“A Collection of Junk!”

June 25, 2010

Keith’s sister Eddie had a scrapbook which she titled:  “A Collection of Junk!” In that scrapbook were many things that young girls collect and treasure.  It does say in the front that the “book belongs to Jean,” and in the back it says:  “The property of Edna L. MacDonald, Cheney, WA , USA.”  Most of it is filled with memorabilia with Eddie’s name on it.  I wonder what the story was that tipped the scale to Eddie.  It is just an old ledger book repurposed, a bit worse for wear with things falling out of it and missing items.  There are items from each of the siblings in this scrapbook.    

One item was a picture of a Geisha and at the bottom is the name “Vivian.”  Written below the picture is says that Vivian had colored this in grade school.  It places it about 1907 – 1908.  

Geisha, by Vivian

 

I think it is a very good job at staying in the lines.  I am wondering if Vivian traced it and then colored it?


Vivian’s Baby Book!

June 16, 2010

The Baby Book that Grace authored covers a short period of time in the family life of Ronald and Grace.  It takes place in the 1900’s and covers the events revolving around the life of their first child Leola Vivian.  

You might not think that a Baby Book would be of value genealogically but if you don’t have personal information like this then all you have are facts and that can be a little stiff.  Fortunately, this book does give some wonderful information and tidbits.  

I tried to make a PDF and upload it in total but it was too big and caused problems.  So I will feature a page and give a summary of some of the highlights.  

This Baby Book was published as a book with forms designed to be filled out and on the 1st page it gives the name of the author as Maud Humphrey published by the Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York, 1898. 

  • Baby’s Name and parents – see page to right

    Name: Leola Vivian

     

  • First Outing date and with Incidents

Baby Vivian had her first buggy ride on the 23rd of May when she was baptized .  Her godparents Miss Mary Clemmins and Alex T. McDonald attending with her mother and father she went to sleep.  She had her first ride in her buggy or cab when she was six weeks old.  Grandma Barclay and her Mama wheeled her and Mamma wheeled her cab off the side-walk and the wind blew the covers away.   

  • Weight at various years
  • First Gifts and who gave them, also interesting information 

Received from Grandma Barclay on the 18th of May a pair of knitted booties.  Received from Mrs.John R. Donahue a little kimono jacket and on the 3rd of July 1902 from Grandma & ____ McDonald a little knitted jacket. From Aunt Nellie McDonald two pairs of stockings. From Aunt Sarah McDonald a pair of shoes and from Mrs. Geo. McCrea silver baby spoons.  From Grandma Barclay ___day of June three dollars in gold.  From her god-mother Oct. 6th a pair of little white shoes and stockings. 

  • First Tooth
  • First Laugh

Baby’s first laugh was heard by Mamma and Grandma Barclay on the sixth day of August in the year 1902 when Baby was two months and twenty-four old.  It sounded like she was choking but the second attempt was more successful 

  • First Creeping
  • First Step – gives dates and age of Vivian, Witnesses
  • First Short Clothes which again talks about Grandma Barclay

Baby was dressed in short clothes for the first time on the sixth day of September in the year 1902, at the age of three months and twenty-four days.  Mama made her little dress and trimmed it with lace made by Grandma Barclay some eight years before.  She wore little crocheted booties also made by Grandma Barclay. 

  • First Shoes which has an outline of the shoes and description
  • First Christmas, date and Gifts given and Incidents

Baby’s first Christmas was December 25, 1903. She received from Grandma Barclay a gold nice chain, a doll, three large marbles a rubber ball from Mama and Papa a box of blocks, a little book and a new coat from Grandma and Grandpa McDonald, a pair of shoes.  Two cashimen dresses. Aunt Sarah a cup. 

  • First Word – mentions saying Papa and Mamma

Baby’s first word was “Papa.”  It was spoken on the twenty-fifth day of December in the year 1903 when Baby was 6 months and seventeen days old and in the hearing of Mama and Grandma Barclay.  Her Papa was away and after she had called “da-a” number of times she said “Papa” three time and them tried to say Mama. 

  • First Birthday, date and gifts given
  • First Appearance at Table with date and incidents
  • A letter from Grandma Dawes (Formerly Grandma Barclay, she remarried at this time).
  • First Lock of Hair – with a sample well-preserved
  • First Valentine, given by Grandma Barclay
  • Height for 5 years
  • Baby’s first Photograph – see previous post at the top.
  • First Day of Worship – St. Joseph’s Catholic Church with incidents
  • Important Events which has a lot of great information on the family and goes on for several pages giving names, dates and locations they visited.  Vivian started to talk and say more things like “poor baby,” when she was sick and cut a tooth.  Ronald left them for a month and Vivian didn’t recognize him when her returned. 
  • More Important Events and her the last baby’s name is written on the last page.  The last page reads:  Gone but not forgotten, Grace A. McDonald Beloved wife of R.S. McDonald, Born April 10, 1882, Died Dec. 22, 1911.

The original of this Baby Book is in the possession of my cousin.  I have scanned the pages in black and white and transcribed it into Word to preserve it for the future.   Now if I could only figure out who Aunt Sarah McDonald may be?


Darling Vivian!

June 5, 2010

 

Baby Vivian 1901

 

While Ronald was working for the lumber company in International Falls his children were growing up.  They must have been proud parents for Grace authored a baby book for her daughter Leola Vivian.  

Vivian was Keith’s older sister.  Vivian was the 2nd child, the first did not survive.  Vivian was born on May 12, 1902 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  She was 8 years older than her baby brother Keith.  

Vivian’s baby picture, featured above, is a rare photo.  I have very few of the early years of Keith’s siblings.  If you look close you see Grace’s handwriting next to the photo.  This scrapbook page is from a project that I did that celebrates the lives of my dad’s siblings, my aunts and uncles.  

This is not the only baby photo of Vivian there is an earlier one.  On the pages of the Baby book is an imprinted photo.  This photo burned onto the facing page.   The actual photo is missing.  The impression photo is very light in color and faded but the image was there.  

Grace also preserved a lock of her daughter’s hair in this baby book and it was still intact.  

Vivian has been included in photographs with her siblings in past posts and she is always the tallest one in those photos.  In real life she was a tiny person coming in at 4 feet 11 inches as an adult.  She had a strong spirit. 

The following pictures are of Vivian as a little girl.  They are amazing.  

Vivian 1904

 

Darling Vivian

 

Vivian 1905

 

Grace celebrated her daughter by writing in and filling out a preprinted baby book.  As far as I know, this is the only one that she created for her 6 children.  The original of this book is in the possession of my cousin Grace’s great-granddaughter.  A photocopy was taken of the book and a transcription was also done to preserve the information contained.  I will share more from the baby book in the next post.  It is a brief view into family life for my grandparents.


Grace Barclay McDonald

May 29, 2010
Keith’s mother Grace was busy raising a family while her husband Ronald (R.S.) was involved with the lumber business and politics in the town of International Falls. 

Grace about 1896

 

This photo is of Grace as a young girl and it is this young girl that my grandfather Ronald fell in love with and met somewhere in Minnesota.  Maybe it was when he visited her father in Pine River to talk about lumber? Maybe it was on the train to St. Paul/Minneapolis where she attended school?  Miriam her daughter didn’t seem to know the story of how they met or even the date of the marriage as was reflected in her notes that she sent me.  

Ronald and Grace were married in September of 1898 and eventually settled in International Falls with their family.  I wrote about the marriage in my post dated February 20, 2010.  

Grace Barclay

 

Keith’s cousin Mary McDonald Louiseau told me when I visited her in 2000, that Grace liked to read so the library at their home was filled with books.  There is no date on this oval photo of Grace.  

Grace in the Snow

 

Here Grace is sweeping the snow?  Not sure why, but I enjoy the look which reminds me of her daughter Eddie.  I like the contrast in the pictures of my father’s mother and my grandmother.  I have very little information about her.  I think these photos start to show a little of her personality.  In this snow photo she is in a rather shabby dress.  For some reason I think she was pregnant at this time? I do not know the year this snow photo was taken. 

Grace and her children Jan 1911

 

In this picture Grace looks lovely and happy.  Written on the photo is the year 1911.  Left to right:  in the back row is Vivian,  Gordon, and Grace.  In the front row is Miriam, Eddie, Jean and then baby Keith, main star of this blog.  Grace is holding Keith, my dad, close.  If you look closely you can see that Miriam and Eddie’s hair is cut like a boy’s hair cut.  I am wondering if there was a lice problem? 

I have had the good fortune to know all of these siblings of my father Keith.  They were very much a part of my life.  The only one I never knew was Grace for she died very young as you will see.  

I have another blog that I am writing that covers Grace Barclay McDonald’s parents and ancestors.  It is called the “Barclays of Pine River, The Lives of George and Amarilla Barclay.”  You will find it at: http://barclayspineriver.wordpress.com/  Grace’s ancestry goes back to the Mayflower through Grace’s grandparents Elizabeth Keller Spracklin and Daniel Dair/Dare Spracklin.  I will eventually talk more about Grace’s earlier years in that blog up till she meets Ronald (R.S.).


Time Capsule Opened 2006!

May 21, 2010

The website for the Koochiching County History had Board Minutes dated July 11, 2006 where they opened a time capsule in 2006 revealing many articles of the history of the area and photographs.  It is very exciting to see that R.S. McDonald is listed as one of the photographs among many.  See the links to the right for a link to the History of Koochiching History.

I do not know what photograph was used but here is one that was given to me by my cousin a descendant of Ronald and Grace. It was contained in an oval silver frame.

Ronald Sandfield McDonald

This photo was probably taken some time around early 1900’s.  Keith’s father, R.S. was very handsome, dressed impeccably all his life and had a wonderful mustache till he shaved it off in the early 20’s.


