Diaries & Letters
1947
Pearl BROAKMAN Swick
Memoirs of Pearl BROAKMAN Swick
Township: Lawrenceville, Elmira and more
Year: 1947
Transcribed by Carol Harris
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FAMILY HISTORY OF PEARL BROAKMAN SWICK

I have thought for some time that I should write down the history of my ancestors and of my own life so my children would know more about us than they now do, so I am starting this on March 21, 1947.

My mother’s maiden name was Clara Evelyn Hemingway and she was born June 18, 1860 and died May 2, 1929. Her mother’s father was Phineas Bennet who was a raiser of sunken vessels and worked on the Mississippi River much of the time, while his wife, Hepsibeth Keep Bennet stayed in Bennetsburg, New York with her two daughters, Augusta and Mary.

Augusta became my grandmother, marrying Samuel Frank Hemingway who was a civil engineer and contracted yellow fever while surveying in Florida after the Civil War and died when my mother was two years old, the youngest of four girls.

The oldest was Emma Frances and the two between died within a few days of each other of diphtheria, not far from the time their father died.

My Grandmother Hemingway was a very talented woman, being a fine musician, playing the church organ for a number of years, did painting in water colors and was a fine dressmaker and did exquisite embroidery.

After great grandfather Bennet died, his wife moved to Burdette, about two miles from Bennetsburg, near the Presbyterian Church and cemetery.

Grandmother Hemingway opened a dressmaking shop in Watkins Glen, about three miles from Burdette, taking Aunt Emma with her and leaving my mother with her Grandmother Bennet.

My grandmother did the cutting and fitting and drafting of patterns and kept eight women sewing. Mother has often told of her little-girl days in Burdette, with the Chichester children as her playmates. They were the Presbyterian minister’s children and they used the cemetery as their usual playground.

When mother was thirteen, she entered the convent at Lockport, New York where she stayed until she graduated at sixteen. She played a piano solo at the graduation and she could still play it from memory when I was a girl of that age.

Grandmother was an Episcopalian but was too busy with her business to supervise a girl of thirteen and as her mother had died, my mother went to be with Grandmother and Aunt Emma in Watkins Glen. I believe Mother sewed in her mother’s shop after she graduated from the convent and a few years later she went to Elmira, New York to learn the milliner’s trade. She roomed with a Baptist family by the name of Hardy and attended the Baptist church where Samuel Broakman was pastor.

He had a family of 12 children, among them being Charles Morton, who sang in the choir. Mother also sang in the choir and she and Charles became engaged and were married march 19, 1881.

Grandfather Broakman was a carpenter by trade, and so was my father. My older sister was named Vena and she died when three months old, of cholera infantum. I do not know the year of her birth but she was born May 9th.

My parents moved down to Jackson, Pennsylvania for a time and then back to New York to Caton, where I was born April 4, 1885.
 
 

At the time, father was building a new farmhouse for Vol Reep and I believe I was born in their home.

When I was two, my brother Harry was born, in August 1887, when we lived in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. He was a "blue baby" and never strong, only living to be eighteen months old. They held a post mortem, and found he had no divisions in his heart. Mother always said he was the smartest child she had.

I have only a few recollections of him but a few are still clear. I remember of sitting at the foot of his cradle and rocking it back and forth to keep him quiet while Mother washed.

I remember rolling him around the house in my doll carriage and wheeling him on the front sidewalk in his carriage.

One thing I will always remember. We lived about a block from the Tioga River and at the end of our street there was a footbridge across the river and a mill on the other side ran by a man named Eaton. His daughter Lola was going past our house on her way home one day when I was wheeling Harry in his carriage and she wanted to wheel him a ways. Mother had told me not to go father than our front walk but Lola said she would wheel him a ways and come back. Of course I went a long; she was probably around twelve years old. When we got to the river she wheeled him down to the footbridge and went on across leaving me to get the carriage up the bank alone. 

When mother missed us and started searching, she found me struggling to get the heavy carriage up the bank and it is a great wonder we didn’t go in the river. The spanking I got was something I never forgot. I also remember the day of Harry’s funeral, when a neighbor, Mrs. Elnora Decker, stood me on a chair to tie my bonnet strings to go to the cemetery.

