Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Birthday to Grandpa Herman August Ludwig Weber

Herman August Ludwig Weber, my paternal grandfather; photo taken around 1912 or so .
Large baptism certificate for Herman.
  I was delighted to come across in paperwork from the family, the baptismal certificate of my grandfather Herman August Ludwig Weber.  He was born on the 25th of November, 1879.  His father was 48 years old when he was born.  Herman's father was Philip Weber -- but here on this certificate his name is spelled Phillipp.  If only there was a photo in the space provided!
Close-up of baptismal certificate of Herman.
(Aside) Philip was born in 1831in Darmstadt, Hesse, Prussia  and came to the US in 1853 when he was 22 years old.   Philip was first married to Alberdian Doerning on October 24, 1862 with whom he had a four children,  Elizabeth, Anna, John and Emma.  Both Elizabeth and John passed away in 1880 from some infectious disease (I can't remember now although I once heard, something like measles).  She was 16 and he was 12.  Alberdian died in November of 1869 after only 7 years of marriage, but gave birth to four children.  Philip then married Louisa Retzlaff on the 10th of June 1870.  The fact that Philip's next child, Mary, was born the end of November 1870 -- would indicate that they maybe got a bit of a head start on that little addition.  They had three more, George, Julius and Gustav before Herman, third from the end, showed up. Henrietta and Philip, born in 1882 and 1884 respectively) were the last two children of Philip and Louisa. .  
  This is the only photo I am aware of taken of Philip Weber and Louisa Retzloff Weber.  This may have been a wedding picture.  He would have been 39 when they were married and she would have been 27. 
 This is Louisa Retzlaff Weber
This is Philip Weber, born in 1831. 
 This is Philip in his later years
This photo was taken with his daughter Anna Goodyear. Philip passed away on January 6, 1926 when he was 94.  His second wife Louisa had passed away over forty years before on the 4th of November 1885 when she was only 42. When they were married he was twelve years older than she was and  they were only married for 15 years. Out of his 94 years he was only married for 22 of them. 
Herman and Susan Weber
(Now back to Herman.)  This is a photo of Herman Weber, son of Philip Weber, along with his wife Susan Rosina Sherwood.  They were married in 1918.  She looks like she could be in her 40s in this photo, so he likely was in his mid to late 50s.  Herman Weber had been hired to help William Sherwood at Spring Brook Farm which had been owned by the Sherwood family since 1886. Herman's father had fought in the Civil War and Susan's Grandfather had fought in the Civil War -- such was the differences in the times to which they were born and the age each had attained at the time.  See former blog post on Civil War veterans.
The Weber children -- William, Mary, Robert and Carl
Herman and Susan had four children who all grew up on the family dairy farm in Kendall, Wisconsin. The land, like the Wisconsin Dells, is beautiful with large rolling hills, fields, forest and amazing rock outcroppings. My dad shared memories of his childhood on the farm.  
"On Sunday afternoons Dad always washed the milking machines.  One time when I was probably five or six years old, Dad was down in the milk house doing this weekly chore when I decided to go down and join him.  The town road ran between the farm buildings, the house was on one side and the cow barn, and the granary and the milk house were on the other.  
Spring Brook Farm
Being a playful five-year-old, I picked up several pieces of gravel and one at a time threw them up on the roof of the granary, which was above the milk house.  My father was very displeased with this.  He came up from the milk house and over to where I was standing with my pocket full of stones, “Robert,” he said.  (Dad always called me Robert, never Bob), "Robert, every time one of those stones hits the roof it chips off the galvanized coating, leaving it so that the roof can rust and eventually start to leak.  I don’t want you to do that any more.'  And father returned to his job in the milk-house.  Well, being a somewhat obedient child, and fearing the wrath of my father, I decided to quit throwing stones on the roof, but thought it wouldn’t hurt to throw just one over the roof.  With all my might, I heaved the biggest one that I had in my pocket over the roof. 

