Moxley Find

Here is one of those family history stories we wish happened more regularly.  A friend, knowing my abilities in family history, asked for some help.  I said sure, not just as a friend, but also because he married a cousin of mine.  He knew nothing of his Grandmother’s family except their names.  Luckily, despite the commonality of the Webster name, I tracked down his Grandmother on the 1930 Census in Boise, Ada, Idaho.  The family did know the maiden name of the Great Grandmother as Hattie Hawley.  That confirmed some potentials and fortunately I was able to track down at least two or three generations on each of his Grandmother’s lines in about half a day worth of work.

In doing that work for my friend, I found that Hattie Hawley had a previous marriage to Earl Moxley.  I did some searching for Earl Moxley and found a comment on a family history forum where a man had found a photo in an antique shop in Creswell, Lane, Oregon with “Mr. and Mrs. Earl and Hattie Moxley” written on the back.  He had tracked down enough information on Earl and Hattie to know who they were, but could not find anyone who might be interested in the photo.

I sent this man an e-mail and his e-mail still worked (often a miracle with dated forum posts).  I had asked for a scan of the photo and he was willing to give up the original.  I gave him my address and he sent the photo to my address carefully packaged.  I was happy to have a dinner appointment with Dustin and Maren McClellan and to present the photo to him so he could give it to his Grandmother.  Small world with the internet.  20 years ago, this photo might have been trashed for the impossibility of finding a relative of those in the photo.  But in our day and age, only a posting on a forum and a few years later provided a rightful owner.

Earl Bertie Moxley was born 26 August 1887 in Creswell and died 17 May 1925.  I could not clearly find out where he died, but he was also buried in Creswell.

Hattie Blanche Hawley was born 4 April 1888 in Lane County, Oregon to Mary H Hillegas and Robert Divolson Hawley.  She died 12 January 1979 in Paul, Minidoka, Idaho.

Hattied married Earl 16 June 1909 in Lane County, Oregon.  I assume they were divorced but I did not easily find the divorce online and did not pursue the documentation.  She married George Reece Webster 14 June 1916 in Boise, Idaho.  George and Hattie are Dustin’s Great Grandparents through his paternal grandmother.

George Reece Webster was born 13 November 1880 in Lancaster, Schuyler, Missouri and died 6 December 1953 in Boise.  Both George and Hattie were buried in the Morris Hill Cemetery of Boise.

I wish I could have a few more of these little miracles in my family history.  Either way, I am happy to have been a part of this little miracle for Dustin’s family.  I wonder what Dustin’s Grandmother’s reaction is/was.  Had she ever seen this picture?  Did she ever see a picture of her mother so young?  I will give an update when I hear.

Memories of Great Grandpa and Grandma Andra

For the Andra Reunion this year, we have been asked to write our memories of my Great Grandpa and Grandma Andra (William Fredrick Andra and Mary Louise Wanner).  These are my maternal grandmother’s parents, but we just referred to them as Grandpa and Grandma Andra.  For sake of reading, I will call them by their more formal title.

My Grandma (Colleen, their daughter) lived in Paul, Minidoka, Idaho from before I was born.  She had grown up in Preston, Franklin, Idaho and her parents still lived there.  Therefore, the only time I saw them is when we visited them in Preston or they visited us in Paul.  At some point, I will write a more comprehensive history of Bill and Mary Andra, but for now I will only write my personal recollections.

Great Grandpa Andra was born in 1898 and Great Grandma Andra was born in 1901.  By the time I was 4 or 5, they were already in their 80’s.  Some of my first memories of my Great Grandparents were the Andra Reunions held at Wolcott Park, beside the Minidoka Dam, near Acequia, Minidoka, Idaho.  Here is a picture from the reunion in 1984.  Great Grandpa and Grandma Andra had 12 children, so our reunions could be quite the crowd of immediate family.

Andra Reunion, July 28, 1984. Bill (Jr), Millie, Bill, Mary, Golden, Larry, Don, and June in back. Colleen and Ross in front.

