Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Where's the Shrimp?

Forrest Gump has nothing on my maternal grandfather Lowell Froman if this 1920 report from the Denver Post is any indication. As a young man, Lowell hiked across the country decades before the fictitious Forrest Gump started his long walk after influencing the Nixon presidency as reported in the movie of the same name.

From page 19 of the the Denver Post on 18 June 1920 archived at GenealogyBank I found this article about Grandpa that reads:

"Youth Walks Here
From GenealogyBank.
From Kansas City
Lowell Froman, 20, Nature
Hiker, Takes 16 days
for Journey

Lowell Froman, 30-year-old, [20-year-old] Kansas City, Mo., loves nature so intensely that he is walking across country from the Missouri metropolis to the Pacific coast.

He arrived in Denver Thursday, after sixteen days of hiking over good, bad and indifferent roads, and left Friday for Estes park, to visit with Enos Mills, famous naturalist.

Before leaving Kansas City, Froman lived for six years at the Boy's hotel, an institution maintained by the Juvenile Improvement club for homeless working boys. He carries letters from E. E. Porterfield, judge of the circuit court of Kansas City, who is president of the Improvement club, and from other prominent Kansas City, men."

This newspaper post begins to explain where my grandfather lived in his youth. Previously I had several photos of my grandfather where he'd written on the back "Boys from the Boys' hotel", but I knew nothing of the location of the hotel or more details about Lowell since he and my grandmother divorced after my mother was born in 1928.

Original photo from author's private collection. No one is named,
but the back says "Boys hotel boys" and was among papers
including my grandpa's fishing license.
Try comparing the photo below known to be Lowell, with the Boys hotel photo above to see if you can spot Lowell. If he is not one of those boys, he may be the one behind the camera. I think he is the boy in the middle of the back row above.
Lowell, sitting on a draftsman's table, among the
inherited pictures I treasure.

Below, here's a picture of the same type and apparent age as the "Boys hotel" photo above showing a little bear cub on top of a dire damaged tree stump. Somewhere I've got another picture of the cub as it was attracted to a line of freshly caught fish laid out on a nearby log. I can only imagine the adventures these young outdoorsmen experienced.
Original photo in author's possession.

 The back of the bear photo bears this inscription, apparently written by my Grandpa Lowel:

"Cub #2
8 24
On the road back
from fishing
35 m. SE of St. Maries"
[The photo includes the imprint of 8 24 - perhaps
the photo development date of August 1924?]

A Google search for "St. Maries" provided a link to St. Maries, Idaho.

Enos Mills' life and work was more public, since "aided by groups such as the Sierra Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mills succeeded and Congress established Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915." (WikiPedia)

I'll may never know if grandpa was able to confer with Enos Mills before Enos died in 1922, but the love of the outdoors was clearly experienced by both men.

Apparently, Lowell's love of the outdoors extended into his late 20s.

Here's the Idaho State Fishing License for L. S. Froman, describing him as male, age 26, height 6 feet 1 1/2 Inch, 170 pounds, dark complexion, dark hair, grey eyes. resident of Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, dated June 26, 1936 C. D. Alene [Coeur d'Alene] Idaho. 

  • DearMYRTLE. Finding the date of last Thursday and six other challenges where I describe using GenealogyBank.com when locating Lowell Froman's mother's obituary. Includes info about using a screen capture and photo editing software to save just a portion of a newspaper page, when GenealogyBank offers only full page .PDF file saves.
  • DearMYRTLE. A marriage license isn't a marriage return where the marriage license for my grandparents Lowell and Frances (Goering) Froman is discussed along with the importance of a broader search of records to locate evidence this couple actually married. Included is a link to the 1930 US federal census for Wenatchee, Chelan, Washington where Lower [Lowell] is listed as a 30-year-old draftsman, is married to my grandmother Frances and my mother Barbara appears as his 18-month-old daughter.


All to frequently, newspaper research is confined to locating an obituary posted a few days after an ancestor's death. With the ability to search digitized newspaper collections online, we are more likely to run across odd articles like Grandpa Lowell's found on the same page with the fish and game report. Learning more about  about Lowell's love of nature is inspiring.

Perhaps inheriting "nature loving" DNA explains why Mr. Myrt and I love to traverse our country stopping at all national parks, every roadside historical marker in addition to seeking out ancestral cemeteries and homesteads? Thankfully we get to use modern 21st century modes of transportation.

What sorts of articles have my DearREADERS run across in online newspaper collections?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post -- I love searching online newspapers! I found an article recently that would have been hilarious if it hadn't been so heartbreaking. It was about an incident that took place at the home of a fairly prominent deaf-mute gentleman in San Francisco in 1901. I blogged about it here: http://voicesfromadistantpast.blogspot.com/2011/10/there-will-be-change-of-help-in-tilden.html