Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Though the day of change may be long deferred, it must come.

My paternal grandmother's parents, the blacksmith and the newspaperwoman.

George L. Jones, 26 January 1834 to 1 April 1931.  He lived to the age of 97.
Born in Wisconsin, he was the fifth of 14 children and the eldest son.

Part of the story of his life is described in "Pathways", a family history written by his son, Edgar James Jones.

At the age of 24 in 1858 George L. Jones joined a group with five other young men and went to Texas.  At the outbreak of the civil war his companions entered the rebel army but he made his escape to the north leaving several hundred dollars worth of property which he lost.  He enlisted as a private in the Union army (Company K, 30th Wisconsin Infantry), served three years and was mustered out an orderly sergeant.  He had eleven relatives who served in the Union army.

Pension records show that he was when enlisted 28 years of age, had blue eyes, black hair, dark complexion, was 5 feet 9 inches in height and was by occupation a farmer.

After the war he moved to Bloomer, Wisconsin, where he operated a blacksmith and wagon shop until 1880 when his health failed after which he engaged in newspaper work.  In June 1869, in Bloomer, he married Sarah Jane Jackson, the widow of Walter Gage and the mother of a daughter, Hattie.  His wife later assumed the name Jennie Jones.  They had eight children, only three of whom lived to adulthood.  They were John E. Jones, E. James Jones and Sylvia Melissa, my grandmother.

George L. Jones became a member of the Greenback Party and attended the National Convention in Indianapolis in 1876.  He was one of three on a committee who drafted the first platform of the party.  One of the other two was former Governor of Ohio, James B. Weaver.

The couple founded the weekly Bloomer Workman in July 1880 and operated the newspaper until it was sold in May 1886.

Three of the couple's children died of diptheria within eleven days in early 1882 and another died of the same disease in 1883.  Jennie was in 1883 pregnant with her youngest child, Sylvia Melissa, who was born May 15, 1883.  Less than a month later Jennie died of an overdose of laudanum on June 9, 1883, a death considered at the time to be a suicide.

George L. later lived at Weblake, Burnett County, Wisconsin where the Official Report of Burnett County Board of Immigration, Concerning the Resources of Burnett County, Wisconsin, published in 1902, described his life as having "an excellent opportunity to engage in the raising of cranberries and at the present time the spring brooks on his farm are filled with hundreds of speckled trout.  The visitor who stops there for a few hours wonders how any man can live in a great city after having seen how Jones and his family enjoy the pleasures of backwoods life."

In 1903 his daughter Sylvia married George Eugene Miller.  The third child of that union was my father.  Their fourth child was my Aunt Jane.

George L. entered an Old Soldier's Home in Orting, Washington, in 1915 and died there on April 1, 1931.  During his last years in the Old Soldier's Home he sent his Civil War pension each month to his granddaughter, Jane Miller, so that she was able to attend college where she was educated to become a teacher.

Sarah Jane Jackson Jones, known to the family as Jennie.  Born 1 March 1840, died 9 June 1883.
Jennie's great great granddaughter Emily Melissa Elvecrog Miller was born 100 years to the day after her death.  Also, Jennie's granddaughter and Emily's grand-aunt Jane Ruth Miller Brockett was born 28 years to the day after her death.

During the time that George L. and Jennie Jones operated the Bloomer Workman the following editorial entitled "No Looking Back", written by Jennie, was published in the newspaper:

"It was forty years from the inception of the anti-slavery movement in the United States to the achievement of success.  The struggle resulted in the freeing of four million or more people from one form of slavery, only to plunge them into another form of bondage.  Comparing the magnitude of issues involved, it would not be strange if the present contest for the liberation of labor should require a century of patient, sacrificing effort.  Men who live for themselves alone will not engage in such an undertaking.  They will do what the Tories did in the Revolution - stand by the powers that be and gather the crumbs that fall from the tables of their masters.  No faint-hearted followers after success need apply for a place in the ranks of men who are seeking exact justice for the masses of people.

The struggle will be too long and too fierce.  But brave, unselfish men who appreciate liberty and equal rights will not falter or turn back though they are assured the generations shall come and go before the complete triumph of the principles for which they are contending.  What nonsense to talk about a cause dying or being dead!  What better work can we do than to protest against the tide of injustice toward the masses of people - although there be no prospect that we shall gain the power to right these wrongs in our day and generation?  No!  A thousand times no!  We are right, and though the day of change may be long deferred, it must come."

-Jennie Jones, Bloomer Workman, December 28, 1882.

Monday, December 11, 2017


Well, actually the writing on the back of the first photo says Labor Day 70.
 I wasn't there.  I do remember the Fiat.  The writing on the back says: "4 cars, 4 people, 3 houses and 2 tricycles.  Photo by Sylvia's husband John."

Oleander Court?

The processor printed a date in the margin of these two.  1971?
I was in the Army in 1971.  My memory is a bit fuzzy but I think this must be late 1971 after I returned from Vietnam.  The first one doesn't look like any lamp Sylvia ever owned and the second one has a print that I definitely associate with Jim.
I may have visited them both, my memory is a bit fuzzy.  I do know that I went back to Fort Stewart, Georgia, and served another six or seven weeks in the Army before receiving my final honorable discharge.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Hair cut

Our dafter scheduled an appointment with the family hair dresser for this time a cut only.  We live much closer to the family hair dresser than she does.  It makes sense for her to drop off our granddafter at our house for the period of time when the hair cut is in progress.

Plus, we love it.

She is mostly just unbelievably full of energy.  But she is just a small person and she does seem to have a bit of a lag in late morning.  It is too early for lunch, but . . .

She reacts very well to a glass of milk and some snacks.

For which she is plenty good, for now, with sitting in the chair.
She was eating Jim's cereal here.  She seems to like the crunch.

Her Mom came home, we all had lunch and then a couple of us took naps.

I had fun, TOPWLH had fun, we think both of our visitors had fun.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


The other person who lives here.

Here are some pictures of her family:

Nikki, Opal, Grace and Barbara.
Looks like Gustavus, could it be Jim's graduation?  I think so.
Bud and Opal at a Twins game.
That is not an indoor game at the Metrodome, clearly outdoors at the new stadium.

Wow, 1970?
The other person who lives here.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Baby in the rocking chair

The first baby to claim the chair:
And this one should look familiar too. The chair is wooden but very similar in appearance to the plastic ones that the newest baby now uses.
Complete with a Minnie Mouse bib.

Friday, December 1, 2017

It's hard to look right at you baby

December 1.

After committing to posting something every day for a month the drop off to not posting at all is a steep drop.

Last year on December 1 I posted Judas Priest from 1983.  I love that performance.

So this year I have also had a draft post of a music video ready to post.  Somewhat sheepishly I report that the music video I have had in draft form for the last three weeks is a little less metal.  This year I have a girl singer who is apparently a one-hit wonder.

But I like the version of her one hit performed with a back up band of Jimmy Fallon and The Roots.

Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but here's my number.

I just like it.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


My November 2017 month of blogging every day for a month is dedicated to an early master of the selfie, my brother Jim.

Writing on the back says 1975:
And two from his glory days, 1961.  State champions.
State champions with their young coach.