My Mother’s Friends

MomFriendsThis is a photo with my mother and some of her friends around Christmastime one year. My mother is the first woman on the left wearing the white holiday shirt.  I found this photo packing up her apartment and I have no idea who these women are.  I would like to know.

It looks like the kitchen is part of a church hall or a fraternal organization.  It was taken between September 1994  and 2004, probably in Hudson, New York or someplace nearby.  My mother had friends named Genevieve (who lived in Germantown) and Cecile Wochek (phonetic spelling).  Mom also shared friends with Helen Pollack., who used to live in Hudson and moved to Claverack with her husband.  There was a Mrs. Kahn we really liked.  Mom worked a few times time in the dress factory there.  I can’t remember the name of it.


My Mother’s Brother Dick


Goshen Man And His Three-Year-Old Son Are Drowning Victims

Dog Pond Scene Of Double Tragedy

Richard Wilson, 33, And His Son, Timothy, Perish When Ice Breaks

An evening of fun and play for a father and his son came to a tragic end last night when the two drowned at Dog Pond, West Goshen, in the state’s first thin ice accident of the season.
Richard A. Wilson, 33, and his son Timothy, three, drowned about 9 o’clock when ice broken beneath them, causing the two, along with Mr. Wilson’s brother, Donald L., of Bantam, to fall into the icy water.
Donald Wilson was able to scramble from the water to safety. When a quick search failed to disclose the whereabouts of either of his companions, Donald Wilson ran to the nearby home of Alton Parker to seek help.
Mr. Parker telephoned to state police and the Goshen fire department for assistance and then with members of the fire department sped to the pond and set out in two boats in an effort to find the man and the boy.
Their efforts were unsuccessful, but State Policeman John Wilcox of the Litchfield barracks, who had set out in another boat, recovered the bodies with the aid of grappling hooks. Mr. Wilson’s body was recovered at 10:10 p.m. and the boy’s was found at 11:45, approximately three hours after the accident occurred.
Det. Sgt. William E. Menser of Canaan barracks reported that the men had been on skates and the boy riding on a sled about 180 feet from the west shore on the pond when the accident occurred.
Dr. W. Bradford Walker, medical examiner, viewed both bodies and gave permission for their removal to the Tompkins-North Funeral Home.
Officer Alden Thompson of Litchfield barracks, Officers Robert Anderson and Charles Sedar of Canaan barracks and Auxiliary State Policemen Donald Spencer and Philip Eichner, as well as officers from the Hartford and Bethany barracks assisted in the search. Emergency equipment from the Hartford and Bethany barracks was also used by the officers. Capt. George Remer, commanding officer of the western division of the state police, was in charge of the search.
Mr. Wilson, born in Douglas, Wyo., March 20, 1919, was a veteran of World War II. The son of Frederick E. and the late Mary Van Divier Wilson, he and his family had lived in West Goshen for about two years.
Survivors, besides his father, include his wife, Jeannette Dressel Wilson; a daughter, Lois C.; four brothers, Harvey G. of Philadelphia, Sidney J. of New York City, Everett P. of Northampton, Mass, and Donald Wilson of Bantam; six sisters, Mrs. Dorothy E. Baccei of Torrington, Mrs. Mildred R. Alstrup of Highland Park, N.J., Mrs. Florence A. Hanson, New Brunswick, N.J., Mrs. Edna T. Thomen and Mrs. Joyce N. Carrozzo, both of Winsted and Mrs. Juanita N. Wilson of Philmont, N.Y.
Timothy W. was born Oct. 17, 1949. Besides his mother and sister, he is survived by his paternal grandfather Frederick E. Wilson and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Martha Dressel of Holyoke, Mass.
A double funeral will be held Friday afternoon at 2 from the Tompkins-North Funeral home with the Rev. William Penner, pastor of the Goshen Congregational Church officiating. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery.
Friends may call at the funeral home tomorrow afternoon from 2 to 4 and tomorrow evening from 7 to 9.

The Torrington Register, Wednesday, December 31, 1952, Vol. 79, No. 308, front page, 1st column.




Richard Wilson and Son

A double funeral service for Richard Wilson and his son, Timothy, was held this afternoon at 2 from Tompkins-North Funeral Home with the Rev. William Penner, pastor of the Goshen Congregational Church officiating. Burial was in Hillside Cemetery.

The Torrington Register, January 2, 1953.

The Genes are Showing.

