Keith was growing up!

April 16, 2015

Keith’s first years where in International Falls, Minnesota one of the coldest cities in the United States.  Here he is in a buggy with furs to keep him warm.

Keith in a Buggy as a baby

Keith in a Buggy as a baby

I know that my Dad was well-loved, and it looks like his sisters would take care of him on occasion including him in their play. He was very close to them over the years and stayed in touch.  In later years he would honor them by naming the boat he built by adding their make-believe friend Mrs. Scubalub to the boat’s very long name.  I will share the boat’s name in a future post. I think it is funny to see the sisters in the various photos holding Keith.  I like to think they had to restrain him from being curious about the camera.  A hobby he took on in his later life.

Keith with his sisters

Keith with his sisters Jean and Eddie

Keith is in the living room of the house in International Falls in the photo below.

Keith at the Window probably at the house on Riverside drive in International Falls

Keith at the Window probably at the house on Riverside drive in International Falls

The photo below was taken about 1915 and Keith is with his siblings.  The writing on the back reads that he was the one responsible for poking his eyes out. You have to click on the photo to make it bigger to see that his eyes are a bit odd. Keith is on the left, next is Jean, Eddie, Miriam, Gordon and Vivian.

McDonald children in 1915

McDonald children in 1915

If we compare Keith in the photo above which is dated 1915, we might be able to figure out how old he was in this next photo.  He looks very much the same but maybe a little younger.  The outfit is similar.

Keith in the Oval. I think he was about eight?

Keith in the Oval. I think he was about five or six?

There is writing on the back of the photo above but it is very difficult to figure out….It reads something about his birthday and school. It had been put in a frame and cut up and they used glue.  I was only able to get this much revealed.  I just know there is good stuff in the writing?

This is what was on the back of the Oval photograph of Keith

This is what was on the back of the Oval photograph of Keith

Here Keith is with his Uncle Alexander McDonald a fireman in International Falls.  See the post Alexander Thomas McDonald, Fireman, dated August 7, 2010.

Keith and Alex before 1915

Keith and Alex before 1915 – Keith is on the left on Alex’s lap, the others are unknown

The next picture was shared at the very beginning of this blog.  This is the one in which Miriam, Jean and Keith are dressed in Scottish outfits.  I believe these were taken in International Falls probably for some celebration, but who dressed them up is not known. Grace died in 1911 and Keith was born in 1910 eighteen months before her death, so it had to be Nellie or some other family member that was involved because of Keith’s age. If you look closely the costumes look like they are all of a different plaid? It is too bad they aren’t in color. Sigh!

McDonald Children in Scottish dress.

McDonald Children in Scottish dress.

  Keith, Miriam and Jean in Scottish dress

The time line for Keith’s earlier life is not clear, most is my guessing based on the photos that I have.  Once Ronald their father, left International Falls it gets really difficult to know exactly how long they were in Grand Prairie, Alberta and what really happened from 1915 to 1920 when they appear in Cheney, Washington.


Keith Barclay John MacDonald, father, grandfather and his love of Airplanes….

April 9, 2015

This blog was named for Keith, my dad, and his love of airplanes.  The gray background surrounding the posts is a reminder of him.  He would wear steel-gray cotton trousers with cuffs and dance around the living room to the records he played on our stereo. Sometimes he would grab me and twirl me around.

The time has come to share about Keith’s life.  Keith, my dad, was born in International Falls, Minnesota in 1910. Being younger than his siblings he went to high school at Gonzaga in Spokane.  He spent his school years from 1925 to 1929 at Gonzaga participating in several different sports and taking the mechanics course.  After graduation Keith would enlist at various times in the National Guard, the Army, and Air Corp. All this happening during the 1930’s and during the Great Depression.  While in the military he would learn about airplane mechanics. Keith would eventually become employed as a U.S. Air Force Inspector at Boeing.  He was also an inventor and a little bit of a political activist in his later years.  He would eventually make Seattle his home met his further bride, marry and raise a family.

Here is a review of the posts I have written on this blog about Keith’s early years.

Keith’s Parents: Ronald and Grace’s Marriage!,” dated February 20, 2010

Ronald and Grace McDonald

Ronald and Grace McDonald, Keith’s parents

Ronald and Grace’s Children,” dated February 27, 2010

McDonald Children circa late 1910

McDonald Children circa late 1910

A Baptism in International Falls,” dated March 13, 2010.

