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 McKanna’s Family!

June 20, 2013

There is definitely connection between the Angus McDonald family, the McKanna family and the Penglase family.

The story is that Vivian met Hilary at Uncle Angus McDonald’s home in West Seattle. Angus’s daughter Helena Mary McDonald married a Claude Penglase and had George Robert Penglase.  I have shared the information on the Penglase family when I posted about Angus McDonald’s family on this blog before. Angus is Keith’s uncle and Ronald’s brother.

Hilary’s parents were Michael Bernard McKanna and Katherine Rooney.

There is a blog that shares information on the McKanna family:

A Convergence of Families:  Willis and Hermsen, McKanna and Rooney, Steltjes and Fleming, Caldwell and Lynch at the following link

http://willisgene.wordpress.com/the-mckanna-family-pioneers-of-the-northwest/

There is more at this blog so take your time to explore.  I am not an expert on the McKanna’s but I do believe the writer is one.

The Convergence blog tells the story of the McKanna’s.  The spelling of the name was apparently McCanna in the beginning.

The blog also has a picture of the tombstone of Michael Bernard McKanna.

Robert “Mickey” McKanna, Michael and Katherine’s grandson, told me the story of how he and his kids hiked up to see the gravesite at Miner’s Cemetery, on top of the Chilkoot Pass, near Lake Bennett in British Columbia. This was no small feet to get to the cemetery.  I was visiting Mickey at his cabin in 2002.

“Michael came over from Ireland and settled in Stearns Co., Minnesota.  There were locust infestations for 4-5 years in a row and that is when they then moved onto Fargo, ND where they had a child.  In Miles City, MT they had Emmett and Phillip (Mickey’s dad).  They moved on to Douglas, Alaska where they had Hilary who was apparently the youngest of the clan.  Michael McKanna, the grandfather, was starting back to the US and became sick at Lake Bennett south of Fairbanks. 

Years ago Mickey took two of his sons on a hike to find this grave’s location.  A forest service person marked the trail for Mickey so they could find the cemetery.  It had 13 graves of which one was his grandfather Michael.  Michael died at 49/50 years old.  Mickey thinks that his aunt made it to the grave because of the style of the inscription.”  Spoken by Mickey McKanna grandson. 

Source:  Journal of Trip to Yakima and Spokane, July 2002, by B. J. MacDonald. There are Spracklins who live in the Miles City, Montana area.  The Spracklins are one of Keith’s older families through his grandmother Amarilla Spracklin Barclay.

Based on my notes from Mickey I have the following information about this family.

Please be advised that I only have this information that follows because I was curious. When I knew Mickey I was a munchkin so I didn’t pay any attention to this stuff.   This family of the McKanna’s is only related to my family by marriage.  So I have not taken the time to really dig and get the facts.  I refer you to the Convergence blog I listed above for the real story.

Michael apparently emigrated from Ireland per Mickey’s sharing, but I have no detailed information on him other than his death and there is a picture of the tombstone on the above mentioned blog.  Katherine was born about 1852 maybe in Canada and died about 1939.

NOTE:  Find A Grave has a tombstone for a Katherine A. McKanna buried in the Holy Trinity Cemetery in Goldendale, Klickitat County, WA.  The dates are 1852 to 1939.  Of course I would have to verify this information.

The children of Michael Bernard McKanna and Katherine A. Roovey

1.  Elizabeth McKanna 1875-1930.  She married a man named Robert Willis, and had a son names James E. Willis 1912 to 1930.  See the Convergence of Families blog.

2.  James McKanna – no further information on this child? Again check out the Convergence blog for more information.

3.  Emmett Joseph McKanna 1879-1958.  Emmett Joseph was born 8 Jun 1879 and died 15 Mar 1958 in Yakima, Yakima Co., Washington.  He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Yakima not too far from the McDonalds that I have been posting about.  I stumbled on this family when I was researching the Calvary Cemetery where Ronald, Nellie, Miriam, Gordon, Vivian and Eddie are buried.