When I was four and a half, my brother Frank was born, Oct. 21, 1889. We lived next door to an elderly couple and we always called them Grandpa and Grandma Powers. The spring before Frank was born; we had a bad flood, at the time of the terrible Johnstown flood. Lawrenceville was situated where the Tioga, Cowanasque and Susquehanna rivers met and they frequently caused floods in the springtime. The one at the time of the Johnstown flood was the first one I knew about, and water only lacked one strip of siding of coming in our windows.

We spent a day and night with the Powers family as their house was on higher ground than ours and the water didn’t get in their house. We sat on their porch and saw rabbits and a skunk sitting on the top of fence posts for safety. Men were going around on rafts and I saw them push the animals off the posts into the water.

While we lived there, I saw troops of gypsies going by. Probably two dozen at a time, in wagons of all kinds and sizes; the queen gypsy rode in the first wagon, dressed in a white dress and had a child riding by her side.

Their wagons were sometimes equipped with windows at the side and lace curtains hanging at them. Another thing I remember there was an Indian show selling patent medicine and in the family was a papoose strapped to a board and carried on its mother’s back. That was a strange thing to me and the Power’s granddaughter Kate and I had our dolls tied to a shingle for many days after that. Our house had just been newly shingled so there were plenty of shingles available.

When Frank was nearly two years old, we moved to Mansfield, Penn. where my father helped build some new buildings at the State Normal School. While living there, Mother had double pneumonia and before she was well, Frank and I had scarletina and she took scarlet fever and we nearly lost her.

Aunt Emma came from Janesville, Wisconsin to help care for her and she spent several weeks with us. She had also visited us when Frank was born. She and Grandmother had closed the dressmaking shop before I was born, because of grandmother’s failing health, and they had gone to Hudson, Wisconsin where an uncle and aunt and cousins were living. I do not know just what Aunt Emma did there but it seems to me she worked for this uncle.

Grandmother died in 1886 in St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota of cancer of the uterus at the age of only fifty or fifty-one.

After her death, Auntie went to Janesville, Wisconsin to live with her Aunt Abigal and Uncle Alexander Graham. He was in the Wisconsin legislature, was a lawyer and was a prominent man in the city. His wife was an invalid in a wheel chair and they kept a maid so Auntie was a companion to her aunt and was like a daughter in the home. It was located on Milton Avenue, I believe it was 150. They kept a horse and carriage and it was always at Auntie’s disposal.

When I was six I had a large cat which we called Tommie Jeff and he would let me dress him in my doll clothes and roll him in my doll carriage. I have heard mother say she had seen my doll carriage on the front walk many times with Tommie Jeff asleep, dressed in doll clothes, and I was no where in sight. I suppose he couldn’t travel around much, dressed in clothes, so he might as well sleep.

About that time we moved to Elmira, New York. We lived at first, in part of Grandma Broakman’s house, on Brand Street. Grandfather Brookman had died of pneumonia before I was born so this was the only grandparent I ever knew and she died when I was twelve years old.

My mother had become a member of the Methodist church when I was about a year old, but I had been christened before that in an Episcopal Church. We attended Centenary Church in Elmira, and the pastor was Rev. B.W. Hamilton.

I became a member when I was seven years old and I remember an old man of seventy joined at the same time and Mr. Hamilton compared the difference in ages.

I became acquainted with Louise Shepard and Helen Wright Moss in that Sunday school. I attended the Riverside Grade School.

My father had not been much interested in the church up to that time, but during revival meetings in Centenary Church, he became converted and was given a local preacher’s license. He had graduated from Warner’s Business College in Elmira, as a young man, but had no training for the ministry.

Mr. Hamilton was much interested in him and felt he would make a good minister and urged him on, loaning him books and helping him in every way possible.

He was sent to Townsendville, New York to preach and he preached his first sermon there on Frank’s fifth birthday, and I was nine and a half.