Keith's baptism

Keith’s baptism

Riverside Drive, International Falls,” dated March 30, 2010

Keith and brother Gordy about 1911

Keith and brother Gordy about 1911

Ronald and Grace: Family Life!” dated April 11, 2010

Ronald and Grace's children: Vivian, Gordy, Miriam holding Keith, Eddie scowling and Jean

Ronald and Grace’s children: Vivian, Gordy, Miriam holding Keith, Eddie scowling and Jean – Keith is the little boy in the middle.

Keith was born on the 13th of March, 1910 to Ronald S. McDonald and Grace Amarilla Barclay.  He was the sixth child of this couple and second son.  His siblings were: Leola Vivian (1902), Ronald Gordon (Gordy – 1904), Miriam Audrey (1906), Edna Lorraine (Eddie – 1907), Laurie Jean (1908) and Keith (1910).  There were two babies that did not survive. One was born before Vivian and is buried in the family plot in Brainerd.  The other baby girl was born after Keith and named Grace Elizabeth. She is buried with her mother in International Falls.

The 1910 U.S. Federal census is the only census where all of the family of Ronald and Grace McDonald is listed. Keith is 1/12 of age.  He barely made it into this census.

Line 21, 59/70, McDonald, Ronald S., head, male, white, 46, married, 12 yrs., born Canada, parents both born in Canada, working, can read and write, owns house. McDonald, Grace, wife, female, white, 28, married 12 yrs, 7 children born, 6 living, born in Minnesota, father born in Connecticut, mother born in Iowa, speaks English, no occupation, reads, writes and speaks English. McDonald, Vivian, daughter, female, white, 8 yrs., born in Minnesota, no occupation, speaks, writes and reads. McDonald, Gordon, son, male, white, 6 yrs., born in Minnesota, no occupation, speaks, writes and reads. McDonald, Marian, daughter, female, white, age 4, born in Minnesota, no occupation. McDonald, Edna, daughter, female, white, age 3, born in Minnesota. McDonald, Laura, daughter, female, white, age 2, born in Minnesota, no occupation. McDonald, Keith, son, male, white, 1/12 age.

Source: 1910 U.S. Census, International Falls, Koochiching Co., Minnesota, April 15/16, 1910, FHL#1374720 ED 92, SD 8, Sht#4A, pg. 7499.

I have written about Ronald and Grace McDonald in past posts on this blog. Ronald was born in 1866 in Chichester, Quebec to Archibald and Mary McDonell.  I have shared a great deal about Archie and Mary McDonell, Keith’s grandparents, on this blog in search of their story and their ancestors.

Unfortunately Keith’s mother Grace died of pneumonia after giving birth to Grace Elizabeth, about 18 months after he was born.  I doubt he knew his mother.  This tragedy even affected me for it changed the family.  I shared about the loss of Grace in the following post.

An Unexpected Tragedy!,” dated July 18, 2010

About five years later, Ronald left International Falls and took the children to Grand Prairie, Alberta where he had a store. Keith, was only about 5 years old when they left Minnesota. How much my Dad remembered of his birth town, I do not know.

R.S. McDonald Leaves International Falls!” dated October 5, 2010

The Store in Grand Prairie

The Store in Grand Prairie

Ronald’s story Continues! Revisiting Grand Prairie, Alberta and mention of Albany, Oregon,” dated January 3, 2013.

Keith and his sisters in Grand Prairie July 4, 1916

Keith and his sisters in Grand Prairie July 4, 1916

I don’t think that going to Grand Prairie was a happy memory in my Dad’s life. As you can see from the photo they all look unhappy. After Ronald lost the store to his partner’s gambling he must have headed to Albany, Oregon. Various comments Eddie writes in her Collection of Junk indicate that they were in Oregon for at least a year.

By 1920 Keith and his family were living in Cheney, Washington and it is this part of the history of the family that is closer to me through their stories and comments.  Aunt Nellie was with the family and was now helping Ronald in taking care of the children.  It is not clear exactly when Ronald’s sister joined him, but she is there as of 1920.

R.S. McDonald Family Settles in Cheney, WA -1920,” dated February 14, 2013.

R.S. McDonald Family circa 1922

R.S. McDonald Family circa 1922:  R.S., Jean, Gordon, Eddie, Miriam, Vivian, Nellie and Keith

Keith is the boy in the very front – right in the middle of the picture.


