Monthly Archives: May 2014

Schmidt Fishing Trip – 1909

It was the morning of July 25, 1909, a Sunday, and my great-grandfather Edwin Schmidt [21 years old at the time] had been in church that morning with his father Wilhelm Schmidt, his brother Louis Schmidt, and a bunch of the neighborhood boys.  All the men were still wearing their Sunday best, but a plan had been hatched: the men were going to head off after the service to do a little fishing at a place called “Short Portage”, near Rothschild, Wisconsin.  Wilhelm had stopped at his saloon to grab some beer, and some bottles of whiskey.  They were already packed in a horse-drawn wagon outside.  One of the other men brought a picnic basket full of food.  There were lanterns, fishing rods, and bait… all ready to go.  Nine men set off for their favorite fishing hole, loading their provisions and themselves into three low, heavy, wooden boats once they got there.

When they had been fishing a while, local Wausau photographer J. F. Schreiber must have happened across them.  Schreiber made a living photographing daily scenes in and around the Wausau area.  He’d take photos and then sell copies of them back to the people in the photographs.  You could even have the pictures made into postcards to send to your friends and relatives.  He took one look at the motley crew and knew he had a great photographic subject on his hands.  This first photo shows the men out in the water, rods, keg, and a bounty of fish on display:

[Click on photos to download or enlarge.]

Fishing at "Short Portage".

Fishing at “Short Portage”, courtesy of Jayne Robinson

You can see the photo number on this one is “285”, and the caption says “At Short Portage, July 15, ’09”.  My great-grandfather Edwin Schmidt is on the far left.  His father Wilhelm is in the right-hand boat with the mustache and bald head, and Louis Schmidt is on the far right.  One man was cropped out of the photo on the left, so there were at least nine men fishing together that day.

Another of the photos taken that day was sent as a postcard by Edwin Schmidt to his uncle August Zierke in Montello, Wisconsin on August 10th.  He writes:

“Hello Uncle, I am here sending you a jolly bunch of boys going fishing at Short Portage.  This is the way we got done.  See if you no [sic] me on there.  By by [sic], E. F. S.”

Edwin Schmidt Postcard, 1909

Edwin Schmidt Postcard, 1909

The photo itself is so good I had a hard time believing it was a photo of my family until I realized that Edwin himself said he was in the photo.

Post-fishing party.

“Post-fishing party”, courtesy of Norma Bandock.

The photo number is “289”, and the caption says “We’ve got to go home in the dark.”  I’m not sure what that means except that perhaps they drank enough that they had to wait to go home to avoid getting in trouble.  There are seven men in this photo, so my great-great-grandfather Wilhelm went home along with one other man from the trip prior to this photo being taken.  It also means there were three photos taken between the first photo and this one.

I’d encourage you to download this photo and take a look at it in detail.  You can see that the men have their “Sunday best” clothes on with overalls over them in some cases.  My great-grandfather is on the far left again, with the beer-bottle to his mouth.  The man with the hat on the right is his brother Louis Schmidt.  The other men are not yet identified.  I like how the man in the front looks like he’s on a cell phone, 100 years before his time!

I’d love it if someone could let me know where “Short Portage” was, or where this building was located.  Probably near Schofield, Wisconsin?  At first I thought it was a covered bridge, but I believe it’s a storage building where the boats were kept.  The three boats all have something like “Rothschilds BHSD #1″on them.  It might have been a business that rented the boats out for fishing trips.

A good clue is mentioned in the history of the village of Rothschild:

“Before the dam was built, young men would take long narrow boats, tie them to­gether and the head boat had a motor and it would pull the others down the river to Mosinee, make a turn to the right, and,that is where the good fishing hole was located. Sometimes they would remain overnight in an old barn and the next morning Mr. Hewitt would take his hay wagon, go down, and bring them back to Rothschild with all their fish. “

If this is the same scenario, it means they were likely fishing near Pine Island by Mosinee.


Olivier Family Photos – Part II

My cousin Micheline has spent decades working on her family genealogy.  She was kind enough to share her extensive collection of Olivier family photos with me, and she gave me permission to make them available where other members of the family could find them.  To be honest, it’s difficult for me to narrow down the more than 12 dozen photos she has sent me so far, because they are all excellent.  But I’ll do my best.  My plan is to post the main family line here, and then have separate blogs with photos from each sibling.

