Thursday, September 25, 2014

#31-- Andreas Brinker, Swiss Immigrant to PA

The Swiss Family Tilton?
My mother’s father, Charles Tilton, always said he was English. And this is true, in part. But on his maternal grandmother’s mother he’s also Swiss (Zurich area) and German.

You're wondering: how? But you're afraid of a long answer. I'll give you the short answer. 
To do that, I have to break every rule in the book and genealogists reading this will hate me for doing it. I posted an easy-to-read chart with your answer. This chart shows how my grandfather, Charles Tilton (and anyone related or to him) is Swiss (and German).

How to read the chart:
~The bottom and the top green boxes show my mother (living) and the first male who emigrated from Switzerland to the colonies (USA). 
~The next ancestor, his son, who was also born in Switzerland and immigrated with the family, is on the left & below him in blue.
~All decedents on the left side are direct descendants of the original immigrant from Switzerland.
~Males are in blue, females in pink. 
~Marriages are indicated my any horizontal line.

~Only the foreign births are noted and bolded. I’m leaving the details to another post.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

#30 - Bertha Charity Hawxhurst From 1899 to 1940s

Bertha Charity Hawxhurst From 1899 to 1940s
Bertha was the youngest of six children. Her eldest sibling, Mary Willis, was nearly 19 years older than she.  Sister Mary married Edwin (Ned) Comly Tyson in 1887, uniting the Hawxhurst family of Long Island, NY and Tyson family of Pennsylvania.
Then, in 1899 some twelve years after Mary & Ned's wedding, Ned's brother Chester his parents a letter apparently saying that he and Mary's sister Bertha were planning to get married. (I’m not sure where he was when he sent the letter). 
Here is Chester's father, Charles John Tyson's loving response:
1899 Chester's father's response engagement to be married
I can only guess that father Charles, knowing her upbringing (in an established family on Long Island), hoped Bertha was prepared to be content living in the country as the wife of a farmer.
Chester had received his parents' blessing and not long afterwards (Feb 16, 1901). Bertha and Chester were wed before a Justice of the Peace in Jersey City, N.J.
Chester J. Tyson as a young man

Indeed, Bertha did live the life of a busy farm wife. Not the least because she and Chester had many children: twelve of them over the course of 20 years (1901-1921). Two of the twelve were females, my grandmother was the eldest daughter. Her sister never had children. 

Though they lived in the country, several miles north of Gettysburg, life was busy.
But there are too many stories to cover in one blog post.
There were so many family events, farm events and business events, it seems that Bertha and Chester were always in motion. To simplify things, I've broken up the years between 1899-1940 into mini-eras:
~Children born 1902-1906: Don, Bob, Elizabeth, & Margaret
~Bertha's father-in-law Charles J Tyson dies 1906.
Bertha Charity Hawxhurst Tyson stylin'
The big town of Biglerville, some miles from the farm,1912
~Child born: Frederick
~Bertha's father William Ephraim Hawxhurst dies 1908

1910 Bumper Crop of fruit in Adams County
~Children born 1909-1915: Phil, Stan, June(Chester Jr), Ralph
~Bertha's  mother Marianna Hicks (Hawxhurst) dies 1915

~World War 1
~Children born 1916-1921: Paul "Dix," Alan, Norman
The so-called Roarin' 20s were perhaps her busiest years of child rearing.
(Someone of that period wrote, “We didn’t know it was the Roarin' 20s until about 1935.”)

~ Bertha began keeping a diary regularly about 1925.
Tysons abt 1925
~Chester's mother (mother-in-law) Maria Edith Griest Tyson dies 1927
~Children Bob, Elizabeth, Don got married in the 1920s, (1926 & 1927) 

Will (left) and Chester at George School back in the day
Schooling & College
Many (not all) of their children at one time or another attended George School and/or Penn State.