We went by train from Elmira to Watkins Glen and by ferry on Seneca Lake, to North Hector, which is now called Valois. That was a great adventure for me. Charlie Shannon met us with his team and two-seated wagon and took us to Townsendville where we had supper and spent the night at the home of Dr. Townsend. We lived in the parsonage two years.

Mother had a long sickness during the summer of the second year and we nearly lost her again.

My father grew discouraged and was unable to keep up his studies and couldn’t go to Conference which was held in the Fall then. He dropped out of the ministry and never had very close connections with the church after that. We lived around that locality until I was between seventeen and eighteen, and he did carpenter work and trained colts for driving.

When I finished the eighth grade in Townsendville, I went to a private school in Lodi, 5 miles away, conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Prentiss. He had been a teacher in Alfred University but was losing his sight and they bought a home in Lodi and opened this school in their home and they both taught; as I remember it, there were about a dozen pupils. I owe much to them both for they were very fine to me and gave me a good start in high school.

I worked for my room and board at Fred Traphagen’s while in Lodi. I went to school there a year. Then we moved into the house of James McCannon, to keep house for him, as his wife had died. He lived at Lodi Center. He was an elderly man and made it very pleasant for us. I attended High School in Ovid for the next two years and worked for my room and board at Dr. Charles Barnes.

I was very happy with them and was only nine miles from home and went home every weekend. They had a four-year-old boy, Roland, and I enjoyed him. Mrs. Barnes was a lovely person. We had a reed organ and mother had taught me to read music and to play hymns and I use to play the organ at mid-week services in the Methodist Church in Ovid.

I had a bicycle and sometimes rode it home and back when the weather permitted.

We were living in Lodi Centre when at McCannons we moved back to Townsendville after about 1 ½ years at McCannon’s and my father bought a lot and built a house which we lived in a year or more without the inside being finished. That was a terribly embarrassing thing for me and gave me an inferiority complex.

One summer, a young man came to the farm owned by Delos Townsend and sons, one mile south of Townsendville, to work for them and he was in my mother’s class of young men. I was in E.H. Garner’s class of girls and he lived on a farm and had a small lake, which made it a pleasant place for a picnic. Mr. Gardner invited his class and mother’s to have a picnic one evening for supper, and that was where I met my husband. I had heard mother speak of that nice young man at Townsend’s several times but hadn’t met him. He took me home from the picnic and we were attracted to each other from the start.

I went to Trumansburg the next year to High School and had a room at Lincoln Rappleye’s and boarded myself. That was eight miles from home.

After a few months my family moved there and we lived in a house on the north end of town. I lacked 2 or 3 credits of being able to graduate from high school and I entered the Teacher’s Training Class which was a 2 year course and was about the same as the County Normal used to be in Howell. The practice teaching was done in the grades there. I had what the dr. called nervous exhaustion and had to quit school before the first year closed. I had taken music lessons of Edla Gregg who was a maiden lady who played the pipe organ in the Presbyterian Church. I loved her dearly.

When I was well enough, I did hand embroidery for an art store in Ithaca, conducted by the Rust sisters, and the summer before I was married, I sewed with a dressmaker who lived next door, Mrs. Velena Creque. We became engaged on New Year’s Day, 1904, on our way home from John’s Uncle Gene Swick’s where we had spent the day with his family, Susie, Louise, Theresa, Fred and Arthur. John had been working in Caywood for some time, at the store and elevator of Porter and Traphagen, about 12 miles fromTrumansburg. He had a young horse, Billy, and a buggy and he used to find his way to Trumansburg very often.

He finally came to Trumansburg to work in the factory of William Hazard and boarded and roomed with us. At that time my father was a traveling salesman for a firm selling school libraries. We decided to be married and my mother was willing if we would agree to continue living with them for the first year so we set the date for Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1904, following my nineteenth birthday in April.

When we had gone to Townsendville to live, when I was nine, Morris Kelley’s family lived across the road from us and their oldest girl, Harriet and I were the same age, and she and I were the best of friends from that time on.

