Sipple Stories

Pictures & stories of my Grandparents Joy & Adda Rockwell Sipple, their family and their ancestors.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Joy and Adda Rockwell Sipple
and their family...

Joy Franklin Sipple was born February 8, 1886 in Nebraska City, NE the middle child of five born to Susan Lenore Willman and Charles Franklin Sipple.

He had an older brother and sister, Earl Edward and Ethel Belle, and a younger brother and sister, Claire Edward and Rita Glenn.

These two photos are the only photographer's photos of Joy that we have. All other photos are just snapshots.

You may wonder why a boy was named Joy... I have a theory about that... but it's only a theory... no one ever bothered to ask or tell, so we'll really never know for sure.

My theory goes like this...

J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, and his family lived in Nebraska City, NE at the same time as the Sipple family. The J. in J. Sterling Morton stands for Julius. He and his wife Caroline had four children, all boys. Their first boy, born in 1855, was named Joy. I have seen two articles that gave Caroline's maiden name as Joy and others that said her name was Caroline Joy French. At any rate, their first born was named Joy after her. Joy Morton was the founder of the Morton Salt Company and built the prestent Arbor Lodge after his father's death in 1902.

So you see... Both the Sipple & Morton families lived in Nebraska City, Nebraska at the same time...

Joy Sipple was born one year after Arbor Day was established as a holiday in Nebraska... Joy Morton would have been 31 at that time...

What better than to name your son after another well known, well liked, famous family.

In the Morton family, the name Joy has been passed down to both boys and girls in each generation. It is a name to be proud of.

In our family the name has also been passed down. Joy named his middle son, Joy Franklin Junior. Joy Jr named one of his daughters Joyce and one son Joy. Joy Sr's daughter Juleen named her daughter, me, Joyann.

Adda Francis Rockwell

Joy married Adda Rockwell February 22, 1911 in Grand Island, Nebraska where he was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad Company as an engineer.

Adda was born June 29, 1889 in Weeping Water, NE the daughter of MaryAnn Maple and Abraham Martin Rockwell.

Adda had 8 brothers and 3 sisters: Walter Calvin, William O, Abraham M, Pearl Hazle, Martha Laura, Sue Marie, Stephen Tonley, Jesse Dean, Gifford A, Benjamin Hiragate, and Louis Edgar.

It is said that Adda & Joy met at a wedding in which Adda was a bridesmaid. Sometime later, Joy (being shy??) slipped a note under Adda's door asking her to marry him. Adda was 21 and working as a house servant for a family in Weeping Water. Her parents & younger brothers & sisters had moved to Chase County, NE. The picture above was made, taking Adda out of the bridal party photo. The first picture of Adda may be her high school graduation photo.

Joy and Adda had 5 children:

Charles Martin Sipple was born Sept. 7, 1912 in Grand Island, NE
Opal Ord Sipple was born Jan. 9, 1914 in Ord, NE
Joy Franklin Sipple Jr was born Aug. 26, 1915 in Grand Island, NE and died Dec 28, 1997 in Ponce, Puerto Rico
Phyllis Juleen Sipple was born June 10, 1919 in Grand Island, NE
Rex Burnell Sipple was born June 5, 1921 in Grand Island, NE and died Dec. 21, 2000 in Ogallala, NE

At this writing... Charles, Opal & Juleen are all alive and well, living in Grand Island, NE...
They all live in their own homes and you would never know they are 93, 92 & 86. They don't look that old, nor do they act that old. (more on each of these children in the future)

Joy had a really good sense of humor and was a big tease... (I'm told this must be where his sons got it from for they were notorious teases too.) He wore a night shirt to bed and would come out in the morning & dance around in it, making the kids laugh at how silly he was.

Joy was an engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Joy worked the night shift going to work at 4 PM and getting off at midnight. Because of these hours, the kids didn't see much of him during the school year as he would be sleeping when they left for school and gone to work when they got home.

Joy and Adda lived at 823 W 17th Street in Grand Island most of their lives. The Union Pacific Railroad yards were about 12 blocks east and between 3rd and 4th Streets. Joy walked to work and home again almost every day in all weather, all year round. He worked 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. In those days, you didn't get a paid vacation and he couldn't afford to take time off. During the Depression they would have some relative living with them almost all the time, besides their own family of seven in the three bedroom bungalow.

In those days, a Jitney Bus ran from town to the Veteran's Home every half hour. You could ride the bus for 5 cents a ride... but most often the family walked as 5 cents was a lot of money.Joy didn't own a car until he bought a 1958 Chevy which was a smoky, frosted pink!!

This is a picture of a 1910-20 Jitney Bus. Charles says the ones in Grand Island looked a little more like todays school bus only they weren't painted yellow.

Working for the railroad had it's perks. Joy got a family pass and anyone in his family could ride the UPRR anywhere for free. Because of this, Adda and some of the kids would take off and go to visit relatives in Lincoln, Omaha and even Chicago and Colorado and then later California. This would be highly unusual for those days... when a lot of, even most, people never left the county, let alone the state.

On one occasion, Adda, Juleen & Rex went to Colorado to visit Adda's brother Jesse & family. Joy was to go along, but as the time grew near he didn't think he should leave work. When Adda got out to Colorado, Jesse was so disappointed that Joy didn't come that together he and Adda concocted a plot to get Joy to come. Since they didn't have a telephone, they sent a telegram... It was much easier to make up a story in a telegram anyway. The telegram said something like, "Adda ill, come quick!" Imagine how awful to get that telegram and know nothing different until you got to Colorado. Joy hopped the next train out but in the meantime, Adda almost did get sick, with worry at his reaction once there. I guess he wasn't too mad and although he only stayed a few days, they did have a good time and Joy finally got a vacation.

I have several really cool pictures from that trip... funny ones!!

Adda shooting ??

Joy holding up a fish
(which you can't see for the rocks)

What would you rather do??
Drink or fish??

Joy with Adda's brother Jesse Rockwell

I love this picture!! I think this was also taken on that Colorado trip.
That is Rex on the left in the knickers & cap,
Juleen sitting in her knee socks and sailor type dress
with Adda's arm around her,
Adda and Joy!!
Don't you love the hats?

(Clicking on any picture in the blog will make it larger for you)

It is said that Adda wanted to be a gypsy... or join the circus. She thought both lives sounded exiting and fun. Perhaps that is why she traveled so much... the gypsy in her. I like to think that I got my wanderlust from my Grandmother Adda. It's for sure it didn't come from my Mother, Juleen, who hates traveling and likes nothing better than sitting in her own little house with a good book.

Adda died September 27, 1944 in Grand Island, NE.
A couple years after Adda's death, Joy married Greta Dietrich.
Joy died June 23, 1963 in Grand Island, NE.


Blogger Matty G said...

Really neat story and pics! Those are some of my favorite family pics too. Even as a young girl, I can tell that's Grammy!

6:01 PM  

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