Wednesday, April 30, 2008


This week the grave of James L. Fecht was marked by a United States Veterans Administration bronze marker. Jimmie is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Chatsworth, California.

James is the great grandson of Margaret (Bost) and Josiah Fecht

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Left to Right: Robert W. Fecht, Martin Fecht, Mildred Fecht, Ronald Fecht, Todd Fecht and in front Derek Fecht.

Robert Fecht is the great grandson of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht. Mildred Fecht was the grand daughter of Mary Ann (Secrist) and Josiah Crites. She is Robert Fecht's mother.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Mike Chapasko and Robert W. Fecht playing baseball in Corning, Iowa. Photograph courtesy of Dr. Dan Sullivan 2008.
Michael Chapasko was the first husband of Patricia Chapasko.

Read all of the posts in this blog by scrolling to the bottom of the group shown on your screen. You'll find a section called "older posts." Just double click on it and go to earlier postings.
Send your comments, corrections etc to Gerald Fecht at
Photographs may be emailed to Jerry by the jpg format.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


We are not sure who these little girls are. Dr. Dan Sullivan acquired the photograph from a collection of his older brother Bernard. He thinks it may be of Melzine Fecht. Just not sure.


John Vance - Photo contributed to this Family Pictures Blog by Dr. Dan Sullivan - 2008
This photo is inscribed "To Mushie and Ina from John Vance".
I had no record of John Vance, but I do of whom I consider his parents. He is likely the great grandson of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht. Dr. Dan may help more when he tells us how he acquired this image.
He is a descendent of Joseph Jacob Fecht.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Don O. Niman
Jacob Fecht, Wm. C. Fecht, Wm. T. Fecht, Genevieve Rebbe, Kathleen Rebbe, Don Niman: p.1
John Crites, Josiah Crites, John Franklin Crites, Mildred Crites Fecht, Genevieve Fecht Rebbe, Kathleen Rebbe Niman Cass, Don Owen Niman: p.1
Don Owen Niman is the great, great grandson of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht. He is the grandson of Genevieve and Owen Rebbe. Don is the great, great grandson of Mary Ann (Secritst) and Josiah Crites.

DON OWEN NIMAN (f-69) (c-993) (B-2217114412)
Don is the second child of Kathleen and Dan Niman. He is a graduate of Stanwood High School in Washington State. In 2008, Don and his family reside in Washington State.

The numbers behind a person's name simply indicate his/her identification in the f = Fecht family, c= Crites Family, and a better system used by the Secrist Family, going back to Pennsylvania before the American Revolution.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I am nearly finished scanning the photographs in my father, Bill Fecht's collection. These men were Bill's pals and tent mates. I have sent a copy of this picture to the Museum in Aberdeen, Washington.


This is a leaf from the back of a German Catholic Bible that belonged to Margaret Bost Fecht. The notations may not have been made by her, but appear to be accurate.
It was given to Gerald Fecht by Lucile Sullivan Branch.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I may remove this picture, since it is so highly manipulated by Photoshop techniques. First the picture was double exposed and there were other people in it. But, I couldn't find a picture of my dad with his fiddle. Bill Fecht often played his violin after his evening meal.