Charles B Tilton, Penn State met many Tysons, incldng  Elizabeth Tyson.
1925-1928 -Financial Woes
Chester (and others, notably Ned) worked very hard at resolving the business's financial problems. In  1925 Bertha first mentions Chester has “involved” her. From reading the diaries it seems the burden took quite a toll on him.
Here are a few of the mentions from Bertha’s diary of 1925:
...Feb frequent mentions Chester's fatigue and worry
..on Feb 7-“Chester quite worried over finances”
..on Feb 10-“Chester much worried over finances – involving me!”
..on Mar 28 mentions Chester seeing "lawyer regarding payment"
..on May  1 – Chester… “finances again”
..The rest of May she frequently refers to Chester as,“very fatigued” “v. tired”
..on May 21 – “Can’t sleep-finances again!”
..on Dec 21 – “Chester worried about finances!”

1928 Bankruptcy
~After the bankruptcy (see article below) in 1928 Chester,Bertha & family moved to Crestmont at the Adams/Cumberland county line. 
This after all the holdings around Flora Dale were sold at Sheriff's Sale.
Crestmont had been bought at the sale by E. I. Nicodemus of Waynesboro. 
He gave Chester, Bertha’s husband, a good deal in return for running the farm for him: he had to just cover interest on the mortgage and pay taxes.

Skip ahead, or if you are interested in reading the details, below is an article about the sale of the farm from The Gettysburg Times.
The Gettysburg Times, Thursday, April 5, 1928
Six Tyson Farms Sell High; 'Crestmont' Brings $30,400; Orchardists are Gratified G. W. Koser, Trustee In Bankruptcy, Disposes Of Chester J. Tyson Real Estate, And Declares Results "Speak Well For Faith Of Prominent Orchardists In Industry Of Adams County"; All Purchasers Announced.
The Chester J. Tyson orchard farms in upper Adams county, at public sales held Wednesday by G. W. Koser, of Biglerville trustee in bankruptcy, on the various farms, sold for a total of $106,800. This is the largest sale of orchard property held in Adams county in years and expressions on every hand today by prominent orchardists are to the effect that the prices "are highly gratifying and hold out high hope for the future of the apple industry in the county." Practically all the farms brought prices considerably above the official appraisal value placed upon them, in the bankruptcy proceedings. Six farms were sold throughout the day, as advertised in The Gettysburg Times the last four weeks. The"Crestmont Farm" of 170 acres, situated partly in Dickinson township, Cumberland county and largely in Huntington township, Adams county, along the state road leading from Biglerville to Mount Holly Springs, brought the highest price of all the farms sold. It was purchased, by E. A. Nicodemus, of Waynesboro, prominent Franklin county, Pennsylvania, and Washington county, Maryland, fruit grower, for $30,400. That was the first farm sold during the day and the sale took place at 10 o'clock in the morning. The "Morrison Farm" of 58 acres, situated partly in the borough, of Bendersville and part in Menallen township, was purchased by Howard C. Hartley, of Gettysburg, for $6,500. "Edgemont Farm" Brings $25,500 The "Edgemont Farm," sold at 3 o'clock Wednesday afternoon on the premises, and the last farm sold during the day, brought the second high price of $25,500. It was purchased by E. V. Bulleit, Gettysburg attorney at-law, for M. E. Knouse, large owner in the Peach Glen cannery and prominently identified with the fruit growing industry of Adams county. This farm comprises 252 acres and is situated in Menallen township along the road leading from Bendersville to Arendtsville. The "Sheely Farm" of 149 acres, situated in Menallen township, also on the public road leading from Bendersville to Arendtsville, was purchased by the Loco Realty company, of New York City, for Heller Brothers, Inc., for $18,200, and the "House Farm" of 168 acres on the same road was bought by the same interests at a price of $16,400. The "Bream Farm" in Menallen township, comprising 128 acres and situated west of Bendersville along the road leading from Bendersville to Arendtsville, was purchased by C. H. Musselman, Biglerville canner, for $9,800. Mr. Koser expressed his satisfaction over the results of the sale, which "speak well for the faith, of prominent orchardists in the future of the business."

