A Father’s Letter

When I first started researching my family history in 1998 one mistake I made was not asking enough questions. Now, the people who have the answers to the questions I didn’t ask have passed away.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day and on this day I wanted to share with my cousins the family story of a broken hearted father. In reality I don’t think many of my cousins even know this father, grandfather, great grandfather and great, great grandfather.

Below is the printed transcription of a three page letter dated June 21, 1904, from Nathan Brink Hancock to Lulu Brace Hancock. Brink, as he was called by his family, and Lulu were married December 19, 1902 in Narka, Kansas. When he wrote this letter on June 21, 1904, Brink Hancock was living in Fairbury, Nebraska and Lulu was living at her parents home in Narka, Kansas with baby Bernard Floyd Hancock who was born May 18, 1903. After Bernard’s birth Lulu was very ill and needed help to care for herself and her baby.


Fairbury June 21 – 04

Dear Lulu:

I thought as I was not busy today I would answer your letter of last week. I my self am not feeling the best in fact not well at all. I was sorry that you wanted me to come down Sat. night and that I couldn’t be with you. I am sure there is no one who wants to see any one worse than I have you for a long time.

I was looking at our picture when I opened my trunk. So if this letter isn’t wrote all right don’t think anything of it for it almost gets away with one when I look at such a nice picture and to think that our lives should be bloted as they have in the past.

I walked down to the docket this morning when the train came in and I was quite sure I saw Bobby Hall on board. I didn’t pay much attention. I think now that I will come to Narka next Sat. perhaps to stay a week. I don’t know just how long but not for good as I haven’t any home to stay at any more. If I come I will make it a point to see you while there but maybe not Sat. night. For if the folks are in town I can ride out with them and save walking. I will have to close for this time for lack of time if I get this off on the eve. mail.

I would be glad to hear from you before Sat. if convenient.

I am yours.


Written across the blank top of page 3 is the following message:

I hope this will find you in good health as its an awful thing to feel “bad”

Good Bye


I have seen a copy of a letter sent to the Republic County, Kansas court house by Bernard’s mother in 1935 asking for records on the father of Bernard Floyd Hancock. The clerk replied the records no longer existed because of a fire. I have been told that Bernard searched for years for his father but could not locate him.

In 1910 Lulu Hancock married John Baber. I have a copy of the marriage license for Lulu and John Baber which includes the date of divorce from Nathan Brink Hancock. My conctact, Bev Porter, from the Hancock family tells me that when Brink was notified of the divorce he came to Colorado but could not locate Lulu and therefore never met his son Bernard Floyd Hancock.

Brink lived in Lincoln Nebraska and worked for the University there. Brink did re-marry and had a son named Leland Merle. Brink died in 1949, Merle died a few years ago but census records indicate he has two sons.

For me this is a sad story. What force kept Lulu and Brink apart? Bernard was lucky to have John Baber for a step-father, he loved him very much. But, he always knew his father was out there somewhere. All that time passing by and they never connected.


Nathan Brink Hancock

Bernard Floyd Hancock 136 copy

Bernard Floyd Hancock


Nathan Brink Hancock, Theresa Frary Hancock, James Rosser Hancock, Leland Merle Hancock 1925 Narka KS


What’s In A Name?

What’s in a name? Stories. Even if the story is a little far fetched or not quite accurate, a name can tell you a lot.

Here is Jerry’s story.

Signe Viola Stalter and Jerry Frimpter Stalter

Signe Viola Stalter and Jerry Frimpter Stalter

My dad, Jerry Frimpter Stalter, while we were growing up, told us his name was really Perry, not Jerry and that his middle name was not Frimpter but should have been Trimpter. His reason, he told us, was because his mother’s Norwegian accent was difficult to understand and the people at the hospital put down the wrong name for his birth certificate. Ok, dad, good story!

Now for the facts, ma’am just the facts:

Signe Helmeena Anderson

Signe Helmeena (Anderson) Stalter

Jerry’s mother, Signe Helmeena (Anderson) Stalter was born in Bruce, Rusk County,Wisconsin in 1902. Her parents Hinberg and Signe (pronounced Sena) Anderson traveled from Norway to America in 1892. So, it was easy to believe that Signe, the daughter, could have an accent because it was obvious that her parents would have Norwegian accents.

(click on the pictures to make them larger)

Frimpter tombstone

Frimpter Headstone

During my genealogy research I found the family name Frimpter. The Frimpter name was the maiden name of Jerry’s grandmother Sarah (Frimpter) Stalter, mother of Perry Stalter, grandmother to Jerry. Check, question answered. Proof found.

