Monday, February 28, 2011

Search on finds relative at Spadra

So I was searching for the siblings of my grandfather Leighton Conrad in a fruitless search to find a piece of information on another relative. Anyway, I found Leighton's parents Leo and Daisy out in San Gabriel, California in 1930. I had originally thought that they'd come out from South Dakota perhaps to be near my grandfather, who I understood had come out to California when he was about 21 or so.

But, wait a minute, didn't they have another daughter Marcella who was only 8 in 1920 when they were all back in South Dakota? Okay, so putting the name Marcella Conrad into search. Oh, here she is! 1930 Census she's in a place referred to as Pacific Colony, Spadra near Pomona in Los Angeles County. In the record she is listed as "inmate." Inmate!! Okay, maybe it's not her. But... how many Marcella Conrads were born in South Dakota in 1912? I'm guessing only one, this must be her. So I go searching through the census all the way to the beginning of the Pacific Colony/Spadra records and the first several people have titles that sound very hospital-like: nurses and doctors and such.

I look up this Pacific Colony a bit further and here's one of the descriptions I found: "Pacific Colony - Thinking "feeblemindedness" to be a menace, the California Legislature created Pacific Colony as a Southern California facility to detain the "feebleminded". People with developmental disabilities were "inmates", needing to be locked away from society forever because of their "insanity". The present location welcomed it's first 27 "inmates", on May 2, 1927."

Now, time for Kyle to theorize. My grandpa came to Southern California right about 1927. His parents also came here some time between 1920 and 1930. I know that in later years, Grandpa's brother Harlan also lived in San Marino. It's not a huge stretch to think that one by one, the family gravitated to this area because of Marcella. It's certainly suggestive of a family narrative that revolves around this relative who was "locked away".

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

History for Joseph Dane of Maine

This is a biography I found of the brother of my great-grandfather. It also includes information on two of his ancestors, who are also my ancestors. Sheds a lot of light on why I'm drawn to the banking world!! I copied this from a book I found on Google called Maine Biographies by Harrie B. Coe, page 260:

"Joseph Dane- The name Dane, as told within itself, is of extremely ancient origin, and applies to the sturdy natives of Denmark, who have played an important part in Nordic affairs since the days of mythology. Danes under the command of the ancient conquerors of England settled in the then known West, and not only preserved their name, by which they were called by the English, but gave their name to many others not of Denmark.

Gradually, representatives of this family settled in America and found their proper place in everyday affairs. In more recent days we find Joseph Dane of Kennebunk, worthily living up to the reputation of the line as a constructive citizen and treasurer of the Kennebunk Savings Bank. Mr. Dane was born March 16, 1864, at Kennebunk, son of Nathan and Caroline L. (Goodwin) Dane, of the same city. His father was a leading farmer and later became treasurer of a savings bank, a course that made him not only independent but highly respected for his scholarly attainments. His grandfather, a typical product of New England soil, was also a prominent man, having been treasurer of the State of Maine during the Civil War.

Mr. Dane attended the public schools, and on completing his studies there followed in his father's footsteps on the farm. He farmed until 1903, when he accepted a position with the Kennebunk Savings Bank. He soon learned the various details of the banking business, and won a commendable place among his superior officers. It was an interesting circumstance that Joseph Dane, his great-uncle, became the first president of this institution, having joined a group of business men in its establishment in 1872. Mr. Dane was succeeded by Robert W. Lord. Later Nathan Dane, the father, became treasurer, and he was succeeded by his son, the incumbent. Its recent statements show assets in excess of $2,000,000.

Mr. Dane served as town treasurer fifteen years and superintendent of Hope Cemetery for twenty-five years. He is a member of the York Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and is likewise a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Mr. Dane married, in 1893, Loucinda L. Bragdon, of Kennebunk, and their union has been blessed with a son, Joseph Dane, Jr."