"Except that it didn’t go over the roof.  It hit right on the peak and came -- boink, boink, boink, -- down to the ground.  The stone hit the ground about the same time my father hit me.  He flew up out of that milk-house, which, by the way, was in the basement, took me across his knee, and commenced to whale the whoopies out of me.  It was a good lesson.  Never again during the time when I was at home did I ever cross my father.  That was the only time I ever remember getting spanked. 
            "When we were little, Dad had us boys take turns
following the mower that was cutting the hay to pick the weeds out and stack them in piles.  This was to prevent the weed seeds from going into the barn and the hayloft.  I remember how hot it used to be and how far it was around the field even though we took turns and only had to each do one out of every three turns around the field.  I didn’t see why we had to pick the weeds out of our hay and the neighbors didn’t.  We used to burn the weeds after they dried out. I realize now that Dad was a very good farmer."

"One of the tasks on the farm that I enjoyed quite a bit was haying.  We usually put up quite a bit of hay.  We had two barns, a cow barn and a horse barn.  Both had large hay lofts.  And we almost always filled both lofts with hay.  I usually got the job in the field of mauwing  (his  spelling) the hay back.  My oldest brother and my dad would throw the hay on the wagon and I would distribute the hay around.  I used to pride myself that I could load a load of hay so that it could be taken up into the haymow in four dump forks full and leave a perfectly clean wagon.  "
This photo of Herman and the family was taken in 1950 with the advent of his first grandson!
"Well, another interesting part of my youth was that in Wisconsin we have many maple trees and perfect spring weather for maple sugaring.  Almost no one in my neighborhood did any maple tree tapping or sugaring, but I decided that I wanted to.  I acquired a bunch of metal cans, and made some spouts from elderberry stems.  I built a stone-boat type sled, and added a couple of anchors for ten gallon cans on the sled and every spring I would tap the maple trees.  I couldn’t get any of my siblings interested in my project so I had to pretty much do it all alone.  I’d tap the trees, hang the buckets, empty them every morning or night, haul the sap down to the house , about a quarter of a mile, on the sled that I had built.  Mother did help with the project in that she helped me boil the sap down into syrup and sugar.  
William and Ella Jane Sherwood with Herman Weber sugaring maple trees.  Photo likely taken by Susan Sherwood Weber, probably around 1920 or so, years before this story.
"Although the whole family seemed disinterested in the project, one really happy memory occurred as a result of it.  It was toward the end of the sugaring season.  We had had a cold night the night before and the sap was running pretty heavy.  When I finished gathering the sap and started home, I had two full ten gallon cans of sap on the sled which is about 160-180 pounds of sap.  Because it was late in the spring, the snow was still only patchy and there was lots of bare ground.  I did pretty well coming from the woods until I got to the flat of the valley.  The snow was all melted in the open areas as I approached the buildings. 
Far acreage facing the maple trees across the valley.
And with about 170 pounds of sap on the sled it didn’t move very easy on the muddy grass.  I was able to only move it 10-15 feet at a time and I would have to stop and rest.  I had made it about a third of the way across the open area when Dad saw my predicament and walked over to meet me.  What a proud day it was to have my Dad pulling that sled with me the rest of the way to the house.  I get all choked up today, thinking about it. "
I never knew my Grandfather Herman as he passed away before I was old enough to have any memory of him.  He passed away on September 28, 1952.  He had a heart attack and left his family at 72 years of age.
Happy 137th birthday today Grandpa Herman.  You are gone from us, but not forgotten.  

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Latest Adventures Into Vintage Reupholstering

