Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Book of Me, Written by You - Prompt 7: Grandparents

What were their names?
Where were they born?
Were they related? - Cousins perhaps?
Where they born, another Country or state/area
What did they do?
Did you know them?
What was your relationship with them?
If you didn't know them, have you researched about them?

My paternal grandfather was born Francis Percival Smith    ( he was always known as Frank P. Smith) 17 December 1897 in DeKalb, Illinois to Joseph Clinton Smith and Josephine "Josie" Payton. He had an older sister, Marie and two younger brothers, Chauncy Marion and Robert Peyton Smith. He enlisted into the Army in 1917 and was sent to France. Where he was injured. His injuries plagued him throughout his life. After the War, he worked for the railroad. In 1927 he worked in the parts department of Riegel Brothers Dodge in Spokane, Washington. Throughout his life he had many jobs. He and his family moved around a lot until they were able to buy land in the Jump Off area of Stevens county, Washington.

He married Edith Viola Dahl 9 May 1926 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. In December 1929, they had their fist son, Don Francis Smith, my dad; and in May 1934 they had another son, J. Douglas Smith. 

He died 3 January 1965 in Spokane, Washington. I really did not know him. I was only about 4 years old when he died. Here is a picture of me with my grandpa on Easter Sunday 1961. This was the day I was baptised. One memory I do have of him, he loved the candy orange slices. When I see those in the store, I think of him.

 My paternal grandmother was born Edith Viola Dahl on 14 March 1899 in Winona, Minnesota to August Dahl and Anbertina Olstad. She was the middle daughter. Her older sister was Lillian Marguerite Dahl and he younger sister was Ruth Lenore Dahl.

After graduating from Winona High School, she attended Minnesota State Normal Schools, where she received an advance diploma. She was now authorized to teach in the public schools.  She had an independent streak in her, she headed out west to Spokane, Washington. I remember hearing how she meet my grandfather. He was the one who taught her to drive a car. I guess the lessons went well, since they were married. She had to keep her marriage a secret, since in those days teachers could not be married.

I have memories of her driving around town in her pink Rambler.  She was always such a lady. She would wear her
"house dress" around her house, but when she went out to the store she always dressed in her best.  I did not get to see my grandma very much, we moved to California when I was 6 years old. I did see her every summer and when she would come to California to visit. A memory I will always have of my granddma is when I would hold her hand it was always cold. She would tell me, "cold hands, warm heart".  I will always remember that and I use that saying often in remembrance of her.

She died 24 July 1983 in Spokane, Washington.

My maternal grandfather was born William George Wickenkamp, he was always known as Bill, on 9 January 1898 in Dorchester, Saline, Nebraska. He was the 7th child of  Georg Heinrich Andreas (Andrew) Wickenkamp and Elisabeth Drollner. I heard a story that when he was young he almost burned down their house on the homestead in Dorchester. I was lucky enough to see the house still standing and uninhabited. In 1919 the family moved to Casper, Wyoming. That is where he met Florence Sybil Koch, who he married 7 June 1930. To this union they had one daughter, my mother Jerry Lynn. In 1941 he moved his family to Lincoln, Placer, California where they had a fruit ranch. In 1951 the family moved to Valley, Stevens, Washington where they had a small dairy. It is here where they lived adjacent to the Frank P. Smith's, and I think you can guess the rest. My grandpa Bill loved to fish as you can see in the picture. I also like to watch birds. I have a bird book that was his. Also, from a letter he wrote us he talks about going to the pond on his property to watch the swans that came to swim. He died 9 December 1970 in Chewelah, Stevens, Washington.
I don't have a lot of memories about him, but her is a picture of my grandpa Bill holding me. I am learning more about him from the letters that my mom saved. These letters he sent to us after we moved to California. They are written in his hand and I will always treasure them.

My Maternal grandmother was born Florence "Flo"  Sybil Koch, the eldest daughter of Charles Edward Koch and Anna Sybilla Steingruber, on 4 April 1907 in Billings, Yellowstone, Montana. She had sister, Frances, who died as an infant; a brother, Charles Frederick Koch, my Uncle Chuck; and a sister, Ruth.  The family moved to Casper, Natrona, Wyoming where Flo attended high school. she later attended the University of Wyoming at Laramie, where she got her teacher credentials. She later taught in the schools in Casper. My grandma Flo was a wonderful cook and baker. She would when prizes for her baked goods at the county fairs.  She also had a wicked sense of humor. She was a great practical joke player. 
I thought this picture kind of sums it up. This was an Ogopogo garbage can in British Columbia, Canada. No, she really wasn't in the garbage can, just pretending. When my family would come to visit in the summer, my mom, grandma and I would play cards, 
Chinese Checkers and Rummy-O together.  In 1974, she married Bill Bassett and they had a good 5 years together until he died in 1979.  She died on 26 November 1986 in Spokane, Washington. I will always remember grandma Flo, and I miss her calling me "Pink" or "Pinkie". This due to me having red or "golden" hair as she called it.

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