Thursday, January 31, 2013

1895 Sutton Businesses, Churches & Civic Societies

The Masthead of The Advertiser=News. This issue was identified as
Vol 1 No.7 indicating that the paper began publishing on August 2, 1895.

The Advertiser News was likely a short-lived newspaper in Sutton and not one of the real early ones. Papers were published in town as early as about 1873. The Sutton Register began in 1880 and continued into the 1940's.

Here is a list of several local businesses that advertised in this issue of the paper plus churches and civic societies.


William Bauer, Shoemaker - Repairing done at low prices. First door north of Grosshans'. Call in.

Dr. J. M. Birkner - Physician and Surgeon. All calls promptly answered.

Alex Bauer - Real Estate, Loans, Insurance. Transportation agent for Railroad and Steamship Lines.  Office, 4th Door South of Oakland Hotel.    (The Oakland Hotel was on the south bank of School Creek on the west side of Saunders Avenue. The Hotel burned down in 1902.)

G. L. Beard - Oyster Parlor.  Fresh Fruits in season; choice Confectionery and Cigars.  First door north of Carney's Hardware Store.    (Carney's Hardware Store was on the west side of the north end of downtown.)

M. V. Clark - Surgeon and Physician.  In active practice 24 years. Special attention to diseases of Women.  (Dr. M. V. B. (Martin Van Buren) Clark was the brother of I. N. Clark, below, and the first doctor in Sutton in 1873. The Clark's came from near Cleveland.)

L. P. Crouch - Attorney at Law. Will practice in state courts, and give prompt attention to Collections. Office in Central Blk.

I. N. Clark - Real Estate and Ice. Choice Farm Lands, Town Property and Western Lands. Office up stairs in Clark's Block.     (I. N. (Isaac Newton) Clark was an early (1873) Sutton developer. He opened the first business in the location of today's downtown on Saunders Avenue. (Operating as Carney's Hardware at this time - later Les Bauer's Hardware.)

E. E. Hairgrove - Attorney at Law.  Office over First National Bank. Special attention given to correspondence.

J. H. Johnson - Dental Surgery.  Teeth extracted without pain. Temporary and permanent sets made on short notice. Office in Opera House.

M. C. King. - Lawyer and Collector. Notary Public.  Office - Bemis Block.

J. W. Legg - Jeweler. Jewelry, Watches, Clocks, Silverware and Spectcles (sic). Repairs a specialty and guaranteed.

D. A. Schaftchenko - City Barber.  Shop 3rd door south of Oakland Hotel.

T. H. Matters - Lawyer and Collector. Practice in all courts. Harvard and Sutton, Nebraska

Thompson Bros. - Real Estate and Loans. Farms and Town property for sale. Real estate Loans negotiated at lowest current rates.

H. L. Vradenberg - Homepathic Physician and Surgeon. Office First Door South of William Reuter's Harness Shop.

The Flour and Feed Store - is still in Sutton, and keeps Flour from three different mills. Always a good stock on hand. Every sack guaranteed to give satisfaction. Come in and get my prices.  Henry Schleicher - Sutton.

Sam Carney Hardware Store - Gasoline Stoves, Screen Doors, Paints and Oils, Refrigerators. Sewing Machine Repairing on Short Notice. ---  Don't Forget to Remember the Place.

The Corner Market - Run by those two old reliable butchers: Brehm & Baker.

M. Tessier & Son Groceries.

C. M. Calmes' Lunch Room and Bakery - All the delicacies of the season furnished on short notice. South Side.

First National Bank - F. N. Rowley, President; M. L. Luebben, Cashier; Theo.Miller, Assistant Cashier.

Toland & Nelson Store - School supplies, bicycles.

THE CHURCH DIRECTORY from September 13, 1895:

German Lutheran - Preaching on Sunday at 2 P.M. Sunday School at 3 P. M. Meetings held in the court house. Max Henning, Pastor.

German Congregational - Preaching at 1:30 P.M. and 7:30 P.M. on Sunday. Sunday School at 9 A.M. Prayer meeting on Sunday at 2 P.M. Richard Hilkerbaumer, Pastor.

Catholic Services - First, Third and Fifth Sunday at 10:30 A.M. Every Sunday at 7:30 P.M. Lecture and Bennediction (sic). Sunday School at 10:30 A.M. on first, third and fifth Sundays. Doctrine for children every Saturday at 2 o'clock P.M.  F. C. Loughran, Priest.

