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Friday’s Faces from the Past: The Springsteen Family Bible- Family Portraits

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series The Springsteen Family Bible
Page 7 of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.
Page 7 of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.

Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

The Springsteen Family Bible contains three pages that had photos in them, but many had been removed by the time these pages were copied. (Yes, copied- these images of the bible were done before scanners!) So, with apologies for the quality of the images and the paper-punched holes in the side, on this Friday let’s take a look at these ‘Faces from the Past.’

First of all, none of these images have any identification to them, and what was on the back of each image was not documented well. Some of the images were taken out and then replaced for the copies.

Please note: The comments below are just educated guesses- NONE of the identifications can be documented at this point. Of course, if you have an image like one of these, please contact us! We may be able to better determine who the person **might** be by knowing who ended up with the photo- or, a family historian’s dreams could come true and your images might be labeled!

◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

The image above indicates a sleeping baby, or, more probably, a babe who has passed away. Taking portraits of dead persons was one way to remember a beloved one who may have died suddenly, or very young. The BBC has an excellent article on such portraits- see Notes for link. Our image has an angel-like, floating-in-the-clouds feel to it, strengthening the belief that it is a post-mortem image.

Because the bible belonged, we think, to Anna Missouri Springsteen, the dead baby may be Mary Emma Beerbower, the daughter born 22 April 1880 in Brightwood (a suburb of Indianapolis), Marion, Indiana, who lived just until 29 June 1880. Anna Missouri and Edgar Peter Beerbower also had another child, little Willie Beerbower, who was born on 14 February 1889 and died the next day in Cairo, Alexander, Illinois. Finding these pictures and learning what might be on the reverse, such as the name of a photographer’s studio, would help to determine which, if either of these children, is in the portrait.

The little boy in the bottom photo might be Edgar Springsteen Beerbower (1876-1940). He was the second son of Anna Missouri and E.P. Beerbower. Edgar married a bit later than usual in life and then divorced, and no children of his have been documented. So there may have been no one who was interested in the photo in later years, thus it remained in the album- just an idea.

Or, could it be Anna Missouri’s littlest brother Joseph Springsteen, born in 1860 but died in 1862, before his second birthday? Much information in the bible is about her siblings.

Or, could it be someone else??

Page 8 of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.
Page 8 of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.

This appears to be a more clear image of the above baby. The reverse image at bottom right is believed to be from the portrait of the young woman below. J. M. Strode was the most prominent photographer in Kokomo, Indiana, for over 25 years, and working in the 1870s. Kokomo is about 60 miles from Indy. Wonder if this image is actually Anna Missouri Springsteen as a young woman? She married Edgar in 1873, and they may have traveled there for their honeymoon or just a visit. (No known family in Kokomo.)

Page 9a of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.
Page 9a of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.

Here is a picture of Anna Missouri when she was young…

Anna Missouri Springsteen as a young woman, possibly circa 1873? (age 18, when she married?)
Anna Missouri Springsteen as a young woman, possibly circa 1873? (age 18, when she married?)

And a bit older- do you see any resemblance?

Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower
Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower

We probably need to do more research on her dress and hairstyle, as that can tell us much about the time period. It would be wonderful if it was an early portrait of Anna (Conner) Springsteen (1824-1887), seen here in later years:

Anna (Conner)Springsteen, cropped from family portrait c1863.
Anna (Conner)Springsteen, cropped from family portrait c1863.

Her eyes are more wide open than her daughter Anna Missouri’s, so there might be a possibility… More research is needed.

We definitely know that the young drummer boy in the upper right is Abram Furman Springsteen (1850-1930), supposedly the youngest drummer boy in the Civil War. That was the legend (not just with family, but in Indiana) though it is probably not true.

Page 9b of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.
Page 9b of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs. (Click to enlarge.)

We don’t know the little baby in the bottom right photo, either. She or he could be any of the folks mentioned above, or even a cousin or family friend. It too looks like a post-mortem photo- notice the wide belt to hold up the baby? The eyes may have been added in, too. Sometimes someone would get behind the baby or child to hold them in place, and that may be the case here too.

So what are your thoughts on these images?

