Monday, March 31, 2008

Children of James B. and Tilda Wasden

Correct these if they are wrong:  Second row, l-r, Brooks, Sofe, David.  First row, l-r,
Elna, Lucinda, Minnie.

Flyleaf from Grandma Wasden's Primer

This is the most precious page in the whole primer. I got such a chuckle out of my grandmother, who always seemed to get her work done in a timely fashion, writing this at age 11. I think she didn't like to do dishes as much as I had thought.

Great-aunt Minnie Taylor

This picture of our Great-aunt (Brigham)Minnie Taylor of Gunnison, Utah was taken in 1913 - this was her first car. She served as a midwife for many years in the Gunnison area.

Mother's "Life Story"

This was told in Mother's own words. Again, I am including this because I think there are some family members who may not have seen it.

"I was born in Penrose, Wyoming on October 4th (1906). I am one of those fortunate ones who was brought up as a member of the Church. All four of my grand parents had joined the church "in the old country" and left everything to "come to Zion." One grandmother, who was a member of a handcart company, was baptized in the North Sea at a time when a hole had to be cut in the ice. I turned 8 in the late fall but was baptized the next summer on the 4th of July in the irrigation canal when the water from the melting snows had warmed a little. The chattering of my teeth that day was due partly to the cold water and partly to the excitement and the uncertainty of what it was all about.

One of my early memories is of sitting on the top step of the stile on my way home from school where I practiced whistling. I practiced there to avoid my mother who maintained, because her mother told her, that "whistling girls and crowing hens always come to some bad ends,". But I wanted to whistle like my brother, Brooks. It was pleasing to note that in later years Mother whistled too, as she went about her work.

The summer after I finished my second year at college, I went to work as cabin girl on a dude ranch. . . and there was Russell. He was living with his aunt and uncle, the owners of the dude ranch, sawing lumber, building log cabins and pole furniture, and generally being useful. We were married two years later.

We have six children, two boys and four girls. All of them have been interested in the field of Education. Three of them have stayed with it; two are Elementary Teachers and on is Professor of Economics at Colorado State at Fort Collins. These three and two others have done much un-professional teaching -- filling many church positions. Now one grandaughter has also prepared herself to be a teacher.

The safe arrival of Laura January 17 made the 33rd grandchild, and Stacy Ann arriving February 13 gave her the distinction of being the first "great" grandchild.
We are glad that one grandson finished his mission in Salisbury and Johannesburg before the present turmoil. We have two other missionaries at present, one in Austria and one in England.
I do not have certain hobbies as such, but had done a little of a lot of things. My interests are wide and varied, indoors and out.

My long and short range goals are to take one day at a time and make the best of whatever it may bring, realizing that some things are more important for that day than some other things -- but the whole is to be enjoyed.

I have come full circle in my church positions held; beginning with Primary as secretary, and now back in Primary again. In between are years of teaching Sunday School, Relief Society, Geneology, Relief Society President, even music had a turn.

How can I choose a favorite flower? There are too many beautiful ones. But I can tell you some smells I like: shavings curling up from a pine board; water being turned on a hot dry field; sage brush after a rain; bread fresh from the oven. And some sounds to lift your heart: the lilt of a lark bunting soaring upward in the clear morning air; the Tabernacle choir at Conference; Hillarie saying matter-of-factly in the middle of her play: "I love you, Grandma."

My parents who led to all these happy experiences are James Brooks Wasden and Tilda Christena Christensen (is actually spelled Christenson). My name is Minnie Arrilla Wasden Blood.

Regarding the picture: The logs for the house were brought by my father by team and wagon from mountains about 50 miles away, and there, the year before I was born he made a 2-room house that was home for our family till I was almost 7. This picture shows my family. My youngest sister was born after we moved into the new house. The lad was raw farm land (never had been farmed before) and located in the Big Horn Basin where the yearly rain fall would about equal a good shower in Washington.
(Note to reader: The picture is not with this writing, but as soon as I locate it, I will post it, unless someone else can find their copy sooner)

Dad's description of Mother

Many of you probably have this gem, but perhaps grandchildren do not.

