The Kallman/Abrahamson Family: Exploring my Swedish-born grandparent's and siblings immigrant journey to "Amerika". Searching for cousins everywhere to share family stories, pictures, thoughts, ideas and new discoveries about our Swedish heritage and our family today.

~ This blog, like my family tree, is always a work in process. Please stop back now and again! ~

Monday

Edvard Julius and his twin sister Lovisa Abrahamsson

Christmas Day 1832 brought a very special gift  to our family.
Great Great Grandfather Edvard Julius and his twin sister Lovisa Juliana were born.

Födde Lindsberg parish in Örebro, Sweden, Decamber 25, 1832 on farm Rattaren
Twins Edvard Julius and Lovisa Juliana Abrahamsson, döpt 31 Dec 1832
Ancestry.com, Gedline GID # 358.58.45500, Volume CI:12,  Roll/Fiche #: FA-241



my Great Great Grandfather
Edvard Julius Abrahamsson
b: 25 Dec 1832 Lindesberg, Örebro, Sweden
d: 24 Jul 1886 Östra Frölunda, Älvsborg, Sweden

Edvard's twin sister 
my 3rd Great Aunt
Lovisa Juliana Rosenquist
b: 25 Dec 1832 Lindesberg, Örebro, Sweden
d: 1 Nov 1875 Härad, Södermanland, Sweden

A Swedish cousin has sent me some information about Lovisa and her family which I will share on this blog at a later date. 


Sunday

Christmas with the Andersons - Love and Lutefisk in 1961

It's funny how some things or experiences you have as a child really stay with you.  A treasured memory of mine was our yearly lutefisk Christmas with the Andersons. Al, Mr. Anderson, was a good lifelong friend of my Dad's. He had known him from childhood. I think their parents even had been friends. He and his wife Ruth were wonderful people. Each year, sometime during the Christmas season, our family would go to their home for a lutefisk dinner. I never did like the lutefisk but Mrs. Anderson's meatballs were so so good. Mr. Anderson and my Dad would laugh over people they knew in their childhood, like "Snusbox Benson" and tell stories to each other in Swedish laughing all the while.

Their Chicago home was small and simple but oh so welcoming and comforting that I really treasured those visits. They had a dog named Patsy. After my kids were born I insisted on a Springer Spaniel just hoping it would be like that great pup that laid under the Andersons end table. My Dad was a bit older than my Mom and the Andersons had married young so their children were already teens when we were very young so I don't remember much interaction with them. Except, their son Len had a foosball table! How rich was that I thought! and they set it up right in the living room just for us! And even better, a Lionel train that really smoked and a station master that came out with each circle of the Christmas tree! You know that I HAD to buy that same station master for my Lionel. My husband and I built a beautiful Christmas train layout but that station master is the favorite of my grandkids as it was for me. For some unknown reason they call him "Bob".

The Christmas of 1961, now 55 years ago, is one that stands out above the rest. The Andersons, after prayers, lutefisk, Swedish jokes and reminiscing gave us the best presents ever. That year I remember in particular because my sister and I got Storybook Shirley Temple Dolls. She got Shirley Temple dressed as Little Bo Peep and I got Red Riding Hood. I couldn't believe it! I would tell you more but for some reason I just can't see clearly enough to type any more and I feel rather sniffly. I must be getting a cold or something.      I am such a silly old thing.




Merry Christmas to all my Swedish-American cousins!
Merry Christmas and God bless you too,
 Mr and Mrs. Anderson!




Friday

Great Aunt Sarona Rebecka

My great aunt Sarona Rebecka Kallman was born this month in Lerback, Orebro, Sweden.

My Mom told me long ago that "babies take 9 months to come, except for the first one, that one can come any time". 6 months before the wedding? I have blogged before about the rural Scandinavian custom of the engagement being the binding agreement and the wedding was the religious celebration. Many farm girls moved to their future husbands home after the engagement. But look at Sarona's birth record. "Oäkta", Illegitimate it states, with no father listed! Who knows the circumstances but glad to see great grandpa Karl stepped up to the plate. Sarona was baptized in her father's home town of Tjällmo, Östergötland and her parents married there in May of 1879.


Sarona Rebecka Kallman Alvine 1878-1956 



 Aunt Sarona died out in California when I was barely 4 so if I did meet her I unfortunately do not remember her. In the couple of small photos I have of her, in every one she is always smiling, a great big happy smile. I think I would have liked her.

