Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Grandpa Walter Mattson's CCC photo Album. Pictures of Grandpa and Grandma Mattson.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Grandpa Mattson (born 1912) served in the CCC in Montana as a young man in the mid 1930's.  The CCC stood for the Civilian Conservation Corps.  It was a place to work when work was hard to come by during the great depression.  He had a photo album during his time with the CCC.  I've taken his album and scanned the few photos of him, and young lady he had his eye on for possible matrimony.
Grandpa left the CCC in 1937 or 38, travelled to California to take a job on a ship heading to South America.  That didn't work out, so on his way back to Montana, he stopped to see his girlfriend Violet and the rest is history.  Violet (born 1918) and her family had moved to California from Montana while Walter was in the CCC.

First, the relationship chart.

Relationship Chart

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families as part of the New Deal. Originally for young men ages 18–23, it was eventually expanded to young men ages 17-28. Robert Fechner was the head of the agency. It was a major part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal that provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men, to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States while at the same time implementing a general natural resource conservation program in every state and territory. Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000; in nine years 3 million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a small wage of $30 a month ($25 of which had to be sent home to their families).
The American public made the CCC the most popular of all the New Deal programs. Principal benefits of an individual's enrollment in the CCC included improved physical condition, heightened morale, and increased employability. Implicitly, the CCC also led to a greater public awareness and appreciation of the outdoors and the nation's natural resources; and the continued need for a carefully planned, comprehensive national program for the protection and development of natural resources.
During the time of the CCC, volunteers planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded most state parks, updated forest fire fighting methods, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas.

A little fun during down time.  Notice the outhouse.  It was primitive in the CCC camp.  I believe Grandpa Mattson is seated wearing the dress???

Grandpa Mattson with a friend.

A picture of his sweetheart Violet, his future wife and our grandmother, with a friend in Grandpa's photo album.

Grandpa Walter Mattson.

Grandpa Mattson is holding the guitar in this group photo in front of their tents.

Another picture of his sweetheart, our Grandma Mattson, taken from his album.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sandy Williamson Remembered

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
     My Aunt Sandy passed away on April 3, 2014.  She was married to my Uncle Ray, my dad's half brother.  I didn't know Sandy very well due to time and distance, but I know she was a remarkable woman who was dearly loved by her family and friends.  
     I'm sharing her obituary below as part of our family history.

     Sandra “Sandy” Lynn Williamson, 63, passed away surrounded by her family on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at her home in Spearfish. She was born Nov. 30, 1950, to Mr. and Mrs. John Croghan in Deadwood. She graduated from Doniphan Senior High School in Doniphan, Mo., in 1969 and, answering a calling, fulfilled a dream and graduated from USD in 1998 as a registered nurse. She touched so many with her work in long term care facilities and was especially proud of her service at the Fort Meade VA Hospital.   
     Sandy married Raymond Williamson in July 1971, and they had a daughter, Nikki Lynn, who was born in 1972. They made their home in Whitewood. She was a committed member and volunteer of many organizations, including the Jaycees, Whitewood PTO, and as an EMT with the Whitewood Volunteer Fire Department.
     Sandy is survived by a daughter, Nikki Williamson; granddaughter, Elsie Lynn; and grandson, Raymond Daniel, all of Spearfish. She is also survived by sisters, Lonnie (Terry) ONeil of Portland, Ore., and Lorraine (Talmon) Harber of Doniphan, Mo.; a brother, Lance (Helan) Croghan of St. Louis, Mo.; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband and parents.
Sandy, daughter Nikki, husband Ray

Monday, June 9, 2014

Leslie Configliacco Passes Away

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
      Leslie Configliacco, our 2nd cousin once removed, passed away on April 4, 2014 in Rapid City.  He was the youngest brother of Evelyn Configliacco who passed away in 2013.
Mom and Dad use to visit Evelyn and Leslie regularly when they visited the Black Hills. I met him once.  Leslie never married.  He and Evelyn were very close and lived together until Evelyn passed away.  


Relationship Chart 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Information from the Mattson / Lidman Swedish Family Bible

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
In today's digital family gathering we take a moment to look at the old Swedish, Mattson / Lidman family Bible.  

     The Bible belonged, from what I can tell, to our Great Grand Aunt Josephine Mattson Lidman and her family.  Josephine was the sister of our Great Grandfather John Albert Mattson.  How the Bible came into the procession of John Albert is unknown.
     The Bible followed the Mattsons.  Luella remembers it sat on the writing desk when the family lived on the ranch in Montana.  The Bible followed them to Spearfish.  Grandpa Walter inherited the Bible when his father passed away.  Grandma Violet became its owner after Grandpa Walter died.  Now it resides here at the Fortress.  
     It is in bad shape and in need of restoration.  Perhaps the family would like to pool its resources and send it to a conservator for repairs.      

    This page indicates the Bible was a wedding gift to our Great Grandaunt Josephine Mattson and her husband Carl Lidman.  

    This page records the marriage of our Great Grandparents, and the marriage of their son, our Grandpa Walter to Grandma Violet Pierce.  

