Friday, January 9, 2015

Holbrook line: Mary Alice Hetrick Stanard 1856-1935

I woke up this morning thinking about my great grandmother, and the life she had.  Although she died years before I was born, my mother was 9 years old when she died and she had a few memories of her grandmother.  I have a couple of pieces of molded glass-a candy dish, a jelly bowl, and a cake stand-that she owned.  I was told that the candy dish was always full of mints when "the children" came to visit her.  She is also the person who taught my somewhat tomboy mother to climb a tree, which was necessary because at one time the family had a farm with a number of fruit trees. 

Starting at the beginning means going back to Shelby, Richland County, Ohio, where Alice was born on January 3, 1856.  Her parents were Isaac Hetrick and Elizabeth Black.  Isaac had been married before, to Sarah Ziegler in 1825 and they had at least five children, but Sarah had died, perhaps in childbirth.  Isaac married Elizabeth Black on March 12, 1840, and together they had seven children.  Alice was just 6 years old when her mother died on December 1, 1862.  I have seen reports that she died of breast cancer but I don't know the source for that. If it was cancer, then the household would have been a sad one for several months or years before Elizabeth died.  Fortunately, Isaac realized that his family needed a mother figure, and he married again, in August of  1863 to Elizabeth Rowland. (I believe she was a widow but I haven't located her maiden name.)  

Alice had had a number of adjustments to make in her life, with older half brothers and 6 siblings, and she lost a half brother, Michael, to the Danville Confederate prison in 1865.  This must have been another blow to the family, but soon there was yet another major change in Alice's life.  Her father had become a devout Baptist and was called to go to Kansas to build churches. The family either went along or followed soon after, about 1866.  Alice was about 10 years old. We don't know whether the family went by rail or wagon or a combination of both, but they settled in Ottawa, Franklin County, Kansas where the children, including Alice, could get a good education. 

Kansas was not an easy place to live at this time. There is a wonderful book called "Pioneer Women" by Joanna L Stratton that gives some sense of the hardships the family would have faced, but they persevered and even triumphed.  Alice, at the age of 18 was a teacher, living with her parents and presumably contributing to the support of the family.  On July 8, 1879 she married a young Baptist pastor, Louis E Stanard, but once again she would have to adjust.  The 1880 census shows that her mother in law, three of her husband's sisters, and two of her husband's cousins were living with them.  Alice was a newly-wed and this may have been a stressful situation for her, or perhaps she handled it with dignity and joy.  I haven't heard family stories to explain this, but it appears that the family was waiting for Hiram Stanard, Louis's father, to join them. 

Louis and Alice had three children, Elizabeth, Elwin, and Etta, all born in Kansas.  Shortly after the youngest, Etta, was born, Alice's father, Isaac died, in 1891.  By all reports, he was a wonderful man and this again would have been hard to accept.  All of the children went to Ottawa Normal School, later Ottawa University, and became teachers, while Louis had a number of ventures in addition to his pastoring.  We only find record of him at one church, but he was probably a bi-vocational pastor and worked at other jobs as the need arose.  So while family income may have been a bit unsettled, it's clear that the Stanards were making sure their children had a way to support themselves.  

Sometime between 1905 and 1910, Louis, Alice and Elizabeth moved to Mill Creek, Stevens County, Washington. (Elwin and Etta followed later.) There were mining and lumber prospects there, but it appears that Louis started or purchased a fruit farm. One of his cousins had a large nursery back in Kansas, so Louis may have learned the fruit business there.  However, Washington climate and soil was different than Kansas's, and the farm didn't support the family.  Louis went back to teaching school, as did Elizabeth and probably Elwin when he arrived. Etta also taught school, first in Kansas and then in Washington.  Alice had survived and possibly thrived when she moved from Ohio to Kansas as a girl, but I wonder how she felt when she was asked to move halfway across the country, again, when she was at least 50 years old? 

Alice's husband, Louis, died in 1923, after 44 years of marriage.  The couple was living in Spokane, Washington by then, with Elizabeth.  In the 1930 census, Alice is living with Elizabeth as the head of the household, which also included Elwin and his children Lloyd, Ruth, and Louis.  Elwin's wife had died and Elizabeth, my hero, supported and cared for the family as Elwin grieved.  As far as we can tell from the records, Alice always lived in Spokane after the 1920 census, until her death on August 8, 1935 in Spokane.  However, she may have kept the farm in Stevens County, because my mother talked about being at the farm every summer, and sometimes at Christmas. 

I would love to sit down and talk to Alice.  How did she survive and thrive in the many changes in her life?  Was it a strong faith, a naturally cheerful disposition, a matter of learning to "go with the flow"?  Was she happy, or did she dwell on the sad things in her life?  What advice would she like to give her descendents, if she could talk to them? 

The line of descent is:

Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents