Tag Archives: Guy Anderson

Harriette Anderson Kaser Remembers Scary Places

And Speaking of Scary Things–Today is my brother’s Birthday! Happy Birthday Paul William Kaser.

Elizabeth O’Neal’s Genealogy Blog Party at Little Bytes of Life suggested an October theme–The Scariest thing you’ve found in your genealogy research. You can see more scary family history by clicking on the link to her site.

Last year I shared my mother’s story of the Dead Body, which is certainly one of the strangestHere’s another of mother’s scary memories.

The Haunted Shack and Scary Anderson House on Mile Hill

Old Anderson Farm

Old Anderson Farm, Photo courtesy of Herb Anderson

The family of my grandfather, Leonard Guy Anderson (aka Daddy Guy) owned a house just outside of Killbuck, Ohio on Mile Hill.

Guy’s uncle had planted extensive orchards on the property.  Mary Brink Anderson, Guy’s Mother, lived there when Guy married Vera Stout (my grandmother). She gave the farm to Guy and Vera and that is where they lived when my mother and her two brothers were pre-schoolers.

That house must have seemed like a mansion to the toddlers, Harriette Anderson (my mother) and her brother Bill. Baby Herb was too young to run around getting into mischief with his slightly older siblings.  But the big old house provided plenty of opportunity for scary adventures. And to add to the fun, there was a smaller house that the children were ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN to enter. So of course they did. And there was a shack with a mysterious and scary history. The buildings gave plenty of opportunity for imagination to run wild.  In her 90s, my mother remembered her childhood.

Harriette Anderson Kaser:  An artist lived at the end of the lot by the big Anderson orchard. [She was not sure of the name but thinks it might have been “Bus Close who married Wanda Orr.” See Note at end]

HAK: We weren’t allowed to go there and play. I think mother and dad really believed the scary ghost stories about that house. Mary Leckrone lived in a farm house nearby. We (Harriette and her brother Bill) went down and played with her. 

HAK: The fruit farm (the Anderson house on the hill) had a beautiful house. There were two farms up above Welcome—Anderson and Allison. They got deeds from the government. Maybe after the Whiskey Rebellion. [I have yet to check this out.]

This is the house where the Anderson and Stout family gathered for a family picture in 1909 when Harriette and Bill were about 3 and 4 years old.

Caroline Anderson Bird

Family portrait at Anderson Farm. Photo from 1909. Harriette and Bill sitting on their grandfather’s lap in right front. “Daddy Guy in white shirt and necktie in back row center and Vera in front of him holding baby Herbert.

HAK: Down the road ½ mile a little shack was supposed to have been a stop on the confederate soldier’s route. [She first said underground railroad and then changed to confederate soldiers.] We kids would stand outside and yell because we wanted the ghosts to come out. Then hearing noises.

[Note: There are persistent rumors that Southern soldiers marched through Holmes County, but no evidence that rebs ever made it that far north in Ohio.]

HAK: We were not allowed to go in the basement. An outside stairway went down. I remember a side door that went down to basement. Water in the basement made it more scary. (Note: Apparently the children didn’t follow orders about not going into the basement of the shack!)

The three children about seven years before this story.

Who would think these angelic children could be so ornery?

HAK: Mom and Dad (Vera and Guy Anderson) would tell us ghost stories about the place.

Guy Anderson had acquired a parrot somewhere, and its presence added to the unusual and scary atmosphere of the old house.

HAK: The parrot would follow us when we went there to play. (The parrot followed them into the forbidden territory.)  It  would say “Mama’s calling.”  She (Vera) was always scolding the parrot for following us.

Poor Vera. Nobody seemed to pay attention to her commands! Neither the children nor the parrot! But a horse had more sense than the kids and the parrot.

HAK: An old horse, “Old Jim” wouldn’t go near the old house (because of ghosts.)

[Note: she switches back and forth between shack and artist’s house, so it is not clear which is which.]

Mary Brink Anderson and others

Guy Anderson and Vera (holding Herbert). Guy’s mother Mary Brink Anderson. Back Jennie McDowell King. 1909

No wonder their mother was afraid to let them play in the haunted house’s basement. Daddy Guy, who was always a jokester, had Vera scared with his tricks, and besides he had the Celtic talent for story telling.

HAK: Daddy Guy was a great story teller—making up stories about these houses.

