Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Day 6

Day 6 (August 27, 2008)

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Day 6 dawned and breakfast at the hotel called later that morning. Coffee, juice, and sugared flour (AKA a danish) was the staple for Brian - Dad and Mom had the healthier food (cereal).

After the nutritious breakfast, Dad and Brian left in the car with a plan to meet up with Mom for lunch. We timed the departure for a 9:00am stop at the court house for a quick 1 hour refined data collection and then it was off the Hastings Public library. While at the library, Dad and Brian located in a quick minute (with help), the Hastings "directories" from the late 1800s through early 1930's. This was (is) a treasure trove of information as it details the Foy/Gordon/Weber home addresses AND their business addresses in the Hastings and surrounding areas, year after year! Now it was possible to chronicle the journey better than ever before from beginning to end in Nebraska. We only spent about 1 hour and with a summary of addresses written down while taking pictures, this enabled us to make the next wonderful step - locating these homes and business.

So, after looking through most of the directories, Dad and Brian started tracking down the locations in Hastings, taking pictures of the homes and business's. After about 30 minutes we had id'ed most of them (if not all). Some of the addresses were not lining up so we figured that there was an address change in the past, but most of the homes still stood as they did nearly 100 years ago!

We drove over to the hotel, picked up Mom and then off to Bernardos Steak House for lunch. We talked about the recent discoveries and in fact stopped by a few of them on our way to the restaurant. Meal was reasonable and afterwords returned to the hotel to drop off Mom.

Next stop was the Adams County Historical society. Brian was like a kid in a candy shop. We started going through many of the basic records - Brian collected court records on the Gordon/Foy family who lived in Hastings, while Dad located some of the obituaries.

While talking about the families we were researching, Brian asked about the Weber photo studio we had seen in town earlier. Katherine Renschler, the Historical Societies president, told us about the owner and the recent donations he had made to the society regarding photographs of farms in the area. Katherine gave the name and phone number for us to contact.

Brian signed up to be a member of the Adams County Historical society and donated a few extra dollars, before heading out the door with riches unimaginable.

A quick call to the Weber family provided by Katherine and we were off to a short visit with them (sans Mom). It turns out that this was a cousin and knew many of the Foy family, especially Aunt Verona McKenzie, Uncle Phil Foy, and Grandma and Grandpa Foy. We were very blessed to see them, exchanged names, phone numbers, emails, stories and other relevant information. It was during this short encounter that we also found about about Uncle Phil's pool hall in Holstein, and that it was still standing... slightly modified by later owners. In addition, another cousin was doing family research on the Weber descendants and there was a hard copy available for loan to us. We would make a copy in town over the next few days and then return it before we left.

We said our goodbyes, then collected Mom. We attempted to contact the Nicki and Jim Konen via phone, but were not successful so we did not stop by (on account it might be imposing). We would likely have another chance later. We then went to Taylors Steak house for dinner. A nice evening with the family and we returned back to the hotel. With the information collected between the Library, the Court house, and Historical Society, the picture of the family was becoming very clear. Brian stayed up later that night and compiled most of the pictures/information into an excel spreadsheet on the family addresses, to help make sense of all the data.

The plan for day 7 was to travel another 100+ miles east to Lincoln and see if we could locate any further details at the Nebraska State Historical society, which also would work for Frontier and Adams county.

See day 7 for the continuing adventure...

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