Monday, November 9, 2015

Happy (Belated) Halloween!

Usually I go all out for Halloween: I set up a cemetery in my front yard, carve pumpkins with scary faces on the front and reversed words on the back so that they will cast wavering messages on the walls or gravestones behind them when lit, and come up with an elaborate costume. Then I watch the old Universal classic horror movies incessantly until the season is past.

But this year I just wasn’t feeling it. I never got around to setting up the cemetery. I bought only one pumpkin and never got around to carving it. The party I was going to attend was cancelled, so my costume had barely been begun before I set it aside. I did buy candy to hand out to the seven trick-or-treaters who braved the torrential rain to come knocking at my door, but instead of passing the evening with Dracula or the Wolfman, I stared at reruns of Batman and Wonder Woman.

Halloween was over before I really began to feel the spirit (pun intended). Now that I should be preparing for Thanksgiving, I am finally watching those old Universal films. If it didn’t seem silly to put them up so late, I would be out in the rain erecting my collection of foam tombstones. And I’m considering going back to work on that costume so it will be ready for next year.

And it was in this mood, with the Wolfman snarling onscreen, that I revisited a page of the Sedan Lance in order to create a better source citation for a couple articles about John and Cora Brosius. It was a February edition, but a most Halloweenish statement caught my eye:

A ghost was seen in East Sedan last week, one dark night. It passed along the street dressed in a gown, and never said a word.

Of course I realize that the idea of ghosts was taken more seriously in the past than it is today, but to see such an item stuck casually in among the local news, and at a time (1893) that seems to me not so very long ago, was startling. And in February, when one’s thoughts don’t quite so naturally turn to ghosts...

Happy Halloween!


Local News,” Sedan Lance, 8 Feb 1893, p. 3, col. 1; digital images, America’s GenealogyBank ( : accessed 22 Sept 2011), Historical Newspapers.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Recent Discovery or Two

Perhaps you have noticed that I have been doing very little blogging lately. That does not mean that I have been neglecting genealogy. Well, perhaps I did neglect it a little (only a little) during the summer, but that is the time for less sedentary pursuits. But with the close of summer I have again been busily digging through records and revisiting sources. My lunch breaks are again devoted to poring over faded scrawls courtesy of FamilySearch, and only this week I had occasion to exclaim to every passing coworker “I just learned the names of two sets of my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents!” counting the greats on my fingers.

The aforesaid 6great-grandparents were found on the 2 Feb 1779 marriage record of, naturally, my 5great-grandparents. They are, in fact, the grandparents of Heinrich Mertz, whose own marriage record to Catharina Odrimong revealed so much information in my post “Luxembourg Records: A Little Practical Advice.” Their names, incidentally, are Nicolai Mertens and Theresia Hoffman of Keispelt, and Michael Trausch and Margaretha Niles of Dondelange. And on Halloween day I located the death record of Michael Trausch. It seems somehow appropriate to find a death record on Halloween.
These records will eventually be transcribed and translated in my Luxembourgish record project; for now this simple announcement of the discovery will suffice.


Parochia de Kehlen (Kehlen, Luxembourg), Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948, “S├ępultures 1760-1797,” Michael Trausch's death record; digital image #111 of 129, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 Oct 2015).

Parochia de Kehlen (Kehlen, Luxembourg), Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948, “Tables des mariages, mariages 1756-1793,” marriage record of Theodorus Mertens and Susanna Trausch; digital image #27 of 88, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Oct 2015).

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Harold Frank Amos & Florence Fisher

Here’s another article about a wedding on the Amos side of my family. This time the groom is a son of my great-grandmother Flora (Amos) Underwood’s brother Arthur.

The wedding, somewhat to my surprise, took place at the local Baptist church. I had believed the Amos family to be members of the Church of England. Perhaps the bride was a Baptist?

The Baptist Church in Burnham-on-Crouch
Dr Neil Clifton [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The wedding of Mr. Harold Frank Amos, third son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Amos, of Silver Road, Burnham, with Miss Florence Fisher, of Chapel Road, took place at the Baptist Church. The Rev. C. J. Soar officiated, and Miss Nellie Cole was at the organ. The bride was in white satin, and carried a bouquet of white carnations. The bridesmaids were the Misses Maud and Rose Amos, in green silk, with bouquets of bronze chrysanthemums. There were two little pages, Ross and Bobbie Amos, also in green. Mr. Thomas Amos was best man. As the bridal party left the church, fellow watermen of the bridegroom formed an archway of oars.

