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May Day 1932

Mary Theresa Helbling In The Procession, April, 1932
Mary Theresa Helbling “In The Procession, April, 1932.” (Click to enlarge.)

Helbling Family (Click for Family Tree)

“Oh Mary, we crown thee

with blossoms today!

Queen of the angels,

Queen of the May.”

Anyone who grew up Catholic, especially the girls, will remember those words. Oh, how we all wanted to be the one who crowned the Queen of the May! The beautiful white dress, white gloves, white tights with white Mary Jane shoes, flowers woven into your hair and a bow or veil, a bouquet in your hands… walking down the church aisle with that slow bridal step, the organ playing, chorus singing, and being able to give homage to our beloved Mother Mary in the yearly ritual- it was the ultimate dream of a religious Catholic girl.

Mary Theresa Helbling In The Procession, April, 1932. Closeup.
Mary Theresa Helbling “In The Procession, April, 1932.” Closeup, probably taken on Hampton Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri. (Click to enlarge.)

One lucky girl from the parochial school would be chosen to carry the crown of flowers, and a number of others carried flowers as they walked in the procession. There was a special side altar during the month of May with a most beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary, looking down upon all with her loving, accepting gaze- one could feel the love all around her. A crown of flowers would be placed on her head once the procession of girls arrived at the altar, crowning Mary as “Queen of the May.”

Mary Theresa Helbling In The Procession, April, 1932.
Mary Theresa Helbling “In The Procession, April, 1932.” (Click to enlarge.)
Caption for Mary Theresa Helbling In The Procession, April, 1932. Written by Anna Mae Beerbower Helbling, her mother.
Caption for Mary Theresa Helbling “In The Procession, April, 1932” album page. Written by Anna Mae Beerbower Helbling, her mother.

After the Queen was crowned, the other girls in the procession would lay flowers at the feet of the statue. The flowers would be replaced throughout the month so they were always beautiful.

After school, some who were not so lucky to be chosen for the procession would sneak into the church, and lay our little picked clover flower crowns and dandelions at Mary’s feet. The weed flowers never seemed to be there the next day, although the other flowers were. It didn’t matter though- all the little girls not chosen for the procession knew that Mary loved them just as much.

Mary Theresa Helbling was lucky to be chosen as one of the girls in the procession at St. Mark’s Church in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1932, when she was seven. The caption in the family picture album states it was April, so maybe the procession happened on the last day of the month, or the month noted was in error. Either month, it was one of the high points of Mary’s long and faithful life. Even fifty or more years later, she was so very proud to have been chosen to be in the procession.

Mary Theresa Helbling In The Procession, April, 1932. Note big hair bow and old car in background.
Mary Theresa Helbling “In The Procession, April, 1932.” Note big hair bow and old car in background, likely on Hampton Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri, in front of their house. (Click to enlarge.)

Having her beloved Virgin Mary to pray to was important throughout Mary’s life. She was proud of being named after the Mother Mary, but did not know that she was named for her great-grandmother as well, Mary Theresa Knipschield Helbling. There were many girls named ‘Maria’ or ‘Mary’ in the Helbling family. That name continued to be passed on through the generations, showing the importance of Our Lady and homage to her throughout the years among Catholic families, including  the May Day ritual.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) ‘Queen of the Angels” by John McDermott- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7SbG8JCO68

2) May Baskets were another tradition Mary spoke about. Small cones of rolled paper had a handle attached, and they were filled with flowers or sweets. The basket would be left on a door handle of a friend or neighbor, and young men also left them for girls they would like to court. See http://www.npr.org/blogs/npr-history-dept/2015/04/30/402817821/a-forgotten-tradition-may-basket-day

3) Helbling family photo album.

4) Of course, the May Day procession foreshadowed the sacrament of marriage, too, with many of the same trappings. Pun intended with the word ‘trappings’? Not originally, but maybe in a Freudian way. Nevertheless, all good little Catholic girls wanted to get married and have babies, and be a good mother like Our Lady.

 

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Wednesday’s Child: Mary Emma Beerbower

Mary Emma Beerbower's birth announcement in the Marion [Ohio] Daily Star, 26 Apr 1880.
Mary Emma Beerbower’s birth announcement in the Marion [Ohio] Daily Star, 26 Apr 1880. Posted with kind permission of the newspaper for non-profit use only.
 What a joyous news note- the birth of a daughter to Edgar “Ed” Peter Beerbower and Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower!

