Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Birthday Club Makes A Connection

Those who read the footnoteMaven and Shades Of The Departed know there is one post that occupies a very special place in my heart. That post would be, Finding That Two Hundredth Edwardian Woman In A White Dress. It is the first post where I researched a photograph from my collection for information concerning those who were pictured, affectionately called The Birthday Club Method.

While wandering the web this week the Granddaughter of Bessie Suemper, one of the women in the photograph contacted me. Here again is Bessie's story and what has transpired.

The Birthday Club - Lamoure, N.D. - 1911


Mrs. Dietrich Suemper is Bessie Suemper. According to the 1910 census she would be 28 years old in the photograph. Dietrich and Bessie have a daughter Evelyn who is 4 years old and is also pictured in the photograph. They were married between 7 June 1900 (1900 census in which Dietrich is unmarried) and 2 September 1911 (date of the photograph). Using Evelyn's age they were probably married in 1906 or 1907. Dietrich is a butcher employed in Lamoure's local meat market.

In the 1900 census Dietrich was a boarder in the hotel run by Hannah Larson who is also pictured in the photograph. Bessie is not married in the 1900 census for Lamoure and we do not know her maiden name so it cannot be ascertained if she was living in Lamoure in 1900.

In 1920 little Evelyn has three siblings, Walter 7 years old, Marjorie 5 years old, and Lois 1 1/2 years old. Dietrich is no longer a butcher, but is a salesman in the general store.

By 1930 Bessie is a 47 year old widow living with two of her children, Walter and Marjorie. Lois is not listed on the census. She would have been 11 or 12 years old at this time, so I have assumed Lois, like Dietrich, has died.


Bessie's Granddaughter comments to say that for the most part my research was correct. I correctly identified the children and that Walter was her father. I was also correct that Lois died sometime before she was twelve, as Lois died when she was nine years old.

I was incorrect, however, that Bessie was a widow in 1930. I mistook an M (married) for a W (widow) in the 1930 census.

Bessie's husband Dietrich was alive and had moved to Mandan, North Dakota and continued working as a butcher. In his later years he lived with his son Walter's family until he died in 1962. At one time he owned a meat market in LaMoure.

Bessie's granddaughter did not elaborate on the circumstances. As I've said so many times, Shades is about the connections. And this connection held great sentimental value for me. My first attempt and my favorite.

Thank you to Bessie's Granddaughter for contacting me and for the correction. If you are reading this please contact me I have a few questions for you if you would be willing to share the information. You can email me at the footnoteMaven.

The web is an amazing and fascinating place, we must continue to try to make these important connections.

This article will be posted at footnoteMaven in the hope of connecting
with Bessie Suemper's granddaughter.


Blogger Family Curator said...

Congratulations on adding another piece to the puzzle. Well done!

August 7, 2008 at 4:19 PM  

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