The entire party named, with the exception of the Rev. C. J. Soar and Nellie Cole the organist, is made up of members of the groom’s family. The bridesmaids, Maud and Rose Amos, are his sisters; the “little pages,” Ross and Bobbie Amos, are his nephews by his brother Walter; and the best man, Thomas Amos, is his brother.

I like the idea of the fellow watermen forming an archway of oars. I managed to find a few images online of the practice, though they all appeared to be under copyright. If you would like to see my favorite of the images, click here. It differs from Harold Frank Amos’ wedding in that the holders of the oars are all women, but it appears to take place much nearer the date of that wedding than any of the other pictures I found, although it is still about twenty years later.


Archway of Oars at a Burnham Wedding,” The Chelmsford Chronicle, 21 Nov 1930, p. 11, col. 5; digital images, British Newspaper Archive ( : accessed 26 Dec 2012), Brightsolid in partnership with the British Library.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday’s Obituary: Sarah (Rix) Filby

Previously we looked at the obituary of William Filby, my great-great-grandmother’s brother. Today we will take a look at the much briefer obituary of his wife, Sarah.

FILBY.—On Sept. 29, at 60 Wantz Road, Maldon, Sarah, the beloved wife of William Filby, and eldest daughter of the late Robert Rix, of Heybridge Basin, in her 79th year.

Heybridge Basin, where “the late Robert Rix” lived, and William and Sarah Filby themselves lived for a while. In the background of this shot can be seen the Old Ship Inn, previously known as the Chelmer Brig, which they ran for a period of years.
John Winfield [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons



“Deaths,” The Essex Newsman, 12 Oct 1918, p. 4, col. 5; digital images, British Newspaper Archives ( : accessed 26 Dec 2012), Brightsolid in partnership with the British Library.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Amanuensis Monday: Soil Stabilization District

This week I am transcribing an article which touches only briefly on my family history. Instead, my interest in the article stems more from a familiarity with the geographical area and its history.

First, the family history portion: Walter Underwood is stated to be the president of the Netarts and Oceanside Community club. I am not certain at this time whether it is Walter Underwood, Sr., my great-grandfather, or Walter Underwood, Jr., his son, but it is one or the other. They both had homes in Netarts.

The beach at Netarts, looking toward Happy Camp, August 2015

Group Urges Soil District
NETARTS, March 30. (Special)—Members of the Netarts and Oceanside Community club expressed a desire at a meeting of the club here this week for a soil stabilization district to extend from the one recently organized in the Sandlake area, north along the coast and taking in Bayocean.

With considerable sliding along the coast line, including extensive erosion on the Bayocean peninsula, it was felt a soil stabilization district is needed. Mich Provo, Netarts; Robert Brady, Oceanside; Bob Watkins, Bayocean, and Walter Underwood, Netarts, president of the club, were chosen to look into the matter of getting a soil stabilization district established.

Developments in the Cape Lookout area, including a state park under development, also were discussed. Mrs. Robert Brady of Oceanside was elected secretary to complete the unexpired term of Quentin Terry, Oceanside, who resigned from the office.

The article mentions “extensive erosion on the Bayocean peninsula,” which makes anyone with a knowledge of Bayocean history nod sagely. The town of Bayocean no longer exists. It was founded as a vacation resort town, but the building of a new jetty on only one side of the bar caused a change in the ocean currents, and the town was eaten by the sea.

At the time that this article was published, the natatorium had already been swallowed, but some buildings yet remained. The town was still a town, albeit a suffering one. The worst was yet to come. Eventually every building would fall, and the spit on which the town had been built would become an island.

Today, the spit has been reestablished as a spit due to the building of a second jetty, which caused the sands to re-accumulate. It is again connected to the mainland, but its glorious past is long gone. The only building on it now is an outhouse for the convenience of boaters and those who come to walk or ride their bikes up its single gravel road. It is now a county park, closed to vehicular traffic.

