Monday, September 21, 2015

Ethel Elizabeth "Betty" Eicher and Mary Parker Brown - Two School Teachers Raised in Miami River Valley early 20th Century - Becoming Life Partners

Betty Eicher,  Portrait CA 1933 or there after.  Likely as she enrolled in college at Ohio State in 1935, and this is a portrait from Smith Dayton Ohio
Betty's financial record from Spring and Summer 1936 - Note car fare to Franklin .20 and flowers on Aug 13 for 50 cents (her mom, Minnie Stupp was born on Aug 13, and had died the year before on Aug 27, 1935.   Interesting to perhaps read between the figures here. 

Autumn of 1936 Betty's expenses.  "M.P.'s Christmas Gift $1.55" I discern as Mary Parker, the first time I noticed those initials,

1961 Eicher family front Emma Esther Eicher and Elizabeth Betty Eicher, back William H Eicher and Marjorie Root Eicher.   Bill Eicher, father of Billy Eicher, met me in 1985 in Kettering Ohio, when I learned about his sister Betty being in relationship with Mary Parker Brown, first in the Miami River Valley, Franklin and then moving to Lakeland FL.  

1915 Elizabeth "Betty" Eicher, Aunt Emma Esther Eicher and Paul H Weaver at Henry and Esther rural home, NW corner of Bellbrook Rd and Springboro Pike Miami Twp east of West Carrollton village.

E Elizabeth Eicher b March 1913 with mother Minnie Mae Stupp, Miamisburg OH.  
Ethel Elizabeth Baptized Jan 1914 Jacobs Evangelical Lutheran Church, Miamisburg OH 
 West Carrollon OH area photo CA 1915 Elizabeth "Betty" Eicher, Henry Eicher, Paul Henry Weaver on stone wall.   (Area church ?) by Noah Elwood Weaver

Charles and Minnie Mae Stupp Eicher home, on 827 East Central Miamisburg, with Betty Eicher in the front yard.

 CA 1918 Elizabeth "Betty Eicher" white dress and bow.  portrait buy war bonds, WWI and flag.

Betty Eicher on the front steps of the Eicher family home on E Central in Miamisburg.

Betty as a girl in a car like "float" in a childrens parade likely in Miamisburg. William A Eicher Collection.

Betty Eicher as a young girl in front of the family home 827 E Central Miamisburg Ohio CA 1920.

Betty Eicher 1931, Graduation from Miamisburg High School.
Betty Eicher High School Graduation Photo 1931

Miamisburg High School photos 1931, Betty 3 ovals to the left of the Miamisburg High School Title.
Betty Eicher 1939 Ohio State Graduation - Age 26

Betty Eicher (b 1913) with brother William "Billy"  Henry  Eicher (born Feb 1927) and Minnie Mae Stupp Eicher likely while she was a student at OSU in Columbus, mid 1930's. Betty's mom,  Minnie died Aug 27 1935 at age 52.

Betty's accounting book for expenses OSU School Year 1938-39....Earned her BA by March 1939.  

Ethel Elizabeth Eicher's BA Diploma in March 1939 from OSU Columbus

Portrait of Miss Elizabeth Eicher, 403 Park Ave Franklin OH, taken Dec 1939.  She was a teacher in Franklin in the public schools, and there, likely had  met Mary Parker Brown prior, to moving with with the Brown Family. .  Not sure if they met in Columbus before. And I gauge their relationship began in the late 1930's, when Mary Parker Brown was over 50 and Betty was 25-26 - There was a 29+ year difference in age. When Mary Parker Brown died in May 1961 at 76, Betty was 48.  Thus I surmise they connected in Ohio for 8 - 10 years prior to moving  to Lakeland FL in 1947.  - in a note to her younger brother Bill  “I wrote for 23 years, and quit when television took over”  wrote for church papers, teens and pre teens, Methodists paid $50/story.  Wrote over a thousand stories and sold over 90% of them. She sought employment at Southern (in Lakeland)  when her two markets dried up in 1969.  Worked for Dr Burnette until April 1982 when she retired and started to draw SS at age 69. 