He married Lillian Mary Penglase who was born 28 Feb 1885, and died 6 Dec 1975 in Yakima and is buried next to her husband.  Thanks to the Convergence blog for this piece of information about Lillian’s last name.

Private funeral services will be held Friday at 10 a.m. in St. Paul Cathedral in Yakima for Mrs. Lillian M. McKanna, longtime Yakima resident who died Friday in Seattle.  Mrs. McKanna moved to Seattle upon the death of her husband, Emmett J. McKanna, who was a longtime real estate agent in Yakima.  She moved to Seattle to live with her daughter.  Suvivors include a son, Emmett Jr. of California; two daughters, Mrs. Mary Dietzen of Yakima and Elizabeth McFadden of Seattle; two sisters Frances Barnhill of Los Angles and Rose Moran of San Francisco; 14 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

Source:  Obituary for Mrs. Lillan McKanna (Out of Town), December 11, 1975, Yakima Newspaper (Unknown).  Found at the Calvary Cemetery office in Yakima, WA.

These are note cards copied by the Calvary Cemetery office showing information on the burial location of these burials:

McKanna, Vivian (Leola) Age 82 618 So. 3rd St. Selah, WA 98942
Blk D, Sect 84, E 1/2 Gr 2, Langevin & Mussetter 14 Nov. 1984, 6/18/81 $185.00 Buril $311.31) pd 12/3/84
McKanna, Lillian M. age 90 Blk D, Sec 26, W1/2, Gr 6 Dec 12, 1975 Fisher-Kalfus Funeral Home, Seattle, St. Pals $331.75 pg. 4/27/1976
McKanna, Emmett J., Age 78 Blk D Sect 26, W 1/2, Gr 5, Mar 19, 1958, St. Paul, Fr. McRath. S&S.
McKanna, Lt. John Willis Blk D, Sec 26, W/12, Gr. 7, Aug 14, 1943, Age 28 Shaw & Sons.

Emmett's tombstone in Calvary Cemetery, Yakima

Emmett’s tombstone in Calvary Cemetery, Yakima

JohnWillisMcKanna LillianMaryMcKannaTombstone

John Willis McKanna and Lillian Mary McKanna’s tombstone

They had:

a.  Lt. John Willis McKanna 1915-1943 was born 23 Jun 1915 and died 10 Aug 1943.  He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Yakima next to his parents.

b.  Emmett McKanna Jr.  b. ________ died after 1977 in La Jolla, California.  He married a Marjorie J. Young and she died 2 Nov. 1977 in La Jolla, California.  They had Susan who married a Humiston and Sarah who married Schneider and had John and James.

c.  Mary McKanna married a Dietzen

d.  Elizabeth McKanna married a McFadden

4. Philip McKanna 1896-1941 was born 1896 in Montana and died about 1941 in California?  He married a Kathleen who was born about 1898 in Washington and died in California?

A curious piece of information at Find A Grave has a Phillip F. McKanna born May 17, 1884 d. August 6, 1940 in the same cemetery at the Katherine above – Holy Trinity?

The children of Philip and Kathleen:

a.  Alice McKanna born about 1928

b.  William McKanna born about 1926 and died about 1970 and may be buried in Arlington Cemetery, VA?  He married Marilyn Jean Pebley and had about three children.  Bill was in the Navy and Air Force?

c.  Robert “Mickey” John McKanna born about 1930 in Alaska.  He married Christine Henschield on 9 Aug. 1958 in Spokane.  She died several years ago.  They had 6 children.   Mickey is the nephew of Hilary McKanna and came to live with Hilary and Vivian.  See below.

d.  Mary Jane McKanna born about 1933 may have married a Teratino.

Apparently Philip McKanna was married a second time to an unknown person and had 3 children a Hugh, Phil and a Francis.  I have very little information about this marriage.  Mickey said it was a prior marriage that gave him 1/2 siblings.

