Monday, March 25, 2013

MY GRANDMA'S STORY: CHAPTER ELEVEN


Written by my Grandma, Hazel F. (Browne) Curtis

July 3, 1977

YOUR GREAT, GREAT GRANDPARENTS (THE BAKERS)

The family of your great, great grandfather, John S. Baker (i.e., his ancestors and descendants are covered by the Baker Genealogy written by Nelson M. Baker, with an addendum added by me. This book has been published and copies can be found at various sources, including the Salt Lake City Genealogical Library.)  I know very little about my Grandma Baker. She and Grandpa were married in Waupaca, Wisconsin in 1866. Her name was Hannah Maria South. She had one brother whom she called Chance. They had lived in the New England states before moving to Wisconsin. I regret that I know so little of her early life.  she was a wonderful person; very quiet, a hard worker and wonderful cook. She knitted mittens, hoods and stockings for all the family. She also pieced many quilts.

I can remember visiting her many times in her homes in Marietta, Dawson and Redwood Falls, Minnesota.
She churned butter in a "barrel churn". She sat beside it and turned a crank and the barrel went round and round. Her cooking was from old New England recipes: baked beans, steamed brown bread and pumpkin pies. She always had a vegetable garden, Rhode Island chickens and lovely flower gardens. She was born on October 12, 1845 and died on September 13, 1935 at the age of 90.  Grandpa Baker joined a Wisconsin Cavalry Regiment in 1863. His brother, Horatio, had joined in 1861 and was Captain of the Regiment. He served for five years and had been taken prisoner. He became very sick and was set free because they thought he would die anyway. He crawled on his hands and knees to the Union Camp and made it to safety, and later regained his health. After the Civil War ended, he was given a job in the Mint in San Franscisco, California. He died in Oregon.

Grandpa became ill during his service in the Civil War and was in a hospital near enough to hear the tramp of soldiers as they marched through on their way to Georgia. In 1911, Grandpa went to Tennessee one summer. He had always wanted to go back and when my father bought some property in Tennessee, he took the opportunity to go back and see the land father had purchased. He had a heart attack while he was back there and died in Tennessee.

YOUR GREAT, GREAT GRANDPARENTS (THE BROWNES)

My Grandpa Browne was of Holland Dutch descent and I have been told his family moved from the United States to Osnabruck Center in the province of Ontario in Canada. All I know of his family is that he had one brother, Will Browne, who lived at a place called Dickenson's Landing on the Saint Lawrence River, not far from my grandparents' home. I think the name Browne was probably spelled differently when it was a Dutch name.
Grandpa died when he was sixty-five. Grandma lived to be 89.  They had twelve children. They are listed in the beginning of this story.  Our visit to Grandma is written about in an earlier Chapter as well.

Addendum, September 18, 1977: I just put another picture in the envelope in the back of this book. It was taken in 1899 shortly after we returned from our visit to our Grandma Browne in Canada. She is your Great, Great Grandma, Sarah Browne.  She was born in Scotland. Her mother was born in England and her father was a Scotch stone mason. Her parents were not too happy that she married a working man. They had five children: four girls, Sarah, Suzannah, Emily and Christine (Tina), and one boy, John. When we visited her in Canada, we also visited all of her surviving sisters, Suzannah (Browne) Green, Emily (Browne) Loucks and Tina (Browne) Sanderson. Tina lived with Emily. She had never married. Grandma Browne had twelve children but the other girls never had a child amongst them.

You will notice how different our clothes were from the ones children wear now.  Mother bought the plaid material for my sister, Ella May's and my dresses in Cornwall, Canada, when we visited Aunt Emily there. She hired a dressmaker in Cornwall to make the dresses, just alike. In those days, little boys dressed in short pants and Lord Fauntelroy jackets and blouses, just as my little brothers were.

