Jean’s Birthday Celebration 1924

December 5, 2013

The gossip column in the local newspaper is so much fun to read.  Here we find a little excerpt about Jean’s birthday celebration in 1924.  Her actual birthday was June 30th.

July 4, 1924 Jean's birthday party

July 4, 1924 Jean’s birthday party

It reads:  “In honor of Jean McDonald’s birthday a picnic was held at Fish Lake Saturday.  Those present were the Misses Nellie McDonald, Jean McDonald, Edna McDonald, Harriette Murphy, Doris Ryker and Velma Ryker.”  Cheney Free Press 7/4/1924.

The next photo was taken in 1927 and although it is not from the actual date above,  I thought it was fun.  On the left you find Vivian, then Miriam, Aunt Nellie and then Jean.

Vivian, Miriam, Aunt Nellie, & Jean 1927

Vivian, Miriam, Aunt Nellie, & Jean 1927


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?


Hilary’s brother and wife: Bob and Theo McKanna

August 1, 2013

Bob and Theo McKanna took up residence in Seward, Alaska and made that their home.  Hilary had made Spokane his home but returned during the 1920’s-30’s to work for his brother. The following photographs of Bob and Theo were in my Aunt Vivian’s scrapbook.

Bob and Theo's home in Seward

Bob and Theo’s home in Seward

Bob by a stream in Summer 1926:

Bob McKanna - Seward 1926

Bob McKanna – Seward 1926

Bob near the sign to McKinley 1926

Bob near the sign to McKinley 1926

Bob and Theo with an unknown girl by an auto:

Theo and Bob with unknown girl 1927

Theo and Bob with unknown girl 1927

A Christmas photo and card from Bob & Theo later in their lives:

Christmas card from Theo and Bob

Christmas card from Theo and Bob

This concludes my foray into the McKanna family.  My dad, Keith and my connection are by marriage to the McKanna’s. I do have fond memories of visiting Vivian and Hilary at their home west of Spokane on many occasions.  My dad, Keith, younger brother to Vivian was close to his family so we visited with them often in the summer months.  I do not believe that I ever met any of Hilary’s relatives except for his nephew Mickey McKanna.  I was too young.  I do have memories of Hilary from many visits, gatherings of the family and more.

I remind you that I am not an expert on the McKanna family and refer you to the blog:  A Convergence of Families…..the link is on the right side of this blog under Family History Websites of Interest for more information on this family and the others that are associated with the McKanna family.


The McKannas and life in Alaska

July 18, 2013

Here are some wonderful photographs of Alaska taken in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  They were among my Aunt Vivian’s photographs.

Apparently Hilary McKanna returned to Alaska to work for his brother Bob, who lived in Seward, during the depression.  I am not familiar with Alaskan history and locations so if you recognize anything please leave a comment.  Just click on the photo and it will get larger.  Don’t forget to hit your back button to return or the tab to return to this blog.

A street scene in Cordova, Alaska:

Cordova Alaska

Cordova Alaska

A village by the water unnamed on the picture.  Does anyone recognize this?

Unknown village by the sea, Alaska

Unknown village by the sea, Alaska – Seward at a different angle?

The Seward Train Station in Winter:

Seward Train Station

Seward Train Station

Seward, Alaska

Seward, Alaska

Seward, Alaska

The dock at Valdez, Alaska

The Dock at Valdez, Alaska

The Dock at Valdez, Alaska

Another view of the dock in Valdez, Alaska

Another view of the dock in Valdez, Alaska

More of the dock at Valdez, Alaska

More of the dock at Valdez, Alaska

A street om Valdez, Alaska

A street in Valdez, Alaska


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