilary which was taken in Sprague in 1924:

Hilary McKanna - Sprague 1924

Hilary McKanna – Sprague 1924

Vivian was of small stature.  Her height was 4 feet 10 inches tall.  Yes, she was little, but she was strong, sweet, smart and loved her family.

She attended the Normal School in Cheney and here are pages from the Kinnikinick yearbook of 1923 the year she graduated.  The Alumni office at the Eastern Washington University (formerly the Normal school) has a great collection of these yearbooks.

Vivian is listed on this page as a graduate but unfortunately no photograph is included.

Graduates for 1923, Normal School, Cheney, WA

Graduates for 1923, Normal School, Cheney, WA

I am going to make a guess and present the portrait below as probably her school graduation from either Cheney High School or the Normal School?

Vivian's School Graduation photo about 1923?

Vivian’s School Graduation photo about 1923?

Vivian was a member of the Advanced Student Club as seen in the picture below. She is the one 2nd from the left first row.

Advanced Students - Vivian McDonald 1923

Advanced Students – Vivian McDonald 1923 – click to open up!

She is not in the picture for the Avon Club for 1923 but she is listed in the Members section.  Vivian always practiced her Catholic faith.

Avon Club 1923

Avon Club 1923

The dress with the large white-collar that Vivian’s is wearing in the Advanced Student photo above, leads me to believe that the photos below were taken sometime around 1923? Vivian is wearing that same dress in the photos below.

Unfortunately there are no names listed on the back of these photos.  They are a little fuzzy but I think they are wonderful.  Vivian is included in a group of girls and the reason for the gathering is not clear.

Vivian with Friends about 1923

Vivian with Friends about 1923 – Vivian is in the back row right end

Another photo of the same group about 1923

Another photo of the same group about 1923 – Vivian is in the front row right end

The next two pictures are very interesting.  It never occurred to me that my Aunt Vivian could shoot a rifle but here she is posing with one?  Her hair is the same and the dress may actually be the one in the portrait above.

Vivian in field with a rifle?

Vivian in field with a rifle in 1923?


McKanna and McDonald Wedding 1924

May 23, 2013

My father’s family didn’t have a lot of money, so this wedding of Vivian’s must have been a great affair for them.  I wish I could have been there but my father, Keith, was only 14 years old at the time.  It was going to be another 16+ years before he met my mother and 7 years till my birth.

Again, there is another article in the Cheney Free Press dated July 4, 1924 about the marriage.  Most of my family kept a low profile and so this is very amazing that this marriage was written up three times in the newspaper.  Apparently the event was also a local happening.

Vivian and Hilary's wedding 1924

Vivian and Hilary’s wedding 1924

Vivian’s is stated as the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.S. McDonald.  Grace, Vivian’s mother had died in 1911, so this is either a  tribute to her memory or a formality of the time.  Vivian was 9 years old at the time of her mother’s death.  She knew her mother quite well and probably felt her loss greatly.  R.S. had been a widower for a good 13 years by the time of his oldest child’s and daughter’s wedding.

The Wedding party and guests 1924

The Wedding party and guests 1924

The wedding guests and wedding party gather.  Left to right:  Justine ? (maybe the friend of Vivian’s?). R.S. McDonald (father of the bridge), Leola Vivian (bride) are next.  Behind Vivian peeking out is probably Rev. Lyon’s.   Brother Gordon is way in the back with a thick head of hair.  Next to Vivian on the right is Hilary McKanna (groom). Behind Hilary is an unknown girl. Nellie in the middle in the back.  She is Vivian’s, aunt and sister to R.S.  The man to the right of Hilary is unknown.  Miriam (bridesmaid and sister) is next. Eddie (sister) is to the left behind Miriam.  To Miriam’s right and behind her is another unknown girl and further to her right is an unknown woman.  Sister Jean has her hand on the back of the unknown woman. Missing is brother Keith who is probably taking the picture?  Everyone looks happy.

It is unclear to me if the wedding took place at the Catholic Church in Cheney or at the house you see in the following pictures. One of the articles states it was held at the home of the bride.  Vivian was religious so I lean toward the church.  There were about seven photographs with the date of 1924 written on them.  I see the similarities in the clothing of all that leads me to believe these are related photographs.