Perry Stalter

Perry Stalter

Even though I had the answer to the Frimpter/Trimpter story I was puzzled by the Perry/Jerry part of the story.

Baptism registration for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Baptism registration for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Well this week was my lucky week. You can sign on to Ancestry through Labor Day for free and I used this opportunity to check out my “hints” since I am no longer a member of Ancestry. I found a reference to the baptism of Jerry Frimpter Stalter and to my surprise he was baptized Perry Frimpter Stalter. Check, question answered. Proof found.

His name probably should have been Perry.

(Growing up, everyone called him “Bud.”)

Makes me feel pretty good about the stories my dad told.

Young Sena and Himberg Anderson

Young Sena and Himberg Anderson

When Did Grandpa Hancock Get To Colorado?

Tough question to answer. Here is my methodology for finding an answer.

Fact #1 – What I do know – Bernard Floyd Hancock was born 18 May 1903. His mother was Lulu Pearl Brace who married Nathan Brink Hancock 19 December 1902 in Narka, Kansas. Unfortunately Nathan or “Brink”  Hancock as he was called by his family and Lulu never lived together. Lulu stayed with her parents, John and Mary Phoebe “Birdie” Brace until she married John Baber in 1910 in Elbert, Colorado, which was the same year she divorced Nathan Brink Hancock. Lulu received a letter from Brink Hancock date June 21, 1904 and it was mailed from Fairbury to Narka, Kansas.

Fact #2 – What I do know – The first formal record of John Brace in Colorado shows up in 1904 when John purchased land described as being three miles west of Elbert, Colorado. The 1900 census shows Johns Brace in Narka, Republic County, Kansas and the 1910 Census shows John Brace in Elbert, Colorado. One record in the Elbert paper indicates John Brace rented a house in Elbert prior to purchase of property in 1904. The 1910 census shows Lulu Pearl Brace Hancock and Bernard Hancock living in Kiowa and Bernard is shown as being 7 years old.

The  picture below has been digitally enhanced (lightened) and shows a house with a small child and a large dog in the yard. Markings on the back of the picture indicate the child in the picture is Bernard Hancock.

Bernard Hancock and dog

(click on picture to enlarge)

Based on the dates I know and the child in the picture above, which appears to be a child anywhere from 1 year old to 2 years old I would say John Brace and his wife Birdie and Lulu Brace Hancock came to Colorado in late summer or early fall in 1904 with Bernard.

That would indicate the picture above would have been taken in Elbert, Colorado.

If you enlarge the picture the window frames items sitting on a table. The dog may be an Irish Setter. A lot of dirt in the yard and no trees! The barn may be made of sod (very difficult to tell).

Fact #3 – What I know – Below is another picture of Bernard Hancock as a child with his mother Lulu Brace Hancock later to marry John Baber, Birdie Brace and Lois Emmerette Goodell Totten (seated) who had just become a widow following the death of her husband William Franklin Totten 11 November 1903. This picture was taken in Elbert.

Four Generations

Four Generations

Another interesting point is the property where John Brace and Birdie Brace lived, described as three miles west of Elbert was just across the road from the property where Mary Francis Foreman and her parents Grace Irene Squires who married Robert Sidney Foreman, lived for a short time with Grace’s parents Edwin and Mary Selina Squires.

The Second Time Around, Now I know!

Sorting through boxes after our recent move I came across two yearbooks belonging to my mother who graduated from Loveland High School. “The Chieftain” from 1942 and 1943. I was aware I had the yearbooks but I never took the time, until today, to look through and read each page. In the past I have posted many pictures of my mother as a young woman, never being able to date them accurately. The second time around now I know!

The Chieftain 1943

The Class of ’43

   “On the opening day of the 1939-40 school term, 150 bewildered freshmen gathered not in the high school auditorium as was the usual custom, but in the little red church across the street to receive their first instructions. They had no study halls and no assemblies except pep meetings which were held in the grandstand. All of these unusual arrangements were necessary because of the construction work on the new junior high building.”

Loveland High School 1942

   Various school activities included pep rally’s to cheer on the football team which was state champion in 1939 having played against Pueblo on the Loveland field. They marched in the Costume Day parade in downtown Loveland. As sophomore’s in the 1940-41 school term many of the students became contributing members of the football and basketball team and cheerleaders and majorettes.

   The third year at Loveland High School 1941-42 the “juniors” had 18 boys receive their letter in football, and continuing participation in basketball cheerleading and school spirit continued. The class presented the play “Mama’s Baby Boy,” which was a great success.

