Thursday, October 27, 2011

Those Places Thursday - Gramma's House

I have wanted to get one of these photos for the longest time, so while I was going through my Gramma's photos this summer, I saw this one and though it would make the perfect subject.

The original photo is of my grandfather, my dad (far right), and 2 of his brothers (and the dog) on the front steps back in July 1959.  The current photo was taken in August 2011.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Military Monday - Edward John Lanctot

Edward John Lanctot 1921-2011
That's my Grampa.  Wasn't he handsome?  As I have previously mentioned in these posts, he served in the Army National Guard for South Dakota, 147th Field Artillery Battalion, Company E, during World War II.

In 1940, Ed enlisted in the 147th Field Artillery Battalion, South Dakota National Guard to become a “part of the greatest peacetime army in United States history.”  They received their basic training at Camp Ord, California.  In November 1940 the 147th Field Artillery Regiment of the South Dakota National Guard was called into Federal service. The 147th Field Artillery performed well at Fort Ord, prompting troops of the regular army 7th Infantry Division to talk about having the 147th assigned as the divisional artillery.
In November 1941, the 147th was ordered to overseas duty in the Philippines. The regiment was in Hawaii at the end of November. Members of the 147th enjoyed shore leave at Pearl Harbor just days before the Japanese assault. The regiment's convoy was a week west of Hawaii when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The attack on Pearl Harbor caused the 147th's convoy to be rerouted to Australia. For a time during the end of 1941 and the early months of 1942, the 147th was the only major Allied unit stationed in the Darwin area.
Ed Lanctot with his buddies
By December 1941, the 2d Battalion joined the full 147th Field Artillery, a National Guard unit from South Dakota, and the two battalions of the 148th Field Artillery, a National Guard unit from Idaho. This filled out the six-battalion artillery brigade initially scheduled to reinforce General MacArthur's troops in the Philippines. Following the diversion to Australia in late 1941, the 147th Field Artillery had remained at Darwin to reinforce the northern defenses of Australia, while the 2d Battalion, 131st Field Artillery, boarded transports for Java, arriving at Surabaja on 11 January 1942.
The 147th was reorganized in 1943 into the 147th and 260th Field Artillery Battalions. The 147th was the last field artillery regiment to be reorganized by the Army. The 147th Battalion built a solid record of combat service in New Guinea and the Philippines as part of the 158th Regimental Combat Team. The 260th Battalion spent the rest of the war driving trucks. These two battalions were the only units of the South Dakota National Guard to maintain a specific South Dakota identity during the war.[1]
One of the jobs assigned to the Field Artillery Battalion, apparently, was driving trucks (which I assume carried munitions of some sort).  Here is Ed's license to drive Army vehicles.

... and a picture of one of the trucks (that's my granduncle in that photo, also a member of the 147th):

When Ed returned to the states, he got married, went on a honeymoon, and then he had to report to Ft. Sam Houston for reassignment.  From there, he was assigned to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, and finally Ft. Snelling, Minnesota.  Ed eventually reached the rank of First Lieutenant and was discharged from the National Guard in 1944 after three years in the South Pacific.

Ed re-enlisted soon after discharge and was active during the Korean conflict.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Here Comes My 19th Nervous Breakdown

I don't know everything.  No, seriously.  So I was really looking forward to participating in the Genealogists in Second Life Book Club.  We are reading Val Greenwood's Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, 3rd ed.  Last week, we read Chapter 7 (Organizing and Evaluating Research Findings).  Unfortunately, my week contained two Mondays and I missed Tuesday night's book club meeting.  Hopefully, this post will make up for my absence!

Chapter 7 was all about keeping a record of your research.  I kinda sorta thought I was already doing this, but ... well, keep reading.  There's a lesson in here somewhere.

Basically, the goal(s) of keeping good research notes are (1) to keep you, the researcher, in sync with the problem to be solved and (2) so any who follow you can check your work and continue where you left off.  Greenwood says, "Everything possible must be done to prevent needless duplication of effort."  There needs to be a cross-stitch pattern for this.

He goes on to talk about different methods of keeping research notes (calendars, logs, etc.) and what they should contain.  He talks about evaluating your notes, citing your sources, and making periodic research reports.

I was so motivated by this chapter that I created a new research log form for myself.  I decided to try a little different approach than Greenwood's ... having a research log for each question I wanted answered.  My first attempt is here.

Here it comes ...

