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Sibling Saturday: The Art of Mary C. Green of St. Louis, Missouri

Watercolor by Mary C. Green of St. Louis, Missouri, 1955.

Green Family (Click for Family Tree)

Mary Cecelia GREEN was the sister of Bessie (GREEN) BROIDA, and lived in St. Louis, Missouri her whole life. She was the daughter of Rose BRAVE and Abraham M. GREEN, and born 17 November 1895 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mary was a career woman and a buyer for nice department stores. She traveled by air to New York City when that was still a novelty, and was one of the first members of the “Mile High Club”- back in those simpler and more circumspect days, it was someone who had flown a certain number of miles (maybe 10,000? IIRC her story), not those other things suggested in today’s wilder society.

Mary fell in love with someone of another religion, and both sets of parents prohibited them seeing each other. Mary and the love of her life obeyed their parents, as was done in those days, and the relationship ended. Mary never married.

Mary was very smart and lived to be 95-1/2 years old- sharp throughout her years, and passing away 23 June 1991 in St. Louis, Missouri.

It was a surprise (to this author), however, to learn that she had painted!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest and the author’s recollections of conversations with Aunt Mary.

 

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Travel Tuesday: Gertrude Broida and Mother Visiting St. Louis in 1919

Gertrude Broida (later Cooper) visiting St. Louis, Missouri with her mother, Bess Dorothy (Green) Broida, 25 July 1919. From the Pittsburgh Jewish Criterion, with kind permission to publish.
Gertrude Broida (later Cooper) visiting St. Louis, Missouri with her mother, Bess Dorothy (Green) Broida, 25 July 1919. From the Pittsburgh Jewish Criterion of that date, with kind permission to publish.

Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

Gertrude Belle Broida was not quite eight years old when her mother, Bess Dorothy (Green) Broida, took her to St. Louis, Missouri, on a visit from their home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They most likely took the train to St. Louis, and arrived at beautiful Union Station. We can imagine that Gertrude and her mother would have stepped down from the train and walked from the dozens of tracks inside the station toward the Grand Hall. Family may have met them at the train- back then, one could actually go all the way to the train even if not a passenger- or waited patiently in the Grand Hall for them to arrive. All were probably dressed beautifully- back then, one dressed up to travel, and since both families worked mostly in the clothing industry, their clothes were likely the latest fashion and impeccably tailored.

Bess and Gertrude might have been met by their Broida family. Bess’ husband and Gertrude’s father, Phillip E. Broida, had quite a few family members in St. Louis. His father, John “Zelig” Broida was 62 in 1919, but had been listed in the St. Louis City Directory in 1917. We don’t know if he was still in St. Louis or had already immigrated to Israel, but perhaps Bessie and Gertrude visited to see him before he left. There were quite a few Broida cousins in St. Louis, too.

Bessie’s Green family may have met them at the station as well. Bessie’s father, Abraham Green, and her mother, Rose (Brave) Green, made St. Louis their home. Additionally, Bessie’s sisters lived in St. Louis, and two of the three had families of their own, as did her brother Herman Green.

We can only imagine the joy Bessie would have felt as she hugged her sisters, Estelle (Green) Ledwidge, Ann (Green) Stampfer (or had she married Charles White by that date?), and Mary Green. They all would have commented how big each of the children had grown since their last visit.

Gertrude would have been thrilled to see her older cousin (Sarah) Jane Ledwidge, who would have been 12 in 1909. Jane’s little sister Helen D. Ledwidge, lovingly known as “Sis” her whole life, was only about three months older than Gertrude. Esther S. Stampfer would have been 11. The four cousins would probably have linked arms and marched down the walkway to the Grand Hall, probably giggling and skipping all the way. The family was always very close.

Union Station was, at one time, the busiest and largest train station in the world, and once they all reached the Grand Hall, it would have been quite impressive to a little girl. (It was impressive even into the 1960s and 1970s.)

