Monday, January 31, 2011

Amanuensis Monday, 2011 Janary 31st: Obituary for James P. McPherson, Aug.11, 1900


James P.McPherson, who died in Verona Aug 11, was born at Dundee, Scotland, Nov. 14, 1816.  He was united in marriage to Mary Burns, July 16, 1842, and came to America the same year, and to Wisconsin in 1850.  He was a resident of  Dane country up to the time of his death, a full half century.  He leaves to mourn his loss a wife, four sons and five daughters, forty-two grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren.

Maj. Wm. B. McPherson, the oldest of the family, was the only one unable to attend the funeral, he being in Alberta, Canada.  The funeral was held at Verona, Aug. 13.  Those attending were Mrs. and Mrs. James B. McPherson of Lawler, Ia.; Peter McPherson of Lime Springs, Ia.; Mrs. E. P. Blair of Clear Lake, Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. H. Watts of Creamery, Ia.; J. B. McPherson and sons, LeRoy and Furman, and daughter, Mrs. Bert Davey, of Dodgeville; J. B. McPherson, Jr., of  Rockford, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. H. Ireland and daughters Estella and Lucy, of Madison, and Mr. and Mrs. Burmeister and family of Middleton.  He was a kind and loving husband and father.

He was a prominent democratic politician and justice of the peace for many years and stood in high esteem of his neighbor.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Synopsis: 2011 January 30th

My schedule for this past week was rather full. In retrospect this is what it looked like:

Monday, 1/24, posted an Obituary for James B. McPherson, which was actually more of a political history for his father, James P. McPherson, than an obituary for James B. McPherson.

Tuesday, 1/25, posted my wee poem in honor of Rabbie Burns' birthday.

Wednesday, 1/26, traveled to Eugene (300 miles north of my home in Ashland) to have an early sushi dinner with my sis and our friend; then went directly to my Eugene critique group. An excellent day and evening in all respects. Good dinner, good conversation, and a great critique group.

Thursday, 1/27, traveled the 300 miles back to Ashland. Posted at piece on the Pine Grove School house in Klamath County. This was an excerpt from a family history that I wrote several years ago and I was horrified at my writing back then --- but also pleased with the strides I have made in my craft of writing.

I also made a few follow-up contacts on some problems I am encountering in putting the Ralph letters into a form to print, e.g., indexing is causing me to want to yell, scream and pull my hair; the actual process of getting the book ready for pdf seems daunting and I keep hoping for a fairy godmother to come and wave her wand.

The last three days of the week were spent in general clean up, i.e., house, desk, filing, and that sort of thing --- to say nothing of mounds of laundry and a nagging dog.

For this next week, my intent is to be more focused and not traveling throughout the state. Focus for the week:
1 - writing time of at least 6 hours, to include mini bios, slants, project writing and new blog material
2 - Project of Ralph's letter: find indexing software or source; try out WinHttrack as an alternative to Blurb or similar programs; begin editing process. Also, call a couple of printers for some input.
3 - Ashland critique group on Tuesday.

Hmmm, only three things on my list, but I think that is more than enough to keep me busy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Those Places Thursday: Pine Grove School in Klamath County, Oregon

The Pine Grove School is one of Those Places that resonates with our Sigford family history.  The following is an excerpt from A SATURDAY IN OCTOBER: A Chronicle of the Sigfords in Klamath County By Joan G. Hill, 2004 which included  memories of Ruth and Gail Sigford as told to the author. (Text & pictures copyright by Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications, except for copyright photos from the Klamath County Museum.)


Pine Grove School, circa mid to late 1920s
Courtesy of Klamath  County Museum

The school was located a mile or so west of Olene on the Olene Hwy (Hwy 140). Mom [Ruth Sigford] attended the 1st and 2nd grades at Pine Grove school. Clem [her older brother] also attended the school, probably in the 6th and 7th grades. Mom rode Nell [the gentle old mare that had also transported her older siblings to school], and the school had a shed or barn where wood for the stove and hay for the horses was kept. There was a hitching rail in front of the school. Gail [the youngest of the siblings] was only 3 or 4 and had not yet started school. Pine Grove School was the center of the community when Mom attended this school. As a 1st & 2nd grader in Pine Grove school, having a part in the Christmas play was an important event for her.