~Crestmont Orchards:

Within a year or two, Chester Tyson opened a fruit stand by the house. 
Legend has it that E.I. Nicodemus allowed him to keep all profits from the stand.
Instead of paying off the principal, Chester used those proceeds to pay for his children's schooling, including at Penn State and George School. 

In her diaries that Bertha often injects a monetary amount. This might be the day's take from the stand.
~In 1930 Bertha's sister Florence died.
~Then year following, 1931, Chester’s sister, Mary Anna died. 

Ann, Elizabeth, Margaret, and "Mardy" and Bertha, early 1931

"Mardy" and Elizabeth, Chester, Charles Tilton's mother, 3 Tyson men & Margaret c 1931 

Chester & Bertha Tyson 1932

Crestmont Orchard Ad 1935
Though the Depression was upon them, in June of 1937 they celebrated the 50th Wedding Anniversary of sister Mary Willis Hauxhurst and brother Edwin (Ned) Tyson.

50th Anniversary, the Tyson brothers with their wives. Chester & Bertha on right

Transcription from the Gettysburg Times:
Original Wedding Suit, Dress Worn At E. C. Tysons' 50th Anniversary.
About 75 friends and relatives assembled at the home of Edwin C. and Mary W. Tyson, Flora Dale, on Wednesday to commemorate the couple's fiftieth wedding anniversary. All of the bride's brothers and sisters, who also participated in the original ceremony, were present on this occasion, including Wallace W. and Harold E. Hawxhurst, Mrs. Frederick Sharpless and Mrs. Richard Carpenter, Westbury, Long Island, and Mrs. Chester Tyson, of Gardners..

Other guests from a distance included Mr. and Mrs. William C. Tyson, Oakland, California; Muriel Tyson, "New York city, and her daughter, Jacqueline; Mrs. Richard Lambert and daughter, Judith, Worcester, Massachusetts; Mr. and Mrs. Bliss Forbush and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Griest, Baltimore; Frederick Sharpless and Robert Hawxhurst, Long Island; Mrs. Charles. Knight, Mrs. Henry Pickering, Miss Eleanor Peters, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tilton, all from the vicinity of Philadelphia, and Mr. and Mrs. Bennet Coates, Lancaster county.

Mr. Tyson's brother. Chester J. Tyson, read the original marriage certificate and records of the twenty-fifth and fortieth anniversaries and all present affixed their signatures to the original document. Mr. Tyson wore his original wedding suit and Mrs. Tyson's bridal dress of 50 years ago was worn by her granddaughter, Judith Trowbndge Lambert.
The house was decorated with flowers, yellow and white predominating and arranged under the direction of Mrs. Frederic Griest. Refreshments were served and relatives and out-of-the-neighborhood guests were entertained later at the Flora Dale team room as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Tyson.”
 – from The Gettysburg Times, Thursday, June 10, 1937

Bertha's family, the Hauxhursts

~ In 1938 Chester died quite suddenly.
~The following year, Bertha’s sister Caroline died (1939).
Subsequently, Bertha moved in with one of her children--first with Don & Irene. 
From.... The Gettysburg Times, Tuesday, March 14, 1939
 "C. J. Tyson Farm Sold for $16,000  E. A. Nicodemus, Waynesboro, purchased the C. J. Tyson  farm on the Gettysburg-Carlisle road, near Gardners, at public sale Monday morning for $16,000.  Forty acres of the farm planted in peaches and apples were sold to *Ralph Tyson for $1,025. A large crowd attended the sale which lasted all day. Prices for farm and orchard implements were fair." -The Gettysburg Times, Tuesday, March 14, 1939
*Note: son Ralph Tyson eventually bought back the remainder of the deposed property.
The US entered World War II in 1942.
~Several of her sons signed up for service of some kind as the entire country mobilized for the war. 
~Although several of Bertha's adult children moved from the area, daughter Elizabeth, her three children and Elizabeth's mother-in-law moved back to Adams County from Philadelphia when her husband joined the Air Force.
~Bertha’s sister Mary Tyson died in 1941. Leaving Ned, Chester’s brother, a widower.
~“Ned” (Edwin Tyson) died four years after Mary in 1945, before the end of World War 2.
~Bertha’s brother Harold Ephraim Hauxhurst died in 1947.

