Author: lauracubbagedraper

Thriller Thursday – Boys Rescue Pup

It’s always fun to go through my parents’ old memorabilia and newspaper clippings – you never know what you’ll find! This article was published in a northern New Jersey newspaper around 1954 or 1955 (I can’t seem to find it on any newspaper sites). My father is one of the Cubbage boys who rescued the pup! He was about 13 or 14 years old and his brother was 10 or 11 years old.

My father had never told us about the big rescue. When I asked him about it, he corrected the newspaper, which reported that the boys jumped into the river. My father told me that they had walked out onto the ice to reach the dog and fell in! The water was about waist deep, so they grabbed the dog, and all climbed out. My father then said, “See, you can’t believe everything you read, even back then!”

It’s another reminder to ask our living family about the pictures, memorabilia, and records that we find. They might have more details about the story … or in some cases, corrections!

© 2017 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Women’s Words Wednesday

So much of our history is recorded, remembered, and influenced by the views our male ancestors. But that’s only part of our story, and I am fascinated by the stories of our female ancestors. I am adding a new blogging category called Women’s Words Wednesday where I will post and reflect on these important words that I have found in my research, in whatever form they arise (letter, photo, official document, etc.).

Below is a letter from Sara Logan to Charles Cubbage, my great-grandfather, about Sarah Cubbage, Charles’ sister.

[unreadable along frayed top edge of letter]
Valencia
Dec. 16, 1902

Mr. Charles Cubbage,
                    Dear Friend –
Will write you a few lines this morning in place of your parents to tell you that Sarah had fallen yesterday evening and got seriously hurt. It was so very ice, and she had gone to the shed to feed the chickens and was lying there when they found her. Her head pains her awfully and her back hurts her too. The Dr was here again this morning and said there was little improvement on her
[unreadable along frayed top edge of letter]
be no change for 48 [?]
She just lies and seems to be sleeping and does not seem to notice any one. Charlie I think poor Sara is quite [unreadable] your Father and Mother are so worried but I know Charlie you will come out if you can and if you do not come out the [unreadable, possibly “next word you” ??] that Sara will be better and fully recovered again and a marked improvement from her present condition.

                                                     From,
                                                        Sara Logan

Sadly, Sarah Cubbage died on Christmas Day, ten days after her fall. I do not know if Charles ever traveled the 30 miles from Swissvale to Penn Township in Butler County to visit his sister before she died.

But who was Sarah Logan? And why did she write the letter “in place” of Charles’ parents, James and Barbara Cubbage? Sarah mentioned how worried they were and that her brother should “come out if you can”. Were James and Barbara too distraught to write the letter? At this time, only Sarah and her brother James L. were still living at home; the remaining brothers had all left Butler County.

Sarah Cubbage worked for many years as a servant in the home of John R Logan. I am fairly certain that Sarah Logan was connected to this family – either a relative of John, or possibly the spouse of one of John’s sons. Sarah Logan wanted Charles to travel to see his sister, yet she seemed to stay positive at the end of the letter, hoping that Sarah will be “better and fully recovered.”  What was it like for her to be the bearer of bad news? Did she reach out on her own, or at the request of the parents? And since Sarah Cubbage didn’t survive, did Sarah Logan need to write another letter to the Charles, and possibly their brothers, to let them know about her passing?

These are questions I most likely won’t know the answers to, but get me thinking about the role that women played during a tragedy. I am excited to share more words from women as I come across them.

© 2017 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Travel Tuesday – Research in Pittsburgh

In October I spent a week in Pittsburgh – doing some of my favorite things in one of my favorite cities. It was a wonderful week of research, conference learning, tours and genealogy friends.

I originally started planning this trip when a genea-friend told me that that the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International Annual Conference was being held in Pittsburgh. I had never attended a CGSI event, but it was a good place to attend one. My husband is mostly Slovak (three of his four grandparents are from Slovakia) and his mother was born in Slovakia before immigrating when she was a little over a year old. I attended two days of the conference and attended some wonderful sessions on Slovak land records, Czecho-Slovak history, the Slovak language and more.

