My Genealogy Home Page:Information about Nellie Irene Morris
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Nellie Irene Morris (b. Nov 11, 1906, d. Dec 29, 1991)Nellie Irene Morris (daughter of Ira Alvin Morris and Esther Pearl Scott)34 was born Nov 11, 1906 in Roscommon County, Gerrish Township, Michigan, and died Dec 29, 1991 in Ingham County, Michigan /bur:Pioneer cem.Roscommon34.She married Svend Aage Kristofferson on Nov 08, 1924 in Bay City, Bay County, Michigan34.
Notes for Nellie Irene Morris:
Rita:This is a little bit about Moms early life.She made some notes for me
to someday put into a book.
"In 1905 , my parents Ira Alvin and Esther Pearl [Scott] Morris, bought sixty acres in Gerrish township, Roscommon County, Michigan.
They soon after,traded forty of the sixty for forty acres across the road where they built our house. They lived in the barn while the house was being built.The house was done by November 11, 1906, just in time for my birth.My parents had come from Indiana for my fathers health.He was suffering with consumption of the lungs from doing foundry work in Indiana.My grandmother, Harriet Augusta [Larimore]Scott, made the move with them.She told me when I was older that it gave her a good laugh to see my father trying to keep the plow in the ground, when they first farmed the land.Grandma had divorced my grandfather, James R. Scott, when Mama was eight years old, and they lived in Muncie, Indiana.My father died in May 1907 when I was six months old.He went to see his doctor in Muncie, Indiana, for a check-up and died within three weeks.I think the train trip was too much for him.
When I was about six months old Mama became acquainted with Charlie and Anna Duncan.They bought twenty acres from her but never paid for it, so she got it back.they lived with her for a while and Harold [Dunc] and I played together.Sometime after my fathers death, Grandma opened a boarding house on Vinegar Hill and Mama and I lived with her.Mama started working in the telephone office as a fill in for Polly Hammond.[ When I was a about ten I
filled in for Mama when she was busy. ]Some of the exchanges that I called
were: West Branch,St. Helen,Grayling,Star City,Mooretown,Fletcher and Pere Cheney.Pere Cheney was a thriving place when I was a kid, but I never went there.It had become a ghost town while I was in Roscommon, and the houses disappeared later, after we moved south.It was a lumbering town, and there is a large cemetery there.The village of Jackpine was gone, by my time.
St. Helen was just a cluster of houses on the lake.
Out on the muck road is where the prostitutes set up there business.That was before my time and it was burned down by the women of Roscommon, so I heard.
I wasn't taken to the sawmills and so on, because Ora didn't want me to hear the rough language.
Mama also worked in the dry-goods store as a clerk.This store was owned by Sly.She also sold Avon at night.At that time it was the California Perfume Company.We went to the Methodist church in Roscommon until they disbanded.It was across from the high school.Later we attended the Congregational Church.I usually got the part of an older lady in our plays, like a boarding house lady or teacher, because I could keep a straight face and look stern.I don't know if the farm just sat idle for that time or if someone was working it.
I was told that around this time I said my first words:" DatDod-damtat tratches."We had cats,Toodles and Tommy.
Mama had met Ora Billman first, when he did the stone work on the farmhouse for her and my dad.After my father died and Mama was working in the telephone office, she had a problem with someone who had jumped off a train and was trying to get into the office.She called the sheriffs office and they sent the deputy, Ora Billman to her assistance.They were married in January 1909.
Ora had been married before to Myrtle Kendall, and they had a daughter, Louella.Louella was three years older than me.After Myrtle and Ora divorced, she and Louella lived in Ohio.Myrtles parents lived there.Louella married a
guy from Texas named Hall and had a daughter named Irene.Then she married a man named,Reinarz.
Ora had been born near South Bend, Indiana, and the family moved to Roscommon when he was a small child.He was the baby of the family.He had four brothers. Frank and Walt, and Sherman and Sheriden who died as infants.Frank Billman was born in Sept. 1863 in Indiana.He married Isabell around 1894.There was also a Fred A. Benton
that lived with them.He must have been Isabells son from a former marriage.I don't know who Franks first wife was.
He was a brick mason.I never knew Frank because he had done something which was never discussed in front of me, and he had gone to the U.P.Ora, in later years, visited him in Gladstone, near the Wisconsin state line.