"Thanksgiving 1948" by Margaret Tyson Keefer - Fred & Stan missing
Margaret Tyson Keefer's labels on back of same Thanksgiving photo
The house on Tyson Hill where the children were raised (c 1950)
Bertha Charity Hauxhurst - Vitals
24 Sept 1881 Old Westbury, Nassau, New York, USA to William Ephraim Hauxhurst and Marianna Hicks.

Family/ Siblings:
1 Mary Willis  (1862-1941), wife of Edwin Comly Tyson (& Chester Tyson’s brother)
2 Caroline H (1866-1939)
3 William Wallace  (1869-1952)
4 Florence Amelia  (1875-1930)
5 Harold Ephraim (1878 -1947)

At age 20 Bertha married Chester J Tyson in Feb 1901 in Jersey City, New Jersey, before a Justice of the Peace.

They had 12 children from 1902 to 1921 (almost twenty years) 
1 “Don” - Donald Charles – 1902 – 1980
2 “Bob” - Robert William  - 1903 – 1969
3 Elizabeth Charity - 1904 – 1994
4 Margaret Janet  1906 – 1994
5 “Fred” - Frederick Carroll  - 1908 – 1974
6 “Phil” - Edwin Phillip - 1909  – 1973
7 “Stan” - Richard Stanley  – 1911 – 1987
8 “June” - Chester Julian,  Jr - 1912 – 1972 Sometimes called “Jr” in her diaries.
9 Ralph Watts- 1914 – 1998
10 “Dix” - Paul F  -1916 – 2008
11 Alan Hawxhurst - 1919 – 1993
12 Norman Eugene -  1921 – 2010

Chester died in 1938.
After Chester’s death Bertha lived first with her eldest son Don and his family. Subsequently she lived with other children.

Death  age 91,  June 1, 1973 Baltimore,  MD
Burial  June 4, 1973 at Menallen Friends Mtg., Flora Dale, Menallen Twp., Adams Co., PA.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

#29 -A Grandson’s Memories, Guest Blogger Billy Recalls Bertha Hauxhurst Tyson

A  Grandson's Memories of Bertha Hauxhurst Tyson

These are memories of my great grandmother Bertha Hauxhurst of Old Westbury,  Long Island who married Chester Tyson of Adams County, PA  as told by my uncle, her grandson. He was a young boy when he went to live in Adams County (my mother is older than he). 
Bertha Hauxhurst as a young woman
Bertha (nearing 70) and Elizabeth at Crestmont c 1950
Thank you, Bill (or Billy) for “guest-blogging” for me:
Guest Blogger Billy & Bertha Hauxhurst Tyson (in her late 60s) behind him


A Grandson’s Memories - Guest Blogger Recalls Bertha Hauxhurst Tyson

My maternal grandmother [Bertha Hauxhurst, wife of Chester Tyson] may have raised twelve kids, but she was not known for her nurturing attitude; at least by the time I came along. 

World War 2 Living Situation
Bertha was living in half of (her son’s) my Uncle Don’s quaint house as far back as I can remember, which would probably take us back to World War II. [Bertha's husband Chester Tyson died in 1938, prior to the start of WW 2.]