Happy Birthday to my Great Aunt! 

Sarona Rebecka Källman Alvine
b:11 Dec 1878 Lerback, Örebro, Sweden
d: 28 Jul 1956 Turlock, Stanislaus, California, USA








**click on photo or document to enlarge for easier viewing**

Tuesday

Sankta Lucia's Festival of Lights, Andersonville Chicago


December 13 is Saint Lucia Day. St. Lucia of Syracuse was a Christian martyr. She smuggled food to the persecuted Christians hiding in the catacombs of Rome. To find her way she wore a wreath of candles on her head freeing her arms to carry more food. Her story was told by monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden. She is celebrated throughout Scandinavia as the bearer of light during the long dark Scandinavian winters. The Andersonville community of Chicago, once a heavily Swedish immigrant enclave, holds a yearly St. Lucia Festival and procession ending at the Swedish American Museum. The Festival of Lights ▼

Monday

David Jacobson 1908-1982

Today, through this blog I was contacted by another cousin! A Anna and Emil Jacobson line cousin who I hope can shed some light on the little known branch of his grandfather David Jacobson.

Sverige, namnindexerade födelseuppgifter, 1880-1920, Ancestry.com, Original data: Swedish Church Records Archive. Johanneshov, Sweden: Genline AB.
 Revesjö, Älvsborg, Sweden, 1908, Swedish parish birth record, the 12th birth in 1908, 28 Dec, 6th live born male, named David, son of Johan Emil Jakobsson, a railroad agent, born 11 Sep 1878, and Anna Abrahamsson, born 31 Jul 1886, the couple is married.

This photo, most likely taken in 1911 just before Johan Emil emigrated to the U.S. is of the Jakobsson family; Emil and Anna with their first three children, Rudolf, Elizabeth and to Anna's left, David. In 1913 Anna and the children emigrated through Ellis Island to join Emil.


my father's cousin
David Jacobson
b: 28 Dec 1908  Revesjö, Älvsborg, Sweden
d: 21 Apr 1982 Rohnert Park, Sonoma, California USA

I am hopeful that we can soon add some additional names to our family tree, the descendants of this cute little guy!

**click on document or photos to enlarge for easier viewing**

Wednesday

Dec 7 1941 Pearl Harbor

75 years ago today the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the US entered World War II. Quite a few young men in our family, the sons of immigrants, found themselves called to defend our country. I believe that for our immigrant family the attack on Pearl Harbor may have been the truly defining moment. We were now, above all and forever after, Americans.Very few veterans of that war are still with us. The WWII veterans of our family are all gone.  In their honor tell their story to your children and grandchildren today.

Here is the story of my favorite uncle, my mother's brother Arnold Calvin Sevald. 

My Norwegian grandfather Paul Sevald stepped off the boat unto Ellis Island August 1, 1923. August 16, 1923, he filed his intent to become a United States citizen. When his son was born two years later he named him after the current president, the 30th, Calvin Coolidge. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec 7 1941, Arnold immediately joined the Navy. A parent had to sign for him. Knowing his father would not and his mother's English was poor he tricked her into signing. He had just turned 16 in September of that same year. He served as a radar detector on the U.S.S. Tinn. Most important to me.........he came home.

my maternal uncle
Arnold Calvin Sevald
b: 18 Sep 1925 Chicago, Illinois, USA
d: 26 Nov 1983 Dallas, Texas, USA


 
Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said, 
This is my own, my native land!  - Sir Walter Scott 1771-1832


Monday

For the love of Charlotta

I have blogged in the past that due to the information I found on great great grandmother, Charlotta, I had some serious doubts that Robert Albin was the offspring of Oscar II, future king of Sweden and Norway. That family legend had persisted for 150 years and I think many if not most of the family, now numbering in the hundreds, believed it. Charlotta said so, didn't she, and why would she lie? My brother told me of a cousin of my Dad's who actually had a framed portrait of Oscar in his living room. Another cousin collected Oscar memorabilia.

Admittedly I too was more than a little bit bummed when DNA proved absolutely that Oscar was not my great great grandfather. I have spent the last few days on the "Robert Albin Abrahamson Legacy" family tree on Ancestry.com erasing one by one the relations of Oscar who now were no longer mine.


This proved tougher than I thought. Along with being a genealogy nut I also am somewhat of a Western European history buff (yes I AM a nerd and not even ashamed any more).  I loved the idea, however remote, of having not only famous but royal relatives. Why oh why Charlotta would you lie to us? On thinking it over I now have two main thoughts..