I knew Walt pretty well.He was born in Indiana in July 1872.In 1897 he was married to Clara Nowlin of the Roscommon area.They had four children.Hazel,
Ivan, Celia and Iris.Walt was a farmer.The girls married and moved away but Ivan remained in the area.He looked a lot like Ora.He is buried near Aage in the Pioneer cemetery.They made maple syrup and all of us kids were there
for the boiling down of the syrup. The kids poured it on the snow to make candy.
Aunt Clara was so religious she wouldn't let us have a maple syrup party.
I remember Helen [Steele] Duncan when she herded cows or sheep out beyond the old Billman place and in that area.Steele Road was named for her father.
It is Steele Rd. to the main road from town, then it is Billman Rd.She had
brothers and sisters, but I only remember Jake.
Mama and Ora lived on the farm after their marriage, but I stayed in town with
Grandma because she wanted me there so she wouldn't be alone.When I stayed at the farm for a while, I played with Fred, Norma, and Florence Griffin.
Fred and I had a wheel-barrow that we called our car, and we pushed each other around in it.That was when I was three or four years old.Ora had taken up the business of a brick-mason;doing plastering,stucco,fireplaces out of field-stone, and basements.He built fireplaces for Governor Green and another Governor, but I can't think of his name.He built a lot of them at Higgins Lake and in the U.P.Also on Drummond Island.He had to use a row boat until the ferry was put in use.He built several fireplaces at Kingston Lake in the U.P.In1910
George Royce worked for Ora on some of the mason and plastering jobs.
He was a deputy sheriff all of his adult life.When he could no longer serve he was made an honorary deputy.
When I was about four years old Grandma and I went to Rush County, Indiana.Most of our visiting was done in the Raleigh area.We visited her sisters, Lizzie Werking and Priscilla Hollowell.We used a horse and buggy to do our visiting and I enjoyed the covered bridges in their area.I remember Donald Cohee.He
was Aunt Sills grandson.He was about sixteen.Wayne Werking was also older, about 23, and he rescued me from an old tom turkey that would attack and knock me down.
I started school in Roscommon when I was six.I was living with Grandma at that time.The teacher was Miss Shockley.Some of the boarders at Grandmas
that I remember were Jess Penn, an indian.His family had come from Pennsylvania and were living in Pere Cheney.He had a brother, Hiram, a lawyer and another brother, I can't remember his name.He had a sister Pocahontas.
One boarder was Bob Myers, who always brought me a box of chocolates when he came back to town.Bob and Jess were section men on the railroad.There was also a man and his wife.She had room for three to six boarders, depending on whether two roomed together or not.The downstairs was for Grandma and I.And for Mama,when she was there.Grandma did the cooking and cleaning for the roomers.If there was a woman boarder, she did her own cleaning.Lymans lived across the street from us;Henry and I played together and Tappans lived beside us.That house burned down since then.Grandmavisited with Mrs. Gardner and Mrs. Woodham, who were neighbors.Most travelers stayed at the Roscommon House, so we didn't board many of them.
Curt was the town drunk, and he would sit on the steps of Overmyers store with his head in his hands.He was never married as far as I know.There were a lot of single men because there weren't enough women to go around.WhenI was about eight,Grandma and I moved out to the farm with Mama and Ora.
Our transportation was horse and buggy and the horses were Old Nell and Doll, who was blind.About this time Ora took me to Roscommon to see a tent show with the Brennen brothers. [ Walter ]Ora knew them from somewhere.We had the first car in Roscommon County. It was second hand and we got it from Orcutt.It was an Oldsmobile.This was about 1914-1916.