This photograph has the date of June 24, 1924 on it.  The wedding was on the 25th.  Maybe these two photos presented below show them getting ready to get the license the day before the main event?  Someone, in the background,  is trying to keep the dog under control.  My father, Keith, mentioned he had a dog when he was a kid that he name Tony.  I wonder if that is Tony?

Hilary, Vivian and R.S. pose June 24, 1924

Hilary, Vivian and R.S. pose June 24, 1924

In the photograph that follows, we find R.S. (father of the bride) and Gordon (brother of the bride) looking very handsome in their suits. This photo looks like they are getting ready for some event or heading to the church?

Gordon & R.S. Looking ready for the Wedding.

Gordon & R.S. Looking ready for the Wedding.

This may be the wedding party.

Guy, Vivian, Hilary and Miriam 1924

Guy, Vivian, Hilary and Miriam 1924

I do not know who Guy is.  It must have been written on the back of the photo.   He does not look like the man in the group photo above.

Another view of the party and he appears again.

Guy, Miriam, Vivian and Hilary 1924

Guy, Miriam, Vivian and Hilary 1924

Miriam sent Vivian’s photograph scrapbook to Mickey (Robert) McKanna years ago and when I visited with Mickey he was kind to loan it to me.  I made copies and scanned a great may of the photographs.  I did return the scrapbook to Mickey. Mickey is the son of Philip and Kathleen McKanna.  Philip is Hilary’s brother.  I will post more on the McKanna’s in future posts.

Note:  There is a very good blog that shares information about the McKanna family.  http://willisgene.wordpress.com/  I also have it listed in my right side panel of this blog under Families History Websites of Interest.


Local Cheney Maid Weds!

May 11, 2013

In 1924, my Aunt Vivian got married.  It apparently was a big event in the lives of the McDonald family.

My Aunt Eddie celebrated her sister’s marriage with several items saved in her “Collection of Junk.”  Eddie had an article about the wedding and even wrote down the menu.

Cheney Maid Weds Yakima Man.

Cheney Maid Weds Yakima Man.

Menu:  Fruit Cocktail, Friksee’ Chicken, Mash Potatoes, Jello Salad, Buttered Peas, Cucumber Pickles, Olives, Peach Pickles, Ice Cream, Chocolate Cake, Wedding Cake and Coffee.

The cake looked delicious:

Vivian and Hilary's Wedding Cake

Vivian and Hilary’s Wedding Cake

On another piece of paper Eddie wrote down the names of those who attended:

The Wedding Guests and Party

The Wedding Guests and Party

It reads with my clarifications:

 June 25, 1924, Cheney, Washington, St. Rose of Lima Church, by Rev. John E. Lyons.

Those present:

R.S. McDonald (Father of the Bride)

Nellie McDonald (Aunt)

Elizabeth Willis

Robert Willis

Francis McKanna (Phil’s daughter?)

Phil McKanna (Hilary’s brother?)

Rev. Lyons

Justine Toff

Gordon McDonald (brother)

Miriam McDonald (sister)

Edna McDonald (sister)

Jean McDonald (sister)

Keith McDonald (brother)

Vivian McDonald (The Bride)

Hilary M. McKanna (The Groom)

The Cheney Free Press (dated 7/4/1924) under Local Happenings second column, pretty much confirms the guest list leaving out some of her siblings.

Local Gossip about the wedding

Local Gossip about the wedding

Note:  I am assuming that the newspaper article with the picture of Vivian and titled “Cheney Maid Weds…” came from the Cheney Free Press where I found other articles referencing the event.  I did not have a lot of time to search this newspaper when I visited the Eastern Washington University library microfilm collection of newspapers to confirm this fact.


Eddie’s “Collection of Junk!”

April 25, 2013

My Aunt Eddie, Keith’s sister, had a journal book filled with memorabilia that was titled:

A Collection of Junk!

A Collection of Junk

A Collection of Junk

In the post dated January 3, 2013, Ronald’s Story Continues! Revisiting Grand Prairie, Alberta and mention of Albany, Oregon, I shared a little from the collection in that post about those locations.  I was surprised to find that they were in Albany, Oregon before heading for Cheney.  At some point I will have to find additional records to show that the McDonald family was there.