The conference offered several tours earlier in the week, and my friend and I attended the “Pittsburgh’s Industry of Our Immigrants” tour on Tuesday. I was very excited for this tour, not for the Slovak focus but because it included places that my father’s ancestors would have worked. We went to the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area in Homestead during the morning, stopped at Penn Brewery on the North Side for lunch, and ended with a coal mine tour in Tarentum.

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It was a cold morning and the fog on the Monongahela River added an eerie effect to the silhouette of Carrie Furnace.

The highlight of this day for me was the tour at Rivers of Steel, especially the guided tour at Carrie Furnace in Rankin, which had been a part of the Homestead Steel Works. My great grandfather, Charles Cubbage, worked in the blast furnace at Carrie when they lived in Swissvale in the early 1900s. It was an excellent tour where we were able to go into the furnace and learn about the iron making process. I always find it extremely moving to stand in the places where my ancestors stood. And to experience the massive size of Carrie was very powerful (luckily minus insane heat of the furnace). Our tour guide, Susie, was outstanding! If you are in the Pittsburgh area, I highly recommend this tour.

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The people in the foreground show the scale of Carrie Furnace.

On Wednesday, I spent some time at Homewood Cemetery in the Point Breeze neighborhood. Homewood is an almost 200-acre cemetery which is absolutely beautiful and well-maintained. I had emailed the cemetery ahead of time inquiring about record availability. A wonderful research volunteer, Richard, pulled records for my Cubbage ancestors and had copies of burial books, headstones, plot records, and other cemetery records for me. He even took me around to the locations of the graves (sadly, many of my ancestors didn’t have any tombstones).

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I went back to cemetery after lunch for a wonderful tour led by Jennie Benford. I had read about the tour through a link to a newspaper article on Homewood’s Facebook page. The tour, “Audacious Pioneers: The Women of Section 14”, was about a handful of women who were laid to rest in the section of the cemetery where some of Pittsburgh’s wealthiest were buried. Walking through this section, we saw amazing mausoleums, obelisks and headstones for names like Mellon, Heinz, Frick and more. Jennie researched some fascinating stories about these women, and quite honestly, I’m so jealous of her job! Homewood also offers other tours, and I highly recommend visiting, especially if you have any ancestors who lived in Pittsburgh. The social history around the city and community was so very interesting.

In addition to researching at the Allegheny County Courthouse and the Carnegie Library, I spent most of a day at the Detre Library and Archives at the Heinz History Center. I had been to the museum part of the center years with my family (they have excellent exhibits and western Pennsylvania sports museum), but wasn’t able to get to the library. Archivist Sierra Green had presented a session at the CGSI conference about the library, so I changed my plans and went on Friday …  and I am so glad that I did!

The library has an amazing manuscript collection in addition to vertical files, maps, books and more. I did a few searches with their online catalog, so that I arrived with a list of materials to be pulled for research. I found some excellent information including an oral history, school, tax and funeral home records, and town information held in vertical files. The archivists and staff were extremely helpful, and I will be sure to continue my research there on my next trip.

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H. Samson, Inc. Records, 1859-1982; MSS 0260, Order Book, April 1875-1881; Detre Library and Archives, John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh. Entry for Wm. Cubbage, 13 April 1881.

In addition to the conference, research, and tours, I was able to spend some time with my genea-friends Helen and Ellie. We compared research and resources, shared suggestions, and offered ideas for some roadblocks, and I heard about their amazing research trip to Poland! And one of the biggest highlights was having dinner with my dear friend’s son, who is a freshman at CMU.

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Early Sunday Morning at Union Dale Cemetery.

On my way out of town, I stopped at few cemeteries too … it was a full week! I’ll post more details on some of my research finds in the coming weeks.

© 2017 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Favorite Photo Friday – Michael & Mary Simko

After attending the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International conference last month, and a visit from my mother-in-law last week, I have been thinking about Mike’s Slovak ancestors, specifically his grandparents. This is one of my favorite pictures of them.

mary michael

Michael Petrun and Mary Simko were married in Malé Zalužice, Slovakia in 1934. I believe this picture was taken in 1935, and that Mary was most likely pregnant with their daughter Ludmila. Michael, Mary and Ludmila immigrated to the United States in 1936.

