Amy Johnson Crow has a 52 Ancestors Week blog challenge which I have decided to join. I am hoping it may help me to pinpoint someone or something that I have researched and not blogged about on Flipside. AND push me to blog about family each week in 2024. Sometimes I get lazy. 😁 Let's see how well I keep up.
|1969 Teek and I in the living room before my wedding
Week #4 (January 22-28) is Witness to History. I was somewhat stumped as to what to write on this topic. I finally decided to blog about my maternal grandmother, Martha Marie Frederick Stark or my nickname for her, Teek. That nickname came from a very young, early talking little Linda. Teek did not live close by and for Mom and I to visit, we had to take a streetcar or two. I would call it a "teekcar" and that was the nexus of her name. It stuck until her death, although in looking through old holiday cards I have noticed that she signed them Teet.
Alfred F. Frederick and Lucinda Bell Orr. Teek had two birth certificates. She celebrated her birthday on April 8, 1880. Note that the information for the March 8, 1880 was given by her mother and the April 8, 1880 was given by her Dad. Dad's birth date won out.
I have been fortunate to have Teek as my grandmother for many reasons. Important to my genealogical research has been that she did save some wonderful family treasures. Her precious items have been so helpful working on the genealogy of both the Frederick and the Stark family, the family she married into.
|Martha Marie Frederick
carte de visite
|Martha Marie Frederick
cropped from a family photograph
Photographs show a well dressed family. I do not know how much of their clothing was hand sewn by Lucinda Fredrick or if it was purchased in a shop. If you enlarge the pictures the outfits are beautifully sewn with lovely details--pockets, trim, bows. I do know that my grandmother was an expert seamstress, could knit and embroider.
I google searched to see what was happening in the 1880's. Edison was in the process of developing and commercializing electric lights. Early pioneers were experimenting with gliders, flight machines, submarines and automobiles. As Prohibition was taking hold a new alcohol drink called Coca-Cola became popular. New children's books that were written in the decade were Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Pinocchio and Treasure Island. I wonder if my grandmother had access to these novels and was reading them?
This decade finds my grandmother age ten to nineteen. The family continued to live in Columbiana County in the town of Columbiana. Travel locally would have been the same as in the previous decade, although distance travel was done by train. Teek's older three brothers all began working with the railroad once they became of age.
|Teen age years
Moving from a small town in Ohio to outside the city of Pittsburgh, the family was probably able to have and use some of the latest technology of the 1880's and 1890's. Living down river from Pittsburgh they had the opportunity to visit Carnegie Museum of Art, Kennywood Amusement Park, The Pittsburgh Zoo and shop in large department stores.
Did grandmother know of the Wounded Knee massacre or Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee? There were labor strikes in the local steel companies and also in several railroad and miners companies. The Klondike Gold Rush began in this decade. Bicycles became very popular and Thomas Edison was perfecting the forerunner of the motion picture.
|Gibson Girl Hairdos
By 1904, the family had relocated to a house in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Teek was employed in the city as a clerk in the Frick building. The 1907 Pittsburgh City Directory lists the Frederick's as living in the Oakland neighborhood with Teek still employed in the Frick Building; however she is now a stenographer. The family has a telephone at their home.
|Teek with her mother, Lucinda Bell Orr Frederick
and two unknown young women
A few national and international events; Hawaii became a territory of the United States, President William McKinley was assassinated, the Panama Canal was built, Congress passed a bill establishing an income tax, Lincoln's face became used on the penny and the Wright Brothers were working on powered flight in Kitty Hawk.
|Circa early 1910
|Time to swim or get wet
|The Pittsburgh Post
July 4, 1911
|I believe this is a wedding photograph
The photographer was Walter Stark, my grandfather's brother
Once married, my grandmother settled into the housewife role and did not work outside the house again. My Stark grandfather was a good provider as the chief clerk of the Traffic Department at American Bridge Company (United States Steel). The traffic department was in charge of the money, primarily paying the bills and employees. My mother once told me that her father did all the math in his head--no machine.
Some of the changes, news and inventions that my grandmother saw this decade were:
- World War I
- The luxury liner Titanic sunk
- First heavier than air airline flight from St. Petersburg, Florida to Tampa.
- Mother's Day became a holiday
- Oreo cookies came on the market
- Girl Scouts were organized
- Ford opened first assembly line for the Model T
- Congress passed a bill for daylight savings time
- There was a Spanish flu pandemic
- The beginning of Prohibition
Teek was age forty to forty-nine in this decade.
|Martha Marie Frederick Stark
Martha Jean Stark
|611 California Avenue
Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
|Front and around the car
My Mom, Teek, Granny Stark, Aunt Frances and Grandfather Stark
|Grandfather Stark and Teek
When I interviewed an older cousin of Mom's, she talked about loving to visit her Aunt Martha. Teek would open the door and the girls would come in for cookies, or applesauce, or whatever Teek had prepared that afternoon. My aside on this. Teek was much older when I came into the picture and I do not remember her as the grandmother who cooked.
