11 July 2014

The Flood

On Monday night of June 2nd, we got a phone call from our renters to tell us that earlier in the day there had been a flood.  Finally, on Thursday, July 10th, I went to pick up a reimbursement check from Granger-Hunter Improvement District for the cost of our insurance deductible.  They agreed to pay us that much for being at fault turning on the wrong water main.  The bank owned property, our neighbor, hasn't done anything in the matter, even though they own the pipe that burst.  Oh well.  After over a month, I think I can safely say that this problem is finished.  Instead of re-writing it, I am just going to copy the e-mail I sent to Grangeer-Hunter.

I am e-mailing you to request reimbursement for our $XXX insurance deductible paid for clean-up and repair of damages to our rental home at XXX, West Valley City.  On June 2nd, GHID came to turn on water to a nearby property.  Instead, the GHID employee turned on the water main for a vacant property which shares a wall with our unit.  The address of the vacant property is XXX.  This property has been vacant (a foreclosure and now bank owned) for quite some time and when the water main was turned on, a pipe inside the unit burst.  This pipe was between the walls of the vacant unit and our unit.  The result was a substantial flood ruining half of the floor and some of the wall in our living room.  
Our renters immediately cleaned up the water they could see and notified us later that evening.  We called GHID and talked to the on-call employee that night and were assured that the water had been turned off and no further damage would be caused.  We then contacted XXX at XXX Bank in Oklahoma (our contact for the vacant property) to pursue repairing the water damage since the broken pipe was clearly in the vacant unit.  Though she responded to us, there was no apparent attempt to fix the pipe or repair our damages, at least in a timely matter.
 Realizing that working with a bank ownership in Oklahoma was not going to be efficient, on June 4th, we contacted our own insurance company to begin the disaster clean-up process and then make the necessary repairs. The repairs and clean-up were done by XXX.  All work was completed and we paid them on July 1st
 We have spent hours of time contacting different agencies and trying to arrange and repair our property.  Our renters have spent a month being inconvenienced by the damage.  The problem was caused by two other parties (GHID turning on the wrong water main and XXX neglecting to take care of their pipes), yet we have been the ones effected by the damage.  For that reason we are seeking reimbursement for our insurance deductible, so that at least our financial burden is minimized.
 Thanks for any response in this matter.  If you need further documentation (pictures of the damage or copy of insurance documents) let me know.

10 July 2014

Magna Stroll

After our cemetery adventure the other day, the three of us (Molly, Jack, and I) meandered around old Magna.  No one was looking, so I decided to take photos of the three old houses that have significance to me.  There are other old houses in Magna that other old relatives lived in, I know, but I couldn't tell you where they were or what they looked like.  These houses have seen various stages of repair and decay through my lifetime, but right now they are all in pretty decent shape.  Here is the 2014 photo report on the three that I do know.

House #1 - The Petersen Home

This home belonged to my great grandma and great grandma - Myrtle N. and Van C. Petersen.  I grew up going to this house.  It was small and had one large living room across the whole front of the house.  The living room was very neat and very proper.  There were lots of doilies, small ceramic dolls and a TV.  There was a small kitchen, one small bedroom, and a bathroom along the back of the house.  There was also a narrow covered porch behind the kitchen.  The house had a basement.  If my memory is correct, my grandpa dug the basement himself to make bedrooms for he and my aunt Delores.  The stairs weren't level and it was scary.  I honestly only remember going down there once and it was after Myrtle died and my mom, Annie, and I went over briefly to talk to my dad and see what the progress on the clean up was.  That's it!

House #2 - The Chipman Home

This home belonged to my other great grandma and grandpa - Asenath Moyle and Clarke Chipman.  I have never been inside this house, but have driven past it on many occasions.  We used to stop by and visit a lady (Mrs. Mahlstrom?) on the 4th of July to see how she was doing.  She had rose bushes.  My parents knew her because they had actually lived in this house when they were first married and up through when Annie was born. (I know there are several baby pictures of my sister that show this inside of this house.  They are in photo albums in my mom's basement).  By the time I was born, they had moved into our Lake Ridge house.  My dad also spent much time here growing up because I think he was a brat and my grandma would ship him out to Asenath's on many occasions, especially during the summer (both grandpa Van Grandpa Clark and my Grandpa Petersen had passed away).  I think he also went there many times after school (Brockbank or Cyprus) and he worked with Asenath as an evening sweeper at one of the local schools.  This street is easy to remember because it is behind the football field and up from Bill's Lounge (now the Bear Den).

House #3 - The Other Petersen Home

This home belonged to my grandma and grandpa - Ardith and Dewaine Petersen.  My dad was born while his family lived in this home.  It is just up the street and on the other side of 3100 South from Grandma and Grandpa Chipman's House.  When my dad was around the age of 5, they built and moved out to the house on Hunter where my Grandma lived until the late 1990's (I think?).  I have one memory of going out to this house and doing some kind of clean up project.  I think my grandma may have rented it out.  I don't really know. (There are several photographs and home movies from Thanksgivings and Christmases inside this house)

09 July 2014

Crazy Cemetery Adventure

I'm a bit of a nerd and I like to spend my spare time in the summer staring at my computer, looking for census records, death certificates, and trying to find missing pieces of my family tree.  I like being able to find names to take to the temple, but I really just like finding errors and making corrections, and connecting people who should be connected, but aren't.  I like putting together stories.