GRANDCHILDREN

My grandchildren are growing up fast. First there is Nancy Lou, twenty-five and holding a job as a capable clerk for the city of Davis, California. She has been there four years now.  She drives a big Lincoln Continental car back and forth from Davis to visit her family in Brooks. She has her own apartment now, which she is sharing with a nice Japanese girl named Ellen.  She likes old folks and likes to cook. She visits retired ladies who make their home in convalescent hospitals and takes them nut loaves. She takes her former neighbor in Brooks, Maude Eckhardt, 93 years old, to the Guinda Church on Sundays.  When she visits me, she brushes down my cob webs on the ceiling and cleans my overhead light fixtures.  Can you blame me for being proud of her?
December 13, 1979

Nancy bought her own home in Davis on September 30, 1979. She rents out two bedrooms for extra income. She also has a new car. Her address is 1608 Monarch Lane in Davis, California.

WEDDING BELLS

On June 24, 1977, we wended our way to Reno, Nevada, After traveling on a superhighway and passing all the evidences of civilization, we came to the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada: lovely bushes covered with white blooms growing beneath and among pine, fir and cedar trees; lovely wild sweet peas growing along the highway in dry soil, and also daisies and other wildflowers. The we came to magnificent rock formations and hills covered with sagebrush. Finally we came to our destination in the crazy city of Reno. Motels upon motels, eating places and people by the thousands intent on getting rich in a hurry; spending nickles, dimes and dollars and earning just enough to encourage them to keep spending more and more.

We ate lunch and then went to our motel to change to our wedding clothes. Then we went to the wedding chapel where your brother, Stanley and his fiancee, Lela Waddell, were to be married. The people in charge of the wedding were very nice. The reception room was decorated with pretty artificial flowers and a lovely (imitation) wedding cake was on display.

In due time, they asked the parents to come into the wedding chapel and they were given front row seats. Then the grandparents were brought in and seated behind the parents; groom's folks on the right, bride's on the left. Then came the brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, and friends of the bride and groom.  Then we could hear the strains of "Here Comes the Bride" and in came the bridesmaid and Mr. Waddell leading the lovely bride, Lela.
Stanley and his attendant, Paul Lowrey, entered, followed by the minister. I was pleased to hear he was truly a minister, retired. He exchanged pleasantries with Lela and Stanley and then performed the marriage ceremony, uniting them in marriage. He told Stanley to kiss the bride. And there stood Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Holland awaiting the congratulations of their family and friends.

I was proud of our newlyweds. They were such nice, wholesome looking young people. And Stanley in his new brown suit; and Lela in her dainty white wedding dress, not overly ornamental, but just right for Lela.  There were twenty-three wedding guests in all and Lela's father had made arrangements for a nice dinner at the Nugget in Sparks, Nevada for the wedding party. It was a lovely party and a nice ending to a perfect day, the wedding day of Stanley and Lela Holland, June 24, 1977.

They decided to defer the honeymoon until later when there was not so much to be done on the ranch. So after a few hours in Reno, they returned to the ranch and their new (old) home, the Curtis ranch house built in 1902 for Stanley's great grandparents, the C.H. Curtises; and the home into which my husband, Vera D. Curtis, and myself moved into after our marriage in the Congregational Church parsonage in Grass Valley, California on December 1, 1923. The same home that saw the birth of Stanley's mother, Martha LaVerne Curtis (Holland), in 1924. Wishing them much happiness in the old family homestead. H.F.C.

THEN THERE IS SHIRLEY, MY THIRD GRANDCHILD

Shirley Ann, who became a member of the Holland family February 18, 1963, instead of waiting four more days to my birthday present, on February 22nd. My date of birth was February 22, 1892.  Shirley's brother, Stanley Edward, wanted a baby brother very much, but surprisingly, after some initial sulking, was delighted with the baby sister. She has been a great joy to all the family.

She is fourteen, and just finished the eighth grade at Esparto Junior High School, in June 1977. She will enter Esparto High School in September. She has been a good student and I hope will continue her good work at E.U.H.S.  She is her daddy's handyman and is a great help to him around the farm. She has learned to drive a car and drives my old '63 Dodge down to the bus stop, where she parks it under the big cedar tree until she comes home from school.

She and her mother, and sister Nancy, on weekends, tend to irrigating the alfalfa and work in the almond huller during the almond season.