Walking down Bayocean Spit, August 2012

I also find the mention of “developments in the Cape Lookout area, including a state park under development” to be interesting. Nearly every summer a large group of friends and I enjoy the campground at that state park and hike the trail that runs to the bluff. It seems almost strange to realize that the park was still new in 1940.

The beach at Cape Lookout State Park one misty July morning, also in 2012


Group Urges Soil District,” The Oregonian, 31 Mar 1940, p. 26, col. 4; digital images, America’s GenealogyBank ( : accessed 23 Jun 2012), Historical Newspapers.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: William George Snell & Maud May Amos

For the same reasons articulated in the previous post, here is another Wedding Wednesday.

This article announces the marriage of Maud May Amos, a daughter of my great-grandmother Flora (Amos) Underwood’s brother Arthur Amos.

St. Mary’s Church, where the marriage took place.
Robert Edwards [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

THE MARRIAGE took place at St. Mary’s Church, the Vicar officiating, of Mr. William George Snell, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Snell, of Torquay, with Miss Maud May Amos, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Amos, of Silver Road, Burnham. The bride wore white satin, with wreath and veil, and carried white carnations. She was attended by her sister, Miss Rose Amos, whose dress was of ankle-length mauve floral georgette. Mr. Jack Raven was best man.


“Burnham-on-Crouch,” The Chelmsford Chronicle, 6 Oct 1939, p. 4, col. 7; digital images, British Newspaper Archive ( : accessed 26 Dec 2012), Brightsolid in partnership with the British Library.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Richard Stebben Turner and Lilly Filby

It seems summer has been getting in the way of my blogging. And not just my blogging, but also my translating of Luxembourgish documents, so that I am not ready with the next installment of my Luxembourg record project. But transcribing English newspaper articles is easy, so here’s a Wedding Wednesday for you!

This article describes the marriage of Lilly (or Lily) Filby, the daughter of William Filby, my great-great-grandmother Elizabeth Filby’s brother.

MARRIAGE. --The marriage of Miss Lilly Filby, eldest daughter of Mr. William Filby, of Wantz-road, with Mr. Richard Stebben Turner, son of Mr. R. C. Turner, of Market-hill, took place at St. Mary’s Church, on Tuesday. The bride, who was given away by her father, was attired in a handsome dress of white nun’s veiling, trimmed with white silk and ribbon. She wore a tulle veil and carried a bouquet of lovely flowers, the gift of the bridegroom. She was attended by three bridesmaids, the Misses Charity and Florrie Filby, sisters of the bride; and Miss C. Eavery, cousin. The bridesmaids, who also carried bouquets, the gift of the bridegroom, were dressed in eau de nit nun’s veiling, and wore white hats, trimmed with white ribbon and marguerites. The marriage ceremony was performed by the Rev. A. L. Hunt. The wedding breakfast, at which some 20 guests were present, was subsequently served at the bride’s home. The happy couple left during the afternoon for Yarmouth, where the honeymoon will be spent. Mr. Allen’s band played a selection of music outside the house in the evening. The presents were numerous.


Maldon: Marriage,” The Chelmsford Chronicle, 22 July 1892, p. 7, col. 7; digital images, British Newspaper Archives ( : accessed 26 Dec 2012), Brightsolid in partnership with the British Library.

Friday, May 29, 2015

One Hundred

I can scarcely believe it—especially with how sporadic I sometimes am at writing—but this is my ONE HUNDREDTH blog post! In celebration, I am going to post ONE HUNDRED things from ONE HUNDRED years ago. (Are you sensing a theme yet?) That, of course, brings us to the year 1915. They are in no particular order; the numbering is merely so I can keep track of how many there are.



By Epoch Producing Co. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The premiere of the epic film The Birth of a Nation. One of the hardest movies to watch, and, yes, I have forced myself through it! If you would care to put yourself through the torture of watching Ku Klux Klansmen as protagonists, you can do so at this link. (Though I can't personally vouch for it being a good copy; I watched the movie years ago on a VHS, and am not willing to watch it again.)




My great-grandfather Harry Stroesser had some excitement.

Page 9 of the 16 Jan 1915 Omaha World Herald:

City Carpenter Then Loosed His Robber and Pair of Purse Snatchers Got Away.
When Harry Stroesser, city carpenter, was walking down Davenport street, near Nineteenth street, Friday evening he saw a man running down the walk with several people calling "Stop! Thief!"

