Sipple Stories

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

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sipple Cousins Get-together...

Last week was a first... in a long, LONG time...
Six of the nine Sipple cousins got together.

Joy F and Adda F Rockwell Sipple had five children:
1. Charles who has one son Mark...
2. Opal who has one daughter Penny...
3. Joy Jr who has five children: Susan, Joyce and Charlie by his first wife and
Ada and Joy III by his second wife...
4. Juleen who has two daughters: Jodi and Jerri
5. Rex... no children

Susan and her sister Joyce were in Nebraska from Oregon and California. Their brother Charlie who also lives in California was the only US Sipple cousin missing. The two Puerto Rico cousins, Joy III and Ada, and were the only other ones missing.

Jerri, Joyce, and Penny
Jodi, Mark and Susan

I don't know if we six have ever been together all at the same time. Jodi and Jerri saw Susan, Joyce and Charlie in California in the early 1950s. Susan & Joyce were last back to Nebraska together when they were in their teens, but Penny wasn't here then. Susan came to Nebraska last summer and stayed with me, Jodi. She had such a good time that she vowed to bring her sister Joyce this summer.

The "gals" were together all week, looking up the family homes and visiting cemeteries in Weeping Water, Nebraska City and Grand Island, visiting with the Aunts Juleen & Opal & Uncle Charles and just having fun talking and laughing.

Linda and Mark

We met Mark and his wife Linda Wednesday evening and had a fun time telling stories and reminiscing. Mark asked Juleen what they had to eat growing up and to his astonishment (or maybe not) she answered that they always had good meals, meat and potatoes, fruit; they ate good and were never hungry. It seems that his father, Charles, had always told him "all they had to eat was potatoes... fixed 100 different ways... only potatoes!!" I suppose this would be like the "we had to walk to school, up hill (both ways), in all kinds of weather" stories parents tell their children so they will appreciate the things they have now. Can't you just hear Chick saying that to Mark when Mark didn't like what his Mother made for supper or wouldn't eat... "you should be glad to have that spinach, liver, whatever it was... all we had was potatoes!"

Opal, Charles, and Juleen

At this writing, Opal is 92, Charles will be 94 in September and Juleen is 87.
Susan wanted to ask each of them what they contributed their living so long to... She asked them separately, so they didn't hear each others answers.
This is what they said:

Juleen, "We always ate well balanced meals, never had much sugar or candy."

Opal, "Cashews and chocolate"

Chick, "Good Luck, Common Sense, Moderation...
If I knew the answer I'd write a book.
There wasn't a day we didn't walk 5, 6, or 7 miles...
see the size of our feet..."

We had a wonderful time together and by week's end we all decided we had missed a lot by not knowing each other and getting together more often through the years.

Pictures from the week:
(clicking on any picture will make it larger)

The Rockwell farm home as it looks today...
2 miles north of Weeping Water

The farm home about 1903
Abraham and MaryAnn Rockwell and 10 or their 12 children
Adda is the dark haired girl in the buggy

The Rockwell home at 707 Randolph St in Weeping Water 2006

The Sipple home at 823 W 17th Street in Grand Island
where our parents were raised.

I'll post more pictures in with some stories at a later time...
By the end of the week together, with four of us snapping pictures all the time, we all were getting pretty sick of pictures.

What happens when you get too many pictures taken of you and you don't like any at all? This is one of the last ones I took.

Opal has re-written the motto from the old west where you would see "leave your guns at the door" posted outside the saloon.
Opal's motto: "leave your cameras outside the door" ...


Sunday, July 09, 2006

1900 and 1920 Nebraska Census

Have you ever seen an old census?? They can be fun to search for, interesting to look at, and you might find out something new about your ancestors.

Here is a page from the 1900 Weeping Water, Nebraska census...

Just over half way down, on line 32, you will find my Great-grandparents, Abraham and MaryAnn Rockwell, and their family: Walter, Willie O, Abbie N, Pearl H, Martha L, Susie M, Stephen T, Jesse and Gifford M. Abbie N should be Adda F, my Grandmother, who married Joy Sipple.

Click on the image to make it bigger... then click again for bigger still...
You will see the month and year each person was born, their age, the state they were born in and the state their parents were born in, their occupation or if they are in school. The three yes's indicate they can read, write and speak English.

Above is part of a page from the 1920 Grand Island, NE census. Here you can see Joy and Adda Sipple and their family: Charles F, Opal O, Joy F Jr, and Phyllis J. Below them are Mary A Rockwell with her sons: Jesse, Benjamin, and Louis Edgar. MaryAnn Rockwell was Adda's Mother.

They lived at 314 and 320 Oak Street. On this census, the yes answers indicate if they attended school the previous year, if they can read and write. Notice Charles and Opal attended school but it doesn't say that they can read or write (they are only 7 and 5. The first column after their name indicates their relationship to the head of the house. Next is sex, then color or race, then married or single. The yes before the occupation indicates if they can speak English. They seem to only care about the adults here. This census was taken before Rex was born and before the family moved to 823 W 17th.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Grampa's Journals

Our Grandfather, Joy Sipple, kept a journal during the 1940s. I have several years of them and love reading them, although I wish he would have written more detailed accounts of his life. I love his handwriting.

Each day Grampa told what the weather was, who he wrote letters to or received letters from, listed groceries he bought and what he paid for them, entered the number of his engine, who he worked with and whether he walked to work or rode the bus. The journals are fascinating. One day he might "loan" Juleen or Rex 50 cents and then several days later he would note, "Juleen paid me back"...

I thought I would post a few pages off and on... just for fun...
Here are four pages from December 1942... Grampa lists the Christmas presents he received, his wages for the year, and where his children are living as the new year is about to start.

In 1942 Grampa worked all but 15 days. Even with 295 miles of overtime, his wages were only $3028.20 for the year and yet he bought $336 worth of savings bonds.

Remember... clicking on any image will make it larger, easier to read, then click on it again for larger still. Click the back button to go back to the article.