The Starks were active members in the Bellevue Methodist Episcopal Church (later known as the Greenstone United Methodist Church). Teek enjoyed the social aspect and was an active member of one of the church circles. She maintained her membership there throughout her life. I mentioned in an earlier decade that my grandmother was an excellent seamstress, even with the arthritis in her hands. My mother said Teek made most of her clothes during her lifetime living with her Mom and Dad. Teek did not use paper patterns. She would order dresses from Joseph Horne's in town, lay the dress on a piece of fabric and copy it. The store bought dress would then be returned.
During this decade, Teek's father, Alfred F. Frederick died as did her older brother, Albert L. Frederick. Both died in the Chicago, Cook County, Illinois area.
Google searching events of this decade, I decided to list the following:
- KDKA in Pittsburgh was the first radio station to broadcast
- Wall Street crash and beginning of the Great Depression
- Fitzgerald and Hemingway popular fiction authors
- Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart trans-Atlantic flights
- Jazz Singer first motion picture with sound
- Bill passed in Congress to give Women the Right to Vote
- NBC and CBS radio stations
- Flying in an airplane became commonplace
|836 Florence Avenue
During this decade my grandmother was age fifty to fifty-nine and was raising a daughter age nine through high school. My mother told me that they did not suffer financially through the Great Depression. Grandfather Stark continued to be gainfully employed.
During the day, when Mom was in school and my grandfather was at work, Teek would wear her housedress/housecoat to clean and cook in. At the end of the afternoon, she would change into a more presentable outfit to greet her husband. I can remember, even in the early 1950's, my mother wore a housedress until late afternoon when my Dad would come home.
Dinner was meat, potatoes and a vegetable. Dessert was served afterwards. My Mom told me a story of once, during the Depression, Teek served mush and scrapple for dinner. My Mom thought that perhaps her Dad had lost his job. Apparently, mush and scrapple was often served as a breakfast meat.
Teek would walk "up town" or take the streetcar from Avalon to Bellevue to purchase groceries a couple of times weekly. They had a refrigerator; however, that appliance did not hold the amount of food that we are accustomed to today added to the fact that meats were not processed like they are today. Also, my Mom remembered that there was a block of ice in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
|Counted Cross Stitch made by Teek in 1933
for my Mom. Later it hung in my bedroom
and today it is on my dining room wall.
This is a close-up of a dress made for Mom probably in her later elementary school years. Teek had a pedal operated sewing machine and did all the embroidery and smocking by hand. Unbelievable craftsman ship. Mom told me that Teek continued to made her clothes through high school, although Mom wished for a store bought dress.
Teek was an organization member. She joined the Avalon Women's Club. The earliest record I have is in the 1930's.
|Mom in Chicago at the Sinclair Exhibit
Chicago Worlds Fair
As I mentioned in the last decade that the Stark Family did enjoy their vacations and this decade is no different. With my Mom now in her teens, some trips took in an educational aspect. Old photo albums have pictures of my Mom at the Chicago Worlds Fair A Century of Progress International Exposition in 1934, the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto Canada which a side trip to Niagara Falls in 1935 and the Cleveland Exposition in 1936. There was a week at Belle Isle near Detroit for some swimming fun.
Many Saturday's the family walked into Bellevue from Avalon to go to the movies with a bite to eat at a restaurant afterwards.
The final year of this decade ushered in a dramatic change in the Stark family, my Mom graduated from high school and in the fall went to Ohio to attend The College of Wooster. Teek and my grandfather were empty nesters.
Certainly Teek was aware of this collection of events during the 1930's.
- The Great Depression
- Birdseye packaging frozen vegetables
- H.J. Heinz of Pittsburgh canning soup and baby food
- The Lindberg's baby kidnapped and found dead
- The Roosevelt Years--my Grandfather Stark was not a Roosevelt supporter. My mother said her Dad detested Roosevelt.