My cousin recently shared with me a photo of her father when he was young.  The resemblance between him and his uncle is amazing.  I don’t believe any of Fred Wilson’s sons looked so much like him.  I can’t help but wonder which side of the family they resemble, George Wilson’s or Viola Hise’s.  Here are some photos to study:

 Whitted Florenceis Hise Eliza

Wilson Clara


In order from the top, Larry L. Elwood, his uncle Fred Wilson. Below Fred on the left is Fred’s cousin Florence Whitted and next to him his mother and Fred’s great-aunt Eliza Hise Whitted.  Below them is Fred’s aunt Clara Wilson on his father’s side.  The bottom photo has Fred’s grandmother Mary Jane Runyan on the far right.  I believe the two children on the left are by her first husband Jesse Hise.  The dark fellow standing next to her may be Barney Humphreys.

I  added Clara Wilson’s photo in an attempt at contrast. Her look is not entirely dissimilar, but not exactly the same as the Hises.  The resemblance might be due in part to the Native ancestry her mother Mary Skeeters had.  As far as I can tell, the Hise and Skeeters family don’t connect.


May Murray

For a long time I’ve wondered what happened to my grandfather’s half-sister May Murray. I didn’t think she was connected to another mystery in the family: who was Reethie who sent the family a box of candy for every Christmas?

My grandfather was Frederick Everett Wilson who was born 17 Jun 1887 in Montezuma, Parke Co., IN. His parents were George S. Wilson and Viola V. Hise. His father died 23 Jan 1901 of tuberculosis. On 20 Oct 1903 his mother married Samuel F. Murray. The 1910 United States census revealed that Samuel and Viola had a daughter, May Murray born 7 Aug 1904 in Parke County.

Fred had two sisters, Ida M. born August 1883 and Mary D. born February 1891. Ida married Lewis Rohr in 1901 and divorced him in 1905. I think Mary may have died while still a child. Neither name lent itself to the nickname “Reethie.”

Today while playing on Familysearch to see if I can find information about someone, I found a marriage record for the son of Cyril Myron Elwood and Wreatha May Murray. Wreatha May Murray! My limited research at home could only determine that Wreatha was born the same year as my half-great-aunt and that the family lived in Indianapolis. Despite my earlier desire to stay home and goof off, now I want to go to the library to use Ancestry to find out more about this family.

In case you’re wondering why you’re reading words instead of viewing photos, I’ve decided to continue this blog to write about the maternal side of my family. I will still share photos!

Frederick Everett Wilson and Mary Myrtle Vandivier

Fred and Myrtle Wilson

My grandparents Frederick Everett Wilson and Mary Myrtle Vandivier both grew up in Parke County, Indiana.  Fred was born on 17 Jun 1887 in Montezuma, Parke Co., IN, the son of George S. Wilson and Viola V. Hise.

Mary Myrtle Vandivier, daughter of George Bayless Vandivier and Martha A. Daniel, was born on 18 Nov 1894 in McKinney, TX.  Her parents moved back to Kentucky by 1896 and lived there until 1898.  By 1900 her family was living in Parke county.

In 1910 the federal census shows Fred and Mary living next door to each other in Reserve Township.  That is the same year I was told they were married, although I haven’t found a marriage record.

Between 1914 and 1916, the couple moved with three children to Converse County, Wyoming.  I have found two land grants on file for Fred.  Two of their children, Florence and Richard, were born there.

Myrtle Wilson with Children in Wyoming

For some unknown reason the family moved to Strafford Township, Orange County, Vermont by January 1920.  Four more of their children were born there:  Dorothy, Everett, Edna and Donald.  Fred was a farmer and also worked in a local sawmill.

Fred Wilson with his child in Vermont

Myrtle Wilson with Son Donald in Vermont

Myrtle Wilson with son Donald in Vermont

By 1929 the family was living in Connecticut.  That year their daughter Nina was born in Hartford.  The family moved to Litchfield County by where their daughter Juanita and son Raymond were born.  Fred worked as a night watchman for the Warrington Woolen Mill that made clothing for United States military troops.

In 1945 the family moved to Wassaic in Dutchess County, New York.  There Fred worked in the Wassaic State School.  Mary had very high blood pressure and died there December 16, 1948.

Fred and Myrtle Wilson

Fred and Myrtle Wilson, taken in Wassaic, N.Y.

The Fred Wilson Family

The Fred Wilson family taken in Wassaic, N.Y.

Fred died on 12 Oct 1965 at the age of 78 of pneumonia in Hagerstown, MD, USA. He and his wife are both buried in Amenia Island Cemetery in Amenia, Dutchess Co., NY, USA.