Evangelical Association. Preaching Sunday morning at 10:30 and in the evening at 7:30. A. Wichmann, Pastor.

First Congregational - Services on the Sabbath at 10:30 A.M. Prayer meeting Thursdays evening at 8. Y.P.S.C.E. Sunday evening. Jacob Flook, Pastor.

Immanuels German Reformed - Sunday School at 10:00 A.M. Service at 11 A.M. W. Bonekemper, Pastor.

Methodist Episcopal - Services Sunday at 10:30 A.M. and 8 P.M. Olive Branch 3 P.M.Strangers made welcome. J. W. Royse, Pastor.

Wolga Congregation-German Reformed - Sunday School 9:30. Preaching on Sunday at 10:30 A.M. John Arnold, Pastor.


Sutton Lodge No. 156, A.O.U.W.  Meets in the Odd Fellow's Hall first and third Monday's.

Sutton Lodge No. 87, Degree of Honor, A.O.U.W. Meets in Odd Fellow's Hall second and fourth Mondays.

Sutton Lodge No. 52. I.O.O.F. Meets in their hall Wednesday's.

Eugenia No. 34, Daughters of Rebekah. Meets in the Odd Fellow's Hall on Friday evening.

Evening Star Lodge No. 49 A.F.& A.M. Meets on second and fourth Thursday evenings.

Lebanon Chapter No. 14, R.A.M. meets in Masonic Hall last Fridays.

Solomon Council No.10, Royal and Selected Masters - Meets first Fridays in the Masonic Hall.

Sutton Chapter No. 54, O.E.S. meets in Masonic Hall first and third Thursdays.

Sutton Lodge No. 75, Knights of Pythias meets each Tuesday evening.

George G. Meade Post No. 19 G.A.R. meets second and fourth Thursday evenings.

George G. Meade Corps No. 167 W.R.C. meets first and third Thursdays.

Pine Tree Camp No. 494, M.W.A. meets in the K. of P. Hall on second and fourth Mondays.

W.C.T.U. meets every two weeks on Wednesday evenings.

A Deeper Look at History - Sutton School Grads

While recently looking something up in the Sutton High School Alumni Directory I was again struck by the predominance of girls in the early years. I wondered how long that lasted and what were the reasons for that marked tilt.

A study of history can happen on several levels. The history column in the Clay County News is a “study” of history at a shallow level being several tidbits of facts from the past. We call those “data points” – just disjointed facts.

If we take a deeper look at a set of disjointed facts we will generally have an opportunity to learn more. A collection of facts plus a bit of imagination and a deeper look expands those facts into a story. That often happens in genealogy research.

My great grandfather died in 1890 at the age of 51. His widow lived to age 88 in 1932 – a few cold facts, but what was Rhoda’s life like after James died?

A photo and the cold facts of dates for birth, marriage and death
are only a start in learning about your ancestors. This family of
Mom and daughters left clues to their interesting and complicated
 lives. We just have to look deeper to uncover their stories.
A look at their offspring offers a clue. The widow was left on the west Kansas wheat farm with eight of her eleven children still at home at ages 18, 16, 13, 11, 9, 7, 5 and 2. Now that is interesting. Add those new “data points” to the few we had before and we've the makings of a story.

By blending in more simple facts about her life and that of those offspring, where they lived, etc. and we learn more and more about Rhoda’s life. For instance, what prepared her for this? Could it have been that when Rhoda was 19 her own mother died at age 47 trying to have her tenth baby leaving Rhoda the oldest daughter with 14, 11, 9 and 4 year old brothers? That was while James, her “intended” was one year into his three year absence with the 82nd Indiana Infantry marching through the Confederacy.

That could be a character building experience.

Meanwhile, back at the Sutton High School Alumni Directory, how long did the number of girls in the graduating classes continue to exceed the boys?
The Sutton High School Alumni Directory for 1884-2001 is a 
priceless resource to uncover “data points” about most of the past 
residents of our community. Take some time to look deeper 
into these pages and you may be surprised at what you find.

I made a spreadsheet. Sure enough, in the first three years, 1884-1886 girls outnumbered boys 4-0, 4-3 and 8-2. Jumping a few years to 1897-1899 the counts were 9-5, 7-5 and 15-3.How about 1913-1915: 9-3, 5-8, 8-7. You see that 1914 had more boys – that had happened twice before and would again in 1921 but in 1916 there were 16 girls and only 5 boys.

The widest gap of girls outnumbering boys occurred in 1940, ’41 and ’42 (except 1964 – more on that).