- Prohibition ends--the Starks were teetotalers
- the Hindenburg disaster
- Superman appears in Action comics
- Television stations launched and President Roosevelt gives a speech broadcast in 1939
- Social Security Act
Teek was age sixty to sixty-nine during this decade. She had always been involved in local women's clubs; however, with my Mom away in school, she began to take hostess roles. My grandfather was still gainfully employed.
|Needlepoint by Teek
In 1943 my Mom and Dad married. They stayed in the general area, so any visits were made by streetcar or bus.
|Teek, Pop Pop and Me
Summer 1949 Brigantine Beach, New Jersey
- Cartoon characters introduced were: Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, and Woody Woodpecker
- Color TV was demonstrated
- Regular television stations CBS and NBC
- Commercial airlines became popular
- Pearl Harbor and World War II
- Atomic bombing of Japan
- Harry Truman becomes president
- Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier in baseball
- Polaroid camera
- On TV: Meet the Press, World Series, Texaco Theater staring Milton Berle
My maternal grandmother is age seventy to seventy nine in this decade and this decade progressed, I was old enough have my own memories of Teek.
|Joseph Horne Department Store
During my early elementary school years, before the school year began, Mom and I made the trip in town to purchase the new school shoes. We took the streetcar from West View and got off at Horne's Department Store. Teek was always there ahead of us and would wave from the open balcony on the second floor. First stop was the shoe department and a pair of Stride Rite shoes. Teek always paid for my school shoes. Lunch was either at Horne's Restaurant or Stouffers'.
My mother would call Teek several times weekly, and she was often at the house for Sunday dinner. Teek was always included all of my paternal grandparents celebrations. Grams and Pop Pop lived nearby and would pick Teek up.
|1953 Family picnic at North Park
|At age seventy-six, a program co-chair
I was not aware of my grandmother's social life when I was young; however, I have found numerous newspaper articles from the 30's and into the 60's of her membership in the Avalon Women's Club. She maintained her active membership at Bellevue Methodist Church after Grandfather Stark's death. My Mom said she always felt Teek was there for the social aspect.
|There's that fruit cocktail
Some of the events Teek heard covered on her radio, maybe a TV and read in the newspapers.
- Dial telephones
- Korean Conflict--our family was impacted
- Golden Age of television beginning with I Love Lucy
- The comic strip Peanuts
- Dwight Eisenhower president
- St Lawrence Seaway
- Brown vs The Board of Education
- Emmett Till murdered
- Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
- Disneyland opens in California
- Polio and Salk vaccine--my brother, her grandson had polio
- Sputnik and space race begins
- Rock and Roll and Elvis Presley
- Alaska and Hawaii become states
- Jet airplane passenger service
|Teek with her family
Her daughter, my Mom
Her grandchildren: Myself, Ken and Jeff
My grandmother no longer made my clothes, instead I was sewing dresses and skirts. Whenever Teek came to visit, she would sit on the floor, pin up the hem and do the hand sewing.
By the 1960's my paternal grandparents had moved to Florida. We saw a lot of Teek. She usually came to Sunday dinner at our new house. In 1963, when I got my driver's license, I drove to Avalon to pick her up. Our secret was that she always gave me a couple of dollars for driving her.
|McSorley's was a favorite for lunch
Teek loved African violets. She had quite a collection of them on tables near the large picture window in her apartment. I never realized how poorly she watered them until I was the recipient of all of her furniture after her death. Every table had to be refinished due to the water marks on top.
By this time, Teek was no longer wearing a wig. She never wore pants or slacks. I never saw her in anything other than a dress and short heels. She loved jewelry. Always a pin, earrings and often a pearl necklace.
I know Teek had a TV during this decade, so she was well aware of the currents events. This is a small sample.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy elected president
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy assassinated
- Lyndon Baines Johnson president
- Richard Milhous Nixon president
- John Glenn circles the earth in Friendship 7
- Andy Warhol
- The Beatles
- March on Washington
- Assassination of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Feminist Group NOW formed
- Neil Armstrong walks on the moon
- Kent State
- Hippie movement
- Social and sexual revolution
I realize this was supposed to be primarily a historical account by the witness; however, it has given me the opportunity to do a biological blog about my maternal grandmother. To be fair she did live and witness ninety years here in the United States. I have cherry picked some of the historical events at the end of each decade.
My grandmother was a lady and she raised a lady--my Mom. One final thought. Teek was sharp as a tack when she died. A year before her death she wrote a letter to her daughter, my Mom, outlining her final wishes, the banks where she had accounts, where the stock certificates were located and how to close out her apartment.
Teek lived from horse and buggy to automobiles, From airplanes to space travel. From candles to electric lights. From wood heat to electric and gas. Central air conditioning. Saw the inventions of telephones, washing machines, ovens, refrigerators and numerous other appliances and conveniences. Canned goods and packaged foods. Inventions of radio and television--black and white to color. Numerous wars abroad which US citizens were called to service. High button shoes and fashion changes almost every decade ending with the mini skirt. Experienced a social revolution in the country. Motion pictures. Music from classical and opera to ragtime, jazz, blues, bluegrass, big band, rock and roll, folk, psychedelic rock and funk. And finally nineteen presidents from Rutherford B. Hayes to Richard M. Nixon.
And BTW, she did mention seeing Annie Oakley at a fair back in Columbiana County, Ohio. 😁
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© 2024, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser