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Posts Tagged ‘Michigan history’

I’ve written about the Leeuwenhoeks, and in particular, my great grandmother’s brother-in-law, Lambertus Leeuwenhoek. He was called Uncle Lou by my grandfather, so he’s still called Uncle Lou by me today, although I never met him. I did know his wife, Aunt Jen, who survived him by decades.

Uncle Lou and Aunt Jen owned a general store. They had a store in Kalamazoo for a time and one in Vicksburg for a time, as well. In the 1910 and 1920 censuses, he and Aunt Jen are living at 110 Balch Street in Kalamazoo. His Kalamazoo store sold Gold Medal flour.

may-19-1910-leeuwenhoek-ad

 

In the 1930 census, they live at 111 East Prairie Street in Vicksburg. In the 1940 census I find them with Lou’s first name mangled into Laonbatius. They are living with their daughter Alice and her husband, Clarence Moerdyk, at 1014 Gerdan Street in Kalamazoo. Could that be GARDEN Street? Because that would be a real house in Kalamazoo. One still existing, most likely.

I looked for city directory entries, and I found these–all date jumbled:

Leeuwenhock Lambertus (Jennie) household 110 Balch, 1926 City Directory: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Alice M, dressrnkr, boards 110 Balch, Kalamazoo City 1915: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus (Jennie) resides at 1014 Garden, City Directory 1935: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus (Jennie), grocer 110 Balch, residence same, Kalamazoo City 1915: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus (Jennie), grocer 110 Balch, residence same, Kalamazoo City, 1905: See Page
Leeuwenhoek Lambertus, compositor, 306 Wall., Kalamazoo City 1895: See Page

Compositor means that Lou was working on the Dutch newspaper. See here. But he had a grocery store in his house?

And if he lived in Vicksburg in 1930, but lived in Kalamazoo in 1926 and 1935, he couldn’t have lived in and owned a store in Vicksburg for very long. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a source for Vicksburg advertising yet.

I found this photo of Uncle Lou standing out in the front of the store, but I’m not sure which city this is:

Any ideas on the years, judging by the cars? Any idea if that looks like Kalamazoo or Vicksburg in the distance?

Likewise, I’m not sure which city Uncle Lou is in as he walks down the sidewalk? Does that window say “Russell” on it? In the city directories, there are many Russells, including ones owning businesses. There is one on Burdick Street, for instance, in my family’s neck o’ the woods, that is a variety store.

Here he is on a bench:

I wouldn’t be surprised to find this bench outside Richard DeKorn’s (his father-in-law) house on the corner of Burdick and Balch, judging by the design of the light colored stripe through the brick.

Here the photo is again–yes, it’s the same house. It’s hard to see Lou’s face up close. Below he is with his father-in-law, Richard DeKorn.

Uncle Lou with Aunt Jen and their only child, Alice:

Here is a closeup of young Uncle Lou.

And now this is a curiosity. This photo is labelled Lou Leeuwenhoek by the same person who knew that the man walking down the street was Lou, that that was Lou standing out in front of his store, etc. But IS it Lou?

This is not his brother, for sure. While it’s not the same hairstyle as the photos above, the features seem to be the same–except for the eyes which, in the other photos, seem to be deep-set. Is the difference aging (the style of tie is the same) or lighting?  Or is the photo mislabeled?

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You can check out the Bibles Uncle Lou brought with him from the Netherlands here.

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On August 17 I originally published this post and mentioned that I had only been able to verify that, by 1947, Harold Remine had attained at least the title of Assistant Chief Engineer of the Quebec Hydro Electrical Commission. I not been able to find information after that date about his career.  My family believed he was Chief Engineer, but without an international subscription to Ancestry.com, I felt stymied at finding more information.

That is, I felt stymied until I applied some watermarks to some Remine family documents and discovered a little treasure of information. See below Harold’s photograph!

Harold Henry Remine
1897–1975

BIRTH 7 SEPTEMBER 1897 Kalamazoo City, Kalamazoo, Michigan

DEATH DECEMBER 1975 Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1st cousin 3x removed

 

 

Look at this little marvel of verification! Harold’s own business card.

What does that say? CHIEF ENGINEER METROPOLITAN OPERATION DIVISION HYDRO-QUEBEC. Never give up hope because sometimes this stuff just falls into your lap!

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Now if I was willing to be extorted, I would expand my Ancestry account from U.S. to “international” and be able to do more Canadian searches. Alas, it has gotten so expensive!

Anybody else irritated about that price?

 

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A hundred years ago it seems to have been commonplace to have postcards made from personal photos. I found this example of an “occasional postcard,” meaning it was made on the occasion of Harold Remine sitting on the moon.

The two men with Harold must be his brother-in-law Frank Tazelaar on the left and his father Richard Remine on the right (the taller man).

Here is what it says on the back:

The postcard is addressed to Harold’s sister, Therese Remine or Jennie Remine Cohn or Genevieve Remine Tazelaar. He was the youngest of four children, the only boy, and Therese was the youngest girl–six years older than Harold. I think it might have been Therese. Apparently, at this young age, Harold didn’t believe in basic punctuation, such as periods and commas–or know how to spell “rode”–(and you thought only kids today are lazy), although he went on to graduate from the University of Michigan and become (most likely) the Chief Engineer of the Quebec Hydro Electrical Commission.

Well sister how do you like the picture we got this taken on Burdick Street after leaving you at the train papas broke one plate so we had to pose twice before we could get a good one we told ma we had road out to Otsego and back on the moon isn’t that a _____ for you life ___ me. YHE Harold Remine

Can you read that last line? I can’t quite make it out. Also, what does YHE mean? I tried Googling it, but came up empty-handed. I assume the Y means Your or Yours. What do you think?

When he refers to Papa breaking a plate, he means a glass plate or negative of the image.

Do you think Harold is about 14 or 15 here? If so, that would make this photo from about 1911-1912. Genevieve and Frank Tazelaar were married in 1906, so the timing on that is correct, as well. For the record, Jennie married Harry Cohn in 1903. Harold seems big, but he could even be a bit younger, I suppose.

I am now wondering if a photo I posted awhile back could be Genevieve and Jennie as young girls. They were born in 1880 and 1881. I suspect this might be them. If these girls are in the 9-11 year old range, Therese would have not quite been born yet–and Harold wouldn’t have been born for years.

Another question I have about Harold’s sisters is this: was Jennie or Genevieve the one called “Jane”?!

Harold Henry Remine

1897–1975

BIRTH 7 SEPTEMBER 1897 Kalamazoo City, Kalamazoo, Michigan

DEATH DECEMBER 1975 Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1st cousin 3x removed

 

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My grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg, had an album of photos which included those from a parade in 1931. It seems most likely that the parade took place in Kalamazoo, Michigan–probably down Burdick Street. But I need help identifying the buildings to know for sure. Many of the business names that are readable seem pretty “generic.” These names include Montgomery Ward, Ross Carrier, Kroger Stores, and Grand Hotel.

I know the date because of this float, but I don’t understand the significance of the “centennial” aspect of the design.

The Light float is the last photograph in the album. Here are the others in order of placement. If you can find any signs that this is Kalamazoo–or elsewhere–please let me know.

 

It seems odd that there aren’t any clues in these photos that indicate the “local” setting of the parade. There are quite a few ladies of the court. Kalamazoo is home to Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College, but I don’t see any references to the schools, so maybe a check of 1930-31 and a 1931-32 yearbooks would rule out the colleges as participants in the parade.

A clue that I can’t interpret: Benton Harbor Exchange. This does seem to indicate that the parade was in Michigan, but was it in Benton Harbor or St. Joseph or Kalamazoo? And what exactly was the Benton Harbor Exchange?

Another possible clue: see that tall building in the background of the “downtown” photos? If that building can be identified it might help to lock in the city.

Just before the parade photos is one photo of Grandpa with Grandma when they were boyfriend and girlfriend–before they got married in 1932. Sorry about the watermark in the wrong place. I added watermarks en masse for these photos.

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OK, we’re going to try this again. You might have seen my post last week about this–which I subsequently deleted when it became obvious I’d missed a clue.

My great-great-grandfather’s sister Jennie DeKorn Culver (divorced) and her two adult daughters moved from Kalamazoo to Seattle at some point. All three women died there. Only Lela seems to have married–at the age of 63.

Two weeks ago, I posted the photo that gives the exact date the Culvers moved to Seattle. Here it is again with the date of August 20, 1918 written on it. One of the Culver daughters is in this photo.

 

I also posted a photo of all three Culver women–Aunt Jennie DeKorn Culver and her daughter Rhea and Lela–with some identified travelers or perhaps people seeing them off on their travels.

After much searching I did find one newspaper “jotting” that mentions the move. It was posted in the Kalamazoo Gazette on August 13, 1918.

 

Of COURSE, the mystery deepens. Why does it mention only Rhea and not her mother or sister? I can’t believe they wouldn’t be mentioned if they did, in fact, move at the same time.Maybe Rhea went with the other people in the photo? If so, when did Jennie and Lela move?

I will say that Jennie does look as if she is dressed for travel (she is the 3rd from the left). Do you agree with me? The other daughter, the one in the striped silk could be dressed for travel–or not.

In 1918, Rhea (born 1890) was 28 years old. She was single and a grown woman. I wonder if she went with any of the Culver family or she went with a religious group. Lela was also single and 30 that year. Jennie was 61. I will be 61 this summer. I can’t imagine making that move with my two daughters if I didn’t know anybody else in Seattle.