I took my kids for a walk Tuesday after dinner.  I'd been doing some family history work that afternoon.  While on our walk, the thought came to mind, "Go find the grave" of a relative I had found earlier in the day.  The record said he was buried at the Magna Cemetery (Pleasant Green Cemetery).  I got home and called my dad.  I said, "I'm putting my kids in the bath and then we are going to come pick you up to go walk through the Magna Cememtery."  I'm sure he was thrilled, but he (and my mom) came along for the ride.  My mom kept the kids around the car while my dad and I traipsed through foot high pokey weeds and grasshoppers.  We didn't find anything.  Here is some more of the story . . .

Story 1:
One Tuesday afternoon, I spent of couple of hours doing what I had just mentioned.  First, I was looking for some uncles of my mother-in-law.  We had found one a few months ago who needed some temple work done and on Sunday, Mary mentioned something about "the other brothers."  I started looking and finally decided that . . . they are still alive!  There are two brothers, Jessie Albert Marley and Edman B. Marley, who after exhausting everything I could find online (including just googling their names), I have come to the conclusion that they are alive and living in Marion, Indiana. Maybe Mary wants to contact them, I don't know, but at least that resolved one records searching mystery.

Below is a picture of Elizabeth Clara Rasmussen Biorn Marley.  She is the mother of James' grandpa (and Jack's namesake) Wilford Clarence Biorn.  When her first husband died, she married Iredell Marley and had the children I mentioned.

Story 2:
I've been trying to fill in the gaps and create a story for my dad's great grandma and grandpa.  Their names are Carl Ephraim Petersen and Miranda Louise Ericksen Andersen/Andresen Petersen.

My dad was told growing up that Miranda was a mail-order bride from Norway who came to marry Carl Ephraim.  They lived in Magna and Carl Ephraim worked for Kennecott.  Miranda had some other children from a previous marriage and then had 4 children (though one died as a baby) with Carl Ephraim.  Their second child was Van Carl, my dad's grandpa.  He went by Van and it wasn't until after my dad, Karl, was born and named that my grandma Ardith was informed her father-in-law was named Van Carl.  Oops.  Grandma Ardith just said she liked the name (and spelled with a K).  She and my grandpa, I guess, unknowingly named my dad after his grandpa.

Back to the story.  It's quite crazy and I really don't have much of a story.  I hope to piece it together for another post . . .  eventually.  I can't find any immigration records for Miranda.  I can't find any death records (or immigration records) for her first husband, Theodor Anderson/Andresen.  I have found conflicting birth dates for her first group of children.  For example, some are recorded as being born in Norway after the siblings just older than them were born in the United States.  There are obviously mistakes in the records.  In fact, there is a marriage record that says she and Carl Ephraim were married in 1903.  That makes sense.  There first child was born in 1904.  However, I found another record that said they were married in the 1920's.  Unless I can find information to lead me to a crazy marital soap opera that confirms they were married 16 years after the birth of their first child, I just think the record is wrong.  Hopefully, as time goes on, I will be able to piece together a better story for these two.

For now, though, I started trying to track down records for Miranda's other children.  I did find her obituary and it said she had 13 children.  Right now I can find records for 12 of them, but I am skeptical that some of the records are duplicates, so I may not have found the 12 (or maybe the obituary is wrong and there weren't really 13).  I also found Carl Ephraim's obituary.  His has a strange twist, too, that again I just don't think is correct.  It lists his three surviving children and four surviving step-sons:

Children: Mrs. Ruth P. Coon, Van C. Petersen, Parley K. Petersen
Step-sons: Chris R. Anderson, Frank I. Anderson, Thomas A. Petersen, Theodore Petersen

Huh?  Why are two of his stepson's named Petersen?  Did he adopt them?  Did they just take on that name because they didn't know their dad?  Who knows.  At this point, your guess is as good as mine except for the fact that I can't find ANY records that account for a Thomas Petersen or Theodore Petersen.  However, I can find several records for people in Magna by the name of Thomas Anderson and Theodore Anderson.  Thomas is buried at the Magna Cemetery and that's who we went to find.

The Magna Cemetery is not, shall we say, well-groomed.  My dad had to pull all the stickers out of his shoes.  I was super smart (note sarcasm) and wore flip flops.  I have pokey sores all around my ankles.  I had to be really brave to get past all the grasshoppers and I even saw one lizard.  The cemetery is not that big, but when you are trying to look at every headstone (even the ones covered in weeds and haven't seen daylight for years and years), it actually is much bigger than meets the eye.

We didn't find anything.

I came home and did some more investigating.  I should have probably done this before we left, but it wouldn't have made for a story about lizards.  I found a map of the cemetery online.  I found the plot location and took my kids today to find the headstones.  It still took me about 10 minutes to get my bearings and find it but there it was - Thomas Anderson and his wife Ellen - not far from the entrance and right next to another Anderson who was a Korean War Veteran and one my dad had for sure seen the night before.

We found it!

That's the story.  Basically we just found out that my dad has a half great uncle buried at the Magna Cemetery.  I also took photographs of all other Anderson and Petersen headstones I found.  I will look into them and see if they are relatives.  In addition, these two headstones and the one next to it are fairly well-maintained and apparently visited.  Maybe there are relatives living who know something about Thomas Anderson and in turn something about Miranda.  It's at least another piece of the Miranda Ericksen puzzle and definitely an adventurous story!