1940 Census – Linden Lane, Line 34, 629, 99, 12, 20.00, McKanna, Philip, Head,  M, W, 55, M, No., 44, 30, Montana, XOXO, No, No, No, No, O, 8, 13, 130, No. McKanna, Kathleen, wife, 1, F, W, 42, M, No, 42, 10, Washington, No, — McKanna, William, son, 2, M, W, 14, S, yes, H1, 9, Washington, McKanna, Alice, daughter, 2, F, W, 12, S, yes, 5, 5, Washington, McKanna, Robert, son, 2, M, W, S, yes, 5, 5, Alaska. McKanna, Mary Anne, daughter, 2, F, W, 7, S, yes, 1, 1, Alaska.

Source:  Philip McKanna Family, 1940 US Census, Long Beach, Los Angeles, California, Block 5, SD#18, ED#59-58, Sht#3A, April3-4, 1950, enumerator Randal W. Brooks.  Ancestry.com.

5. Robert McKanna  – This is Bob and Theo of which I have lots of pictures from Vivian’s photo album, loaned to me by Mickey McKanna.

Bob and Theo 1926

Bob and Theo 1926

6.  Hilary Michael McKanna born 11 Jun 1892, Douglas Island, Alaska and died 18 Oct 1957 in Medical Lake, Spokane Co., Washington.  He is buried in the St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Spokane.  He married my Aunt Leola Vivian McDonald 25 June 1924 in Cheney, Spokane Co., Washington.  I have posted about this marriage in past posts.  Vivian is Keith’s older sister as you will remember.

Note:  Internment has a listing for the St. Joseph Cemetery in Spokane, WA and there are McCannas and McKannas buried there including Hilary.

http://www.interment.net/data/us/wa/spokane/stjoe/st_joseph_mq.htm

Vivian & Hilary 1925

Vivian & Hilary 1925

When Philip, Hilary’s brother died suddenly, Bill the son was invited to come and live with Hilary and Vivian in Greenacres, Spokane, WA where they settled.  Mickey McKanna came to visit his brother and liked it and decided to stay.  Hilary and Vivian didn’t have children of their own so Bill and Mickey became very important to them.

Hilary with his nephews Mickey and Bill McKanna

Hilary with his nephews Bill on the left and Mickey McKanna 1945

Now you know why Keith, the subject of this blog, and his siblings all knew Mickey (Robert John McKanna) and his brother Bill (William).

Ronald S. McDonald, Bill McKanna, Vivian and Hilary 1940's.

Ronald S. McDonald, Bill McKanna, Vivian and Hilary 1940’s.

The photo above shows the connection to the McKanna’s.  Ronald (R.S.) McDonald is the father of Vivian and she is standing between her nephew Bill McKanna and her husband Hilary McKanna.

Again, for more details about the McKanna family and Hilary’s and Bill’s ancestors see the blog: A Convergence of Families:  Willis and Hermsen, McKanna and Rooney, Steltjes and Fleming, Caldwell and Lynch at the following link and take a look around for more information.

http://willisgene.wordpress.com/the-mckanna-family-pioneers-of-the-northwest/


Leola Vivian and Hilary McKanna begin Married Life!

June 6, 2013

The story is that Vivian met Hilary at Uncle Angus McDonald’s home in West Seattle.  Uncle Angus had spent time in Alaska although I have not been able to prove it. Angus McDonald was the older brother of R.S. and I have posted on his family previously in this blog.

The posts covering Angus are: “The Family of Angus McDonald – Eldest Son, The Legend of Uncle Angus McDonald, World War I, My McDonald Cousins Serve, Angus’ Wife Louisa Jane Hanson.” The dates 2/16/2012 to 3/22/2012.

Vivian is standing next to a very young boy in the following photo and the date on the photograph is Seattle, August 1924 which would be after the wedding.   The only boy I am aware of that would be close to the age of this child may be Helena Mary McDonald Penglase’s son George Robert Penglase.  There was definitely a link there with Vivian and Uncle Angus.

Vivian with boy in Seattle?

Vivian with boy in Seattle?