When I was to be married, she was engaged to Elmer German. I found she was John’s third cousin. Ernest Shaw had been John’s life long friend so we decided to have Louise Shepard and Ernest and Harriet and Elmer to stand up with us. Louise came from Elmira and stayed with my mother during the week we were on our honeymoon. We had the wedding at 5:00 p.m. in our home, and Rev. H. I. Andrews performed the ceremony. Those present were the immediate families consisting of Father and Mother and Brother Frank, John’s father and mother, Hazel and Clemont, George and Julia and Cecil and John’s grandfather Hatt and wife. John’s grandmother Robinson, Uncle Jim and Aunt Eva and Chris were unable to come. We went to Ithaca by train that night, and stayed three days at Uncle Jim Robinson’s in Ithaca. Our first snow storm of the season began the night of our wedding and we had sleighing while in Ithaca and drove Uncle Jim’s horse, Caleb, around. I was married in a tan colored wool suit with tan silk blouse trimmed with narrow light blue shirred ribbon; I had a tan velvet hat to match, trimmed with light blue ribbon and blue feather, and wore tan kids gloves.

We went from Ithaca to Elmira for a couple of days where we stayed at a hotel; we had our picture taken there at the Personin’s Studio. From there we went to Millerton, Penn. to Uncle Del Wilson’s for a few days. After we had been home a week or so, the young folks gave us a kitchen shower, surprising us at our home.

We lived with my family until a year from the following February, when we rented the north half of the William’s house on Main Street and started housekeeping. We paid $7.00 a month rent and had five rooms and a garden spot.

My parents were not well mated and from my earliest recollection, they didn’t agree. Our home was never a happy one and they had separated a few times for short periods. Frank was unwilling to go to school and was hard to manage and Mother sewed at Mary Callahan’s dress making shop. My father made enough money so we should have lived in comfort but he was a poor manager and didn’t work steady so there were always debts.

Aunt Emma was married to Uncle William Palmer, a druggist in Janesville, Wisconsin, and she urged Mother to come to them and do practical nursing, so March 6, after we began housekeeping, she went to Janesville. Frank had gone to Corning, New York to work in the glass factory.

Mother and I had been more like sisters than mother and daughter, and we had never been separated for more than a week at a time. When she went to Janesville, I was pregnant and feeling wretched, and I was very unhappy to have her so far away.

Uncle William Palmer was getting along in years and found the prescription work in the drug store was getting too much for him and in June they moved to Milwaukee and bought a small grocery store in a new neighborhood on Downer Avenue, located near Milwaukee Downer College and Seminary for girls. The store carried ice cream, candy and baked goods and it seemed to be a business Auntie and Uncle could handle nicely by themselves and live in the nice apartment over the store.

Uncles daughter Elizabeth Bonesteel, by his first marriage, and her husband Percy, a pharmacist, were living in Milwaukee and friends of theirs, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Webster lived near the store and were instrumental in getting Auntie and Uncle in Milwaukee.

Mother had become settled in Janesville and was doing well with nursing, so she remained there. She eventually divorced my father. Frank followed mother to Janesville and she tried to help him but didn’t succeed as he was very uncooperative and he finally got interested in steel construction and traveled all around the country with construction work. When he was only twenty, he married Hazel Smith of Trumansburg, and they had a son Ralph, but Frank and Hazel separated and she divorced him. After Auntie and Uncle had been in the store a short time they realized there was a good chance for a regular grocery store with delivery system and they needed help. John had had some experience in the store at Caywood and we weren’t particularly satisfied with the work in Hazard mill in Trumansburg, with no future, so when Auntie made us a proposition to come to them, we were delighted to do so. John was to work in the store with them and I was to be the housekeeper for the four of us. We sold our household goods to Ed Davenport who was engaged to a cousin of John’s, Bertie Swick. We left Trumansburg July 5, by train, taking two trunks and our small black and tan terrier, Gyp. We arrived in Milwaukee July 6, 1906. We were quite homesick at times, for our young friends, and my pregnancy made it hard for me. Mother was 90 miles from us but did visit us now and then.