1909 Postcard of the Grand Hall of Union Station in St. Louis, Missouri.
1909 Postcard of the Grand Hall of Union Station in St. Louis, Missouri.

As the group exited the station, they would have waited for a streetcar if one of the St. Louis families did not have their own car. Looking back, Union Station was as beautiful from the outside as the inside:

Postcard of exterior of Union Station in St. Louis, Missouri.
Postcard of exterior of Union Station in St. Louis, Missouri.

Herman L. Green was the lone brother in the family, and he had a son, Preston M. Green, who would have been just 4 that year. (His son Harold Green would be born in 1921.) Abraham and Rose Green, Bessie’s parents, would most probably thoroughly enjoyed having all their children and grandchildren around them. The families likely had a wonderful visit. Parting when Bessie and Gertrude were scheduled to return to Pittsburgh must have been painful for all.

Of course, we do not know if all the details described above are totally true. But this little snippet in the Society section of the Pittsburgh Jewish Criterion allows us to imagine what life was like for Bess (Green) Broida and Gertrude Broida  as they travelled to St. Louis for a treasured visit.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Jewish Criterion, 25 July 1919, Society Section, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Vol. 51, No. 22, Page 16. The Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project, posted with kind permission. http://doi.library.cmu.edu/10.1184/pmc/CRI/CRI_1919_051_022_07251919.

 

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Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Labor Day: Celebrating the Labors of Our Ancestors

First Labor Day Parade in the US, 5 Sep 1882 in New York City. Via Wikimedia.
First Labor Day Parade in the US, 5 Sep 1882 in New York City. Via Wikimedia. (Click to enlarge.)

 

Labor Day officially became a federal holiday in the United States in 1894. “The Gilded Age” included the rise of big business, like the railroads and oil companies, but laborers fought- sometimes literally- for their rights in the workplace. Grover Cleveland signed the law to honor the work and contributions, both economic and for society, of the American laborer. Celebrated on the first Monday in September, ironically the holiday was a concession to appease the American worker after the government tried to break up a railroad strike but failed.

The Labor Day weekend is a good time to think about our ancestors and the work they did to help move our country and their own family forward.

Jefferson Springsteen was a mail carrier through the wilds of early Indiana, traveling for miles on horseback through spring freshets (full or flooding streams from snow melt), forest, and Indian villages. Samuel T. Beerbower, who would be a some-number-great uncle depending on your generation, was the Postmaster in Marion, Ohio, for many years. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Edward B. Payne, circa 1874. Image courtesy of Second Congregational Church, Wakeman, Ohio.
Edward B. Payne, Pastor, circa 1874. Image courtesy of Second Congregational Church, Wakeman, Ohio.

Bad weather, gloom of night, ocean crossings in the mid 1800s, and the threat of disease or injury did not stay our minister, deacon, and missionary ancestors from their appointed rounds either- especially since the felt they were appointed by a higher power. We have quite a number of very spiritual men in the family. Henry Horn became a Methodist circuit rider after coming to America as a Hessian soldier, being captured by George Washington’s troops in Trenton, NJ, then taking an Oath of Allegiance to the United States, and serving in the Revolutionary Army. The family migrated from Virginia to the wilds of western Pennsylvania sometime between 1782 and 1786. A story is told of how he was riding home from a church meeting in the snow. The drifts piled up to the body of the horse, and they could barely proceed on, but Henry did, and was able to preach another day. He founded a church Pleasantville, Bedford Co., Pennsylvania that still stands, and has a congregation, even today. Edward B. Payne and his father, Joseph H. Payne, Kingsley A. Burnell and his brother Thomas Scott Burnell were all ministers, some with formal schooling, some without. Edward B. Payne gave up a lucrative pastorate because he thought the church members were wealthy and educated enough that they did not need him. He moved to a poor church in an industrial town, where he was needed much more, however, he may have acquired his tuberculosis there. He also risked his life, and that of his family, by sheltering a woman from the domestic violence of her husband, and he testified on her behalf.

