Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Daughter's Treasure

I have been going through the boxes of papers left me by my grandmother, trying to get a grip on where to start with responsibly archiving this stuff. I pulled out one today that is an edited version of a short history of her life by my daughter's namesake, Emelie Fouquet. I say edited because that's what I deduced from the typeface and my grandmother's notes written on  it. I have further edited it and corrected what I perceived to be typos and not spelling errors, because I am quite certain that Emelie, the accountant of the family, was as precise with her language as she was with her numbers, even if her sentences tend to run on a bit. Uh. Yeah. Must run in the genes.

Emelie would be my great great grand aunt -- I think that's right. She was the daughter of my great great grandfather. I'll be coming back to him at some time in the future, but for now, here is a little piece of what Emelie had to say about her life, from 1891 when Emelie Marie Fouquet was 13 years old, to 1937 when she lost her older brother (my great grandfather):

From A Short History of Our Lives
written in Nov. 1950 
by Emelie [then 72]

Mama and Papa's Mother and Rose [the baby sister] went to France in July, 1891; back home in October.

Our store and home where we lived upstairs at Andale [Kansas] burnt down in 1892, I think in July. Then we moved on the farm about 1/2 mile NW of Andale until the last of February as Papa had sold the farm to stock up the store, but was to give possession March 1st. Therefore, we moved back  in Andale, not far from the depot, until September when Papa and Charles went to Hunnewell, Kansas in a covered wagon and set up a tent at the opening of the Cherokee Strip and sold sandwiches, coffee and pop. Tthey had more than they could do, so papa wired for us to come and we left Andale Monday night on the train, right before the opening. The Thursday before the opening we sold $125.00 of lunches and coffee at 5 cents. After the run, we stayed at Hunnewell until Monday and rested up and packed up and went to Round Pond, or what is now called Pond Creek. We stayed there until March 1895.

We arrived at the school lease (which Papa had made arrangements for) on April 1st. Papa hired Mr. Gelwich to mow the hay, so we set up camp by the hay stack until we built a little log cabin with an attic for a bed room. The neighbors came and had a "log raising" in one day. It did not have a floor until later.

Later Papa worked for Mr. Tate six miles SE of Chandler [Oklahoma] in the fall. He had a little store in Clifton, but we kept the farm going, too. Then in 1900, Papa bought the Tate farm after having inherited some money from Aunt Modest. We lived there until November 9, 1928 when we moved to 205 W. 9th Street in Chandler after having had a sale of the stock and implements we did not need in town.

Papa's mother went to France at the same time mother and Rose went in 1891, but she didn't come back until we lived in Pond Creek, and she lived with us and died on the farm in the year of 1901 or 1902. Mother died June 21st 1933, and father died July 3, 1936 in the O.M. [sic] and was buried in Chandler cemetery. Brother Charles [my great grandfather] died in 1937, May 30, in Pueblo, Colorado and was buried at Monte Vista. Rose and I, Emelie, went to see him April 25th. Rose came back to work, clerking for Bayouth Store. I stayed in Colorado until after Charles' funeral.


This is only one piece of paper, actually two, out of several boxes that include letters written between brothers during the last Great Depression, letters from son to mother while deployed during WWI, and more letters announcing happy and sad events in the family. I am looking forward to spending time seeing those times through their eyes. With your permission, I hope to share some more of it with you as I go, from time to time.

I mean that, with your permission. Please let me know what you think by commenting below.


webpilot said...

ABSOLUTELY SHARE!!!! What you have written here sound very familiar to me as if maybe it was written in the book that your Grandmother and Aunt Mathilda did about Leon C. This is very interesting to me.


Sharon G. Frizzell said...

George, you have a good memory. The incident at the Cherokee Strip land rush is included in Hurrah For My New Free Country beginning on page 119; however, the book is from Great Great Grandpa Leon's journals and is a much more detailed account. What I am finding is some of the accounts from the other family members in the form of letters and short stories. It is such a treasure.