Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Rebecca Waller McAboy

Fresno Morning Republican
Wednesday, October 24, 1928
Page 11

Rebecca M. McAboy, Long Time Resident, Dies at Age of 83

Mrs. Rebecca M. McAboy, 83, resident of California for 38 years, and widow of the late W.W. McAboy, died last night at the home of her daughter, Mrs. W.K. Langworthy, 463 Belmont Avenue.  Mrs. McAboy was a native of Ohio and leaves a son and two other daughters, E.J. McAboy, Mrs. A.K. Dick and Mrs. E. Fitzgerald, all of Fresno.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later by Stephens & Bean.

Fresno Morning Republican
Thursday, October 25, 1928
Page 11

McAboy Funeral Today

Funeral services for Mrs. Rebecca M. McAboy, 83, a native of Ohio and mother of Mrs. A.K. Dick, Mrs. E. Fitzgerald, Mrs. W.R. Langworthy and E.J. McAboy, all of Fresno, who died Tuesday, are to be held this afternoon at 3 o'clock at the Stephens & Bean chapel, with burial to follow in the I.O.O.F. section of Mt. View cemetery.

Rebecca Waller McAboy
Mt. View Cemetery
Fresno, California

Rebecca was my 2nd great grandmother.  I wrote about her husband, William Warren McAboy - he was my Black Sheep ancestor.  Their youngest child, Mabel McAboy Fitzgerald, was my great grandmother.

Rebecca was the daughter of my favorite subject, Emery Waller.  Her mother, Rebecca Parker Waller, died 6 days after Rebecca Waller McAboy's birth. 

I'm anxious to learn more about Rebecca and hope that at some point I'll run across a photo of her.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Emery's "First" Veteran's Day

Photo by sholden

In the two years I've been researching my family, I've learned a lot.  Not just a bunch of names and dates to identify and organize my ancestors but I've learned a lot about history.  Which to the people who know me this must seem completely ridiculous.  I was one of the kids in high school who took social studies during summer school for the sole purpose of getting it over with - quickly.  I remember about 15 years ago going on a tour of Civil War battlefields with my husband and children and trying, desperately, to at least act interested.  But in reality I just didn't care.  How I wish I could have a do-over on that trip.

And now here we are at Veteran's Day and for the first time, the celebration seems to mean so much more.  While I'm thankful for those with us today and want to honor them for their service, I'm also remembering those who helped our country get to this point.  And now I know how many of my ancestors played a hand in shaping this country and for that, I'm eternally grateful.

But no ancestor has captivated me more than my elusive 3rd great grandfather, Emery Waller.  I first wrote about Emery here and then about requesting his Civil War Pension Record.  Nothing was more exciting than the surprise of finding Emery in Kansas and, ultimately, finding his final resting place.  But if you've followed along with me you know that when I found Emery in McPherson, Kansas, he was lying in an unmarked grave.  And at that time I made a vow that the story would not end there.

My goal was to get the grave marked, although I'm really not sure how I thought I would accomplish that.  I knew the Department of Veteran's Affairs would supply the headstone at no cost but from that point, I'm not sure how I thought I'd get the stone from my home in Washington to Kansas.  I'm not sure the details are important but I must give a shout out to Kevin Stockham of Stockham Family Funeral Home in McPherson, Kansas.  Once I connected with Kevin, he helped me through the process by completing the forms, accepting the stone, and then arranging to have it placed.  I have absolutely no idea how I could have ever completed this project without his help.

But I did have his help and thus, the project was completed this week, just in time for Veteran's Day.  Emery Waller is now present and accounted for!

Captain Emery L. Waller
McPherson Cemetery, McPherson, Kansas

An even bigger surprise is that I was contacted by the local newspaper, the McPherson Sentinel - they'd like to include an article in their Veteran's Day edition telling the story of how I found Emery and how we got the gravestone placed.  Stay tuned for the rest of that story - wonder if Good Morning America will also be calling me for an interview?

Who knew one ancestor would take me on such a wild ride?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: Fresno High School

Fresno High School
Who knew so many of my family graduated from Fresno High School?  Sure, I've always known that my parents both graduated from there (1944 and 1946), as well as my dad's older brother (1938).  We always heard the stories - Mom and Dad met there, Dad was quite the track star, Dad was class president, and I'm sure many more that I've forgotten over the years.  Plus, there were lots of ribbons and trophies in Dad's room at my grandparents' house proving just how active he was in school.  The high school was located just down the street from their home and we'd walk or drive by and I would try to envision Mom and Dad as school kids.

But now I've learned that my dad's father, Sigmund Levy, and at least two of his brothers (Leon and Ben) also graduated from Fresno High School - Leon in 1904, Sig in 1906, and Ben in 1910.  And what a surprise to learn that my mom's mom, Clara Fitzgerald, also graduated from the same school (probably 1921).  How cool for my parents to have gone to the same high school that one of their parents went to!

The first Fresno High School classes were held on September 12, 1889 and the first graduating class of 7 students completed their studies in 1891.  The school began on the second story of the Emerson Elementary School on the corner of Santa Clara and K (now Van Ness) streets.  Over the years the student body increased and in 1921 the school moved to the present location at 1839 Echo Avenue, which is within blocks of the home where my dad grew up.

Check out this picture from 1943 of the Fresno High Owlet Editorial Heads - not only is my dad in this photo, but his cousin Gilda, youngest daughter of Ben Levy.

1943 Fresno High Owlet Editorial Heads
Gordon Levy, 2nd from right
Gilda Levy, far right

What a blast I'm having collecting postcards - what will I find next?