“He Wasn’t the Man I Married”

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 […]

June 22nd, 2017|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 he pushed from street to street, and Fara cared for their seven children, of whom […]

June 15th, 2017|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 […]

June 8th, 2017|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“One More Christmas”

Angela Esposito was born on September 29, 1918 in Chicago.  Her father, Leo Esposito, came to America as a young man from Florence, Italy.  He made his way to Chicago and found work as a stone mason.  After working at that for several years, he saved enough to open an ice cream parlor, making all […]

June 1st, 2017|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“Don’t Help Me Anymore”

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 […]

May 25th, 2017|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“Everyone Died But Me”

Eliza Radic was born on May 3, 1906 in Chicago to Bert Jarvi 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 […]

May 18th, 2017|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, her parents both died, and she was […]

May 11th, 2017|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 […]

May 4th, 2017|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 […]

April 27th, 2017|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“Life Is What You Make of It”

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 being the oldest.

Sadie was a bright child and after finishing high school, won a two-year scholarship to Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska.  This was […]

April 20th, 2017|Novel Notes of Local Lore|