Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Snapshot of the Casper Kluthe Family in 1940

This photo appears to have been from ~1938 or so.

From the 1940 census, Miller (2nd ward), Hand co., South Dakota

Home rented for $13 monthly

Head of Household: Kluthe, Casper J. (informant), 51, married, education: finished 8th grade, b. Nebraska, employed for pay (but does not list an occupation), worked 8 hours the previous week, worked all 52 weeks in 1939, earning $216.  He has income from other sources.

Jennie, wife, 47, education: finished 7th grade, b. South Dakota, not employed for pay, has income from other sources

Louise, daughter, 21, single, education: completed 4th year in high school, b. SD, employed for pay, worked 48 hours the previous week, occupation is stenographer for the Co. Highway office, worked all 52 weeks in 1939, earning $600.  

Edwin, son, 16, single, attended school, completed 1st year of high school, b. SD, not employed for pay, but is employed at public emergency work, occupation is janitor for NVA school aid, did not work or earn money in 1939.

Magdalen, daughter, 12, single, attended school, completed 6th grade, b. SD, 

Lechtenberg, Claire, lodger, 20, single, education: completed 4th year in high school, b. SD, employed for pay, worked 48 hours the prior week, occupation is Clerk for AAA office, worked 49 weeks in 1939, earning $775.  

[click image below to enlarge]

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

New Documents Paint More Detailed Picture

The year was 1939.  Mary Yost had just become a widow - for the second time.  This time, she had six minor children to care for, ranging in age from 2 to 17.

While searching for other documents, I ran across two pertaining to Mary's first year after the death of her husband James Yost - a Social Security claim and the 1940 census.  Together, these documents paint a picture of the difficult financial circumstances of the family.

James Yost died in June of 1939, and Mary, who listed her occupation as "seamstress" was out of work after about October of that year.   What the family did for income was unknown, but her son Robert, 17,  had worked 6 weeks as a farm laborer.

In January of 1940, the Social Security Administration began making regularly monthly payments.*   Mary filed a claim the following month, so at least they had some money coming in.  How long she was unemployed is unknown, but she was still looking for work when the census was enumerated in April.

I always assumed that their situation was difficult, but seeing the information from these two documents combined drives home in more detail just how challenging her situation was.



Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Wig

Aunt June Hammer loved wigs - I remember visiting her in Phoenix and she and my mom would try on the different ones she had.  It got to the point where a strange looking woman would walk into the room and I'd have no idea at first who it was!  When Aunt June and her family came back to South Dakota for a visit, she brought her blond wig, and we all had fun with it ~

Three Generations of Blonds
Lillian - Betty - Karen

Ironically, the only one who doesn't have her picture in the wig is Aunt June!