Monday, November 1, 2010

My Mother's Family

Returning to Milwaukee gave us the opportunity to spend many happy days with both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Of course there is so much history preceding 1931 regarding this family: Ireland, Minnesota, White Bear Lake, railroad, millenary, etc., etc.

I’ll begin with this photo my husband copied from the original when we visited my sister. He would prefer to have had the right equipment for a quality copy. I believe Elayne said this was prior to the wedding. I want you to see it and have it not forever lost.

John Morris and Kathryn Kirby
Katherine with Florence Marie 2 1/2
 and John  with John Kirby 6 mo.

My grandfather owned a number of properties. Reviewing a census 1910 and another 1920 I see he was proprietor of a grocery. Mother often said he was in the wholesale business. 1910 the family lived on Howell and in 1920 on Chestnut St. when Florence was 20.  He must have invested in property. There was question about the spelling of my grandmother’s name. On the census she is identified as Kathryn, with a K and a y. My name spelled the same and now my granddaughter Emily Kathryn.

John James Morris and brother Michael
with young John, Cecile, Florence, Gladys

He owned the Palace Theatre, downtown, Milwaukee. Mother often told me of the many times she would seat herself during practices right down front in the theatre where the organ was playing as the show went on, either vaudeville or film,  before the 'talkies', playing on stage. A very happy memory for her. Possibly inspired her to learn and play so many of the tunes 'by ear' on the piano. This talent passed down to my son Christopher Stewart.

Florence, Howard, Gladys, John, Grandmother, Grandfather, Cecile
Jimmy in front
could have been taken beside the home on Chestnut 
I wrote earlier of the Juneau house. Could the family have moved again in 1920-30. In the 1990’s I drove up Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, checking it out and all the homes did have the many steps up to a porch. I think I need to look at another census. Well, I did look at the 1930 census and Uncle Jimmy is then 18 yrs. old. Uncle John died in 1932.

70th Street Wauwatosa

Sometime while they lived in this Wauwatosa home my Uncle John Morris, mother's big brother, the family's pride and joy, died, 1932. Sad time. Funeral took place from the Church on Bluemound Rd. My first memories attending Sunday Mass with all the family are of this white, wooden frame church.  Uncle John  was buried in Calvary Cemetery. I think he died of tuberculosis, so common a cause of death early in the century. Other Morris gravesites can be found in Calvary, our Grandparents, Great Auntie Mamie, Uncle Michael and his sons. After my grandparents died in the 1940s my mother and sister planted bridle wreath at the site. In the 1990s we found one growing there.

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