Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Marian!

Marian in Belle Vernon, PA, September 1953

Marian B Cubbage is my grand aunt, sister of my grandfather, William Arthur Cubbage. Marian was born on January 31, 1905 in Swissvale, PA. She was the second oldest of the eight Cubbage children, never married and was the matriarch of the family for many years. This picture was taken by her brother Art just before he and his family moved to New Jersey in 1953.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Maine Swank Cubbage

click on the obituary for a larger image

Maine Swank Cubbage, my great grandmother, died on August 7, 1938 in Monessen, PA. The obituary states "While she had been ailing for some time, Mrs. Cubbage had only been confined to her bed for several weeks." Her death certificate states that the principal cause of death was "Carcinoma Pancreas?" and then "From history and observation and x-ray most likely pancreas".

I found a photocopy of the following doctor's report in some old family files that my father has. I do not know if this typed document is a transcription of the original or if it is a copy from the original letter. Either way, it summarizes some of her medical issues.

click on the letter for a larger image

There is no date, so I am guessing this was in 1929 or 1930 based on the details in the letter. I did a quick search of Dr. Henninger, and he was listed in a medical journal as Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh and Psychiatrist, St. Francis Hospital, Pittsburgh. Aside from her many medical issues, I found the following most frightening:

"Eight or nine years ago had acute attack of pain in Hypogastirc region, radiating into right shoulder, which require heroic doses of morphine to relieve ..."

These documents paint a possible picture of Maine's life and medical issues. It's hard imagine what she was going though, especially with eight children and other family members in her home. Below is the only picture that we have of Maine (middle of back row), along with daughters Marian, Marge, Minnie and an unknown woman.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Favorite Photo Friday

"Jeff and Cork, Mon River, Belle Vernon, May 1958"

I love this picture of my father and his brother from my grandfather's slide collection. Art Cubbage labeled every single slide with the month and year, and almost all of them with names. Thank you Pop Pop! The Cubbages had been living in New Jersey for about 5 years, but went back to Pittsburgh, Monessen and Belle Vernon to visit. Art's sisters Marian and Marge were living in Belle Vernon at that time. My dad would have been almost 17 and Jeff was 14 years old. I love the industrial buildings on the other side of the Monongahela River.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Workday Wednesday - Cubbages in the 1940 Census

So yes, the 1940 Census was released nine months ago and I am doing my first post on it now. Besides being really behind, it did give me time to process some of the info. I am starting with the Cubbage family who lived in Monessen, PA for those second cousins we are connecting with for a family reunion this year!

Five of the eight Cubbage children were still living in their parents' home in April of 1940 (George and Leah died as children). Maine Swank/Schwenk Cubbage had died in 1938 and Charles A Cubbage died less than a year later in 1939. Aunt Margaret (Swank/Schwenk) Speedy was also living with them. She is listed as Margaret Beatty ... sounds like Speedy, right?

Click image for a larger view.

For Workday Wednesday, I am focusing on the Occupation, Industry and Income columns to the right of the document. Below is a transcription of those areas.

                      Occupation             Industry        Weeks Worked in 1939             Income in 1939
Lester            Blast Furnace           Steel Mill                        45                                   $ 1875
Marian            Clerk                        NB ??                            52                                   $ 1575
Gladys           Stenographer            Steel Mil                         52                                   $   912
Arthur             Stenographer            Railroad                          52                                   $ 1100
Margaret         Stenographer            Steel Mill                        52                                   $   720

The 1940 Census was the first census to collect information on salary or wages and weeks worked in the previous year. So what do we learn from this census?

Lester was working at the Blast Furnace of the Steel Mill and only worked 45 weeks in 1939.  I'm not sure why he is the only one who worked less than a year. He has the highest income of the Cubbage children. He is also listed as the Head of the Household and the person who gave the information to the census taker (noted by the x in a circle next to his name). The 1920 and 1930 Censuses have Lester working at the Steel Mill (most likely Pittsburgh Steel) as an electrician and craneman, respectively.

Marian was working as a clerk at NB and the next word is difficult to read. The 1930 Census lists her occupation as a bookkeeper at a bank. A newspaper article in The Monessen Daily Independent later in 1940 states she works at National Bank and Trust, which must be what the NB on the census.

Gladys (aka "Babe") was working as a Stenographer at the Steel Mill, and was recorded with the same occupation in the 1930 census. A newspaper article about her bridal shower in The Monessen Daily Independent in 1941states that she had worked in a clerical capacity at Page Wire and Steel for some time.

Arthur was working as a Stenographer for the Railroad in the 1940 Census. To the right of Arthur's line on the census, there is a note in the margin: "out, not filled out self". We know from Art's Naval Discharge Papers that he worked from 1939 to April 1944 as a ticket agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad in Akron and Cleveland. I wonder how accurate the occupation and income areas are since Lester provided the information. I did a search of the 1940 Census in Cayuga and Summit Counties in OH and found no listing for Art.

Margaret is also working as a Stenographer at the Steel Mill. She was the youngest of the Cubbage siblings and was earning the least of them at the time. When she married six years later, she was still working for Page Wire and Steel.

If you flip through the pages of the Monessen census, it is clear that Monessen was a Western Pennsylvania "steel town". So many people worked for Pittsburgh Steel, Page Woven Wire and Fence Company, Monessen Foundry or Tin Mill. Charles Cubbage, father of these children, worked for Pittsburgh Steel from 1918 (when they moved to Monessen) until he retired shortly before his death in 1939. His son Lester followed in his footsteps and worked for the steel industry for his entire life. Babe and Marge worked in the offices of the mills until they married. Art, Minnie and Marian were the only children who didn't work at one of the mills.

Minne Cubbage Reabe worked as a Stenographer at a real estate office, according to the 1930 census and The Monessen Daily Independent. She married in 1931 and they moved to Baltimore in the 1930s, I'm not sure when yet.  Below is the 1940 Census for the Reabe family.

Minnie's husband, Harry, also worked in the steel industry. Minnie is no longer working and they have two children. This census is such a great example of why we can't take everything in them as fact, as it is filled with errors! First, they are listed as Harry and Minnie REABLE and born in Maryland (both were born in Pennsylvania). Next, the children are listed as Mariam K (she was Marna Kay) and Jean, a daughter (poor Gene, who was their son!). It makes me wonder what other things on this page are incorrect. It's a good reminder to always evaluate our sources and check it to other sources and information that we have collected on our ancestors.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Travel Tuesday - Corky Rides the Train

This newspaper article in The Pittsburgh Press on May 7, 1943 is about the increase of children traveling since the war began (click on the newspaper image for a larger view). There is a picture of my father, Corky, with his bag in between trains (number 2). Corky and his parents, Art and Agnes Cubbage, were living in Akron, OH at the time. They were probably traveling to Pittsburgh to visit Agnes' mother, and/or to Monessen to visit both of their families. Art was a ticket agent with the Pennsylvania Railroad from 1939 until he was inducted into the US Navy in April 1944.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Frank R Speck

I could not locate an obituary, but found this death notice for Frank Rudolph Speck in The Pittsburgh Press on November 28, 1978. Frank was my great uncle and I posted his tombstone and funeral card this week. The image isn't very clear, so here is the transcription:

Frank R, beloved husband of Elizabeth O'Brien Speck, unexpectedly on Sun, Nov 26, 1978, brother of the late Agnes nee Cubbage. The family will receive visitors 2-4 & 7-9 pm at O'Brien's, 3724 California at Cooper Aves, N.S. Funeral Thurs at 11 am (Ft Pitt Lodge #1FOP and Crescent Lodge #576 F & A.M. invited).

My father and I went out to Pittsburgh for Uncle Frank's funeral. I was in elementary school, so my memories of this trip are fuzzy. I do remember the drive from New Jersey and needing to stop because of the snow (and being told not to tell my Mom about it on the phone so she doesn't worry!). I also have vague memories of sitting in someone's home (probably the O'Briens - Libby's family). We had been out to Pittsburgh the year before to visit:

My sister, brother and I sit for a picture with Uncle Frank and Libby at the home on Thelma Street in Pittsburgh in July 1977.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Funeral Card Friday - Frank R Speck

Frank Rudolph Speck was my great uncle, brother to my grandmother Agnes Speck Cubbage. I posted a picture of his tombstone earlier this week. Frank was born on May 2, 1918 in Monessen, PA to Frank F. Speck and Elizabeth Linneman Speck. He spent his childhood in Monessen and most of his adult life in the North Side of Pittsburgh.  

Frank Rudolph Speck as a child in Monessen, PA.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Frank R Speck and Elizabeth O'Brien Speck

 Uniondale Cemetery
Pittsburgh, PA

This is the tombstone of my great uncle, Frank Rudolph Speck and his wife Elizabeth "Libby" O'Brien Speck. Uniondale Cemtery is only a few blocks from where Frank and Libby lived on Thelma Street in the North Side of Pittsburgh. They lived next-door to Elizabeth Linneman Speck Merz (his mother and my great-grandmother) and her husband Charles Merz. Frank and Libby did not have any children.
This is a picture of Frank and Libby visiting Frank's sister Agnes Speck Cubbage and her family in New Providence, NJ in 1954 or 1955.