My 2nd great grandfather Jacob Elias Browne born June 24, 1818 in Osnabruck Center, Ontario, Canada.   Jacob married Sarah Sanderson, who was born in 1824 in Leith, Midlothian, Scotland.   Their son, my great grandfather, George McLelland Browne, moved to Minnesota where he raised his family until they migrated West ending up in California.My 2nd great grandfather Jacob Elias Browne born June 24, 1818 in Osnabruck Center, Ontario, Canada. Jacob married Sarah Sanderson, who was born in 1824 in Leith, Midlothian, Scotland. Their son, my great grandfather, George McLelland Browne, moved to Minnesota where he raised his family until they migrated West ending up in California.Will Browne, 2nd Great Grand Uncle on my maternal side.Will Browne, 2nd Great Grand Uncle on my maternal side.The Baker sisters:  My Great Grandmother (sitting on left) Mary Helen Baker (Browne) born July 23, 1869 in Blue Earth, Minnesota, died Nov. 1935 in Auburn, California, aged 66; and my Great Grand Aunts Lucy Baker (Onstad) (sitting on right) born July 21, 1867, died Dec. 1896 at the age of 29; Ella Delora Baker (Silvernale) (standing on left) born Sept. 10, 1876; and Florence Ansley Baker (Landon) (standing on right) born July 10, 1880.  Photo taken in Dawson Minnesota shortly before Lucy's death.  Their mother was Hannah Maria South.  Their father was John Wesley Baker.  The Baker line is very well detailed and documented in a published genealogy of which I have a copy and to which my Grandma added a supplement.  It traces the family in detail back to my 8th Great Grandfather Edward Baker who came to America on the Winthrop fleet in 1630 and was a prominent founding father of Lynn, Massachussetts, USA (now Saugus).  Baker's Hill, which is a suburb of Boston, retains his name to this day.The Baker sisters: My Great Grandmother (sitting on left) Mary Helen Baker (Browne) born July 23, 1869 in Blue Earth, Minnesota, died Nov. 1935 in Auburn, California, aged 66; and my Great Grand Aunts Lucy Baker (Onstad) (sitting on right) born July 21, 1867, died Dec. 1896 at the age of 29; Ella Delora Baker (Silvernale) (standing on left) born Sept. 10, 1876; and Florence Ansley Baker (Landon) (standing on right) born July 10, 1880. Photo taken in Dawson Minnesota shortly before Lucy's death. Their mother was Hannah Maria South. Their father was John Wesley Baker. The Baker line is very well detailed and documented in a published genealogy of which I have a copy and to which my Grandma added a supplement. It traces the family in detail back to my 8th Great Grandfather Edward Baker who came to America on the Winthrop fleet in 1630 and was a prominent founding father of Lynn, Massachussetts, USA (now Saugus). Baker's Hill, which is a suburb of Boston, retains his name to this day.My Great Grand Aunt Ella Delora Baker (Silvernale) born Sept. 10, 1876; my Grandma's Aunt (her mother's sister). Photo taken at studio in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.  Ahhh the Baker line, a wonderful thing, so well documented.  I love it...Some of Ella's great grandparents were Obadiah Bardwell, Mehitable Smith and Zedekiah South!  Love the names....My Great Grand Aunt Ella Delora Baker (Silvernale) born Sept. 10, 1876; my Grandma's Aunt (her mother's sister). Photo taken at studio in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Ahhh the Baker line, a wonderful thing, so well documented. I love it...Some of Ella's great grandparents were Obadiah Bardwell, Mehitable Smith and Zedekiah South! Love the names....My Great Grand Uncle William H. Browne, born Sept. 28, 1860, on left with his family.  The only ones I can identify are his twins (the girl and boy of about the same size on either side of photo): Alice and Charles.  Of course, his wife seated; I don't know her name.  The gentleman seated on right is my Great Grand Uncle John L. Browne, born Nov. 23, 1853.  William lived in Denver and was a city engineer in charge of the city's water supply.  