Friday, January 15, 2010

Grandpa's Dream Machine

On the 15 of January in the year 1888 my mother’s father was born. He was the third of seven children born to Lydia Hannah Easterday and William Van Dorn Glasener.
My guess is that the picture below was taken when my Grandparents had been married about 40 years.

My grandma was his second wife and eight years younger than him. His first wife, Hattie, died shortly after they were married of Typhoid Fever. He once told me she was the love of his life. Family members told my Dad it took him years to get over her death. My grandparents were married a little over six years after her death. The wedding picture of them shows Hattie as a beautiful lady. Grandpa followed his father and other family members to the Lampman, Saskatchewan area of Canada in about 1915. The home and farm they had in Grundy County, Iowa was one of substance. For some reason his father thought they would be better off moving to wheat country. One wonders if it had anything to do with WW I. After a number of years they moved back to Iowa. I suspect they were all of broke. The land they owed is now in oil country. They always knew there was oil in the ground but because it was shallow oil the way to capture it was not available.

Grandpa was a farmer, fish seller, and orchard owner in his life time. In the 80's would visit him and Grandma at their home in town. The rather small backyard had pear trees, raspberry bushes and grape vines. All were delicious. The grapes were like none you can buy in stores.

I have been told that this picture was taken on their honeymoon.  He looks rather handsome.

He invented the Glasener Gleaner which was a machine that was simpler than the combine. He attended Cornell College for one year before they moved to Canada.  There hw was in the engineering program. Grandpa was always tinkering with something and would much rather make it himself than buy a similar item. In 1980 Malissa went to National History Day with a presentation on this invention. She sat on a bale of hay in a blue and white gingham dress with her hair in pigtails. In part of her presentation she used a tape recording of him telling about his invention.  Malissa titled her presentation "Grandpa's Dream Machine".  On the back of this picture is the notation, "shocker in N Dakota."  Mom said that Grandpa is standing in the fore ground beside his invention.

I was born when he was 60 years old.  Grandpa died 10 days after my Grandmother in 1985 at the age of 97. I am certain he willed himself to die. He was in good health at Grandma's funeral.  All his living grandchildren were in attendance.  I am the oldest granddaughter. As it was a cold winter day I stayed with him at the church while the others went to the cemetery. We held hands and talked. They had lived together in the nursing home their last year of life. When I would visit, Grandpa and I would always hold hands and talk. A couple of days after the funeral when I stopped in for a visit he refused to hold my hand and talk with me. I felt completely rejected. I think it was his way of handling the death of his wife of 67 years. When she was gone he lost all will to live.


Carol from Dubuque said...

My mother's father was also born on January 15 - in 1877. He lived with us all my growing up years and was the only grandparent I knew. His wife died in 1917, when my mother was only 15 years old. Gramp died shortly after his 88th birthday in 1965. This is always a day for memories.

Splendid Willow said...

Hi Rebecca, thank you for visting my blog so that I could discover yours! I am sp glad that you have Swedish genes! (:

I love my wall paper! And wall paper is so in vogue again. Let me know what you decide to do.

And thank you for sharing a little bit of your family history. Always fun to learn!

Happy week!

Hug, Monika