Elizabeth and Mrs. Webster were very nice to us. Auntie had never had any children and she was lovely to us, but felt quite embarrassed over my appearance in public and I was self-conscious and my happiness before the baby came was almost entirely in sewing and embroidering baby clothes. I had always loved babies and was very much delighted at the idea of having one of my own.

Dewitt arrived at 6:45 p.m. December 7, 1906, with mother caring for us in our apartment and Dr. A.W. Myers our physician. Dewitt weighted 9 ½ pounds. He was like a grandchild to Auntie and Uncle and they loved him devotedly.

As soon as he was old enough, Uncle had to take him to the circus every time one came to town. About two years after Uncle had taken over the store, his health broke and they realized a change would have to be made.

They sold the business to Home Brothers, who had conducted a large store in downtown Milwaukee for many years and wanted a branch store in the fast growing neighborhood we were in. John stayed in the store, working for Home Brothers. When Dewitt was 2 years and 7 months old, Evelyn was born on July 10, 1909. Mother came and took care of us and Dr. Myers was still our physician. Evelyn weighed 8½ pounds and we were so happy to have a baby girl after having a boy. Auntie and Uncle rented the apartment next door and hired a cook and rented rooms to students and also boarded them.

After we had moved to Milwaukee, the State Normal School had built a fine building across the street from us and had vacated their old site on Wells Street.

When Evelyn was 6 months old, we moved to the new apartment next door to the south, over the Emmerich drug store, and Auntie and Uncle used our old apartment for student roomers. We were the first tenants in the new building, which was three stories high and we had our choice of apartments. We preferred to be on the top floor. We had living room, dining room, kitchen, bath and three bedrooms and a wonderful large back porch. When Evelyn was a baby, mother married a man who was a former patient of hers, Bayard Andrews, a farmer at Magnolia, Wisconsin. He had asthma and was unable to do much work so his son and family lived with them and did the farm work.

When Evelyn was three and a half, Helen was born, January 26, 1913, weighing 7 lbs. Mrs. Eidenberger, a practical nurse living in our building, took care of us, Dr. Meyers the physician.

Carl and Helen Moss from Elmira, New York had moved to Milwaukee when Evelyn was two years old and we were very close friends. We were together at least once a week and usually more often. When our Helen was born, Helen Moss took Evelyn and kept her three weeks.

I was very happy with my babies and had no other interests except my home and family. Helen lived to be one year and one day old, only being sick five days with a bowel trouble. We had her funeral in our apartment and she is buried in Forest Home cemetery in the single grave section. There is no marker on her grave. We were heartbroken and this was our first real sorrow.

I mourned myself into a severe sickness and was in bed for three weeks or so with Mrs. Eidenberger looking after us.

Mother’s husband had sold his farm and he had bought a grocery store in Dayton, Wis. His health became so poor they sold the business and retired, buying a home in Footville, Wis. Mother was not very happy; he had been sick so much of the time and during an attack of pneumonia when his asthma made it look as though he couldn’t recover, the Dr. had given him so much morphine, he had the drug habit and finally went to Chicago to a place where they cured such habits. He never seemed the same after that and he was hard to get a long with. He had spent so much for Dr.’s. and was so generous with his two children, funds were dwindling and Mother did sewing.

Our Ruth was born Sept. 8, 1915 and it seemed as if she had been sent to fill the vacancy Helen had left. Ruth weighed 9 lbs. And Mrs. Fullbright, a sister of Mrs. Eidenberger, took care of us.

Auntie and Uncle had bought a home on Prospect Avenue and were living there and taking normal students to room and board. Uncle died suddenly of a heart attack when Ruth was a baby.

About this time John became a partner in the Home Bros. Store and was made manager. Our apartment rented for $75.00 a month, heated, and by John looking after the furnace, we got it for $35.00.

When Ruth was 21 months old, our John Jr. arrived June 17, 1917, weighing 10 lbs. Mrs. Fullbright looked after us again and as Dr. Myers had died of pneumonia, Dr. George Dickinson was our physician.

When Johnnie was a baby, Mother and Mr. Andrews agreed to separate but there was no divorce. Mother came to Milwaukee and lived with Auntie for some time and helped her with the roomers and boarders. Mr. Andrews lived with his son.