HAK: Dad (Guy Anderson, aka Daddy Guy) used to hide in the house and make noises to scare Bill and me away. Your Grandma Vera was very susceptible to ghost stories and Guy would scare her.The big farmhouse on the top of the hill had two stairways. A back stairway led from the kitchen to a back door. Dad would go up and pound on the floor to scare mother. The kids knew what he was doing and they would go with him.

I always thought of my mother as fearless, and it is clear she got her training early as she and her brother defied the ghosts in the scary old farm houses.

Mother’s family did not stay in the house very long. By the time her brother Bill was old enough to start school, they had moved back into town.  I always thought my grandmother just was not cut out to be a farm wife. But thinking about her superstitious nature and the ghost stories and Daddy Guy’s tricks, the farm may have been just too scary.

Read another of Harriette’s Scary Memories here.

Note:  I have asked the helpful people on The Killbuck Gang Facebook page to help me figure out who the artist  was that mother refers to in this story. Turns out Bus Close and Wanda Orr were a more recent generation–the time just doesn’t match up.  But someone has suggested that Bus Close’s FATHER was an artist, and I’m trying to determine if that’s who mother was thinking of.

Dorcas Middaugh Brink, 12 Children, 6 Living

 

DORCAS MIDDAUGH (1826-1904)

HERstory

It would be great to be able to tell some new stories about Dorcas Middaugh Brink, my great-great grandmother. However, I already told you the major stories of that family when I wrote about Abraham Brink (1828).

That’s the story of women in history isn’t it?  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I saw a major newspaper’s coverage of the historic event that took place in Philadelphia yesterday.  The headline read “With Nomination, Clinton Makes History“. Under the headline they published a huge photo of former President Bill Clinton.  So the historic even was the nomination of a former president?  Nah, it was that other Clinton–the WOMAN. Oh, yeah, women make history, too.

Sorry Dorcas. My bad, as they say in the 21st century.  I should have told the story of the birth of twelve children and the loss of six children, the growth of an Ohio farm and the perspective of my great-grandmother’s family from your viewpoint instead of from that of your husband, Abraham. But things being what they are, I have more information on him.  So here’s what I know about you grandma.

A Woman’s Life

Dorcas Middaugh was born to Jedidiah Middaugh and Ann Coddington Middaugh in Danby Township, Tompkins County, New York on May 2, 1826. Danby was and is a small town south of Ithaca New York, not far north of the Pennsylvania border.  Her father had been born in New Jersey, but her parents settled in New York when they married.  Dorcas had an older brother, and as she was growing up, at least two more brothers were added to the family. Sometime after 1840, the family moved to Holmes County, Ohio, where she met and married Abraham Brink.

Her mother and father-in-law, as well as her father and mother lived nearby when she was a young bride, and as her children grew up, they also stayed nearby.

At this point to fill in Dorcas’ life for the next 47 years, which included the birth of twelve children, marriages of the oldest and the birth of grandchildren–please read Abraham Brink Takes Root in Ohio.

After Abraham

When Abraham died in 1898, Dorcas went to live with her daughter Mary V. Brink, the widow of Joseph Anderson in a nearby township in Holmes County, Ohio. My grandfather Guy Anderson and his bride Lillis shared the house with his mother, Mary. Since I knew my grandfather Guy (whose 2nd wife was my grandmother) and he lived for a couple of years in the same house with HIS grandmother, Dorcas, I feel a connection to Dorcas Middaugh Brink.

In 1900, when the census report was filed, Dorcas reported that she was a widow, had 12 children, but only six were living. When you read Abraham Brink’s story, you will see that she lost three of her children in a very short period of time.

Lillis and Guy had a daughter in 1901 (My aunt Rhema Anderson Fair) and a son in 1903.  Lillis died, probably of complications from childbirth in 1903.

In March of 1904, Dorcas died and was buried in Wolf Creek Cemetery in Holmes County.

Dorcas Middaugh

Dorcas Middaugh Brink’s tombstone, Wolf Creek Cemetery, Holmes County, Ohio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. In October of 1904, my grandfather married his second wife, my grandmother, Vera May Stout.

How I Am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Leonard Guy Anderson, who is the son of
  • Mary Brink Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • Abraham W. Brink.

Notes on Research

 

Antique Car Mania and a Road Trip that Went Wrong

In tomorrow’s 52 Ancestors Story, I talk about a journey that my mother’s family made annually from Killbuck, Ohio in Holmes County to my grandmother Vera Stout Anderson’s relatives in Guernsey County. Instead of food this week,we’re talking about a journey in an antique car.

