Friday, May 3, 2013

My Mother's Family by Deloris Pickens

My Mother’s Family
    I am going to try and tell you what I know and can remember about my Mother’s family and there may be some errors.  I heard from Larry Secrest who is the son of my cousin Verna Madison Secrest that my Mother’s father’s name was John Madison and in checking my other records that is right.  My Mother told me that her Father was born in Schlewig Holestin and in looking at the map it appears that it is in Germany now.  I am wondering if at one time it was in Denmark.  My Mother told me that her Fathers name in the Old country was Mads Goldfelt and she thought that he might have been of the Jewish faith and that he changed his name to John Madison when he came to America in about 1865 and settled in the Linn county area and the town was Marion Iowa.  She also said he had a brother that went to Australia at about the same time.  My Grandmother was named Anna Thompson and she came from Copenhagen.  I think they were married when they came to America.

    My Grandmother Madison also had a sister that came to America and her married name was Englebert and she lived in Hot Springs South Dakota.   I have a picture of my grand mother and her sister taken in 1896 in the post office of the wind cave 1 mile from the entrance  and 100 feet from the surface.. My Mother and Grandmother went to Hot Springs sometime between 1905 and 1910.  I will list the cousins that I have pictures of and they are  Dorothy Maude Englebert  May 8 1913 a name on another photo Mary Englebert and another cousin named Emma  Englebert.  I also know she had a cousin Carl Englebert.  I was in Hot Springs in about 1967 and I looked up Carl’s address in the phone book and sent it to my Mother.  I do not know if she heard from him.  My Mother said her Aunt could speak 7 languages and that her Mother could speak 5 languages.

    I have a picture of three small children and it does not list the town in which they were born.  The picture says they are my Mother’s second cousins and their names are Bertha Marie Smith, Theodore Alston Smith and Emma Louise Smith.  She never talked about them and I have no idea where they were born and the picture is over 100 years old.

    My Grand father John Madison had a wooden leg and the story we were told was that he was cutting wood and the axe slipped and he was cut very much.  I was told that he started a fire and cut off his own leg.  My cousins son says that that story was wrong and that as a young man he fought in Russia and was hurt in that war.  He came back home and was trained as a barrel maker in Germany.  I believe that he lived in the part of Germany that belonged to Denmark at one time.  I remember my Mother saying that her Father hated the German’s.  Who Knows?

    I have the obituary of my grandmother Anna Thompson Madison.  I received it from Warren Stephenson in a bunch of clippings that came from the James Hagerman estate.  My Mother stayed with my Father’s Uncle Jim when she taught school at Dist no 9 near Toddville Iowa.  Here goes.. Mrs Anna Madison.”wife of John Madison of Kenwood Park, died in local hospital at 7:45 o’clock this morning.  She had undergone an operation for gall stones.  Mrs Madison had been a resident of this community for forty years and was 59 years of age.  Besides her husband she is survived by five children: George Madison of Spokane Wash, Carl Madison of Reardon Wash; Ernest Madison of Fox Lake Minn ;Mrs P M Peterson of Bever Minn;Mrs L G Cress of Toddville.  The funeral will probably be held Sunday in the Turner chapel.  No date on clipping but would have been after 1912 as that was when my parents were married.

    Now I will talk about my Mother’s brothers.  My Mother’s oldest brother was named George Madison and he married and had one son George and he was born in about 1900 and lived in Cedar Rapids.  My Mother went to see him after they had moved to Willow River Minnesota in the 1950’s.  I called George’s widow in Cedar Rapids sometime in the 1980’s and talked to her.  George had already died and I sent her some pictures that I had as she didn’t know anything about the family.  She said she was a Price from around Lafayette Iowa and she was probably related to my Father’s cousins Maude and Daisy Price.  They were the daughters of Mary Mounce who was my Father’s aunt.  Mary was the daughter of Lydia Neighbor and John Cress.

    George Madison my Mother’s brother divorced his first wife and moved to Spokane Washington.  He had I think 3 children from his second marriage  a daughter Victoria and a son Thomas and another son.  I knew my cousin Tommy as he came to Minnesota and stayed with my folks when we lived 5 miles from Owatonna.  He stayed on the farm a while and then he went to work as a bell hop for the Hotel Owatonna.  This was about 1942 and when I was in High School I would go by the Hotel and say Hello to Tommy.  He enlisted in the Army or Marines and he fought in the Battle of Guadacanal.  I wrote to him
during the War and he did keep in contact with my Mother.  He was married twice and had one child with his first wife.  His second wife was Hispanic and she wrote to my Mother faithfully for many years.  We completely lost contact with Tommy  I have a picture of Tommy in uniform.  He had red hair..