Stroesser joined the chase and caught the man at the valley. As he grappled with him a second man, who had been standing in the alley, shot at him. Stroesser let go and both men got away.

The first man had grabbed the purse of a woman at Nineteenth and Davenport.


The birth of Joan Mary Popplewell, daughter of George William Popplewell and my great-grandmother's sister Alice Mary Amos.


By Artie Matthews [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


By Fox Films (source) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ah, Theda Bara! Starring in A Fool There Was, which, to my chagrin, I have not yet seen. But I shall soon remedy that! I have found an online copy here.















The birth of Rose Amos, daughter of my great-grandmother's brother Arthur Thomas Amos and his wife Alice Rose Mason.


The death of John R. COWELL, husband of my (other) great-grandmother's sister Alice Josephine Wade.


By supplement to The Sphere magazine [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The sinking of the Lusitania.



By Merle De Vore Johnson (1874-1935). Author not named in bibliographic record. (Library of Congress[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

"I Did Not Raise My Girl to Be a Voter." No comment.


"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly stay in place and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes."

Franz Kafka published his novella The Metamorphosis.


The marriage of my great-grandmother's sister Grace Maude Amos to Paulos Nicholas Lachanudis.


The birth of Gordon Pavalos Lachanudis, son of Grace Maude Amos and Paulos Nicholas Lachanudis. Hmm... I may have to double-check that. I have his birth date as 9 Mar 1915, and his parents' marriage as 21 July 1915. Wonder what was going on?


The birth of Doris Eloise Bailey, who would later become my great-aunt by marrying my great-uncle Bill Underwood. Oh, and I adore this photo!





By W. Heath Robinson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


The marriage of my great-grandparents Harry Stroesser and Mary Craig. For more information on this one, check out my blog post on their marriage.



















An epidemic of encephalitis lethargica, also known as "sleepy sickness," began, though it was not described neurologically until 1917.


"The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock," by T. S. Eliot, is published.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code

Lassen Peak in Northern California erupts.


Ray Linn and Red Brosius at Carlton Lake

Ray Linn, who would marry my grandmother's sister Inez Underwood, is born. He was also the best friend of my grandfather "Red" Brosius.


The marriage of my great-grandfather's brother Nicholas Stroesser to Rosa Franks in Alexandria, Hanson, South Dakota.


Christmas at my house, 2013

The ukulele appears on the Hawaiian Pavilion at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (better known as the World's Fair) in San Francisco, launching the ukulele fad... which comes and goes for a century and eventually results in both my parents, myself, and my "nephew" all taking up the instrument.








By Composer: Al Piantadosi, Lyricist: Alfred Bryan (Indiana University library[1][2]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity is published.


Pluto is first captured in a photograph, though it is not recognized for what it is.


Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Return of Tarzan is published. And, yes, I have read it. My dad collects Tarzan books... I am a voracious reader... enough said.


Jean Pierre "Shaumper" Stroesser, a distant cousin (first cousin four times removed) dies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the son of my 3great-grandfather's brother.


By Arthur P. Bedou of New Orleans (Via [1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Booker T. Washington dies.


By General Film Co. (scan of movie poster) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp is released, introducing his character of the tramp, which he would play numerous times. Oddly enough, I can't quite remember whether I've seen this movie or not. I know I have seen a movie in which he played his tramp character, but whether it was this one or not... I can't be sure. It is viewable online, though.



William P. Gottlieb [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

One of my favorite singers, Billie Holiday, is born. Thank you, 1915!


Uncle Alvy and Aunt Sadie, along with their great-nephew Paul

"Aunt Sadie" Underwood marries "Uncle Alvy" Mason. This story has been briefly addressed in my Aunt Elsie's typescript, but one of these days I must, like Paul Harvey, tell you the rest of the story.


W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage is published. I am ashamed to say I have not yet read it.


By Ford, Lena Guilbert (w.); Novello, Ivor (m.). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

"Keep the Home Fires Burning," by Ivor Novello. Ivor Novello, incidentally, later played the title part in Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger, an excellent movie. And he was definitely worth drooling over.