The branch of mathematics that helps us understand bunches of numbers is the field of statistics. That is the science that helps us gain confidence in our interpretation of bunches of numbers. My grad example violates a critical concept – sample size. To gain more confidence in any interpretation we’d need either much larger class sizes or to look at several schools.

How many more? Surprisingly, not many.

Political polls are a recent reminder of statistical science. A sample size of 1500, turns out, will give a very good representation of the whole population, within an error rate of about 3%. The most critical factor in choosing the 1500 person sample is to be representative of the whole population. If that is done right, adding 500 or so to the sample size gains very little in the confidence level. (It’s a math thing.)

I used another tool in looking at the Sutton High grads – a ten-year moving average. Mr. Excel makes this pretty easy. I tracked the average difference in number of girls versus number of boys for each ten year period from 1884-1893 through 1958-1967 (got tired by then). Using ten-year averages will smooth out “outliers” – single years with abnormal counts that mean little.

My results? Several interesting things pop out.

Turns out that the average class had 2.5 to 4.7 more girls than boys through the 1926-1935 period when the gap spiked up when those ’40-’42 years were included then settled down in the early ‘50’s to quite equitable numbers.

So what could we interpret from this mish-mash of numbers?

I’ll hypothesis, meaning I’ll devise possible explanations that might explain the numbers.

First, a likely explanation is that boys quit school early to work on the farm while girls continued their studies.

Probably a factor, but a good percentage of school age kids were town kids. Did town boys tend to quit school to work in Dad’s store or business? Did they go work on farms? A quick look at 1900 and 1910 census finds a little of that, but not enough account for the numbers. It would take more study to offer that as a bet at the bar, with confidence.

Secondly, maybe parents felt it was more important for girls to finish high school than boys.

Could be, but if so, that would go against quite a bit of “common” knowledge. If there was any gender bias in most of history it was that boys were educated, girls not so much. Would our community be different? Why?

Thirdly, maybe girls were marrying at younger ages.

Also, could be, but that would require digging into more data.

And (______ fill in your own hypothesis here.)

My point is that accepting common knowledge or an opinion should not cut it if you are interested in a rigorous study of a topic. Dig deeper.

There is another interesting thing about the picture we get from our Alumni Directory. The trend in the number of grads does not match the trend in overall population of the community during these years.

The local population peaked around 1900 to 1910 then declined steadily into the depression when it dropped more rapidly and then resumed a steady decline. The number of grads rose during those declines; the classes of 1940 and 1942 were largest classes during this whole period. There was only one class with more than 25 grads before 1921. There was only one class under 30 after 1921 (1963 with 28).

Any idea about what was going on there? Suppose mandatory school attendance tilted the graduation rate? Careful…we should look deeper.

I mentioned the class of ’64. That class demonstrates that in any set of data there can be weird data points. The class of ’64 had 31 girls and 13 boys. There were more girls in that class than all the students in ’63. That’s an “outlier.” It doesn’t mean anything necessarily. Outliers happen.

So what have we learned?

I hope that we’ve learned that there can be a lot involved when you give into an interest in the past. A casual look at the past may give a satisfactory picture but a deeper look will at least add to the picture and may very well reverse your original perception. The study of historic events and people is like so much else, the more you put into it the more you get out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1943 Wartime New Yorker Ads

We don't see these kinds of ads anymore:

A subscription to The New Yorker magazine includes online access to the entire archive of past issues dating back to the issue of Feb. 21, 1925. It is a mind-numbing library, difficult to find a place to start. So, why not start with the issue of the week of your own birth?

June, 1943 was a busy time in World War II. The references to the progress of the war are interesting enough but the ads in the magazine are especially striking. Production of domestic goods and services were interrupted in support of the war effort. Here is an ad from Desoto, once a major car manufacturing division of Chrysler.

The industrial might of the U.S. was diverted to the war effort. Here is a 1943 ad where
the Desoto division of Chrysler Corporation described part of their story to their
customers, the American people, who as taxpayers were buying equipment for the troops.
One advertising industry that was common in 1943 which has fallen away was the cigarette industry. This was a common approach to cigarette advertising back in the day...

We just don't see this anymore...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1923 Photo of Our Historic House

Historic House at 309 N. Way Ave. in Sutton, Nebraska

The Historic House of the Sutton Museum - taken April 1, 1923

We received this photo from Mary Kathleen Fish, a Gray family descendant. Thanks to Mary for sharing this piece of her family history and our present.