The Pine Grove School Box socials were also big community events. All of the women and girls made box dinners and then decorated the boxes. The men would then bid on the boxes. Grand ma [Agnes Laura Sigford] made 3 dinner boxes then she would help Mom and Gail decorate their boxes. Grandpa always bid on and got Grandma's box. Mom says she remembers that Grandpa always made sure that someone bought their decorated dinner boxes.

Pine Grove School, Klamath County, circa 1953

Mom and my brothers at the schoolhouse
after visiting Aunt Gail,1952
Gail lived in the Pine Grove School house sometime between 1951-53. The schoolhouse had been remodeled by a Klamath Falls photographer, and it now had tall windows (no thermal glass!) and a huge fire place that was large enough for my 7 and 9 year old brothers to walk into and stand upright. They thought that was a cool thing to do! A lovely remodel of the old schoolhouse, but not made for a comfortable living space. It was COLD in the winter or any time the temperature dipped. A challenging experience for Gail when she lived there. In cold weather, tarps and blankets were hung around the fireplace to keep the warm air in and the cold air out – and wen it was cold, the living area was between the fireplace and the tarps. The kitchen was minimal as I remember it, a refrigerator and a hot plate. Nonetheless, it was a lovely place with wonderful memories for all of our family.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Talented Tuesday: In Honor of the Talented Rabbie Burns, 1759-1796

This past November, I met a 2nd cousin,1x removed, who told me that our Great-great grandmother Mary Burns (McPherson) was a cousin of Scotland''s bard, Robert Burns. She reverently unwrapped a small book, more like a pamphlet, of Rabbie's poems to share with me. The little book had been in her family since the time of her great grandmother, and possibly belonged to our great-great-grandmother. The occasion for this small book was a celebration of his birthday --- and in the mid 1800s, the Scots of Scotch Lane in the village of Springdale, Wisconsin, took their Highland roots to heart. Since that November day, I have poked and prodded my computer, a lookin' for connections in the heather that might span time and ocean and prove that this Scots heart of mine beats in family tune with that of our dear Rabbie Burns. 

Alas so close it might be, but sorely no proof – yet.  And this wee poem shows no poet-proof for me.

Cousin” Rabbie

t'is a new year 'n month of January
the time mi thoughts turn to Rabbie
y'know, mi bard, young Rabbie Burns
castin' sweet looks 'n words on a lassie

nights still long n' by flickering l'ght
a book of Rabbie's poems I hold
more close to mi heart as I am told
Rabbie's a cousin - tho generations b'ck

hi' words beck'n t'mi many a year
“wee sleekit, cowerin,' timorous beastie”
“O my luve is like a red, red rose”
long been music to m' ear

so I now be cousin-like
wear'n mi plaid, 'n drink'n a pint
wi' all list'n to yer words
dream'n of heather 'n thistle down

Monday, January 24, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Death of James B. McPherson Recalls Dane Political History (of James P. McPherson)

The Capitol Times
Sunday Morning, March 20, 1932
Death of James B. McPherson Recalls Dane Political History
Father  Was Prominent in Public Life for Many Years

Interesting Dane county political history is recalled in the recent death in Minnesota of James B. McPherson, 87, former resident of Springdale and Mt. Vernon.

For a half century the McPherson family, living on the Verona-Mt.Vernon road, was well known in western Dane county, the father, James P. McPherson, being a prominent in public life.

James P. McPherson, a native of Scotland, settled in the town of Springdale in 1850 and soon was active in politics.  From 1853 until 1859 he was chairman of the town and also served as county superintendent of poor in 1854-55 and again in 1857-58.

In 1858 he was elected county clerk, serving until 1861, when he was elected chairman of the county board.  During the Civil War the county was under the commission form of government but when it returned to the supervisor system in 1870 he was again elected chairman of the county board.  He was also among the organizers of the Dane County Agricultural society and served as a trustee.

Being a democrat, he was never able to win election to the legislature though aspiring to that honor.

Was Postmaster
In his home locality he was for years postmaster of the Springdale postoffice, which was kept at his house.  He also served as school board officer, the school of the district was early named the "McPherson school."

It was as justice of the peace in his later years, however, that he won a wide local renown.  Petty litigation from many neighboring towns as well as his own came to his "court" for adjudication.  It is said that even John C. Spooner, later U.S.senator, once tried a case before him.

Mr. McPherson also wrote an excellent short history of the town of Springdale.

Mr. McPherson was a pioneer in the movement for the ad valorem taxation of railroads.  While a member of the county board in 1858 he introduced the followint resolution:
"Resolved that a committee of three be appointed to draft a petition or memorial to the legislature for the repeal of Chapter 74, session laws of 1854, and for the taxation of railroad and plankroad property equally with other property in the state."

Named to Committee
The resolution was adopted and the chair appointed as such committee Mr. McPherson, W. R. Taylor of Cottage Grove, later governor, and O. B. Hazeltine of the town of Ray (later the towns of Mazomanie and Black Earth).

This committee drew up the following memorial to the legislature, which was presented by Mr. Taylor and adopted by the board:
"The memorial of the board of supervisors of the county of Dane, state of Wisconsin, respectfully shewith:
"That your memorialist believe that Section 183, Chap.18, R. S. which enact that railroad and plakroad companies shall pay a tax of 1 per cent on their gross receipts to the state, in lieu of all other taxes whatever is a direct violation of article 8 of the consitution of this state, which said article provides that taxation shall be uniform.
"That while your memorialst conced the utility and benefits of railroads to the community at large, we also believe that they ought to be equally assessed with other property for state and county purposes.
"Your memorials therefore respectully request your honorable bodies to repeal Sec. 183, chapter 18, revised statues, and allow and require all property to be taxed in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
"Resolved, that the chairman and clerk of the board of supervisors of the county of Dane, be and they are hereby authorized and required to sign the foregoing memorial, in our behalf, and forward a copy to each of our representatives in the legislature."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Synopsis: 2011 January 23rd

Well, last week I was lovin' the Sunday Synopsis, but this week not so much. Downright embarassing to have Sunday Synopsis following one right after another. Makes it seem like no work was done ---arghhh.  So of course, I take the easy way out and post an obit to the Sunday Obituaries.  Seemed like a good idea at the time  - and now on reconsideration as well.  Now on to what I accomplished this week.


1 -  3hrs of writing in--- not what I wanted, but better than 0 hrs.
2 - wrote a poem (sorta tongue in cheek) in honor of our Rabbie Burns, which I will post on Tuesday.
3 - attended critique group -- read poem.
4 - downloaded Uncle Ralph's Letters into Blurb.  Now evaluating whether that is going to work for me or if I have to make other choices; sent out 2 email querying folks that may be helpful; also reviewed software for indexing, grrrr;  more emails to go out on indexing.
5 - reviewed historical transcriptions for a friend.
6 - posted Sunday Obituary for James B. McPherson
7 - Sunday synopsis.

For this next week, I have a trip to Eugene planned; my writing workshop folks of last summer have decided to meet on the last Wednesday of the month.  I am going to try this critique group asI found them to be a great and interesting  group.  Also will take time to have suishi with the friend with the historical transcriptions --- a double plus here, as I get to have dinner with friends and talk about a really interesting subject.  Guess that makes the Wednesday trip to Eugene a triple plus!  In addition, I am again aiming for 6 hours pure writing time, which may be a push this next week.

Also intend to follow up on printing opitions for the book of  Uncle  Ralph's letters, as well as check out indexing possibilities.

Well, folks, that should more than keep me busy.

Sunday Obituaries: James Burns McPherson

Father of Mrs. W.R. Johnson Dies at Daughter's Home in Mora

James B. McPherson, a highly esteemed resident of this village for the past six years, passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. W. R. Johnson here on Sunday, March 6.  At the time of his death, which resulted from apolexy and infirmities of old age, he was almost 87 years of age, his birthday being on March 17.

Mr. McPherson was born in New York City in the year 1845 and came to Wisconsin with his parents in May, 1850, where he lived until 1903, when he moved to Minnesota.  On October 15, 1867, he was married to Harriet Elizabeth Ireland, who preceded him in death on May 8, 1922.  He was the father of nine children, six of whom are still living to mourn his death, namely, J.B.McPherson, of Calapatria, California; Mrs. A.C. Fiske, Monticello;  W.I. McPherson, big Lake, C.E. McPherson, Little Falls; Mrs. W.R. Johnson, Mora, and Mrs. J.W. Glazier, of Sandstone.  All children except the son in California were in attendance at the funeral.  Twenty-five grandchildren and six great grandchildren, one brother R. P. McPherson of Madison, Wisconsin, and two sisters, Mrs. Margaret Burmeister of Madison, Wisconsin, and Mrs. Mary Blair of Ames, Iowa.  Mrs. Burmeister was here for the services.

Rites were conducted by Rev. A.H. Giles at the Johnson home at 10:15 and at the Presbyterian Church of Mora at 10:30 Wednesday morning.  Burial was made at Riverside cemetery at Monticello, all the mourners accompanying the body from here.

[The above obituary was transcribed from a newspaper clipping; undated and no name of the newspaper.] 

James B. McPherson was my great-grandfather. His son, Jabez Burns (J.B.) McPherson was my grandfather; two other sons were also listed as follows; Walter Irving (W.I.) McPherson and Clare Eugene (C.E.) McPherson; daughters, Aggie (Mrs. A.C.) Fiske, Myrtle Belle (Mrs. W.R.) Johnson, and  Marjorie Meta (Mrs. J.W.) Glazier.  It is also interesting to note that his brother Peter Burns McPherson was listed as R.P. McPherson.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Synopsis; 2011 January 10th through January 16th

I am rather liking this Sunday Synopsis, especially since the week has been marked by more productivity in the writing and genealogy realm.

1- completion of transcribing, posting and scanning the last of the Letters from my Uncle Ralph. WAHOO! Also set up the archival boxes in which to house the letters.
2- Transcribed and posted two newspaper articles about a shooting tragedy in my McPherson family.
3- Wrote a post on my aunts' cousin, Jerry Rose (born Gladys Irene McPherson).
4- Research on the family of James Septimus McPherson; made cold calls to a couple of likely prospect -- alas not to be.  Made a list of potentials for cold calls.
5- 14 hrs of writing, transcribing, posting items into Roots'n'Leaves and Letters of My Uncle Ralph

I am pleased with the work for this week. However, my goal for the coming week is to increase my writing time to at least 6 hours -- not transcribing, researching or making lists --- just writing. Last week, I started writing an ancestor's history in his voice so that I got more of sense of the person behind the facts. Actually, I wrote several pieces in different voices -- pride, fear, love, anger, happy, lust, jealous. I think I will do this as a warm-up writing exercise -- kills two birds with one stone or as my sis says, "She's talking to dead people again."

Sentimental Sunday: Tragedy in the life Jerry Rose - born Gladys Irene McPherson

Jerry Rose. When I first heard my McPherson aunties talk about Jerry Rose, I thought her first and middle names were connected. Not so. She was born Gladys Irene McPherson on the 13 Jul 1901 in Lawler, IA. She did not like the name Gladys, so from the time she was a young girl she had everyone call her Jerry. The name Rose was the last name of her second husband, but everyone I knew always called her Jerry Rose.

A few years ago, I asked my Aunt Olive to tell me about Jerry Rose. Jerry Rose was 25 years older than my three youngest aunts, but about the same age as my Aunt Bertha. Jerry Rose, her sister Lucille and brother Bill also came out to California and lived close to Bertha and Cecil Clouse in Calipatria. She maintained contact with my McPherson aunts and uncles throughout her life. They were more like siblings that cousins.

According to Olive, Jerry Rose was “like a gypsy-woman.” Intrigued, I wanted to know what made her a gypsy-woman. “O, she always wore beautiful bright colors, lots of earrings and bracelets, and her skirts and scarves were wispy and flowing. --- And she wrote poetry and had lots of writer friends.”

Hmmmm, I wanted to know more. Her early years were marked by tragedy. When she was 12 years old, her mother, Bertha Swenson, died of cancer not too long after the birth of the youngest child James Lester. Jerry's father James Septimus McPherson took his five children to his parent's home to live. Grandma McPherson reared the children until her death.
Tragedy seemed to lurk around her. Her grandparents were going to move from the house at Crow Wing Lake, where she and her siblings had lived since their mother's death. However, Jerry had met and been courted by Ernest M. Brandt, a sharp shooter in the Canadian Princess Pat brigade during WWI. They were to be married in December of 1918. Snow fell the day of the wedding, but family and neighbors filled the house.
My Uncle Ralph remembers coming down the stairs in his suit when he heard someone say the house is on fire. He ran out into the yard, looked up and sure enough the whole roof was ablaze. Family stories about the house fire abound, but I have never heard whether Jerry married Brandt before the fire or after.

By 1922, Jerry and Brandt were living with her grandparents and her siblings in Barrows – also Uncle Clare and her father James. There were problems between the couple. Brandt was told to leave and not come back. However,a couple of weeks later, he came back to the farm and shot and killed Jerry's father and grandmother, also wounding her grandfather. (For the newspaper account, click here and here). The rather idyllic life by Crow Wing Lake had ended.

Although the first third of her life was marked by tragedy, from what I have heard from the Aunties, Jerry came to California, married Raymond Rose, and lived a good life. But, oh, how I want to know more about that gypsy-woman with her flowing scarves and skirts, her big earrings and bracelets. I want to know about the writer, the poet – but I know no one to ask. She had no children and her contemporaries have joined her shade. No one to ask --- well, no one to ask who is easy to access. So, I will have to get down to serious research and detective work to know more of my gypsy-woman, my 1st cousin, 1x removed.

Note: The information in this post came from newspaper articles, conversations with my McPherson Aunties, and the letters of Ralph J. McPherson.//JGH

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1922, Newspaper Account of Sentencing of Brandt for McPherson Shooting Deaths

The following is from a copy of an undated newspaper account of the life imprisonment sentence imposed upon E. M. Brandt after the May 8th, 1922, fatal shooting of his father-in-law, James S. McPherson, and McPherson's mother Mrs. James B. McPherson, as well as wounding McPherson's father, James Burns McPherson. The article also contained two letters that Brandt sent to his mother while he was in jail at Brainerd.

There was no mention in this or the previous  newspaper article, or in Brandt's letters, of the devastating effects that the shootings had on the McPherson families; five children orphaned; the loss of James, a son, father, brother and uncle; loss of Henrietta Elizabeth Ireland McPherson,  a wife, sister, mother and grandmother; wounding of James Burns McPherson, the patriarch of the family.

James Burns McPherson was my great-grandfather; Henrietta Elizabeth Ireland McPherson, my great-grandmother; James Septimus McPherson, my great-great uncle.


Admitted Fatal Shooting of Two Persons and Wounding Another


Committed Deed Following a Prolonged Moonshine Spree

E.M. Brandt was brought before a special grand jury Friday afternoon on two charges, one of murder in the first degree and the other assault with intent to kill. He pleaded guilty to the first and was sentenced to life imprisonment at Stillwater. Sheriff Theorin took him down today.

Brandt admitted the murder of his wife's father, James McPherson of Barrows and McPherson's mother, Mrs. J. B. McPherson, and wounding of J.B .McPherson at the McPherson home at Barrows, May 8th.

Brandt it seems was angry at the wife's people for influencing her against him. While under the influence of liquor he went to Barrows and did the killing.

While in jail here, Brandt wrote two letters to his mother, Mrs. H. D. Hendricks of Merrill, Wis. These letters which were not answered by his mother, are given below.

Dearest Mother and All,
Well it sure is a hard thing to tell you but I have done it. Dad, mother you were all good to me. But you shall never see your Ernie any more. I got drunk yesterday and went down and killed, shot I mean Gladys' Grandmas and her father and shot her Grandpa too but did not kill him. That is what they tell me. I know I done some shooting alright but can't see why I shot her Dad.

O well, I shall stand up and take it all like a man. I have done it and it is too late now. Why I did I do not know. But I shall write more next time. Now, don't forget to tell Hank and all so they can write me a nice long letter. O God, O God, I did lover her till it made me crazy.

Mother, I love you like I never loved before. They will send me to Stillwater, Minn., I guess.

Now brace up and I shall write soon. I am as every your loving son,

E.M. Brandt
Brainerd, Minn.

Dear Mother,
did you get my first letter. I know Dear Soul, how it makes you feel but I have done it, Mother Dear, and I shall take all I have coming to me like a man. Now I shall send you a few slips of the St. Paul paper and you can see for yourself. I was here for two days and did not think of going down there, but got drunk and sure enough this all had to happen. Maybe you will disown me for life, I guess I shall never see you again. Well, if I had only taken your advice all of us would never have any trouble.

That is it, we do not know until it is too late; then, sure, we can all see, at least I can. Now, as to my stuff, you can have all of it if Babe does not want her dishes.

The clock and blanket and all the other you can get what you can on it or keep it. Wait till I write again. I have not seen Babe yet so don't know what she wants. I have some shirts and things down there, you know; I shall send that all home to you and you make something for the babies. God bless them; they do not know what is in the world for the to have, and also to lose. Now you and Dad get along and try and keep in touch with me and I shall write as often as I can. Now, don't worry, Mother, because you shall always know where I am at now. Do you remember the morning you kissed me goodbye? I do love you, Mother, for all do, but you can't see it, that is all.

Tell Ruth and Frank to write to me and let them read this and tell Mother Dear, I love her and all my sisters and brothers; if only I could see Roy and Ethel.

Tell them hello for me and of course, it will break your heart, but we must all suffer just on account of me. O well, there is nothing for me to be outside for and I shall feel all right when I get down to Stillwater, Minn.

Someday I might get out. I am here all alone, and they are sure good to me here. The sheriff gives me smokes and papers all I need and sometimes his wife brings in my meals and always says good morning so nice. So don't worry, if they all use me like they do, I shall be contented. Now, drop me a few lines right away as soon as you get this so I will get it at Brainerd. You see I will not go up to 'court until next week so you can get me a letter here by then. Send that mail for me up here now. I remain yours, your son.
Lovingly and kind. Kiss the babies for me. Tell them all to write, you son,
E.M. Brandt, Brainerd, Minn.
I love you, Mother Dear.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Shooting Deaths of James Septimus McPherson and his mother, Henrietta Elizabeth Ireland McPherson

The following May 11, 1922 newspaper article is the account of the shooting deaths  of James Septimus McPherson (reported as James B. McPherson, Jr.) and his mother, Mrs. James B. McPherson, and the wounding of his father, James B. McPherson.  Although, the reporting tells about Mr. Brandt, there is no mention of the fact that the deaths of James Septimus McPherson and his mother, as well as the wounding of his father, not only  orphaned five children but effectively left them homeless.  After James S. McPherson's wife died, he had brought his five young children home to live with his parents.  At the time of the shooting, the children ranged from 18 to 12 years of age.

Brandt of Barrows, Returns from Minneapolis and Murders Relatives

Wife, Twenty-one Years old, Left Without Her Parents or Husband
E. M. brandt of Barrows, shot and killed his wife's father, James B. McPherson and his mother J.B. McPherson, Sr., Monday afternoon shortly after 3 o'clock.  The shoting occurred at the home of James McPherson, Jr., and was done with a new .32 Smith & Wesson revolver.
Mr. Brandt had  had trouble with his 21-year old wife, Gladys, and had left Barrows and gone to the cities.  He returned to Barrows a few days ago and was told to leave and not to return.  He came to Brainerd and registered at the Chamber of Commerce for work.  Monday afternoon he hired a taxi from the Lively Auto Co., and went to Barrows.  There the shooting occurred.
Gives Self up
Sheriff Claus Theorin declares that Monday afternoon someone called him and said he was Chas. LaFavor of Barrows.  He had a man there at the store that Theorin should come and get.  He said, "He will talk with you."  The man said: "This is Ernest Brandt of Barrows, Minnesota, come and get me, I shot a couple!"  Thinking there was something queer about it Theorin asked to speak with LaFavor and he confirmed Brandt's story.  He told him to hold Brandt there and they would come at once.  They left Brainerd as soon as possible and between here and Barrows they met the Barrows bus bringing LaFavor and Brandt to Brainerd.  They turned around and returned to Brainerd behind the bus.  Brandt was taken at once to the jail ans washed and put to bed where he at once fell asleep.
Admits Shooting 
Tuesday morning Brandt admitted to Mrs. Theorin and Mr. Theorin that he had done the shooting.  To Mrs. Theorin he said, "I wish I had killed myself too."  He has slept and rested well from that time.  However, he ate his first real meal Wednesday noon.  Until he is thoroughly rested he will see no one, then perhaps he will make a statement.  This no doubt will clear up many things.
Five Shots
Brandt fired five shots, one at James McPherson, Jr. which resulted in immediate death to him, one at Mrs. J. B. McPherson, mother to James, which resulted in death to her, one at J. B. McPherson, father to James, which was hindered  from taking effect by a watch which McPherson carried in his pocket.  This watch shows the mark of the bullet.  Brandt fired a second time at McPherson, this shot going wild and striking him in the knee.  He then shot into the air and threw his gun away.  It is very evident that his intentions were to end his own life as well, but lost his nerve.  He then went to the home of LaFavor and La Favor went with Brandt to the Morris store at Barrows, where he called up Theorin here as stated before.
Disclosures Made
At the inquest held Tuesday morning, Mrs. Brandt, although she could not be held accountable for the statement, disclosed the following in regard to the shooting:
Brandt returned to the home of James McPherson where they had been living, after being absent for about two weeks.  Mrs Brandt went into the yard and asked him what he wanted and why he came back, after being told to go and not come back.  He said that he had come back to hill himself and her too.  He then showed her the gun he carried.  The grandmother, Mrs. J.B. McPherson, came into the yard and told Mrs. Brandt to go inside and not talk with him.  She went inside and told her grandmother that she was afraid Brandt would kill someone as he had a gun.  Her grandmother said, "He is too much of a coward, he wouldn't shoot anyone."  Later James McPherson with with Brandt to the barn and Mrs. Brandt ran upstairs.  In a few minutes she heard a shot and ran downstairs.  The grandmother had already run out toward the barn and Mrs. Brandt saw her fall but did not hear the shot.  Then the grandfather came running and screamed that the grandmother was shot.  He had a pitchfork and when he got near Brandt, Brandt shot him as stated before.  Brandt then went to LaFavor's, from where they went to the store and called Theorin.  After the inquest, Brandt stated to Theorin that he did not tell his wife that he was going to kill himslef and her too.  He said, "I love my wife and never intended to do such a thing."
Brandt carried a half pint bottle which is in the sheriff's office.  Mrs. Brandt stated that it was half full when Brandt came and she had gotten hold of it and emptied it out.  There is sand in the bottle showing that it had evidently been thrown in the sand.  The taxi driver, Peterson, who took Brandt to Barrows, states that Brandt took several drinks on the way out.  Brandt stated to Theorin that he had been drinking for 12 days, while in the cities.
Brandt Arraigned
Brant was arraigned in municipal court before Judge Warner at 10 o'clock Wednesday morning.  He was bound over to the grand jury.  It is probable that a special jury will be called and the case taken up at once.  Otherwise the case will be held over to the grand jury in November.  Brandt will no doubt plead guilty.
Grandfather Recovering
The grandfather, who was shot in the knee is recovering at the Northwestern Hospital.  He will be able to be out in a short time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Synopsis

Not quite what I had in mind, but a deal is a deal, even, no - especially, with oneself. Taking stock of the week. Hmmm, managed to get two more letters entered onto the blog of Uncle Ralph's letters. The most difficult and time consuming part of that endeavor was the scanning the copies into my computer. As I have mentioned before, my dear uncle had a penchant for saving money on postage by using "onion skin" paper AND writing on both sides. His April 2nd (1985) letter to Olive included a hand-drawn map of the Minnesota's Crow Wing Lake area where the family lived from 1914 thru the early 1920s. The map is a treasure BUT scanning it and making it readable was most difficult as he wrote on the backside of the map with a very heavy, broad tipped pen.

So to save the map in a usable form, I had to get rid of the bleed-thru writing. Some of you undoubtedly have Photoshop or a similar program. I have The Gimp, an open source program which is similar to Photoshop. I am not an expert, but with my meager ability and knowledge, I had to "clone" clear white area over Uncle Ralph's handwriting. A very time consuming job, at least for me, that resulted in a decent looking copy of the map which indicated where my grandparents lived, and different farms where three of my aunts and an uncle were born. I gained a new perspective as to where this family lived in respect to the Mississippi River and the towns of Brainerd and Little Falls. Unfortunately, when I tried to upload the map into the post, I ran into trouble. I could not get it loaded so that it was viewable. However, I do have the map in my computer and I can insert it into the book when I get to that point..

Colldubh coaxing me to come and play
As for writing, my week was not too productive. I sat down Monday morning expecting to put in 3 hours of writing. Alas, during the Christmas chaos, I had "stashed" the material I was working on and it has yet to surface. A week worth of desk cleaning under the watchful eye of Colldubh (big, black German shepherd) have yet to unearth said writing.

I did go to a workshop on Saturday and got my creative juices flowing, so tomorrow I will again sit down to my computer and begin my weekly writing commitment.

And such is the Sunday synopsis of January 9th. By the way, you all can wish my sis a very Happy Birthday as did we over the course of the last two days. Happy Birthday, Sis.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Carnival of Genealogy's101st: My Genealogy Research & Writing Plan for 2011

My Genealogy research/writing plan for 2011 requires that I first look at 2010 to see what went well, what went not so well, and where I need to focus my time and energy in 2011.

Was part of a family group that planned, researched and set up an exhibit at the Klamath County Museum honoring my aunt, Gail G. Sigford, and four other World War II WASP (Women Air Service Pilots) from Klamath County. The exhibit was professional and received some excellent comments from viewers.

Wrote several articles about my aunt, including an article on the exhibit in the Klamath Falls Herald & News.

Participated in an 8-week writing workshop, and have been submitting articles for publication regularly as a result of the workshop. So far only rejection slips in my mailbox, but received one hand-written rejection telling me how much they enjoyed reading the essay, but “sorry not for us.”

Went to Wisconsin on a major genealogy research trip. Met several members of different branches of the McPherson clan, as well as photographing a diary that dated back to 1850 and a whole slew of pictures.

Entered almost all of my Uncle Ralph's letters onto this dedicated  blog. Now making contact with folks to help me with putting the finishing touches on the project, before setting up for publication.

Consistently attended my writing critique group.

Blogging on Roots'n'Leaves was a hit or miss proposition. Still have not finished my series on Klamath Falls Museum exhibit.

Missed my Geneablogger friends.

Research was rather limited, mainly to the WASP project, and of course, the great trip to Wisconsin, but my overall McPherson family research faltered, and other lines came to a dead standstill.

Felt frustrated and out-of-sorts as my dedicated writing time dwindled as I became more immersed in side projects.


Establish a consistent but do-able writing schedule to just write. (I'm thinking at least two hours, Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Fridays are sometimes problematical, but need to make up any hours I miss on Friday – or during the week. Remind myself that six hours a week, is better than zero hours. Also recognize that when I am on a roll, I give up TV, cooking, cleaning, yard work, and most everything else – but that I need that six hours for the impetus.

Set aside at least four to six hours a month for just research and/or article submission.

Post at least twice a week on Roots'n'Leaves. (Much easier now that the Uncle Ralph letters are finished and a consistent writing schedule will also help.)
Ask for help to do the finish work on the book of Uncle Ralph's letters.

Participate in genealogy/writing workshops, attend a conference conferences, or take a mini research and writing trip – at least three times during 2011.

Enjoy writing, researching, and blogging with my friends.

Keep the outside “Oh, that might be fun”-projects (which tend to take over my life) to a minimum. Uh-Oh,  that's my Achilles heel.

Hours devoted to writing and genealogy amount to 40-50 hours per month. Ancillary projects and commitments snaring 5 to 20+ hours a month, plus a little part time gig, and this retired little old lady is feeling pressed for time.

It's a Plan, but am ready to re-evaluate and fine-tune what isn't working.

Commit to a weekly follow-up on Roots'n'Leaves.

Stay tuned, my friends,  and feel welcome to kibitz and comment, now and throughout the year.