Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wally and the Columbia Owl, 1959-63

In 1959, hubby Wallis E. Wood was an undergrad at Columbia University's School of General Studies (GS). He wound up being one of the founders of that school's weekly newspaper, the Columbia Owl, which won an award for campus journalism.

When Wally enrolled at GS, there was no newspaper, and a group of students began a mimeographed paper of such low quality that Wally and his classmates, Thomas Simpson and Michael B. Conant, created a parody issue of it. That got the administration's attention, and somehow Simpson received a budget to begin a real GS newspaper. Simpson was editor and Conant managing editor.

In 1960, Wally was features editor and, under the byline "A. Haggard Rider," he wrote a regular Subway Thoughts column (left).

By 1961, Wally was managing editor while Simpson remained editor. As of the end of May, 1961, the paper was so successful that it had expanded to 8 pages.

Simpson's job took him to Chicago, Wally moved up to become the Columbia Owl's editor for 1962. These were exciting times to be on campus, with all kinds of political issues to cover and other news and commentary.

In fact, in 1963, the Columbia Owl won an award for distinguished campus journalism covering international affairs, which Wally accepted at the National College Editors Conference in New York City.

The b/w photo above shows Wally holding the award and receiving a check for the Columbia Owl from Sterling Fisher, Exec Director of the Reader's Digest Foundation, and Ruth Hagy Brod, the conference chair. 2022 update: Another key event from his time as editor was arranging a big event featuring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Read about it here in the Columbia University mag!

Wally became so wrapped up in the newspaper that his academic standing was in peril. He left Columbia and got a reporting job on McGraw-Hill's Electrical Merchandising Week, and Larry S. Stewart became Owl editor.

As a going away present, the newspaper staff gave Wally this stuffed owl (which we still have), with two inscriptions:

To Wally from his staff, 1961-62

Presented to Wallis E. Wood in recognition of his contributions to the Columbia Owl 1963

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Looking for and Finding Margaret Steiner Post

Hubby's g-grandparents (Edward George Steiner and Elizabeth Jane Rinehart Steiner) had 7 living children (not counting the newborn who died and Elveretta, who died in early childhood). I think that Brice Larimer McClure, who married Floyda Steiner, kept this handwritten listing of his wife's family's births and deaths.

This week I'm on the trail of Margaret Steiner Post, b. 28 July 1861 and d. 3 Feb 1913. She's buried in Old Mission Cemetery, Upper Sandusky, Wyandot County, Ohio, in Sec E, lot 29. Right next to her is Elroy D. Post, b. 29 June 1859 and d. 2 July 1929. Many other Steiner relatives are buried in this cemetery, as well, and I even have the deed for Brice Larimer McClure's plot.

Margaret Steiner Post doesn't appear in any of the Ohio death records, so I strongly suspect she died in Knoxville, where she and Elroy lived (according to the 1900 and 1910 Census notes). Just my luck, Tennessee required statewide recording of deaths up until 1912 and from 1914 on, but NOT in 1913.

After a discussion with a research librarian at the Knoxville Public Library, I'm sending info to them to request a lookup of an obit on great-aunt Maggie or, if available, a death cert from Knox county. To hedge my bets, I'm also going to ask the Upper Sandusky library to do an obit lookup. Fingers crossed!**

** UPDATE: Knoxville kindly sent me the above obit for Margaret Steiner Post. Her husband apparently decided to go mainstream by changing his name from Elroy to Edward, and she herself is identified only as MRS Edward D. Post. But this is definitely Great-aunt Maggie. After Maggie died, Elroy remarried a few years later and with his new wife, Merida, had one child--who they named Margaret Post. Hmm.....

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Hubby's Baby Book

My late mom-in-law kept a baby book about her older son, my hubby. It's full of names of relatives and friends to check against other records during my genealogy research.

Two weeks after hubby was born, his parents, Marian Jane McClure Wood and Edgar James Wood, brought him to the home of Marian's parents, Brice Larimer McClure and Floyda Mabel Steiner McClure.

Mom and baby stayed until they were ready to go home to 1851 E. 82nd Street in Cleveland, Ohio. Thanks to the "Cleveland Memory Project" and its online archive of old photos, I know this was a street of small apartment buildings (walkups about 4 floors high, max) and a few big rooming houses (like the one Edgar Wood lived in just prior to his marriage).

On baby's first Christmas, relatives and friends visited: Grandmother and Grandad McClure, Uncle Wallie (Wallis Walter Wood), and Katie & John Creech (friends of Marian's).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Mom's Jewelry Box

Here are two views of a sentimental piece from my mother's jewelry box, a "junk jewelry" bracelet featuring photos of Sis and me, unusual for two reasons.
  1. We twins had bangs (which we probably had only once in our childhood--too difficult to keep 'em trimmed straight and out of our eyes!).
  2. We were wearing matching adorable dresses (a rarity because we were usually in overalls or slacks so we could play without messing up any finery).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Salute to Sisters, with Love

My younger sister with her daughter (now 25ish)
My twin sister with her older daughter (now 30ish)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: 1st grade in Oxford Elem. School, Cleveland

Circa 1942, here's hubby in his first grade class at Oxford Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio.
His mother, Marian Jane McClure Wood, wrote out the names of classmates on the back of the photo. Transcribed, they are:

Top row: R. Kermode, C. Haley, _?_, _?_, Pat Walty, Valois [sp?], Sherman Mills, Wallie (HER SON, MY HUBBY), G. Moses, R. Fister, B. O'Day, Shirley O'Brock, B. Green

Middle row: Harriet Dalson, Sue Kester, Carol Siley, Lou Kester, Clara Jane, Paul Clarage [sp?], Eilleenn.

Bottom row: _?_, Barbara P., Frances Wood, Cora, David Kennard, Barbara Smith, Gail Smith, Martha Lou.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday's Obituary: Who WAS Louisa A. M. Slatter, d. 1895?

She's still a mystery, this Louisa A. M. Slatter who married John Slatter Sr. (hubby's g-grandfather) sometime between 1891 and 1895. 

I've yet to find out when/where John Slatter Sr's first wife died--she was Mary Shehen Slatter, b. 1840 in Marylebone, Middlesex, England. John was born in 1838 in Oxfordshire, England. John & Mary's children moved to Canada and the US, and by the late 1880s, John had moved to Cleveland, where his daughter, Mary, later married James Edgar Wood. I speculate that John (a wallpaper cleaner and hanger) met James Edgar Wood (a builder) in Cleveland and that's how Mary met her husband (and became hubby's grandparents).

But now back to Louisa, who's an unknown. Her obit appeared in the Cleveland papers on February 26, 1895. It reads:
Slatter. Louisa A. M. Slatter, wife of J. Slatter, at 2 a.m., February 24, age 46. Funeral from residence, No. 433 1/2 St. Clair St, at 2 p.m., City time, Tuesday, February 26. Chosen friends invited. Cincinnati papers please copy.
So what do I know about Louisa? According to the cemetery record, Louisa was white, a native of England, and died of Brights disease. When John Slatter Sr. died, he was buried next to her.

I've tried calling, writing, and e-mailing the Cuyahoga County clerk's office asking about whether a death cert exists for Louisa Slatter. In the past, I've had good luck with them, but this time, after 6 months of intermittent requests, no response (perhaps because no record exists in their files). Nor have I ever located a marriage record for Louisa and John. I'm going to try to find some connection with Cincinnati, given the obit's mention of it.

2022 Update: Louisa has been found! I redid my research from scratch on a different genealogy site and discovered where she and John Slatter tied the knot.