April 15, 1979

Dear Sister Whitman,
In your letter you suggested that I write a few of the qualities that my wife has that makes her so special to me.
I suppose if I were a good writer I could write pages about this subject. The one oustanding quality would be her steadfastness through almost fifty years of marriage, lot of thin hard times also some choice times.
To me she isn't an angel just a good person, who is always there to keep me going, besides that she makes delicious bread.
Every job she does is always done the best she can, and usually that a good job.
We all love her, what more can I say?
Russell Blood

Copies of Russell Blood's school work

These items I found in an old school book of Dad's that I ended up with - he was a neat writer, and a good speller. And how many times did he use one of those little sayings, i.e. "People that live in glass houses should not throw stones".

Mother's Teaching Contracts for Valley & Bryon, Wyoming

Notice the salary on these teaching contracts. Mother spent one year, 1955-56, at Valley. She was snowed in many weekends and could not make it home. The isolation was hard. Did it remind her of earlier days when Dad was the one separated from the family home? I never heard her complain. The money was needed to make the farm survive.

Her contract with Byron was very strict. Note the dock of pay for taking a sick day. One day she was so ill, she had me skip school and drive her to Byron, stay the day and then bring her home. We arrived home none too soon. She would not give up that money.

The Early Day Metropolis of Garland, WY

Early day Garland, seven miles from where we lived in Penrose, was a bustling place with hotels, a department store, at least one, an elevator, and who knows what else?  I remember Mother taking me to the department store to buy a pair of overshoes.   Our Penrose mail was delivered through the Garland Post Office until long after I left home in January 1950.  Joe Bob Cubbage was the lovable postmaster, and we used to think he read all of our postcards, which was fine, because nothing of import was ever on any of them.   The Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy RR went through Garland on its way to Cody.  Passenger cars on this railroad carried Yellowstone Park visitors in early times, and the railroad was used to move Japanese internees on the final leg of their sad journey to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center during WWII, as the prison facilities were politely called.  We had moved to Ralston during the WW II years from 1941-1944, where we lived immediately adjacent to the railroad.  We went out by the tracks and waved at all of the Japanese people in the rail cars as they went by, and they were always waving at us.  We had only a partial understanding of this great American Tragedy when we were very young.

Grandpa Wasden's Official Record

This is the record of Grandpa Wasden's purchases of lots in the Penrose Cemetery. Where, oh where, would we be able to buy a cemetery lot for $2.00?

Photos of J. B. Wasden farm in Early Days

Another page from Mother's (Minnie Wasden) photo album

Funeral Expenses in 1962 and 1966

A little more historical data.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Aunt Sofe Johnson's Memorabilia

Aunt Sofe Johnson's (Mother, Minnie Blood's sister) memorabilia, photographed at the home of her granddaughter 
Minnie and Russell Blood, Penrose, 1950s?

Rare Early Day Photo of Penrose

This rare photo shows, from left to right, a couple or a family in a buggy, the Penrose Schoolhouse, a man in the road, and the Penrose Church.  Plus a few horse apples on the road. The outline of the J. B. Wasden house appears  in the background.  Double click, and you can see the two outhouses at the school, and the Wasden house shows up more clearly.  And these were the good old days in Penrose!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ward Teaching Message June 25,1935

Gathering at Russell and Minnie Blood Home In Penrose After J. B. Wasden's Funeral

Unfortunately, I took this photo with a camera that took tiny pictures.  If we work on it, we can probably identify most of them.

Historical Documents of Interest

These documents may be of interest to some of you. Just a piece of the "rest of the story".

Photo of J. B. Wasden farm from the canal

This early photo shows the large garden on the left, a long way from the house, which I assume was placed there because of alkali soil conditions around the house that ultimately were remedied by a system of drainage ditches throughout the valley.  The Wasden farmstead can be faintly seen in the far background.  Double click all of these photos for more detail.

The Wasden Home Today

The James B. Wasden home and farm were purchased by Burchell Hopkin after our grandparents moved to Lovell to be nearer medical facilities and care facilities.  Ivan and Julia Lynn, parents of Burchell's wife Ruby, lived there for a number of years, and the home is now lived in by renters.  

The New Wasden Home

Building a home of this size was an absolutely miraculous accomplishment for James B. Wasden, our grandfather, considering the struggle for survival in those early Penrose days.  The house remained the grandest home in the Penrose valley for many years.  Grandpa is standing by the door on the right;  Looks like grandma is holding a baby.  Can you identify others?  This photo is one of those rare gems that gives us a wonderful glimpse of an earlier life that is part of who we are.

