This was the fourth birthday party for my sister, Gloria Neal, who is in the center on her tricycle. Candy the Cocker Spaniel was her gift, but it looks like I took a liking to the puppy.
Not only are there four generations of my motherline in this photo, on the left are my dad’s sister, mother, and his grandmother. Two of these ladies are my grandmothers, and two are my great grandmothers!
Betty (Neal) Wells sang at my folks’ 1943 wedding. Her children are Vincent (in front of her) and Patty (on the other trike).
Ruby (Blohm) Neal was Dad’s mother. Her folks were German immigrants, her dad was a grocer and butcher in Dexter. Grandma Ruby was famous for her quilts and crocheted afghans. And kuchen bread at Christmastime.
Nellie (Keith) Neal was Dad’s grandmother, married to O.S. Neal. They were neighbors to the Clabe and Leora Wilson family during the Depression, so most of my stories about them are from my mother. (According to my mother, who was 10 at the time, Nellie made the most wonderful ham and beans for the Wilson family when their twins died of whooping cough in 1929.) I don’t remember my great grandmother Nellie Neal, whose mother came from Ireland.
Laura (Jordan) Goff, who was born in a log cabin west of Monteith, Iowa, three years after the end of the Civil War. Great Grandmother lived with her oldest daughter, Leora, in Guthrie Center, the whole time I knew her. She died when I was a freshman in college. After her daughter died, I became the keeper of a quilt top, which I completed decades after she began it.
Leora (Goff) Wilson, whose stories are told in the “Leora books,” which takes readers through her pioneer ancestors and early years through shortly after WWII.
Doris (Wilson) Neal, Leora’s oldest daughter and Gloria’s and my mother.