I went to the Wayne school about 2 1/2miles from us, up by Lunds.We lived on the Markey Road, but it wasn't called that then;as far as I know it didn't have a name.I don't know the name of the road that the school was on either, if it had one.I skipped the third grade and went into the fourth when I went to the country school.Some of my schoolmates were May Henderson, Norma, Florence, and Fred Griffin, and Edith and Mabel Anderson;Alphonse, Oscar, Bill and Dagney Cedarman and Dagney Carlson.Sometimes there were fifty kids enrolled in school.We played the usual kids games like ring-around-the-rosy,blind mans bluff, and the winter sledding and ice skating.I wentsledding without Mamas permission because she was afraid I would get hurt.We had a lot of snow back then.We could walk or slide right over the tops of the fences.I usedskiisand snowshoes as that was the only way to get to school.Some of the kids couldn't get there at all.Burtlow, Chase and Gippert were farmers who lived near us.Norma Griffins father was the township supervisor.I also went to school with Hilga and Oliver Gippert.Teachers while I was at Wayne school were Miss. Corrlett, Miss. Grahmn, and Mrs. Wiseman.I also had Mrs. Wiseman in high-school in Roscommon.Most of the kids went to the eighth grade only, and didn't go to Roscommon for high school.A lot of our teachers in intermediate school were eighth grade graduates.Mrs. Wiseman,used a rubber hose on
the boys at the Wayne school.One day she used it on Bill Carlson and he took about all of it that he could, then he beat her up with his fists.
We would visit Grandma and Grampa Billman out on their farm.Grampa Billman was a small man.Ora was built like his mother.I never spent a night there.Grandma had been in an asylum and Mama wouldn't leave me there.
[ It was probably menopause ]I did tag Grandma Billman when she was busy.We would go to the spring house where she kept the butter, cream and milk.
I would stand and look at her what-not and all the things that were on it.It was made of wood and rope.
When I was about eight years old, Grandma, Mama and I took a trip to Indiana for the funeral of Aunt Sill. [ Priscilla ]That was in 1914.We also visited Uncle Val in Hartford City. [ Grandmas brother, Tiberious Cavallo Larimore ]Then we
went to see Uncle Tom Larimore in Muncie.He lived at 517 S. Vine.It was near Charles Street, where Grandma and Mama had lived when they were in Muncie.
I also visited my grandma Morris when I was four and when I was eight.Frank
Morris was just a boy of about fourteen.When we took the train it would stop twenty minutes and we would go to a restaurant for meals.Grandma would take part of mine on the train so I wouldn't have to rush and I could eat it later.
At one time in this period of my life, Mama and Ora were separated and Ora would meet me after school and give me toys.Once he gave me a doll with a
china head, legs and arms.It hadrealhair.I named her Ducky.He also gave me a sled at this time.
Since Ora was a brick-mason, most of the farm work and chores were left to Mama and I.I fed the calves,pigs, chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks.We had corn and wheat and Mama and I took care of it.We cut and shocked by hand and then the thresher man, Al Sargent came and used his thresher.We had some ground for flour and sold some of it. We also had buckwheat. We had a hired hand later, named Archie Nutt.I heard he was from a detention school.
Ernie Anderson helped us some, but that was later.He was Edith and Mabels brother.
Before school in the morning I did the milking and brought in the wood.I had to drive the cows to Osterstroms to pasture some of the time.They had the forty acres next to ours and there was a gate in the fence that I had to remove the bars then put them back.Our cow was Nancy [registered] and we had her calves,
Roxanne and Daisy.We got our water from a pump out by the barn gate, and water for the house was hauled by bucket.Water wasn't put in the house until I had moved away from the area.We had the usual outhouse.We had a pantry with shelves and bins and a basement with a cement room and one of wood for
the fruit and vegetables.The house was heated with a wood stove and the upstairs was a loft with a ladder leading up.It had a skylight and flooring on just one side of the building where Grandma and I slept.The other side was uncovered joists.I had a collection of about fourteen dolls most of which had china heads, arms and legs.I had one rag doll that Grandma made.Whenever someone got me something for Christmas or a birthday they usually got me a doll.Chuck Chase got me a negro doll one year.
The Griffin family lived down the road from us.Roy was the township supervisor and Frank Griffin [grandfather of Norma, etc] was a doctor.Mail was delivered every day by stage, running from Roscommon to Markey,Al Sargent was our mailman.John Carter lived in the Russell swamp near St. Helen and he was the grandfather of Charlton Heston.Rube Babbitt was the game warden when I was real small.The only lumberman I can bring to mind is Clyde Gardner.He cut timber out at the MurrayHills, NineMile, and the Long Crossway.
When I was nine I started hunting with Ora.We hunted in the Murray Hills.
There was a hunting camp there, and there were no roads across there at that time, like there is now.I shot a bear when I was twelve years old with a 35-45 Marlin.