I decided to try another research question that I've been trying to answer for a while: When was Patrick Slowey born?  So I used the same format as the previous log.

Here it comes ...

Once I had input all the documentation I already had, and documented all the places I was looking further (as I went, obviously), I started evaluating and analyzing the information from all the sources.  The Big Picture, if you will.

Here it comes ...

I will say that evaluating pieces of information in the context of all the information together gives you an entirely different perspective on what you know.  For example, after reviewing all the information I have from census records and other sources, I came to the conclusion that I had the wrong census record for 1860!  Patrick's age was off by 9 years ... more than I was comfortable attributing to poor math by the enumerator.

My 19th nervous breakdown:

This was terrible!  I relied on the 1860 census information as the only information I had to document my 2nd great grandfather's (Patrick Slowey's son) birth!  Everything I've done for the past year for him was based on THAT information!  I was devastated.  I was seriously thinking about throwing in the towel, admitting defeat, and learning how to make baskets.*
I became a crazy person.  I was looking everywhere.  I searched on every website I could think of for anything related to the Sloweys.  I was looking page-by-page through census records.  I was sending emails to random people on the internet ... okay, not really, but I did revisit a couple of fellow researchers who had shared information on the Sloweys in the past. Here is the frenzied research log.  Don't judge.  I was unmedicated (and there was no wine in the house).

Then I remembered seeing a course on FamilySearch about research logs (part 1 here, and part 2 here), so I thought I would check it out.  The lecture is given by G. David Dilts, A.G., and is a total of about 45 minutes long (for both parts together).  Mr. Dilts explained about the pitfalls of not using a research log, and how to use one effectively.  Of course, both Dilts and Greenwood advocate keeping your logs on paper ... and I've got enough paper in my office to choke a horse already ... so I'm keeping mine digital, thank you very much.  He had good insight into the reasoning behind keeping a research log.  It got me thinking again ...

I have since calmed down enough to realize that I probably DO have the right family, but the information is inaccurate.  I will continue to hunt down that birth date, and since I have my research log I know exactly where I left off, and what I still need to do.  I am convinced that if I don't look at that file again for 6 months or a year, I will be able to review that research log and pick up right where I left off, which is the whole purpose, right?

All of that being said, I have learned my lesson.  I only hope that someone else will learn from it too -- before it's too late!  I will shout it from the mountain tops "KEEP A RESEARCH LOG!!!" I honestly can't stress that enough.  After watching Dilts' lecture and building on Greenwood's ideas, I fine-tuned my Research Log Template, moved it into Excel, and this is the final product.

*Thanks, Laura, for talking me down off the basket-making ledge.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Delta Genealogical Society Annual Genealogy Workshop

Genealogy in 2011

What:    "Genealogy in 2011" Workshop
Where:  Rossville Public Library, 504 McFarland Avenue, Rossville, GA
When:    Saturday, October 29, 2011   10 a.m. to noon
Who:      Rufus Williamson, President; one other speaker to be named
Why:      To inform the genealogy hobbyist of changes in resources available for genealogical research over the last few years, and useful techniques for taking advantage of those resources, including recent changes at

The workshop is free to the public.

Delta Genealogical Society is an association of those interested in the genealogy and history of Northwest Georgia, Northeast Alabama, and Southeast Tennessee.  The Society meets on the second Tuesday of each month at the Rossville Public Library at 7 p.m.  Visitors are welcome.  Delta publishes "Southern Roots & Shoots" three times per year.  Issues contain historical and genealogical data for Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, as well as book reviews and other topics of interest to the researcher.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm One!

Today is my first blogiversary!

I can't believe it has been a whole year since I sat at my computer and wondered, "What the heck am I going to find to write about ... and more importantly, who the heck will read or even care what I have to say??"

Turns out somebody out there is reading.  And for that, I say thanks!  Thank you to all the Geneabloggers and my other readers for giving me a reason to keep blogging.  I'm a full-blown addict now, but don't think that means you don't have to keep reading and commenting!

A special thank you goes out to DearMYRTLE.  Without her expert tutelage (and one heckuva webinar), this blog never would have happened.

Without this blog, I would not have made a connection with Laura (It's All Relative) and created what is, hands down, the best Success Team ever.  Without the Success Team, I would still be swimming around in a chaotic mess of disorganized research and an insurmountable to-do list.  

