52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #52 – Resolution

My resolution for 2019 is to continue posting once a week “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.” Now that I have completed 2018, I feel it is important for those of you who are interested in family history to have a more complete understanding of who our ancestors are, where they came from and how they lived.

The truth is I have boxes and boxes of papers and photos and I will be scanning these documents to store on my computer rather than the closet, spare bedroom and garage.

If this topic is of no interest to you on a weekly basis or at all that is fine. Many people have no interest in ancestral history, but occasionally you may have a question or perhaps one of your children may be curious. Just contact me at casinger1@gmail.com to answer any questions.

My intent is to have the information available to share and accessible as a digital archive and my blog is the easiest way show you what I have.

If you do not use Facebook or may consider discontinuing Facebook you can follow and/or like the blog directly at Westernlady.wordpress.com. If you “follow” the blog then you will receive an email notification that a new post is available.

Thanks for following me for the last twelve months and I wish everyone a very happy and prosperous 2019!


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #51 – Nice

My husband’s aunt, Frances Elizabeth McMahon had a profound effect on my life. Settling in to a new family after getting married and leaving my home to live in St. Louis, Missouri was difficult. Aunt Francie was the type who never had time to listen to your complaints and woes, she lived in the here and now and was always encouraging you to move forward.

Aunt Francie had what I think was a very interesting life. Born in 1913, she was the oldest of three girls. Her father died when she was 13 years old.

Obviously a strong and independent woman for that time, Francie entered Harris Teacher’s College in St. Louis, graduating in 1934. She left St. Louis to teach in Hawaii.

Frances McMahon
Frances McMahon
Frances McMahon in center

Francie was the ultimate educator, she received her post graduate honors from Duke University and continued teaching as a reading specialist until her retirement. She never married.

She came to visit us when we lived in Colorado and we took her to the mountains to drive some of the jeep trails. On one very narrow road we had to come to a full stop to allow a bicyclist to ride around us. His wheel slipped on some rocks and he went down right next to the 4 wheel drive we were in and Francie reached out the window to help him up then offered him a marshmallow to feel better.

In all her words, in all her actions, Aunt Francie was a kind woman who loved life and everyone she met. She was a positive influence in the lives of her nieces and nephew and their children. She would engage everyone in lively conversation.

She died in 1994 after suffering a traumatic head injury when hit by a car. She donated her body for research, a gift for educating students.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #50 – Naughty

To find a naughty ancestor isn’t easy! However the first ancestor that comes to mind would be my husband’s father, Samuel Brener Singer. I never met the man, he died in 1966 and I didn’t meet John until 1967.  I don’t think my husband considers himself to be like his father, but the stories I have heard over the last 50 years certainly provide me a clear picture of a link between the two.

Sam Singer was born April 9, 1915 in St. Louis.  He graduated from Soldan High School and was provided the opportunity to attend college but unknown to his father, decided instead to go to Washington D.C. where he served as an aide to a Missouri Congressman for several years.

Anne Renee Brener Singer and son Samuel Brener Singer

After returning to St. Louis, Sam and his brother Bill started the Royal Novelty Company which sold slot machines using  his political and business connections to develop a wide web.  Sam married and divorced during this time, later meeting Rosemary McMahon, converting to Catholic and marrying October 26, 1941 in Union, Missouri.

Rosemary and Sam Singer

Sam and Rosemary started their family with the birth of daughter Mary Ann in 1944, John in 1947 and Sally Frances in 1952.

Sam and Rosemary Singer with John and Mary Ann

Sam and his brother Bill went on to start Apex Photo Finishing, a film developing company which became the largest of it’s type in the mid-west.

As Apex continued its success, Sam and Rosemary traveled to Europe, visiting the Pope in Italy. In England Sam purchased the very large set of Wedgwood dishes for Rosemary that I have come to love. They cruised frequently to Acapulco and Cuba. They loved to entertain.

Sam and Rosemary’s Christmas Card displaying their winning costumes on a Cruise.

Not adverse to taking risks, Sam always had  a strong interest in the latest inventions and gadgets.

Sam and Rosemary in his helicopter

Bubble wrap!

Sam died suddenly of a heart attack in 1966 when he was 50 years old. Rosemary later re-married Art O’Hare and died in 1988 after a number of years suffering from Alzeimers, She was 67.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #49 – Winter

Growing up in Colorado meant having as much fun in the winter as it did in the summer! The only difference was how you dressed. Having a large family helped because you always had someone to play with.

Dorothy, Shirley and Robert Hancock

This  photograph shows Dorothy, Shirley and Robert Hancock playing in a whopper of a snow drift!

This early photograph, below, of Bernard and Francis Hancock is quite interesting. It was taken just above the Moffat Tunnel where Bernard Hancock used to work. Sure makes me wonder what they were driving to get up there or maybe they were on the train!

Bernard & Frances above Moffat Tunnel -13

There was always work to do in the winter, and that hasn’t changed. This photo is my daughter at school in Lamar, training her horse.


Sometimes fun has to stay in the driveway. My husband had this Ford Mustang with a 5 litre engine, but it sure didn’t like snow packed streets and many winter days it stayed in the driveway. This is the 1982 snow storm at our home in Aurora, Colorado.

1983 Snow Storm with Mustang-44

We shoveled out the car and a path to our next door neighbors, the Witkops, and we all had a good time! John did go out and buy a Ford Bronco the next summer and a snowmobile, but we never had a storm like this again. Now he is never without a 4×4.