John David Fecht was the second child of Elizabeth (Walsh) (f-28) and William Charles Fecht (f-27). He was born on the 5th of August 1891 in Mexico, Audrain County, Missouri. He, like his brothers and sisters, attended Maple Grove School, a one room institution near his home outside of the town of Mexico. John, who was called “Jack” by family and friends, was baptized a Roman Catholic Christian and was Confirmed in the Catholic Church on the 7th of June, 1905. The presiding priest was the Most Rev. John J. Glennon, Archbishop of Saint Louis. (church records acquired for this history by Carl and Thomas Fetterhoff in 2002.)
He went to Montana, with his sister Anne, brother-in-law Harry Candy and brother William to establish a homestead as a young man. Jack may have lived near his maternal Aunt Hannah Walsh in Montana. The effort to homestead the prairie was a disaster, and the humiliation of failure loomed great in 1917.
Jack volunteered to serve his nation when World War One was declared in 1918. He was assigned as a military policeman in the military and was stationed in Florida. When he was discharged, Jack returned to his earlier life as a farmer in Missouri, an occupation he pursued without much success for the remainder of his life.
The first wife of Jack Fecht was Mary Effie Thomas, but nearly everyone called her Effie. She was a sister to Lena, who married Jack's younger brother Lawrence. Effie and Jack were married on the 14th of May 1924 at Saint Brendan's Roman Catholic Church in Mexico, Missouri.
Often in the evenings after preparing a huge Sunday dinner for visitors and family, Effie would set aside her vast apron and sit down to play. One of the favorite stories of her nieces and nephews was a time when they got her to sing over and over again a song she had been practicing for a women's choir, called the Jube Laute (“Let Us Rejoice.”)
Mildred Fecht nursed her sister-in-law Effie in the last days of her life. Effie is buried next to John David Fecht at St. Brendan's Cemetery in Mexico. After Effie died Jack Fecht married a widow by the name of Willa Barnes. The ceremony was held on 2 April 1956 at Saint Brendan's Church in Mexico.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


It is a long way and many, many years from Coulter, Pennsylvania (McKeesport) to Washington State. Yet, there is a miracle of history going on here. The people in this picture are descendants of Margaret (Bost) Fecht and Jacob Fecht .... or have married into our family.
I will break this photograph down into 6 Sections for the purposes of identification. After folks are identified, the Section will be added to this posting.


In 1918 "Millie" Crites, a shop girl in Minot, North Dakota, sent a young soldier from Missouri this photograph. She wrote in pencil on the back, "Pretty good. Ha Ha. Mother says this doesn't look like me, but I think it might have been worse." He soldier later married his "girl of the golden West", and kept the photograph among his most personal treasures until he died.


The sixth child of Elizabeth Ann (Walsh) and William Charles Fecht was Lawrence Joseph Fecht (f-91), who lived his entire life in Mexico, Missouri. Called "Buck" by his brothers or "Uncle Bucky" by his nieces and nephews, Lawrence attended the same Maple Grove School that housed the education of his brothers and sisters. It is possible that Lawrence may have been named for an uncle Lorenz Feger, since the Abstract of a deed instrument recorded by J. Livingston of the Audrain County Abstract Company states: “I know that they left surviving them, their children: William T. Fecht, John D. Fecht, Frank C. Fecht, Lawrence J. Fecht, who is the same person as Lorenz J. Fecht, named as the son of William Fecht in his wish and who was one of the executioners thereof....” Lorenz Feger played a very important part in helping father William get the Fechts on their feet in Mexico, Missouri. (Deed abstract 21 June, 1947 - courtesy of Virginia O’Hanlon and Dorothy Fecht Fetterhoff)
Lawrence took his first Holy Communion in the Catholic Church on the 18th of June 1911. The priest who officiated was the Rev. John J. Dillon, Pastor of St. Brendan Church in Mexico, Missouri. He was confirmed into the Catholic Church on the 13th of May 1913. (church records, courtesy of Tom & Carl Fetterhoff 2002)
As a young man, Lawrence worked, as did his brothers, on the farmers' thrashing crews. Later in his life, he worked in a gasoline station and sold heating oil.
Note: This photograph appears to be a reversed image. Note the Diamond DX logo on his hat. When I learn enough about Photoshop, I'll correct this. Jerry

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


The oldest of the children of Elizabeth Ann (Walsh) and William Charles Fecht, Ann Elizabeth Fecht (f-92) played a vital role in her family's life. At informal occasions she was called Annie by her brothers and sisters, who turned to their big sister regularly for advice and direction until her death on 29 June, 1958. Ann was born on 28 June, 1889 in Mexico, Missouri. She lived most of her life near that town. She was given the rite of First Holy Communion in St. Brendan Catholic Church in Mexico on the 5th of October 1901. The Rev. John J. Dillon officiated. On October 7th of that same year Anne was Confirmed in the Catholic Church by the Most Rev. John J. Kain, Archbishop of Saint Louis. (Church records courtesy of Tom and Carl Fetterhoff –2002)

Please note: This picture is an excerpt from a group photograph. It was selected from the original due to her strong individual image. This was also done in the previous photograph of William Campbell. Personal information avoids a connection by marriage to protect the identities of modern family members. If you are a bone fide member of our family, just send me an e-mail and I will be happy to provide you marriage details, if I have them. If you post a wedding announcement, obituary etc. with maiden names, I will view the information as public and included it on this blog or the Fecht Family website.


Richard S. Campbell born 12 August, 1850 died 21 May 1935
Uncle Dick Campbell married the oldest of the children of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht, Elizabeth Fecht.
This photograph is courtesy of Genevieve Rebbe
(f-169) (BW-1-2-1-S)
born: 12 August, 1850 in ________, _______ County, _____
mother: _____________ (_______________)
father: _______________, _______________
married: _________ to Elizabeth FECHT (f-160) (BW-1-2-1)
in ___________, _________ County, Pennsylvania
died: 21 May, 1935 in ___________, ________ Co., _______
buried: _________ in _______ Cemetery, in _________, _____

Richard Campbell and his wife Elizabeth had two children. They were: 1) William Richard, and 2) Ella Lauetto Campbell.
Dick Campbell worked several years in Pennsylvania as a railroad brakeman. Family stories relate that he was a man of great physical strength, despite the loss of three fingers lost while "coupling" railroad cars together.
The Campbells rented a room out of their home, to help with "expenses". It was under such circumstances that their daughter "Ellie" was to meet her future husband, Clarence Mackey.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Rosemary Candy stands with her Aunt Julia Fecht's husband, Hugh Hogan. Very likely, the photo was taken in Villisca, Iowa.

Rosemary Candy was a very little girl when her father died of the flu in 1918. She was raised by her mother and Philip Shire, her step father. This children in this church photo may have been undergoing their First Holy Communion or the older children (including Rosemary, the rite of Confirmation. The priest is a very young Father Gavin.
Rosemary Laverne Candy was born on the 4th July of 1916. She graduated from Saint Brendan Parochial High School in 1933. In her graduating class was her cousin Marguerite Fecht. (See Marguerite’s history for picture of graduating class.) Rosemary graduated from saint Joseph's School of Nursing in Kansas City, Missouri in 1937. She joined the staff of Audrain Hospital in November of that same year. (Note: The Audrain Hospital was called the Audrain Medical Center in 1996.)


Sent to me today from my former Moorpark College students.
My sister Genevieve sent me a little box of white jelly beans - those of you who know her, might ask her why sometime. Jerry


This photo was in Bernard (Sullivan's) collection. It is titled "Coal mining in
Montana." Does anyone recognize any of the people in the photo? Dan Sullivan - Omaha, Nebraska 8 April 2008

Patrick Walsh (Jr.) left home to go prospecting in the state or territory of Montana, and was seldom heard from again. He lived somewhere near Miles City, Montana.
William T. Fecht noted in 1973 that "Uncle Patrick Walsh", his mother's half brother, had visited his parents Elizabeth Ann (Walsh) and William C. Fecht at Mexico, Missouri, when Bill Fecht was very young. He stated that Patrick had written his sister from Montana. He sent a photograph of himself and a bronco horse, on which he was mounted. Note: This photograph may be in the possession of Donald Shire.

Dan Sullivan's parents homesteaded in Montana c. 1917 - 1918. Several of Florence Sullivan's siblings also homesteaded there, as well as her Aunt Hannah Walsh (Johanna). Several of Mildred Fecht's relatives also homesteaded near the Sullivans. So, unidentified photographs may have several possibilities. One figure in this picture may be a woman. Children and women often did sorting and loading work at the entrance of mines. Note the two others in the photo have miners' hats.
Coal was expensive and difficult to come by. Unlike Missouri and Indiana, where our folks were from, little wood was available either. Mildred Fecht told of how the "stokers" on the Great Northern Railroad would throw clumps of coal to the side of the tracks for poor children to take home to their families in Minot, North Dakota.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Dr. Dan Sullivan sent this interesting photograph of (l to r) Florence Sullivan, Julia Fecht Hogan, and Ella Tutor. Both Florence and Julia were Iowa residents and lived on subsistence farms. Ella, I believe lived in Saint Louis, and being atop a hay stack would likely been an adventure. The date of the photograph is unknown.
Only vague references in my records of our family refer to Ella Tutor. It is likely that she was niece of Elizabeth Ann Walsh Fecht. There were probably relatives of Patrick Walsh and his first wife Ann Finn in Saint Louis.


Elmer C. Fetterhoff and his wife purchased a Western Auto franchise in Lutesville, Missouri in the 1950s. This snapshot was taken of Elmer in February 1999. His son Bill Fetterhoff took over the store, now a True Value Hardware franchise, when his father retired. Lutesville is a village in South Eastern Missouri.


Victoria Louise Miralda married into our family in November of 2007. She is a graduate of West Point . Here in an earlier photograph she is pictured at the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command.
Maj. Victoria Miralda helps herself to a bowl of soup during a Headquarters and Headquarters Company’s, 53rd Signal Battalion (SATCON), Family Readiness Group fundraiser. The event raised more than $300 in just over an hour, with profits going to assist local families who were displaced from their homes by a tragic fire at the Castle West Apartments in Colorado Springs, Colo.
LTC Miralda is a member of the family of Margaret Fecht Bost Sullivan.


Eugene Anthony Sullivan was called "Gene". He was born on the 1st of November 1866 and died in February of 1947. He was the husband of Margaret Fecht, and married her shortly after her annulment to her first marriage.
This photograph was shared to our family history by Jack and Nellie Swartwood. It is shared by Dr. Dan Sullivan.

Uncle Gene on occasion skipped going to Sunday Mass, which very much annoyed his wife Maggie. And, to make matters worse, he would slip down into the root cellar to take an encouraging sip of wine.
On noontime, the entire Sullivan and Fecht clan came to Aunt Maggie and Gene’s for a Sunday dinner. Gene was nowhere to be found. Relatives arrived bringing an assortment of covered dishes, and asked where Gene was. “He’s probably down in the cellar - at the wine”, Maggie grimaced. “But, I fixed him this time.” She explained that she had put lamp black (soot from the kerosene lamp tops) on the bottle tops. Time passed and Gene arrived to greet his folks. He had a large black ring around his mouth.
“Gene, you’ve been at the wine!” exclaimed Maggie. “As Jesus is my savior”, replied Gene, “I haven’t touched a drop!”

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Elizabeth Ann Walsh Fecht and her baby girl Florence.
The Sullivan Family: Father Dan, Betty, Florence, Helen Doris, Bernard, and Dan as a little boy. Photos courtesy of Dr. Dan Sullivan - Omaha, Nebraska 2008
A story about Florence Sullivan by her son Dan.

"I don't know if you recall, but all the Fecht siblings loved music, and they loved to fish. (Florence's brothers and sisters.)
On the west end of our farm, there was a large pond, and there was a huge catfish in the pond. Mom wanted desperately to catch that fish, but couldn't get a strong enough line that the fish wouldn't break it. Finally, she used a hay rope and caught the fish, but wasn't able to land it. The fish commenced to pull her boat around the pond so fast that it caught fire and burned. She was lucky to make it to shore.
Finally, in the drought of '36, the pond dried up and Dad rode by there on horseback and saw the fish flopping around in the mud. He threw a rope on it and drug it home, and Mom threw a pan of dishwater on it and revived it.
You know, catfish can live a while out of water, and that fish became adapted to the occasional pan of dishwater or the leavings from the dipper.
It got along fine and would drink milk with the cats in the evening. Mom said that was why they called them "catfish." Along in the fall, there came up a big rain and broke that drought, and the fish got caught in a low place in the lawn and drowned. He was a great pet for her until then, though.

A true story about Aunt Florence and a baby chicken.

Florence and her husband Dan lived out the retirement years in a small farm just outside of Corning, Iowa. The Corning Unified School bus stopped there to let off my cousin Dan Sullivan. On occasion, when my brother Bobby was coming into town, I would get off at the Sullivans and play, until Bob took me home in the evening. It was a great little farm (a big step up from the Bergman farm where we lived … it had food.) and I loved visiting there.
One afternoon, just as my brother Bob pulled up to the house, Aunt Florence showed me a soft, little yellow chick and asked if I would like to have it. It's mother had gone to fowl heaven.
She put it in a shoe box, the lid of which had holes punctured in it to allow the chick to breath.
When I got home, my mom Mildred Fecht was furious. "That Florence!" It seems that my dear Aunt had foisted off on her kinfolk the responsibility of raising an orphaned chick.
As dark approached, the question arose as to where the chick would sleep. My mother objected intensely that she was poor, but did not have to live with chickens in her house. The winds blew, storm clouds pushed about black thunder, Iowa.
So, mom relented and the chick, shoe box and all, was shoved under a wood stove.
That week we were obliged to give the chick a name. Dad said he/she should be called Henry. It was cast! Henryitis the chicken.
Henryitis grew into the very ugly thing. Pinfeathers made him/her look like something from a Jurasic cat fish pool. It followed my mother everwhere. In the garden it grew glorious red feathered and fat from the worms my mom dislodged planting carrots and rhubarb.
Alas winter promised to return and my mother announced that she and her kids were going to Omaha where there was something called food to be had.
Henryitis would have to stay.
We gave her (it was a her by this time) to Mrs. Bergman for save keeping.
That next spring, when we came from Omaha to visit Aunt Florence, Uncle Dan and their son Dan, Genevieve my sister saw Mrs. Bergman in Corning town. "How is Henryitis doing?"
"Oh" said the farm woman, "she was delicious."

A thought from Genevieve Rebbe

I loved her best of all my aunts. Warm and cuddly, she was sweet tempered too. When she visited my mom and dad at Lake Stevens maybe in the 1960s, she had just shampooed her hair when I came in, so I put her hair up in curlers.
When women fix each others hair or do the dishes together the talk and visiting among them is priceless. Young girls get all sorts of educating this way.
She and uncle Lawrence were our favorites as kids.


A warm welcome to our newest kinsman, Wyatt Andrew Staffenhagen, the son of Melissa and Thomas Staffenhagen of Lake Stevens, Washington. Wyatt was born on February 22, 2008. He shares his birthday with his great-great aunt Janne Fecht of Tarzana, California. He weighed 8 pounds, 7.8 ounces and was 19 inches long.
Are you ready for this? Wyatt is the great-great-great grandson of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht.
Here is an article from the Everett Herald Newspaper about Wyatt Andrew Staffenhagen's arrival.
Lake Stevens baby born in family's dining room By Bill Sheets
Herald Writer - Everett, Washington
LAKE STEVENS -- Since moving into their home last year, Melissa and Tom Staffenhagen never used their formal dining room for anything much -- until a couple weeks ago.

Now they have, but not for dining. Melissa had their fifth child there.

While out-of-hospital births are frequent story lines for television and movies, the Staffenhagens joined what's actually a small group of families who can't postpone nature's timing.

Of the 4,098 moms who received birth care at Providence Everett Medical Center last year, eight of their babies were actually delivered at home or on the way to the hospital.

"That's less than 2 out of every 1,000 births," said Dr. Steven Sharmahd, who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology at The Everett Clinic.

It was Feb. 22. Melissa Staffenhagen, 36, was three days past her due date.

It was about 1 a.m. when she knew baby Wyatt was on his way.

The couple were prepared. They called friends and family to let them know they were heading to Providence Everett Medical Center. Melissa's mom, who lives nearby in Lake Stevens, was on her way over to sit with their other children.

Everything was ready. The couple 

headed to the garage.

Melissa stopped. "We can't go," she said.

"What are you doing?" asked Tom, 35. "This is the part where we get in the van."

Melissa turned around, walked back into the house, put a blanket down and laid down on the floor.

"We're having this baby," she said.

"I'm going to call an ambulance then," Tom said.

"Do that, because we're having a baby," Melissa said.

Tom recalled trying to get her to go to the back of the house, "to try to save her some dignity."

"I'm not moving," was Melissa's response. "I was half on the carpet, half in the dining room."

Paramedics were called. Meanwhile, Melissa's mom, Pam, had arrived. Their daughter Leigha, 13, their oldest, was playing it cool. "But I could tell she was nervous," Tom said. Leigha held it together, though, and retrieved some towels.

Wyatt being Melissa's fifth child, the 911 dispatcher told her not to push, just to let him come.

Her water broke. Paramedics arrived at about 1:35 a.m.

Melissa, a 1990 Lake Stevens High School graduate, knows some of the employees of Lake Stevens Fire District 8 and was screening them as they walked in.

"'I don't know you, you can come in,'" she told them.

Five minutes later, after just two pushes, Wyatt was born.

"I was on one side, (Pam) was on the other, and the paramedic did the catching," Tom said. "It was like dumping a bowling ball out of a wheelbarrow full of water."

Wyatt had something their four other children didn't when they were born: hair.

But everything looked in order, and it was time to go to the hospital. The Providence nurses had been notified that a woman who'd had a baby on the floor at home was on her way in. They were ready.

"It was like I was in a parade or something, with a lot of nurses looking at me," Melissa said.

All was fine -- Wyatt Anthony Staffenhagen weighed in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces -- and mom and baby came home after about a day and a half.

Births in unexpected places, such as in a home or in a car, often occur because the labor isn't as painful, or it is a lot quicker, than expected, Sharmahd said.

"When it happens, it's so rare that people hear about it every time," Sharmahd said. "It's certainly an opportunity for them to tell that story over and over again, to friends and neighbors, for the rest of their life."

The Staffenhagens have nothing but praise for paramedics Curt Middleton – who did the "catching" – and Shane Nelson.

"They were patient, they were understanding, and they walked into a very stressful situation for us, but they were fabulous," Melissa said.

Melissa didn't expect this birth to be so easy. Her fourth child, Brady, 3, was her hardest, she said. In addition to Leigha and Brady, their other boys are Anthony, 11, and Travis, 8.

Melissa said as strange as it was to have a baby in her dining room, it could have been worse. If they'd gotten into the van, "It would have been on Lundeen (Parkway), or on the (U.S. 2) trestle," she said.

They're calling the archway between the dining room and living room of their home "Wyatt's Arch."

Tom, an employee of Kimberly Clark in Everett and also a Lake Stevens grad, and Melissa met in high school and began dating after graduating. Tom said he's glad he can say his son was born in Lake Stevens. The couple has lived in the city their whole lives.

"We're definitely never moving now," Melissa said.

Anthony Staffenhagen, Thomas Staffenhagen, Wyatt Staffenhagen, Melissa Staffenhagen, Travis Staffenhagen

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Florence and Dan Sullivan. Likely their wedding photograph. The original copy sent to the collection, by Dr. Dan Sullivan has a lot of fading on the left side, and in the background. I photoshopped this image to make it clearer, and put in a new background.
If anyone wishes the original image, I will be happy to send it as a jpg file.


Florence Francis Sullivan was born of the 7th of April 1893 in Mexico, Audrain County, Missouri. She was married to Daniel Sullivan on the 30th of January 1918 in Corning, Adams County, Iowa. She died on the 19th of May 1970 in Prosser, Washington and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in that town.
Florence was the grand daughter of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht


Elizabeth Ann Walsh Fecht and her daughter Florence, with baby Bernard. Photograph was taken at the "home place" just outside of Mexico, Missouri.
For the next two days, this blog will be featuring images of Florence Sullivan to honor her birthday on April 7th. This photograph gives a good idea of what the farm house of Elizabeth and William Charles Fecht looked like. The clothes line normally would give a hint about the day of the week, but I think the uniformity of the clothes suggests that they are baby Bernard's diapers.
There was a protocol about clothes on outdoor lines, that Mildred Fecht learned quickly after her marriage of Bill Fecht. Ann Fecht Shire called her aside and said that it was "immodest" to hang underwear where passersby might see it. One hung sheets and towels as a kind of barrier, with "unmentionables" pinned inside. Sigh.
This photograph was shared by Dr. Dan Sullivan, Florence's youngest son.

Friday, April 4, 2008


This photograph contains the images of most of the members of first Fecht family in America.
L to R - top
William Charles, John Christopher, Matthew Gere, and Joseph Fecht
Mary Fecht Dawson, Elizabeth Fecht Campbell, Margaret Fecht Bost Sullivan, Margaret Bost Fecht, and Dora Fecht Sullivan
Missing from the picture is Jacob Fecht, his oldest son Jacob (both killed in Pennsylvania coal mine accidents) and
Katherine Fecht Leger Robbins.
I do not have an original of this picture. If we can locate it, it may have the studio and town that it was done in.


Michael Fetterhoff and his dad Thomas Fetterhoff. The date of this photograph is unknown, but likely to have been taken before Michael enter the US Marine Corps. This branch of our family lives in Florida in 2008.
Michael is the great, great, grandson of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht. Tom is the great grandson of our ancestor parents.


Dr. Dan Sullivan sent this photo today of Bill Fecht and his nephew Bernard Sullivan. Dan identifies Bernard's uniform as being that of the Civil Air Patrol.
Bill Fecht served in the US Army Air Corps in World War I. He was very proud of his experience and encouraged his own sons to follow his example. Jim, his eldest son served in the Marine Corps, Bob, his middle boy was in the US Army in Korea and Jerry served 8 years in the Naval Reserves. Bill Fecht would have been very proud of Bernard for wearing this uniform and service to his country.


Susan Breitenfeldt and her father Vic. This photograph was shared by Dr. Dan Sullivan. Susan is the great, great grand daughter of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht. She is the grand daughter of Florence and Dan Sullivan.
I'm not sure where this photograph was taken, but it was likely done in Washington State. The car in the picture looks like the back end of jet plane, is it a Studebaker?


On the hot August afternoon, when this photograph of Bernard Sullivan (left) and his first cousin James Fecht was taken in Chillicothe, Missouri, they would have had little inkling that within a year war would disrupt both their lives. Bernard would be in the U.S. Navy and Jimmie in the Marine Corps. The little boy Gerald Fecht (Jerry), now 70 years old, still remembers this family picnic, half-way between Corning, Iowa and Mexico, Missouri.
I was about 4 years old in this photograph. The picnic-reunion was probably the first big automobile trip of my lifetime. I recall the excitement of my dad and others fixing a flat tire - there were patches to be applied to the tube - and, my first recollection of my dad calling the tire a "sucker!" (Bill Fecht never used any other swear words, save a very rare "damn.") The Missouri family traveled in a caravan on the journey.
I don't recall where we slept, but on Sunday we went to a Catholic Mass in a massive church. Saint Brendan Church in Mexico, Missouri was a tiny chapel on the second floor of the parochial school. Years later I saw the church in Chillicothe and it was itself very small as churches go. On the picnic day, I recall looking through a fence to see real alligators! And, being held up by my big brother Jimmie to look through a dusty garage window to a car that belonged to Mark Twain.
There are several group photos of this reunion. But, I had never seen this photograph before Dr. Dan Sullivan sent it today.


