Great-grandparents Johnson Celebrated by 7 Kids, 20 Grandkids
There was rarely an aspect of daily life not covered by the local paper in the early- to mid-20th century.
Minor injuries, kids’ birthday parties, visiting friends and relatives, real estate transactions, the estates of deceased — you can read it in the daily paper.
The major milestones, of course, were in abundant evidence: birth, marriage, death. And the celebration of various anniversaries commemorating them.
As a fun way to celebrate my parents’ 60th birthdays in 2012, I assembled a card laying out for them a snapshot of life in the 60th years of their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. The snippets for great-grandparents Charles Johnson and Viola (Palmer) Johnson read:
For Charles Johnson (Nov. 6, 1946) —
- The war was over and my son Bill home.
- The twins, Lloyd and Floyd, our youngest, are just about set to graduate from New Phila High.
- I’ve been working construction the last five or so years, which beats the coal mining I’d done for forty years, since I was 13 and went down in the mine with Dad.
- Dad’s still around, by the way – old Clement is 83 and lives out on East High Ave., though he’s been sick with artery and heart problems the last few years.
- Most of the kids married off and giving us grandkids – 9 so far; Leonard’s, Virginia’s, Nellie’s and Erma’s kids.
- All the kids were grown and out of the house – the youngest, twins Lloyd and Floyd, would turn 20 that year.
- Son Bill was back from the war and starting work at I-F Manufacturing Co. in New Phila.
- I was happy to call one place home for the last seven years, after many moves in the 1920s and 1930s. Charles and I have lived at 448 Kelly St. NW in Phila since 1942.
- In the last decade, I’ve done some janitorial work for a local furniture store to help make ends meet
- My grandchildren numbered 11, the newest being Bob Foutz, with a 12th, Michael, on the way in October
Charles & Viola Johnson Celebrate 45 Years
Proving that life was still good in their 70s, the Dover Daily Reporter of June 28, 1956 shared news of a family celebration commemorating the July 1, 1911 wedding of Charles and Viola.
By then, the grandchildren numbered 20, and they planned to celebrate with their seven living children. (Three sons, remember, had died in separate water-related accidents in the 1930s.)
Read all about it!