Category Archives: Hess Family

John Andrew Bravin 1922-2011

When John Andrew Bravin “Uncle John” was born on March 1, 1922, in Meduno, Udine, Italy, his father, Anibale, was 31 and his mother, Lousa “Louise” Melosso, was 22.

In the 1930 US Census, Uncle John was only 8 years old. He was living with his family then at 924 E. 10th Street, Altoona, PA. The census indicates that both of his parents were born in Italy and that the family language in their home was Italian. In this same year, his younger brother Louis was 5 years old and his sister Madeline was 3 years old. Both Louis and Madeline were born Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Uncle John was a US veteran. He was in the US Marine Corp during WWII and served as a Sergeant.

He died on February 10, 2011, in Altoona, Pennsylvania, at the age of 88, and was buried there.

Here are a few photos from the Groshans family photo collection:

Uncle John Bravin holding his nephew Jack

William Sprague 1609-1675 an American Colonist and my ancestor

William Sprague was my 9th great grandfather.

LCG photo of a meadow

photo by Linda Claire Groshans

When William Sprague was born on October 26, 1609, in Upwey, Dorset, England, his father, Edward, was 33 and his mother, Christiana Margaret Holland, was 31. William’s father was a fuller by trade.

William married Millicent Eames on May 26, 1635, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. They had 12 children in 18 years. He died on October 26, 1675, in Hingham, Massachusetts, at the age of 66.

William was one of the first planters in Massachusetts. He had arrived in Massachusetts Bay having left from Upway, Dorsetshire, England in 1628. He probably traveled on the ship Abigail. He traveled to the colonies with his brothers Ralph and Richard. They were some of the first settlers in Watertown and Charlestown. William moved to Hingham in 1634 with his future father-in- law, Lt. Anthony Eames.

North America Family Histories 1500 to 2000 Sprague Families in America

Source: North America Family Histories 1500 to 2000, Sprague Families in America

North America, Family Histories 1500 to 2000, Sprague Families in America

Source: North America Family Histories 1500 to 2000, Sprague Families in America

From source: Great Migration Study Project…”By 1636 William was a proprietor and in ensuing years received several grants of land. He served as a fence-viewer, constable and disbursing officer as well as a selectman in 1645.”

I thought that it was most interesting that in his will, part of his estate were his books valued at 8s.

New England, The Great Migration and the Great Migration begins Vol. 3 P W

Source: Great Migration and the Great Migration Begins Vol. 3 P-W

William Sprague, Sr., my 10th great grandfather died the 26 day of October, 1675, but ” not a stone tells where he lies.”

how we relate

Here is how I relate to William Sprague, Sr.

 

Web sites that tell of William’s life:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/35310519

You can purchase this book on Amazon:  The Genealogy Of The Sprague’s In Hingham: Arranged In Chronological Order, To The Fourth Generation, Counting From William Sprague, One Of The First … England, In The Year 1628.

On the free website FamilySearch.org the ID# for William is LT3K-KCD

 

 

Martha Ellen Spruhan 1918-1991

One of my father’s first cousins was Martha Ellen Spruhan.  On my Family Tree on  Ancestry.com, I have done extensive research on the short life of Garrett Denny Spruhan, who was Martha’s father. He died at the age of 28. He had married Marion Parks at the age of 25 and they had their only child, a daughter, Martha Ellen Spruhan (the subject of this blog.) 

Martha Ellen was not yet a year old at the time of her father’s decease.

Martha Ellen was born on March 3, 1918 in Terre Haute, Indiana. She died in 1991 at the age of 73 in Rockford, Illinois. During much of her life she resided in Chicago, Illinois.

Martha E. Terrill from the Register Star, Rockford Ill, May 24, 1991

The 1940 census shows that Martha who was still single at age 22, lived with her widowed mother at the home of her maternal grandparents, the Parks of Chicago at 7523 Seeley Avenue. This same census indicates that she was employed as a corespondent for a mail order.

At age 23 Martha was married Earl B. Terrill, Jr. They had 2 sons. Martha’s husband seems to have applied and received several patents.

This is the death notice for Martha Ellen’s husband:Earl B. Terrill, Jr. 12 Nov 1966 Chicago Tribune, IL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jane Ellen Agens 1894-1919

Jane Agens Hess

My grandfather had a first wife. She died at a very young age from tuberculosis. They had no children together.

One day, I had the stark realization that my very presence on this earth was because my grandfather chose to re-marry. I wanted to make sure that my family story included the story of his first wife, and the great love that my grandfather shared with her. In my mind, their story is also a part of my life story! 

My father told stories about my grandfather’s romance and devotion to his first wife. My father told me that even when his father was not allowed into the sick room, he would sit outside her window and read to her. I pictured that sweet scene many times. I found a photo of my grandfather seated on a window sill. I do not know the date of the photo, but have imagined this could have been him waiting on his wife.

