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.


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 (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


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