Keith and Living in Cheney, Washington 1920 to 1925

April 30, 2015

Ronald brought the family to Cheney, Washington by 1919 or early 1920. The Normal School (Eastern Washington University) was there and it was a good place for the McDonald children to get further education.

Keith’s siblings, Vivian, Gordon, Miriam, Eddie and Jean all attended Cheney High School and later go to the Normal School.

You will find more about their adventures at school under the label of “Eddie’s Collection of Junk.” See the Page at the top of this blog for a summary of this series of posts.   Just place your mouse cursor over the pages and hover at the top of this blog and the drop down menu will be highlighted.

The McDonald family is featured in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census living in Cheney, Spokane Co., Washington.  Ronald is listed as head and this is the first time that we find his sister Nellie with the family.  Just exactly when Nellie joined Ronald is unclear but from 1920 on she would help Ronald take care of his children.

Seventh, 314, 30, 32, McDonald, Ronald, S. Head, R, M, W, 54, Widow, 85, NA 93 or 98, yes, yes, Canada, English, father born in Canada, mother born in Canada, English, yes, Lumberman is crossed out and none is written in. McDonald, Nellie E., Sister, F, W, 49, S 1900 Canada, English, father born in Canada, mother born in Canada, English, none. McDonald Vivian L., daughter, F, W, 17, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota. McDonald Gordon R G, son, M, W, 15, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota. McDonald Miriam A, daughter, F, W, 13, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota. McDonald Edna L, daughter, F, W, 12, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota, McDonald Jean L E, daughter, F, W, 11, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota, McDonald Keith B.J., son, M, W, 9, S, yes, yes, yes, Minnesota.

Source:  1920 U.S. Federal Census, Cheney, Spokane Co., Washington, SD #5, ED# 117, Sht No. 2A (8251) West Cheney Township, Cheney, a city of the third class, enumerated 6 January, 1920 by G. H. Host.

Keith didn’t go to Cheney High School like his other siblings.  His path would be different.

Keith in Overalls

Keith in Overalls

The family story is that Keith would wander the area and neighbors would find him and have to bring him back home.  My Dad, was a very curious person and I seem to have inherited that trait.

Keith in his coat on the stairs

Keith in his coat on the stairs

Keith sitting on the porch

Keith sitting on the porch

My father was looking very handsome in his coat. I do not have a date for the above photos of Keith in his coat and overalls.  If I compare it to his 1922 photo with the family and still can’t place them.

This photo was taken in 1922 as written on the back. It looks like the same suit?

RSMcDonaldFamily1922scr - Copy

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find the house or an address of the house they lived in when they were in Cheney. I tried with the local historical society and was told that a lot of houses have been torn down and replaced.  I tried city directories which did not start happening for Cheney till later, the school census and other documents but no luck finding an address.

Keith received his grammar school diploma in 1925, unfortunately it does not say the name of the school he attended, I am assuming it was in Cheney.

In his papers I found that he indicates he attended grammar school from 1915 to 1925.  He said it was 8 years for grammar school.  This is a ten year period of time so I am now really believing he had to redo a grade or was not in school for some time period.  The family was on the move between 1915 and 1920 so that might have caused some difficulties with the schools.

Grammar School Diploma for Keith

Grammar School Diploma for Keith May 28, 1925

 


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:” 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


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