    Now we will go to my Uncle Carl.  I have a picture of Carl by himself  and it was taken in 1900.  He was grown up at that time.  Carl married  Martha Grauerholtz and they had two children.  I have a picture of Velma Madison  when she was about 4 years old and I also have a picture of Carlton Madison  taken Dec 1909 before he could walk.  They were divorced and I think  Martha married  someone by the name of Hayes.  She died  with typhoid fever Oct 28 1910 just short of her 25th birthday.  The children  were either adopted or sent to different homes and were reunited  55 years later.  I have the clippings where they met again at the Cedar Rapids airport..Velma was married to J L Proctor of Compton Calif and never had children.  Carlton ended up living in Goodell Iowa   The date I have on the picture and the writing in the Marion Sentinel do not agree.  It says Carl was 5 and  Velma was 7 when their Mother died.  Carl  had some children but I do not know anything about them.  This get together was in 1965..Carl left Iowa and went to Washington and remarried.  I have a wedding picture taken in Spokane Washington but no date on it.  Carl and his wife and daughter by his second marriage came to Duluth Minn sometime in the mid 1950’s.  I was not able to attend this reunion but I remember my Dad saying that Carl asked my folks not to say anything about his first marriage.. Apparently my Mother kept in contact with them over the years.

    Now I will go to my Uncle Ernest and I knew him.   I have a picture of him and George and Carl when they were young boys.  I also have a picture of him when he was probably about 20 years old with two other young men.  I have a beautiful picture of Aunt Laurine in a white dress when she was mabey 18 or 19 years old.  She was an exceptionally beautiful young woman.  Aunt Laurine played the piano well and did some music composing. I am going to write down some post cards that I found that were written to my Mother.  Uncle Ernest was depot agent at Dike Iowa and here is the card to Miss Irene Madison c/o J Hagerman Toddville Iowa.Dear Sis,  we all intend to come down Wed and stay until Sun. so come home if you can if not you might let us know when you can come. Ma and Dad are feeling O K even Mrs Pouster. Your sis Laurine.. Sept 2 1911...  On Jul 21 1911 from Dike Iowa..Dear sis,  sorry Ma is no better, think I will come Monday if nothing happens to prevent me. Yours Laurine.  Post card no town no date.  Miss Irene Madison. Dear Sister .  Many thanks for the pretty table linens you sent me. Yes you made a very good  guess as I like a dainty pattern and this certainly is so.  I have two others but yours is the finest piece. I can’t get anything so fine a weave at Dike. I haven’t time to write you this time but will do so later.  Best regards from your sis and brother.   Now two cards from Ernest to John Madison Kenwood Park Linn Co Iowa.  To Pa Old man Nelson died yesterday. Funeral Saturday. That is the old man where you and  G Hinningsen were visiting one afternoon. Ernest That was from Dike Mar 2 1911..Here’s another from Spooner Wis  Sept 11 1913.  To Mrs Irene Cress.  Sister Irene Am on my way for the north. Reached here this evening will stay overnight.  It’s so cold here a person ought to wear winter clothes. E J M 9/11/13..Uncle Ernest had the most beautiful hand writing and I wonder if he could draw and paint.

    Now for some more information about Uncle Ernest.  He later was the depot agent at Fox Lake Minn for many years.  He had 3 children George, Ernest and Verna.  George went to Dental college and became a dentist.  He married a girl from around Fairmont and they moved to Spokane Washing and he set up a practice.   Ernest was going to Medical School and he married Betty and Uncle Ernest didn’t help him any more.  He had taught both boys to telegraph and so Ernest went to work for the Milwaukee Railroad and he was agent over at Boxby Minn when I was about10 years old.  He later went to Dubuque Iowa and was a train dispatcher .  I wrote to Ernie and Betty a couple of times after I was about 25 years old and Betty wrote back and Ernie did also.  Verna was the same age as Lawrence and she married an airplane pilot and the only contact I had was when my Mother died and I called her and told her about that.

    Somewhere else in my stories I told about Uncle Ernest sending boxes of clothing to us during the depression and Mother would make them over.  He and my Mother were quite close and I remember going to Fox Lake and getting sick from eating grapes  and I could mess around in the depot without getting into trouble.  Aunt Laurine died when the children were young and Uncle Ernest did not remarry.  I have some more stories about Uncle Ernest and you can contact me and I will tell them to you.