Uncle Don [Tyson b 1902, eldest child] had a very old place that was half log and half stone.  Bertha lived in the log half. They shared the stairway and the bathroom, which was upstairs, but Gram had her own small kitchen.  Their water came from a spring that was about 200 feet up the road past the barn, and everyone enjoyed the watercress that grew in there.  Unfortunately, this also meant that water pressure was pretty poor in the house, and even worse in the barn.
Did she drive a car? I might remember her driving a car, but by the time I really got to know her she no longer did that.  If I recall accurately, she owned the blue Studebaker which was at Don’s house, and it would have been one of their earliest post-war models. The Studebaker was the kind of style we joked about: the sort which you couldn’t tell the front from the back.    
Studebaker c 1950
  Staying With "Gram" at Don's
Don Tyson’s farm comprised 80 acres, I was told, and it adjoined Uncle Ralph’s huge fruit farm [Don’s brother & another son, Ralph Tyson, b. 1914] at the top of the hill behind the house.   
Up there along a woods on the property line Bertha would gather wild strawberries for her cereal, and sometimes she walked all the way up to Ralph’s that way.  The alternative route to Ralph’s was the highway on Pennsylvania Route 34, which ran up through Idaville and passed Ralph’s fruit stand right at the Adams County line.  
When my mother’s uncle Ned [Edwin Tyson, brother to her father, Chester Tyson] became visibly ready to die it was decided I should spend some time at Uncle Don’s. In those days my cousin Ken Tyson (b. 1933) was my favorite playmate, and Aunt Irene (Kenyon, Don Tyson’s wife) was a favorite too. 

I was about seven years old. [Edwin Comly Tyson was b 28 Aug 1864, Gettysburg PA. He died 21 Nov 1945. “Ned” married Bertha’s elder sister, Mary W Hauxhurst, prior to Bertha marrying Ned’s brother, Chester Tyson. Guest blogger was seven years old.]

So, I actually stayed with Bertha. Gram [Bertha] had a double bed while cousins Ken and Jim could barely squeeze into their tiny room with its bunk beds. 
It must have been winter as Bertha would send me to bed before she went up, with instructions to heat up the bed.  It was frigid as the heating system did not directly heat any of the bedrooms, and I have never forgotten those miserable long minutes until my own heat started to make the bed bearable.  The window was usually open anyway, held up by a notched apple crate slat, since there were no sash weights to counterbalance it.   

That was OK because you could hear not only the trucks laboring up Route 34 from Idaville, but the crashing stream that fell through a jumble of rocks less than fifty feet from the house. [As mentioned, Ned died at the end of November]
Not Quite Keeping Up With Gram
One day during my stay there Gram [Bertha] decided we would walk up to Uncle Ralph’s, but not over the hill and down to his barn.  Instead, she decided to go up the highway, perhaps to check the mailbox at the end of Don’s long lane. 
It must be a quarter of a mile from the house to the highway, and the last part is up a steep hill.  I got to the highway, but when she started up along the edge of the highway toward Ralph’s, I began falling behind. 
Once in a while she would turn around and shout, “Come on, Billy!” but she never broke her stride, and she got smaller and smaller as the gap between us widened.  
 For some reason that has always stuck with me, Gram [Bertha] knew I could do it and did not have any patience for a laggard, even for a little pre-schooler.  Being on the highway was not a big deal, except for the occasional truck.  Gas rationing ensured that there weren’t many cars on the road.
[Note: in 1945, the year Ned died, Bertha was 64 years old.]

Gram and Chester
One day while she was fixing lunch I asked Gram why she had so many children.  She replied, “I guess Grandpa just liked children.”  It was many years before I figured out what Grandpa really liked.  
Bertha & some Tysons c 1948 (circle around Bertha)
I never met [grandfather, Bertha’s husband] Chester J. Tyson because he died in June of 1938, one month before I was born.  But I was aware of his importance in the community.  
I often explored people’s property in the countryside where we lived, and people inevitably asked me who I was.  I soon learned to say I was CJ Tyson’s grandson, which got me instant recognition and approval nearly everywhere north of Gettysburg.  I was very proud of that.
Chester J Tyson c 1912