Saturday

The Death of the Family Legend

With the advance of DNA in genealogy it was inevitable that sooner or later we would know the truth of our proposed royal ancestry. Generations of those of us descended from Robert Albin Abrahamsson, the adopted son of Edvard Julius Abrahamsson, have told the family story of his, and therefore our, royal ancestry. I wrote about it in an earlier blog titled  TRUTH or family legend?  Edvard Julius Abrahamsson clearly stated that he was the adoptive father of Robert Albin. We don't know who initiated the story, perhaps Robert Albin's mother Charlotte herself did. We only know she refused to speak of it again and all of her children believed it to be the truth that Oscar Bernadotte, future King of Sweden and Norway, was his biological father. That story persisted for 150 years. Although I did not think it logical I must admit I am more than a bit disappointed to learn definitively that


King Oscar II of Sweden was NOT my great great grandfather




For those in our family not familiar with DNA here is a brief description of why he is not our ancestor. Males have one Y chromosome and one X chromosome, while females have two X chromosomes.  All men pass their Y chromosome unchanged unto their sons but not their daughters. Therefore Oscar's male descendants, generation after generation, would have the same Y chromosome as he.

There are many people throughout the Western world who claim relationship to Oscar and a company in Sweden has capitalized on that. THE BERNADOTTE FALK COMPANY for a price (and a hefty one at that) will test a man's Y DNA against the DNA of Jan Bernadotte, a proven cousin of the royal family. If the man is truly a descendant of Oscar his Y chromosome will match that of Jan Bernadotte. Our family in Sweden sent a DNA sample from a grandson of Robert Albin who descended through the male line. His Y chromosome indicated he was NOT a descendant of the Bernadotte line.

Our family legend is just that..... a legend. We will most likely never know who the biological father of Robert Albin was or why for that matter Charlotta chose to say it was Oscar II. Nor will we judge her because after all; we're here aren't we?  I for one am pretty proud to be one of the many descendants of Robert Albin and Anna Karolina Abrahamson.


I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more 
concerned to know what his grandson will be.
-Abraham Lincoln






Should you be interested in reading the actual DNA report? 

Thursday

Elizabeth Marie Kallman - I wonder if she knew?

free clipart http://phillipmartin.info/
Sometimes the interesting things you learn about your ancestors as a snoppy genealogist are the very things your ancestors would not only NOT find "interesting" but did their best to keep secret! Possibly traveling halfway around the world to keep the secret! The family "secret" I am writing about now involves those long gone who cannot be hurt by the revelation. When I look at photos of ancestors living at the turn of the 20th century, they look so stern, starched and upright. It is sort of nice to know that their missteps meant that they were just as human as I.

My great uncle Håkon Patrik Källman was the oldest brother of my grandfather Richard and the first of the family to leave Sweden and head to America in 1901. Here in the U.S. he met another Swedish immigrant Margareta Maria Eriksson. They married and their first child, Arthur, was born here. The young family returned to Sweden in 1905 where their other children were born. I am guessing it was his health that prompted their return to Sweden. Patrik died of tuberculosis just a few days after his 28th birthday.

I am sure life was lonely and difficult for the young widow and her children. Her boys Arthur, Evald, and Evert emigrated to the U.S. when they were older mentioning my grandfather as their contact in the U.S. When they were settled in Chicago they sent for their mother and younger sister. Margareta arrived in the U.S. with 10 year old Elizabeth Marie in 1923. I heard my Dad mention Arthur, Evert and Evald. He never mentioned, as far as I know, Elizabeth. I only knew about her through U.S. census records and her marriage and death certificates stated her fathers name as Patrik Kallman so I knew she was part of the family. I had a difficult time finding Elizabeths Swedish parish birth record as she was born in a different town than the town in which the family lived. But I found it at last!
06 Oct 1913 Valborg Maria Elisabet öakta (illegitimate), father okand (unknown),
mother Maria Margareta Källman, telephone operator in Sya born 16 Jul 1880, widowed

1913 Sya,, Östergötland, Sweden parish birth records 

my father's cousin?
Elizabeth Marie Källman
b. 6 Oct 1912 Sya, Östergötland, Sweden
d. 29 Oct 1987 Thomaston, Litchfield, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Here's the rub. My Great Uncle Patrik died in 1908! I wonder if Elisabeth knew?
Well the secret is out now.