Letter from Uncle Orvil to Grandpa and Grandma Wasden 1932

Garland, August 29
Dear Dad & Mother,
It sounds as though you are pretty busy with church work, harvesting and entertaining relatives.
We've been pretty busy too. Russ has been a carpenter and a farmer. I've been shocking and stacking oats for over a week now. Minnie is canning and drying apples.
They have created some road work in this state for the unemployed and the out-of -work men in each county are to make application. The money was let on Aug. 23. Board will be no more than 75(cents) a day. Skilled labor will draw 60 (cents) per hour and unskilled labor 40 (cents). They're using as little machinery as possible to give jobs to single hands and horses. Russ and I applied about a week ago. of course we're both skilled laborers. Russell at cooking and I at fresnoing. I told the secretary I'd done done everything on the road. I'd really rather be a flunkey than fresno hand because it's not so monotonous and a flunkey works every day, rain or shine. I'll take what I can get tho.
We went down to Conference yesterday. You should have seen the crowd that was turned away. Apostle Ballard, Sisters Hogan and Hart were here, besides some people from Denver. I expect the old skinflints who refused to donate on the stake tabernacle were joyous to see people turned and a lot of them held down the softest seats in the hall. Last nite was the Mutual session. The Gleaner chorus sang and did a real job of it. Golden Welch was conducting.
Hattie or Charlie manage everything around here but the dances. Old Man alcohol sometimes manages them. "The Way to Perfection" is used here.
The Penrose Branch Relief Socity exhibit was highly complimented after Russ had made most of the things. It was an ideal reading center.
Take care of yourselves and maybe Santa Claus will come son (soon). Good luck,


Friday, March 28, 2008

Photos from Mother's (Minnie's) photo album

The bottom photo is of the Wasden farmstead in winter.  The other two look like photos of Mother (Minnie Wasden), probably in Sunlight.  Mother had a Model A Roadster she bought while teaching school which was her pride and joy and our family's only means of transportation for several years.  We remember riding in the rumble seat on trips to town, Cody, and up to the Big Horn Mountains, terrorized at watching the valley far below from the switchback curves going up the mountain.

Lane leading to the fields from Grandpa Wasden's farmstead.

The irrigation ditch from the canal is on the left; the lane where farm equipment was moved to the fields is by the ditch.  The Jackson Fork (for lifting hay from wagons and stacking it on the haystacks) is faintly visible, along with the hay stack; it looks like a straw pile in the middle of the photo since whatever is there is piled over the pole fence, which would never be allowed if it was hay. The building in the distance on the right is the tractor shed.  Grandpa's farmstead was like a small kingdom; he built a building or a structure for everything.  Note the fenceposts:  there were no store-bought fence posts on the Wasden farm.  This photo is probably the best of the surviving photos of the Wasden farmstead; I took it with a box brownie camera probably in 1948.  We treasured this farmstead and all of the places to explore and hide.

Dining Room Table in Wasden Home

Few photos were taken before flash and fast film were available, but everyone remembers this dining room table, the chair to the left, and the cupboard at the end of the table where Grandpa Wasden stashed his peppermints.  If we were lucky, he gave us one.

View of the trees surrounding our vanished Penrose home from 1931-1941

Burchell Hopkin bought the farmstead, but for whatever reason that we remain grateful for, he left the huge old cottonwoods and silver leaf poplars stand.

Home of our Wasden Grandparents

The home of James B. and Tilda Wasden.  Water was hauled from the river and stored in the water barrel by the front gate until the alkali was cleared from ground water.  The wash house was at the right of the main house.  Dates, anyone?

Note to our Czech Friends

It was exciting to see that someone in the Prague area has been browsing the Blood Family Blog. After spending a considerable amount of time searching documents, etc. looking for any thread that will help us trace our Czech ancestors, my hope is that someone out there might know something about the Krajicek and Mach families. If those names are of interest to you, please email me at

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ana Sophie Olsen

It is conjecture that this picture was taken before Ana Sophie left Denmark with her parents and siblings for America. She might have been around 16 years of age. We always loved the love story about her and Great-grandpa John Brooks Wasden. Their marriage only lasted a little over a year, when she died after delivering twin sons, James Brooks and Peter Wasden. Peter died soon after birth, and our grandfather, James Brooks Wasden, was nurtured and lived - to have a wonderful progeny that numbers in the hundreds.