So you see ... blogging will give you a reason for existing, win friends and influence people, and organize your life!  Okay, maybe not ... but it sure is fun!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Those Places Thursday - Demon Bathtub

Demon tub at Gramma's house

Oh sure, it looks innocent enough NOW.  40 years ago, not so much.

This is the site of one of the bloodiest battles ever fought -- Jenny v. tub.  It all started with a bath ...

... then someone decided that the bottom of the tub was slippery enough from the bubbles that she could ice skate.  What a fantastic idea!

Yeah, it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.  Let's just say I have a really nice scar on my chin.  I can't remember how many stitches it needed.

Ironically enough, I've always wanted a claw-foot tub just like Gramma's in my own house.

On a side note, if you ever fill the dishwasher with liquid dish soap and it overflows, it is also good for ice skating.  Just don't leave the dishwasher door open when you do it ... huh? oh, pay no attention to the scar on my shin.

Needless to say, I never did take up ice skating.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FamilySearch's Genealogy Courses - Review Part 1

While participating in the Inferential Genealogy Course with my fellow SecondLife genealogists, I realized that FamilySearch has a plethora of genealogy courses available, and I thought I would take a look and see which ones I wanted to do (this would also allow me to mark something off my to-do list).

Since the Inferential Genealogy course, FamilySearch has redesigned the site for the Learning Center, which I applaud.  It's much easier to navigate now.

When you first "arrive" at the Center, you have options.  You can choose your courses by place, skill level, subject, format, or language.

I chose skill level, beginner.  I figured I would just start at the beginning and see where it took me.

What I found was a list of 56 results, specifically for beginners.  These include 17 episodes of "5 Minute Genealogy," the "Ancestors" series Seasons 1 and 2 (BYU television),  "Getting Started in Genealogy" and "Getting Started in Family History."  There are other random courses as well that seem pretty interesting, including "Principles for Beginning Genealogy" by Dr. Tom Jones.

I decided to take a look at a couple of the series to see what they're all about.  The first one I clicked was "5 Minute Genealogy: Episode 1 - Find a record in 5 minutes."  According to the handout (yes, there is a PDF handout), this video series is "designed to help you quickly discover your family history.  Each episode guides you through basic research principles that will help you have success finding your ancestors."  Let's see.

I was greeted by host Jessie Davis, who tells me she will take me from zero to a family record in 5 minutes.  She recommends viewing the episodes sequentially, and in each episode I'll learn what to do with the records that I find.
This is Jessie telling me what she will do in 5 minutes.  I want one of those sweaters.
She began at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (what better place to start?).  She got some tips from one of the librarians there, and found a death record for her great grandfather in less than 5 minutes.  She then took herself to a local deli to see if she could do the same for some random people.  I won't tell you how it ends, but I think you can probably guess.  The second episode sort of summarizes what the series is all about, but it's very cleverly done ... as a movie.  
... which was very reminiscent of one of my all-time favorites, Mystery Science Theater 3000:
When I started watching the series, I was afraid it was going to follow the "you don't have to know what you're looking for ..." mantra.  Fortunately, it does exactly the opposite.  The series literally walks you through the process from the initial pedigree chart to organizing to sharing your research.

I never got past the 5 minute series, mainly because I found it so entertaining and informative that I couldn't stop watching.  I highly recommend this series for beginners, but intermediate and even advanced genealogists may get something out of it as well.  And because each of the episodes is about 5 minutes long, you don't have to be glued to your computer for extended periods of time.  (Psst ... they're also downloadable, so you could even watch them on your laptop while you're vacationing on a desert island!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Delta Genealogical Society Annual Genealogy Workshop

Delta Genealogical Society
Genealogy in 2011

What:    "Genealogy in 2011" Workshop
Where:  Rossville Public Library, 504 McFarland Avenue, Rossville, GA
When:    Saturday, October 29, 2011   10 a.m. to noon
Who:      Rufus Williamson, President; one other speaker to be named
Why:      To inform the genealogy hobbyist of changes in resources available for genealogical research over the last few years, and useful techniques for taking advantage of those resources, including recent changes at

The workshop is free to the public.