Jean’s Birthday Celebration 1924

December 5, 2013

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

July 4, 1924 Jean's birthday party

July 4, 1924 Jean’s birthday party

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

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

Vivian, Miriam, Aunt Nellie, & Jean 1927

Vivian, Miriam, Aunt Nellie, & Jean 1927


Eddie’s Collection of Junk: The 3 Sister Reporters & Editors!

November 12, 2013
Eddie is featured in the Cheney High School Year Book

Eddie is featured in the Cheney High School Year Book – click to open – back button to return

According to the Cheney High School yearbook (circa 1925) the Cheney News was founded in 1923 and Eddie is the Editor?  In the picture above Eddie is smack in the middle.  Now I know why she kept the 15 issues of this paper.  This newspaper meant a great deal to my Aunt’s Miriam, Jean and Eddie.

“The High School News”  In the long forgotten year of 1923, before the edition of an annual was every dreamed of, the High School News was originated, under the auspices of the Senior Class.  Finances were provided for by general subscription and by advertisements. A faculty adviser and staff were selected by the student body, and the first edition was published in January.  The News was reorganized the following September.  In the fall of 1924 a temporary editor and a business manager were appointed to edit the paper until a permanent staff could be elected. Under this arrangement the first two editions were issued.  The regular staff was elected in November and edited the December issue.  It was as follows:  Editor, Edna McDonald; assistant editor Helen Hochtritt; business manager, John Burke; assistant business manager, Virgil McGee; faculty adviser, Miss Anne Norwood; reports, Majorie Arrasmith, Verne Bacharach, Clarence Dykes, Juanita Eads, Noel Guertin, Lottie Mason, Gertrude Michel, and Elanor Williams.  —Edna McDonald. 

Well, I then went back through all the issues I had of this newspaper and sure enough she was Editor for the January 13, 1925 issue Vol. III, No. 8.  Now Jean was also editor for the November 18, 1924 issue and Miriam was an Associate Editor at one time before Jean.  They were all reporters or on special assignment.  HA!

It is always wonderful to be surprised.  I have scanned the issues of the Cheney High School Newspaper from 1923 to 1925 and created a page.  Go to the top of this blog and you will find it.  Enjoy.

Jean as Editor of CHS News

Jean as Editor of CHS News

Here Eddie is featured:

Eddie is an Editor of the CHS News.

Eddie is an Editor of the CHS News.

Apparently Eddie held Miss Norwood, the advisor to the newspaper, in esteem for she had a picture of her in her Collection of Junk.

Miss Anne Norwood, Adviser for the CHS News

Miss Anne Norwood, Adviser for the CHS News


Eddie’s “Collection of Junk” – Sister Jean, the Editor!

November 7, 2013

My research on Eddie and Jean revealed that Jean had jumped ahead a year in her schooling.  I believe this happened before High School because Jean seems to appear in tandem with Eddie in the memorabilia and documents that I have found and studied for Cheney High School.

Jean and Miriam were part of the staff for the Cheney High School newspaper.

Jean and Miriam editors of the Cheney High School Newspaper.

Jean and Miriam editors of the Cheney High School Newspaper.

Here is a copy of two of the pages of the Cheney High School newspaper, mentioned above, for February 13, 1923, Vol. I, No. I Cheney, WA.  Looks like it was their first issue.

Feb 13, 1923 Cheney High School Newspaper

Feb 13, 1923 Cheney High School Newspaper

Cheney High School News, Feb. 13, 1923.

Cheney High School News, Feb. 13, 1923.

On the second page up in the top left corner you will see the names of the staff.  It Reads:

Published by the Associated Students of the Cheney HIgh School, Cheney, Washington.  Editor:  Bob Schick; Associate Editors:  Miriam McDonald and Alberta Victor;  Senior Reporters, Mary Bruihl and John Rutherford; Junior Reporters, Clarence Rayburn and Harry Rothrock; Sophomore Reporters, Eleanor Shaw and Jean McDonald; Junior High Reporters, Robert Macartney and Ruth Kulp, Margaret McCroskey, Business Manager, Eunice Montgomery, Faculty Adviser Miss Nellie C. Catton.

Look who is also listed, Miriam.

Seems to me I have seen some of these names on Miriam’s graduation from high school memorabilia in the last post.  I have approximately 16 issues of this high school newspaper that I found among their possessions.  I am thinking at some point I need to scan them and give them to the Cheney Historical Society.