    Now I will tell you about my Mothers sister Tillie.  Tillie married Pete Peterson and they lived in the Iron range around Duluth Minn.  Tillie was 7 years older than my Mother  Pete worked for the railroad as an Engineer and they lived on an acreage for a while.  One day Tillie was there by herself and a bear showed up and Tillie got the shot gun and killed the bear.  Tillie and Pete had 5 children.    I have a baby picture of Helen the oldest and it says born Dec 1905.  Helen married Johhny Dunaway and they lived in Miami Florida and never had children.  They owned an apartment house and did quite well.  Carl lived in Duluth and I saw him just one time at Willow River in the 1960’s..Marie married Ed Engbloom and they had 4 children.  Leetta, Gerald, Dale and Duane..Leetta was about my age and Gerald was probably a year younger than my brother Richard.  They used to come down to Willow River and visit my folks quite often..Florence was married and divorced and think married again.  She never had any children.  Bill was the same age as my sister Dorothy and he came to Ellendale when I was about 5 years old and I don’t remember seeing him again.  I think he married and had a family.  Aunt Tillie died from cancer in 1926 and Marie also died with cancer as did Florence..I have a post card dated Sept 1914 addressed to my Mother Mrs L G Cress Albert Lea Minn RFD #2.  Hello sis. Just a line to let you now we are all well except baby. I may take him to the Dr. He has summer complaint.  I have been busy canning and sewing for Helen I got her off to school. We got our pictures.  I will write soon Tony went to war. We are having hard frosts. Pete is working on the road.  Hope this finds you all well.  Did you get views Tillie.  Then I have another post card from Duluth Minn Jan 14 1926 to Mrs L G Cress Ellendale Minn R#2  Dear Aunt Irene.  Mother’s improving rapidly and can eat most everything. Dr Peterson is doing her a great deal of good.  Love to all Helen  We have lost contact with this family also.

    I have two postcards from Spokane Wash  they are dated Feb 7 1910 and read  Dear sister,  I have been waiting to hear from you as in your last letter you did not give your address and if this is reo answer right away.  Myrtle Madison also from Spokane Apr 14 1911 to Miss Irene Madison Kenwood Park Iowa Box 224.  I am batching now Dick is seeding I am making ready for garden. Easter is coming don’t forget. Mrs M Madison.  I can’t figure out who Dick Madison is.

    Now a little about our family.  Here is the marriage announcement of my Mother and Father.  Madison-Cress.  Miss Irene Madison of Kenwood Park and Mr Lafayette Cress of Toddville were married yesterday September 25 at the home of the bride’s parents Mr and Mrs John Madison in Kenwood.  The Rev G R Lair said the service at eleven o’clock and the wedding march was played by Miss Myrtle Olson of Cedar Rapids. The room in which the ceremony was performed was decorated with asparagus ferns, white chrysanthemuns and goldenrod. the dining room was in yellow and white. The bride is an accomplished young lady, a graduate of the Marion high school of 1907. For four years she has been teaching school in rural districts. Her wedding gown was a handsome robe of white embroidered chiffon and her bouquet was bride roses. The groom is a prominent farmer whose home is near Toddville. A wedding dinner was served at noon and later in the day Mr and Mrs Cress left for their home.

    My folks farmed in the Toddville area for about 4 years and then moved to a farm about 5 miles north of Albert Lea Minnesota.  They stayed there for a few years and then moved to a farm about 3 miles west of Geneva Minn.  Dorothy my oldest sister was born in Iowa and the rest ofus were born in Minnesota.  I think Daisy was born in Albert Lea and then Lawrence, Donald myself and Richard were born west of Geneva.  My folks lost the farm west of  Geneva in 1936 and we then moved to the Johnson place 2 miles
south of Hope Minn.  It was  later called the Dr McIntyre farm.  We stayed there about4years and then in 1940 moved to a 360 acre farm 5 miles south of Owatonna Minn.  The folks stayed there until I was a senior in High School which would have been 1944.  They then moved to a farm close to Meridan and were there 2 or 3 years.  Later they moved to a farm about 1 mile north of Hope  They sold out in about 1949 and moved to a farm near Willow River Minn.  After Richard was killed in an auto accident in 1957 they moved to a house in Sandstone Minn and stayed there until 1973 when my Mother died.

    Dorothy was born in 1913 and died in 2011.  She married Iver Larson in 1935 and had 3 children Warren Mary and Rodger.  Iver died in about 1952 and she married Henry Nelson in 1959.  Henry died in the mid 90’s.  Daisy was born in 1918 and died in about 2003.  She married Donald Wilker in 1942 and they had 3 children Dale, Dean and Dennis.  Lawrence was born in 1921 and never married.  Donald was born 20 months later and was killed in world War 2.  Deloris was born in 1927 and has two children Hugh born in 1949 and Gail born in 1959.  Richard was born in 1935 and died in 1957 in an auto accident.  I have the record of my nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews and their address if any one is interested.  In other parts of the blog there is a lot more history of my family. Contact me at