The tea set

This tea set came to me for Christmas either when I was 4 (1939) or 5 (1940). We played with it constantly, having tea parties with our make-believe family that Louise and Dwight invented - The Goo family, with Funny Goo as the mother, Big Goo as the father, and Little Goo as the child. The Goo family had a hired man, Squeaky Man, and there were varioius other characters coming in and out of the scene. We took the Goo family to all sorts of places, and invented all kinds of situations. This is all that is left of the tea set - Judy and Ann inherited it when I got older, and most pieces were broken. Only the creamer and the sugar bowl lid remain intact - Mother mended the teapot for me, and included these three items in a little box of memorabilia that she kept for me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Prune Song

When the Wurlitzer piano came into our lives in the summer of 1948, Mother unearthed old music that she had been saving from the time in the late 1920s when she had been single, teaching school, and able to purchase music. She had lots of classics, William Tell Overture, Taunnhauser, Schubert's music, etc., but she also had some very unusual music that reflected the 1920's, including "Show Me the Way to Go Home", and "The Prune Song", with words by Frank Crumit and music by Harry DeCosta. The song declaims that no matter how young a prune may be it's always full of wrinkles, and goes on for six verses. We always had a lot of fun singing it, and it was one of the ditties that Mother would sing on occasion.
To my knowledge, Mother never talked about how she acquired her skill as a piano player. She was often the one who played for family reunions at Grandma and Grandpa Wasden's house when everyone would sing together songs like "The Bulldog on the Bank and the Bullfrog in the Pool". In the evenings, even though she must have been tired from her day's labors, she often sat down to play, and we would either watch, sometimes try to sing along, or just listen and appreciate the music.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Check out HP's Tabblo

If you follow this link, you come to the HP Tabblo site.  You can sign up free, and they have a bunch of nifty photo posting options, including collages.  Haven't tried them yet, but just trying to keep you all in the vanguard of modern technology since none of us obviously have anything else to do anyway.  Whatever.

HP Blog Printing Tool

Follow this link to check out a download for the HP Blog printing tool.  In fact, I downloaded it to the Penrose blog, and I think it will work.  Click on the print button down toward the end on the right.  This button converts to a PDF file which is printable.  You can increase the size of what you want to print with the percentage box on top of the PDF file page, which takes you to another page with the larger printable stuff on it.  This is all brand new territory, so don't get excited if this doesn't work all peachy smooth; we ought to be able to figure it out.  According to the live link above, this HP program isn't yet programmed for Typepad.  Please try it out and let's see if we can work the bugs out of it.

Frank and Veronika (Mach) Krajicek

The first picture is the only picture we have of our great-grandfather, Frank Krajicek. The picture was extracted from a very faded family group picture.
The second picture is of Veronika Mach (Krajicek). After establishing a family of 9 children, of whom our Grandmother Louise was the second oldest, and attempting to establish a homestead, soddy and all, in western Nebraska, Frank left Veronika, and went back to Omaha to be a tailor, which was his occupation listed in the 1880 Cleveland, Ohio Federal Census. He is listed in the Kearney, Nebraska, 1900 business directory as a tailor. Kearny is quite a distance from either Mitchell or Alliance, Nebraska. Veronika divorced Frank, and was supported by her grown children, especially Henry. They are both listed as being from Bohemia. Our great-aunt Rose Krajicek Allgeier wrote that Frank and Veronika were beautiful dancers.

Russell Marion Blood (Dad)

This photo was taken during the early 1940's, at our home about a mile to the east of Ralston, Wyoming. He would have been about 33 years old when this picture was taken - older than the picture of Roscoe, his father, but you can see some family resemblance.

Roscoe Blood's Gravestone in Fort Collins CO Cemetery

Penrose, Wyoming, circa 1960

This is a map that I constructed for brother Dwight when he wrote his book "Echoes of My Wyoming Boyhood". To the east were sandhills, with the Penrose cemetery on top of the hills, and the Big Horn moountains far to the east. To the south was Grandpa Wasden's farm, the Elk Water Users' irrigation canal, and more sandhills. To the west was farmland, and, in the distance Heart Mountain, and the mountains to the west and north of Cody, Wyoming. To the north was the Shoshoni River, a hill, and, beyond that, the Pryors [mountains], which extended into Montana. We felt very safe in this little valley.