The journal/ scrapbook is now 92+ years old.  It smelled musty, the pages had discolored, items were missing leaving blank spaces, things had fallen out and been stuffed back inside.  The scrapbook was filled with mementos of school, places, friendship, club activities, high school parties, graduations, and political leanings.  It was just a scrapbook using a cash journal for its home.

The journal's outside

The journal’s outside

Apparently this “Collection” was first owned by her sister Jean whose name was written in the back of the book, but most of the stuff in the book was about Eddie’s life experiences.

Jean claims ownership in the back of the journal

Jean claims ownership in the back of the journal

Eddie claimed ownership on page 67:

Eddie's claim to ownership in the front of the book

Eddie’s claim to ownership in the front of the book

Here is a picture of Eddie probably sometime around about 1918 give or take a few years.

Eddie at a young age

Eddie at a young age

This is an example of what the pages looked like in her journal scrapbook:

A example of a page of the journal.

An example of a page of the journal.

As I studied the items I began to see more categories or rather groupings of the information.  Eddie wrote notes describing the item but some items were missing or miss filed so I was not able to identify all.  Eddie didn’t necessarily put the memorabilia in date order and she mixed them up.

These are some of the groupings I came up with:

        • Basketball
        • Cooking Class or rather domestic science
        • Friendship
        • Gift from Grandma
        • Gordon
        • Grade School
        • Grammar book
        • Grand Prairie
        • Halloween
        • Holidays
        • Keith
        • Letters from Other Schools
        • Miriam
        • Movies & News
        • Newspaper Editor
        • Nurses School
        • Oddities and Missing things
        • Plays & Things
        • Politics and News
        • Pretty Things
        • Religion
        • School Memories
        • Stories Written
        • The Tea Room
        • Vivian

The journal covers several locations like Grand Prairie, Alberta, Albany, Oregon; Spokane, Washington; Cheney, Washington, and even a little of Seattle.

In the posts that follow, reference to Eddie’s “Collection of Junk” will appear on occasion or when it adds to the information that I already have about that topic or person.  We will start with her older sister Vivian.


School Census for Cheney, Washington

March 28, 2013

I know that Vivian, Gordon, Miriam, Eddie and Jean all went to Cheney High School but not my father Keith, he went to Gonzaga which was a combination college and high school located in Spokane.

HistoryLink.org has a short article about the Normal School

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=8246

In 2002 when I went to Spokane to do research on my Dad and his family, I went to the Spokane Public Library and tried to find city directories for Cheney among the collection of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society.  City directories usually cover a large city.  As the city grows more areas are listed in what are called suburban directories.  I was unable to located any city directories that covered Cheney from 1920 to 1925.  I did find Spokane directories and thoroughly studied them. I was trying to find the address for the house they lived in Cheney but was unsuccessful.

A visit to the Washington State Archives on the Eastern Washington University campus opened the door to the use of School census.  My genealogy buddy had told me about them and found some good information for her search elsewhere in the state.

Census of Children, Spokane County, WA 1922

Portion of Census of Children, Spokane County, WA 1922

SOURCE:  Census of Children between 4/5 & 21 years, residing in School District #20, Spokane Co., Washington, May 1920-1926, Washington State Archives, Eastern Branch, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA.

1920: Vivian McDonald is listed as parent and signs:
Children listed: Vivian McDonald, Birth: May 12, 1902, Female, 32 wks at school, PO Address: Cheney, WA.
Gordon McDonald, May 3, 1904, male, 32 wks, Cheney, WA
Miriam McDonald, Jan. 15, 1906, female, 32 wks., Cheney, WA
Edna McDonald, Mar 28, 1907, female, 32 wks., Cheney, WA
Jean McDonald, June 30, 1909, female, 32 wks, Cheney, WA
Keith McDonald, Mar 28, 1910, male, 32 wks, Cheney, WA (date is wrong)

1922: R.S. McDonald is parent, Nellie signs
Vivian, Gordon, Miriam, Edna same as above

1923: Nellie is parent and signs as well. Vivian is not listed as doing any weeks at school, Gordon and Miriam did 36 while Edna, Jean and Keith did  35 weeks at school. The rest of the information is the same.