***click on document to enlarge for easier viewing***

Wednesday

The Kallman Smile

 This is one of my favorite photos of my Kallman grandparents and their children. It is just a small snapshot so it unfortunately doesn't enlarge clearly but it shows the nature of the family. I am dating this the late 1930's, the midst of the Great Depression. It was a very hard and uncertain time in the world. The family had been through one world war and was about to enter another. They had financial difficulties, health issues and no doubt family troubles of all sorts. But don't they look happy together?  This season I am most thankful for the legacy of descending from stable, loving, godly, happy people. People who never forgot how to smile.
Chicago, Illinois - The Kallman Family
Laverne, Eva, Melvin, Richard, Albin, Lydia & Ebba


Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday

The election of our president and our Swedish immigrant ancestors

Now that this particularly vile and vulgar presidential election is over and some of the dust has settled here is my 2¢.

NO, I am not going to tell you who I voted for.    Reason #1 being I found both of our choices a poor excuse for a candidate and a human being. Regardless of the outcome of the election today I would still be unhappy with the election results. BUT I VOTED. I am shocked that 45% or so of Americans did not vote. To me voting is not only my right but my responsibility. Reason #2 is what do I know and who am I to tell anyone else who to vote for anyway? Who knows what the future brings?


Since hindsight is so much clearer and we have history on our side, I thought it would be fun to try and guess for whom our Swedish immigrant ancestors may have cast their first vote.


Two dates in US history are important to remember


•Until 1922 a woman automatically became a citizen through her husbands citizenship (she also lost her citizenship if she married an alien). That means that my Swedish immigrant great aunts Olga Palm, Tekla Peterson, Sarona Alvine, Ruth Soderstrom and Anna Jacobson automatically became citizens because their husbands took the oath before 1922. Grandpa Richard Kallman immigrated in 1906 but was not naturalized until 1925, Kudos to Grandma Lydia Kallman though, who individually applied for and became a naturalized citizen in 1930.


•American women did not win the vote until 26 August 1920 with the passage of the 19th amendment. The 1920 election was the first that women in the U.S. could participate.





Thursday

Those Places Thursday - Uncle Emil and Aunt Anna's house

YESTERDAY (late 1940's)
John Emil and Anna Jacobson
in front of their home in Chicago, Illinois
with Evelyn Johnson, Ruth Jacobson, Tim and Paul


TODAY
the house still stands but the neighborhood has changed and not for the better. The home is in a depressed neighborhood, a high crime area of frequent robberies, assaults and shootings. The house next door was abandoned and demolished.


Many of us had been there over the years but would you recognize it today?




Friday

Friday's Faces From the Past - John Emil Jacobson 1911

Cousin Ingemar is still emptying out bags from his Mom's. Another great find! Keep digging cousin!

1911 John Emil Jacobson 

This photo was not named but cousin Paul identified it as his grandfather John Emil, "with a little more hair than I remember him having"! The photo, in beautiful condition, was dated 1911. Taken in New Britain, Connecticut undoubtedly sent home to Sweden to show how well he was doing in the U.S. In 1913 his wife Anna and their three children (Rudolf, David and Elizabeth) would join him.

my great uncle
Johan Emil Jakobsson
soon to be known as
John Emil Jacobson
b. 11 Sep 1878 Torshult, Mårdaklev, Ålvsborg, Sweden
d. 22 Feb 1962 Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA






***click on photo to enlarge for easier viewing, right click to download***

History of Veterans Day | The History Channel



"On this Veterans Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free." – Dan Lipinski

To those who have honored and defended our country
through  their military service
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU

Wednesday

Lydia at 20


1910 Lydia Abrahamson - 20 years old
This photo was recently discovered by my second cousin Ingemar as he went through a bag of papers and photos found as he was cleaning out his late mother's home. My grandmother Lydia in 1910 at 20 years old. She  had just arrived in the U.S. less than a year before. This picture of the lovely Lydia is one I will truly cherish. How can I ever thank you enough Ingemar?

my paternal grandmother
Lydia Abrahamson Kallman
b. 25 Feb 1890 Östra Frölunda, Ålvsborg, Sweden
d. 23 Apr 1978 Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA






***click on photo to enlarge for easier viewing***

Monday

"Teamwork and coincidence"

I opened my email today to find this photo and this note from my second cousin in Sweden, Ingemar Majholm.

on back of photo is written " Luther på 80 års dagen"
*****************************
"Hi,
This is an example of teamwork and coincidence.
Looking into one of the bags taken from my mother's house before we sold it this summer, I found a bunch of old pictures the other day. One of them would never have got my attention if I hadn't read your blog from Oct 10 this year. The name wouldn't have rang any bell, but now it did.
September 29, 1971, 80 years old, with just three years more to live."

