Monday, November 16, 2009

From the Graphic Pen of William Blum 1898-1996

I was the sixth of eight living children, born on the bleak and barren prairies of White Lake, South Dakota on February 17. 1898, sometime after noon, as mother (Louise) confidentialy related to my wife in their heart to heart talks. 

My father (Andrew) and mother's sister, Caroline (William Blum's wife) went into town to replenish the family larder, as things were not so conviently handy, as we have it now, and in their absence, it was such a beautiful day, my mother decided to get straw for bedding for the live stock, and chickens.  She harnessed the horses, hitched them to the hay rack and drove them to the straw stack.  Soon after arriving there, she felt the urgence to get back to the sod house, for the impending birth made itself felt.

So, she had the concious concern, would Andrew and Caroline get back in time.  (Caroline was the area midwife and delivered many babies on the plains.).

I was two years old when, after nineteen years of very strenuous living, ekeing out an existence on a South Dakota homestead, they were lured to South Bend, Nebraska to a land of plenty of water.  A natural spring which seemed to originate from the roots of a red oak tree.  Pawnee Creek flowed through the middle of the eighty acre tract of land, which had trees and orchards and was a productive land.

My folks were always strapped for funds, as my father made snap decisions, which were not always productive, and mother had to fill in the gaps.  He was always hale and hearty with friends and hired men, to cook for , but was also helpful to provide.

We do not realize the aches and pains our parent suffer until we experience them ourselves.  Mother was so plagued with headaches, I remember her using the horse radish leaves to tie around her head, and the agony she had with her gall bladder.  After her operation in January of 1928, she died February 2 of pneumonia.  She was recognized as a friend of the old people to releive them of their suffering.

I was baptized in the Lutheran Church in White Lake, South Dakota on the tenth day of April 1898.  I was confirmed March 31, 1912.  Psalms 37:5 was the Bible passage.  Commit thy way unto the Lord: trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

We were always guided and warned of temptation under mother's watchful eye.  This quotation:  God knew he couldn't be everywhere, so he put his little children in a loving mother's care.  Mother was alway more thorough in exercising attention.
William Blum

William Blum with my daughter Chrisinthia Alcorn

William Blum and Myself with his son Herbert Blum and wife Una Jean
Family Reunion 1993

William Blum was the last of the Andrew Blum Children to leave us in 1996.
William Blum

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Blums Come to America

In 1886 and 1887 Andrew worked as a carpenter and lived at 2501 Center Street, Omaha.

Again Andrew sent money to Germany for the sister of his wife Louise, and William's wife Caroline, (this is where things get confusing, as the two of the Blum brothers married two of the Moessinger sisters, and another brother married a Carolina Messinger (not a relative to Louise and Caroline!!), Wilhelmina (known affectionately as Minnie) , her husband, John Geroge Huber, and their children, George (Wilhelmina's son born 1870 before she was married to John), and Anna (born 1882). With them this time was the mother of Louise, Caroline, and Wihelmina, CAROLINE 'JENNE' MOESSINGER (pronounced 'maysinger"), born August 16, 1822.

Wilhelmina Moessinger Huber

The Moessinger Sisters
Louise Blum, Wilhelmina Huber, Caroline Blum
about 1914

It had been almost seven years since Caroline had seen her mother. Can you imagine the anticipation she must have felt, waiting for the arrival of her mother and sister?  And Louise also, having came to America as a young single girl, now married with two children of her own.  The first time for Caroline (mother) to meet with her new  grandchildren.  Yet leaving behind a home in the turmoils of war, not knowing for sure if her husband was dead or alive, and would some day be joining her here in this new land.  Yet to be reunited with the majority of her children must have been a God send compared to the place she had left behind.  I wonder what she thought when she reached that little homestead shack in South Dakota, on the big wide prarie so sparcely inhabited?

June 11, 1886, Eliza Blum was born at White Lake, South Dakota.  On August 14, 1886, she was baptized and those attending the baptism, and signing the certificate, were her uncles, William and Gustav Blum.  Also, her aunts, Caroline and Wilhelmina.  This joyous event was held at the Lutheran Church at White Lake, South Dakota.  The Blum's were devout Lutherans, and their childern were raised in the faith.

