Thursday, January 31, 2008


This image shared for our Fecht Family blog by Dr. Dan Sullivan was likely taken during his parents' time on a homestead in Montana. Farmers in that era (c. 1915) shared in the harvesting of crops. This photo appears to be a wheat crop.
Strains of wheat common in the lower midwest were not compatible with the climates of Montana and North Dakota. The first one or two years saw unusually good harvests, then failure became the general condition.


Among the photographs that belonged to Bill and Mildred Fecht was this little snapshot with the simple caption "Monana Homestead." I believe the mounds behind are silage or mowed prairie grasses. I don't think the families who moved there had barns to store the fodder, so lots of animals were lost in the severe winters.
My mom lived in the town of Minot, North Dakota. And, I can recall the news one winter saying that it was 65 degrees below zero - and, in those days wind-chill wasn't taken into consideration.
Getting home before a blizzard was a life and death matter. Most homesteaders would take in anyone who came to their doors in such circumstances.


Did your Dad or Mom ever sing a song called "San Antonio"?

Just as the sun was peeking oer the hill,
After the break of day.
There rode a cowboy and his old pal Bill,
Cowboy was feeling gray.

Bill said, "Come down, pal, down into town, pal,
Big time for me and you,
Don't mind your old gal, you know that's cold, pal,
If what you say is true."

"Where is she now?" he cried,
And this is what Bill replied.
"San Antony, Antonio, She hopped upon a pony
And she ran away with Tony.
But if you see her, just let me know,
And I'll meet you in San Antonio."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


One Spring I thought I'd try for fun, to see how cowpunching was done.
After the roundup had begun, I tackled the cattle king.
He said his foreman's gone to town. He lives on the prairie. His name is Brown.
If you see him he'll take you down. That's how it all began.
He gave me a hundred and sxty head. I often wished that I were dead.
Sometimes a steer would make a break. Across the prairie he would take,
As though he was running for a stake. They really did me in.
Sometimes I couldn't head them at all, and other times my horse would fall,
And crack my back like a connon ball. I lost my horse and all.

They roped me out an old gray tack, with two big steadfasts on his back.
I bedded him down with a gunny sack. I used my bed and all.
When I got on him he left the ground, went up in the air and turned around.
He broke my back when he came down. He gave me an awful fall.
They picked me up, carried me in, and rubbed me down with an iron stake pin.
That's the way they all begin. You're doing well says Brown.
Tomorrow morning if you don't die, I'll give you another horse to try.
I'll be danged if you do says I. I think I'll walk to to town.

Well I've traveled up, I've traveled down, I've traveled this wide world round and round.
I've lived in cities, I've lived in towns, I've got this much to say.
"Before you try cowpunching, kiss your wife,
Take out a policy on your life,
And cut your throat with a butcher knife.
It's far the easiest way."

Wm.T. Fecht learned this song when he was homesteading a ranch in Montana
around 1918. He would play his guitar and sing this song years later to his family.


Cashie Fecht
One of the most beloved members of our family was Aunt Cashie Ryan Fecht. She was the wife and widow of John Christopher Fecht from the first generation in America.
Aunt Cashie was a kind and exceedingly helpful person. Her sense of caring went beyond family to the general care of the sick and the elderly. One of my first memories of her was when our brother Bobby was so sick with pneumonia, and my dad came down with it too. Cashie came regularly to the house to clean, to nurse her boys, and to be by our mother's side.
She spent her "golden" years caring for the elderly at the King's Daughters Home in Mexico, Missouri. In gratitude those women made her a home when she was no longer able to care for herself.


John D. Fecht c. 1918 Montana

This photograph of John David Fecht (Uncle Jack) was taken on his homestead in Montana, about 1918. To be honest, the coming of World War I must have been the perfect excuse for the Fechts to give up on their sad effort to make Montana into Missouri farmland. Jack, like his brother Bill, enlisted into the United States Army. Jack was sent to Florida where he was trained as a military policeman. Bill was placed into the Army Air Corps and sent to chop the spruce timber in Washington State.