Delta Genealogical Society is an association of those interested in the genealogy and history of Northwest Georgia, Northeast Alabama, and Southeast Tennessee.  The Society meets on the second Tuesday of each month at the Rossville Public Library at 7 p.m.  Visitors are welcome.  Delta publishes "Southern Roots & Shoots" three times per year.  Issues contain historical and genealogical data for Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, as well as book reviews and other topics of interest to the researcher.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Ancestors Geneameme

Jill Ball of Geniaus got this one started ... and I can't pass up a good meme! Here's my list:

Things I have already done or found
Things I would like to have done or found
Things I haven’t done or found
  1. Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents (if the adopted ones count)
  2. Can name over 50 direct ancestors (wait ... does this mean from memory!?  I can't even remember my own name some days!)
  3. Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents (again, if the adopted ones count)
  4. Have an ancestor who was married more than three times
  5. Have an ancestor who was a bigamist
  6. Met all four of my grandparents (2 are still living!)
  7. Met one or more of my great-grandparents 
  8. Named a child after an ancestor 
  9. Bear an ancestor's given name
  10. Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland 
  11. Have an ancestor from Asia
  12. Have an ancestor from Continental Europe 
  13. Have an ancestor from Africa
  14. Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer (if that's a nice way of saying "farmer," then I have a whole tree full of 'em!)
  15. Have an ancestor who had large land holdings
  16. Have an ancestor who was a holy (wo)man - minister, priest, rabbi (nuns count too, right?)
  17. Have an ancestor who was a midwife
  18. Have an ancestor who was an author
  19. Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones 
  20. Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng
  21. Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X
  22. Have an ancestor with a forename beginning with Z (it was actually his middle name, but it was the name he went by throughout his life, does that count?)
  23. Have an ancestor born on 25th December
  24. Have an ancestor born on New Year's Day
  25. Have blue blood in your family lines (see my post here)
  26. Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth 
  27. Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  28. Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century
  29. Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier 
  30. Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents (see my post here)
  31. Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X
  32. Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university 
  33. Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offence 
  34. Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime
  35. Have shared an ancestor's story online or in a magazine 
  36. Have published a family history online or in print 
  37. Have visited an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries
  38. Still have an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family
  39. Have a family bible from the 19th Century
  40. Have a pre-19th century family bible
I would have marked "have parents from a different country" because that would be totally cool, but that would mean I would have different parents ... and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings today. (Except that my mom already knows I want to be adopted by Paula Deen).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Ed Lanctot and Maxine Slowey

It all begins with a marriage license:

Slowey-Lanctot Rites Performed Here Last Monday Morning
Yankton Press & Dakotan, date unknown.

A pretty nine o'clock wedding ceremony was held at Sacred Heart church Monday morning uniting in marriage Miss Maxine Slowey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Slowey and Staff Sgt. Edward Lanctot, son of Mrs. Alice Lanctot.  Officiating at the single ring nuptial mass was the Rev. Msgr. Lawrence L. Link.  A sister of the bride, Mrs. Donald Perry, was the matron of honor, and Miss Delores Huber acted as bridesmaid.  The bridegroom's attendants were two friends and returned members of the South Dakota national guard unit, Staff Sergeants Robert Johnson and Charles Showers of Mission Hill.  

After a wedding dinner served to immediate members of the family, the couple left to spend a week at Lake Okoboji.  

Sgt. and Mrs. Lanctot were both graduated from Yankton high school with the class of '39.  He has been in military service since December 1940 and the past two and a half years have been spent in the South Pacific theater of war.  Early in September he will report at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas for reassignment.

Miss Maxine Slowey And S/Sgt. Edw. Lanctot United Here --
Yankton Press & Dakotan, August 14, 1944.

Sacred Heart church was the scene here yesterday of a pretty nine o'clock wedding ceremony uniting Miss Maxine Slowey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Slowey, Yankton, and Staff Sergeant Edward Lanctot, returned member of the 147th F.A., and son of Mrs. Alice Lanctot also of Yankton.

The Rev. Msgr. Lawrence Link read the single ring nuptial service and special hymns in addition to the mass were sung by Sisters Mary Jane, Jeanette, Albin, Julia and Gladys, all of Sacred Heart convent.

A wedding gown of white taffeta and net styled with bouffant skirt and shirred bodice was worn by the bride.  Her fingertip veil was held in place by a small coronet, and along with a white pearl rosary, she carried a colonial bouquet of red rosebuds.

Mrs. Donald Perry was her sister's matron of honor and she wore a pastel blue gown of silk jersey and net.  As bridesmaid, Miss Delores Huber wore a similar gown, and both wore matching shoulder veils held in place with flower clusters and carried pastel pink and blue asters in colonial nosegays.

