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Daniels, Harriet Bishop 1877-1965 & Family

DANIELS, CONSTANCE, MYERS

Posted By: Wilma Joyce Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 2/16/2021 at 15:54:33

Harriet Bishop Daniels

Biography written by her great nephew – Bro. William George Myers O.S.L. from his book ‘Our Aunt Hattie”. The book is in the Genealogy Department of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society at Sioux Center, Iowa. The ‘Table of Contents’ of the book is at the end of this Biography.

Our Aunt Hattie, Harriet Bishop Daniels, was born November 13, 1877 at Bristol, Kenosha County, Wisconsin, the tenth child of Jakob Daniels and the seventh and youngest child of Jakob (Jacob) Jacobs Daniels and Maatje (Marcia) Christine Constance Daniels.

She always seemed to refer to herself in family correspondence as Hattie, and she was always known in the extended family as “Aunt Hattie.”

Aunt Hattie was born in Jakob Daniels’ second marriage, so she had three half-sisters: Martha “Mattie” Mae Daniels McPherson, Freintje (Christina) Daniels, and Cornelia “Cora” Birdina Daniels Dunning. Their mother was Catherina “Katie” Blum Daniels (circa 1840-1860)

Aunt Hattie’s mother was Maartje (Marcia) Christine Constance Daniels (1838-1908). Her full siblings were Helen Margaret Daniels Doherty, Jennie Constance Daniels Lancester, Clara Elsie Daniels Kuhl, Anna Lavinia Daniels Vanderbergen, Frederick Jacob Daniels, and Leonard Constance Daniels.

During the autumn of 1881, the Daniels family moved from Kenosha County, Wisconsin, to Sioux County, Iowa. The next year, 1882, a post office was established, and the town of Maurice was platted along the West Branch of the Floyd River, about a mile and a half from the Daniels’ home where the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad was being laid through.

Although one cannot help but suspect that the Daniels and their friends and neighbors must have had something to do with the naming of Maurice, with all their Netherland/Holland heritage and connections in the Daniels-Constance family, it was really the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company that actually made the naming official, as they did with most of the newly platted places connected with affiliated railroads.

Much of Harriet’s time during her early years was spent enjoying wild flowers, picking wild berries, listening to the birds – all this contributing a great deal to her love of nature that became reflected later in some of her poetry.

At an early age, she learned to play the piano and the organ, and for some fifteen or more years she was organist for the Methodist Episcopal Church at Maurice where she grew up. Harriet was a faithful lifetime church member and was also connected with church music and Sunday School work until loss of health and hearing prompted her to cut down her activities.

Aunt Hattie played violin in the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra for many years. The orchestra was formed in 1915 at Morningside College, a Methodist educational institution dear to our Aunt Hattie, and its first public performance as a City Orchestra was February 27, 1916. It is suspected that Aunt Hattie’s involvement was in the formation years, probably in the nineteen teens and early 1920’s; she was living permanently in Sioux City by 1913, according to postcards written to family. Consequently, it is quite probable that she might have played under the direction of the renowned violinist and conductor, Leo Kucinski, who led the Orchestra from 1923-1976.

The Orchestra was based in the Sioux City Municipal Auditorium, but in 2001 it moved to the restored Orpheum Theatre. For over 100 years, the Orchestra of which our aunt Hattie was a part has been a dominant force in the cultural life of Sioux City and the surrounding tri-state area. According to the Orchestra’s web site, it has evolved from a 30 piece college ensemble to a 90 member professional orchestra with an artistic ability unrivaled by metropolitan orchestras of comparable size.

Aunt Hattie gave her violin to her nephew-in-law, Ed Myers, when she couldn’t play any longer. Ed was known as an “old time fiddler,” having learned from his father to play by ear, and he and his cousin John Myers and some friends played around the Faulkton, South Dakota, area for house and barn dances, for the IOOF marching unit, and for dances at the IOOF hall in Faulkton. He in turn, when he couldn’t play any longer, gave the violin to his grandson, Thomas Edwin Myers.

Family lore held that the violin was a Stradivarius, or at least possibly made by a Stradivari disciple. Upon careful examination after Ed’s death, it was discovered that according to the stamp inside the violin, it is number D222, made in 1929 by Ernst Heinrich Roth, a German luthier (a builder of string instruments), at his shop in the East German town of Markneukirchen, near what is now the current Czech Republic border. Also, according to the stamp inside the violin, it is “a reproduction of the work of Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, Italy 17>H.” So, the Family lore was correct and Aunt Hattie played a precious violin.

Some of Aunt Hattie’s sheet music and organ books came to me through the years, and judging from the levels of that music. I believe she must have been a well accomplished keyboardist.

Aunt Hattie was engaged to be married, and her fiancée died of consumption in 1918, shortly before they were to be married. It seems she was never interested in any other man, despite being beautiful and likely having many opportunities.

