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52 Weeks Of Personal Genealogy History

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Who Were My Great Grand Parents part 1 William Albert Day

I want to introduce you to my great grandparents. Each of us has eight great grandparents so that is a lot of research and history. Who were these people? They are part of me. What I am is because of them. My size, features and even health is part of them.
These are people I never knew. They all had passed on before I came on the scene and sadly my family never talked much about them. All I have is a few pictures , a few memories past on by family members and the Internet to gather my history.
This is my great grandfather William Albert Day and one of his little brothers.
William was born October 15 1867 in Rome, New York to Dwight Henry and Betsy Ann Anderson Day.

He met and married Carrie Betsy Lockwood January 09 1889 in Big Stone Minnesota.
Below is the picture of William Albert and Carrie ( Lockwood) Day with Willie ( my grandpa) 1890/1891

This marriage produced eight children Fairfax, Dewey, William Henry ( my grandfather ), Morris Fred, Bernard, Gladys, Grace, Lester.

The above picture is of William Albert's thrashing machine in North Dakota about 1910. Man on far right is his brother Franklin.
In the early days of his marriage William A. Day engaged in farming in the western part of Minnesota. About the turn of the century he moved to Mora, Minnesota in the central part of the state where he engaged in a number of business ventures for the next few years. He had a special touch for money making and would buy a business, keep it briefly and turn it for a nice profit. Such endeavors included a livery stable, a saloon and a combined furniture store and undertaking business.

In the spring of 1911 he launched a successful step that was most unusual even in that day. Along with a co worker whose last name was Pease, he started a bank in Sacred Heart, Minnesota. The community had earlier experienced a bank failure that had been costly for the patrons so such a bold move was indeed a gamble, both for William and the community.
After a slow, shaky start he gradually gained the confidence of the township people. By this time Mr. Pease had become discouraged and departed for other areas. William took his son Morris, as his co worker. They were the President, Teller, Bookkeeper, etc all wrapped in one. There was no secretary and no computers in those days. The damp, musty smelling paper money that gradually arrived in deposits, told its own story. Cautious investors had buried their cash for a time to protect it against loss.
Sacred Heart Bank was a huge success, and not only was William personally successful but he became a very highly respected citizen, active in many community affairs that included an influential School Board Member.

His career was cut short by an early death from Diabetes at the age of 52 in Renville Minnesota. In February 1920 Sacred Heart turned out in record number to bid a final farewell to one they had learned to love and respect.
Here is a copy of his obituary
Renville Star Farmer Renville, Reville County, Minnesota February 19, 1920 Sacred Heart News
Those from out of town who attended the funeral of W.A.Day were: Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Johnston, of Clinton, Mn, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wiley of Ortonville: Mrs. Betsy Lockwood, of Minneapolis; Mr. John Lockwood of Minneapolis; Mr. and Mrs. R.C. Nolton, Mr.and Mrs. Lonzo Nolton, Mr. Ollie Getchell and Otto Krishbaum and son, Arnold of Granite Falls, and Charlie Hinsch of Granite Falls.
The Funeral of Wm. A Day was held Wednesday at the Trinity Lutheran Church. Rev. Nobbs conducting the service. Mr. and Mrs. Melsness sang a duet and Miss Allie Fieldhammer sang a solo. A large number of friends were in attendance to pay their last respects to the departed. He leaves to mourn his early death, his aged mother, Mrs. Betsy Day, his wife, and eight children, Willie, Dewey, Morris, Fairfax, Bernard, Lester, Grace and Gladys. The Pall bearers were chosen from the business men of town and were: H. O. Skalbeck, J. N. Stenborg, Nels Hove, Torlief Arestand, J. H. Paulson and O. C. Sparstad.
William is buried in a small cemetery on the outskirts of Sacred Heart. His wife Carrie is buried at his side as well. There is also the grave of a baby. I do not know who this is.
The pictures of Sacred Heart , the bank building and their headstone were taken on a trip to Sacred Heart to find his and Carrie's graves in about 2000.

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