Commissioner R. S. McDonald

May 15, 2010

Int'l Falls & Ft Francis

 

Keith’s father was commissioner for the city of International Falls. Miriam said in her notes about her brother Gordon, Keith’s older brother, “we have pictures of him campaigning for his father.” Unfortunately, I have never seen those photographs.  

“To end the isolation, reduce costs and provide better public service, residents of northern Itasca were now demanding a county of their own with easier access to the county seat. Following an aggressive campaign for voter support, leaders of the movement then petitioned for an election. The proposal for county division went on the ballot in the general election of Tuesday, Nov. 6, 1906, and carried by a resounding majority of 800. The votes were then canvassed in St. Paul and on Dec. 19 Gov. John A. Johnson issued the proclamation which created Koochiching with International Falls as the county seat.
 

While elated by the news, backers of the division movement postponed a public celebration because opponents were contesting the election. Finally the dispute was settled in court — in favor of the new county group — and a victory celebration took place March 6, 1907, in the Falls village hall. The village hall, built in 1904, served as county headquarters until the court-house was completed two years later. The initial county board appointed by Gov. Johnson consisted of R.S. McDonald, Hugh Mclntosh, Nels L. Olson, Fred Smith and Charles M. Bowman. Bowman, a resident of Big Falls, failed to qualify for office and didn’t serve.”  

from New County is Born, History of Koochiching County website, April 10, 2010.  See link to the History of Koochiching County on the right. 

There is an interesting explanation of events regarding the  appointment of Annie Shelland as Superintendent of Schools.   

“Annie Shelland..knew that she could walk to all schools in the 3,200 square-mile county.  Her appointment was opposed by only one commissioner, R.S. McDonald, who felt that no woman was capable of making the rounds to the schools. (pg. 128).” 

“Annie Shelland was opposed by R.S. McDonald of the county commission, because he did not believe that a woman would be capable of walking the distances under the conditions required of a county superintendent (of schools.) pg. 30.  Annie was appointed in January of 1907. “ 

These excerpts are taken from the book:  

Koochiching, Pioneering Along the Rainy River Frontier, by Hiram M. Drache, Interstate Printers & Publishers, Inc., 1983. 

Annie went on to prove R.S. wrong and had an exemplary career as Superintendent and contributed greatly to education in Minnesota.  She died in 1964 at the age of 85 years old.  I think she was hardy enough! 

The photo above is from the National Park Service proposal website for a Voyageurs National Park site.  There are many great photos of the area.  

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/voya/proposed/area.htm


Ronald S. McDonald – A Dam is Built!

May 10, 2010

Telegram!

 

Keith’s father Ronald received a telegram on January 24, 1905  from a C.J. Rockwood that indicated that the construction of the dam across the Rainy River could commence.  The telegram was presented in the Koochiching Press on the front page!   

Although I was unable to find information showing that R.S. was involved with plating the town of International Falls at the courthouse, I did find this comment in a manuscript titled:

 “Interesting Village History: Historical Review of This Issue Covers Matters of Importance from the time of original entry of the land.”  Copied from the International Falls Echo, January 5, 1906 and prepared by a Judge Berg for the Holler PTA in 1934.  

This manuscript was found at the Koochiching County Historical Society and it makes the following statement: 

 “During July 1904, R.S. McDonald arrived from Grand Rapids and commenced the work of clearing 240 acres of land that now constitutes the townsite.  Employment was given to many men in the work of clearing and stumping and grading streets.  The sale of business lots had been opened a month before and for a time it seemed that early power development was to make good the shortage financially caused by the slump in the business.  But suddenly came the news that the power promoters and the Canadian government had locked horns, and that everything was to be held up pending the results of the negotiations.  A telegram in January, 1905, to Mr. McDonald brought the glad news that the contract for the construction of the dam had been let to Maguire and Penninman….” 

The book: Koochiching, Pioneering Along the Rainy River Frontier, by Hiram M. Drache, Interstate Printers & Publishers, Inc., 1983 on page 93 makes this statement about R.S. 

 “Albert Enzman came to the area by virtue of being hired at the Duluth employment office in the fall of 1904.  He and about 25 others were brought to International Falls by R.S. McDonald, superintendent of the International Lumber Company. (pg. 93)” 

Google Books currently has a copy online of:  Hearings Before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the House of Representatives on H.R. 15444 – Extending the time for constructing a dam across the Rainy River.  

This book covers the testimony of the parties involved and goes on for many pages.  Ronald does not appear  in the pages but it does give background information on the events surrounding the building of the dam across the Rainy River which involved both the U.S. and Canadian governments and many business interests.  

Once again the Era of Backus article at the History of Koochiching County Website has great photographs of the building of the dam before and after, and the lumber companies at that time.  Here is the direct link to this article:  

http://www.co.koochiching.mn.us/history/Hist02.htm 

This information is also found in the book:  History of Koochiching County, published by the Koochiching County Historical Society in 1983, pages 11 to 13. You can find a copy in the Reading Room of the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers

%d bloggers like this: