october in our family's history
5 October 1842: William Omer Allison, born (Allison family)
7 October 1915 : Barbara "Bobbie" Brown, born (Brown family)
8 October 1897: Margaret "Mary" Brown, died (Brown family)
8 October 1846: Jesse Stewart, died (Allison family)
12 October 1777: Jesse Stewart, born (Allison family)
16 October 1825: Katherine "Katie" Telfair, born (Brown family)
17 October 1800: Margaret Johnston, born (Gillingham family)
24 October 1913: Irvin James "IJ" Doudna, born (Doudna family)
28 October 1915: Caroline Hart Doudna, born (Doudna family)
For our family veterans
I am finishing up the October '13 version of Billie's Girl and looking ahead at November's blog. I am planning to do something for the veterans in our family. But, I may need help.
Last week, I did some preliminary research, thinking it would be a piece of cake to find out the basics about those who have served. I ran into brick walls immediately. I may be wrong, but from what I am looking at, the official individual records of servicemen are accessible only to the veterans themselves or their next of kin. That means I have access to some dates and, in fortunate cases, photos, but not much more.
There is a wealth of military information for our family that I do have access to and I will share that, but I would like to put down more than the basics, so I am asking for some help from you all.
If you are in the Allison, Brown, Doudna, or Gillingham family and have knowledge of one of our veterans that you feel should be shared, please send me something during the month of November so I can add it in. Any military campaign is of interest here. You can send me something they wrote, something, you wrote, pictures, or if none of the above suits, just send me the facts and I will put it together.
Again, the purpose of this website is to make as much family history available to as many family members as possible. There is an old saying that no one ever really dies if they are remembered by the living.
So, nobody gets to "really die" on my watch. Send my what you've got and I will be happy to share.
I never knew my grandfather
One of the few things I regret in my life is the fact that I really never had a chance to get to know either of my grandfathers. Grandpa Doudna died long before I was born, Grandpa Brown passed when I was three.
I do think I know a good deal about my Grandpa Brown because of all the stories mother and the aunties told me while I was growing up, but the Doudnas are a quiet clan. They tend to play both their victories and sorrows close to the vest. Even so, I do have four stories about Leon.
The first came from my mother. I had been going over genealogies and had found an item criticizing a relative for not attending church regularly. Mother was not very concerned and took the opportunity to tell me that people would say that neither of my grandfathers was much of a churchgoer, but the people who knew them said "if there was anyone in the neighborhood who was ill or couldn't work, you would always find either Walt Brown or Leon Doudna around taking care of their stock, doing chores and/or sitting up with the sick."
The second remembrance came from my Aunt Mary, Leon's youngest child. She told me that she had always felt bad because on hearing of Leon's death, the first thing she thought of was "'who will help me do my math problems?' What a selfish thing to think." Given the fact that she was a little girl when all this happened, I think we can forgive the self-inflicted, tiny character flaw.
The third was a statement my Dad made when my Grandma Doudna passed. She had a small bed, but she always kept two pillows on it, one for her and one for him even though he had died years before.
The bare facts are that Leon's brother, Tommy died at the age of four, leaving Leon as the only child.
He worked as a cheese maker for a time. His leg was badly hurt on the job when a heavy piece of equipment broke loose and smashed his leg.
He married the girl next door, Evangeline "Vangie" Gillingham on July 23, 1904. He had worked as a salesman and the couple settled in Woodstock for a while where my Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Cal were born. The family later moved to Bloom City where Leon became a shopkeeper and where George, my dad, was born.
At some point, Leon, Vangie and the kids moved back to the home place, Harts Hollow where he became a farmer for the rest of his life. He also played a part of many farm organizations and served as clerk of the Town of Marshall for many years. He died in April of 1933.
The story of his death was the fourth story told to me. This story was important by virtue of the fact that I not only heard it from my mother (the source of most of our family stories), but also my dad, my aunts, and my grandmother. All were still angry about it years after the fact.
It seemed Leon came into the house feeling terrible. Grandma Doudna promptly put him to bed and sent for the doctor. After some time had passed, the doctor came out from Richland Center and examined him.
After the checking him out, the doctor told my grandmother that it was just some kind of bug and no concern for worry. He then got into his car and started down the lane and back to town. Before he reached the end of the lane, however, Leon had a massive heart attack and died. My grandmother had never been fond of doctors before, but after this incident she had no faith at all. Odd then that one son ,Cal, would become a doctor, that he and his brother George would marry nurses, and a third son, IJ, would have a career involving medicine. You gotta love irony.
In my mind, I put all these bits and pieces together and see Leon as one of those people that Edna Ferber would refer to as "wheat". While her "emeralds" were poets and artists, who bring beauty to the world, the wheat people make a place where
Check out and download our family photos at www.billiesgirl.shutterfly.com
I have posted most of my Brown and Allison photos on this website. Shutterfly has offers for slide shows and books available with the posted photos. Please know that these are not created by me and I am not trying to sell anything. I am all about the FREE. The website simply takes photos and randomly throws them together and then sells them at a profit-their profit. You are welcome to buy them if you like, but you might prefer to make your own album with the photos you choose, or just look at the photos and download the ones you want for free. This is new for me, so if you have problems with the site, please let me know.
Also, please let me know if you have a family photo website or other online site you want to share and I will be happy to post the information for those places on Billie's Girl. The more the merrier.
Something must be in the air. It seems that several members of the family are sharing photos with the same goal in mind. Making the past available to the whole family. I am adding photos to a site called Shutterfly which is easily accessible and downloadable by visitors. I am getting photos from other websites, Facebook, and from genealogy websites. My sister, Karen is working with Flickr and others are posting them online.
Everyone is different. Some people have a lot of experience dealing with computerized photos, others just want to download, save and share photos (best done in J-Peg format), still others want to have the photo in the original state, so they can do their own repair work (best done in Tiff format). I have posted my photos in a J-Peg format, since it seems that is the easiest for everyone. If you would like a photo(s) in Tiff format, just let me know--use the "Contact Me:" page on this website, leave your email address and I will get them to you if I have them.
And as always, and I do mean always: If you have old photos you would like to share, please feel free to let me know. I will be happy to get them online for you.
Does anyone have a copy of Aunt Dessa's wedding photo? I am told it was her favorite, but I can't find a copy anywhere.
August Birthday Boy:
I believe this was a collage of various photos of the Doudna grandchildren. Far left top row is Leon. In front of him is Edgar Doudna, a well renowned educator. It appears that Edgar was holding a small child. In fact that is a photo of Tommy, Leon's little brother. The cut out of the gentleman on the far left, was labeled as William Doudna (?). There is a tall boy in the middle of the top row. On his right is another tall boy with a necktie. He is labeled as Fred Doudna. To the right of Fred is Oscar.