Please do let us know if you have these same photos, and especially if you can identify them!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1.  Family treasure chest.
  2. An interesting article shows some of Victorian death pictures: “Taken from life: The unsettling art of death photography” bhttp://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-36389581

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

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.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 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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Treasure Chest Thursday: The Springsteen Family Bible

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series The Springsteen Family Bible
The Springsteen Family Bible, printed in 1876.
The Springsteen Family Bible, printed in 1876.

Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

We believe the Springsteen Family Bible was owned by Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower (1854-1939), who married Edgar Peter Beerbower (1849-1916) on 12 February 1873 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their first child was born in 1874, and the second in 1876. Perhaps the bible was a gift from Anna’s parents to celebrate, and record, the births, marriages, and deaths in the new family, since it was printed in 1876.

The bible was passed down to Anna’s daughter, Anna May (Beerbower) Helbling, and then to Mary Theresa (Helbling) McMurray.

This and upcoming posts on the Springsteen family bible are based on black and white copies of the pertinent family pages, copied probably back in the 1970s. Please excuse the poor quality of the images.

More to come this week and next with all the family record pages from the Springsteen Family Bible.

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

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.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 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.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

Sentimental Sunday: Four Generations of Springsteens

Four Generations of Springsteens: Jefferson Springsteen, seated, with his great-grandson William Helbling. Standing on left is Jefferson's daughter Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower, and her daughter, Anna May (Beerbower) Helbling, mother of little William.
Four Generations of Springsteens: Jefferson Springsteen, seated, with his great-grandson William Francis Helbling. Standing on left is Jefferson’s daughter Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower, and her daughter, Anna May (Beerbower) Helbling, mother of little William. Taken November, 1906.

Helbling Family, Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

Jefferson Springsteen (1820-1909), married Anna Connor (1824-1887).

Anna Missouri Springsteen (1854-1939) married Edgar Peter Beerbower (1849-1916).

Anna May Beerbower (1881-1954) married William Gerard Helbling (1882-1971).

William Francis Helbling (1906-1907) died at age 15 and one-half months.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest of photos, provided by a dear cousin- thank you!

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

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.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 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.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.

Tuesday’s Tip: Exploring a Family Story- The Springsteens and Abraham Lincoln

Baby Mary T. Helbling with her beloved grandmother, Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower in 1925. Family photo.
Baby Mary T. Helbling with her beloved grandmother, Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower in 1925. Family photo.

Helbling Family, Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

Tuesday’s Tip:

Explore your family stories.

They may hold a bit of truth- or even more.

℘℘℘℘℘

While researching and writing the stories of Abram F. Springsteen for recent posts, a memory of Mary T. (Helbling) McMurray’s story that Abram and his family saw President Abraham Lincoln sparked an interest in checking out that old family story. Mary’s grandmother, Abram’s sister Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower, had moved in with her daughter and son-in-law, Anna May (Beerbower) Helbling and G.W. Helbling, during her later years. Mary and her grandmother were very close and spent quite a bit of time together. They did talk about family a lot, and Mary always knew more about that line of the family than of her father’s.

Many genealogists and historians will say that a good number of family stories are just that- stories. But I have found that our older generations were actually pretty accurate in their storytelling. So off to research and see if there was at least a grain of truth in the oft-told lore.

If memory serves (which it doesn’t always, lately), the reason Abram ran off to the Army was due to him seeing President Lincoln, per Mary, his great-niece. So finding out if Lincoln was anywhere near Indianapolis during 1861 was what was needed to verify this story, since that year was when Abram first enlisted.

It was harder than thought to find a detailed timeline of Lincoln’s activities. After a Google search that did not show me what I needed, I decided to look through Doris Kearns Goodwin’s most excellent book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.

Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Cover image is Daniel Day-Lewis in the 2012 film, "Lincoln."
Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, first published in 2006. Cover image is Daniel Day-Lewis in the 2012 film, “Lincoln.”

Some tidbits but not exactly what I was looking for, though of course it was hard to stop reading through the book. It did give great context for the times, including the tug between sides to prevent or ‘render asunder’ our precious Union that had existed for 85 years.

The Indiana state capital, Indianapolis, was a major railroad and transportation hub. It also was the home of Gov. Oliver Hazard Perry Morton, who was one of Lincoln’s major supporters. Indianapolis was therefore a major base of Union support, so it was highly likely that Lincoln would have paid the city a visit.

The best clue came from waymarking.com, of all places. (They provide ways to log your visit to a particular spot using a GPS.) The site showed an Indianapolis monument commemorating a visit by Lincoln- on 11 February 1861. Bingo. A quick trip to Wikipedia.org led to more and then much more, and the number of open windows on my laptop increased rapidly with all the information I had been seeking, and more.

 

Tomorrow: the real story

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. History of Indianapolis, Indiana, Wikipedia- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Indianapolis
  2. Lincoln’s Inaugaration Journey – Indianapolis:  http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM11MR
  3. Lincoln- assassination attempts just after election (Baltimore Plot):
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_Plot
  4. “Mr. Lincoln Goes to Washington” by Paul Fatout in the Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 321-332. http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/imh/article/view/8077/9867
  5.  A maul is a large, heavy, hammer with a wedge-shaped head that is used to split rails, which Lincoln had done quite a lot of as a young man on the Illinois prairie. Rails are the horizontal supports on a fence.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

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.
 

Original content 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.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.

Military Monday: Abram F. Springsteen and the Grand Army of the Republic

"The Hoosier Drummer Boy," Abram F. Springsteen, 15 Oct 1861
“The Hoosier Drummer Boy,” Abram F. Springsteen, 15 Oct 1861. Family photo.

Helbling Family, Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

Abram F. Springsteen (1850-1930) was considered by many to be the youngest regularly enlisted Civil War soldier, and his picture as a drummer boy was in a museum stating this fact. Mary T. (Helbling) McMurray remembered seeing it when she went to Indianapolis, Indiana, as a young girl, for the funeral of her maternal grandmother, Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower. Anna was Abram’s older sister, but he had predeceased her, so Mary never got to meet her Great-Uncle Abram at the 1939 funeral, but she always wished she had known him.

Not only did Abram serve admirably and also survive the war, but he worked for the War Department in Washington D.C. and advocated for veterans the rest of his life. He was  very active in the G.A.R.- the Grand Army of the Republic. The GAR was a fraternal organization, born out of the need for Union veterans of our most terrible war to share their experiences, both during the war and after. So many were wounded or had health problems stemming from their service, and the camaraderie was good for them. It started out with secret handshakes and rituals, but the GAR also worked politically, supporting the effort to make a national holiday on Memorial Day, fighting within Congress and the government for veteran’s pensions, working toward voting rights for black veterans, and even campaigning for Republican candidates. (The GAR had incredible political clout, and 3 presidents were GAR members.) The GAR promoted patriotic education and commemorative monuments, as well as organized veteran marches in parades on holidays.

The USS Kearsage on display on the Indiana statehouse grounds at the 1893 GAR National Convention. Abrams F. Springsteen attended this encampment. Public domain via Wikipedia.
The USS Kearsage on display on the Indiana statehouse grounds at the 1893 GAR National Convention. Abram F. Springsteen attended this encampment. Public domain via Wikipedia.

Local posts were formed beginning in 1866, and at its peak in 1890, the GAR had 490,000 members. Membership was only available to “veterans of the late unpleasantness,” although they did have an auxiliary for their wives. (There were also 2 women who served in the Civil War who were members.) When the GAR’s last member died in 1956, the group ceased to exist. Its work has been continued by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (S.U.V.C.W.).

The 27 September 1915  Elkhart Daily Review (Elkhart, Indiana) headline read: “Youngest Drummer Boy to Meet Hoosier G.A.R.” Abram F. Springsteen was working in Washington, D.C., and planned to meet his former comrades-in-arms of the Indiana delegation at the train depot “with his old war drum to escort the Hoosiers from the depot to the Raleigh Hotel.”

Grand Army of the Republic ribbon authorized by Congress to be worn on uniforms by Union Army veterans. Public domain, via Wikipedia.
Grand Army of the Republic ribbon authorized by Congress to be worn on uniforms by Union Army veterans. Public domain, via Wikipedia.