Abraham Green was one of the best tailors in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1900s, and many in the Broida family, such as John Broida and his son Phillip Broida, plus Phillip’s daughter Gertrude Broida Cooper, worked in the fine clothing industry.

Edgar Springsteen worked for the railroad, and was often gone from the family. Eleazer John “E.J.” Beerbower worked for the railroads making upholstered cars- he had been a buggy finisher previously, both highly skilled jobs.

Sheet music cover for "Bless Your Ever Loving Little Heart," from "The Slim Princess."
Sheet music cover for “Bless Your Ever Loving Little Heart,” from “The Slim Princess.” (Click to enlarge.)

The theater called a number of our collateral kin (not direct lines, but siblings to one of our ancestors): Max Broida was in vaudeville, and known in films as “Buster Brodie.” Elsie Janis, born Elsie Beerbower, was a comedienne, singer, child star in vaudeville, “Sweetheart of the A.E.F” as she entertained the troops overseas in World War I, and then she went on to write for films. Max Broida also did a stint in the circus, as did Jefferson Springsteen, who ran away from home as “a very small boy” to join the circus (per his obituary).

Collateral Lee family from Irthlingborough, England, included shoemakers, as that was the specialty of the town. They brought those skills to Illinois, and some of those tools have been handed down in the family- strange, unknown tools in an inherited tool chest turned out to be over 100 years old!

Will McMurray and his wife Lynette Payne McMurray owned a grocery store in Newton, Iowa. Ella V. Daniels Roberts sold eggs from her chickens, the butter she made from the cows she milked, and her delicious pies at the McMurray store. Franz Xavier Helbling and some of his brothers and sons were butchers in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, and had their own stores.

Some of our ancestors kept hotels or taverns. Joseph Parsons (a Burnell ancestor) was issued a license to operate an ‘ordinary’ or “house of entertainment” in 1661 in Massachusetts, and Samuel Lenton Lee was listed as “Keeps hotel” and later as a saloon keeper in US Federal censuses. Jefferson Springsteen had a restaurant at the famous Fulton Market in Brooklyn, NY in the late 1840s.

From left: Edgar B. Helbling, (Anna) "May" Helbling, Vi Helbling, and Gerard William Helbling, on Flag Day 1914.
From left: Edgar B. Helbling, (Anna) “May” Helbling, Vi Helbling, and Gerard William Helbling, on Flag Day 1914. Note ‘Undertaker’ sign- yes, it was all done in his home. (Click to enlarge.)

Many of our family had multiple jobs. William Gerard Helbling (AKA Gerard William Helbling or “G.W.”) listed himself as working for a theater company, was an artist, then an undertaker, and finally a sign painter. George H. Alexander was artistic as well- he created paintings but also worked as a lighting designer to pay the bills.

Sometimes health problems forced a job change. Edward B. Payne was a Union soldier, librarian, and then a pastor until he was about 44 when his respiratory problems from tuberculosis forced him to resign the pulpit. For the rest of his life he did a little preaching, lecturing, and writing. He also became an editor for a number of publications including, “The Overland Monthly,” where he handed money over from his own pocket (per family story) to pay the young writer Jack London for his first published story. Edward B. Payne even founded a Utopian colony called Altruria in California! He and his second wife, Ninetta Wiley Eames Payne, later owned and conducted adult ‘summer camps’ that were intellectual as well as healthy physically while camping in the wild and wonderful northern California outdoors.

Other times, health problems- those of other people- are what gave our ancestors jobs:  Edward A. McMurray and his brother Herbert C. McMurray were both physicians, as was John H. O’Brien (a Helbling ancestor), who graduated from medical school in Dublin, Ireland, and came to America in 1832. He settled in western Pennsylvania, still wild and in the midst of a cholera epidemic that was also sweeping the nation; he had his work cut out for him. (It appears he did not get the same respect as other doctors because he was Irish, and this was pre-potato famine.) Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee and his father Samuel J. Lee owned a drugstore in St. Louis, as did Gene’s brother-in-law, Claude Aiken. Edith Roberts McMurray Luck worked as a nurse since she received a degree in biology in 1923.

