Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Who was my mother's grandfather?

Oscar Nye and 18 mos old Jerry Kerr
Every once in awhile we find a photo like this one, and wonder what was the person in the photo like?  Here we have Oscar William Nye, born in Circleville, Ohio Novermber 27, 1868.  His father William and mother Anna lived in Clear Creek, Ohio in 1880.  In 1893 Oscar, now living in Colorado, married Lura Weatherly.  All of these details give me a path to follow as the Nye family moved west, but they don't tell me much about the man.  It is obvious in the picture that he was a proud man who was content with his life in the home he had established in Santa Monica, California where the picture above was taken in March 1946.

As Oscar moved from Ohio to Iowa, then Colorado and eventually California he worked at many different jobs.  Early on he worked as a laborer on farms where he learned to drive teams of horses.
Like many young men growing up on a farm, he learned to do just about anything from caring for animals to fixing mechanical things.  As he moved westward to Iowa, he began driving large trucks and buses.  Still working at any labor intensive job he could get, he mad his way to Colorado where he met his bride, Lura Weatherly.  They are married in 1893 and Oscar has now turned to factory work making brooms. 

He is in Weld County Colorado, a basic farming area very similar to the part of Ohio were he was raised.  A farm is his goal and that is realized around 1906 when he leases a small farm for his growing family of two girls.  In 1911 he receives a Land Grant for 160 acres.  He is 42 years old and his dream of his own farm is a reality. 

Hard working, and goal oriented, I would say that by this time in his life Oscar Nye was a great example of the American spirit that represented the beginning of the 20th century.

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