See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Men's 1915 fashion collage sheet from Antique Images.


The birth of my first cousin, three times removed, Naomi Pauline Crystal Jones. (What an amazing name!) She was the daughter of my great-great-grandmother's brother John Martin Jones and his wife Alta Mamie Van Kirk.


Mary Pickford starred as a Japanese geisha in Madame Butterfly. Seriously. I haven't seen this film, and I'm not sure I want to. Which may not be a problem, because I couldn't find a copy of it at the Internet Archive.


















The hit song "Paper Doll" was penned by Johnny S. Black, though for some reason it would not be published until 1930! It became a hit of the Mills Brothers.


Typhoid Mary is arrested after evading authorities for five years, during which she caused several outbreaks of typhoid. She was then quarantined for life.


The household of my great-great-grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Hoyt, appeared in the census in Clyde, Cloud, Kansas. In addition to Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt, the household contained their children Albert (my great-grandfather), James, and Myrl.



By Gavinmacqueen [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Coca-Cola contour bottle is patented, and will be introduced to the public the following year, in a slightly modified form.


By Hanns Lippmann (??? - 1929) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The classic horror film The Golem is released. It was the first in a trilogy of golem pictures. I have not seen this one, but I am dying to! It exists only in fragmentary form today, but what there is of it is available to watch at this link.











By MB Walker (?) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Some seriously disturbing anti-German propaganda.


By Photographer not credited (Ziegfeld Follies publicity photo, Via [1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Ziegfield Follies kept people entertained. I wonder if they really let people look up her dress through the glass?


My great-grandparents' household appears in the 1915 state census in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas. The household includes my great-grandparents John and Cora Brosius, as well as their children Marshall, Lee, Ormond, Wayne, Ceril (who was really Searle), Susie, and Loel (who was my Uncle Lowell).


Virginia Woolf's novel The Voyage Out is published.


Alan Lomax, who I love for collecting all sorts of folk songs, is born.


By University Missourian (LOC) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In these days before the necessity of doing dialogue, actors could easily star in a number of films within a single year. So Theda Bara can make another appearance on this list. Unfortunately, this one is considered lost.
















Boys' 1915 sporting fashions from Antique Images.


By MCA-Music Corporation of America-management (Bay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The birth of movie star Alice Faye, who, though she is not one of my favorite stars, was Phil Harris' favorite--and he is one of my favorites. I do tend to enjoy Alice Faye movies, though. Oh, and I have a third-hand contact with them. One of my regular customers (and friend) at the ice cream parlor I worked at during high school told me about how he had once seen them at a restaurant where he was dining. And, yes, I knew who Phil Harris and Alice Faye were when I was in high school. In the '90s. I'm weird, I know.


The neon tube sign is patented. 1915, Las Vegas thanks you.


Transcontinental telephone service, from New York to San Francisco, is established.


The U.S. House of Representatives rejects a proposal that would have given women the right to vote. (See number NINE above.)


By unattributed (Heeritage Auctions) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Babe Ruth hits his first career home run, while playing for the Boston Red Sox.


The Raggedy Ann doll is patented.


The birth of composer Jay Livingston, who gave us "Silver Bells" and "Mona Lisa," among others.


By Keystone Film Company [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Comedian "Fatty" Arbuckle stars in a number of film shorts, including Mabel and Fatty's Simple Life, Mabel and Fatty's Married Life, Fatty's Tintype Tangle, and Fatty's Plucky Pup.


By Moore, Charles C. (Charles Caldwell), 1868-1932 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Aerascope at the San Francisco World's Fair. I'm not really sure what it does, but it looks pretty fun!


This is the first year with no living passenger pigeons, the last one having died the previous year.


The theory of Pangaea--you know, the ancient continent before continental drift formed the world's current continents--is published in Alfred Wegener's book The Origin of Continents and Oceans.


My great-grandmother's brother Matthew Craig was working as a boilermaker for the U.P.R.R. (Union Pacific Railroad) and residing at 2818 Franklin in Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska.


