Friday, December 8, 2017

Early Family History - Told By Gramp Allen

Dad's dad had numerous stories published in Good Old Times magazine.  He liked to write, document things and correspond with anyone that would correspond back.  Throughout his life, he gathered, saved, commented and shared what he'd learned about places that he or his family had been as well as many of their experiences.

I've mentioned before that some of my fondest memories of spending time with him was sitting on the davenport, he leaning into and over me, sharing maps, train schedules, photo albums and later, letters.  He loved knowing about history in general and especially so when it bumped up against anything that had to do with family.

There are literally boxes I'm going through of his letters in longhand, but if there was ever a typewriter nearby, he'd find a way to use it.  One of the things I've stumbled upon and remember very well are photos of his time spent in West Baden Indiana.  He served there at US Army General Army Hospital #35 (mentioned in the letter that follows) in 1918-1919 at the end of WW1.  There's an arrow on one photo pointing to one of the nurses....."Taught me to type".

The historic hotel near West Baden/French Lick was once called the "Eighth Wonder Of The World" due to its 200 foot clear span dome over the atrium.  Gramp was fascinated with the structure, made friends with one of the maintenance men and had access to catwalks, towers and corners of the building that few others had. 

After his stint patching up fellow soldier's that had returned from Europe, he "bummed around" and there were numerous stories about his time riding...."the Pullman's with the big doors on each side..."

Here he is with two sisters, one of which would become my grandmother, taken near where the girls lived in Vananda, Montana.


The letter that Gramp wrote back to his mother in Wisconsin.....making good use of the corporate typing machine at his place of employment.

Below written in 1943 by Allen W Cooper, my grandfather describing the family on his mother's side.  By the '40's he was back in Wisconsin, carrying Rural Mail for the US Postal Service.  These pages include a summary of his grandfather, Henry Hulburt's time spent in California during the Gold Rush.  The highlights of w vhat I remember being told, his first trip was taken on a ship "down around the Horn" and gold was found.  There was another trip, that one less successful riches-wise but there was adventure 'cutting across' at Panama.  Hawaii and even China are mentioned as destinations.  I've been looking for Henry's diary from those days but still haven't found it; I know that dad had it stashed somewhere.

Gramp pulled excerpts from the July 1856 entries down in Page 4 and I've only included the first 7 pages (of 20) that end upon Henry and Lydia's arrival in Sparta, Wisconsin.

This was something that continues to fascinate me; locations on each of his many birthday locations do you remember??

3 generations benefiting from another story in the back yard.

2 generations getting ready for a ride....the best and longest riding one that we shared was our trip to Aspencade in Riudoso, NM in October, 1978.  I don't remember where the SP and GS took us this particular day.

And finally, Gram and Gramp enjoying one of their favorite Senior pastimes...making music together.

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