Cheers,
Ingemar"
*****************************

Luther Abrahamson, the son of Anna Susanna Karlsdotter and Anders Abrahamsson, the maternal cousin of Anna, Lydia and Ruth must have been a favorite cousin and its great that with a little "teamwork and coincidence" we were able to identify him.

I am glad we are on the same team, thank you Ingemar!

Saturday

Grandma Kallman leaves a gift from the past

It always irked me a bit that grandma saved everything and I mean EVERYTHING. We had to unwrap Christmas and birthday gifts slowly and carefully because she reused the paper. She washed off tinfoil and folded it for another time. Each and every card she received she carefully wrote the date and who gave it to her and put it away for safekeeping. I once saw her take 6 to 10 leftover peas (I swear to you I am not making this up) and put them in an old saved jelly glass and popped them in the frig. for later meals. I figured it was most likely a legacy of the Great Depression. She was also forever writing things down, making lists. Where all those cards ended up I haven't a clue but one list she meticulously typed out in duplicate with old time carbon paper over a half century ago would be a priceless gift. When my father died in 1989 I found among his papers and memorabilia this:




Grandma Lydia had made a list. A list of the names of her children and the circumstances of their birth. A list of her and my grandpa Richard's parents and siblings with the dates and places of their birth, deaths, married names and where they now resided at the time of her writing. She knew that although she remembered, someday she would be gone and she wanted her children, she wanted her grandchildren, she wanted US to know who we were and where we had come from.

Thank you Grandma Kallman.


Thursday

Those Places Thursday - Using Google Maps

Surely anyone familiar with computers have used Google maps for directions. I use it for that purpose but have found it be be a great resource for family history also. When I see an address on a census record of an ancestor or family member I generally use Google maps to see the house or building in which they lived. Sometimes a disappointment when a family home was leveled for a parking lot but often the building still exists and it gives me a feeling of closeness to the life  experience of that particular ancestor.  Following the arrows on Google maps I travel up and down the streets, checking out the area.


The Östra Frölunda church stands next to the home and property of my great grandfather Robert Albin Abrahamsson. He, his wife, parents and additional family members are buried in the churchyard. I have posted this photo before but now thanks to Google maps you can now view


How cool is that? Thank you cousin Ingemar Majholm of Sweden for the update on the views of the interior of the town church and for the reminder of how awesome GOOGLE MAPS is.





***click on photos to enlarge for easier viewing***
***click on the above links to go directly to the church and Google maps***

Sunday

Census Sunday - 1910 US Census: Moline, Rock Island, Illinois - Lydia Abrahamson

Line 27 - Abrahamson, Lydia, Servant, aged 20


1910 US Census Moline, Rock Island, Illinois
click on census to enlarge for easier viewing


April 1910, my grandmother Lydia has been in the US. for just over a year. She is working as a live in household servant for the Irwing family. This was a very common occupation for young single Swedish immigrant women. Swedish housemaids were among the preferred. In fact at the turn of the century a fourth of all of Chicago's domestic servants were of Swedish origin and nationwide they were among the predominant groups in household labor along with Irish, Germans and Norwegians. Swedish  housemaids had a reputation for being honest, diligent, hardworking, willing to learn and unlikely to complain.* It was a good paying and highly respected job in the Swedish community.

I think she may have liked her life with the Irwing family. Sure the work was hard, but housework was difficult in those days and no worse than it had been back home in Sweden  Swedish maids were respected and relatively well paid as opposed to harsh conditions working in Sweden.
The Swedish American population was young, the majority of the population was between 20 and 40 and there were more Swedish men than women in America. The Swedish girls could have their pick. The Swedish girls adapted quickly to American ways and working in an American home they picked up English quickly. As you can see by this census record Lydia, here just a year, already speaks English.

My grandmother Lydia would shortly meet my grandfather Rikard, now going by Richard, who had arrived from Sweden in 1906. In the next year she would leave her employment to be a full time housewife as was then the custom and expectation.



