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 →

Tale of Two Adas

Week 37: #52 Ancestors – Closest to Your Birthday By Eilene Lyon In my last post in this series, I told you that my grandparents, Reatha Gusso and Everett Halse, were married on December 31, 1932.1 I squelched into existence on what would have been their 29th wedding anniversary, except that Everett had been gone... Continue Reading →

Our Trip to Oregon

Week 28: #52 Ancestors – Travel By Eilene Lyon In 1942, my grandparents, Reatha and Everett Halse, made the decision to leave Florence, South Dakota, and head west. Everett’s younger brother, Alvin Halse, was already living in Corvallis, Oregon, and had a job waiting for Everett. That summer, they packed up their worldly possessions and... Continue Reading →

Dexter Cemetery

Week 17: #52Ancestors – Cemetery By Eilene Lyon This may strike you as a strange project, but I never claimed to not be weird. There is this little cemetery in Dexter Township, Codington County, South Dakota, where I am related to a vast majority of the “inhabitants” in one way or another. Note that the... Continue Reading →

Stella Braves The Storm

Week 16: #52 Ancestors – Storms By Eilene Lyon Stella Gusso didn’t ordinarily let the farm dog in the house, but something didn’t feel right. The building clouds were ominous-looking. Stella’s husband and the other men of the family were not home that evening, so Stella brought the begging dog indoors. The noise of the... Continue Reading →

Unmarried, Childless, and Long-lived

Week 14: #52Ancestors – Maiden Aunt: Catharine “Kate” Rowley (1826 – 1912) By Eilene Lyon When I saw the prompt “Maiden Aunt” I immediately thought of Catharine “Kate” Rowley. She was one of eight or nine children born to Erastus Rowley and Mary Annable (4th gr-grandparents), and she outlived all her siblings, despite the handicap... Continue Reading →

Four Generations of Halse Homesteads

Week 13: #52Ancestors – The Old Homestead By Eilene Lyon This is the story of four homesteads for four generations of Halses (my maiden name), going back to my immigrant ancestors, my 3rd great-grandparents. First Generation Robert H. Halse and Eliza Jane Drake immigrated in 1850 and eventually settled in Winneshiek County, Iowa. Samuel Drake,... Continue Reading →

Finding Family Treasure

Week 2: #52Ancestors - Photo By Eilene Lyon Sterling Price Davis (1867 – 1933) and Clara Ransom Davis (1877 – 1953) – wedding portrait (1905; Collection of the Latah County Historical Society) Historical Societies and Libraries Though I’ve been engaged in the genealogy hobby – okay, obsession – for a couple decades now, it was... Continue Reading →

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