Abram also regularly marched with his drum on patriotic days, at GAR encampments, or even to help recruit soldiers for World War I. It was evident that he was proud of his service, and that of his comrades. He surely wanted younger folks to have that same sort of commitment to our country, and he worked tirelessly through his life to achieve that.

Reverse of Grand Army of the Republic ribbon authorized by Congress to be worn on uniforms by Union Army veterans. Public domain, via Wikipedia.
Reverse of Grand Army of the Republic ribbon authorized by Congress to be worn on uniforms by Union Army veterans. Public domain, via Wikipedia.

Since Abram worked in the War Dept. in DC, he had some pretty good connections. His request for government workers to be granted extra days of paid leave so they could attend the 1915 encampment in Washington, DC went all the way to President Woodrow Wilson and was approved. Abram set up the Pension Department, where he worked, so that veterans could tour it and also review their pension file. They could discuss with staff any changes needed, and   the decisions made concerning their pension or rejection of their claim. He also set up special rooms in many of the hotels for the Indiana Regiment in which he served. Abram was in charge of many facets of the 1915 Encampment, including the RSVPs of about three thousand Indiana veterans and their spouses.

GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC, PARADE AT 1915 ENCAMPMENT. CEREMONY BY VETERANS OF G.A.R. IN WEST GALLERY OF CAPITOL; J R. WHITTLESAY OF MO. WITH FLAG, RELEASING WHITE DOVES OF PEACE; DR. JOHN M. ADAMS OF CINCINNATI, STANDING, RIGHT; FRANK KIRSCH GASSNER, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF SONS OF VETERANS. LOC, no restrictions on publication.
GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC, PARADE AT 1915 ENCAMPMENT AT Washington, D.C. CEREMONY BY VETERANS OF G.A.R. IN WEST GALLERY OF CAPITOL; J R. WHITTLESAY OF MO. WITH FLAG, RELEASING WHITE DOVES OF PEACE; DR. JOHN M. ADAMS OF CINCINNATI, STANDING, RIGHT; FRANK KIRSCH GASSNER, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF SONS OF VETERANS. LOC, no restrictions on publication.

The 1915 Encampment was a very special event- it was the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Civil War, when troops marched in review down Pennsylvania Avenue in our Capitol. The veterans planned to recreate that march, though sadly, the Union numbers were quite smaller in 1915. The passage of time contributed heavily- a young man of 20 enlisting in 1861 had aged to 74 by 1915, and many men who served were older than 20 at their enlistment. This encampment was thus considered to be the last held by the GAR- “at least the last one to be held on anything like a pretentious scale.”

The military continued to be a part of the lives of all these veterans through the GAR. Even their death was honored by their comrades- the GAR provided help when a member was ill, and a color guard with full military honors at their funeral.

So Abram Furman Springsteen, beating his drum at the 1915 encampment, had much to reflect upon. He was 65 years old, but again calling to his comrades with the steady beat of his drum.

 

Addendum: The 83rd National G.A.R. Encampment in 1949 was in Indianapolis, but there were only 16 veterans still members. Just six were well enough to attend, with 100 years old being the youngest, and the oldest 108 years of age. Joseph Clovese, 105, attended for the first time in 1949. He had been born a slave on a sugar plantation in Louisiana. Sadly, Abram was not present, since he had passed away in 1930, and there were no Indiana veterans left. It was fitting that this last encampment was held in Indianapolis, as the first had been held there in 1866. The last of the GAR vets died in 1956 (Albert Woolson was 106, and had enlisted as a drummer boy in 1864, at about age 15; his unit never saw service in battle), and the GAR was officially disbanded.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “pretentious scale” quote from “Hoosier Vets Asked for Address” in Evansville Courier, Evansville Indiana, page 6, column 2, via GenealogyBank.com. (Great newspaper website!)
  2. GAR and other Civil War reunions including date and place- http://www.civilwarcenter.olemiss.edu/reunions.html
  3. Elkhart Daily Review, 27 September 1915, page 4, column 1, via GenealogyBank.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

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.
 

Original content 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.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.