*an excerpt from "Peasant Maids, City Women: From the European Countryside to Urban America." a book by Christiane Harzig, Cornell University Press

Saturday

Sibling Saturday - Peter, John and Hulda Jacobson


photo from the personal collection of Paul Jacobson

Jakob Lorentz Petersson and Johanna-Lena Larsdotter of Mårdaklev, Älvsborg, Sweden had eight children. Only four survived to adulthood. Three emigrated to the United States in the early part of the twentieth century; Petrus (Peter) Leander, Johan (John) Emil and Hulda Maria Elisabeth Johnson.
Only one child remained behind in Sweden; Gustaf Adolf.

Johan (John) Emil Jakobsson would emigrate in 1911 and his wife Anna (my grandmother Lydia's sister) would follow with their first three children in 1913.

my Great Uncle
John Emil Jacobson 
 b: 11 Sep 1878 in Mårdaklev, Älvsborg, Sweden
d: 22 Feb 1962 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA






***click on photo to enlarge for easier viewing***

Tuesday

"Will you kindly call for him about 2:30 P.M."

This letter, dated: February 9, 1920, was among the items my father had saved from his childhood. 



***************

Durand Hospital
of the
The John McCormick Institute of Infectious Diseases
637 South Wood Street
Chicago

          Mr. Richard Kallman
          3056 Clifton Ave.,
          Chicago, Illinois

                            This is to inform you that your 
          son, Karl Kallman, is now entirely recovered 
          and able to go home. Will you kindly call 
          for him about 2:30 pm and oblige.

                                                   very truly yours,
                                                   Durand Hospital
                                                   by: E. Johnson

***************

My Dad had been seriously enough ill at the age of 3 1/2 to enter a hospital? Dad had never mentioned being ill as a child. I had never heard of the Durand hospital of Chicago. What had happened? They had to "call for him"? I would never have left my child alone in a hospital. Of course 1920 is close to a century ago. I decided to do some research.

December 29, 1911 the Northern Trust company of Chicago, as trustees of the will of Anna W Durand, purchased a site for a hospital for infectious diseases. Mrs. Durand had left $375,00 for the erection and maintenance of the hospital.* The hospital was built in 1913 and unfortunately, mainly due to the depression, lack of funding forced its closure in 1933.**

One of the reasons the life expectancy was so much shorter years ago was the high incidence of childhood morbidity due to the many many childhood illnesses exacerbated by living in cramped quarters, little knowledge of how disease spread, no antibiotics, poor nutrition, unclean water etc. etc.  The rich had personal physicians who came to them in their home. Industrialization, urbanization and immigration made hospitals necessary and the only place to receive any medical care for the poor.  Hospitals were for the poor and indigent, the "worthy poor" because back in the day many felt that poverty, illness and morality all went together. You didn't go there unless you were desperate and for good reason. You may very well not come out.  And the Kallmans were poor and probably desperate that their little boy was gravely ill. At the end of the 19th century enlightened dedicated physicians and caring citizens realized that children needed specific medical care, not the same as adults and pediatric hospitals began in the larger cities like Chicago. Many children, by the time they entered the hospital, were malnourished or at death's door. If they did survive, and that is a big if, their hospital stay was long, perhaps weeks even months.*** And those destitute scared parents were not allowed to stay with their most likely even more frightened children. 

I don't know how long they waited for that letter. I don't know how long my Dad was in the hospital, nor exactly why. Since this was a hospital dedicated to infectious disease it could have been any one of a number of childhood infectious illnesses, or perhaps the flu pandemic that had just swept through the country.  Whatever it was I am certain it took great courage and perhaps a sense of desperation for Lydia and Richard to take their sick little boy to the Durand hospital and leave him there, all the while praying the doctors could help him. 

In a previous post I wrote about a "FAMILY TREASURE". A lock of my Dad's blond hair lovingly saved by his mother.


 I had always assumed it was perhaps a memento of his first haircut as it was common back in the early part of the 20th century to let a little boys hair grow long until the age of 4 or 5. Now I see it differently. "Melvin's hair when he was 4 years old" she had written on the paper the lock of hair was sewn to. Carl Melvin was 4 in 1920. Maybe Grandma Lydia feared the worst and the clipping of hair was a memento of little Carl Melvin himself, cut just before he entered the hospital. No wonder they saved the letter that informed them their little boy was coming home.








sources....
*The journal of the American Medical Association 1911, Volume 56, issue 2 pg 127 Click here to read this passage
**The Chicago Tribune Tuesday January 31, 1933, page 1 Click here to read the article