© 2017 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Military Monday – Art’s Discharge from the Navy

This is the final post in a recent series about my grandfather’s Naval service during World War II. Art Cubbage received his Honorable Discharge from the US Navy on 9 April 1946, just short of two years from when he was inducted. At the time of his discharge, Art was a Yeoman Second Class.

2eaed-19462bhonorable2bdischarge2bnavy

Art’s Naval Separation papers had a wealth of information about him at the time, including his address and occupation, both before and after his service, schooling, and Naval insurance and pay.[1]

6c251-19462bnaval2bseparation2bpapers

During Art’s time in the Norfolk, Camp Shelton and the other 3 bases in the area were partially “inactivated at the end of hostilities of WWII” and were later consolidated into one installation named the Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek.[2] This base was commissioned on 10 August 1945. This was during Art’s time of service and I wonder if he attended the commissioning. Little Creek was designated a permanent base in 1946.

Military Monday - Art's Discharge from the Navy

Military Monday - Art's Discharge from the Navy

Art’s wife Agnes went to Norfolk at the time of his discharge. Above are pictures of Art’s Naval housing and a picture of Agnes in front of his home during his service.

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I love this picture of Agnes and Art (except that his eyes are closed!). I found it in a folder from The Windsor House, a restaurant in Norfolk. The date written on the back of the photo is 9 April 1946 – the same date as Art’s discharge. I can imagine my grandparents enjoying a nice dinner together after being apart for two years.

1947 Cubbage Address

 

After his discharge, Art went to Pittsburgh and then back to Akron with his family. They lived at Hillwood Homes, which was housing for Veterans, and Art worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad again.

 

 


SOURCES:

[1] Notice of Separation from U.S. Naval Service, William Arthur Cubbage, 2C USN-I(SA), 9 April 1945, USN PSC Shelton, Virginia; privately held by the author’s father, original scanned by Laura Cubbage-Draper, 2011.

[2] “Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia,” Military Installations, (http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil/MOS/f?p=MI:CONTENT:0::::P4_INST_ID,P4_CONTENT_TITLE,P4_CONTENT_EKMT_ID,P4_CONTENT_DIRECTORY:4960,Installation%20Overview,30.90.30.30.30.0.0.0.0,1 : accessed 6 October 2017).

© 2017 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Military Monday – Yeoman Art Cubbage

Military Monday - US Navy Yeoman Art Cubbage

This is the second post about my grandfather Art Cubbage’s service in the US Navy. After completing Service School Command in 1944, Art was stationed, and spent the remainder of his time in the Navy, at the Personnel Separation Center at Camp Shelton near Norfolk, Virginia.

Camp Shelton was an armed guard training center, but at the end of World War II it served as a separation center.[1] Art was a Yeoman and most likely worked in the offices at the PSC. I am pretty sure that Art is at the far right on the phone in this picture.

Military Monday - US Navy Yeoman Art Cubbage

As a Yeoman, Art performed secretarial and clerical work. Yeomen would “deal with visitors, telephone calls and incoming mail. YNs organize files and … order and distribute supplies.”[2] As a Yeoman, Art most likely wrote or typed letters, directives, forms and reports, as well as maintained files and service records.

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The insignia the uniform of a Yeoman is crossed quills with the nibs down.

Military Monday - US Navy Yeoman Art Cubbage

In this picture of Art, you can see the insignia under the Navy eagle. There are a handful of pictures of Art and his friends and fellow Yeomen during his time in the Navy. Only a couple are marked, so we can only guess which are from Training at Great Lakes and when he was a Yeoman in Virginia. One picture is of the Fifth Naval District building, which was at the Norfolk Navy Yard. There are others that are most likely of the Norfolk area.

Art is on the left in both pictures. The woman in the picture to the left and the man in the picture to the right show up in several of Art’s Navy pictures. I am guessing that they served together, as they both have Yeoman insignia on their uniforms.

These were probably taken at the Norfolk Navy Yard, which was about 8 miles west of Camp Shelton.

