First a stop at the Painted Canyon Visitor Center, a part of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota.
Then headed to Medora and the main entrance to the National Park. We took an auto tour through the park, except we could not do the whole loop due to part of the road being washed out, but it was awesome anyway. It’s hard to view all this beautiful, intricate and varied nature scenes and think everything just occurred by random chance. The more I see, the more I am convinced that evolution could not have possibly done this. Which leaves me no option but to believe God created everything. Amazing!
Wild people and wild flowers
Also stopped at the Pompey Pillar National Monument. Wilson Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame, stopped here on his way back east when canoeing down the Yellowstone River and left evidence of his journey on a rock face.
Today was all about our visit to Bismarck North Dakota. But our first encounter of the day was a visit to Frontier Village in Jamestown ND to see the worlds largest Buffalo.
Then on to Bismarck where we were very fortunate to meet up with Tom and Sharon Tudor who are members of and local historians of the St. George Episcopal church in Bismarck. We met them at St. George’s and got a tour of their current building. It is a beautiful church and designated as a memorial church for various reasons, but the main reason is all the stain glass windows, each of which include a border of stain glass pieces from various churches in England that were destroyed during WWII.
Fortunately for us, the original church now stands on the historical Camp Hancock site in downtown Bismarck. We may have missed this fact all together if it wasn’t for Tom and Sharon. They drove us to the location and provided a guided tour for us. All in all we spent about 3 hours with them and had a great time viewing this preserved church, as well as some sight seeing in Bismarck.
Grandpa Frank served from 1924 to 1928 according to the plaque on their wall. My records document that aunts Barb (b. 1922) and Marion (b. 1925) were born in North Dakota, so I am not sure what he was doing for the first couple of years he was in North Dakota. Perhaps he was an assistant to the current pastor at that time.
Last but not least, as we left Bismarck for our stay in Dickenson North Dakota, we had a view of “Salem Sue”. North Dakota has more than it’s share of oversize animals and sculptures. To see what I am talking about, just google “the enchanted highway”.
Today was a day spent in White Bear Lake Minnesota. Dad was born here in 1929 and he lived here until he went into the Navy in 1945. His dad lived here from 1928 until his death in 1945. He served all of those years until 1944 as the Minister of St. John in the Wilderness Episcopal church. This church is located about two blocks from the actual White Bear lake, the source of all of my dad’s big fish and adventure tales.
We had an address for the family of 708 1st Street from the 1940 census information. But that address could not be found, until we went to the City Hall of White Bear Lake. They had a hand written book listing the old 1st street numbers and the current numbers. 708 1st street is now 2168 1st street. And 2168 1st is the rectory for the church (or parsonage as I would call it) today, as it must have been when my dad was growing up.
We were able to pay a visit into the church and were directed to a wall with pictures of most of their past Ministers, including Grandpa Frank.
After the visit to the church, we went around to the other side of the lake and found the church cemetery and the gravestones for Grandpa Frank, Grandma Muriel (Gaga) and also for Uncle Don and Olive McArdell.
On to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Birthplace of my famous brother Thomas Davenport and also where Hank Aaron first started playing baseball for the Eau Claire Bears. Not sure which person is the most famous.
We started the day at the public library and dug up some good information. We have a copy of the birth announcement of Thomas. Along with that we got the address at the time of 136 1/2 Niagara Street. We also found an address in the city directory from 1954 for Frank and Gloria (Tom’s parents) on 2594 Birch Street.
Ted was born in Sacred Heart Hospital. The buildings that he was born in are now the Eau Claire Academy. There is still a Sacred Heart Hospital but it is in a different location and much larger and newer.
Our father was in Eau Claire to finish his education at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. The campus appears to be growing and vibrant with most buildings that we could see probably new since he went to school there. The school is only a few blocks away from where he first lived on Niagara Street.
All in all, we had a great day in Eau Claire. Eau Claire is a beautiful city with lots of bike paths and walkways everywhere we went it seemed. I would recommend it as a place to visit (ahem, Ted??).
Left Sunday afternoon for a multi-state trip to Colorado to visit my son Stephen and daughter-in-law Heidi and grandson Noah. The trip will also help us to check off a few states on our quest to stay at least one night in all 50 states.
But tonight we are still in Michigan, albeit a long way from Bay City in Escanaba. Tomorrow a stop and stay at Eau Claire Wisconsin where my mom and dad lived for about a year and where my brother Tom was born in 1953. Going to look for the place where they stayed and the hospital Tom was born in, if either still exist.
UPDATE: Added a fifth child, Phillip, born in 1875 but have no other information.
Agatha Schneble, Max Laskowski’s wife and grandmother of Mary, came from Dayton, Ohio. Her parents were Fred “Fredolin” John Schneble and Victoria Schwartz. They are buried in St. Patricks Cemetery in Bay City, Michigan.
Fred was born January 1846 in Germany and arrived in the United States shortly after in 1849. The arrival date is based on information from a census and I have not found a passenger list for him yet.
He appears to have lived for most of his life in the Dayton, Ohio area until 1900 when he appears on the census in Gaylord, Michigan. He lived out his remaining years in Gaylord where he passed away on January 7th, 1908.
Fred and Victoria were married in 1870 in Ohio (presumably Dayton area).
Victoria (maiden name Schwartz) was born in Dayton on November 6th, 1848. As mentioned above, she married Fred in 1870 and they moved to Gaylord some time before 1900.