Great Grandpa Andra was pretty ill.  Some believed it was Parkinson’s Disease, others just thought it was old age.  I do not personally know what it was.  I believe the reunion was held at Wolcott Park because Grandpa was staying in the old folks home in Acequia.  I remember going there multiple times with Grandma and playing while she attempted to play cribbage with Grandpa.  He was pretty shaky, and could not speak in any way that I could understand him.  As you can see in the photo, he needed assistance walking by this point and standing.

I remember him at Grandma’s house in Paul one time and we were having dinner.  Grandma had to feed him.  I do not know exactly what happened, but apparently Grandma became very upset with Grandpa Andra and slapped him over something.  I was not present when it happened.  I remember Grandma crying and I entered the room hearing her sob and tell Grandpa Andra how very sorry she was for what she had just done.  For years afterward, she mentioned how you can spank your children, but you can never slap your Daddy.

Another time we were driving somewhere in Grandma’s 1974 yellow Mercury Cougar.  Grandpa Andra was in the car with us and a song came on the radio.  The song was “O My Papa” and Grandma sang along with it, apparently to Great Grandpa.  Both of them cried.  Grandma always sang along with the song, probably in memory of her father.  Even today, I hear the song and I think of Grandma singing to her father.  Very, very sweet.

Great Grandpa moved back to Preston after probably only a year or two in Acequia.  The only times I really saw them then was at the Andra Reunions, now held at Riverdale, Franklin, Idaho.  Here is a picture of Great Grandpa in the shade at the Riverdale water park where the reunions were held.  I remember he was not very coherent by this point, and family kept herding us away from him so he could have some peace in the shade.  I believe this is the last Andra Reunion he attended in 1989.

He passed away during the spring of 1990 and because school was still in, I was not allowed to go down with Grandma to the funeral.  I remember wanting to go and sad I could not.

Somewhere before this time, for some unknown reason, we went to visit Great Grandma Andra in Preston.  Grandpa was still in the old folks home there because we went to visit him.  We actually stayed the night at Great Grandma’s for the only time I ever remember doing so.  Grandma left us with Great Grandma for part of the day and she pulled out a big board with holes in it.  We played “Aggravation” and it is the only time I think I ever remember playing it.  You move marbles around on a board and somehow your marbles were sent back home.  I remember enjoying it and Great Grandma getting quite a kick out of Andra’s reaction (I know, confusing, but it is my Sister’s first name…I wonder where my Mom got the name?).  She laughed and laughed at one point where Andra was not laughing at all, which only added to Great Grandma’s enjoyment of the situation.

We helped Great Grandma in her massive garden for a good while.  I remember the smells of the garden more than anything.  She had flowers surrounding the garden and even my young 9-10 year old mind knew it was beautiful.  Here is a picture of Great Grandma in 1990 after Great Grandpa Andra passed away.

My last memory of Great Grandma Andra was the day she passed away.  She did pretty well getting around and taking care of herself until a stroke hit her a few weeks before she passed away.  She went downhill very quickly and I remember there being concerns she would not even live until the Andra Reunion in 1991.  The reunion was held and she was in the old folks home in Preston.  Everybody knew it was pretty much good-bye at this point.  We lingered that Saturday with family and then made our way over to the home to say good-bye to Great Grandma.  We all hugged her and gave her kisses.  Grandma climbed on the bed and gave Great Grandma a hug.  She pretty much was laying on her and sobbing and telling her how much she loved her.  Grandma was there too long and we could see that Great Grandma was starting to struggle to breath.  Aunt Jackie pulled Grandma off Great Grandma and I still remember the fluffy white hair in the light as we left the room.  It was a sweet feeling as we left.

We drove from Preston to Paul.  As we walked into the house from the garage, the phone rang.  Grandma answered the phone and the person on the other end informed Grandma that Great Grandma had died while we were driving back home.  Grandma started crying and went somewhere to be alone.  I remember feeling just as sad knowing how much Grandma loved her parents.