While Art was stationed in Norfolk, his wife, Agnes, and sons, Corky and Jeff, moved from Ohio to Pittsburgh’s North Side to live with Agnes’ parents, Elizabeth and Charles Merz.  These are a few pictures of Agnes and the boys during that time. I wonder if she sent them to Art in Norfolk?

Next week is Art’s discharge from the Navy.


SOURCES:

[1] “Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia,” Military Installations, (http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil/MOS/f?p=MI:CONTENT:0::::P4_INST_ID,P4_CONTENT_TITLE,P4_CONTENT_EKMT_ID,P4_CONTENT_DIRECTORY:4960,Installation%20Overview,30.90.30.30.30.0.0.0.0,1 : accessed 6 October 2017).

[2] “US Navy Enlisted Ratings,” Archive.org, (https://web.archive.org/web/20061211231100/http://navyrotc.berkeley.edu/resources/gouge/Ratings.pdf : accessed 6 October 2017).

© 2017 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Military Monday – US Naval Training

Military Monday - US Naval TrainingThe United States Navy was founded on 13 October 1775 and “Navy Day” will be celebrated on 27 October this year, so it’s a good time to share a series of stories about my only (known) ancestor who served in the US Navy.

My grandfather, William Arthur “Art” Cubbage, served in the US Navy during the end of World War II from 1944-1946. At the start of the war, Art was living Ohio (first Akron and then Cleveland) with his wife, Agnes (Speck), and young sons Corky, and Jeff. He worked as a passenger representative for the Pennsylvania Railroad.[1] Art was inducted into the US Navy on 17 April 1944 in Akron. Corky was not yet 3, and Jeff was only 3 weeks old.

Art attended boot camp at the US Naval Training Center Great Lakes in North Chicago, Illinois. All recruits began their Naval careers at the USNTC for orientation and training. The Training Center at Great Lakes had grown substantially since World War I. Over 4 million sailors served in the US Navy during World War II, and about 1 million were trained at Great Lakes.[2] Below is a picture of Art’s Company on 11 May 1944.

Military Monday - US Naval Training

Art went on to complete additional training in Service School Command at Great Lakes on 22 September 1944. This school was organized to provide additional intensive courses of study in various specialized areas (signal, coxswain, armed guard, quartermaster, etc.). Art was in Section Y6-1, Yeoman School. The yeoman branch of the Navy executed the clerical work of the navy, and required some clerical experience.[3] Art had worked in accounting before working for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and likely had the clerical background needed. In the Yeoman School at Great Lakes, four months of courses included “practical work in all branches of clerical duty ashore and afloat”.[4]

Military Monday - US Naval Training

Art is in the second row, second from the left. It is interesting that in most of these pictures, he was not wearing his glasses. In almost every other picture of him since high school, Art was wearing glasses. During this time, Agnes, Corky and Jeff moved to Pittsburgh to live with Agnes’ mother and step-father, Elizabeth and Charles Merz.

The story continues next week when Art was stationed in Virginia.


SOURCES:

[1] Notice of Separation from U.S. Naval Service, William Arthur Cubbage, 2C USN-I(SA), 9 April 1945, USN PSC Shelton, Virginia; privately held by the author’s father, original scanned by Laura Cubbage-Draper, 2011.

[2] “About Naval Station Great Lakes – History,” Naval Station Great Lakes, (https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrma/installations/ns_great_lakes/about/history.html : accessed 2 October 2017).

[3] Yates Stirling, Fundamentals of Naval Service, (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1917), 71; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com/books?id=SRTV_4GAx6UC&pg=PR3&lpg=PR3&dq=Yates+Stirling,+Fundamentals+of+Naval+Service&source=bl&ots=hF05mLKEqM&sig=PJI-mGpK9V0K_F3h4EDAskTkqmE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiK4Y2IlNfWAhWB5iYKHbk_DZIQ6AEISTAJ#v=onepage&q=yeoman&f=false : accessed 4 October 2017).

[4] Francis Buzzell, The Great Lakes Naval Training Station: A History (Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1918), 118; digital images, Archive.org (https://archive.org/stream/greatlakesnavalt00buzziala#page/118/mode/2up : accessed 3 October 2017).

© 2017 LAURA CUBBAGE-DRAPER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.