Airing the Laundry -
Young Gertrude you see in the photos, with nearly the same expressions of something other than happy content attitude. But then she was very young and a lovely child forced to sit still for the photographs.
I seem to know the most about her than the others, but that is maybe not necessarily a good thing. I figure she benefited the least from being abandoned by her mother and not so obvious by her father.
I suppose she carried on those issues from the woman before her and did finally marry a man with a alcohol problem that resulted in a divorce.
I suppose life taught her more lessons than if she been a spoiled child, but then again, I could debate that a spoiled child does not have issues too.
If you remember I mentioned in the last post that Herman's brother, William had moved to Minnesota too. I would like to explain why this is important to this post in this story I have been weaving. Since Gertrude was a member of the family at Sunnyslope Farm, she was well acquainted with the Meyer people and families laundry aired on the line. She knew about Annie and Herman accepting to be godparents of William's daughter's Mablel Meyer and her husband Roscoe Rowe's child Dorothea Rowe. The Rowes Marriage occured in Farnhamville. Two sons were born, Jerris 1923 and Darwin 1926 born Lohrville and Greene county probably Paton area. In the same insurance paper I mentioned in prior post; I had mentioned Annies birth father, it also mentioned the recipient of her death insurance was to be for this god child Dorothea O. born 13.March.1928. It so happened that Mabel must have had birth problems, and she died 22.March.1928 in Greene county.
From what I understand from Louisa Jaeschke's son Gary Sorenson phone call a few years back is that when Mable died the William Meyer family were having health issues. His wife Dorothea Wilhelmina Carstensen was fighting some kind of health issues. [died 1948] He also said that Darwin was sickly. Sorry, I forget exactly from what. And well William was coping with all this. And at the same time maybe he was making trips from Minnesota to Iowa great deal of time. The census cites his residence to be St James. He had lived in Lewisville and then finally in Fairmont, Martin county, where he lived and ran the Poppe gas station until his death.
So all these troubles made it difficult for Williams family to raise her. I am not remembering what was said about the Roscoe side of the family difficulties . Roscoe could not, since men had a harder time of those kind of things in those days.
And you know that the Meyer family had once had the extra mouths and raising to do in their own nest. I think too at this time August and Annie were getting on in their years and raising babies would not be so good for them. Annie was developing diabetes health issues, I think she may have wanted to, but couldn't. I am sure she was pleased at Gertrude's desire to help.
Gary said, he wasn't sure what the family thought when Gertrude went into the home where she was and just took the baby! Evidently no objections were raised. and as I said they all knew her too and her situation. I am not sure when it occurred and when the adoption took place. I have heard at one point that Gertrude allowed her daughter to change her O. name since she disliked it so much. They both moved to Kearney Nebraska. [ For obit on Dorothies where it does mention her mother's Meyer name click link.and this links to a picture of young Dorothy Rowe"s and some more information.]Gertrude kept in touch with Herman. I am not sure if the Cummings kept up with all of the Meyer family.
I would have said "you go girl". She understood in so many ways. she and Annie may have felt strongly about this. If Dorothea had gone to foster care or some other way, Gertrude would not have wished it. Nor maybe wish the little baby to be raised by older people with no other little ones around. I am sure she had her own reasons. I am hoping Dorothy was happy.
My cousin who likes to travel visted them now and then. She told me they did not know of the grandmother being a Meyer. I must say though that my only misgivings is that the children of her family grew up without knowing of any Meyer origins. But by the time they were older, the elders had all passed on except for Herman. [ Life was quiet for him when Annie left. ] Jarris died in France during the war. Darwin died in 1931. Not long after Williams wife died too in 1948. He remarried. At least now the family knows the whole story. My laundry has been aired this month of March for womans history month.
Note: Dorothea Cummings address was in my parents' old phone books, and I managed to send off a letter to Dorothy Cummings in Nebraska. No reply. I had heard she was suffering from Parkinson's disease and as more time went on she later passed.
When I finally knew all of the story, because it never came first from the Meyer family nor my cousin. I asked my mother about it. I can't say I am pleased how it involved her, but she had her loyalty issues and so I can say that I understand them.
At this point rather than airing any further laundry, I choose to stop.
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