Two fellow returned members of the South Dakota national guard unit were the bridegroom's attendants.  They were Staff Sergeants Robert Johnson and Charles Showers of Mission Hill.

After a wedding dinner, which was served to immediate family members of the couple, S/Sgt. and Mrs. Lanctot left to spend a week at Lake Okoboji.

The bride and bridegroom were both graduated from Yankton high school with the class of 1939.  Sgt. Lanctot has been in military service, two and a half years of which were spent in the Southwest Pacific theater of war.  He returned recently on rotation, and early in September will report to Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, for reassignment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Delta Genealogical Society - 10.11.11 Meeting

The TAG/Delta Genealogical Society will meet on Tuesday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Rossville Library (504 McFarland Avenue, Rossville, Georgia)

The program will be introduced by Virginia Lerch, and is the recorded key note speech by David McCullough at last year's National Genealogical Society Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

McCullough is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author, historian, narrator, and lecturer.  He is also a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gramma was a Beauty Queen?!

As I was going through my grandmother's scrapbooks this summer, probably around the second or third one, I come across an article about my grandmother.  It turns out she was a candidate for Yankton County Harvest Queen (South Dakota) in 1939!  The article describes her having a lead of around 10,000 votes, with only a week left to cast ballots.

To say I was surprised is an understatement!  I never knew she had been in a beauty contest!  Then I saw a few more articles ...

SHE WON!  Holy cow!  She was Queen Maxine, third Harvest Queen of Yankton County.  I said, "Gramma, you never told me you were a beauty queen!" and she said, "Oh, that."  That was it.  Very humble and modest, my grandmother.

There was a big to-do about the coronation, and the Governor of South Dakota, Harlan Bushfield, even came out to crown the Queen!  The first dance at the Coronation Ball with Her Majesty was reserved for the Governor.  My grandmother is about 5 feet tall.  The Governor stands over 6 feet.  Gramma laughed when I asked her and said, "All I could see practically was his belt buckle!  I was so glad when it was over."

 "Governor Harlan Bushfield, who had come to Yankton especially to perform the rite, placed the glittering crown upon the head of Miss Maxine Slowey to make her Queen Maxine -- a dainty, diminutive sovereign in pink velvet."
Queen Maxine and her court
"Queen Maxine and her maids of honor who will hold court tonight at the high school auditorium, when the queen, Maxine Slowey, of Utica, will receive her crown at the hands of Gov. Bushfield.   Queen Maxine is shown here in her royal robes and crown.  The maids of honor are: left, above, Marcella Schmidt, of Menominee, Nebr.; right, above:, Angela Cwach, Yankton, Rt. 1; left, below: Anne Madsen, Mission Hill, Rt. 1; right, below: May Wood, of Lesterville."

As if the coronation wasn't enough, the Queen also gets a parade!  "Governor Bushfield and Mayor Crockett escorted Queen Maxine (Maxine Slowey, of Utica) through the streets of Yankton, leading the parade held Tuesday afternoon as part of the annual Harvest Festival and coronation ceremony.  In the rear seat of the open car are, left to right, Governor Bushfield, Queen Maxine and Mayor Crockett, S.G. Donaldson, who arranged the coronation program at the high school auditorium last night and was master of ceremonies for the event, is in the front seat with the driver."

These are close-up photos of the actual coronation: 

... and a panoramic view of the entire coronation production:

All the pomp and circumstance aside, what was the real prize here?

October 3, 1939
Dear Miss Slowey:
We are inclosing [sic] a check for $25.00, first prize, and wish to congratulate you on having been elected our 1939 Harvest Queen.
The merchandise prizes are at the Chamber of Commerce office, in the City Hall, and you may have them any time you call.
Hoping the same splendid success is with you in all future ventures, we are
Sincerely yours,

And, ever the gracious ruler ... she sends a thank you card:

I always knew I was descended from royalty ...

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sentimental Sunday - Richard Raymond Slowey

Dickie Slowey 1939-1945
Dickie Slowey is a granduncle I never knew.  He was my grandmother's youngest brother.  My great grandmother had him late in life (age 44).  My grandmother was 17 when he was born.  He lived a short life, but I could tell when my grandmother talked about him that he experienced a full lifetime of love from his family.