  Gram's Cooking (or Not)
Gram [Bertha] was not a very good cook, at least during the time I knew her.  I believe my mother said she was of that opinion also.  When Bertha was a young mother, she always had an American Indian girl from the Indian school at Carlisle Barracks as a maid and cook.  
 And when my mother [who was the eldest daughter] got old enough, she was pressed into service to help with the cooking, cleaning, and raising of all those little brothers. 
Her sister Margaret probably was too young to be much help [Margaret was 2 years younger, and the next in line].   
Gram did bake shoo-fly pie, but I didn’t care for it much.  I don’t know now whether it was just her version, or if I just didn’t care for that kind of pie.
Shoo-Fly Pie, if you don't know what it contains
 Gram's Quilts
At that time Bertha had a huge project that went on for many years.  She made quilts on a large wooden quilting frame in her living room.  She made them for all of her children [12] and all of her grandchildren (yes, I still have mine). 

She used to stand for hours over that work, with a thimble and thread, and a little electric lamp that sat on the quilt next to where she was working. 

Later Don got her a television to keep her company, but I think she went right on making quilts.  Most of the designs were cross-stitched through cotton batting.  And that’s all I know about that.

 Gram, the Non-Interfering Mother-in-law
Gram was not one to interfere with [her son] Uncle Don’s family.  Apparently she knew that the mother in law can be a real problem, so she seemed to pretty much keep to her side of the house except when invited to participate in something.   
Their back door was into a small vestibule, with Irene’s kitchen to the left and Gram’s to the left.  I think there was a refrigerator in the vestibule. 

One time a truck load of whiskey overturned on the curve in Gardners, PA.  Uncle Don was an apple buyer for Musselman’s and happened to be in the vicinity, so he went over to see if he could help.   
State troopers were smashing bottles from the cases that had burst open, and gallons of whiskey were flowing down the ditches. 
Uncle Don did what any civic-minded citizen would do in those circumstances and removed a few bottles for safe-keeping so that the troopers would not have as many to smash. 
Gram made the comment to Irene that she thought there might be some liquor in the house, but that it was none of her business.

 Gram Enjoys Traveling & Chris-Craft Spotting
In 1949 my mother bought a new car to replace the tiring 1938 Buick we had driven since her accident in the winter of 1943.  It was a brown Plymouth station wagon (Suburban). One of the reasons she wanted it was to have a reliable car to drive to my sister Ann’s graduation from Rhode Island School of Design, in Providence, RI. 

Naturally we took Gram along, but not my sister Mardy [Margaret].  I’m not sure why; I don’t think she was yet married. She was still at Penn State.  Gram was a good traveling buddy. 

At the time I was engaged in counting every new fish-tail Cadillac on the road, they had introduced their new tail fins by then.  

Then when we got to Rhode Island we saw boats everywhere.  My life’s dream was to have us own a Chris-Craft [brand name], a very popular brand of upscale cabin cruisers and inboard runabouts.  
I had their catalog and knew every current model on sight.  From that trip onward,  whenever Gram would see a small boat in my presence she would say, “Look, a Chris-Craft!”  She was a good spotter, and this was fun when we four went out on Cape Cod all the way to Provincetown. 
But, when I was in my twenties it became a little tiring.
Chris-Craft ad 1951
 Gram's Lye Soap
There used to be a funny song about “Grandma’s Lye Soap.”  It was no joke to us. 
About once a year, probably after someone had butchered a hog, Gram [Bertha] would come spend an afternoon making soap.  She used a full lard can, but that’s the only ingredient I remember.  There must have been some pumice in it, too, and of course the lye.  

She did all the heating and stirring out on our back porch, behind the kitchen, and when she was done there were big pans of white soap sitting around to harden.  The type of vessel I remember was the kind of white porcelain pan you used to wash babies in (I guess you could wash dishes in them, too, but we didn’t.) 

After a few days someone took a large kitchen knife and cut that hardened soap into cubes of three to four inches on a side, and we used those for hand soap and bathing.  It worked really well, and just smelled of soap—no perfume in it.  According to the song, lyesoap was really harsh, but I don’t recall that it was. 
[Billy, I found the lyrics to Grandma's Lye Soap:
Do you remember Grandma’s Lye Soap,
Good for everything in the home,
And the secret was in the scrubbing,
It wouldn’t suds, and wouldn’t foam,
Oh, let us sing right out, sing out!
For Grandma’s Lye Soap,
Sing it out, all over the place!
For pots and pans, and dirty dishes,
And for your hands,
And for your face!

Little Therman, and Brother Herman,
Had an aversion to washing their ears
Grandma scrubbed them with her lye soap,
And they haven’t heard a word in years!
Mrs. O’Malley, out in the valley,
Suffered from ulcers, I understand,
She swallowed a cake of Grandma’s Lye Soap,
Has the cleanest ulcers in the land!

Gram, Later On
My only memorable encounter with Gram [Bertha] when I was in senior high school was when I was sent to Harrisburg, PA to pick her up at the train station, which at that time was the Pennsylvania Railroad--the same station where they were known to have held up passenger trains so that her husband, CJ Tyson, could get aboard.  (As told to me by my mother).  

I took my girlfriend along and we did meet Gram in the station. My recollection was that she was somewhat grumpy and did not seem overly impressed by my companion.  There was something about who would ride in the front seat and who would ride in back, but at this point I can’t remember how that worked out. 
Then I went off to college and didn’t see Gram until the summer before my final quarter before I graduated.  

Then in 1960, my parents had returned from being in Italy and were then stationed in Wichita Falls, Texas, at Sheppard Air Force Base.   
And Gram [Bertha] had gone to live with them, something my mother had sought for a long time. 
I had a summer job as a laborer for a plumbing contractor who was laying new sewer and water pipe in various new communities there in Texas.  I would come home from work pretty beat from the sun and the work, but Gram was always there to liven things up.  

My father bought their first TV that summer, so they could watch the political conventions, which used to be very interesting. 
Gram and I enjoyed discussions about most anything, but she mostly talked about the distant past. [In the 1950s Presidential Conventions were first televised for both parties, but it was not till 1960 that the Presidential Conventions were widely viewed. In 1960, Bertha was 79 years old].

Gram's Final Years
I suppose she was in the early stages of dementia, which in those days was known as “hardening of the arteries.”   
Recent events were much harder for her to recall, of course.  During that period Gram read every issue of the Gettysburg Times, and I think she read every word, including the ads.  But, of course she started with the obituaries, and would regale my mother with accounts of who had died and what she remembered about them.  Unfortunately, she liked to read out every item that interested her, but my mother tolerated it pretty well.

The last time I saw Gram [Bertha] was at Sheppard-Pratt Nursing Home in Baltimore, and she was to the point that the high point of her day was tossing bean bags with fellow residents.  

Unfortunately, the day we visited she recognized me right away.  This was nice for me, but hard for my mother to take because Gram did not seem to know who she was that day.  But we all knew that is the nature of dementia.

Gram [Bertha] was very proud of her Hawxhurst/Hicks heritage, and often mentioned her childhood.  She also often mentioned Aunt Mary [Hauxhurst], Uncle Ned’s wife, who was her sister.   
I think her loss was quite a blow to Gram, but by the time I met Uncle Ned, Aunt Mary was long gone. The house did have memories of her, including old appliances and devices, like an ice box and clothes mangle, that had been hers.

[Mary Willis Hawxhurst  was b. 1862 in Old Westbury. and died in 1941, only 3 years before her husband died. The guest blogger was only 3 years old when Mary died.]
Ned Tyson (husband's brother) & his wife, Mary (also Bertha's sister)