We have had many soldiers who have helped protect our freedom, and we will honor some of those persons on Veterans Day.

We cannot forget the farmers, but they are too numerous to name them all! Even an urban family often had a large garden to supplement purchased groceries, but those who farmed on a larger scale included George Anthony Roberts, Robert Woodson Daniel, David Huston Hemphill, Amos Thomas, etc., etc. We even have a pecan farmer in the Lee family- William Hanford Aiken, in Waltham County, Mississippi, in the 1930s-40s.

Lynette Payne, December 1909, wearing a purple and lavender silk dress.
Lynette Payne, December 1909, wearing a purple and lavender silk dress. (Click to enlarge.)

We must also, “Remember the ladies” as Abigail Adams entreated her husband John Adams as he helped form our new nation. He/they did not, so 51% of the population-women- were not considered citizens except through their fathers or husbands. Many of these women, such as Lynette Payne McMurray, labored to get women the right to vote, equal pay, etc. (Lynette ‘walked the talk’ too- she was the first woman to ride a bicycle in Newton, Iowa! Not so easy when one thinks about the clothing involved.) Some men, like her father, Edward B. Payne, put their energy into the women’s suffrage movement as well. Many of our ancestors worked for the abolition movement too, including the Payne and Burnell families.

A woman worked beside her husband in many families, although she would get little credit for it. Who cooked the meals and cleaned the rooms for the Lee and Parsons innkeepers? Likely their wives, who also had to keep their own home clean, laundry washed, manage a garden and often livestock- many families kept chickens even if they didn’t have a farm. They raised and educated their many children too, sometimes 13 or more. Oh yes, let’s not forget that women truly ‘labored’ to bring all those children into the world that they had made from scratch. (Building a human from just two cells makes building a barn seem somewhat less impressive, doesn’t it?) Some of them even died from that labor.

June 1942- Claude Frank Aiken and his wife Mildred Paul in their drugstore.
June 1942- Claude Frank Aiken and his wife Mildred Paul Aiken in their drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri.

Working alongside one’s husband could be frightening due to the dangers of the job. A noise in the Aiken family drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri in 1936 awoke Claude and Mildred Aiken since they lived in the back of the store. Claude look a gun and went into the store while Mildred called the police. Claude fired the gun high to frighten the intruder- Mildred must have been very scared if she was in the back, wondering who had fired the shot and if her husband was still alive. Thankfully he was, and the police were able to arrest the thief, who wanted to steal money to pay a lawyer to defend him in his three previous arrests for armed burglary and assault.

 

We applaud all of our ancestors who worked hard to support their family. Their work helped to make the US the largest economic power in the world, and a place immigrants would come to achieve their ‘American dream.’ We hope our generation, and the next, can labor to keep our country prosperous and strong.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. There are too many folks listed here to add references, but using the search box on the blog page can get you to any of the stories that have been posted about many of these persons. Of course, there is always more to come, so stay tuned!

 

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Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Shopping Saturday: Souvenirs from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Pressed Ruby Glass Punch Cup-front.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Pressed Ruby Glass Punch Cup-front.

 

The word “souvenir” comes from the French for a memory or remembrance, and the promoters of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair produced a lot of trinkets to keep the memories alive for many years. Unfortunately I do not know of any of these souvenirs that have come down in our family; those in this post are from my own collection. I do know the Helbling family attended the fair with friends, as did the Greens, and probably any of our families that lived in St. Louis during that exciting time strolled the avenues and marveled at the exhibits. I sometimes like to imagine that one of these objects may have belonged to them and found its way back to family.

[I apologize for the poor photography. Many of these items are really hard to photograph without a lot of light-rigging, camera fussing, etc.]

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Pressed Ruby Glass Punch Cup-back with name "Hazel."
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Pressed Ruby Glass Punch Cup-back with name “Hazel.”