The first article (from the Yankton Press & Dakotan) is actually the announcement of his 6th birthday (March 9, 1945), but I wanted to include it because it is so close in time to his obituary (March 23, 1945):

Dickey Enjoys Fine Birthday Even If Sick

Little Dickey Ray Slowey, who has been confined to Sacred Heart hospital here for many weeks suffering from a malady diagnosed as leukemia, was today celebrating his sixth birthday.  He was a happy boy indeed with gifts from many people and attentions from all around.

Dickey Ray is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Slowey, 812 Douglas Avenue, and mother was with him today.  In fact, mother has been with him almost constantly since he was attacked by the strange malady for which there appears to be no remedy.  The lad was feeling quite well today and was able to enjoy his birthday anniversary to the fullest.

Boy Victim of Leukemia To Be Buried Here On Monday

Leukemia, mysterious blood disease about which little is known in medical science, claimed the life of six-year-old Richard Raymond Slowey, son or Mr. and Mrs. Tom Slowey, 812 Douglas avenue early today.  The lad had been ill a number of weeks, and his death occurred at 4:00 a.m., in Sacred Heart hospital.

"Dickie," as he was known to all his acquaintances, observed his sixth birthday in the hospital on March 9, and throughout his illness, he maintained a cheerful disposition and enjoyed the company of his callers.

The boy is survived by his parents, one brother, Vernon who is serving in the Pacific theater of war, and four sisters, Mrs. Donald E. Perry, Mrs. Edw. Lanctot, and Lois and Rita at home.

Funeral services have been set for 9:30 a.m., Monday, from Sacred Heart church with the Rev. Msgr. L. Link officiating, and rosary will be said at the Burke Funeral Home at 8 p.m., Sunday.

Ed Lanctot & Dickie Slowey

Saturday, October 08, 2011

More Letters Home (WWII)

In another article from the Yankton Press & Dakotan, date unknown (but presumably sometime in late 1942/early 1943), James Lanctot and Vernon "Bud" Slowey of Battery "E" of the 147th Field Artillery Battalion, Army National Guard, Yankton, South Dakota, write home to a friend, Walt Mueller.  Who knew my granduncle was such a scoundrel!


August letters to Walt Mueller of Yankton, Yankton county register of deeds, are bright, nonsensical bits from three former local fellows, Jim Lanctot, "Bud" Slowey, and Don Modereger, known as "Little Moe."  [Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of the article with "Little Moe"'s letter]

Jim Lanctot writes:

"Dear Walt,

"Don't be too surprised, but here comes a letter -- the first since we left the States.  I've been going to write for a long time, but I've kept putting it off until tomorrow, and of course tomorrow never comes, so I think I'd better try today.

"It has been a long time since we sailed from a place that's worth going back to. x x x x 

Girls Go For Yanks

"We've been getting 7-day furloghs and weekend passes.  As soon as we have a couple days' leave, we head for the bright lights.  There are plenty of babes over here, and they really go for the Yanks.  The Yanks don't mind it though.

"All the fellows from Yankton are okay.  There aren't too many of the fellows with us anymore that went to Minnesota.  It is only a few days over two years ago that we got back from there.  Little did we realize that in a little over a year we would be in a war.

Will Celebrate

"You'd better draft plans to evacuate the police force when we hit Yankton again.  We'll be in a mood to do a little celebrating!

"Well, Walt, things are getting a little noisy here in the recreation hall, and I can't concentrate any longer.  I promise it won't be long before I write again.

"As ever,


Pfc. Jim Lanctot,
A.S.N. 20748121
Btry. "E", 147th F. A.
APO 924, care of Postmaster
San Francisco, Calif.

* * *


Bud Slowey writes that the "whole gang is in good shape and full of pep."  He states that the boys are getting their mail in "pretty good time" and that it usually takes about a month.

Indicating what his main interests are, Slowey comments on the local sports activities which he reads about in the Yankton papers, and longingly imagines what the pheasant season back home will be like this fall.  He asks:

"Remember Me"

"Just remember me when you get in a nice flock and bag a couple nice roosters.  Boy!  I sure hope I don't have to miss too many more seasons.

"I sure wish you could have been along hunting water buffalo.  I got quite a thrill when I knocked the first one down.  The calves were darn good eating.  I wish I could have sent some of the horns home.

"I went hunting crows one Sunday, but didn't even see one.

"Well, Walt, so much for now.



Pfc. VernonSlowey,
A.S.N. 20748105
Btry "E", 147th F. A.
APO 924, car of Postmaster,
San Francisco, Calif.

For the record, Uncle Bud was a very serious hunter.  Here are photos of him in his later years with some geese and a buffalo.


Friday, October 07, 2011

They're in the Army now ...

This is another newspaper article that was published in the Yankton Press & Dakotan, probably around mid-1940 (the 147th wasn't called into federal action until about November 1941).  I am transcribing all of these names in hopes that their names will pop up on an internet search if someone is looking for them.  I am happy to email a digital copy of this article to anyone who needs it.

Over 100 Local Officers And Men Leave Today With Guard

Here are the 101 officers and men who compose the roster of Battery "E," local National Guard unit, which is leaving today for Camp Ord, Calif., to become a part of the greatest peacetime army in United States history.

Chester A. Beaver, Commanding Officer

First Lieutenants
Ott Kabeiseman
Carl Youngworth

Second Lieutenants
Robert Seeley
Donald Perry (who would later marry my grandmother's sister, Elinor, becoming yet another granduncle)

First Sergeant
Earl G. Schlegelmilch, Tabor

Staff Sergeant
Lawrence Nelson

Arnold F. Albrecht, Mission Hill
Richard R. Cacek, Tabor
Lyle E. Hamner
Paul A. Jacobsen
Elwood G. Jorgensen, Irene
Harry J. King, Tabor
Lewis A. Van Osdel

Thomas P. Binder, Tabor
William E. Brewer, Miranda
McKie Eastman
Robert F. Haney
Donald L. Jones
Lawrence H. Kaiser
Elmer L. Kamback
Harold B. Nelson
Edgar D. Ollermann
Dale W. Sly, Tabor
Ralph O. Stengle

Privates --- First Class
Francis J. Albrecht, Mission Hill
Ben J. Blazek, Tabor
Robert Blazek, Tabor
Elvin J. Hammeren
Thomas V. Rogers
Willard W. Welfl, Tabor

Harold J. Bahr
Robert F. Bartow
William J. Cacek, Tabor
Kenneth R. Canfield
Elwood H. Carlson, Alexandria
Kenneth E. Christensen, Mission Hill
Charles L. Cokeley, Tyndall
Donald J. Colgan, Tyndall
Clarence L. Cowman
Frank Den Ouden, Springfield
Grant Ferguson, Tyndall
George Giesen, Stickney
Paul A. Grosshuesch, Scotland
Clarence F. Haas
Ralph J. Haas
Frank G. Haberer
John R. Halla
Clifford H. Hicks
John H. Hoaglin, Springfield
Dural L. Hodge, Farmer
Carl J. Hohenthaner
Willard Holbrook
Gerhard J. Hunhoff, Utica
Robert H. Johnson
Albert A. Kaiser
David Kasdan
Fred J. Kessler
Theodore Q. Kessler, Springfield
Laddie F. Kucera, Tabor
James L. Lanctot (my granduncle)
Edward J. Lanctot (my grandfather)
Harvey J. Lokken
Lauren L. Lokken
John S. Lubbers
Charles K. Mahan
Bruce E. Mahr
Donald L. McCabe
Lester M. Mielke, Menno
Robert W. Mielenz
Harold J. Modereger
Donald G. Modereger
Howard W. Nelson
Robert E. Novotny, Tabor
Lyle F. Peterson, Rapid City
Clarence E. Pishek, Tabor
Alvin J. Reker, Lismore, Minn.
Robert R. Ritts
Raymond J. Rossman
John D. Sabatka, Tabor
Albert A. Sadler, Mission Hill
Norman J. Schuett, Tyndall
Kenneth J. Schulte
Leon T. Scoblic, Tyndall
Charles L. Showers, Mission Hill
Vernon G. Slowey, Utica (my granduncle)
Vernett S. Stortvedt, Volin
Harry R. Talbot
John W. Trierweiler
Norman A. Trotter, Scotland
Leland L. Truesdell, Burke
Wilmar E. VanderKooi, Springfield
Henry H. Voll, Mission Hill
John W. Vollmer
LeVerne Whiting
Harold F. Winters
Joe F. Wuestewald

All men whose addresses are not given are registered as residents of Yankton.

Lieutenant Carl Youngworth has now been officially attached to Battery "E."  Private George W. Coates of Vermillion is reported to be in Oregon and all attempts to notify him of the mobilization have failed up to the present time.  As soon as he is contacted he will join the Battery at Camp Ord.