Also, this new information sheds light on that photo of the young Culver woman with the older woman (above). Maybe that is Rhea and she IS going with that woman to Seattle.

This is where it gets even more confusing.

In the 1920 census, Rhea, stenographer, is living in Kalamazoo with a cousin and the cousin’s husband, Charles Pierce, and daughter! The cousin is Cora DeSmit Pierce, the daughter of Jennie’s sister Mary. WHAT? So Rhea left for Seattle on her own and came back to Kalamazoo? Homesick?

Cora DeSmit Pierce

But wait.

Also in the 1920 census, Jennie and Lela (teacher) were living in Seattle! So Rhea moved to Seattle, according to the paper. It doesn’t say she joined her family there. It sounds as if she is the first Culver to move to Seattle. But how did the others end up in Seattle and Rhea NOT by 1920?

Can this get any more confusing? I will have to study the photo album more to see if I can find any other clues in there. I would like to examine yearly city directories in both Seattle and Kalamazoo, but even if I could, it still might not divulge what happened.

What do you think? Did Rhea move first and the rest of her family come later? Any ideas on where to research next?

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I’ve written before about my great-great-grandmother’s sister, Carrie Paak Waruf, and her husband Henry Waruf: Who Was Hank Waruf, Kalamazoo Gunsmith, Tennyson’s Words for Henry Waruf’s Funeral, and All the Peek Girls (note that Paak can be spelled Peek, Paake, etc.). And when they traveled to Cuba.

But I’d like you to look at some photos I have that Grandpa had me mark Aunt Carrie.

The first one is a favorite. Carrie and Henry Waruf were well-off merchants. They had no children. And Aunt Carrie did like to spend money on her outfits. Is that a fur piece or a feather boa around her neck here? And what about this hat? On what planet was this popular? I assume it was expensive. That almost looks like a Minnie Pearl price tag on it. Is that a ribbon? Overall the hat mystifies me. I’d place her at around 40 in this photo. What do you think? By the way, she was born in 1862, so that would make the year of this photo around 1902.

Photo #1

Here is another photo of Aunt Carrie.

Photo #2

These are obviously the same woman, although the 2nd photo seems to be a much younger photo. This brings up the mystery of her age that arose in the post What Can the Photographer Tell Me When He’s No longer Here. The evidence on the 2nd photo about the photographer made it seem as if this photo was also around 1900. So now I am more confused than before. But it makes me wonder if that successor craziness went on more than once. I still think she looks under 35 in the 2nd photo, maybe even much younger than that.  Look at the differences in wrinkles with the first photo.

Now, if anybody has an idea on the date of that peculiar hat, it would help assign dates to these photos!

I’m very satisfied with the identity of the woman in photos one and two because I have another photo or two of her with her husband. There is no doubt.

Here is the bigger mystery. Grandpa also told me that this next photo was Aunt Carrie. I don’t see how that is possible. What do you think?

Photo #3

Is this Aunt Carrie? Or is it one of her sisters? There were Alice, Anna, Mary, and Carrie. This is not my great-great-grandmother Alice. But could it be Mary or Anna?

Here is Mary:

Photo #4

Mary Paak Remine

Mary Paak Remine

Here is Anna:

Photo #5

Annie Paak

Annie Paak

And here is Alice:

Photo #6

Alice Paak DeKorn

Can you hear me screaming? She almost looks like a sister. She looks enough like them that Grandpa called her Carrie. But who is she?

 

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Last week I was given the most wonderful identification of the church that I thought was in Seattle circa 1918. It turned out to be First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1917!!!

The young lady in plaid is a Culver, I’m sure. I don’t know who the other lady is. All dressed up for travel. What does the caption say? STARTING FOR SEATTLE AUG. 20, 1918. Hah, you can’t ask for anything better than that in genealogy and family history research. The actual answer–to the day–complete with new outfits and a Gladstone bag in the hand of the older woman. Look it up. It was named after Prime Minister Gladstone, and it’s a very specific and stylish type of luggage. I know this because . . . ta dum . . . I used to own a luggage store. Look at how crisp their clothing was. These poor orphanage girls, daughters of a woman who had to figure out how to make a living for her family of divorce, looks like they are doing pretty well. No idea why . . . .

Here are other photos. Tell me: what does it look like. Are these other people traveling with the Culver women? If so, why are they going to Seattle? Are they all planning to settle there? They seem to be “of a group” because the man is carrying a bag. But what if he’s holding the lady’s Gladstone for her? Maybe they aren’t all going.  I’m confusing myself. What I do believe is that that is Jennie to our right (and their left) of her plaid-skirted daughter. And I think the boldly decorated young lady on plaid’s right (to us she is farthest left) is the other Culver girl. 

 

Remember that this date is before the end of WWI, which ended in November.

While I have solved the mystery of when the Culver women left for Seattle, I still do not know WHY or WITH WHOM.

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