A few months ago I wrote about the Great-Grandmother Rocking Chair that was in deplorable condition and the amazing work our local Design Craft company did that transformed it into an amazing and authentic piece of furniture.  At the same time that we had been debating whether or not to take THAT rocker to the dump or to get it repaired and reupholstered, we also had another Grandmother Rocking Chair as well as an overstuffed chair and daveno (sofa) that my parents had bought at Christmas time in 1947.  That furniture was always a part of my childhood no matter where we moved (being Air Force gypsies). We wanted to keep the sofa and the chair as we closed out the parents estate, but really didn't have room for them.  We finally donated the sofa to Goodwill or some other charity, but kept the chair.  The "daveno" was a style of sofa that had a blanket storage compartment under the seat.  We would lift up the seat part and raise it up until it "clicked."  At that point the seat and the back of the sofa would both lie down flat and provide a bed  for sleeping.  I don't remember the fabric on the chair ever being anything but brown but I knew that at some point my folks had had it reupholstered from whatever the original color had been. 
My baby brother sitting in the overstuffed chair  when we lived in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1966. 
Is that kid cute or what!!
I came across one of my mother's letters to her mother-in-law Susan and her brother and sister in law, Carl and Mary both of whom lived at home as they were not yet married.  Mary would be married to LeRoy in six months and Carl would marry Shirley a year after that.. 
 Box 724
Troutdale, Oregon
2 Jan 1948
Dearest Mother, Dad, Carl & Mary,
First of all, we wish to thank you all for the lovely Christmas present. We haven’t decided what to get for it.  We got a lovely Free-Westinghouse Sewing machine just a few days before Christmas. It was from the Wedding present Money you were so wonderful to give us.  It sure is a lovely sewing machine. .  .  .  . 
.   .   .   .   . Then for Christmas we got each other a daveno and chair.  I gave Bob the chair and he gave me the daveno.  It sure makes the living room look nice.  It is a dark wine and is awfully pretty
We received some lovely gifts for Christmas.  Mother and Dad gave us a nice toaster.  Bruce gave us a punch bowl and cups. It is beautiful. Marolyn and LaVonne gave us a plastic tablecloth and it is so pretty – peach and white.  Aunt Atha and Uncle George sent us a lovely luncheon cloth and napkins.  Letha and Ralph sent us a picture of Little Rickey. He certainly is a darling.
Was the Christmas season well and prosperous to you folks?  I do hope you received many lovely gifts.  We are waiting to hear from you. Do wish we could see you.  We have enough room. Must sign off. God Bless and Keep You.
                                    Love,                                               
                                            Bob and Bernadine

At the time I read this letter -- after we had already chosen the new fabric -- I had not known that the original color  had been a "dark wine color."  We had taken a photo of the fabric sample we had chosen.  Coincidence or a little prodding from my late mother?
You can't get much more "dark wine color" than Burgundy!

After we got this chair reupholstered we REALLY wished that we had also kept the daveno, but "no use crying over spilled milk" as they say.  At the time we had the chair reupholstered we asked the owners of Design Craft about having an ottoman added to the project. The custom designed ottoman was a bit pricy but we could not be happier with the outcome! 
 The total finished project
 Refinished woodwork above and below

 Detail on the ottoman above and below.
Matches beautifully!
Our last project (OK, aside from recovering the dining room chairs) was redoing my maternal grandmother's rocking chair. The rocking chair was broken somewhere in the frame and anyone who sat in it found themselves listing to port.  The white or cream upholstery had faded and grimed over the years.  But it had sentimental value.  We are such suckers for sentiment! 
 Here is Grandma's rocking chair sitting in front of the Design Craft shop entrance.

 Close up of wood arms.
 This time we chose a fanciful fabric that we fell in love with and hoped would work well.  It is actually rather hard to get the fabric to reveal the true blue tones because for some reason the fabric in the photos usually appear grayed and somewhat washed out.  There are gray tones in the fabric but to the natural eye the blue is dominant.  To the camera eye, the grays are apparently more pronounced. 
 This is probably the truest color.
 While this photo is somewhat grayed, it shows the subtle whimsical animals scattered throughout the fabric .  Not  noticeable on a quick perusal, they "magically" appear.
The chair still had the tag attached.  It was either manufactured in 1915 or 1925. Hard to read. Apparently in its day the FS Harmmon Mfg in Tacoma, Washington did a great deal of furniture business. 
 
In either possible date, my grandmother was only15 or 25 years old when the rocker was produced and if it could talk could likely give descriptions of several homes.  Grandma, Grandpa and five of their six children moved to Oregon in about 1943 or 44.  Mom traveled with them shortly before her marriage to Dad in Louisiana in summer of 1944.   Her youngest sister was then still just a "twinkle in Grandpa's eyes" while they were traveling across country, but by the time of Mom's wedding my aunt was a regular little "bun in the oven."  Mom was 22 years older than her baby sister. 
We are happy to be done with reupholstering furniture but know that each of these should last the rest of our lifetimes at least. It is nice to rock in the arms of a chair that has rocked many children and grandchildren over the years.  And it is also very comforting to still have the chair of my childhood, almost restored to its newness on Christmas 1947.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Vacation Dismay -- How I Missed The Family Reunion

What a learning experience this week was!  While still at work on Wednesday, I had heard that Southwest Airlines had had problems with their computer system and it had been down overnight on Tuesday and they were dealing with the backlog all that day.  I assumed (wrongly) that that was then and this was now.  I was sure it would be history by the next day.  When I arrived at Sea-Tac Thursday morning, I discovered that my flight to St Louis was going to be an hour delayed.  That meant that I would miss my connecting flight to Minneapolis, but there was a later flight that I would be moved to and all would end well. OK, I thought, I could deal with a later flight even though it meant I wouldn't be at the reunion when it started.  Little did I know. . .
 