John was a carpenter and contractor.My Great Grand Uncle William H. Browne, born Sept. 28, 1860, on left with his family. The only ones I can identify are his twins (the girl and boy of about the same size on either side of photo): Alice and Charles. Of course, his wife seated; I don't know her name. The gentleman seated on right is my Great Grand Uncle John L. Browne, born Nov. 23, 1853. William lived in Denver and was a city engineer in charge of the city's water supply. John was a carpenter and contractor.My 2nd Great Grandmother Hannah Maria (South) Baker, on my mother's side, born October 15, 1845 in Springville, Erie, New York; died Sept. 13, 1935 in Redwood Falls, Minnesota and her grand daughter, Freda May Laudon (my first cousin, two times removed), born March 20, 1913.  Photo taken at Scenic City Studio in Redwood Falls, Minnesota.My 2nd Great Grandmother Hannah Maria (South) Baker, on my mother's side, born October 15, 1845 in Springville, Erie, New York; died Sept. 13, 1935 in Redwood Falls, Minnesota and her grand daughter, Freda May Laudon (my first cousin, two times removed), born March 20, 1913. Photo taken at Scenic City Studio in Redwood Falls, Minnesota.My Grandma's Aunt Emily Justina Browne, her father's sister: born March 28, 1867, died August 10, 1888 at age 21.  My great grand aunt.  Photo taken at H.J. Chalmers studio in Madison, Minnesota.My Grandma's Aunt Emily Justina Browne, her father's sister: born March 28, 1867, died August 10, 1888 at age 21. My great grand aunt. Photo taken at H.J. Chalmers studio in Madison, Minnesota.The John Simon Baker Family:  my grandma's maternal grandparents and their children...my 2nd great grandparents and my great grand aunts and uncles...John and his son, George, were both prominent citizens in their small town in Minnesota.  George started up a local bank and was president of that institution for many years.  John was a Civil War hero and was injured in the war.  He could hear the soldiers tramping by on their march to Atlanta as he lay in his hospital bed.  Years later John desired to return to Tennessee and visit some land purchased by his son-in-law (my great grandfather, George Browne).  While he was there, he suffered a heart attack and died in Hillsboro.  John's lineage descends directly from King Henry II of England, who was my 22nd great grandfather; (and many more generations are recorded even further back than that).  There are biographies written about George and others in which John is included.  Hannah's grandfather, Zedekiah South, fought in the Revolutionary War.  Online archives have records of Zedekiah including a receipt for shoed he acquired for his troops and his pension information.  He was my 4th great grandfather.
Parents seated:  John S. Baker, born Dec. 29, 1841 in Fayetteville, New York, died Dec. 21, 1912 in Hillsboro, Tennessee; Hannah Maria (South) Baker, born Oct. 15, 1845, Springville, New York, died Sept. 13, 1935 in Redwood Falls, Minnesota.  
Children (back row, left to right): George, born July 5, 1871; Lucy, born July 21, 1867, and Mary Helen (my grandma's mother), born July 23, 1869 in Blue Earth, Minnesota, died Nov. 1935 in Auburn, California.  
Children (front row, left to right):  Florence Ansley, Born July 10, 1880 and Ella Delora, born Sept. 10, 1876 .
Photo taken at the photography studio of Olson & Anderson, in Montevideo, Minnesota.The John Simon Baker Family: my grandma's maternal grandparents and their children...my 2nd great grandparents and my great grand aunts and uncles...John and his son, George, were both prominent citizens in their small town in Minnesota. George started up a local bank and was president of that institution for many years. John was a Civil War hero and was injured in the war. He could hear the soldiers tramping by on their march to Atlanta as he lay in his hospital bed. Years later John desired to return to Tennessee and visit some land purchased by his son-in-law (my great grandfather, George Browne). While he was there, he suffered a heart attack and died in Hillsboro. John's lineage descends directly from King Henry II of England, who was my 22nd great grandfather; (and many more generations are recorded even further back than that). There are biographies written about George and others in which John is included. Hannah's grandfather, Zedekiah South, fought in the Revolutionary War. Online archives have records of Zedekiah including a receipt for shoed