Some time after Fred passed away, Victoria moved to Bay City and appears on the 1910 census with two of her daughters (Cecilia and Julia) living with Max and Agatha at 917 21st street. (Hmm, where I have heard of that address before…)
Her parents appear to be Max and Cecilia, who immigrated from Germany also. I have a request in to the Dayton Public Library for a copy of Cecilia’s obituary who passed away in 1903, if one exists. If this information is good, then Max and Cecilia Schwartz would be Mary’s 2nd great grandparents.
Victoria passed away February 13th, 1912 in Bay City, Michigan.
Fred and Victoria had five children I could find:
Phillip Jacob Schneble, born May 1 1875 Matilda P. Schneble, born September 1878 Agatha Cecilia Schneble, born 15 Sep 1880, died 9 Nov 1962 Cecilia A. Schneble, born Dec 1883 Julia A. Schneble, born Nov 1889
Mary and I took a short road trip to visit her son Brandon and his wife Markie in Chicago and to see my brother David and his wife Julie in Bloomington. The trip was great with a couple of days seeing the sights in Chicago followed by a few days visiting David and Julie.
The first day included an architecture river boat cruise. This was a spectacular way to see the architecture of Chicago. Hopefully the pictures can do it some justice.
The next day included a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo and a photo op at the “Bean” as they call it (if you look closely, you can see Mary and I reflected in the Bean). Also, as you can see, we had to entertain Flat Stanley on our day at the zoo, but he was pretty well behaved.
We ended our journey at David and Julie’s palatial residence (tongue in cheek) in Bloomington. We had a great time visiting and learning some new board games and I finally was able to cash in on my dinner voucher just before it expired with a sumptuous meal at Baxter’s.
Max and Agatha (or Agnes) Laskowski are the parents of Louis Francis Laskowski and the grand parents of the Mary Laskowski clan (my wife). I have uncovered some good stuff on Max and have only a little on Agatha at this time.
For starters, I have found a birth registry record for Max as shown below. It appears he was born in an area called “Rathstube, WestPrussia, Prussia, Germany” on March 1, 1879. This information agrees as best it can with census records and the birth date noted in his obituary. Rathstube is now known today as Radostowo in Poland, a city about 80 miles east of Danzig (German), or Gandsk as it is known in Poland. I also have a passenger list that lists him at the age of 5 with his parents coming over in 1884. The children on that list as well as the parents name for the most part agree with the census information and the birth registry information, so my confidence level is high on this information.
Unfortunately, the 1890 census records in the United States were destroyed in a fire in January of 1921, so I do not have that record available. Notice that his middle name is shown as Franz, the same as his dads first name. Franz appears on the US information as Francis. I have also seen Max’s name appear as Max J Laskie on his Railroad Retirement board card and as Max J Laskowski in his obituary and Max John Laskowski on his WWI registration card.
Perhaps the most interesting information is a passenger list from the ship “Fulda” that arrived at Ellis Island on April 19, 1884. On that list are the following names (with ages): Frz Laskowski (46), Elise (41), Anna (20), Maria (18), Johann (15), Sophia (4??), Conrad (7), Helene (6) and Max (5). We know that Franz Laskowski married Elizabeth Nitkowski, so those names match up. I also have a list of names from a family reunion back in 1971 that for the most part agrees as follows (in descending order by date I presume from the family reunion doc): Anna (vs. Anna), Mary (vs. Maria), Josephine (maybe Sophia??), John (vs. Johann), Cora (vs??), Helen (vs. Helen), Max (vs. Max) and Barbara who was born later in 1884 in the United States. To me the match is too close not to be the correct one. On the census records it was noted they immigrated in 1884, which also agrees. Here are the passenger list documents and the family reunion document.
Maybe, at some point, I can get more information to corroborate. I am not sure yet about Cora and Conrad. It is possible the person recording the passenger list just made a mistake. If only I had the 1890 census record.
More updates on Agatha (Schneble, born in Dayton, Ohio), and also on the Stanchak side in the future.
Time now to add some genealogy research about the Laskowski family line. This will be about Mary’s family which appears to almost exclusively trace back to Poland and Germany.
For starters I have a great wedding picture of Mary’s parents.
Anna Stanchak (no middle name) was born November 9th, 1918 in Piney Fork, Pennsylvania and passed away on September 3, 2007 in Bay City. Piney Fork is now mostly just a memory located in South Park Township in Allegheny County a little south of Pittsburgh. Mary and I actually made a stop there but all we could find was a road named Piney Fork. Her father was Peter Daniel Stanchak (Stanczak?) born February 6, 1886 in Austria/Poland and her mother was Mildred (Millie or Mylana) Gabuza born January 6, 1888 in Austria/Poland.
Louis Francis Laskowski was born September 14, 1911 in Bay City and passed away on June 2, 1990. His father was Maximillian or Max J. Laskowski (still need the middle name) born March 1, 1879 in Poland. His mother was Agatha Cecilia Schneble born September 15, 1880 in Dayton, Ohio. More about them all in the future and their family tree as I can get verifiable information about them. Below are a couple more pictures of Mary’s parents.
I am in the process now of scanning all the pictures that mom had in a photo album with the intention of putting them all on a memory stick for whoever in the family would like them. There are about 30 pages with 4-5 pictures per page, so I have a ways to go. The good news is, it is the winter months in Michigan, and I don’t ice fish, snowmobile or ski, so I have some time on my hands.
On page twelve today I scanned this picture which includes an adorable picture of me (cough!) along with various older people who are all related to me (including my mom who looks beautiful) and also a picture of Thomas (probably 1 year old). I would say this is the summer of 1954 or thereabouts.
Just a short post for now because I like the picture. Byron is Esther’s brother and Eva is his wife.