1924: Nellie is parent and signs
Vivian is not listed. Gordon, Miriam, Edna, Jean and Keith are listed with the same birth dates. Gordon is teaching at Big Timber, MT. with no weeks at school. Miriam and the rest did 36 weeks. Miriam is at “Normal.” Edna and Jean are in the 11th grade and Keith is in the 7th.

1925: Nellie is parent and signs
Both Vivian and Gordon are not listed. Mariam is at Normal, Edna and Jean are in 12th grade and Keith is in the 8th. All have done 36 weeks.

1926: R.S. McDonald is parent and signs
Vivian and Gordon are not listed. Miriam is listed as teaching, Edna has no school but is in Spokane. Jean is at Cheney with 36 weeks and Keith is in Spokane with 36 weeks.

These school census really shows the progression of Dad’s siblings lives during a short period of time from 1920 to 1926.  It gives the birth dates and that is good if you don’t have that information.  However, be careful they can be incorrect.

What is on these school census:  Names of Parents or Guardians, Names of the children, Date of birth, sex, no. of weeks at school, Address, signature.

Unfortunately, it does not give an address where they lived while they were in Cheney, WA.  So I have not been successful with the city directories nor the school census to find an address but I have learned a little about the movements of the McDonald children.

Cheney High School 1912

Cheney High School 1912

There was a society in Cheney that I visited called the Tillicum Society and I talked with a nice lady who told me that a great many of the houses in Cheney had been torn down.  This was disappointing news.  She also told me that the Cheney High School yearbooks also didn’t survive which would have been so wonderful to see if the McDonald children were in them.

I was given a handwritten name list of the Cheney High 1920-1925 graduates from the principal who was not identified. It was eight pages long.  I get the feeling this was from his memory.  It is missing Vivian.  Keith didn’t go to Cheney High School, he went to Gonzaga.  I was not given permission to publish but I am sure they would be helpful if you called them.  See link below.

1920:  no one listed from my family

1921:  Listed Gordon McDonald

1922:  Listed Marian McDonald

1923:  no one was listed from my family

1924:  no one was listed from my family

1925:  McDonald Edna, McDonald Jean

By the way I believe the Tillicum Society is now the Cheney Historical Museum:  http://www.cheneymuseum.org/index.html

Note:  The Photo of the Cheney High School was on a notecard given to me by the lady who helped me at the society.  Please go to their website if you had family in Cheney and  support them.

My Aunt Eddie, Keith’s older sister, is going to help us learn a little about what life was like for the McDonald children during Cheney High School years and a little more.  She had a journal book she filled with memorabilia from about 1915 to 1925.  She called it a “Collection of Junk.”


Nellie McDonald becomes caretaker of Grace’s children!

March 1, 2013

Nellie or rather Ellen Elizabeth McDonald migrated with her parents from Chichester in 1900/1901 and lived with them in Bemidji till they moved to International Falls in 1905. She was living with her parents and brother Alexander in 1910 per the U.S. Federal census.

At the end of December 1911 Grace, the mother of Keith and his siblings, died of pneumonia and the effects of childbirth see the post dated July 18, 2010 “An Unexpected Tragedyhttp://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/?s=Tragedy. Nellie became their caretaker.

Nellie on the porch

Nellie on the porch

Just exactly when Nellie joined her brother Ronald in bringing up his six children is unclear.  I have not been able to track her clearly from 1910 to 1920.  I cannot tell if she was with him in Grand Prairie, Alberta.   I  think Nellie did not became the caretaker of the children till just before 1920 but I might be incorrect.  Until I find more information that can pinpoint when Nellie was with them I will have to speculate.  Her niece Miriam implied that she took over right after their mother Grace died, but so far the facts are not agreeing.

Miriam writes that they all moved to the Riverside Drive house after Grace’s death which implies Nellie was involved from 1912 onward? ( Just click on the photo and it will open up for you, remember to hit your back button or close a tab to return to this blog.)

Miriam’s Notes about Nellie!

The parents of Nellie and R.S. where Archie (1912) and Mary (1913) who were living in 1911 when Grace passed, so Nellie would probably not leave them because they were aging.  According to the above paragraph they moved into the Riverside Drive house and that would make sense.

I did find Gordon and R.S. in the Edmonton, Alberta 1916 census.  I did a thorough search of the Canadian 1916 census to try to find  Nellie with the rest of the children but I was unable to locate her or them.