Mother (Harriette Anderson Kaser) mentions in her story that her great aunt Elizabeth Stout “Lib” Cunningham was a terrific cook, but unfortunately, she doesn’t tell us what Lib cooked.  Instead she remembers all the details about every antique car, the road conditions and travel directions. Even though my mother was a home economics teacher for many years, she was always more interested in cars than in food preparation.

In her eighties and nineties, she could lovingly describe every car she ever owned.  And Grandma Vera Anderson and Grandpa Leonard Guy Anderson started driving cars as soon as it was feasible.  After the ones named below, in the late 20’s they owned a Stutz, which you can see here. My uncle Herbert Anderson posed beside that car in 1927. 

In her story that I relate tomorrow, Mother describes the red Maxwell Runabout that her parents were driving when she and her brothers were small.  From the pictures I have been able to find, theirs was probably a 1912.  Mother describes a round gas tank in front of a luggage box and that is missing on the earlier models I’ve seen pictures of, but it is present in 1912. Nevertheless, here’s a picture of a 1911 Maxwell Runabout, because I like to picture my Grandmother and Grandfather and their three small children in this bright red car.

Antique car Maxwell runabout

1911 Maxwell runabout. Photo By Greg Gjerdingen, Creative Commons License

Mother tells another story about a  later trip to Guernsey County, in another car, the Saxon. The Saxon was harder to find pictures of (with use permitted), but here’s one that was for sale. It is a 1917, which was no doubt more practical, although not nearly as much fun.

Antique Car, Saxon

1917 Saxon Touring Car.

Here’s my mother’s story of a trip that went wrong.

One time when we decided to go to Guernsey County, we had just gotten a new Saxon car.  We were pretty good chunks of kids by this time, pretty good size, and Grandma Stout was going with us.  Now Grandma Stout was a little bit like our mother.  She was a good traveler.  She liked to go and she never complained on a trip, no matter where she went or how uncomfortable she was.

We got down on the other side of Newcomerstown on this trip and it started raining.  It poured and it poured, and we started up a little hill–not a very big hill–and dad had to change gears.  When he changed gears, the rear axle broke on the car, and there we were –stranded in the car.  It was night by the time we got that far because we’d been so slowed down on the mud roads. They were mud roads out of [south of] Newcomerstown.  They had no pikes. [paved roads]

We looked out across a field and there was a light in a farmhouse out across the field and so …Dad decided that maybe we should try to get over there to get out of the car because we couldn’t stay in the car all night and he couldn’t see to do anything with it. So we started walking.

By this time the rain had slaked up a little bit, but it was wet and so messy.  We started walking and we came to a little stream and Grandma didn’t see the stream and she fell. We thought that she would be hurt, but she got up laughing and thought it was a really good joke that she had fallen the stream.

By this time the storm was over, and it was getting moonlight.  It was rather nice, and we could see. When we got to the farmhouse, we realized that we were not at any palatial place.  It was probably nine o’clock by that time.  The peple were so nice.  They were quite poor. You could tell that, but they tried so hard to accommodate us and find sleeping [places]. …there were my brothers, my Grandmother, and my dad and mother and I, so there were six of us dropping in on these people, and this poor farm lady put every one of us to bed.

I don’t know how any of us slept very well.  I think I did.  If I’m not mistaken, I slept with two girls that were in the family, and Grandmother slept in a bed with the hired girl. She said [later] that the bed didn’t smell very good, and Grandmother was pretty particular anyway.  She’d have been willing to sit up all night, but she knew that would offend the woman.  And Dad and Mother had a bed, and the boys shared a bed with their son.

In looking for pictures and information about the Saxon car, I came across a site dedicated to Saxons and their collectors.  They have a story there, The Suffragist Saffron Saxon, about a Suffragette who traveled across the country campaigning for the woman’s vote.  Since Grandma Stout read the New York Times, sent to her by her son Will, I like to think that she read that story and it influenced the family decision to buy a Saxon.

Of course I can’t provide concrete evidence, but the circumstantial evidence is strong. We know her son who lived in New York, sent her the paper. We know that her greatest desire was to live long enough for women to vote. And we know she was not bashful about expressing her opinion.

Perhaps she would have changed her mind after the night of the road trip gone wrong in this antique car.

Notes:

“Harriette Anderson Kaser’s Memories of Killbuck, Ohio in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s” were transcribed from an audiotape recorded in the home of P. W. Kaser, Fresno, California about 1980.  Paul William Kaser, her son, made the transcription.  Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher made slight edits.

Added material was taken from other notes of conversations with Harriette,