The first gas could be bought at Old Charlie Dewales. Some of the stores in town when I was small, were Prices, a General store. They had everything from yard-goods to plows.The opera house was above that. Then there was Kylie and Gibbons grocery store,Chases and Laughray, both groceries.I was in the high school plays in the Opera House.The first theater was where the Colonial Inn was later.It belonged to Silsby.Mama would walk us kids in from the farm to see a movie.Sometimes Rube Chase walked with us.The first movie in Roscommon was Heart of the Hills,with Mary Pickford.
When the circus came to town everyone came in from miles around.They had all the animals and trapeze artists that they have these days.They sat up out at the old fairgrounds, out where the landing field was later on M - 18.They some times stayed for three days.
We went to the Wayne school for church on Sunday afternoons when we were on the farm.The Northern Hotel burned while we lived out there. We lived three miles from town, but we stood out on the porch and watched the hotel burn.
When I was twelve and we were living in town, I took general science, physics and chemistry, clear through school.I also had algebra, geometry and latin.
We were graded with S&U.Satisfactory and unsatisfactory.I graduated at sixteen and was the youngest in the class. There were four in my graduating class;Eloise Murphy, Chuck Curnalia, Milo Geister and me.I went to school with Dunc, in Roscommon.The Richardson family lived east of Roscommon at Richardsons Corners.
We lived in the old Wayne house. The country school was named for him.The house was in the north end just before you cross Tank Creek, and the street had a bridge on it.Some of the neighbors at that time were,Howard Gardner and Mrs. Fry.[ her children were:Hazel, Edna and Nellie. ]
I had known Hazel before we moved to town.I used to go in and stay at their place, and she would come out and stay at ours.On Halloween we would soap windows and scare the heck out of people.We tipped over a few toilets[and after I was married we would set the toilet back of the hole so when the kids would go to tip it over they would fall in the pit. ]
I started working at the resorts at Higgins Lake when I was thirteen or fourteen.The people who hired us would come to town and pick us up. Some of the resorts were;Chaneys,Colesand Lakeside.I would always work summers until I was married.I waited tables and occasionally did dishes.I met James Oliver Curwood whenI was about fourteen and working in the telephone office.He wouldcome in to use the phone.He had a cabin on the Au Sable, up-river from Ora, and I would go to visit him.
Ora had moved the hunting camp from the Murray Hills , down to the Au Sable and built to it to make their house on the river.It started with the dining room, kitchen and pantry.When it was still used as a camp, I shot the shotgun off into the featherbed.Mama had left it cocked, laying on the bed.We usually went there for the day unless Ora got on the track of something, then we would spend the night.
Uncle Tom Larimore would get passes on the railroad and come up to see us.He was a railroad detective.I would sit under the table [hidden by the tablecloth]
and listen to Uncle Tom and Ora tell stories about the railroad and other things.
It was the thing to do in that day for the kids to jump trains to Bay City.We would go in groups sometimes.Nellie McCredie and I would go.We were never caught that I can remember.
After Aage and I were married we lived at the farm for a while.Mama didn't sell it for years after they moved to town.It was used for a lumber camp several times by Charlie Blanchard.He was the boss.We would go out every once in a while to check it.They had the front room full of bunks.There were 24bars in town at one time, when lumbering was big.
More About Nellie Irene Morris:
Burial: Pioneer Cem. RoscommonCounty, MI..
More About Nellie Irene Morris and Svend Aage Kristofferson:
Marriage: Nov 08, 1924, Bay City, Bay County, Michigan.34
Children of Nellie Irene Morris and Svend Aage Kristofferson are:
- +Robert Aage Kristofferson, b. Sep 25, 1931, Roscommon Co., Michigan34.
- +Darlene Orita Kristofferson, b. May 26, 1937, Flint, Genesee County, Michigan34.
- +Delores Laurene Kristofferson, b. Nov 21, 1938, Flint, Genesee County, Michigan34, d. Dec 08, 1982, Pueblo, Colorado.
- Theodore Ora Kristofferson, b. Nov 07, 1924, Bay City, Bay County, Michigan34, d. Jun 19, 1935, Wahjamega, Michigan.
- +Elizabeth Louise Kristofferson, b. Dec 06, 1928, Roscommon County, Michigan.
- +Loretta Marie Kristofferson, b. Aug 08, 1933, Roscommon County, Michigan.