The Omaha directory serves up a puzzle regarding the female Craigs in my family. An entry reads "[Craig] Mary (wid Jno), r 1721 Lake." The address proves that it is my Craigs, as it is the same address given for my great-great-uncle Harry Craig, but the rest of it is very confusing. First of all, Martha was the wife of John, not Mary. Mary was his daughter. So it is unclear which of these women this entry is meant to refer to. And second, even Martha would not be his widow yet, for he does not die for another two years. But he does not appear in the directory this year. Confusing.


Wynonie Harris is born. If you don't know who Wynonie Harris is, look up his music. It's pretty fun.


By Harris & Ewing (Library of Congress) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

President Woodrow Wilson marries his second wife, Edith Bolling Galt.


The millionth car rolls off the Ford assembly line. Perhaps as a response to the increase in automotive traffic, the first stop sign appears in Detroit.


My great-grandmother Cora (Wade) Brosius was pregnant with my grandfather Vinis "Red" Brosius.


A few British and German units repeated the Christmas Truce of 1914.


While WWI is raging in Europe, the Mexican Revolution is happening south of the border.


By William Creswell from Seattle, Washington, USA (Willys Knight magazine ad, 1915) [Public domain or CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


By Fox Films (source) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Oh, you knew there had to be more Theda Bara, didn't you? Of course. She also starred in Carmen, which is unfortunately lost now. Carmen seemed to be a popular theme in 1915, with Cecil B. DeMille and Charlie Chaplin also releasing their own versions. But naturally I have to go with the Theda Bara version. The other two versions, however, are not lost. You can see the Charlie Chaplin version here, and the Cecil B. DeMille version here.












Chlorine gas is being used against enemy troops in Europe by both the German and the allied forces.


My great-grandfather Harry Stroesser's union activity.

Page 10 of the 16 Jan 1915 edition of the Omaha World Herald:

Amendments to Compensation Law, Stamping Convict-Made Goods, Etc., Suggested.
Amendments to the state working-man’s compensation law to provide for all injuries exceeding in duration a period of one week; the elimination of the exception ruling in the exemption and garnishee law; provision for the stamping of all convict-made products of the state penitentiary; the institution of certain qualifications in the selection of metropolitan boiler inspector, and advocacy of the Sunday-closing law for Nebraska barbers, were discussed at the meeting of the Omaha Central Labor union last night.

Legislative needs of the laboring men were reported by a special committee, which reported that bills have been prepared or are in course of preparation for introduction to the state legislature, to provide for the appointment of a factory inspector; for the reporting of all occupational diseases to proper health officers; to insure punishment for extortion of money on promise to secure employment; for the establishment of a state printery outside of the penitentiary; for the application of an eight-hour law to all city, county or state employment, and other measures.

The following officers were elected at the conclusion of the meeting:
President, T. P. Reynolds.
Vice President, J. J. Carrigan.
Secretary, John Polian.
Financial secretary, F. J. Huller.
Sergeant-at-arms, Robert Dunlap.
Trustees, L. V. Guye, George Norman and Harry Strosser.


The United States begins an occupation of Haiti that will last until 1934.


In the U.S., it cost 2¢ to mail a first-class letter. Oddly enough, it seems a few people took advantage of parcel post to "mail" their children! I may have to look into that for a future post.


See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


By Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 - negatiefstroken zwart/wit, nummer toegang, bestanddeelnummer 914-6440 (Nationaal Archief) [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl (], via Wikimedia Commons

Birth of Edith Piaf, singer of "La Vie en Rose," among others. Beautiful music.


By unknown (Triangle Pictures Corporation) ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It may be sacrilege, but I am not terribly fond of Douglas Fairbanks. That, despite the fact that one of the first silent movies I ever saw was his Thief of Bagdad, which I liked. However, this year was when he won the hearts of many film-goers with his screen debut in The Lamb, which showcased some of his athleticism.



See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Harry Houdini performed what was probably his first suspended straitjacket escape, 20 feet over the heads of his audience of 5,000.


By Studio photographer (RR Auction) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The birth of actor Zero Mostel, whom I rather enjoy. He did a lot of theater, which of course I was unable to see (not having been born yet), but he also appeared in several movies, including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.


By Daniel Mayer (Mav) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Rocky Mountain National Park is established.


By Alden Jewell (1915 Stutz H.C.S. Roadster  Uploaded by PDTillman) [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



The household of my great-grandmother's sister, Alice Josephine Wade, and her husband, John R. Cowell, appear in the 1915 state census in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas, along with their 16-year-old son "Dail." This was, obviously, before John Cowell died later that year.


