Sunday, June 2, 2013


For the past month, at church we've been encouraging the kids to do a little family history research. (I get to teach a big group of all the kids, including Carson and Everett.) For the final project, they are creating posters of one ancestor.

Carson looked at his family tree and decided he had to choose someone he was named after, so his poster is on Samuel Brennaman Otto, his great-great grandfather. Carson's Grandpa was too young to remember much of his grandfather, but Rick's two aunts shared some wonderful stories about him. We also did some digging and found some pictures online, including one of his farm after a tornado hit it, which no one seems to know anything about!

The text on his poser is the following (mostly in his words):
He was married three different times because his wives all died before him. First, he married Mary Basting; they had three children. After she died, he married Sarah Baumetz; they had two girls. She died, and Sarah's sister helped him take care of the children. Then, he married that sister, Margaretha, and she had three children (one died as a baby), including my great-grandfather, Raymond Earl. It must have been really hard for him to have all those people he loved die.

He was a farmer, and a tornado once destroyed his barn. It didn't get his house. I think Heavenly Father was protecting his house.

It was said that his farm was one of the “finest improved places in the county, and he devotes it to the raising and feeding of cattle, which are of the best grade.”

He served as school director, was president of the Aurora Elevator Company, president of the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company, president of the Aurora Cooperative Creamery Company, and a member of the executive board of the Hamilton County Farm Bureau. He must have been very busy, and such a hard-worker, to do all those things!

When he was a boy, he and some other kids found a big snake in the yard, and it scared them. He said, “Mother got a long handled shovel and chopped the snake to pieces, all the time saying, “I'll show you! I'll show you!”

Everett chose Marmaduke Page, my mom's grandfather. (With a little suggesting from me.) My mom told Everett some stories via webcam and sent us some great pictures. Hearing Everett tell the story of how Duke Page used to put a beef steak in his baseball glove is incredibly cute. This is what Everett put on his poster:

 Marmaduke was supposed to be named William, but when his dad gave him his baby blessing, he changed it to Marmaduke. Everyone called him Duke.

Duke loved to play baseball. He was the catcher. When his hand hurt from catching, he would put a beef steak in between his hand and the glove.

Duke was going to move East to play in the big leagues, but he would have had to play baseball on Sundays. He made a good choice to start a career instead of playing and working on Sundays.

Duke was a hard worker, and a very smart business man. He owned a company that sold cars. To get people to buy his cars, he put one upside-down in a parade.

Later, he started a bowling alley in Spanish Fork, Utah. This was a new idea in the town, and it was very successful. When my grandma was a little girl, she got to bowl for free all the time. She became a very good bowler and won a national championship on college.
It has really been neat to learn more of where we all came from and what we have to live up to! Both Samuel Brennaman Otto and Duke Page were hard-working, very well-respected men in their communities. I did a poster too; I will have to take a picture of it and share about mine!


Melissa S. said...

HOW NEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That just makes them SO excited about family history work! I hope all the other kids do that much research about it too. Such a great idea for the Primary to do. Seriously. I LOVE IT!
I can see what they found so interesting about those people!!!!!! I'm assuming that's where you got your first name too?

Robyn said...

What a neat activity!!!! Makes me want to be better about researching and telling my kids stories about their ancestors.