The certificate for Vivian’s wedding survives:

Vivian and Hilary's Marriage Certificate

Vivian and Hilary’s Marriage Certificate

It reads:  Certificate of Marriage #35111, State of Washington, County of Spokane, …on the 25th day of June in the …1924 at Cheney in the county of Spokane and State aforesaid.  I the undersigned Catholic Priest by authority of a license bearing date the 24th day of June A.D. 1924 …did join in lawful wedlock Hilary M. McKanna of the County of Yakima, State of Washington and Leola V. McDonald of the County of Spokane, State of Washington.  Witnesses were Robert J. Willis and Miriam McDonald, signed by the groom and the bride.  Also signed by Rev. John E. Lyons, Residence St. Rose Church, Cheney, Wash. 

I also have another document that has more information on it from which this fancier license was created.  Under Hilary is states that he is 32 years old, single and has not been married before. He was residing in Yakima.  He was born in Douglas, Alaska to Michael Bernard McKanna and Katherine Rooney and both were born in Canada.  Vivian’s side has her full formal name of Leola Vivian McDonald residing in Cheney.  She is 22 years old, single and has not been married before.  She was born in Minnesota to Ronald S. McDonald born in Quebec and Grace Barclay born in Minnesota.  It does state they were married at the St. Rose Church in Cheney, WA.

The Certificate of Marriage was recorded  in Book 32, page 458, Spokane, WA on 27 June 1924 by John Gifford County Clerk and M.F. Harvie Deputy.

The Happy Couple 1924

The Happy Couple 1924

Two years later this picture was taken of Mr. and Mrs. in 1926 in Spokane.  So by that time Hilary and Vivian had made the move to Spokane. Later they would settle in Greenacres (east of Spokane).

Mr. & Mrs. Spokane WA 1926

Mr. & Mrs. Spokane WA 1926


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.


Cheney Years: Ronald McDonald and Taxes!

April 10, 2013

The school census was suggested by the director of the Eastern Branch of the Washington State Archives when I was visiting the area in 2002.  She also suggested the use of the Personal Property Assessment Rolls.

Eastern Washington Campus

Eastern Washington Campus 2002

They were closing for the day so we had to leave quickly. She kindly did the research for me and sent her findings to my home.

Source:  Personal Property Assessment Rolls, City of Cheney, Spokane, Co., Washington 1922, R.S. McDonald, Eastern Washington Branch of the Washington State Archives.

1922:
Watches $30
Pianos $200
Musical Instruments $5
Sewing Machines $5
Household furnishings $300
Value of personal or real property $260
Jewelry etc. $20
Tax $130

1923 Line 35, no. 27
Full value of property $460
Real value $300
Assessible property $160
Tax $80

These documents are not real exciting to look at and mostly consist of the names on the right and then columns and numbers in the columns.  They are usually 2 page maybe more long.

Times were tough for my family.  I learned that they struggled and sent home money like most families of that time period.  It was not yet the 1930’s when the Great Depression hit and it got even harder.

At the very least it does place them in Cheney, Washington during the early 1920’s.  Still no address was listed for the house they lived at in Cheney.


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 (Ellen Elizabeth) McDonald thru the Years!

March 14, 2013

Nellie passed in May of 1947 which was 12 months before I was born.  I never knew her.  It is well-known in our family that she took on the task of raising R.S.’s children after Grace’s death in 1911. Grace’s death was described as “things were never the same.”

My dad, Keith, really didn’t talk about her much although she was probably the only mother that he remembered.  Grace Barclay McDonald, his real mother, had died in December of 1911 when he was only 18 months old.  Eddie, his sister mentioned she died right at Christmas.  I really had not realized that because Eddie would celebrate that holiday along with the others.

I felt I knew more about the McD’ side than I did my Mother’s side.  Dad didn’t talk specifics but I did know some family history.  Technically my family was a what his sister, Miriam, would often repeat,  “dour Scotsmen.”

