Harriette Anderson Kaser 1906-2003
Packing and moving sends shivers up the spines of many people. My mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser took it all in stride. Although she spent almost all of her youth in Killbuck, Ohio, her family frequently moved from place to place. Then, when she married Paul Kaser, they bounced around the Midwest following his jobs, and eventually moved to Arizona.
I will track her pre-marriage years here, because you can follow his moves after marriage by looking at last week’s article on my father, No Permanent Residence.
1906-circa 1907: Monroe Township, Holmes County, Ohio.
Harriette Veolia Anderson was born in her doctor grandfather’s house in Killbuck, Ohio. Her mother and father, Vera and Guy Anderson were living on a farm near Killbuck in Monroe Township, but her mother went “home” to have her baby.
Vera and Guy named their only daughter for her maternal grandmother, Harriet (Hattie) Morgan Stout and her paternal grandmother, Mary Veolia Brink Anderson. Her grandfather, “Doc” Stout wanted everyone to call her Hattie, and that nickname stuck with her at least into her twenties. She hated the middle name so much that she did not even use the initial. After she married, she signed Harriette A. Kaser instead of Harriette V. Kaser.
Once she was back in town, Grandma Vera did not want to return to the farm, and they moved into Killbuck where Grandpa “Daddy Guy” tried various businesses.
1907-1924: Killbuck, Ohio
1907: The House that Burned. Grandma Vera did not like country life,. So the family moved from the Anderson family farm into a small house in Killbuck. The first house they lived in had belonged to Mary Morgan, Vera’s grandmother. There disaster struck. Mother told about it in a recorded memoir:
Note: The Duncan Building stood on Front Street in Killbuck between Killbuck Creek and Main Street.
1908: The Little House After the fire, the family (Guy, Vera, older brother Bill and 2-year-old Harriette) lived for a short time with Dr. Stout and Hattie, and then moved into another small house. Later Harriette’s grandmother Anderson joined them. In that house, Vera gave birth to her third child in three years (Herbert, born in 1908)
Harriette also recalled the playpen her father built.
1909/10: Monroe Township farm. Since Guy Anderson was not proving to be a terrific businessman, the family once again tried farm living. They bought the family farm that belonged to Guy’s Aunt Amy Anderson Roof.
I related my mother’s memories of the farm when I discussed all the people in the family picture taken in 1909. But she had another story to tell that I found very interesting. The fact that they were living on the farm proved to be a life-saver in 1913.
Note: She was right. The 1913 flood was the worst natural disaster ever to hit Ohio. Ironically, it stimulated the installation of steam gages and tracking those and underground water gauges later became my father’s occupation. You can see a USGS video about the 1913 Flood here. And here is what mother remembers:
1923-1924: 1453 Wesley Ave., Columbus Ohio
Harriette wanted to go to college, and her father and two brothers thought job opportunities would be better in Columbus, so they moved there in time for her to start school in the fall. At the end of her first year of college, she was asked to come back to Holmes County to teach. The rest of the family returned to Killbuck and she went to live with her step-sister and husband–Rhema and Earl Fair.
1924-1925: Clark Ohio
1926-1938 Killbuck Ohio
She got a job teaching at the larger school in Killbuck, Ohio, and lived with her parents, who by then were running a boarding house in the old Stout home. In 1930 she was very briefly married, which is a story for another day.
During her teaching years, she gradually finished her college degree by attending Kent State University in the summers.
1938: Dover, Ohio
She married my father Paul Kaser in June 1938, and you can follow their many moves if you care to go to last week’s article on him.
She outlived her husband by seven years, allowing her to see a new century, but they did not reach their goal of having been married for 60 years.
Most of this information comes from Harriette Anderson Kaser’s recorded memoirs that my brother recorded and transcribed (THANK YOU!). Some comes from notes I made of conversations with her late in her life, and from the collection of photographs that she handed on to me. I am so grateful to her for valuing family history and passing on her memories.