Marriage License for Roscoe Blood and Louise Krajicek

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Judy, Steve, and Ann dyeing Easter Eggs

Steve is obviously left out while Judy and Ann are clearly running the show
and using up all the eggs.  Note clock shelf (see earlier post) on the wall by the stove.

Moses and Sarah Blood, Parents of Roscoe, Who Was Father of Russell, Our Dad

Continuing with the Roscoe Blood story - these pages tell about his father and mother, Moses and Sarah Batty Hawkins Blood. Times were very hard for Sarah after the untimely death of Moses.

Moses, the grandson of the first Moses, pioneer from Vermont, was born in Flora Township south of Belvidere, Ill. He grew up on the family farm about three miles south and one west of Charles City, Iowa schools, and went into town to an old stone school building for his schooling.
Moses and Sarah lived on the east side of the river, about five miles from town. A bad accident in the woods was followed by a long illness. When he died, the farm was foreclosed for back taxes. There is no marker on the grave site; it is thought that he is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Charles City, Iowa.

Reasons for staying

We almost always forget why we go to war because of the horror of it and sometimes we think that if we just leave things alone the status quo is more appetizing. Even when the situation is or seems contrived we try to do our best often without the results we eenvision. When I was offered the chance to stay in Nam for a few months and return the army would give me an early release from active duty, it seemed like a no brainer. It was about the people. People who had suffered through "a hundred year war," people who when treated with respect would share their last morsel of food with a total stranger. People who lived in constant fear of their enemies and their own government. People who just wanted what we all want. It's all about people.

A Letter to our Grandmother Louise and our Grandfather Roscoe

Dear Grandma and Grandpa:  Though we were never privileged to see or meet you, we, your descendants, study your photos preserved down the decades of time and feel that, through these images, we know who you are.  You left your noses, your mouths, your facial characteristics stamped on your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and ever on down.  We wonder if you laughed the same way that Dad laughed.  To our grandmother Louise:  We realize now, belatedly, that you were just a girl when you died.  We look at our own daughters and remember our wives at the age of 26, and we wonder, what were your hopes?  Your young-girl dreams? Did you know that through your brief years you would forever leave a legacy imprinted in our genes and that we would forever look at your lovely picture, frozen in time, and grieve that we never could have seen you, talked to you, listened to you sing and laugh?  To our grandfather Roscoe:  Could you have possibly known that your son, our dad, would forever feel lost and alone and worthless after knowing that he would not remain at home with you after you married again?  You were both here for such a short time.  We wonder if the miracles of modern medicine could have saved you both so that you could have been a part of our lives, rather than images from the annals of time that we study, looking for a mirror of ourselves, wondering just how much of you is in us, and how much of each of us we continue to pass down to those who follow.  You were and will forever remain our grandparents, links to eternity.  If only we could have known you.  But, then, since there remains so much of you in us, we may, on reflection, know you better than we all may have even thought.  And, "somewhere in time", we know that we will come to know and see you.  Your loving grandchildren.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Roscoe Marion Blood

This is Roscoe Marion Blood, our paternal grandfather, who married Louise Krajicek. He lived to be 39 years old - he died of a kidney disease called Bright's Disease. Dad had been sent to a coal-mining town named Ajax outside of Sheridan to live with his Aunt Rose (Louise's sister) and Uncle Will, and his grandmother Kray during the summer of Roscoe's illness. He attended school in the fall, but was brought back to Denver to stay with his Grandmother Blood. He did not get to see his father again before he died, because Dad had scarlet fever. He was only a little over 9 years old when his father died.

Liz Gage's drawing of the place where we lived throughout the 1930s

I asked Liz to draw a sketch of the layout of the little farmstead where we lived throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s, which we abandoned in 1941 when we moved to Ralston, east of Powell on the Cody highway, and then lived there from 1941-1944, returning to Penrose in 1944.  This sketch appeared in one of my personal history memoirs.

Sisters Ann, Judy, Liz 1984

Ann, Judy, Liz 1984.  Look at those self-satisfied smirks, as if they knew stuff I didn't know.  No comment on the hairdos.  Or the glasses.  And is that really Ann, or her daughter?

J.B. Wasden farm in the teens or twenties

Photos of the Penrose Wasden farm, with Grandpa James B. Wasden plowing with a double team of horses.  From Mother's photo album.