The fair sold many useful items that could be displayed as well:

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Transferware Porcelain small tumbler- Palace of Manufactures.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Transferware Porcelain small tumbler- Palace of Manufactures.

Items promoted each of the major buildings at the fair, such as the glasses above and below.

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair- Pressed glass number with gold rim.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair- Pressed glass tumbler with gold rim and various buildings on it.

Below is one of my favorite items- a collapsible cup.

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Collapsible Travel Cup, collapsed.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Collapsible Travel Cup, collapsed.

I remember having little plastic collapsible cups bought at souvenir stands while on vacation, and it seems I had a Girl Scout one as well. It was therefore fun to find this one from a much earlier time. I always loved these cups because you could carry them in a pocket until needed. OK, they did often leak, though this one from 1904 made from metal still holds water pretty well.

Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World's Fair-Collapsible Travel Cup, extended.
Souvenir of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair-Collapsible Travel Cup, extended.

Appropriately, the image on the top was of the Palace of Mines and Metallurgy.

 

More 1904 World’s Fair memorabilia to come.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Items from the author’s collection.

2) The Missouri History Museum (mohistroy.org) is located in Forest Park on the site of the 1904 World’s Fair in the old Jefferson Memorial building, and has expanded to house a wide range of exhibits. (Their Lewis and Clark exhibit was outstanding.) The museum has an excellent continuing exhibit about the 1904 Fair. If you can’t get to St. Louis to see it, they have developed a wonderful interactive website with photos, maps, etc.: The 1904 World’s Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward.

 

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Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Amanuensis Monday: 1904 World’s Fair Visit- W. H. Spiggle Letter to Abraham and Rose Green

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
November 28, 1904 Letter to Abraham and Bessie Green from W. H., Fannie, and Willie P. Spiggle, page 1 of 2.
November 28, 1904 Letter to Abraham and Bessie Green from W. H., Fannie, and Willie P. Spiggle, page 1 of 2. (Click to enlarge.)

Green Family, Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

There were probably many thank you notes such as this one written in 1904- many families journeyed to St. Louis, Missouri, to stay with family and friends so they could visit the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. This letter, from W. H. Spiggle, Fannie Spiggle, and Willie P. Spiggle of Meadow Mills, Virginia, to the Abraham Green family, gives us a glimpse into the personalities of the Green family children.

November 28, 1904 Letter to Abraham and Bessie Green from W. H., Fannie, and Willie P. Spiggle, page 2 of 2.
November 28, 1904 Letter to Abraham and Bessie Green from W. H., Fannie, and Willie P. Spiggle, page 2 of 2. (Click to enlarge.)

Miss Annie Green was 19, Miss Bessie Green 12, Miss Mary Green 8, and Master Herman Green, the Spiggle’s World’s Fair Guide, just 10, in 1904. Abraham Green and his wife, Rose Brave Green were both 38.

We have been unable to learn much about the Spiggle family, and how they were friends of the Greens, but have only done some cursory searches.

Transcription (spacing has been added for clarity):

Meadow Mills Va

Novbr 28th -04

 

Dear Mr and Mrs Green-

Will

hasten this A.M. to inform

you, we are all well.

Have been extremely busy

since our return from

St. Louis. Often do we speak

about the pleasant time

we had with you in your

Comfortable home 1902 Semple ave.

 

Never shall we forget you and

family. Shall ever remember

 

Miss Annie for the Sweet Music

She favored us with.

 

Miss Bessie for her kind disposition

and willingness to assist her

Mother and others.

 

Miss Mary So entertaining for

one of her age.

 

Master Herman. Shall never

forget him, He was our

Worlds Fair Guide.

 

And you Mr and Mrs Green

you was so kind to us

made us feel [pleasure?]

and at home with you.

May Health, Prosperity,

and Heaven’s richest Blessing

be yours.

All of us join together in Sending much love

and best wishes to you

and family.

 

Yours sincerely

W H. Spiggle

Fannie Spiggle

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Family Treasure Chest.

2) Transcription by post author.

 

 

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Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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