The Caledonian Mercury has a posting on the meaning of the word “dour.”  http://caledonianmercury.com/2012/04/18/useful-scots-word-dour/0032435

Nellie and a mystery cat!

The picture above is one of my favorites of Nellie.  The dress is rather fancy so maybe this was some special day?  The one below has her holding another cat with different markings.  She seemed to prefer wearing dresses even when she worked.  This is the one connection with her that I find, our love of cats.

Nellie with another mystery cat!

Nellie is sort of an enigma to me regarding her personality.  She was held in esteem by her niece, Miriam.  Miriam said that Nellie gave her whole life to her and her siblings after Grace’s death.  She never married, nor had children of her own.

By 1920 she is with R.S. (Ronald)., her brother and his children, in Cheney, Washington.  About 1925 she would follow her brother to Spokane so that Keith, my dad, could go to Gonzaga High School and Eddie could go to nursing school.  The move to Yakima was to take place about 1937 and it would be her final migration.  Nellie and Ronald  where aging by then so they followed Miriam to Yakima were Miriam took up teaching.   Nellie would remain in Yakima for the rest of her life.

Nellie will be mentioned in future posts and pictures, I just felt it was important to focus in on her because she became the “mother” to my dad, Keith.

In studying the photos in my Dad’s collection and his sister Vivian’s, I see a woman, Nellie, who wasn’t afraid of work, who was determined, was probably religious, was friendly to others, loved cats, read the newspaper, joined her family in many picnics and fun things.  Even though they didn’t talk about her much, she is featured in many many photographs by herself and with the family.

Nellie off to Church, maybe?

The photo above is another one of Nellie that I like.  She looks a little impatient but I love the coat and the hat.  She was probably very neat and tidy no matter what she was doing.

It was Nellie who wrote the original family history charts in 1932 followed by Miriam, her niece redoing them.  Here are the post dates and titles that feature Nellie’s charts.  They are what I used to try to find my family in Quebec.  Go to the Archives on the right of this blog and find the dates that fit.

July 21, 2011 – Nellie’s Charts – Her Mother Mary McDonell’s Family.

June 17, 2011 – Nellie’s Charts – Her Father Archive McDonell’s Family

Here she is in a lovely white dress with a hat.

Nellie in Summer

We have seen that she liked cats but here she is seated next to a dog:

Nellie with dog

This next photograph is very puzzling.  I do not know the lady on the left.  Nellie and the lady’s dress is of the same print material, although the style is different.  I am assuming Nellie must have belonged to a club perhaps associated with the church?  There is another photo with Nellie in the same dress, but I do not recognize the people and they are dressed very fancy.  I love the hat with the flowers.  Nellie is on the right reaching over to adjust a tea-pot?

Nellie and a friend dress in similar prints

Nellie is in the same outfit in this photograph and a man I do not recognize is on the right.  It was definitely some special gathering.  The location is probably somewhere near Mt. Rainier.

Nellie in the same outfit not in correct orientation

Corrected photo - flipped it and now the can reads correctly.

Corrected photo – flipped it and now the can reads correctly.

Updated:  March 15, 2013:  A comment was made about the photos and the mountain not being correct and so I examined the printed coffee can words and sure enough I had this photo reversed in the orientation.  My Rainier mountain family expert pointed it out to me and I am glad to get this fixed.  It is very easy to get a photo out of orientation when you do not know the subject matter.  So I do try to look for letters or something in the photo to help.  I missed this one.

The next photo has Nellie holding something in her hand.  If you zoom in you find a cigarette in a holder? She smoked cigarettes?  I do love the clothesline however which is very tidy.  The lady peeking out from behind is unknown to me.  (To enlarge the photo, click on it and then use your back button to return to this blog or close a tab.)

Nellie and a friend

Here brother and sister, R.S. (Ronald) and Nellie, work the wood pile:

Nellie & R.S. Work the Wood Pile

A little over the fence gossip.  I think this photo is wonderful.

A little over the fence gossip – Nellie and the Neighbor


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.


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