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Posts Tagged ‘Kalamazoo paper mills’

I’ve published so many posts about the Paak* family that I thought I would share with you a photograph of Professor Lawrence, the man who provided me so many photos and much information on the family, and two of his siblings (children of Theresa Pake Lawrence).

 

In the turquoise dress is Una Orline Lawrence Shultz, in the middle is Professor Edgar “Ed” Lawrence himself, and on the right is brother Richard “Dick” Lawrence. These are the three children of Theresa Pake Lawrence.

When she married Roy Lawrence, he had three children, Duane, Caryl, and Audrey, so Professor Lawrence and his siblings had three half-siblings.

Here is a photo of Professor Lawrence with his half-sister, Caryl Ruth Lawrence. Caryl retired from the U.S. Army as a Major. Professor Lawrence is also a veteran of the army.

The siblings had a younger brother Robert J. Borger (foster brother who was a Lawrence in every way but legally) who died at age 42 in a motorcycle/pickup accident in 1977 in Schoolcraft, Michigan.

Now let’s back up a generation. Remember that Theresa and her siblings lived with their father George/Joseph after the death of their mother. Then their house burned down. After that, Theresa went to live with the Pickards as their foster child. Theresa is in the front on the left. Sister Jane is in the back on the right. She was called Jennie as a child.

To show the link between Theresa’s generation and that of her children, I am sharing a photo of Professor Lawrence’s sister Una, the niece of Jane, with her Aunt Jane at the nursing home on the occasion of Jane’s 100th birthday. Jane had no children, and I like to see her sibling’s children were watching over her.

Jane ultimately lived to be almost 108 years old. She passed away in 1998. Think of all the changes in the world that she experienced!

Professor Lawrence gave me an invite to his family tree, so I am going to go through and make sure we both have the same information. Anybody know if there is a comparison tool on Ancestry? Or some way to more easily compare two trees?

I admit that I bounce around from one branch to another, but if I stuck with one branch I would never move forward on anything else because each branch has so many individuals and stories and details.

 

* I’ve changed his surname spelling to the one that my great-great-grandmother used because I see that he did also use that spelling in addition to other spellings.

Here are the other Pake/Paake /Paak //Peek posts:

A Series of Disasters

The Children After the Fire, 1902

Paak-a-boo

Saved from the Fire

Who is George Paak, Sr.?

Curious about George

George Paak’s Legacy, Part I

George Paak’s Legacy, Part II: Theresa’s Pre-Professional Education

George Paak’s Legacy, Part III: Theresa’s Professional Education

George Paak’s Legacy, Part IV: A Letter to His Daughter

George Paak’s Legacy, Part V: Theresa Gets Married

George Paak’s Legacy, Part VI: Who Were the Pickards

George Paak’s Legacy, Part VII: Imagining the Man and His Home

 

 

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When Joost “George” Paak*  lost his wife in 1900 and then his mortgaged home in 1902, he must have been distraught and wondered how he would take care of five children. He was a laborer who was not even working at the time of the fire.

I know that he lost a mortgaged home because of the newspaper article (see post links below for the rest of the story) and because the 1900 census shows that he owned a mortgaged home. At that time, he worked as a farm laborer, but had been unemployed 3 months the previous year. I am guessing that this was a hard physical job and if he was sick he wouldn’t be able to work. I also think he had been unemployed for 3 months the previous year because of the winter. So he didn’t have a very stable job. He had immigrated to the United States at age 18 with his family. He was the oldest–he had 4 younger sisters. There was also a young brother who either died in the Netherlands or came here and would probably be known as William. Still checking into this.

In 1908, six years after the fire, George married Addie Amelia Gifford Wilder. This shows up on the 1910 census. At this time, George was listed as Joseph G. Peake (Joost could easily be Joseph or George, I guess), and he now had a stable job as a paper maker at the paper mill. He again owned a mortgaged home and guess where? At 1016 Trimble Avenue, the scene of the fire. So the house was rebuilt. And you know what? It still stands.

The 1920 census shows George still married to Addie. He owned his home free and clear. He was still a laborer for the paper company, earning wages, not salary. And he was 69 years old. Notice no retirement for George at that time!

Paper mills were big business in Kalamazoo, by the way. The city was known as The Paper City. There is a great article published online by the Kalamazoo Public Library. Click the photo of the paper vats to go to the article.

PaperVats_400

All three censuses show George immigrating to the United States in 1868, although in one of them it looks like 1860. He was naturalized as a citizen in 1891.

What the census does not show is that George married Esther M. Fields in 1906, gaining a 4-year-old stepdaughter, Florence Wilder! But a year and a half after the wedding, Esther died! (Professor Lawrence heard that George might have been married as many as five times, but I do not have the documentation yet on the other two marriages–or the timeline).

In the 1910 census, George’s household includes Addie, Fannie, and George. These are the two youngest Paak children. And the household also includes Esther’s 7-year-old daughter Florence A. Wilder! So George kept her in the household, which must mean she had no other family to take her in. But his own children, Theresa (Tracy) who was 17, Jane who was 20, and Cora who was 22 were not living at home. Theresa, as we know, was living with the Pickards as their perhaps unofficial foster daughter and being sent to boarding school.

Why did Theresa not live at home with her father and stepmother while a stepdaughter of George continued to live there? Maybe after the upheaval in the household after her mother’s death, the fire, and then the death of her first stepmother it was determined it would be better for her to stay with the Pickards permanently?

Professor Lawrence did tell me that he had heard that the children were farmed out to people, especially relatives, after their mother died. But at the time of the fire two years later it seemed that they were living at home with their father. I do wonder if my own great-great-grandmother helped out when her sister-in-law died or after the fire. The clipping about the fire was saved in the family documents, so she (she died 6 years after the fire) or her daughter must have kept it.

Why did Jane who never did marry and lived to be 107 years old (there might be a connection there haha) not live at home? Maybe she had a job and was providing for herself already. Jane lived in a nursing home near the end. In the photo there is a sign for her 100th birthday. I do have a photo of her at her 107th with cake, but she is in bed and obviously not well, so I don’t want to share that one.

Where was Cora? Was she married yet? Her first child might have been born in 1915, although I have not done much research on Theresa’s siblings as of yet. If she wasn’t yet married, I wonder if she and Jane were living together. That would be something to search.

This photo was probably taken in 1925 when George was 76 years old and a happy grandfather. The woman is Cora, his oldest daughter with her son John Rankin. John was not her first child, but the first by her second husband, John Rankin, Sr.

 

Here is another photo of George with two children. As always, I appreciate any comments about date identification or other important information.

* I’ve changed his surname spelling to the one that my great-great-grandmother used because I see that he did also use that spelling in addition to other spellings.

Here are the other Pake/Paake /Paak //Peek posts:

A Series of Disasters

The Children After the Fire, 1902

Paak-a-boo

Saved from the Fire

Who is George Paak, Sr.?

Curious about George

George Paak’s Legacy, Part I

George Paak’s Legacy, Part II: Theresa’s Pre-Professional Education

George Paak’s Legacy, Part III: Theresa’s Professional Education

George Paak’s Legacy, Part IV: A Letter to His Daughter

George Paak’s Legacy, Part V: Theresa Gets Married

George Paak’s Legacy, Part VI: Who Were the Pickards

 

 

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