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 tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Grandma Elda and Great Uncle Ed.

And now, another picture of Grandma Elda and Great Uncle Ed taken in 1909. I'm assuming the picture was taken in Lead, South Dakota.

Grandma Elda was a fireball and very true to her Italian heritage. I remember Uncle Ed as a very cheerful and gentle man. I remember alway thinking that Elda and Ed were very close.

The Early Pictures. The Vercellinos.

1912. Lead, South Dakota

The young lady in white is Dad's Mother. Her name was Elda Vercellino. Isn't she a pretty 7 year old? Behind her is Elda's mother, Marie. Standing on the chair is Elda's brother Ed (age 5). He had polio. If you look closely you'll see is left arm is shorter than the right. Uncle Ed owned the grocery store in Belle Fourche. Remember our visits? They lived in the apartment over the store. He married Aunt Iris. Karen was their daughter.

Finishing off the family is Great Uncle Ray (age 14). He worked for Western Union as a telegraph operator in Deadwood. When Elda got older she worked for him as a telegraph operator. Ray moved to Columbus, Ohio and eventually became a Vice President of Western Union. They had two children, Patricia and Raymond. His wife's name was Lakota. She hated the name. She was a society lady. Lakota was an Indian name. He loved Italian food but his wife hated garlic. If he wanted Italian food he cooked it himself downstairs so the garlic smell didn't permeate the house.

More information on Elda's mother:
Maddalena Gertrude Viano was born November 15, 1879 in Cuorgne, Torino, Piedmont, Italy, and died November 01, 1937 in Lead, Lawerence, South Dakota. She married Giovanni (John) Vercellino 1894 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, son of Giovanni Vercellino and Catterina Gianetto. He was born August 06, 1860 in Salto, Torino, Piedmont, Italy, and died November 24, 1924 in Lead, Lawerence, South Dakota.
Marie Viano Vercellino

Marie Viano Vercellino in the late 1930's

John and Marie Vercellino's Wedding Picture. She was 15. He was 36.

Their Children:

Raymond Domenic Vercellino:
Born: December 04, 1898 in Salto, Torino, Piedmont, Italy.
October 29, 1992 in Columbus, Ohio

Ray Vercellino

Elda Kay Vercellino
Born June 24, 1905.
Trojan, Lawrence County, South Dakota
Died: August 17, 1995 in Bismark, North Dakota

Grandma Elda. We called her Grandma Leissman. Picture taken in Bismarck ND.

Edward Daniel Vercellino:
Born: April 24, 1907 in Trojan, Lawerence, South Dakota

Died: February 24, 2002 in Belle Fourche, Butte, South Dakota

Ed Vercellino

We now that the children were born in Trojan, Lawrence County, South Dakota. Trojan is now a ghost town near Lead.

Just a few interesting facts.

Missing in the picture at the top of the post is John, Dad's Grandfather. Why? Who knows. If he's anything like Dad I'm guessing he was working :)

Elda was usually dressed in white. Marie was clean freak. In the mornings Elda would get up to go to school. Marie and John fought. Marie was known to throw herself on the floor and kick and scream. John threw vinegar in her face to pull her out of it. These morning episodes upset Elda. She sometimes threw up at school. Elda had a very kind teacher (Mrs. Williamson) that would clean her up and make her presentable.

Marie was a wonderful person according. She had a wonderful sense of humor. Loved to crack jokes. Always had cookies for the children.

Ed was teased by the neighbor bullies because of his crippled arm. Elda was his protector. The bullies called them both "Garlic Eaters" and "Waps" (the sound of poop hitting a wall). Ed retorted by calling them "Potato Eaters" in a very small, petite voice. Elda fought all of Ed's battles.

One time Elda took a bully named Junior down, sat on his face and farted. Most likely still wearing her white dress. Once she was invited to stay overnight with a friend. While at the home she saw the husband kiss and hug his wife. Elda ran home and reported the incident to her mother. She'd never seen that kind of affection between a husband and wife before.

Once Elda was given a quarter and told to go to the shops to pick up a few items for her mother.
While on her way to the store she dropped the quarter through the boards in the boardwalk (no sidewalks then). She thought Marie would kill her. She knocked on the door of an home nearby and asked the lady for an axe to cut up the boardwalk to find her quarter.

Many of the Italians in Lead couldn't speak English. As a girl Elda was used extensively as a translator. She spoke Italian and English very well.

When they were young Maria would wake the children up in the morning after the train went by to pick up pieces of coal to hear their home. They also loved mushrooms. In the spring and summer they took hikes as a family to find mushrooms in the forests around Terry Peak.

When Elda was old enough to go to dances she would be accompanied by her to the dances as her chaperon. Elda would have none of that. She'd sneak into the bathroom and sneak out the window to go with her friends.

Once when Elda was a teenager, her boyfriend had a car. They were a new couple and she was doing everything she could to impress him. She flirted and flirted as they drove through Spearfish Canyon. They stopped for a Coke. She stuck her finger in the top of the bottle and got it stuck. To get her finger out they had to break the bottle.

Elda's strongest belief about herself was that she should never gotten married or had a child.

Extended Geneology on the Viano's (Family Tie: Elda's Mother)

Catterina Maria Carmerlo (Maiden Name). Catterina Carmerlo Viano (Married Name). Elda's Maternal Grandmother
This was picture of Marie Viano's Mother, Catterina Carmelo Viano. In the corner, the Photographer was in Coal City, Illinois

Catterina Maria Carmerlo (Pietro2, Pietro1) was born February 26, 1853 in Cuorgne, Torino, Piedmont, Italy, and died 1916 in Coal City, Grundy, Illinois. She married Giovanni Viano, son of Giovanni Viano and Margherita Savi. He was born February 27, 1857 in Cuorgne, Torino, Piedmont, Italy, and died Bef. 1894 in Joliet, Will, Illinois.

Children of Catterina Carmerlo and Giovanni Viano are:

Julia Viano. She married Nicholas Bonomo.

Joseph Viano, born November 24, 1873; died December 12, 1932 in Coal City, Grundy, Illinois.

Ellen Viano, born Bef. 1879 in Cuorgne, Torino, Piedmont, Italy. She married Michael Marietta Bef. 1894.

Fannie Viano, born Bef. 1879 in Cuorgne, Torino, Piedmont, Italy. She married Davis Bef. 1894.

Maria Maddalena Gertrude Viano, born November 15, 1879 in Cuorgne, Torino, Piedmont, Italy; died November 01, 1937 in Lead, Lawerence, South Dakota. (Elda's Mother pictured above).

Dolph Viano, born March 04, 1883; died April 1966.

Pietro Carmerlo (Pietro) He married Terese Cortese, daughter of Michele Cortese.

Child of Pietro Carmerlo and Terese Cortese is:
Catterina Maria Carmerlo, born February 26, 1853 in Cuorgne, Torino, Piedmont, Italy; died 1916 in Coal City, Grundy, Illinois.

Pietro Carmerlo

Child of Pietro Carmerlo is:
Pietro Carmerlo. (And that is the end of the line as far as I can find)

Dad's Grandfather, Guiseppe Vercellino, became a naturalized citizen of the United States on October 29, 1900 in the US District Ct., Deadwood.

John (Guiseppe's) brother Fred (Fedile) was naturalized on November 2, 1888 at the same location.
Fred Vercellino, owned a saloon at 114 W. Main in Lead.