This cherished daughter was born 22 April 1880. She was named Mary Emma Beerbower, likely after her paternal aunt, Mary Emma (Beerbower) Ligenfelter, who was 3 years younger than her brother Ed.

A Marion, Ohio newspaper printed this story, since Ed and his father, Eleazer John Beerbower, his mother, Matilda Louise McElvey Beerbower, and their other children, were former residents of Marion. (It was also a way to increase newspaper sales in another city- a common ploy by savvy newspapers.) Ed’s brother Samuel T. Beerbower still lived in Marion, and was the postmaster, so the news would be of interest to many in the town.

Ed and Anna Beerbower had already had 2 sons, Robert Warson Beerbower, born 1874, and Edgar Springsteen Beerbower, born 1876. There was then a gap of about three and a half years before dear Mary Emma was born. Two more children would later be born to Ed and Anna: Anna May Beerbower, b. 1881, and Willie Beerbower, b. 1889, but Willie only lived one day.

Samuel T. Beerbower and his wife, Irene L. Peters, had only two known children, both sons: Cornell R. Beerbower (b. 1870) and Wilson Beerbower, birthdate unknown but probably in the 1870s; he only lived one year and a few days.

Little Mary Emma’s grandparents, Eleazer and Matilda Beerbower, were still alive and living in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1880, and must have been thrilled to finally have a granddaughter. Other children of Eleazer and Matilda would give them more grandchildren in later years.

Note the play on words: “Brightwooder be the smiles…” instead of “Bright would be the smiles.” The writer refers to Brightwood, where the daughter was born, a residential area then northeast of Indianapolis, Indiana.

We have real privacy concerns today, but it’s really not that new, except the scope- the newspapers of old could print pretty much what they wanted and usually filled their columns with all sorts of goings on in the town, along with editorial content in the news pages. The birth of a niece was probably a happy event for Samuel and his wife Irene, especially with the 3+ year gap in children for Anna and Ed Beerbower, when they may have lost another child not known. Sadly, the newspaper sort of rubs in the fact that Samuel and Irene do not have a daughter of their own- that probably hurt deeply, as anyone who has lost a child or been unable to have as many as they wish would know.

The sadness continues though… despite being a healthy 8- 1/2 pounds at birth, baby Mary Emma Beerbower only lived just over two months. The Beerbower family bible states

“Died

Mary Emma Beerbower

June 29th 1880 Aged

9 weeks, 5 days

Brightwood, Ind.”

Telgram re: death of Mary Emma Beerbower, in the March 30th, 1880 issue of the Marion [Ohio] Daily Star.
Newspaper article about telgram re: death of Mary Emma Beerbower, in the March 30th, 1880 issue of the Marion [Ohio] Daily Star. Posted with kind permission of the newspaper for non-profit use only.
The telegram was dated 29 June,, but states that the infant died “yesterday, at 4 p.m.” making her actual death date 28 Jun 1880. The paper notes her burial is to be July 1st, but the Find A Grave record for Mary Emma in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana, notes that she was buried 29 Aug 1880, quite a long time from the bible and telegram death date.

Mary Emma is buried in Section 22, Lot 894, which is not by the remaining family’s lots.

Even though the news is first happy but ultimately sad here, one bright spot to an intrepid family historian is that the first article tells where  Ed Beerbower worked- the CCC & IRR office, so we may be able to find some railroad worker records for him now that we know the line and a date.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Birth announcement in Marion [Ohio] Daily Star, April 26, 1880, Volume III, No. 170, Page 4, Column 2. Posted with kind permission of the newspaper for personal, non-profit use only.

2) 1880 US Federal Census for Eleazer and Matilda (McElvey) Beerbower: Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana; Roll: 295; Family History Film: 1254295; Page: 227B; Enumeration District: 113; Image: 0156.

3) Death telegram news story in Marion [Ohio] Daily Star, April 26, 1880, Volume III, No. 225, Page 4, Column 2. Posted with kind permission of the newspaper for personal, non-profit use only.

4) Mary Emma Beerbower’s Find A Grave Memorial #45869800: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=45869800&ref=acom

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All because two people fell in love…

Gerard William "G.W." Helbling and Anna May Beerbower- tintype, c1904.
Gerard William “G.W.” Helbling and Anna May Beerbower- tintype, married 1904. Parents of Mary T. Helbling McMurray

➡ Beerbower Family, Helbling Family, Lee Family, Cooper Family, McMurray Family, Whitener Family

My mother always told me that I was here on earth because two people fell in love, but Brad Paisley’s hit song said it in a slightly more catchy way:

“There ain’t nothin’ not affected
When two hearts get connected…

Wedding Photo of Joseph and Helen Cooper
Wedding Photo of Joseph and Helen Cooper, married 1901. Parents of Irving I. Cooper.

Every one of us is here
All because two people fell in love.”

John Brandenberger and Christina Funke, married 1854. Great-great grandparents of Robert Eugene Lee.
John Brandenberger and Christina Funke, married 1854. Great-great grandparents of Robert “Bob” Eugene Lee.

The Brad Paisley song, “Two people fell in love” is delightfully sweet, whether one is a country fan or not.

William Elmer McMurray and Lynette Payne, married 1899. Grandparents of Edward A. McMurray, Jr.  c1950s?
William Elmer McMurray and Lynette Payne, married 1899. Grandparents of Edward A. McMurray, Jr. c1950s?

Brad Paisley goes on to sing:

“I’m glad your dad could not resist
Your mama’s charms and you exist
All because two people fell in love.”

John Newton Whitener and Ethel Emily Adiline Underwood, married 1925.
John Newton Whitener and Ethel Emily Adiline Underwood, married 1925.

Take a look at the full lyrics here. They are very sweet- as are these pictures of ancestor couples.

Thank you, dear ancestors, for falling in love.

Have a love-ly Valentine’s Day!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) “Two People fell in Love” by Tim Owens, John Lovelace, Copyright: Emi April Music Inc., Sea Gayle Music, Love Ranch Music- http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/bradpaisley/twopeoplefellinlove.html

Portions of the lyrics posted for educational use only.

2) Photos from family treasure chests.

 

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Copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

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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Treasure Chest Thursday: Roberta P. Beerbower Wertz

 

Roberta Pearl Beerbower, c 1920?
Roberta Pearl Beerbower, c1920? Posted with permission.

 

Beerbower Family, Helbling Family

Roberta Pearl Beerbower was the only child of Robert Warson Beerbower (1874-1900) and Anna Josephine Reiffel (1876-1965) who married 23 August 1898. Roberta was born 16 October 1900 in Indiana (likely Indianapolis) less than a month after her father died at age 26 in Colorado. Robert had gone to Denver for health reasons, and died of consumption there.

“Cousin Roberta” was a beloved older cousin of Mary Theresa Helbling. Mary looked up to her beautiful cousin and wanted to be like her. Roberta would have been 25 when Mary was born, which surprised me as I always thought they were closer in age, maybe just 5-10 years difference.

Recently I received a note from a Find A Grave member requesting I change Roberta’s middle name to Pauline on her memorial, as that was what Roberta’s daughter-in-law thought the name was. The family bible owned by her aunt, Anna May Beerbower Helbling, lists Roberta’s middle name as ‘Pearl’ so I am using that name here, but it needs further research. The new collaboration is wonderful though, as this researcher was able to provide the above beautiful portrait, and more information about Roberta and her marriage and family that I did not know.

 

Following are some photographs that Mary Helbling McMurray thought would be Roberta, or that were labeled with her name, and some of my notes. Please let us know if you have additional information or corrections.

May or Viola Helbling, possibly with Cousin Roberta Beerbower, Helbling home in St. Louis, Missouri, 06 June 1915.
May (age 4) or Viola Helbling (age 2), possibly with Cousin Roberta Beerbower, Helbling home in St. Louis, Missouri, 06 June 1915.

This is Roberta per Mary Helbling; Roberta would have been 15 in 1915 so this is likely correct. (Note ‘G.W. Helbling Undertaker’ sign in front of the Helbling home in St. Louis, Missouri.)

Possibly Roberta Beerbower with her mother Josephine Reiffel Beerbower? October 1910
Possibly Roberta Beerbower with her mother Josephine Reiffel Beerbower? October 1910
From left: Viola Helbling, Edgar Helbling, May Helbling, and possibly Roberta P. Beerbower? October 1910
From left: Viola Helbling, Edgar Helbling, May Helbling, and possibly Roberta P. Beerbower? October 1910

The above two photos could be Roberta, as she would have been 10 in 1910. Not sure about the date though, as Edgar was born in 1908 so 1910 for the photo cannot be correct if that is him with his younger sisters in the image. Will need to review photo album again. Maybe the girl on the right is another cousin? Maybe these are not Helbling children, though they do look like Edgar, May, and Vi, and were identified as such by their youngest sister Mary (but she wasn’t there as she was not yet born).