Evelyn Hancock Junior Year 1942

Evelyn Hancock
Junior Year

  In the forward of the 1943 year book for this class of seniors a warning was included  “WARNING: Due to war conditions, we were not able to get water-proof covers for your year book, so take special care of them. There may be other things in this year book that you do not approve of, but due to shortage of materials and other difficulties, many plans had to be modified.”

   The students returned to school in the fall of 1942 as stately seniors, and as such were allowed to leave the auditorium first.  Again the Loveland Indians brought honors by winning the state championship from the Salida Spartans. Due to the shortage of labor on the farms we began school a week earlier and then allowed two weeks vacation to work in the beet fields. The senior year also included attending school on five Saturdays so the students could end the school year early.

Evelyn Hancock Senior Year 1943

Evelyn Hancock
Senior Year

    “One of the most pleasant memories the seniors of 1943 will carry with them when they leave Loveland High School will be the memory of a class party held on March 12. The party was held in the music room, and dancing and games were the diversion of the evening. Refreshments of pop and doughnuts were served.”

The class sponsor was called back to the Army, leaving mid-term and 6 senior boys left school to serve in World War II.

Future Homemakers Club 1943 Second row, 1st on the left

Future Homemakers Club 1943
Second row, 1st on the left

(click on the pictures to enlarge)


Around The World In A Gypsy Moth – 1928

It has been so interesting to read and follow the around the world journey of Amelia Rose Earhart, the namesake of the famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart whose 1938 voyage ended when she and her co-pilot went missing. Amelia Rose for several years had been the traffic reporter on a local television station here in Denver. She learned to fly with the goal to follow in Amelia Earhart’s path, but to complete the entire trip. Aviation technology has changed but the basic’s remain the same. Well, meet Violette Selfridge de Sibour who went around the world in 1928 with her husband in an open cockpit Gypsy Moth.

Violette de Sibour and Vicomte Jacques de Sibour with Safarai their Gypsi Moth

Violette de Sibour and Vicomte Jacques de Sibour with their Gypsiy Moth airplane named Safari.

Violette Selfridge de Sibour was a woman who demonstrated great courage, fearlessness, enthusiasm and adventure by joining her husband in  a 10,000 mile vagabond journey around the world in a Gypsy Moth. Violette de Sibour chronicled their 1928 journey in the book she wrote, Flying Gypsies, published by G.P. Putnam, The Knickerbocker Press, in 1930. George Putnam was the husband of Ameilia Earhart. The couples had become close friends.

Violette Selfridge was the second daughter of Gordon Selfridge, founder of the Selfridge Department store in London, England. Once Violette described their adventure to  fly around the world to the family, little support was forthcoming. The de Sibours kept their plans and enthusiasm to themselves rather than be discouraged by friends and family.

Violette and Jacque de Sibour obtained the much needed maps from Stanford’s Map Shop in Trafalgar Square to plan their journey. They chopped the maps into bits, pasting together those only which concerned them. Jacque marked the route, together with distances, wind variations and general information obtained from the different air ministries here and abroad.


Mediterranean coastline map.

Mediterranean coastline map.

He spent hours with compasses, encyclopedias and naval charts. He studied wind and climates off various countries and discovered that it would be difficult to return the same way they went. They determined they would have to go by steamer across the two big oceans. The Gypsy Moth was disassembled and then re-assembled when they arrived at their coastal destination.

They set their departure date for September 14, 1928 from Stag Lane Aerodrome. Jacque had been at the aerodrome all morning with friends waiting for the silver and cobalt plane to emerge with the freshly painted letters. a hurried goodbye , a swing of the propeller and they were off.

Violette and Jacque allowed only 50 lbs of luggage. Here is what Violette packed:

  • One complete beige sport suit, consisting of skirt sweater and sweater coat.
  • A sleeveless beige summer frock and wide brimmed felt hat.
  • A black lace evening dress and black fringe shawl.
  • Two paris of shoes and one pari of silver slippers.
  • Two complete sets of loungerie and half a dozen pairs of silk stockings.

She decided to fly in trousers since the plane had duel controls. That means a stick that sits right between your knees. And, remember this is an open cockpit plane.

Her husband had his dinner jacket, a pair of soft black patent leather shims, three white silk shirts and of course collars, socks and so forth. His packed clothing weighed two pounds more than hers. They packed clothing and toiletries in three oilskin cases. The third case was for their joint toilet articles.


Mountain ridge.

Mountain ridge.


Route across syria, Iraq and Arabia.

Route across Syria, Iraq and Arabia.

Rangoon to Bangkok Map.

Rangoon to Bangkok Map.


Pictures are from Violette De Sibour’s book Flying Gypsies. Descriptions are also from her book which I found at the Denver Public Library in the Western History and Genealogy Department.

Book Cover - Flying Gypsies

Book Cover – Flying Gypsies



The thrills, the spills and the dust of Lakeside Speedway

The Tower of Jewels

The Tower of Jewels


My good friend just posted a blog about her family’s Sunday night visits to the local racetrack. She is a fantastic writer and her words capture a lot of my memories from Denver’s local racetrack – Lakeside Speedway. Lakeside Amusement Park was built by Adolph Zang a well known historic figure in Denver’s early history. He built Zang Brewery. Later Zang sold the park to a gentleman named Krasner. You can read more about the history at http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15. The park’s current owner is a woman, the only woman owner  of an amusement park in the U.S.


Mostly I remember the stock car races on Sunday evening although I vaguely remember watching the midget races at Lakeside. It was 50 years ago, and my memory is kind of fuzzy. I really had no interest in racing when I first started going to the Sunday night fetes. My interest was in spending time with a special “date.” He loved cars and racing and mechanics and fixing things.


The track was oval and made of dirt. By 10:00p.m. when the racing was over we were covered with dust. We were horse from screaming for just the right winner and the rush to get home before curfew was on.


Here are some pictures of the drivers we watched.

1963 Elmer Sauer (Medium)

1963 Elmer Sauer

1963 Sam Sauer

1963 Sam Sauer

1963 Ron tomsic (Medium)

1963 Ron Tomsic

Family History Thanksgiving Story 2013 – Mayflower Passenger George Soule

From the Pilgrim Hall Museum

Explore this link to share the stories of the pilgrims and the origin of Thanksgiving.


Remember our ancestor was George Soule, a servant/teacher for Edward Winslow’s children.

George had been orphaned when his home burned and his parents died. His brother Robert raised him. When he heard of the opportunity to go to the new world, he did so with the Edward Winslow family.

George Soule was a signer of the Mayflower Compact. A document where all of the people agreed to govern as a group.

Read more from the Pilgrim Hall Museum web site.


4 MARRIED WOMEN: Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Elizabeth Hopkins, Susanna White

5 ADOLESCENT GIRLS: Mary Chilton (14), Constance Hopkins (13 or 14), Priscilla Mullins (19),
Elizabeth Tilley (14 or15) and Dorothy, the Carver’s unnamed maidservant, perhaps 18 or 19.

9 ADOLESCENT BOYS: Francis & John Billington, John Cooke, John Crackston, Samuel Fuller
(2d), Giles Hopkins, William Latham, Joseph Rogers, Henry Samson.

13 YOUNG CHILDREN: Bartholomew, Mary & Remember Allerton, Love & Wrestling Brewster,
Humility Cooper, Samuel Eaton, Damaris & Oceanus Hopkins, Desire Minter, Richard More,
Resolved & Peregrine White.

22 MEN: John Alden, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, William Bradford, William Brewster, Peter
Brown, Francis Cooke, Edward Doty, Francis Eaton, [first name unknown] Ely, Samuel Fuller,
Richard Gardiner, John Goodman, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland, Edward Lester, George
Soule, Myles Standish, William Trevor, Richard Warren, Edward Winslow, Gilbert Winslow.

 ALDEN: John
 ALLERTON: Isaac with children Bartholomew, Mary, Remember; the Allerton servant
William Latham
 BILLINGTON: John & Eleanor with sons Francis, John Jr.
 BRADFORD: William
 BREWSTER: William & Mary with sons Love, Wrestling; their ward Richard More
 CARVER: The Carver ward Desire Minter; the Carver servant John Howland; the Carver
maidservant Dorothy.
 COOKE: Francis with son John
 EATON: Francis with son Samuel
 ELY: Unknown adult man
 FULLER: Samuel with nephew Samuel 2d
 GARDINER: Richard
 HOPKINS: Stephen & Elizabeth with Giles, Constance, Damaris, Oceanus; their servants
Edward Doty and Edward Leister.
 MULLINS: Priscilla
 ROGERS: Joseph
 STANDISH: Myles  TILLEY: Elizabeth
 TILLEY: Tilley wards Humility Cooper and Henry Samson
 WARREN: Richard
 WINSLOW: Edward & Susanna with her sons Resolved White & Peregrine White; Winslow
servant George Soule
 WINSLOW: Gilbert
Note: In Of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford lists the Mayflower passengers and also tells us who died during the
first winter of 1620/1621 and spring of 1621. No other ships arrived in Plymouth until after the “First Thanksgiving”
celebration. The Pilgrims at the “First Thanksgiving” are all the Mayflower survivors.