Our flight finally left Seattle around 11:00am (change from 9:00am).  We arrived in St Louis after 4:00 local time.  I had about four hours till my next flight, so I spent some time walking around the airport, checking out dinner options and spending some time window shopping.  Somewhere along the way the flight status went from an 8:30pm departure to a 10:00pm departure.  I had a good dinner at Chili's. No rush here! After dinner I called the hotel in Minneapolis and told them that I would need to arrange a late shuttle pickup when my plane arrived after midnight, but that I wanted them to continue to hold the room.  Then the departure time went to 12:30am. And later to 1:30am.   And then back to 10:30pm.   Then a few golden seconds when it said "On Time" -- but that was an error message if ever there was one!.  Discovered in all of my myriad conversations with customer service that we were waiting on flight 3021 that had NOT left Washington DC because our flight to Minneapolis was the continuation of that flight.  So the rest of the dragging hours were spent getting constantly changing departure to MN messages and arrival board from Washington DC. 
I stopped in again for customer services.  The carrot dangling in front of our eyes was the ever changing expected departure of this one flight.  There was no other hope.  They now could not book me for another flight to Minneapolis until Saturday night (this was Thursday).  Well, the family reunion would be over with breakfast Sunday morning, so if this flight didn't go I wasn't going to get there until the goodbye  hugs were underway. 
I talked to many other individuals and families who were also off to various family reunions all over the country.  No flights available to Cleveland; no flights to Chicago; no flights to anywhere everyone wanted to go.  And there were many of us waiting on that one ambiguous flight to Minneapolis that continued to hang on hour after hour. 

Once I realized that there was no hope of getting to the reunion, I wanted to know about getting home.  I could have bought a ticket to Minneapolis on another carrier, but then I would have had to also buy a ticket to fly back to Seattle, or I could try to use my Southwest return flights, but what if they were still dealing with this backlog on Monday? I was very concerned about getting back home because not only did I have to go to work, but the days I had already taken I were not paid vacation, so adding to my lack of work days and income was not a positive thought. I asked about flights back to Seattle -- nothing for  days.  Not through Orange County, Sacramento or San Francisco.  Not through Portland, Spokane, or even Boise.

I decided around 11 PM that I needed a Plan B.  I was already very tired, having milled around the airport for hours.  I checked out Travelocity (several flights available but not changeable) and decided to look at Alaska Airlines directly.  I found and booked the earliest NON STOP flight home to Seattle that I could get and paid  extra for a refundable ticket because IF I could get to Minneapolis to the reunion on my original ticket, I still wanted to go there.  Our reunion happens every three years and I will statistically likely not see some of the older cousins by the time the next comes around in 2019. I already feel cheated for not getting a chance to see them again and hope that their strong Norwegian constitutions will get them safely to the next reunion.