Roberta P. Beerbower with her cousin Edgar Helbling. August 1920
Roberta P. Beerbower with her cousin Edgar Helbling. August 1920

Edgar would have been 12 in 1920 and Roberta 20, plus these people were positively identified in photo album, so this identification should be accurate.

Roberta P. Beerbower with her paternal uncle Edgar Springsteen Beerbower. August 1920.
Roberta P. Beerbower with her paternal uncle Edgar Springsteen Beerbower. August 1920.

This photo was a game changer when I realized the date and the identification of the man with Roberta. The man was “Ed” per the caption in the album. Mary Helbling did not know if the man was her uncle, Edgar Springsteen Beerbower (1876-1940) or her grandfather, Edgar Peter “E. P.” Beerbower (1849-1916), both with the same nickname. Looking at the dates though, and the age of the man, lets us know it must be Edgar S. Beerbower, since  his father (E.P.) died in 1916 and had been born 71 years before the photo was taken. So now we can use this positive identification for other images of this man. (Sadly, though, it means we do not have a picture of Edgar Peter Beerbower.)

Roberta P. Beerbower with her paternal grandmother, Anna Missouri Springsteen. Summer 1927
Roberta P. Beerbower with her paternal grandmother, Anna Missouri Springsteen. Summer 1927

The photo album belonged to Anna May Beerbower Helbling, and her mother lived with Anna and her family in her later years. Love how cute ‘flapper girl’ Roberta is! No wonder that Mary Helbling, born in 1925, looked up to her glamorous cousin.

About 1930- May Helbling on left with her sister Mary Theresa Helbling in front. It was thought the girl in the picture was Roberta P. Beerbower but the age is not right- Roberta would have been 30 when this photo was taken.
About 1930- May Helbling on left with her sister Mary Theresa Helbling in front. Unknown girl on right.

It was thought the girl on the right in the picture was Roberta P. Beerbower but the age is not right- Roberta would have been 30 when this photo was taken because of the approximate age of Mary. Maybe it is the same girl as above that we are not sure about?

Robert Eldon Wertz, son of Roberta P. Beerbower and James I. Wertz. August 1935, age 3 yrs 1 mo.
Robert Eldon Wertz, son of Roberta P. Beerbower and James I. Wertz. August 1935, age 3 yrs 1 mo.

Robert Eldon Wertz was born 30 July 1932 in Indiana to Roberta and James F. Wertz (1895-1979). He was their only son, and he had no children with his wife, Halina Ulrych. He is such a cutie with that smile!

 

A special thanks to Shelley for sharing what she has to help us extend our tree.

Please do let us know in the comment section if there are any correction or if you have more information about these folks.

➡ Beerbower Family, Helbling Family

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Family treasure chest of photos.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

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.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
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Beerbower Family Bible- Marriages

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Beerbower Family Bible
Beerbower Family Bible- Marriages
Beerbower Family Bible- Marriages

Transcription:

Marriages

Family Record 

 

Edgar Beerbower To

Anna M. Springsteen

Feb. 12 1873

at 117 Spring St.

Indianapolis Ind

By Rev. Hanford A. Edson

[Bible owners.]

 

Anna May Beerbower

Gerard W. Helbling

Thanksgiving Nov 24-04

St. Alphonsus (Rock Church)

8 a.m. Rev. Father T. Clark

[Daughter of Anna Missouri and Edgar P. Beerbower, on Nov 24- 1904.]

 

Edgar S. Beerbower to

Rosabel K. Hoppe Oct. 19- 1905

St. Louis, Mo.     Thursday

[Edgar Springsteen Beerbower, son of Anna Missouri and Edgar P. Beerbower.]

 

Robert W. Beerbower

Josephine Ruffle   Aug-23,

Indianapolis Ind.

[Robert Warson Beerbower, son of Anna Missouri and Edgar P. Beerbower.]

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Beerbower family bible.

2)Springsteen and Beerbower Family Group Records compiled over many years using bibles, census, and other data.

3) Edgar Peter Beerbower was called, “Ed” and I have seen him listed as “Edward.” Being that Edgar became a family name, I lean toward his name being “Edgar.”

 

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Copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.