An Ellen McDonald appears in the International Falls city directory of 1917-1918.  This person was a civil servant on 421 1st St., pg. 19.  I ponder if that is her?

I do know for sure that by January 1920, Nellie had joined the family and from 1920 to her death in May of 1947 in Yakima, Washington, she lived with her brother Ronald (R.S.) and followed him wherever he went from that point on.

Her niece, Miriam, held Nellie in high esteem and wrote that she deserved a place in heaven for taking on the momentous task of raising six children that were not her own. Miriam was apparently Nellie’s favorite.

As far as I can recall none of my aunts, my uncle, nor my father talked about Nellie much.  There could be reasons for that.  It may have made them sad, or it was a long time ago.

NOTE:  Please don’t be like me and not ask questions, I wish I had regarding Nellie and the family.


R.S. McDonald Family Settles in Cheney, WA – 1920

February 14, 2013

Events did not go well for R.S. McDonald since he left International Falls, Minnesota. He lost his general store in Grand Prairie, Alberta.  The family lore says that his partner gambled it away.  It looks like he might have headed to Albany, Oregon for a while according to his daughter Eddie.  He was indicted in a court case involving land fraud in Koochiching County, Minnesota.

Somehow he found his way to Cheney, Spokane County, Washington by 1919 according to his traveling card from the Knights of Columbus.

Cheney is located southwest of the city of Spokane.  Highway I90 takes you right by the town. You can take 904 into Cheney.  Here is an article on Cheney, Washington from Wikipedia with a map attached.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheney,_Washington

R.S.McDonald Family 1922

R.S.McDonald Family 1922

Photo:  LtoR:  Back row – Jean, Gordon, Eddie. Middle Row:  R.S. (Ronald), Miriam, Vivian and Nellie (sister to Ronald).  Front and center my dad, Keith Barclay John MacDonald.

The 1920 U.S. Federal Census lists them all:

Seventh, 314, 30, 32, McDonald, Ronald, S. Head, R, M, W, 54, Widow, 85, nA 93 or 98, yes, yes, Canada, English, father born in Canada, mother born in Canada, English, yes, Lumberman is crossed out and none is written in. McDonald, Nellie E., Sister, F, W, 49, S 1900 Al,  yes, yes, Canada, English, father born in Canada, mother born in Canada, English, none. McDonald Vivian L., daughter, F, W, 17, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota. McDonald Gordon R G, son, M, W, 15, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota. McDonald Miriam A, daughter, F, W, 13, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota. McDonald Edna L, daughter, F, W, 12, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota, McDonald Jean L E, daughter, F, W, 11, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota, McDonald Keith B.J., son, M, W, 9, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota. 

Source:  Ronald S. McDonald Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Cheney, Spokane Co., Washington, SD#5, ED#117, Sht No. 2A (8251), West Cheney Twp., Cheney, a city of the third class, Enumerated on 6 January 1920, by  G.H. Host. 

Why did R.S. head for Cheney?  Well I think it was because his children were growing up.  Vivian was getting ready to graduate from high school for she was turning 18 in May of 1920.  Gordon was getting close, he had two more years to go. Miriam was soon to follow, then Eddie and Jean.  Keith was still in grammar school and wouldn’t graduate till about 1925.  There might have been an economic issue in that R.S. was looking for work in the lumber industry in the Spokane area.

Cheney had the normal school which we know today as the Eastern Washington University.  Vivian, Miriam and Jean would take the career path and become teachers.  Gordon and Eddie would take a few years in Normal school but their paths would go in a different direction.  Gordon would teach for a short time and end up at Boeing in Seattle. Eddie would eventually go into nursing.  Keith he was headed for a mechanics career that would take him to becoming an airplane mechanic.

The Normal Schoo

The Normal School

All of the children attended Cheney High School except Keith. He would go to Gonzaga in Spokane which was both a high school and a college all in one at that time.  Wikipedia has another article that can shed light on this bit of confusion of two types of curriculum in one location.  Gonzaga Preparatory School was in the basement of the Gonzaga University as the article explains.  When I was researching my father, I had to go to the Special Collections at the Gonzaga University to get the history of this prep school and find out more about my dad’s involvement.   This particular genealogical research trip took place in 2002.


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