There were a few bright spots along the way.  I talked to a variety of people of all ages, ethnicities and interests.  There was definitely a sense of community between fellow travelers. I noticed fairly quickly that I was seeing many of the same people over and over again!  When the flight to Minneapolis was finally cancelled around midnight, I ended up in line near another woman traveling alone (she was meeting a relative in Minneapolis to drive together to a family reunion camping trip further east!). Her first name was the same as my middle name and my first name and her middle names were variations on a theme, so that seemed fortuitous! We hung out together for the next several hours.  We met a great employee of Southwest, Ivy, who rescued us from the long lines of people waiting to be processed now that our flight was cancelled and she issued us each our $200 travel vouchers.  She was the brightest spot in this ordeal.
We had to find my new acquaintance's luggage which had been unloaded since there was no flight to Minneapolis.  She had their camping gear with her!
She (and many other people) attempted to arrange rental cars, but couldn't get one because she wanted a one-way rental  rather than returning the car to St. Louis airport.  No one knew that till they got to the rental car office so we had a round trip ride!
We talked about sharing a hotel room for the night but by the time Southwest  cancelled our tickets all the local hotels were already booked.  Around 3:00 AM we said goodbye as she returned to the Southwest terminal and I had the rental shuttle drop me off at Alaska.  I was now looking at only another four hour wait for the beautiful Alaska flight to take me away from this chaos!  I seriously could not see myself continuing to camp in the airport for another couple of days while Southwest worked all the bugs out of their system!  I settled in to a moderately comfortable airport chair, used my suitcase as a ottoman and my bag (which had a pillow in it) as a pillow!    
When morning arrived I was delighted to board Alaska flight 711 and head for home, even if I was out another $600.  I was still sad I was missing the reunion.   It was the shortest four hour flight I have ever taken since because of exhaustion, I slept soundly from after takeoff until about 40 minutes before touch down.  Was I happy to see home sweet home!
So, what did I learn?  I learned that as soon as I was told there was a delay I should have checked to see how widespread delays were.  I should have cancelled that flight (planning to use it later) right away and booked another carrier if I could get a reasonable flight and headed for the reunion another way.  Worst case I should have just gone home and given up on the reunion immediately and avoided spending an entire day getting nowhere.  I did receive a $200 voucher for a future flight. I also got an email from Southwest today giving me a code for 50% off another flight.  But we still need to have another conversation about getting this entire flight back to use because I NEVER wanted to end up in St. Louis.  I wanted to end up in Minneapolis!  I don't think going to St. Louis counts as using my outbound ticket.  Time will tell!
 
Alas, I still did not get to see my very extended family -- which was the whole point of attending the reunion.  Hope I get to see you all again in 2019!  Stay well and prosper!
 
 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Spending A Little Time With Our Schipperke Pup

We are at week five waiting for our new puppy to grow enough to take home and we also have an upcoming family reunion that we will wait to attend before bringing home our prospective new family member.  But today we took a little road trip to see him again or for other family members, to meet him. We got to the breeder's home and were met with sounds of her early warning system. A few little dogs were barking up a storm and notifying the world that strangers had shown up.   His new Dad hadn't seen him in person yet, so got to meet him first this time. 
 Here he is meeting his new Dad's arm.  Such a dinky little dog yet.
 Here he is being held by his soon-to-be mom.
The room lighting is fairly dim for the comfort of the puppies.  Getting the angle right for the light is a little tricky!  He really has two eyes!  As do I :-).
 Here he was sitting on the floor for just a few moments.  And he follows that up with trying to walk around a little bit.  Probably has not spent much time on the floor yet.
video
Getting stronger and more adventurous every day. 
 I managed to share again and here pup is with Dad.  This provided some cute little close up shots.
 How to choose. . . Oh, well, I'll just keep adding photos.
Plumb tuckered out after all this excitement!
In comes mom -- Kiss Me Kate -- who is a wonderful mom to her pups and off they all went nursing again.  They all seemed delighted to be back in their warm and familiar family and getting another great warm meal.  Kate was very attentive to her pups and knew IMMEDIATELY that there was one missing as soon as she got back in the room.  She definitely could count -- one, two, three -- WHERE IS MY OTHER PUP!!  We gave her back her little pup and all was well. 
video
It was sad to have to get in the car and return home pup-less, but we know he is being well loved and cared for.  All four little pups are already accounted for -- fortunately.   Our daughter who went along for the day trip fell in love with one of the two female pups -- "the one with the flo-ahh-ppy ears" but when she found out the full cost of obtaining one, decided to save for another day.  We hadn't talked to our kids about the cost of pups these days just all the fun parts!
A cute twosome!  It would be fun to have a couple of little schipperkes.  But for now we will start with just one. We've narrowed names a bit -- but it is a challenging process.
We are very impressed with the dog breeder. Not a puppy mill. Pups raised inside, get attention and socialization and everything is clean and standards are excellent.  When we get our pup in a month and post after all is said and done, we will be happy to give out contact information if they would like.  If not, then that is OK also.  But for now this is not yet our pup so we do respect their privacy!
 Here we are looking at and holding them one more time.  Can't get enough of the sweet little guy.
I hate to wait. . .but am enjoying the anticipation.  CS Lewis says there are three parts to a wonderful experience.  There is the time of expectation and anticipation, then the actual longed-for event, and then the years of reliving the wonderful memory to follow.  So true.  I am enjoying the anticipating part but know it won't compare to having the fuzzy little fur-ball home and running around our house.  The new fence is up and the gates go up on Monday.  Repairs to fence after major windstorm last winter are motivated by safety for new pup.  (Not that he will be outside without supervision for a long time yet.)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Clipping Solves Another Family Mystery -- Finding Carrie