Eddie kept in her “Collection of Junk” an article in the newspaper in which Jean was mentioned as Editor.  I do not know what newspaper or the date of this article.  I tried to find it in the newspaper collection of the Eastern Washington University but ran out of time.  It would guess it was about 1926.  This article means that Jean continued to pursue her interest in journalism when she started attending the Normal School.

Jean as Editor in Normal School.

Jean as Editor in Normal School.

“Jean M’Donald Journal Editor, Chosen by Cheney Normal Students — Chewelah Man Heads Association.”

State Normal School, Cheney, Sept. 25 — the election of officers for the students’ association for this quarter resulted as follows; President, Robert Reed, Chewelah; vice president, George Walker, Rockford; secretary, Lila Conner, Whitefish, Mont.; chairman of the finance committee, Lloyd Howton, Kahlotus; chairman of social committee, Clara Moats, Orting; editor of state normal journal, Jean McDonald, Spokane; business manager of journal, Leroy Fulton, Dixie; chairman of program committee, Emma Morris, Pomeroy…”


Cheney Normal School and Miriam 1923 to 1925!

October 24, 2013

Miriam headed for the Cheney Normal School right after she graduated from High school.  This photograph below was among Miriam’s possessions.  When I visited Cheney in 2002, I saw that the pillars were still standing.   By 2003 it was now called Eastern Washington University and it was very different from what this photograph suggests.  It was all grown up as an institution.

The Entrance to the Cheney Normal School

The Entrance to the Cheney Normal School

For some reason, I think this photograph that follows was taken at the Normal School. Miriam does not look happy.  It is one of my favorites of her for she didn’t like having her photograph taken.

Miriam surprised

Miriam surprised

Below are some Normal School yearbook page and we find Miriam is active in the Avon Club and so is Eddie.  I do not see Eddie in the picture but I believe the person on the end in the front row is Miriam looking very serious.  Both are listed in the 3rd column next to each other. This leads me to believe that Eddie attended the Normal School for a short while before she headed to Spokane to enter nursing school.

Miriam and Eddie are members of the Avon club

Miriam and Eddie are members of the Avon club – click to open

Much to my surprise Miriam was also a member of the French Club or rather Les Membres Du Cercle Francais.  Miriam is listed in the center column about half way down. I cannot be sure but I think she is the one in the front row in the center, with a hat and a white-collar. The second page you will find Miriam’s name at the bottom as a Rapporteurs.  I don’t ever remember her speaking French.

Miriam and French Club at Cheney Normal School

Miriam and French Club at Cheney Normal School

More French club for Miriam

More French club for Miriam

Someone wrote in more information about Miriam on the page where the names of the graduates are listed.  It reads “McDonald, Miriam, Cheney High School.”  The additional information reads:  “Honor Roll, Press Club – Vice President, Avon Club, French Club and Journal staff.”  Under the French club is some writing I cannot make out.  It looks French.  I am so grateful to the person who added the information about Miriam.

Miriam Graduates from Cheney Normal School 1925

Miriam Graduates from Cheney Normal School 1925

Miriam probably attended the Commencement exercise in May of 1925 for the Normal School for a copy of the program was among her possessions.

Commencement 1925 Cheney Normal School

Commencement 1925 Cheney Normal School

Image777

In the scrapbook page above, Miriam is listed under the 3 year diplomas.  They also had four-year diplomas.  There is another page that lists two-year diploma students but it is huge so I am not going to feature it here.

Miriam must have been on a speed course, attending in the summer to be done by August 13, 1925 having graduated in 1923 from high school.  She may have been small of stature 5 ft. 2 inches but that didn’t slow her done. She was ambitious.

I have mentioned that she was teaching in Noxon, Sanders, Montana from July 1925 to June 1926. If you study the dates you see that she was definitely on the move.  She followed that up with teaching in Ritzville, Adams County, Washington for 8 months from July 1, 1926 to June 1927.  She then headed to Heppner, Morrow Co., Oregon from July 1929 to June 1935 doing 9 months each year.  She then returned to the Normal School and obtained an advanced degree.  I will share that in a future post.

My Aunt Miriam is the person responsible for all my genealogical madness.  She sent me 6 pages of family notes and later I found 3 more.  I have honored her in a post at the beginning of this blog. Thanks again Miriam.

Note:  Under the Freedom of Information Act, I obtained Miriam, Vivian and Jean’s school retirement files, so that is why I know where they were teaching over the years.  I tried for Gordon but they didn’t have anything for him, so his teaching in Big Timber, Montana is probably lost or with those school records in Montana.


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.


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