From the Fortress of Solitude
Overlooking the Valley of the Pleasant Grove
Tonight I present two photographs for your consideration. The first comes with questions.
In this photograph, taken around 1976/7 we see Grandma Violet Mattson. I believe the young boy standing in front of Grandma is Forrest DelGrosso. Notice Forrest is packing heat. This is South Dakota mind you. In Dakota Territory we arm them young. Its every man, woman and child at the windows shooting if them injuns attack.
If I'm not mistaken, the young lady next to Forrest is Lisa Willamson. I'm waiting to be corrected. Now, who is the lady in the background holding the baby? Anyone related to us? The young lady with the bleached face in the lower left corner of the photograph is another mystery . Any help on this would be appreciated. This looks like it could have been taken in Grandma's trailor, parked in Rapid Valley.
Our Second Photograph comes from 1975/76. Kevin looks to be about 13/14. Luckily for us, Kevin wrote the following on the back of this picture.
Brad Bishop, top. Scott Bishop top right. Randy Weeks top left.
Middle Row: Carry Gilles, Jim Lamphere, Bruce Middleton.
Bottom Row: Brad Haugen, Rick Olmstead, Kevin Williamson and Jeff Gilles.
Kevin also wrote the following: "Picture taken at Casper, Wyo. We won. Now we go to Denver. Unfortunatly we lost at Denver. We played Friday the 13th. Then on the 14th we lost because Jeff was there Ha Ha.
There you have it, a picture of the Rapid City 2nd Ward Youth Basketball Team and there in the center, our Kevin.
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.
Monday, February 8, 2010
From the Fortress of Solitude
Overlooking the Pleasant Grove
In my search to find information on famous ancestors I feel I tend to neglect our great grandparents who lived lives similar to our own. I'm talking about simple folks that get up every day and do their best to put bread on the table and shoes on the kid's feet. These are the people that built America one homestead or farm at a time. Tonight we take a minute to celebrate the life of one such American.
Family, I’d like to introduce you to our 3rd Great Grandfather and Grandmother Henry Fiddler and Francis George. Henry and Francis were the Grandparents of Grandma Mattson’s Father, Walter Edwin Pierce.
Grandpa Henry was a native of Pennsylvania. He was born on 23rd of Nov. in 1823. His parents were Abraham Fiddler and Susan Keller. We know little of the the Fiddlers until 1838 when the family moved to Richland County, Ohio, where in 1846 Henry Fiddler married Francis George, daughter of Jacob George. In 1853 the family came to Iowa, stopping to winter in Muscatine County.
On March 24, 1854 he traveled to DesMoines to make a payment on 129 acres of land on Section 29. He only had one dollar in money. It was just enough to pay the fee at the land office. He relied on the charity of other pioneer settlers along the way as he travelled home. On the trip home he picked up three passengers who paid him $1.50 each. That money paid his expenses and he felt, with that money in hand, to be in good financial circumstances when he got home.
Grandpa Henry improved his land, and in 1855 resumed his work as a trained carpenter. They continued to live at Eldora where he built the third framed house in the town. He was elected Sheriff of the County in 1856 and served as Sheriff for four years. In 1859 he took his first prisoner, Eli Osbourn. Eli was convicted of stealing bacon. Henry took him to Ft. Madison. The trip took one month, which was a sixth of Eli’s prison sentence. In 1856 he arrested two men for the attempted murder of a Mr. Marryweather. Henry took them to Des Moines - home of the nearest jail. In August of 1856 he took another prisoner to DesMoines as well. He was arrested for stealing four hundred dollars at Hazel Green.
The locals wrote that Henry Fiddler was a conspicuous character in the pioneer history of Hardin County. He and Francis had 10 children. Eldora E. is our second Great Grandmother.