I was looking for photos to post on Facebook for Father's Day when I came across the short obituary seen above.  I had no idea when I picked this up that it would unravel a long-time family mystery!  One of the family history questions I have had for almost 10 years is "Whatever happened to Carrie?" 

My great, great, great Uncle Henry Carlton Richardson was born to Robert M. Richardson and Rosina Healy Richardson on November 18, 1868.  He answered the call to fight to preserve the Union on December 2, 1861.  He fought in the War for 4 years and was injured twice.  On Sept 11, 1864 he was promoted to a Full Sergeant.  He mustered out of the service at age 26 on July 17, 1865.
Henry Carlton Richardson during his Civil War Service
Shortly after his return to civilian life, he married Jennie Whitcher of the Newbury, Vermont
Whitcher clan. It would seem since he came home in July and was married in October that either this was a whirlwind romance, or Jennie had been waiting a long time for him to come home.  Henry's brother Nathaniel  had married Jennie's sister Julia in November of 1861 and that may be how Henry met Jennie.  Anyway, Henry and Jennie had a first child, a daughter they named Cora, on December 2, 1866.  Cora was born in Topsham, Vermont where the Richardson's lived.  In August of 1868, they had a second daughter, Carrie. 
 Julia Whitcher Richardson, sister of Jennie
Nathaniel Healy Richardson, brother of Henry
At this time Henry and Jennie had either moved to Lancaster, New Hampshire with plans to stay there or had decided on an extended visit in order for Julia to help out with the toddler when Jennie gave birth to the second child.  At any rate, they were living with or nearby Nathanial and Julia Richardson when their hopes and dreams were cut short. A short time after Carrie was born in August, Jennie passed away (September 6, 1868). I surmise that after his wife passed away that Henry was counseled by his brother and sister-in-law that he couldn't work and raise two babies on his own and they advocated to let Julia and Nat continue to care for the two children while he pulled his life together after this terrible loss.

Years later one of his nieces would reminisce over his Civil War service, the impact of his injuries on his life and outliving three of his four wives to remark that he "must not have had a very happy life."  For some reason he returns to Topsham, Vermont, leaving his children with his brother's family in Lancaster, New Hampshire.  The following year he married Lydia Marie Whitehill.  Her parents were William and Anna (McLam) Whitehill.   She was also, it appears, a widow of Abraham Patterson Whitehill whose parents were James and Margaret (Holmes) Whitehill.  Lydia also had two daughters from her first marriage, Fannie (born in October of 1865)  and Nellie  (born in January of 1867).  How close the two Whitehill connections were (cousins or no relations) I have no idea. 
 Fannie Whitehill
Nellie Whitehill
The 1870 census records show that Henry and Lydia Richardson and her two children along with a first son born to them, little Robert, were all living in Palo Alto Township, Jasper County, Iowa. They had moved West to seek their fortunes. Henry and Lydia owned and were living on an farm adjacent to one owned by his sister, Rosina Jane Richardson Stevens and her husband David Stevens along with their daughter, my great-grandmother, Ella Jane Stevens.  However, Henry's children from his first married were not there.  A few years later Henry and his family returned to Vermont. David and Rosina Stevens moved back to Wisconsin where they had previously moved before the joint move to Iowa with Henry.

In the 1870 census, Cora shows up still living  with Nat and Julia Richardson in Lancaster, New Hampshire.  At this time she is 3 years old.  Nat and Julia also had two sons born to them, Arthur and Fred.  The three children show up together at various census takings across the years and later Cora marries Harry Bailey, they have kids and fade off into their own family history lines.  But the question remained, "What happened to Carrie?"  I have somewhere in the collection a letter from Julia to her mother in law, Rosina Healy Richardson, where she mentions that a family that wants to adopt Carrie but that Henry wasn't willing to let that happen.  But the name she writes is not legible and at this moment I've lost track of it so can't confirm.  But the story took a new twist today and a lot of puzzle pieces fell into place.