The First World War was in progress and John was a member of the State Guards and they drilled regularly at the Armory and he spent two weeks in training at Camp Douglass in northern Wisconsin one summer. I was greatly worried for fear he would be in active service during the war but he wasn’t.

Dewitt and Evelyn started their schooling at the Normal Training School and then the new grade school was built on Hartford Avenue and Dewitt and Evelyn and Ruth graduated from there.

Dewitt attended Riverside High School and then changed to the Boy’s Technical High School where he graduated in the machinist course. Evelyn graduated from Riverside High School from the business course.

When Johnnie was a small boy, Home Bros. sold out to the National Tea Co. and John continued as manager of the Downer Avenue store. His hours were very long and it was much more strenuous with this firm. With our growing family, in a large city, and John only receiving $35.00 a week salary, he did outside work, caring for several furnaces in our neighborhood. Dewitt worked in the store nights, after school, and Saturdays and during vacations. Auntie finally gave up taking rooms and rented her house to the Hansen family, retaining two rooms for her own use.

Mother came to live with us and had a room with our neighbors down stairs, Miss Augusta Rundle and Mrs. Smith.

Mother and Miss Nina Owen helped to found the Milwaukee Goodwill Industries and mother stayed with it as long as she lived except for a few months spent in Georgia and Alabama with Frank.

She did several different lines of work, speaking before clubs and organizations to promote the Industries, having charge of a part of the sewing room, and had charge of one of their stores in Milwaukee for a time and one at West Allis for a time. She loved the work and was intensely interested. After Dewitt was out of school, we acquired a second hand open Hupmobile sedan, which we called "Sarah" and we had a lot of pleasure with it.

Before that, on holidays, we would use the Ford store delivery car and load in the family and always either Richard Becker or James Hansen or both, and baskets of lunch and spend the day at Lake Park.

I always said our children were born and brought up in Lake Park for I had taken sewing and sat in the park many an afternoon both before and after each one was born, and it was our favorite place to go for a walk.

When Ruth was a baby, the Mosses were transferred to Chicago and we were so lonesome for each other and made frequent visits back and forth. Helen and her boys came up once to spend 2 weeks and she and Lowell had flu and she was so sick we had a nurse for about a week.

When Dewitt was through High School, he worked for several months in the Sanger Garage and chauffeured for several people. He had become acquainted with Amy Mann of Flushing, and Amy wanted him to come to Michigan and work, so they would be nearer each other. Harry Mann got Dewitt work in the brick factory in Flint, and Dewitt moved his belongings over to Michigan and lived at the Flint Y.M.C.A. Amy was attending Albion College.

The year before they were married, Mother, Helen Barton and I drove our Model T. sedan over to Michigan for a week, Helen visiting Elva Smith in Flint and we visiting the Manns in Flushing. We made the trip in April, Mother always enjoyed trips immensely and when Evelyn was 16 went to New York with us.

Evelyn had met Homer Phillips, a neighbor of Manns when visiting Amy, and she became engaged to him. Homer visited us in Milwaukee. Evelyn was a stenographer for an electric sales firm after graduation.

Aunt Emma moved to San Diego, California and was married to Peter Anderson, who only lived abut three years.

The April after Dewitt and Amy were married, they came to visit us, coming as far as Chicago and we met them there with the car. They spent 2 weeks with us, and John and I planned to take them home on Sun. and spend a few days at Manns. The Saturday before, Mother was sick and we had Dr. Dickinson, who said he thought it was a bilious attack and she would soon be alright—for us to go to Michigan as planned, and he would send for us if we were needed. Evelyn wasn’t working then, and was going to keep house for us.

We reached Flushing Sunday night and they phoned us Monday around 5:00 o’clock to come home as Mother was very sick, had pneumonia and nephritis and they had a trained nurse. We started home at once and reached home the next day, soon after noon. Mother was delirious and didn’t know me until Thurs. around 11 a.m. and then she was rational and we had a good visit for about half an hour. She then went to sleep and never regained consciousness, passing away that night between 6 and 7, May 2, 1929.

