Monday, August 4, 2014

Cataracts and Cousins

I went to the eye doc last week because I'd been noticing some blurring in my right eye, plus dryness at night after a lot of computer viewing.  She did a series of tests (such cool equipment they have!) and said it's definitely a cataract.  Ok, so I have an appointment for cataract surgery in a couple weeks, but one thing I'm supposed to do in the meantime is, 3 or 4 times a day, wet a wash cloth with hot water and lay it over my eyes for 5 minutes, and then use a rice sock warmed in the microwave for 40 seconds.  Mein Gott, it feels WONDERFUL.  Just the wash cloth puts me to sleep ☺ so of course the last treatment is when I crawl into bed.  Ahhhh...
So there I was yesterday, in my computer chair soothing my eyes, when a "new" Janson relative named Ed popped up via Facebook.  Turns out he's a descendant of John Janson, the cousin who arrived in Minnesota in 1883 with our GGrandpa Joe.  Ed's grandpa was Dan, as in this blurry photo from 1956.
Because Ed's wife Sue provided their phone number, he and I talked for a couple hours last night, checking family stories with each other and talking about photos and farms and relatives.  BTW, we're 4th cousins and our common ancestor was George Valentin Janson.  You'll need this info for the quiz.

Ed and Sue sent these pics yesterday and today.  It's such a miracle that there are STILL unseen pics out there, and that we're able to connect with each other.

Mary Anna Sauer Janson
Elizabeth; Theresa; Sr. Mamurta; Regina; Catherine
 Seated left to right:  John; Dan; Pete
Dan Janson’s 80th birthday. He took Ed’s bike for a spin
and was quite pleased with himself.
Dan’s 90th birthday party.
The three women are his daughters.
Left to right: Clare Janson McHale,
 Agnes Janson Vaughn, Laura Janson Claessen.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nabers in Dairyland

 ...Naber and Sons, Muscatine, Iowa

I remember mom mentioning relatives in Muscatine, Iowa, but I doubt we ever went there to visit.  Ida and Walburg probably visited there, and kept mom in the loop with family news about them.  

Larry found this bottle cap for sale on line.  COOL, huh?  Wonder what year it was from.  This sort of cover fit in the tall, slope-sided bottles (from earlier times), not the ones below...but why do I know that?  The squarish bottles were what we bought at the Dairy Bar on 3rd Street in St Cloud, but they had foil caps that fit down over the lip, remember?  The phone number is just four digits--1791--so it was before the national system was fancied-up with letters.
I'm guessing the Naber and Sons Dairy existed in the 1920s to 40s?
We can change this info if we find out different! 

(Next day--Larry found these ads in the Muscatine Journal in the 1940s)


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Visiting Balzfeld in the 1950s

Here's something I've had in "My Pictures" file for about a month, since I met Diana on Facebook.  She lives in Balzfeld/Horrenburg, Germany--the villages that our Jansons left in 1883.  She found "Janson" online then connected on FB--isn't the world amazing these days?  Diana posted about it  on "Heimatdorf BALZFELD"and a friend of hers names Ute posted this stunning photo.  She said too that younger woman in the pic has a daughter, Irene, who still lives in Balzfeld.
Anyway, if the man on the steps was a Janson from America...he might have been one of John's sons, or Stefan's (who settled in Michigan) or Daniel who settled in Rice, Minnesota, because he's not Wendelin,  Sebastian, Eugene or Grandpa Anton.  Still, I'm thrilled someone went back to Balzfeld. 

Do you recognize the gentleman? The woman on the right reminds me of Grandpa Jansons' sisters Rose and Frances (both of whom were born in Minnesota). 

THANK YOU to Diana and Ute!

Monday, June 30, 2014

The births of Loretta and Reinhard Janson

Here's the announcement of mom's beloved sister, Loretta,  born and baptized in September 1917. (I'm sure it was also posted in the PJ, but these three clips happened to be in the LF Herald's "Buckman" news).

  We don't know if Anton & Maggie were thrilled to have another daughter. We do know that Loretta's big sister was pleased.  It would have been fun to have a playmate and confidant.

Interesting, tho, how different Reinhard's birth announcement was.  Grandpa was feeling expansive, for sure.  His remarks were so unusual for the father of a new baby to make that they were published.  Even now, it's weird.
Something else I found from that year surprised me--why was the house vacant on the Janson farm?
Wow, because Grandpa Janson had an auction shortly after Reinhard was born! "Quit active farming"?  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Buckman in the Summertime

Selling sweet corn across from St Michael's Church--a Janson kid summer tradition since Kenny was old enough to make change.  I remember going to the bazaar and wondering where the boys got the money to buy stuff for Aunt Jeanette.  They laughed and said "Selling sweet corn, over there--" and they'd point to the parking lot.
It was surprising to me cuz when we visited the farm in the summer, we were always sent home with a gunny sack of corn, but we never saw the stand they pulled up to town.  Not until I found it on Google Streetview in 2010:
I love that the tradition continues...☺

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Innovations in Morrison County History

(Copied-and-pasted from Hesch History):
Honestly, whenever I go to a museum and see the displays and exhibits, I'm always a little...miffed, I guess...because I know this is only the tiny tip of their artifact iceberg.  I'm aware that there's a climate controlled room or a whole warehouse that I'll never have access to, and damn, wouldn't it be COOL to see all that stuff? (Yes, even if I know it's impossible).
WELL, hooray x 3!  the Morrison County Historical Society at the Weyerhaeuser Museum in Little Falls is doing something about it--they're taking pictures of items in their collections, and posting them in an ONLINE Exhibitwith a short description.  Eventually, a good chunk of Morrison Co history will be googleable, both by keywords and by image.  I think this is AMAZING, and spiffy! 
And, if you recognize something there and want to add info, each page has a comment section.

To lead off the website, here's a small part of an embroidered autograph sampler of "family and friends of J.K. and Lottie Lee Martin" from 1897-99.  There's a number on all the items so if you want to go and see the actual artifact, you can go to the museum and ask for it by #!

Go, check it out, comment, and BOOKMARK it--"Exhibits by the Morrison County Historical Society" will only get better!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

To Encourage a Vocation

Larry and I were talking about Necco wafers and  "playing mass" when we were kids.  I said that we sisters fought over who got to be "Father" (usually it was the kid who owned the Neccos, or else she'd take 'em away and eat 'em all herself).  

Larry said he and his brother would swipe their mom's bathrobe and play mass till the Neccos were gone or she caught em.  Like all Catholic moms then, it would be a tough decision:  "What if you stopped em cuz it was your bathrobe, but in doing so, you wrecked a vocation?"
(I have that line on a card here on the desk.  It makes me laugh every time)☺