Married at Fifteen

Hai Bo Song was born on October 5, 1914 in China to Jie Fu Song and Jing Fen Chan, who were farmers.  It is unclear how many siblings Hai had, as cousins in China were also referred to as brothers and sisters.  Hai’s youngest son, Ning, explains that at that time in China, it was […]

September 24th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

She Never Really Stopped Loving Him

Grace Phillips was born on October 3, 1922 in Alder Point, Nova Scotia to Warren McAndrews and Mary Jane Wilson, both of whom were Scottish Canadians.  Warren was a coal miner, and Mary Jane cared for their ten children: Margaret, Grace, Leon, Calvin, Rosemary, Dale, Katherine, William, Mattie and Lillie.  Lillie was actually the daughter […]

September 17th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

Her Dreams of Being a Nun Were Dashed!

Nedda Scarsi was born on April 7, 1910 in Chicago to Giovi and Fara Mancus, both of whom had immigrated to the United States from Sicily as a newly married couple.  Giovi made a living selling produce from a cart that he pushed from street to street, and Fara cared for their seven children, […]

September 10th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

Unwilling to Give His Brother the Biggest Share of the Catch

Cal (Caolan) Maguire was born on May 21, 1916 in Ireland to Caolan Maguire, Sr. and Mary Brady.  Caolan, Sr. was a fisherman in their little village by the sea near Balbriggen, and Mary cared for their thirteen children, of whom Cal, Jr. was the youngest.  Cal went to school until about seventh grade when […]

September 3rd, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

A Wonderful Father and an All-Round Outdoors Man

Samuel Werner was born on April 25, 1920 in St. Louis, Missouri to Arne Werner and Kathleen Murphy.  Kathleen was born in Ireland and was just a baby when her family immigrated to Texas.  When she was only three, the family moved again to St. Louis.  Similarly, Arne had been born in Germany, and when […]

August 27th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“Everyone Died But Me”

Eliza Radic was born on May 3, 1906 in Chicago to Bert Halonen and Miriam Jokela.  Both Bert and Miriam were born in Chicago as well, though their parents had emigrated from Finland.  Bert worked as a “refinisher” of sorts and did silver plating.  Miriam was a housewife and took in sewing while she cared […]

August 20th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

Forever His Bride . . .

Esther Andrews was born on February 14, 1910 in Chicago to Lester Simonis and Nellie Baird.  It is thought that Lester was an immigrant from Latvia and that Nellie had been born in Scotland.  According to family legend, shortly after Nellie arrived in America as just a baby, both of her parents died, and she […]

August 13th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“Everyone Says I’m Crazy”

Cleo Newman was born on February 10, 1911 in Kewanee, Illinois to Peter Wyrick and Lorene Crawford.  It is believed that Peter was a Polish immigrant and that Lorene was of English descent.  Peter had apparently been a farmer in Poland and found work on various farms throughout the Midwest after he immigrated here.  Eventually […]

August 6th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

A Neighborhood Gem!

Herbert Jones was born on May 14, 1899 on a farm in Bolton, Mississippi.  His parents, Jesse and Hattie Jones, owned the small farm they worked, which they were very proud of, as Jesse’s father had been a slave.  There were thirteen children in the Jones’ family, and Herbert was the youngest boy.  He went […]

July 29th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“I’ve Had a Lovely Life.”

Sadie Davis was born on December 2, 1920 to Ervin Olmskirk and Caroline Fredericks in Clarkson, Nebraska.  Ervin worked in a bank, and Caroline cared for their ten children: Sadie, Irving, Louis, George, Thelma, Rose, Francis, Fred, Ruby, and Gladys.

Sadie was a bright child and after finishing high school, won a two-year scholarship to Wayne […]

July 23rd, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|