We had such wonderful friends in the two ladies mother roomed with, Miss Rundle and Mrs. Smith, and they wanted us to bury mother on their lot in Forest Home Cemetery so that is where her body lies, and we had her name, date of birth and of death, carved on the Rundle monument which is at the head of her grave.

My mother was a talented woman and very capable and she was loved and admired by a large circle of friends.

My father had never contacted us after we left N.Y. but he married a widow and after a few years, she died. I believe her last name was Morgan. I didn’t know her. He had a bad case of blood poisoning in one hand and nearly lost it. She wrote me that time about him, so I wrote him a letter of sympathy and told him about my family. He replied and I never heard from him only that once. He married again but I don’t know much about that wife. He died suddenly of a heart attack, in Waverly, New York about 3 years before mother went and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, New York on his mother’s lot, not far from Mark Twain’s grave. There is a marker at his grave. I believe it is in Woodlawn Cemetery. It is just south of the State Reformatory grounds. I never saw my father after 1906.

Evelyn met a Methodist minister’s son, Scott Calhoun and they thought they were very much in love. She broke her engagement with Homer Phillips and returned his diamond ring. Scott was a traveling salesman at that time for the Spaulding Sporting Goods Co.

John’s health was breaking and we felt some change must be made before he gave out entirely. After mother was gone, there was nothing to keep us in Milwaukee.

Mr. and Mrs. Mattice of Footville wanted to retire from business, and they wanted us to buy their store. They were warm friends of mothers. We finally decided to make the deal so John resigned. Evelyn got a room near Downer college and we moved to Footville August 1. I think we might have had a more successful experience there, but the stock market crashed the next month and folks didn’t buy a thing they could do without. We became so discouraged, with our losses mounting all the time, and at the end of 6 months, we sold back to Mattices at a 33 1/3 discount.

Dewitt and Amy were living in Flint at this time. Evelyn and Scott Calhoun were married in our home in Footville by Scott’s father, Rev. Granville Calhoun January 26, 1930. We had the two families there, Mr. Calhoun’s sister of Chicago, his daughter Amina, the sons were unable to come, as was Mr. Calhoun’s mother. We had a nice dinner and Scott and Evelyn left that night by train for Lansing where he was locating with a school supply Co. as salesman.

When we decided to leave Footville, Harry Mann wrote us and asked if we would like to locate in Michigan now that our married children were there and he would see if he could get John a job. We decided that was a good idea. In March we went on a trip to see John’s folks and stopped at Lansing to see Scott and Evelyn and to Flint to see Dewitt and Amy.

While in New York Harry Mann wrote that he had a job for John in a sand and gravel yard which was being opened in Flint; John would be the bookkeeper and keep track of the loads of sand and gravel and check on them.

We started back to Flint and John accepted the job and we went back to Footville and packed our household goods and stored them and returned to Flint and John went to work. We rented half of a double house on E. Wood Street and stayed at Dewitt’s until our goods came.

Jimmie was born May 20 in Hurley Hospital.

About June 1st the Sand & Gravel Co. went out of business, owing to the cancellation of paving contracts by the city of Flint because of the depression. There we were in a strange city with two children in school and no job.

Harry Mann had given John a letter of introduction to the Byerly Grocery Co. of Owosso when we first moved to Flint so John would have some other contact if he chanced to feel dissatisfied with the new type of work.

John had sent to Milwaukee for references and so the Byerly Co. had those and when John contacted them they said they were opening a new store in Howell July 1 and they had their manager secured but John could work there as head clerk so he accepted. While waiting for the Byerly store to open, John trimmed an apple orchard for Harry Mann and trimmed some trees for our Flint landlady, Miss Estella Marshall.

John began working in Howell July 1st and roomed with the Huck family; we didn’t move there until Aug. 1, having a difficult time finding a house. Clara Lane was visiting us in July and we would take John to Howell Monday mornings and go after him Saturday nights; on Monday we searched for a house.