I am related to the Olivier family through Delia Bacon, the mother of my paternal grandfather.  Delia’s mother was Cordelia Olivier.  Micheline and I are both descendants of Cordelia’s father Henri François Olivier (1812-1876).

Micheline’s family comes from Cordelia’s brother Henri Octave Olivier (1836-1911).  Octave was born 18 Feb 1836 and baptized at La Visitation-de-l’Île-Dupas in Québec.  For most of his life he lived in Ste-Elizabeth and St-Thomas, Québec (near Montréal), but he and his family can also be found in the 1880 census for Holyoke, Massachusetts where they lived briefly, and where Octave is listed as a “Laborer”.  He died on 13 May 1911 and was buried in St-Thomas.

Henri Octave Olivier

Henri Octave Olivier

I’ve already posted a photo I purchased from eBay of Philomène Cottenoire, who was Henri’s wife.  This is a photo of Philomène as an older lady, probably taken about 1919:

Philomène Cottenoire c1919.

Philomène Cottenoire c1919.

Henri and Philomène had 13 children… seven boys and six girls.  Five of them died in infancy or early childhood.  Of the eight surviving children, I have photos of seven of them.  So far I do not have a photo of their eldest son, Joseph Philémon “Philémon” Olivier (1860-1918), who married Marie Celeste LaPorte.

The next son was Louis Dolor “Adélard” Olivier (1861-1921).  The only photo I have of him is from his funeral flyer, and it’s not very clear.  Adélard married Marie Philomène Georgianna Olivier, who was his second cousin.

Adélard Olivier

Adélard Olivier

The next surviving child was their son Joseph Hildaige “Hildaige” Olivier (1865-1952).  I posted a photo of his family in a previous blog, but here is a close-up of him and his wife, Lucie Brasseur from that photo.

Lucie & Hildaige, 1904

Lucie & Hildaige, 1904

The next child was Cordélie Catherine Olivier (1867-1907) who married Charles Perreault and lived in Burlington, Vermont.  I only have one photo of them which I’d posted previously, but here it is again:

Charles Perreault and Cordélia Olivier, 1890.

Charles Perreault and Cordélia Olivier, 1890.

Next came Marie Josephine Albina “Albina” Olivier (1869-1928), who married Joseph Charles Desroches.  I’ve already posted their wedding photo, and a photo of them with their two daughters, so here is one of Albina as a young woman that Micheline sent me.

Albina Olivier c1890

Albina Olivier c1890

The next child was Henri Octave Eugène “Eugène” Olivier (1874-1965), who married Marie Angélina Masse.  I already posted their wedding photo, so here is a photo of Eugène taken from his funeral flyer.

Eugène Olivier

Eugène Olivier

Since that’s a little grim, here’s another.  This photo shows Eugène [top row, center] with his brother-in-law Anthime Moreau [top, row left], his wife Angélina [bottom row left], his sister Albina [bottom row, center], his and his nieces Yvonne Desroches [top row, right], and Blandine Desroches [bottom row, right].

Eugène Olivier with family, 1917

Eugène Olivier with family, 1917

Next came Marie Victoria “Victoria” Olivier (1876-1945), who married the aforementioned Anthime Moreau.  Here is a lovely photo of Victoria with her family taken about 1916.

Anthime Moreau Family, 1916

Anthime Moreau Family, 1916

Back row: Joseph Jean Baptiste, Marie Blanche Délia, Marie Angélina, Marie Aurore Pamela, and Joseph Octave Philibert.  Middle row: Anthime Duplessie, Marie Elisa Herminie, Victoria Olivier, and Marie Exilda Aldéa.  Front row: Joseph Ovila Adélard, Joseph Ulric Donat, and Marie-Jeanne.

They had another son, Joseph Rolland Sylvio, who was born in 1920 after this photo was taken.

The last surviving child was Marie Evelina “Evelina” Olivier (1878-1934), who married Jean Baptiste Guillaume “William” Morrisseau.  Here is a lovely photo from their wedding on 19 Sept 1898 in Burlington, Vermont.