In January 1913, Aunt Hattie lived at 1800 Riverside Avenue, in Sioux City, Iowa, and was attending the business college. She wrote to her brother Fred that she liked it very much and that it felt good to get back to Sioux City again. She thanked him for music he had sent, especially a woodland piece that reminded her of home in Wisconsin, and commented that they were getting a touch of real winter.

After attending business college, Harriet was employed at Bekin Van and Storage in Sioux City, although we were unable to determine for how long.

After that, she was employed by the Methodist Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa, for twenty-three years as a medical records transcriptionist and bookkeeper and was a successful career woman. During those years, she came to love the ministry of the Hospital very much. Not only was she a record keeper, but she was a secretary to the hospital administrator; among her many duties, she delivered mail to the patients and was spiritual counselor and friend to the student nurses and staff and administration. She was a frequent speaker at chapel services in the nursing school, and her poetry about the hospital, the staff, and the individual students made her a natural historian of the Hospital and its service to the community and area.

She “adopted” the children of her nieces as her own, loving them and making and giving gifts to them. She made many regular visits to the Daniels descendants in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, often traveling by train, and visiting from house to house in order to spend time with as many of the families as she could.

Marilyn Hayes Phillips, grand-daughter of Amy Lancester Wall and great grand-daughter of Aunt Hattie’s sister Jennie Daniels Lancaster, remembers Aunt Hattie’s visits to the homes of her and her cousins. She wrote in her Wall family history, “Aunt Hattie was always so neat and trim. Little nieces were always fascinated by her assiduous toilette every day when she would visit the Wall family. She always had a room of her own when she came to visit on the noisy Wall farm, of course, but absolutely no privacy; the girls would peek around the corner to watch her. Always immaculately groomed, when she brushed her long brown hair, she would save any loose strands to make into a ‘rat’ bun to use in her hair.”

Aunt Hattie loved to travel, and she made several lengthy train and coach trips during the 1930’s to places in the United States, especially to the Black Hills of South Dakota, to the Great Northwest, and also to Canada and Alaska. There are several of her travel photograph albums which came at her death to her niece, Maude Kuhl McCormick Thorn, and then to me at Aunt Maude’s death and are part of our family history album collection. She took lovely photographs of the sites she saw and sometimes appeared in the photographs herself. She wrote lengthy, colorful travel journals about those trips and shared them with her nieces in South Dakota and Minnesota and Wisconsin, and which are included in this volume.

Being a talented poet, she often wrote poetic reflections of her travels and the spiritual inspiration she received from the places she went and the sights that she saw. Because she was a woman of deep faith, she wrote often of spiritual experiences and reflections on scripture and God’s creation.

Many of her grand nieces and nephews and several of the great-grands were the subjects of her poems in their young years. She wrote poetic greetings to family and friends at Christmas and other holidays and about special family occasions. She also wrote poetic accounts of family weddings and other special occasions, often naming the individual involved, giving us more family history.

Much of her poetry also focused around the medical profession, the doctors and nurses, the nursing students of whom she was so fond, the staff and employees at Methodist Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa, and about hospital life and daily routines. She was deeply respectful of all the staff and everyone who kept the hospital functioning. She loved and appreciated them personally, as is evident in so many of the poems and articles included in this volume.

Her great grandniece, Marilyn Hayes Phillips, wrote “I believe Aunt Hattie thought of her writings and poems as her ‘children,’ for she was possessive and scrupulous about them,” never wanting them published for profit. She once rebuked the editor of Ideals magazine for making a few minor changes to her poem when printed.

Some of her writings were occasionally published in local venues at the Hospital, the nursing school, her church, and with organizations to which she belonged in Sioux City where she worked; only one poem was published in the Ideals Magazine. She especially wrote for her own and family and friends’ enjoyment, and not for publications.

Aunt Hattie’s literary interests were wide and vast in scope, and it was her interest in the family genealogy that provided us with a great deal of the family records and history as well as photographs that we have been able to amass. She gathered the Daniels records from family Bibles and personal contacts with several family lines and scribed them to her nieces, particularly to Amy Lancaster Wall and Myrtle Kuhl Buahs, both of whom treasured that information an kept the documents intact. And those records have been invaluable resources for our Daniels family history.

Letter writing was also one of Aunt Hattie’s talents, and she kept a faithful correspondence with her sisters, brother, and nieces. Her grand and great-grand nieces and nephews were also recipients of her treasured letters, always so full of interesting information and commentary. They often included updates on the colorful and eventful lives of members of the extended family and were a source of family awareness. She sometimes included pictures she had taken during her travels and visits among family, which were always a delight to those receiving them.

I remember many of her visits to the relatives in the Faulkton, South Dakota, area. Especially I remember, as a little boy with my mother and other relatives, going to meet her when the electric passenger rail car, humorously called the “Galloping Goose” (although the Galloping Goose, a unique piece of railroad equipment, was in reality something else entirely) by the locals, came through Faulkton from Redfield, and we would meet her at the Northwestern depot west of the Tri-State elevator. Cousin Margaret Bauhs, older than the rest of us cousins, was always brave and would get down an put her ear to the track and swore she could hear the train coming with our beloved “Aunt Hattie.” She would periodically spend several days staying among the homes of her nieces and their families who lived in or near Faulkton.