he acquired for his troops and his pension information. He was my 4th great grandfather. Parents seated: John S. Baker, born Dec. 29, 1841 in Fayetteville, New York, died Dec. 21, 1912 in Hillsboro, Tennessee; Hannah Maria (South) Baker, born Oct. 15, 1845, Springville, New York, died Sept. 13, 1935 in Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Children (back row, left to right): George, born July 5, 1871; Lucy, born July 21, 1867, and Mary Helen (my grandma's mother), born July 23, 1869 in Blue Earth, Minnesota, died Nov. 1935 in Auburn, California. Children (front row, left to right): Florence Ansley, Born July 10, 1880 and Ella Delora, born Sept. 10, 1876 . Photo taken at the photography studio of Olson & Anderson, in Montevideo, Minnesota.Almyra Winston, My 3rd Great Grandmother, Born Stephentown, New York, August 22, 1803; on my mother's side of the family.
Died January 5, 1896, Royalton, Wisconsin.  Thisi is Hannah Maria South's (pictured previously in Family album) mother; Hannah Maria was Mary Helen Baker's mother; Mary Helen was my grandma's mother (Hazel Florence who wrote Grandma's Stories).Almyra Winston, My 3rd Great Grandmother, Born Stephentown, New York, August 22, 1803; on my mother's side of the family. Died January 5, 1896, Royalton, Wisconsin. Thisi is Hannah Maria South's (pictured previously in Family album) mother; Hannah Maria was Mary Helen Baker's mother; Mary Helen was my grandma's mother (Hazel Florence who wrote Grandma's Stories).Mom and my brother, Stanley Holland at Casey Flat--up above the valley I was born and raised in in California; 3 1/2 years ago, 1 year before she diedMom and my brother, Stanley Holland at Casey Flat--up above the valley I was born and raised in in California; 3 1/2 years ago, 1 year before she diedHistoric photo of the farm I grew up on; this would have been in my great grandfather Curtis' time in about the late 1800's.  That's how they used to harvest!Historic photo of the farm I grew up on; this would have been in my great grandfather Curtis' time in about the late 1800's. That's how they used to harvest!On the farm I grew up on in Brooks, California; on left my sister-in-law Lela Waddell (Holland), feeding calf; and on right me at about age 13; approx. 1976.On the farm I grew up on in Brooks, California; on left my sister-in-law Lela Waddell (Holland), feeding calf; and on right me at about age 13; approx. 1976.My brother, Stanley Edward Holland, with Bambi.  Bambi had fallen down the well and was rescued and hence, kept as a pet.My brother, Stanley Edward Holland, with Bambi. Bambi had fallen down the well and was rescued and hence, kept as a pet.Me in the back, doing what I do best and in foreground my brother on left, Stanley Edward; and my father on right, Thomas James Holland, at their birthday party.  They celebrated their birthday together, one was on June 25 and the other on June 27.Me in the back, doing what I do best and in foreground my brother on left, Stanley Edward; and my father on right, Thomas James Holland, at their birthday party. They celebrated their birthday together, one was on June 25 and the other on June 27.Lela (Waddell) Holland, my sister-in-law; photo from Lela's collection.Lela (Waddell) Holland, my sister-in-law; photo from Lela's collection.Lela (Waddell) Holland, restingLela (Waddell) Holland, restingMy parents 30th wedding anniversary; from left to right: my grandma, Hazel Florence Browne (Curtis), my brother Stanley Edward Holland, my sister, Nancy Lou, my mom, Martha LaVerne Curtis (Holland) and my dad, Thomas James Holland.  I was outside playing with my friends and so missed the opportunity to be in what would have been like our only entire family photo.  My Dad and Mom are getting ready to cut their cake.  You can see the countryside on the farm outside the window:  Brooks, California.My parents 30th wedding anniversary; from left to right: my grandma, Hazel Florence Browne (Curtis), my brother Stanley Edward Holland, my sister, Nancy Lou, my mom, Martha LaVerne Curtis (Holland) and my dad, Thomas James Holland. I was outside playing with my friends and so missed the opportunity to be in what would have been like our only entire family photo. My Dad and Mom are getting ready to cut their cake. You can see the countryside on the farm outside the window: Brooks, California.From l-r, my sister, Nancy Lou Holland, my mother Martha LaVerne Curtis (Holland)  holding me on her lap and my brother, Stanley Edward.  