Mélina Oliver & William Morrisseau, 1898

Evelina Oliver & William Morrisseau, 1898

In 1906 Henri Octave Olivier and Philomène Cottenoire celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary two years early.  Here is an article from that celebration with a translation in English:

48th Wedding Anniversary Article

48th Wedding Anniversary Article

A beautiful family celebration took place last Saturday. The “Day of the Kings” at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Octave Olivier of Saint-Thomas de Joliette [Québec, Canada], on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of their marriage. One of the spouses is 69 years old and the other 67. All the children were present: Philémon from Providence, United States; Adélard and Hildège of Burlington; Eugène of Saint-Thomas de Joliette, Cordélia, wife of Mr. Ch[arle]s. Perreault of Burlington; Victoria, wife of Anthime Moreau of Berthier; Albina, Mrs. Ch[arle]s. Desroches of Joliette, and Mélina [Evelina], Mrs. C. Mousseau [Morrisseau] of Burlington. All the sons are married and of these different marriages were born 32 grandchildren, among which is a great-grand-child Blanche Baillargeon, age 2, daughter of Félix Baillargeon who is the husband of Hildège Olivier’s daughter from Burlington, VT. It was a joyful reunion because the family of Mr. Octave Olivier hasn’t gotten together in 21 years. In light of the poor health of Mr. Octave Olivier, the date of their golden wedding anniversary celebration was moved up by two years.

Non-Family Photos – Alice L. Spear

I purchased this photo of Alice Louisa Spear on eBay, because if there’s anything I love more than old photos, it’s old photos with names written on the back.  Through chance I happened to purchase several other photos from the same family.  So I’m putting them all together here.

Meet Alice Louisa Spear.  She was born in Noyan, Missisquoi, Quebec, Canada on 12 Nov 1847, the daughter of Aaron Spear and Louisa Salls.  She died 17 Sept 1928 in Burlington, Vermont.

[Click on the photo to enlarge or download.]

Alice L Spear

Alice L Spear (1847-1928)

This next photo is Alice’s uncle, Hiram Salls.  He was born in 2 Apr 1829 in Iberville, Canada, the son of Benjamin Salls and Lucy C. Curtis.  He married Mary Caroline Beerwort on 1 Jan 1851 at St. George, Clarenceville, Canada and immigrated to the US about 1867.  He died in Burlington, Vermont on 21 May 1913.   Hiram’s sister Louisa Salls was Alice Spear’s mother.

Hiram Salls

Hiram Salls (1829-1913)

This photo is of Harvey Lewis Salls, taken about 1890.  Harvey was born in Burlington, Vermont on 10 Jun 1888, and he died in Attleboro, Massachusetts on 28 Jul 1927.  Harvey was the son of Hoyt Edison Salls and Carrie J. Rouleau.  Hoyt was the son of Hiram Salls [photo above], so Harvey was Hiram’s grandson.

Harvey seems to have been a WWI veteran, serving as a Sergeant in the 1st Connecticut Balloon Company.  He is buried, for some reason, in Rhode Island.  I can find very little information about Harvey.  It’s possible he spent much of his life in the military because I cannot find him in the 1910 or 1920 census records.

Harvey Salls (1953-1931)

Harvey Salls (1888-1927)


Harvey Salls Headstone Application

Harvey Salls Headstone Application

This handsome young lad is Raymond Wardwill Evans (1885-1970).  He was the son of Benjamin F Evans (1851-1916) and Louisa J Spear (1850-1936).  He was Alice Louisa Spear’s 2nd cousin once removed.  They shared Richard Spear Jr (1759-1828) as a common ancestor.

"Ray Evans"

“Ray Evans”

This photo is of Mable C Morgan, who was born in Colchester, Vermont on 22 Aug 1874 to Stephen Shaw Morgan (1814-1886) and Rhoda Ann Bailey (1830-1916).  Her father’s first wife was Amanda M. Spear.  So her father’s first wife was Alice Louisa Spear’s first cousin once removed.  Mable’s mother, Rhoda Ann Bailey was also married to Richard Spear (1828-1857), so this makes Mable’s mother the wife of Alice Louisa Spear’s first cousin, once removed.

Mable married Jessie Briggs Thompson (1860-1917) in Colchester on 21 Feb 1900.

"Mable Morgan"

“Mable Morgan”