Finally we located a house on S. Walnut Street in the south half of Mrs. Jennie Cook’s house where we lived 2 ½ years or within 2 months of 3 years. Rev. G.H. Curts was the pastor we enjoyed the most but Rev. Herman Schwarzkopf was the pastor the first year we were there and he was a good friend and frequently took Johnnie fishing and on trips to Flint. Mrs. Cook was our good friend and was ever ready to do us good turn.

Aunt Emma Palmer Anderson died in San Diego, California in January of 1931. She left me $5,000 in her will but I had to take considerable of that in securities and never realized $5,000 on it. I also received her silverware and personal belongings.

July 31st, 1931, Evelyn was killed in an automobile accident when living in Sioux Falls, S. Dakota where Scott was transferred the December before. She was brought to Howell for burial and the funeral was held in the Schnackenburg funeral home, Mr. Calhoun having the service and Mr. Schwarzkopf offering the prayer.

Ruth and I used to work Saturdays for a time in the Byerly Store and I did sewing for people, for John’s salary wasn’t as large as when he had been manager.

May 30, 1933, we moved to 209 Lincoln Street where our rent was lower and we had a garden. Keith Vorheis walked in on us the 29th so he helped us move and get settled.

We enjoyed being in a house by ourselves and there was lots to do to fix the house to suit us. We rented of John Cook and he was always willing to furnish paint and we were willing to put it on.

April 1, 1934, Ruth married Harry Michaels and they continued living with us the first year. Ruth was working at the Register of Deeds Office for Frank Bush.

After a year with us, they started housekeeping on S. Michigan Ave. in the upstairs apartment of the house where Fran and Ralph Dickerson lived.

They lived there about a year, when they rented the house on the corner next to us. We bought the place where we live in. Carol Michaels was born April 9, 1938 and Bobby was born October 3, 1944.

Ruth and Harry bought the place where they live on W. Sibley St.

Johnnie was married to Gertrude (Trudy) Mason in April 1938 and he was working for the Detroit Edison Co.

They lived in Alma Sharpe’s apt. the Beet Apt., the Conine Apt. and a house on E. Clinton Street, where Larry was born September 18, 1939. They moved to Brighton and finally returned to Howell and bought the McKinley house on E. Washington Street. Terry was born February 17, 1946.

Since we have lived in Howell John and I have had several operations to keep us in repair and now, in August of 1947, John is not strong enough to do his work alone except in the summer season when things are quiet. He had to leave the Byerly store 11 years ago because of failing health and while Mr. Curts was pastor, he prevailed upon John to take the job of caretaker of the church, which he has held ever since.

I have lost the sight of my right eye and have a cataract developing on the other but can still see to do my work and can read by using a reading glass. I get a long very well. Ruth does my sewing now.

I find I have not written all that has happened of interest in our family.

Amy secured a divorce from Dewitt in about 1936 I believe and in May 1938, he married Alta Burch. In 1945 Amy married Murray Davis and both she and Dewitt are very happy.

About 8 years ago, my distant cousin, Mrs. Emma Akin, died in Milwaukee and willed my $5,000.00.

We have had some bright spots in our lives a long with the sorrows and sickness and operations and are very happy in our present situation.

We have been able to return to New York nearly every year for the past 20 years or more.

John’s mother died in February 1940 and his father died in April 1942.

We spent the month of February of 1938 in Florida.

We are most grateful for our many blessings,


 Subj:  Pearl Broakman Swick
Date:  2/18/2002 5:21:09 PM Eastern Standard Time
From:    tcharris@granbury.com (Tom and Carol Harris)
To:    JoyceTice@aol.com (Joyce Tice)

File: upeF113.jpg (278043 bytes) DL Time (26400 bps): < 3 minutes

Joyce, I am so pleased that you have accepted Grandmother's life history for the site.  Here is a picture of her.

Also I want to let you know that the Thomas Sheardown Autobiography 1865 has a wonderful section in it devoted to Samuel M. Broakman, and it has an incredible account of his life.  It has given me so much information about my g-g grandfather.  I shouted for joy last night when I found it on the site.  I also found his obituary and I can't believe all that I now know about this man.  A few weeks ago, I knew nothing.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Carol Harris
Granbury, Texas