The household of my great-grandmother's (and Alice Wade's) brother, Buchanan Wade, also appears in the 1915 state census in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas. His household includes his wife "Lizzy" and their children 17-year-old Carus and 11-year-old Carmel.


Shall we go for three? My great-grandmother's, Alice's, and Buck's half-brother Dexter also appears in the 1915 state census in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas. He appears to be living alone. I also find it amusing that the census-taker misspelled his occupation as "Panter." Keep breathing!


While I'm on this jag, where are my great-grandmother's other two brothers? Well, Ulysses is probably in Tillman county, Oklahoma, and I have no idea where David Kiner is. In 1900 he was in McPherson county, Kansas, by 1909 he was in Chicago, and in 1910 an article mentioned that he had "been on the road many years painting bill boards for cigar
and medicine companies." By 1920 he had returned to Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas, but he died in Oklahoma. The man did some traveling.


By trailer screenshot (20th Century Fox) (Down Argentine Way trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The screen premiere of Charlotte Greenwood in the film Jane. Who's Charlotte Greenwood, you ask? Well, she was "the only woman in the world who could kick a giraffe in the eye." I was introduced to her in such Betty Grable movies as Down Argentine Way and Springtime in the Rockies, but she is best remembered for her role as Aunt Eller in Oklahoma. I love this woman, and would love to see her in a leading role--like she played in Jane. Apparently portions of this movie are preserved at the Library of Congress, but I was unable to find them on their website. But I think I'll keep looking.

By Al Ravenna, World Telegram staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


The Kiwanis Club is founded, in Detroit Michigan. Hmm... a lot seems to be happening in Detroit this year.


See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The birth of Orson Welles. Enough said.


See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


A large earthquake occurred in Central Italy, centered in the town of Avezzano. It virtually flattened the epicenter area, and killed 30,000 people.


W. C. Fields, whom I do not like (with the exception of his film with Mae West, My Little Chickadee), also made his film debut. He appeared in a couple comedy shorts, Pool Sharks and His Lordship's Dilemma.


By New York Sunday News (eBay photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Well, there are a bunch more notable births in 1915, so I'll have to wad them all together here at the end of the list. We'll start with Ann Sheridan, movie star. I know her mostly from The Man Who Came To Dinner, part of my regular Christmas fare.


By Trailer screenshot (Notorious trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A legend is born: Ingrid Bergman. Casablanca, Spellbound, Notorious, Indiscreet, and so many more!


By CBS Television (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The birth of one of my favorite character actors, Harry Morgan. He was in everything! Perhaps best known for his role as Col. Sherman T. Potter in M*A*S*H, but offhand I also remember him in James Garner's Support Your Local Sheriff, the musical State Fair (in which he had a bit part as a crooked carnival worker), and Elvis Presley's Frankie and Johnny.


By Trailer screenshot (Road to Singapore trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Anthony Quinn is also born the year, destined to play ethnically varied roles for most of his career. He is perhaps best remembered as the title character in Zorba the Greek, but I am rather fond of his earlier villainous roles in some of the old Bob Hope-Bing Crosby "road" shows. Not to say that he didn't make a terrific Zorba!


Other remarkable births for this year included those of Eddie Bracken, Edmond O'Brien, Eli Wallach, and Dan Dailey.


By The Tacoma Times (LOC) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Theda Bara. You knew I couldn't resist throwing her in here again, didn't you? Really, how could you not be fascinated by a woman whose stage name was an anagram for "Arab death"? Well, she filmed several films this year besides the ones already mentioned, all of them now lost. So I'll showcase The Devil's Daughter, solely on the basis of its title.
















By Mitock & Sons, North Hollywood, CA. (eBay front back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Even though this list has been rather random, I do need to end it with a bang--or at least a "ring-a-ding-ding." Ol' Blue Eyes himself, that skinny kid from Hoboken, Frank Sinatra was born this year. It was a rough birth, the doctor using forceps that resulted in a scarred face and a deformed ear. Later, Sinatra would wear a false ear in his movies. Eventually he repaired the ear with plastic surgery.