Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Remembering meeting President Franklin Roosevelt

I just got an email from my aunt Mary Alice (Whitson) Harvey of Duluth, Minnesota, who was born in 1926. She just remembered the time she met President Franklin Delano Roosevelt about 1939 or 1940. She lived in Des Moines, Iowa at this time. Her father, Jay Whitson, had worked for 'Wallace's Farmer' magazine in the 1920s and when Henry A. Wallace became Secretary of Agriculture during FDR's first 2 terms (Henry A. Wallace was vice president during FDR's 3rd term) Jay went to work for the Department of Agriculture. Since Jay's job involved a lot of travel the family stayed in Iowa and Jay would rent a room while in Washington. Mary Alice's story:
This evening, [my husband] told me he was talking to a woman in the hall who was telling him about the time she shook Harry Truman's hand. And I said that the first president's hand I had shaken was FDR. And suddenly I remembered about that occasion. When I graduated from 8th grade, my father told me that because I had top honors in the county among the 8th grade graduates, he would take me with him to Washington the next time he had to go there for a week or two. that next time was that fall, October, I believe. He drove instead of taking the train, and in Washington we stayed with a Quaker family that rented rooms. In those days, Washington was smaller, safer, and less complicated, so I could spend the day walking or taking a taxi (they were much cheaper!) to all the things I wanted to see. One day I met him for lunch at the Dept. of Agriculture cafeteria, and then we went over to H. A. Wallace's office (he was secretary of agriculture then) because my father thought he would want to see me while I was there. It happened that H. A. was getting ready to go to a cabinet meeting. He took me with him and introduced me to the president before the meeting started. I don't remember any security upon entering, but perhaps there was some, but no one checked on me or asked me anything. Then I walked out of the White House and the White House grounds and went to the Smithsonian. The casual security sort of blows my mind when I think of it. We just walked in, but, of course, I was with someone who was known. I don't believe serious security started until the Second World War started.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Frank F. Barrett (1850-1898)

Four pictures of the Rev. Frank F. Barrett. [Click on photos to see them full size.]

Frank's son Newton thought that the bottom two pictures (marked 1868 and 1870) were from the time when Frank attended Beloit college, where he graduated in 1871.

Newton wrote about the top photo the following:
The latest and, I think, the best photo of Father, though taken a number of years before I knew him. Probably as he was in 1880 at the time of his graduation from Union Theological Seminary [in New York City] in 1880 and ordination in Evansville, Wisconsin in 1881. The only copy of this picture I had was damaged in mounting it in and removing it from a plush folder, with Mother's very dim picture on one side, his on the other. I recently (1972) had 3 copies made from the original, this being one; a second to be sent to the San Antonio Church, which has a gallery of pastors' photos, Father's and one other being missing.

Of the second photo Newton wrote:
Another photo, somewhat earlier.

Edith and Alice Millard

Edith Millard (1870-1895) [The Barrett Brother's GreatGrandmother] and her sister Alice Millard (1864-1898).

This is what Edith's son, the Rev. Newton Barrett [the Barrett Brother's Grandfather] wrote about this picture:

The only tin-type in the collection. Two Millard sisters, Edith (left) and Alice (right). The two sisters were very close, being the only living sisters (before “Bitty” was born much later). Alice was 6 years older than Edith—Mother’s diary for about 1885 reflects some frustration at being among the younger members of the Christian Endeavor Society of Grand Ave. Cong. Church, who got no office in the election—Alice was pianist, and I think, President.

This picture was taken probably just before Mother’s marriage in 1889. Alice was married to Frank Stowe Sawyer, Congregational minister, about 1886 or 7—I visited them several times in South Milwaukee. [Alice and Frank’s children] Edith was 2 ½ years older [than me], Millard 11 days older and a head taller during our youth. By coincidence, both [sisters Edith and Alice] died following the birth of their third child; and their minister husbands followed them within a few years. Both Sawyers [Alice and Frank] are buried in the church yard in South Milwaukee. I helped mow their lot one day when we three [Edith, Millard and me?] visited the place.

I scarcely knew my Mother—she died before her 25th birthday—I was 4 ½ years old. I didn’t realize at the time, nor even at Father’s death 3 years later, how irreparable a loss I had suffered. I had some contact with a Jewish family living not far from our Milwaukee home, Mr.s Wahl employed me about the place, and advanced money to buy my first long pants suit. She was a schoolmate of Mother’s and, I like to think, not merely to be kind, she said, “I remember her—she was a very sweet girl!”

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Beloit (Wisc.) College Class of 1871

[Click on pictures to see them full size.]
The following was written by Newton Barrett(1890-1986) [the Barrett Brothers' grandfather] whose father, Frank F. Barrett (1850-1898) graduated from Beloit College in 1871:
After perhaps a year at Knox College, living at home, Frank entered Beloit College, (Beloit, Wisc.) Of course, this was like most colleges a century ago, a men’s school. It was small enough so the students knew each other well. This Class of 1871 seems to have been especially closely knit in friendship. All of the 11 graduates entered the ministry—all but Father soon after finishing theological school -- Father after several years as representative of a large drug firm in Chicago, decided to become a minister, making the vote unanimous. At the time the family photograph was taken, he was doubtless in this lay position.
The photos here included, indicate that they were not for the graduation records, as there are more than the 11 in the final year. I have somewhere a sheet of stationery the Class had printed, the heading featuring the emblem, an ornamental 71, sourrounded by a band bearing 11 stars. Cousin Mary says he was second baseman on the College baseball team, and a most skillful player. In the ‘20s I corresponded with two or three classmates whose address I had—of course now retired; and one replied, recalling a literary contribution to the class’ publication, which was the finest thing of the lot.
My first wife Alma, looking over the several photos of Father, refused to believe they were all of him—the commonest one showed what she called a soft face; others, one with considerable strength. Different as these are, I am confident that they are all his.
[Above] Picture—Frank Barrett 2nd row, 4th from left, Behind light trouser-leg.

In the above two pictures Frank F. Barrett is in the front row, third from the left.