I have a very soft spot in my heart for my Great Grandparents because of the love I know my Grandma had for them.  I did not get to know them very well.  Their memory is still fresh in my mind though.  I can still remember both of their smiles, Great Grandma’s laughter, and a sly look Great Grandpa Andra would get in his eye when he would tease me.  I can remember looking at his little tattoo that looked like a eggbutt snaffle bit, that was the only thing in my life that I thought it resembled, just above the thumb knuckle.  Kinda like an 8 on its side with a line between the loops near the thumb of the hand.  I cannot remember if this was the hand he lost his thumb?  (I seem to remember being told someone had the thumb in a jar!)  I did not get to attend Great Grandma’s funeral either.

Anyhow, in closing, here is a picture of after May Melycher was born.  They all drove down to get a 4 generation shot.  I assume sometime in 1989.

Mary Andra, Jackie Melycher, Colleen Jonas, holding May Melycher

I graduated once

Since it is the season of graduations and I am fortunate to have just participated in one, I thought I would give a little personal post about some of my earlier formal graduations.  I am sure there are other graduations I probably participated in, but I do not have photos of them, at least that I am aware.  Like graduation from diapers,  which consists of a diaper on the head with a tassel.  Or graduation from elementary school, which would consist of a wedgie (and a tassel!).

Here are my Kindergarten Graduation Pictures.  The Graduation ‘ceremony’ was held in the West Minico Junior High Auditorium in Paul, Idaho.  I can still remember the day, both sets of Grandparents being present, and some of the program.  It was quintessentially the same program that Andra, my sister, would go through two years later and I remember that occasion for her.  I am assuming I graduated Kindergarten in the spring of 1984.

Now we can forward more than a decade to graduation from high school.  I graduated from Minico High School in Rupert, Idaho in the spring of 1997.  I swear there are photos out there of the occasion, I have seen them.  It does not seem my family has any at the actual ceremony, and whatever my Grandmother had is with her stash, wherever that might be since she passed away.  That could be the dump, but I guess it is in a drawer somewhere in Alaska.  Maybe some day…  This is a photo in my Grandmother’s home in Paul, Idaho.  This photo was taken on my Grandma’s birthday and probably taken by her.  I am still pretty thin, excited about life, and wearing that new class bling, I mean ring (that was rudely stolen by a home invader in 2009).

Forwarding a few more years, here is a picture of graduation from Utah State University in Logan, Utah on 17 December 2005 with a BS in Law & Constitutional Studies.  By this point I am days away from marriage to Miss Amanda Hemsley so she joined me in the photo, along with future in-laws (my Dad and Jan are in the photo too, to my left).  I even got some fancy cords again!  Two more of my grandparents had passed away by this time and the last one was unwilling to attend.

Now the latest event in my graduation history.  Graduation on 15 May 2011 from Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with a Juris Doctor.  Not only is my Dad and in-laws in the picture, my family has been joined by the newest addition of Aliza.  I doubt there are further formal graduations in life, besides death, awaiting in the future.  But at least we have some of these graduations in photograph.

I am such a ham!

Look at the cool hood.

Baby Andra Ross

I believe this is the earliest photos I have of my sister, Andra Ross.  She will probably not be entirely pleased that I am displaying the earliest photographs I have of her.  At any rate, with the whole baby kick and trying to find similarities at this point in the game, I thought I should post a picture of my full sister.

Andra Ross was born 16 September in the Cassia Memorial Hospital & Medical Center in Burley, Idaho (the same location as me).  She weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce at 19 inches long.  Her parents are my parents, Milo Paul Ross and Sandra Jonas.  My parents were then residing at 108 N. 3rd E. in Paul, Idaho.  I believe the same address my Mom was living at when I was born.  We also were delivered by the same doctor, Dr. A. L. Kircher.  (If anyone knows his first and middle name, I would not mind having it.)  Interestingly, Sandy purchased a 1956 Dodge Coronet from Dr. Kircher on 22 September 1978.  The same “Old Dodge” in my possession, drivable, and will be lovingly restored at some point.