George Kellogg Hess, Sr. on a window sill

George Kellogg Hess, Sr. 1891-1969

Jane Ellen Agens was born on June 5, 1894, in Ludington, Michigan. At the age of 22, she married George Kellogg Hess on April 21, 1917, in Benton Harbor, Michigan. She died on March 7, 1919, at the age of 24, and was buried in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

The ID# for Jane on FamilySearch.org is 9DD5-PN7.  This is a free website.

This is the link for Jane on FindaGrave https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/97244185.

My winter clothing in the 1950’s and beyond

1950’s

Hess girls in snow suits on the back porch of Harbrooke 1956

photo on our back porch in Ann Arbor, MI -1956

Linda with Madalyn Klotz at the Rotunda

At the Christmas Rotunda in 1956. Linda Claire and family friend Madalyn Klotz

There was a photograph taken in 1956. A loving father had posed his 2 little girls who were wearing their full winter gear. The girls stand on the back porch of their home in Ann Arbor, MI. If you had been a passerby, I expect that you would have found the scene very endearing. Maybe you would have muttered, “how cute”. Maybe you would have just walked past with a new smile on your face. A father delighting in his sweet children was a good thing to witness.

My sister and I were the 2 little girls in the photo. She was 4 years old at that time and I was a toddler at the age of 2. The wonderment is that when I describe our outfits that were so overly heavy and bulky, that the carry away impression is still so stinkin’ cute.

Imagine, if you will, my sister is in a girl’s brown heavy weight woolen coat that reaches to just above the knees and flares at the bottom. It has 2 large pockets on the front of the coat and is closed with 3 big over sized buttons. Worn underneath this coat are a matching pair of woolen snow pants that are fitted with shoulder straps and a bib front. Her dress had to be shoved down inside of the snow pants.  The hat, which was part of the same coordinated set, was actually more of a tie-on wool bonnet with a big front brim and unbelievably thick straps. Once the hat was tied on under her chin, it was difficult to have room for a simple nod. But wait, there is also a muffler (now called a scarf) that also had to fit around the neck.  The outfit was completed by adding a pair of knit mittens tied to a string. The rubber boots in this ensemble made up their own story. You see, you wore your street shoes and had to pull on your boots over your shoes! How? There was a trick. That trick seems more like a tall tale than the truth.  You had to pull a plastic wonder bread bag over your shoes and then yank the boot until it fit over the shoes. Then you had to do  a strange boot dance as you hopped around trying to assure that the heel of your shoe was fully engaged inside of the boot.

In the photo, at 2 years old, I was wearing a more sensible one piece snowsuit. The snow suit must have been sold as a set, because the bonnet style winter hat (there was no hood) displayed all of the design elements from the silky snow suit. My boots were red. Were all girl’s boots red in the 50’s? Again, like all boots they had to be placed on over my shoes. To be exact, my lace up Buster Brown sturdy walking shoes.

In 1959, 3 years after the photo I just described, my father posed me once again in a winter scene for a photograph. I was 5 years old. I was smiling “to beat the band.” My delight was because my sister, neighbor friends, and I had just completed an architectural marvel. A nearly 10 foot long snow tunnel. You had to crawl through the tunnel on your belly, but somehow it was just wonderful. The fashions had already changed from 1956 to 1959. In the more recent of the photos, my waist length snow jacket has a hood. My hands are bare in the photo, but you can see that both pockets seem overstuffed with what I presume must have been my mittens. I must have proven myself able to keep track of my mittens, because there are no longer strings or clips attached to my sleeves. Oh…and the boots are still the brightest of bright red color.

Linda Claire by snow tunnel at Harbrooke

This photo is from 1959

1970’s

Linda Claire on skis

My photo from circa 1970 at our home in Ann Arbor, MI

Oh, how great were the winter weather looks from the 1970’s. In still another photo taken by my father, I was sporting the very popular winter faux fur puff ball hat with big pom-pom ties. Hard to understand now, but at the time that was a very fashionable look! During this time era, I was a skier. On the slopes, I also sported corduroy knickers worn with tall woolen socks. The knickers always had a fancy leather strap and metal buckle to keep them tight at the bottom which was just below knee level. A thick ski sweater was made from scratchy wool but kept you warm on the slopes. Frequently, you could wear your stirrup pants underneath the other clothing as an additional layer of warmth. The 70’s was also the first time that I remember wearing thermal long underwear.

I suppose the reason that I have so many photos of my winter garments was because my father loved being outdoors in all of the seasons. Every winter, he poured an ice rink in our backyard. Starting in my teens, we went to the ski slopes and we had always taken winter hikes through the quiet woods surrounding our home. My father pointed at the various trees and told us their names. We listened to the birds and knew who was “talking.”

I grew up loving winter. That makes me a sort of odd duck. After all, I mostly hear folks grumble and complain about the cold. I just bundle up and go out. Of course, I am very grateful that boots advanced to the point that no wonder bags need to used to put them on.

I hope you like winter too. I hope you see children playing in the snow and smile.

Gretchen Ream and Robert Hess – 1945

FEBRUARY 1945

Robert and Gretchen wedding announcement Feb. 1945

On 14 Feb 1945, Robert Hess proposed to Gretchen Ream. Gretchen was 19 years old. Robert was 20 years old. As the article above states, Robert was a V-12 trainee in the University of Michigan Engineering School. The date of Robert’s entry into active service had been 1 July 1943. Gretchen and Robert had met in 1943, so they actually waited to become engaged. In 1943, Robert’s residence was at 426 Hamilton Place, Ann Arbor, MI and Gretchen lived with her mother at 520 N. Main Street, Ann Arbor.

At the time of their engagement, our country was still involved in WWII which we had entered the war in December 1941 after Pearl Harbor. In 1945, Gretchen was a secretary for Economy Baler Co.

APRIL 1945

On 1 April 1945, Easter Sunday, the photo below was taken of Gretchen and Robert having fun with a bike and a wagon. It was one of Robert’s favorite photographs.

with text Gretchen and Bob Wagon Easter Parade 1945

On 10 April 1945, Gretchen’s brother Robert Ream received a Purple Heart after his leg injury.

On 13 Apr 1945, Gretchen and Robert attended the Slide Rule Ball at the Michigan Union. She saved her dance card, autographed by the entertainer Louis Prima and his band.

Senior Ball 1945 Robert and Gretchen Hess (1)

On 21 April 1945, Robert and his brother George Hess graduate from the University of Michigan with honors.

1945 Engineering

MAY 1945

10 May 1945 – this article is about Gretchen’s brother, Robert Ream who was receiving the Oak Cluster.

Robert Ream news article wounded twice

 

On 2 November 1945, Robert Hess was appointed an Ensign in the US Navy.

Midshipman Graduation

Robert Hess served as Junior Division officer, main engines division, on a heavy cruiser at sea and later as auxiliary Division officer on a pair of light escort carriers.

On 30 November 1945 and 8 December 1945, Helen Mayer (Gretchen’s Aunt) hosted bridal showers.

Bridal Shower

On 15 December 1945, Gretchen and Robert were wed.

Invitation to wedding of Robert and Gretchen 12.15.1945

Robert and Gretchen Hess Dec 1945 wedding cake

On 16 Dec 1945, Robert and Gretchen began their honeymoon. I am fairly sure that their residence was 719 Oakland Ave., Ann Arbor, MI (see 1947 Ann Arbor Directory below- note that in 1947 George and Ruth Hess lived at 1107 Oakland Ave.)

719 Oakland

 

Amelia and Grover Ream lived in California for approx. 3 years.

Grover and Amelia Ream 1915

My maternal grandmother was Amelia Grayer Ream and my maternal grandfather was Grover Cleveland Ream.

I was aware that my maternal grandparents had “visited” California, but it is only  recently that I realized my grandparents actually lived there for a period of time that was approx. 3 years long.

This blog showcases the materials that I have collected to show this “California” time frame of my grandparents life.

Grover and Amelia were married on 26 Sept 1912 in Ann Arbor, MI. The photo below indicates that after a honeymoon, they resided at 554 Elizabeth Street, Ann Arbor, MI.

Grayer Ream Wedding in AA news Sept. 27, 1912

It seems that they only stayed in Ann Arbor for a short while after their wedding.

The article below is from 11 November of 1913. It appeared in the Ann Arbor News as an announcement of the birth of twin boys. Our family was told the boys were named Richard and Robert.

The article reads: Twin boys were born November 7 to Mr. and Mrs. Grover Ream of Santa Clara, Cal. Mrs. Ream was formerly Miss Amelia Grayer of this city.

 

1913 Nov 11 Twin Boys Ann Arbor News page 3

The article below was published in the Ann Arbor News on 19 August 1915. As you can see, Grover and Amelia have left California and on their way home to Ann Arbor because Amelia’s father is dying.

19 Aug 1915 Ann Arbor News page 3

My mother told me that the picture below was taken in California. It is a photo of her parents with an unknown man on the left side of the photo.

Amelia and Grover ream with unknown man in California

This timeline of facts suggests that Grover and Amelia moved to California shortly after their 1912 marriage and returned to Ann Arbor, MI in 1915.

26 Sep 1912 marriage in Ann Arbor MI

7 Nov 1913 birth of twin boys in Santa Clara, CA

3 Nov 1914 Voter registration records for Grover C. Ream in Santa Clara, CA

19 Aug 1915 Grover and Amelia return to Ann Arbor because her father is dying.

 

Other:

In this link from January of 1915, carpenters are told that things are looking brighter for jobs in Ann Arbor https://books.google.com/books?id=fxo2AQAAIAAJ&pg=RA2-PA26&lpg=RA2-PA26&dq=carpenters+union+512+of+ann+arbor,+mi&source=bl&ots=LTUsQheyDM&sig=Ha9RxOkg2jVOSnmOnG86tmOGsac&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwij84nlvevLAhUHmoMKHSlGC2sQ6AEINDAG#v=onepage&q=carpenters%20union%20512%20of%20ann%20arbor%2C%20mi&f=false