Betty's graduate degree, MA received in Aug 1940 when she likely moved to Franklin.
She was listed in the 1940 Census as living on Central in Miamisburg

1940  827 Central, Miamisburg, Mongomery County , age 27
Charles Eicher 57  Insurance Business
E Eicher           27    College Student.  OSU Columbus
William H Eicher   13

Purchase of piano by Elizabeth Eicher from Mary Parker Brown, in MPB's handwriting, one of the few samples I found, March 1943.  Still in Franklin.  Curious if the piano made it to Lakeland. 
Betty Eicher letter from brother Bill in 1945, when he was in the military, living 403 Park Ave Franklin Ohio with Mary Parker Brown

Letter addressed to Betty and Mary Parker in 1945 from brother Bill now in the military. 
 Mary Parker Browns diploma from Franklin High Schoo, May 1902. She was born 24 Dec 1884, in Chicago, Cook Co, Illinois and by the census of 1900 She 15 years of age, in school, was living on Park Ave, Franklin OH with her father Barry A Brown, who was working in a leggings manufacturing plant, mother Mary Brown, and brother Barry Brown Jr who was 12 and living in the family home.  
Mary Parker Brown graduated on May 23, 1902 from Miamisburg High School..

 Photo of Mary Parker Brown, Studio in Franklin OHIO in the William A Eicher collection, Betty Eicher's nephew who has lived in  Florida since the the mid 1960's.

Mary Parker Brown the only adult photo that is an William A Eichers Collection.  Like as she was an a school teacher in Franklin. Looks to be in her 40's.

I found three bachelors degrees in arts and literature for Mary Parker. Two from Georgetown College in Kentucky is a new one for me.

 Bachelor of Literature June 1908, Georgetown College Mary Parker Brown
 Bachelor of Literature June 1909, Georgetown College Mary Parker Brown
And in Latin from Vassar College in New York, MDCCCCX, the 8th of June another BA, the third in 3 years. And note Mary is Mariam, My sense is after three degrees, she began teaching in the Franklin Schools in Franklin Ohio.
Here is Mary Parker Brown's High School Life Certificate issued in Nov 1924, after some time teaching I imagine.....According to notes I have from Betty's brother when Mary Parker and Betty moved from Franklin to Lakeland FL in 1947, Mary Parker would have been 63, and Betty 34.

Betty writing to Bill “I wrote for 23 years, and quit when television took over”  wrote for church papers, teens and pre teens, Methodists paid $50/story.  Wrote over a thousand stories and sold over 90% of them.  She sought employment at Southern (Florida Southern College (commonly referred to as Florida Southern, Southern or FSC) is a private college located in Lakeland, Florida, United State)  when her two markets dried up in 1969.  Worked for Dr Burnette until April 1982 when she retired and started to draw SS at age 69.

Franklin Ohio, Written Receipts,  >Dec 23, 1941 Mrs M Parker Brown, Park Ave pajamas for $3.48 and Betty Eicher at Albaugh -Good Rexall Drug Store Franklin Jan 17 1942, Rx , stationary, toothpaste for $9.18

 Here is the US Census Data from the early 1900's
Census 1910   300 Lake Park - Franklin OHIO
Berry A Brown     57  Supt Leggings Manufacturer
Mary V Brown 54
Mary Parker Brown  23  College Student  
Berry A Brown   21      Salesman Woolen Co

Census 1920  Park Ave Franklin, Warren Co, OH
Berry Brown   67    Leggings Manufacturer     
Mary V Brown  64
Mary Parker Brown   34  School Teacher.
Berry Brown Jr.  31

Census 1930 Berry A Brown  77   head    Spat Factory
Anna V Brown   74 wife
Mary P Brown  45   daughter    Public School Teacher
Berry A J Brown  42 son
Marie W Brown  34  daughter in law
Mary V Brown   3

 Betty Eicher, portrait CA 1940 by Studio in Virginia.Likely traveling with Mary Parker Brown to the east coast from Ohio.

News paper clippings from Miamisburg -Franklin area, in the Greater Miami River Valley, published in the 1940's  after Betty and Mary Parker moved to Lakeland Florida. 
Cover of June 1949 Vassar College Alumnae Magazine, found in the William A Eicher Collection of Betty Eichers.  With an add for cigarettes with a popular entertainer, Bob Hope on the back cover. 
Article p 7 on Children's magazines, the I discern Mary Parker highlighted for Betty for encouragement in her successful writing career for girls and boys (juvenile as she writes) magazines and church publications after she left teaching in Franklin OH, when they moved to Florida in 1947.
Mary Parker retired from teaching in Miamisburg....likely 1910 through mid 1940's. 

 In talking with Eric Feingold of the Ohio History Connection  Gay Ohio History Initiative, this past week in Columbus,  he mentioned he works with 3D objects and his colleague Lisa Wood curates the paper objects for their history collection. Thus I photographed some of the objects in Bill Eicher's collection, including 7-9 handkerchiefs that I sense "proper women" were expected to carry in the mid 20th Century.  Looks like they had been family gifts in little boxes.
 This pair of white gloves reminds me of women in church who wore these when I was a kid that went to church, were likely Aunt Betty's
Hand made (Crochet?) hot pad labeled a gift to Esther Eicher from Emma Stupp. 
Emma Esther Eicher was Charles Eicher and Edna Eicher's older sister who never married and took care their father Henry Eicher.   Emma Stupp, is Betty's maternal grandma.  Still having the tag on it wonder if it was ever used. 

I was welcomed by Eric and Lisa when I arrived yesterday in Columbus from my drive from Oxford Ohio Here they are sorting the collection with blue gloves. 
Here is the binder I created with the CA 1940 photo of Betty taken on the east coast. likely right after getting her Masters and OSU and perhaps traveling with Mary Parker there.  

Updated April 13, 2016.  Yesterday,  I met with Eric Feingold and Lisa Wood at the Ohio History Center in Columbus. I had learned about the GOHI Collection, Gay Ohio History Initiative a few years back and worked with my cousin Wm A "Billy" Eicher to find a home for his Aunt Betty's photos, letters and archives along with her partner in Ohio, and Franklin, Mary Parker Brown.  Back in 1984 when I visited Wm H Eicher in Kettering when I was dealing with coming out as a gay son, father in Minnesota,  And when I mentioned and asked if he had any issues with that he responded without skipping a beat "It must be genetic, my only sister, Betty is a lesbian and had a long term relationship with another teacher, Mary Parker Brown, and they lived together in Franklin, a small town south of Miamisburg where we were raised.  "

After Billy and I met at his dads memorial service in Dayton, Woodland Cemetery in the spring of 2006, we kept in touch and then I visited him in Lakeland FL where he showed me his collection of photos and papers that Aunt Betty left to him after her passing in 1992.  Her partner Mary Parker died in 1961 in Lakeland. 

During the 1940's until the move to Florida,  Betty Eicher and Mary Parker Brown lived in this gracious home on the west side of the Greater Miami River, 403 Park Ave, Franklin the gargoyles - wonder if they were here in the 1940's. ??

 403 Park Ave, Franklin Ohio, home of Betty Eicher and Mary Parker Brown 1945
 403 Park Franklin envelope from Betty's father for her birthday. 1945
Here is the variety of groupings served including GLBT history served by the Ohio History Center.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Germany Visit Aug 2008 Sustainable Energy Ideas from the Koch Family - Friends of Andy M

 In August of 2008, I was welcomed to the home of Carsten and Suzanna Koch, near Bremen in Deutschland.  Carsten is a friend of Andy Mickel who in 2015 is now traveling in Germany and sent me an updated photo from the Koch family estates.
Carsten in the beard with his family in Aug 2008, photo by Tom Weaver

Carsten's office, Bureau auf Deutsch.  He and Andy met through their common interest in computers and programming I recall.

Suzanna and her son, with the chocolate I brought to share with coffee outside.
The quiet "guest cabin' I stayed in while visiting the Kochs.  Very serene as I recall.
Here is my outside "office" where I sat to catch the wifi internet in the morning with my MacBook, the same MacBook I still use today in 2015!  This was before I started my blog, which you are reading, in 2009.

Germany and Energy Efficient Housing 2008 to 2015

 During my short visit, I became intrigued by the commitment of the Koch's to using alternative sustainable energy technology for their new Energy Efficient Home under construction.  Here is a photo of one of the construction phases.
 Carsten and kids during construction.
Another photo of energy efficient home during construction. 

Photo of home in Sept 2015 sent by Andy Mickel who is now visit in Europe.  Thanks Andy. Fun to see the finished product.