I do not want to give too much commentary on Andra’s life.  I will make a few mentions about the photos above though.  Notice the full head of hair that she was born with.  Honestly, her chubbiness covers up most of the features that distinguish her later in life.  I look at these photos and do not recognize her.  But then again, the trauma of a giving birth does a number on a baby’s head and facial features and head shape change quite drastically over the first few months.  I will say this.  Looking at Andra’s pictures as she grows older, much of the bone structure and facial features remind me of my Grandma Gladys Ross.  As Andra approached adulthood she took on more of Sandy’s characteristics.  I still personally see much of Gladys in there, but so many people comment on how much she looks like my Mom.  I think they are just going from memory and not comparing the actual pictures.  Anyhow, I see no resemblance, except for hair, between little Aliza and my sister Andra.  (I realize we already have too many “A” names in the family; ie. Amanda, Andra, Aliza, Alyssa).

Impending Baby Takeover

With the impending baby in the next few days, I thought I would share a photo of me and a couple of thoughts.

My first thought is, “Who is that?”  Of course I never saw myself in this station of life, or at least I do not remember it.  But as I look at the photo I see familiar features.  Not so much of me, but features that remind me of baby photos of my Mom and Aunt Jackie.  I do not see many features of my Dad that would start to appear throughout childhood.  While I want to deny the photo is me, I know it is.

I was born at 9:08 in the morning.  I weighed in at a whopping 5 pounds 12.5 ounces.  I slid into this world at 18.5 inches in length.  The photo you see above is of me probably within 5 days of birth.  I do have a photo from the same day but you cannot see my features like you can this photo.

Notice that I was born with a full head of hair.  It appears our baby will be born the same.  The ultrasound unfortunately does not give us hair color so we will have to wait and see.  My hair has stayed pretty much the same color since with variations for sun bleaching.

I do not know if I came early or not.  I have no knowledge of an early birth and while I may look a little thin, I spent no extra time in the hospital.  I do believe my Mom smoked through the pregnancy would may account for my light birth weight and potential early delivery.

While my Dad is obviously not in this photo, he kinda is.  Those dual tires and trailer in the background clearly represent him.  I do not know if he was superintendent of Circle A Construction’s Paul, Idaho job at the time (I believe he was), he was still working with these sugar beet trailers.  These tires provided my family’s income at this year and for many years to come.

These wheels tell me much more though.  This photograph was likely taken at the Amalgamated Sugar Company’s factory at Paul, Idaho.  If the photo was taken by my Dad, I am not sure a semi trailer would be so close.  A pickup, office, or something else may have been closer.  This shot was likely taken by my Grandma, because she worked as a dispatcher at the Paul factory for Circle A Construction then.  Those trucks and trailers parked only feet from where the trailer was located.  Furthermore, that trailer was so small that a good first photograph by my Grandma probably would have required a little more space and light.  Hence, my Mom is likely standing outside the trailer, my Grandma taking the shot, looking down at the new mother and baby.  The semi is also parked driving from left to right, which is the same direction those trucks drove and parked.  Dad will probably clarify if it was him who took the shot, but I have a pretty good suspicion it was Grandma.  Not only is Dad in the shot, but Grandma is too.

My Mom’s look clothing also is indicative of the time.  Yep, I can class my self with a period.  If that does not ring 70’s, I do not know what does.  Those mirrored glasses that she would wear in many of my memories afterward.  The overalls that were so popular at the time.  My Mom is wearing the bracelet that as far as I know, she wore until the day she entered prison.  While I am sure the glasses were replaced over time, I am not sure about the bracelet.

Even the tread on the tires seems like something from the past.  The tread seems to have changed over the years for semi-tractors although I don’t know.

Anyhow, that is enough on this photo.  Is that a cloth diaper?  I must have been just changed or something because my onesie is still open at the bottom, or that was the coolest fashion!  I swear I can smell the sugar factory now.  That sweet, biting taste that smells of money to so many people.

That cute little baby is actually me.  Amanda seems to think the ultrasound photos show a brow and facial features like this photo.  I guess we will just have to wait and see this weekend.

Jeep Wreck in about 1980

I thought I would share this story about my mother and me of when I was a baby.  It is a riveting story I had not heard from this angle before.  I knew my mother had wrecked her jeep, rolled it while drunk, and her dog was killed.  I never knew how I was linked!  Anyhow, I have changed the story some so it reads better for those who are not familiar with the family.

