In the news … the Clausen siblings

Local newspapers from 1920s Iowa are giving me a tiny window onto my ancestors’ daily lives. These small-town papers provide snapshots of ordinary days — travels and family visits, for the most part — that help paint a picture of the times. Sometimes they raise  questions, too. I can glean from  local news briefs that my paternal grandmother, before she was married, visited her older brother’s family in the spring and late summer, sometimes joined by her sister. She was probably going from central to southwestern Iowa, and I wonder how she would have traveled. The news clips don’t say. By train perhaps? The railroad would have run through both towns …  In fact, my curiosity about this has led me to learn that Council Bluffs, through which my grandmother traveled, was a significant rail center.

We learn from brief news clips that in May 1920, our grandmother returned home “after a pleasant visit in the home of her brother,” who with his daughter, accompanied her as far as Council Bluffs on her return. The story is repeated in late July, when we learn that “Mr. Clausen and little daughter went up to Council Bluffs, accompanying his sisters that far on their way home, after a few weeks visit…”  This “little daughter” carried our grandmother’s own unique middle name, and I gather that Grandma was close to her brother’s family in these years. We read yet again that in 1921 she spent a couple weeks in late summer visiting them, although this time the story tells us that her brother had just returned from Rochester, Minnesota, “where he had gone for examination and treatment at the famous Mayo Brothers hospital.” The purpose of his Mayo visit is unknown to us.

They are just local bits of news … brief mentions of family visits in the local, small-town newspaper … but they provide insight into our grandmother’s relationship with her siblings and texture to the portrait of her life as a young woman in Iowa … I am grateful to have them.

See other posts in this series, In the news …

(One good source for old newspapers is  A few searches are free, but a subscription provides full access. Searching for names within certain counties has yielded little treasures that might otherwise have gone undiscovered.)

This entry was posted in Clausen, In the news..., IOWA (ALL), IOWA (Central), RESEARCH PROCESS and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to In the news … the Clausen siblings

  1. Sheryl says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I’ve also found that the brief items in old small town newspapers are a rich source of information, but I’ve never done enough research to be able to follow what happens over time using them as a data. source. This post inspires to want to explore these brief items more carefully.

    And, thanks for the information about It’s a really awesome resource that I hadn’t previously known about. I did a quick search and discovered that my mother attended a baby shower for a distant relative in 1957. 🙂

    • ljhlaura says:

      I’m so glad you tried it and had a successful search. 🙂 Items like the one you found about the baby shower your mother attended are just the kinds of treasures I enjoy discovering, and they often lead me down new paths to learn more about certain people and places. Thanks so much for stopping by …

  2. Pingback: Happy Birthday, Grandma: Dorothy Hendrickson, 1904 – 1991 | Branch and Leaf … a family history blog

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