      This page records the birth of Carl Lidman and Josephine Mattson along with the birth of Linda and John Mattson.   

     Additional births.

And a page recording the death of Walter Albert Mattson Jr. then the birth of Uncle Marvin.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Our Great Grand Aunt Josie Williamson Good. Grandpa Williamson's Letter of Reference. Williamson Line.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today I'll share a few things on our Williamson side.
I start with Grandpa Williamson's Letter of Reference and a couple photos of where he worked in Deadwood (credit: Aunt Kriss)

This was the letter of reference given to Grandpa Charles Williamson (father to Charles Ray Williamson) after his place of employment burned down in Deadwood in 1942.  Dad was six years old at the time.

 Two photos of the fire damaged Hearst Mercantile Co. Deadwood SD.

Grandpa Williamson's Sister Josie

This Relationship Chart shows that Great Aunt Josie was the fifth child of William and Effie Williamson of Sundance Wyoming.  Our Grandpa Williamson was the 9th child and baby of the family. The chart shows Grandpa's two wives: He married, first: Elda Vercellino; second: Elsie Jensen.

 Josie is photographed in the front yard of the Williamson home in Sundance Wyo.

 The following life sketch was written by Pat Williamson Biggs and Chanler Biggs and found in their book The Williamson Legacy.

Credit: The Williamson Legacy

Credit: The Williamson Legacy

Credit: The Williamson Legacy

Credit: The Williamson Legacy

Six of the Williamson children.  Grandpa Williamson is on the back row.

 Aunt Josie worked in this bank for 12 years.

Josie and her husband Lawrence C. Good had two children, Mary Ann and Helen Marie.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Our Grand Uncle, Walter LeRoy Pierce. Baby Photo. Mattson Lines

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Grand Uncle Walter LeRoy Pierce

Hello All,
     A short post today.  This is a newly found picture of our Grand Uncle (Great Uncle), brother to Grandma Violet Mattson taken at Scottsbluff, Nebraska when he was 8 months old.  May of 1917.   He died on July 3, 1987. 
     When Walter LeRoy Pierce was born on September 7, 1916, in Nebraska, his father, Walter Edwin Pierce was 31 and his mother, Vesta Althea Dennis, was 24.  He had one child, Diana, with wife Vivian Eldee Withrow.  He died on July 3, 1987, in Santa Clara, California, at the age of 70.

Great Grandmother Vesta with her two children, Walter LeRoy and Violet May

Sunday, February 16, 2014

More on the Twelve Mattson Children, our Great Grand Uncles and Aunts. Anna Caroline Mattson Sand

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
This week I continue posting what I find on our Mattson Great Grand Uncles, Aunts and their children.  We start with the Relationship Chart

      Today we learn a little about our Great Grand Aunt Anna Carolena Mattson.   Aunt Anna was the fifth child of Emanuel and Helena Mattson of Sweden.  She, along with most of her siblings, immigrated to the United States. 
      Great Aunt Anna Carolena Mattson was born on October 26, 1867, in Rossared, Sweden, her father, Emanuel, was 28 and her mother, Helena, was 29.  
     We have a record of Anna Mattson immigrating to the United States through Hull, England on May 14, 1886.

     Great Grand Aunt Anna married Harry (Herman) Sand on July 28, 1889 in San Fransico, California. They had eight children in fifteen years.
     Her husband died on April 25, 1906 while the family was living in Lead, South Dakota near her sister Josefina and brother John Albert (our Great Grandfather).

Information from the 1910 US Census

     The 1920 US Census has Anna and her children living in Seattle, Washington.  She is listed as head of household.  Living with her are three of her sons and her daughter Emily (who married a Glennen) and Emily's five year old son Edward.

     The 1930 US Census has Anna listed as living in Oakland, California.  She never remarried.  This census record is interesting.  It lists Anna as the mother to the head of house's mother.  His last name is Martin, hers is Sand.  There is no record of her having a daughter named Hettie.  This mystery will remain unsolved for the time being until I dig up more information.

     Great Grand Aunt Anna died on November 24, 1939 in San Francisco, California

Great Grand Aunt Anna's Funeral Record

      There is another mystery.  Anna's father is listed as Carl Mattson and her mother Beatrice which is different from the records we have.  We know this is the right Anna by the names of her children listed on the funeral record.
     The only pictures we have of the Sands are below.

     This is Sidney "Sid" Sands taken on his 22nd birthday in 1918.  The photo was taken in Scranton, PA.  He was visiting his Uncle Edward Mattson.   Sid was Anna's 3rd born child and served in the navy during WWI.   Sid is our 1st cousin, twice removed.  He was buried at sea.
 Sid wrote a letter to his first cousin, our Grandpa Walter Mattson telling a bit about the family.  The letter is below.  In in he refers to our Gypsy Great Great Grandmother in Sweden, the mother of the many Mattsons descended from her 12 children.

     Anna's two youngest children, our first cousins, twice removed. On the left is William Sands. On the right is Herman Sands.  William was born in 1905.  Herman was born in 1903.