The back of the photograph, in Jack's handwriting states"
"The cattle were scattered. There are about 80 head in the bunch and the Kodak didn't catch many.
Say Bill if I could catch a woman as easy as I can catch a cow, I wouldn't be an old bachelor long. ha ha."

Dr. Dan Sullivan adds:
Notice that he's wearing a sixgun!
I've generally thought that my folks met after jack went to Villisca (Iowa) to work at the power plant.

Refer to Picture # 12


Caption on the back of this photograph states:
"Taken in Old Fairgrounds Park, Saint Louis, Missouri.
Left: Ed Tutor, Mary E. Walsh and William Thomas Fecht"

This image had to have been taken in 1918, since it was during World War I, when Bill Fecht was in the United States Army Air Corps. My mother Mildred used to say that Bill was "sweet" on Mary Walsh and was visiting in the hope that she might be interested in him. Fortunately for those of us who are Mildred's offspring, she wasn't.


The back of this photograph contains the following statement:
"Taken at Yeatman Square, Saint Louis, Missouri. August 14, 1918.
At right - Mary E. Walsh At left - Yours truly (Ella Tudor)

Elizabeth Ann Walsh married William Charles Fecht. Her father was Patrick Walsh and her mother Ann Finn Walsh. Patrick and Ann are buried in Calvary Cemetery on Floriessant ? Blvd. in Saint Louis. Little is known about the Walsh family.

Refer to Picture # 11


Check out the life and times of Brendan Patrick Fecht. He's training for the big AIDS Life Cycle Bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles these days. This year his dad, Jerry Fecht will be going along on the Ride as a "roadie" to help out in the camp store. If you want to know anything about bicycles, the California coast, the Hollywood scene, check out his website at:

Refer to Picture # 10


This is an image of Pat Sullivan taken at a family reunion in Mexico, Missouri in 2005. The image has been "photoshopped" to remove distractions in the background.
Note: I avoid using maiden names, or the surnames of mothers, of living persons on things I publish on the blog. Alas identity theft is a reality.

Refer to Photo # 8


Photo taken c. 1920

This photograph in the collection of Gerald Fecht was taken about 1920, likely in the State of Iowa. To the right may be Mrs. Bill Sullivan with an unknown baby.
in the center Florence Sullivan holds her new baby Bernard John with her husband Dan standing slightly behind her. At the extreme right is Gus Hogan (likely a kinsman of Hugh Hogan, Julia's husband.)

Refer to Photo # 7


The date of this family photograph is unknown. A clue might come from the age of the youngest child Daniel (Maurice) Sullivan which would probably mean that it was taken in the 1940s.
Left to right:
(top) Helen Doris Sullivan
(middle) Patricia Sullivan, Julia Fecht Hogan, Daniel (Maurice) Sullivan, Hugh Hogan
(front) Elizabeth (called Betty)

Note the screen door construction and the horse shoe tacked on the house.


Fecht Apartment on 9th Street, Omaha Nebraska 1951

Left to Right
Florence and Dan Sullivan, Mildred and Bill Fecht, Hugh Hogan
Genevieve Rebbe, Patricia Sullivan Chapasco, Julia Hogan, Bernard Sullivan
Charlotte and Danny Chapasco

This photograph was taken at the time of the Korean War.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Not a very flattering photograph of William Thomas Fecht, but I feel it gives him a great 1920s look. He was in actuality a very kind and gentle man.
Bill Fecht was son of William Charles and Elizabeth Ann Walsh Fecht.

Refer to Picture # 3


Janne Fecht - 2007

Janne Fecht is a CPA. This picture was taken in her Woodland Hills, California office. She is the wife of Gerald Fecht

Refer to Picture # 2

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Damon Fecht Leaves for Amsterdam Jan. 2008

January 2008
Heading out for a rare vacation Damon Fecht, son of Janne and Jerry Fecht, heads off for a holiday in Europe.

Refer to Picture #1