Colleen is my Grandmother, Sandy is my mother, Linda is my Aunt (the author), Doug is my Uncle.  I don’t know exactly when this accident took place, I assume somewhere in 1980.  The wreck was near Max Beet Dump, on Highway 24, near Minidoka, Idaho.

“The initial call from the police came to Grandma’s. Doug answered. Colleen was not there. I was asked about you, the police said there was no baby. I had seen you with [Sandy] prior to her drinking. Sandy was not above leaving you in the car when she would drink. So the police began the search. By the time Doug and I arrived at the wreck, they had found the dog, I think he was under the jeep. It was dark, I remember the field, the tumbleweeds. The shadows cast. The jeep upside down. Sandy was at the ER. The baby carrier that she used had been found, but no Paul. I remember hearing someone say, if you were out there, you were dead. The smell of the blackberry brandy all over the carrier, the inside of the jeep.”

“I remember Doug yelling, “I’m going to kill her.” Typical of the family, he rambled about every single thing she had done wrong in the past. Making himself madder and madder. I was freezing, terrified, my stomach hurt so bad.”

“One of the deputies radioed and we were told that Colleen was at home and that you were with her. Doug was so angry by the time we got to you. He fought with his mom about Sandy. All I could do was hold you and cry. Grandma was concerned about Sandy and Doug did not want her to go to the hospital. Colleen had been spared the emotion that Doug and I had just gone thru. I think Colleen had run into Sandy and had taken you so she would not leave you in the car while she drank. Probably because it was cold. I am curious about Doug’s memory of this. Your mom would probably not remember, she was drunk. I don’t remember anyone but the police and Doug and I looking for you. I believe we looked for a little over an hour before the call. Thing is, you were never missing. No one else really lived the terror, so this would not be a story connected with the rollover. There would/should be something in the police report, we did search for you.”

Now I am interested in getting my hands on the police report.  I wouldn’t know where to find it, even if they have kept it for this many years.  Who knew my life was so interesting at some point?  Does anyone else have a story about me I don’t know about?  I am certainly interested in hearing others’ stories, or even linked to this episode.

willkommen zum Februar

I don’t really feel like there is all that much to write.  A couple of thoughts from the rambling pilgrim.

Last weekend we had dinner with the Stake Patriarch.  After a little conversation, who would have ever thought he farmed in Paul, Idaho!  Kenneth and Karen Hutto.  Moreover, Sister Hutto looked exactly like Sister Hunt out in the Emerson Second Ward.  Come to find out it is her sister!  Bruce Hansen is also her brother.  It was fun to catch up with a person who I never knew about people I haven’t seen often over the past 10 years.  Small world, especially in the church.

The bathroom continues to come along.  This week we painted the ceiling and I installed our new light fixture and ventilation cover.  We sanded and worked the plaster on the walls and ceiling forever.  We still totally don’t like the way it came out.  For some reason, thought the paint would hide more of the imperfections.  Don’t get me wrong, there is really nothing wrong in the overall picture, it is just the perfectionist speaking.  This week we will probably paint the walls at some point.  We haven’t figured out what we are going to do with the tub yet.  We may have to swallow the pill and build a pony wall.  Let me rephrase that, I will have to build a pony wall.  Well grounded, sheetrocked, and the whole bit!  We may just have to purchase the tub, install it, and then worry about the wall.  I don’t know if you can do that, I will have to find out.  After the painted walls, we will lay the linoleum probably next week or soon.  I don’t think we will get the shower operational before Donald and Lolane come to visit.  Oh well.

The law school saga continues.  Again, I emphasize, if you haven’t experienced, I am not sure you would ever understand.  This is like nothing I have done before.  I really enjoy it, but it wears you down.  I am really enjoying Property.  I continue to loathe Contracts, more for the professor than the subject.  Criminal Law is very interesting, but I doubt anything I will pursue over the long run.  We will just have to see.  I did receive my grades and I am happy to say that generally, I am an above average student.  I don’t excel in any particular area, according to my grades.  But I am above average, except the class I love.  Honestly, the class I loved the most, is the one I did the worst.  The one I didn’t like the most, is the one I did the best.  How is that for a trip?

Anyhow, life continues on.  I have no complaints.  Plenty more to do, never enough time.  Such is life.