I began reading this short obituary and had no clue who "Mrs. Thomas Kasson" was.  But my great grandmother had saved the clipping for some reason! The name of the deceased's daughter, "Mrs. Mitchell of Hull, Massachusetts" was equally unenlightening.  But then the first ray of light fell upon the page -- survived by a brother, Hiram Whitcher - so there was her maiden name.  And I knew of the Whitchers because of the two Richardson brothers married to two Whitcher sisters.  And then the light blazed because one of the surviving sisters was the very "Mrs. N. H. Richardson of Lancaster, N.H" -- Nat's Julia.  I had found another sister of Julia and Jennie, one that I did not have listed in my family history information.

The next step was to take the limited information I had and search for information on her husband Thomas Kasson using her maiden name -- Whitcher -- as the connection.  The internet has its good side!  Soon I discovered a Naomi Kasson who was also a Whitcher before her marriage.  And surprise, surprise! In the 1870 census record of Thomas and Naomi Kasson who lived in Newbury, Vermont, there is listed a child in their home named "Carrie," -- a one year old.  The large Whitcher family parents and grandparents and all their children were originally from Newbury and here among them was Naomi and her husband. In addition, in the 1990 census the record of Naomi shows that she had given birth to no children (one of the questions asked).  And as a final confirmation of the real Carrie being found at last, in the probate of the will of Naomi Kasson, she makes her niece, Carrie, her executrix.  I always had been aware that my great aunts had known the whereabouts of both of Henry's first two daughters, but they never noted what became of them.  Everyone in their generations knew and didn't think about it enough to write down the information.
Henry Carlton Richardson in his later years
Adoption is a theme that runs through our family history.  My great grandmother Ella Jane was born to Mary Elizabeth Richardson (sister of both Henry and Rosina Jane) and Evi Welch.  Later Ella Jane was adopted by Rosina Jane, her aunt.  Cora it appears was not legally adopted either but she already had the same last name as her aunt and uncle who raised her.  Carrie took the name of Kasson early as in both the 1870 and 1880 census records she is listed as a Kasson. However, when she marries Ambrose B Mitchell, the record of the marriage notes that her parents were Henry Richardson and Jennie Whitcher.  At long last the mystery is laid to rest! 

Henry was married to Jennie for less than three years.  Their marriage took place on October 13, 1865 and she passed away on September 6, 1868.  He married Lydia on March 17, 1869 and they were married for 27 years until she died on March 26, 1886.   My great Aunt Dora wrote that Lydia was "the love of his life" and they are buried together.  He later married Maria Beede Chenowyth, daughter of Jonathan and Prudence Beede, another widow who had two children from her first marriage.  She lived until January 23, 1894. 
Lastly, Henry married Lillia Keyes on July 10, 1894.  She was much younger and lived until 1949.  I know nothing of their marriage relationship, but know the family liked her and were supportive of her obtaining his Civil War Pension. She outlived him and he was buried together with his Lydia, the wife to whom he was married the longest and with whom he had five of his seven children.
Henry and Lydia Rest in Peace Together
So at last Carrie was found -- right where she belonged, just like her sister, surrounded by Whitchers and Richardsons!  Carrie was born to Jennie Whitcher Richardson but raised by her  Aunt Naomi Whitcher Kasson. Cora was born to Jennie and raised by her Aunt Julia Whitcher Richardson.  The sisters grew up as cousins more than as sisters and also grew up as cousins to their other five half siblings born to their father and Lydia.  It's nice to know what actually happened to Carrie!
 
[Postscript:  For my first cousins and other not too distant relations who might be confused --, a little more identification on Carrie and Cora.  In reverse, following our ancestors in ascending order -- Begin with Ella Jane who was Dora, Susan and George's mother.   Her mother was Rosina Jane Richardson Stevens. Her brother was Henry Carlton Richardson.  Their parents were Robert and Rosina (Healy) Richardson.  I know this gets confusing! Henry is our 3rd great Uncle and Cora and Carrie were our First Cousins 3 times removed.]