Photo Friday: 1960’s Installation Dinner


This photo is from either the 1962 or 1963 installation of Ethel Parker Bixler (1896 – 1972), left, as Worthy Matron and Paul William Bixler (1900 – 1982) as Worthy Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star at the famous Shrine Temple in Los Angeles. Paul’s sister Florance Bixler Cramer (1903 – 1990), right, served as the Installation Officer. Paul is my great grand uncle.

Relationship to me:
Paul William Bixler (1900 – 1982)
son of:
William Joseph Bixler (1875 – 1944)
father of:
Helen M Bixler (1898 – 1985)
mother of:
Howard D Witt (1929 – 2001)
father of:
Rebecca Ann Witt
mother of:
Joseph Patrick Lowry

Sources:
Family collection

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Photo Friday: Around the Firehouse

I’ve been a volunteer firefighter/EMT since 2004. It was interesting to me to learn that it is a family profession. My great uncle Fred Witt was a firefighter in Skokie, Illinois. This photo, taken in 1956, shows firefighters in front of the Hamlin Avenue Station. They include (left to right) Captain Jaeger, Bobby Burke, Bernie Weber, Rich Baumhardt, Al Suckow, Russ Van, and Fred Witt. They are standing in front of a 1948 American LaFrance pumper with 1,000 GPM capacity.
This photo was taken in 1969. Fred Witt, now a lieutenant on the fire department, is kneeling in the center (white shirt) with his men at the Floral Avenue Station. This is the last shift for his crew before this firehouse closed later that day.
Relationship to Me:
Frederick E Witt (1924 – 2009)
son of:
Helen M Bixler (1898 – 1985)
mother of:
Howard D Witt (1929 – 2001)
father of:
Rebecca Ann Witt
mother of:
Joseph Patrick Lowry

Sources:
Illinois Digital Archive. “Skokie Fire Department Floral Avenue Station Photograph, 1969.” Accessed September 20, 2012. http://www.idaillinois.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/skokiepo02/id/2395/rec/2

Skokie Historical Society. “Firefighters of Skokie, Illinois, 1881 – 1987.” Accessed September 20, 2012. http://www.skokiehistory.info/gallery/fdfiremenf/FireDeptFirefighters.html

Photo Friday: Tin Workers

Taken around the turn of the 20th century, this group photo of workers include several family members. Dressed for the trade of tin work, it is believed that the man on the right is Noah E Groucutt (1882 – 1967) and the man in the center is his father, George Leo Groucutt (1862 – 1941). George had five sons and several of them may be included in this photo, but that hasn’t been confirmed. The Groucutt family in 1900 lived in New Castle, Lawrence, Pennsylvania. Where these men worked is unknown however New Castle was home to the world’s largest tin mill, the Greer Mill, which opened in 1893.

According to the Lawrence County History Society,

In the early 1900′s, New Castle was a one-industry town. Individuals and families made decisions based on predictions of how the tin mill was running. Even local entertainment evolved around the mill. Children played at the company playground and attended movies at the Company Theater.(1) 

There is a similar photo on the website of the Lawrence County Historical Society (seen here, under ‘Industrial Boom’). I’ve emailed them to see if they have any additional details on their photo or the one above. If I get a reply, I will include that information here.

Sources:
Lawrence County Historical Society. “New Castle, Portrait of an American City.” Accessed September 17, 2012. http://www.lawrencechs.com/museum/exhibits/new-castle/.