The Gift of Life

Week 52: #52 Ancestors – You By Eilene Lyon I am my ancestors’ future. Their legacies to me were their hopes, aspirations, and privileges…as well as their fears, anger, and disappointments. These things, passed down to me, shape who I am today. From my father, I learned the work ethic that came through generations of... Continue Reading →

The Musician

By Eilene Lyon A Photo Restored and Colorized Recently Val Erde made a wonderful offer to do free digital colorization for eight people who use vintage photographs in their blogs. I quickly volunteered, and was so lucky she selected one of my images. I first posted this photo of the Gusso brothers last July in... Continue Reading →

“Local Marine Alive, Well”

Week 21: #52 Ancestors – Military By Eilene Lyon This time of year, I like to feature someone on my family tree who perished during service to their country. They are invariably young men who never had a chance at a normal adult life. I hope I run out of these stories before too long.... Continue Reading →

Grandma Johnson Saves a Life

Week 19: #52 Ancestors – Nurture By Eilene Lyon An Abandoned Boy I can’t tell you much about bachelor South Dakota farmer Clarence Halse’s long life. But I can tell you this – it got off to a rough start. Clarence’s parents were Robert J. Halse (youngest son of Robert H. Halse) and Alsina Neville.... Continue Reading →

Drake Family Chronicles: Part 3

Week 16: #52 Ancestors - Out of Place Drake Family Chronicles: Part 1 Drake Family Chronicles: Part 2 By Eilene Lyon The Iowa Delegation Samuel Drake, Jr. clearly saw land as the key to achieving the American dream. The patents he purchased in Highland Township, Winneshiek County, totaled 320 acres.1 The rolling, forested terrain had... Continue Reading →

Norman and Delores

Week 7: #52 Ancestors – Love By Eilene Lyon A long marriage doesn’t necessarily an indicate a deep love and respect, but it’s a good start. I chose this couple, my great-uncle and great-aunt, Norman and Delores Gusso, because not only did they have a long marriage, but they also have a large, close-knit family... Continue Reading →

A Frontier Hostess and Midwife

Week 3: #52 Ancestors – Unusual Name By Eilene Lyon How my great-great-grandmother, Meltha Lucinda, came by her name is a mystery. There is a place name “Meltha” in the Domesday book. It’s located in West Yorkshire and now known as “Meltham.”1 It’s not a particularly common name.2 One thing is clear: Meltha Lucinda Painter... Continue Reading →

Horse Power

Week 49: #52 Ancestors – Winter By Eilene Lyon Well into the 20th century, my ancestors relied on horse power. The real thing. Here are a few images from the “archives.” This photo shows Chet Painter (a Halse cousin) on the Guy Halse farm in Dexter Township, Codington County, South Dakota. Though it’s cold enough... Continue Reading →

Play Ball! (or Not)

Week 41: #52 Ancestors – Sports By Eilene Lyon South Dakota Winter entertainment in 1930s South Dakota was somewhat limited. There were movies and dances. And basketball. My grandparents, Reatha Gusso (15) and Everett Halse (30), were dating in January and February 1932 and watching basketball games was one of the acceptable activities. Reatha mentions... Continue Reading →

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