About 1965.From l-r, my sister, Nancy Lou Holland, my mother Martha LaVerne Curtis (Holland) holding me on her lap and my brother, Stanley Edward. About 1965.Me at 17 on left and, on right, my friend Laura Hellyer, leaning on my Pontiac Firebird ('77 or '78, I forget) in the high school parking lot, Esparto, California.Me at 17 on left and, on right, my friend Laura Hellyer, leaning on my Pontiac Firebird ('77 or '78, I forget) in the high school parking lot, Esparto, California.Me as a small child...Me as a small child...My grandma Hazel Florence Browne (Curtis)'s college photo from 1912 at San Jose Normal School, San Jose, CaliforniaMy grandma Hazel Florence Browne (Curtis)'s college photo from 1912 at San Jose Normal School, San Jose, CaliforniaMe at age 17 with John Gibson, later to be news anchor on Fox News' The Big Story and currently has syndicated radio talk show. At this time he was working with KCRA Sacramento Channel 3 news and they were filming a story at the farm where I grew up. NO POLITICAL STATEMENTS HERE--I WAS 17!Me at age 17 with John Gibson, later to be news anchor on Fox News' The Big Story and currently has syndicated radio talk show. At this time he was working with KCRA Sacramento Channel 3 news and they were filming a story at the farm where I grew up. NO POLITICAL STATEMENTS HERE--I WAS 17!Mom's 82nd Birthday:  LaVerne (Curtis) Holland pictured with her grandsons, Steve and Dan HollandMom's 82nd Birthday: LaVerne (Curtis) Holland pictured with her grandsons, Steve and Dan HollandMy brother Stanley's son, Steve and his girlfriend, Kara PerezMy brother Stanley's son, Steve and his girlfriend, Kara PerezThe house I lived in on the farm (in Brooks, California (Capay Valley) until I was five.  My dad built a new house just down the gravel road about a half mile from this one in 1968.  The house in the picture was built in the late 1800's and was the original Curtis ranch house.  This is the house my grandma refers to in her story when she was hired to help Mrs. Curtis, after she quit her job at the one-room schoolhouse (Canon School in Brooks, then Tancred, CA).  She later married Mrs. Curtis' son Vera (my grandpa).  My mom was born IN this house in 1924.  My brother and his wife live in it now and recently remodeled it.The house I lived in on the farm (in Brooks, California (Capay Valley) until I was five. My dad built a new house just down the gravel road about a half mile from this one in 1968. The house in the picture was built in the late 1800's and was the original Curtis ranch house. This is the house my grandma refers to in her story when she was hired to help Mrs. Curtis, after she quit her job at the one-room schoolhouse (Canon School in Brooks, then Tancred, CA). She later married Mrs. Curtis' son Vera (my grandpa). My mom was born IN this house in 1924. My brother and his wife live in it now and recently remodeled it.Brooks, California--Where I grew up.  It's at the base of the Coastal Range.Brooks, California--Where I grew up. It's at the base of the Coastal Range.Brooks, California--the small rural town where I spent my first 18 yearsBrooks, California--the small rural town where I spent my first 18 yearsThe farm I grew up on in Brooks, California.  This is the entrance from the highway.   I drove  my grandma's old '63 Dodge each morning down this gravel road and parked under the trees you see in photo, which was the school bus stop; starting around the age of ten.  My house was just behind that clump of trees on the right about half a mile down the road.The farm I grew up on in Brooks, California. This is the entrance from the highway. I drove my grandma's old '63 Dodge each morning down this gravel road and parked under the trees you see in photo, which was the school bus stop; starting around the age of ten. My house was just behind that clump of trees on the right about half a mile down the road.
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