Andrew and Louise traveled to Omaha and spent the winter there while Andrew worked at one of the breweries, returning in the spring for the planting season.  On September 22, 1888, Albert Blum was born at White, Lake.  March 29, 1889, Eliza Blum died from dyptheria, or small pox, at the age of three.

In 1892 Andrew and Louise went back to Omaha where they lived at 2nd and Woolworth St.  On May 4, 1892 Louise Blum was born here.  Andrew was working for Gate City Malt Company as a maltster.  Andrew's brother William joined him and also worked their as a laborer.

You can see from the sea sawing back and forth between Omaha and White Lake, that the family had to work hard to stay afloat in the sparce times.  In 1895 Andrew and Louise returned to South Dakota for the planting season.  This is where my grandmother, Marie, was born in White Lake, on April 5, 1995..

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Blums Go to South Dakota

White Lake South Dakota

In 1882, Andrew and Louise, and his brother, William and Louise's sister, Caroline, became the first homesteaders to settle in Aurora County, South Dakota.  Andrew on a 160 acre tract of land.  William on another.  Subsequently Andrew acquired another 160 acres of land through a timber claim.  Being a direct decendant of Andrew, I do have more information on him than I do William.

In 1883, Andrew once again sent money to Germany, this time for his brother, Gustav Blum and his wife, Fredricka Hodel, to come to America.  Gustiav and his wife resided in the White Lake, South Dakota area until the summer of 1889, when they moved to Franklin, Kentucky.  In 1892, they relocated to Galena, Illinois, and resided there the rest of their days.

Gustav Blum Family
about 1892

Gustav Blum Family

The winters were rough on the plains in the 1880's.  Andrew and Louise returned to Omaha, Nebraska many winters where Andrew would work in the breweries as a maltster. 

Their second child, Ernest Blum was born in Omaha, on March 1, 1884.  The family was boarded at the European Hotel, and Andrew was a maltster at the Metz Brewing Company.

In 1885, Andrew once again sent money to Germany for his brother Martin Blum, to come to America.  Andrew procured work for Martin at the Storz Brewing Company and in 1886 Martin became a successful brewmaster at the plant.

Martin and Carrie Blum

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More on the Blum Family

In 1880 Andrew sent money to Germany for his brother, William and his wife, Caroline (Moessinger), and their four children, Charles, Mary, Fred, and Lena, to come to America. Andrew purchased them a home in Omaha and helped William gain work in the brewery as a laborer.

Charles Blum
born 10/14/1872
died 4/18/1951

Mary Blum
born 5/25/1875
died 10/17/1964

Fred Blum
born 9-13-1876
died 6-13-1948

born 6-29-1878
died 8-1-1923

When I think of our ancestors and how they came to leave thier homelands to come to America it gives me a sense of the strong desire to fullfill a dream.  How hard it had to be, many of them coming to this strange world alone, and penniless, and not knowing the language.  Traveling miles and miles and working along the way before settling in a place they could call home.  And think of the strength in the family bond that tied them together as they worked to bring their other family members to them.  But for most, it was to never again see their homeland, and many of their family that were left behind.

In 1881 Andrew once again sent money to Germany.  This time  it was for Caroline's sister, Louise Moessinger.  When Loouise arrived in Council Bluffs, there was no one at the depot to meet her.  The slave traders offered to help her but instead took her to the auction block to sell her as domestic help.  Can you even imagine the releif she must have felt when Andrew arrived with the steamship ticket he had paid for to New York, and the rail passage ticket from New York to Council Bluffs?  Can you imagine being a young girl in a new country with a language barrier standing between you and your destiny?  I myself would have sit down and cried.  Perhaps she did.

Andrew and Louise Blum

Andrew married Louise on June 27th 1881, at Council Bluffs, Iowa.  After their marriage they lived in a house on the north west corner of Nicholas and Pierce streets.  Andrew was a maltster for the Geise Brewery Co. at the time.  January 23, 1882, they welcomed their first born into the new world here in Omaha, Nebraska.  The weather was so cold and the living quarters, barely adequate, that they kept the baby in the oven to keep her from freezing.

Ida Blum
born 1/23/1882
Died 2/27/1967