Crocheting was another one of Aunt Hattie’s talents, which leads me to believe that the framed ornate crocheted initial H preserved among my treasures and found among my mother’s things was probably some of her work. (if it wasn’t Aunt Hattie’s, I speculate it was probably done by my mother, Harriet Kuhl Myers, sometime in her youth because she was named for Aunt Hattie who was her mother’s sister.) Another treasure I have is the crocheted dress aunt Hattie made for my teddy bear, which I called Betsy Lee, when I was a little boy. Also, among my treasures is a slide top wooden pencil box she gave to me from among her own treasures. I have kept it through the years and still today on the piano for pencils to be handy when I am working on music, as she herself used to do.

I also have a lovely wooden “treasure box” with a tiny padlock which she gave me and in which she used to keep he beautiful handkerchiefs; she always carried one with her, tucked in her sleeve or in her bodice. I believe that some of those that were among my mother’s things originally came from Aunt Hattie, as Mother and others in the Daniels connection used to do the same thing.

Also in my collection of treasures is a set of dishes, a delightful Homer Laughlin Mexicana pattern, owned and used by Aunt Hattie. Several of the pieces in the set had been saved by my mother, although I am not sure how she came by them, and some by Aunt Maud Kuhl McCormick Thorn, which she gave to me before she died, and I essentially completed the set by finding additional pieces in antique stores and on Ebay. I suspect that Aunt Hattie’s set may have been broken up and shared among the nieces when she gave up housekeeping.

Although we are not entirely sure of all the places aunt Hattie might have lived during her years in Sioux City, we know that for many years she lived at Hobbs House, a rooming house at 2915 Grandview Avenue, operated by her dear friend Lucy Hobbs, and located within comfortable walking distance of Methodist Hospital where she was employed. She was living at that residence all during the time she made her trips in the 1930s that are featured in the travel journals included in these volumes. We also know from family correspondence in the 1950s that she lived in the Paulson Apartments, Apartment 6, on Rebecca Street in Sioux City. It is likely she may have been retired by this time and that this is when she accumulated household items such as the dishes mentioned above.

Life became somewhat difficult for Aunt Hattie in her later years. She lived to be 88 and spent her last few years in Friendship Haven, a senior living facility in Fort Dodge, Iowa. She struggled for a number of years with dementia, the memory loss and confusion causing her frustration and discomfort in relationships with family and friends.

At her death in 1965, she was buried in the family plot in the Sherman township Cemetery near Maurice, Iowa, with her parents and her brother Leonard Daniels who had died young.

Above BIOS authored by: Bro. William George Myers, O.S.L., 2019

Below is the ‘Table of Contents’ from the book written by Bro. William George Myers.

Table of Contents
Preface page1

Harriet Bishop Daniels / Biography page 3

Ancestors of Our Aunt Hattie page 9

Poetry and Articles

Celebrating the Nieces and Nephews page17

Christmas and Other Holiday Greetings and Memories page 41

Doctors and Nurses page 55

Occasions and Memories page 99

This Great Continent page119

God’s Creation and Creatures page131

Contemplations page 145

Spiritual Reflections page157

What Others Wrote page179

Songs page187

Camp Kul-sim-bix page 195

Portrait and Photo Album page 215

We are the Nieces and Nephews page 231

Aunt Hattie’s Daniels Siblings and Their Descendants page 239

Travel Journals

1931 Yellowstone and Rainier National Parks,

U. S. Northwest, and Canadian Rockies page 289

1932 Black Hills and Badlands page 319

1933 Black Hills/Sylvan Lake Halcyon Days page 337

1934 Zion, Grand Canyon, and Bryce Canyon

National Parks, Cedar Breaks, Royal Gorge,

and Rocky Mountain National Park page 315

1935 California and Old Mexico, Yosemite

National Park, the Big trees, and the

Pacific Ocean page 391

1936 Glacier National Park, Waterton Lakes

Nationsl Park, the Beartooth Range

and The Ranch in the Rockies page 431

1936 Grotto of the Redemption page 459

1937 Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, Minnesota page 467
Acknowledgements page 535

[Apology for the format of the Table of Contents as it would not transfer satisfactorily.]

Transcriber’s note: On behalf of the Greater Sioux County Iowa Genealogical Society at Sioux Center, Iowa, (GSCGS) it was very inspiring to accept this compilation of work that Bro. William George Myers did for the memory of his Great Aunt Hattie Daniels.

The Book is cataloged and shelved in the family history book section of the GSCGS Department in the Sioux Center Public Library. The remainder of the items given to the society, which are the records used to write the book, are in the vertical files under the surname Daniels.

Transcriber of this Bios
Wilma J. Vande Berg
Archivist and Correspondence Secretary for the GSCGS
Website - www.iagenweb.org/sioux


 

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