Dr. Dan Sullivan sent this photograph this morning, but it had no caption. I am fairly sure it is a winter picture of his brother Bernard John Sullivan, likely a decade or so after World War II.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Lulu Duncan and her grandmother
Divorce was unheard of, in the early years of our family in America. In the coal mining towns of Pennsylvania our Fecht and Bost women sometimes found themselves subject to arranged marriages, especially where survival seemed at stake. After a coal mining accident took the life of our ancestor Jacob Fecht (and his oldest boy Jacob a few days later) it appears that two of the girls in the family were "married off" to older coal miners. Margaret Fecht married a first cousin whose name was Bost, and Katherine married a man named Christian Leger. Both Katherine and Margaret left their husbands. Margaret went to Mexico, Missouri with her brother William Charles Fecht and secured an annulment from the Catholic Church, and remarried Eugene Sullivan.
Katherine, it appears simply ran away to Kansas with a man named Robbins. She left two of her children in Pennsylvania but brought here daughter Lulu with her. Lulu was raised by her Grandmother Margaret Bost Fecht in Mexico, Missouri.

born: 6 November, 1879
in Robbins Station, __________ Co., Pennsylvania
mother: Katherine (FECHT) (f-167)
father: Christian LEGER (f-205)
married: 20 October 1901 to Wallace J. DUNCAN (f-484)
in Mexico, Audrain County, Missouri
died: 28 February, 1963 in __________________
buried: _________ in _______ Cemetery,
in ______ Co., ______________


James L. Fecht (Jimmie) was an excellent and untrained painter. His best works were images conjured from memories of his childhood and youth. This work is among my favorites, simple and direct. At the bottom of the painting, on the canvas, Jimmie wrote:
"I remember well ow they first met, across our picket gate. His name was Elmer Fetterhoff and she was Dorothy _________.. Some 50 years have come and gone. I still see them in my mind, where they first met and fell in love, in the Spring of '39.
Now, he had this job, I recall, to paint the fence and gate. Well, he made the job last awful long. He asked her for a date.
In 1940 they were wed. Today we celebrate 50 years of love and marriage, that started at our gate."
Years after this painting was given to Dorothy and Elmer, I said to Dorothy, "You know, our family really loved Elmer." She looked into my heart and said, "I did too."


Bernard John Sullivan
Bernard Sullivan was the son of Florence and Dan Sullivan of Corning, Iowa. He flew a small, private aircraft for many years, and was employed for the city of Red Oak, Iowa's sheriff's department. He served in the United States Navy during World War II and was among the support troops for the Battle of Iwo Jim. He was the great grandson of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht.
This photographed was shared by Dr. Dan Sullivan. it was repaired by Photoshop techniques.


L to R: William T. (Bill) Fecht, Florence Sullivan, Elizabeth Brietenfeldt, and two unidentified people.
The date of the photograph is unknown.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Our universal grandmother, Margaret Bost Fecht was the wife of Jacob Fecht. She was born in Germany and came to America on the ship Admiral. On the voyage she gave birth to her oldest child Elizabeth Fecht Campbell. Margaret struggled with the English language.
Margaret died and is buried in Saint Brendan Cemetery, Mexico, Missouri.


This newspaper picture of Motorcar Number 1 was taken in Mexico, Missouri in 1917. Standing in the door of the trolley is Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Fecht Vance who was 16 years old at the time.
The tall lady to the left of the door is Mrs. Linn Barnett Fecht (wife of Joseph Fecht)
Center is Miss Pearl Barnett and to the right is Christina Fischer.
This photo from the Mexico Ledger has been enhanced by Photoshop, due to excessive miscoloring.


Rosemary Candy (left) and her cousin Evelyn Fecht. Evelyn descends from John Christopher Fecht. Rosemary Candy is the daughter of Harry Candy and Ann Fecht Candy Shire. Evelyn and Rosemary the great grand daughters of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht.