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Ancestors of Samuel Relf Durand
Generation No. 1
1.Samuel Relf Durand, born March 12, 1904 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., WI; died January 25, 1996 in Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co., CA.He was the son of 2. Loyal Durand and 3. Lucia Relf Kemper.He married (1) Hildur Richardson February 24, 1931 in Kingston, Ulster Co., NY.She was born October 25, 1909 in Binford, Griggs Co., ND, and died May 3, 1997 in Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co., CA.She was the daughter of Fred Ranney Richardson and Fern Abbott.
Notes for Samuel Relf Durand:
I feel very fortunate to report that my grandfather was, and still is, a huge figure in my mind's conception of my youth, as well as my continued progress into manhood.I will have noted in this data that the bulk of it was gathered by Bampo, as we grandchildren always knew him.Even without the ominpresent transcriptions of his biographical portraits of his and his wife's ancestors, the volume of names, facts, and dates alone is enough to testify that his hand is on each page of this genealogy.
S.R. Durand, in his own words:
"My earliest definite memory is the day August 18, 1908 when my second sister Elizabeth McVickar (always later known by her nickname "Glee") was born.My brother, sister and I had been sent early in the morning with Guire [their nurse] to a friend of the family's home, a couple of blocks north on Lake Drive, to spend the day.We were brought home about supper time to see our new sister in a cradle beside my mother's bed.
When I was very young, I can remeber vividly sitting under a large oak tree on our front lawn on late summer afternoons, waiting for my father to come home on his bicycle.He had a fine bicycle, a type I've never seen since, for instead of a chain between the pedaling sprocket wheel and the back wheel, it had enclosed gears and a transmission rod.When Dad bought our first automobile in 1910, he abandoned his bicycle, which I at the age of 12 attempted to ride without tires, and badly bruised and scraped my knees and arms as a result.
Dad and Mother belonged to a family social club, the Town Club, which had five clay tennis courts, four bowling alleys, and in winter an excellent ice rink on the tennis courts.Dad won many trophies in tennis and bowling tournaments, but Mother mostly enjoyed ice skating and dances at this club.When I was about thirteen she taught me to play tennis, a game which I loved and excelled in for many years.Upon returning from work, my father was always eager for some playing with his children, usually with my brother and me.Mostly we played catch with baseball mitts and a hard baseball, and Dad got a big kick out of throwing the ball as fast as he could at me.As a result, I was a star player on my grade school team, and on a neighborhood team that played in the Milwaukee Journal League (something like the Little League of today).Unfortunately, baseball was not played in high school then, so I turned to tennis and became the state interscholastic champion, with Dad's help and encouragement.
After 1906, my grandmother [Maria Elizabeth (McVickar) Durand] came to live with us in our new house on Lake Drive, as my father was her sole means of support by then.Among my earliest remembrances of her were the times she took me and my brother on the hour-long streetcar ride to the Soldiers' Home.These were exciting adventures for us, because we could stand on the streetcar alongside the motorman and pretend we were helping operate it.While my grandmother was having tea with friends including Mrs. Sharp, the wife of the commander of the home, General Sharp, we wandered about talking to old Civil War soldiers and hearing accounts from them of battles they had fought in.
My grandmother had friends come in for tea most every afternoon when we were very young.We were allowed to come in for a cookie or a small piece of cake, and very weak tea with lots of warm milk.Tea, when guests were invited, was served in what we called the reception room instead of in the large parlor.This room was sort of considered my grandmother's special room until my parents purchased a piano and victrola, when we called it the music room.When my sisters and I took piano lessons and had to practice each day, this room had the advantage that a large sliding door could be closed to partially reduce the sounds of our efforts, in struggling with the fingering of scales or playing simple compositions.
In 1912, we had made our first long tour in our car to Deerfield, Minnesota, in the iron ore country west of Duluth.We went to the wedding of the daughter of a second cousin of Dad's, Caroline Hall, to Tracy Hale.My sisters were flower girls at this wedding.It took place at the summer home of Dad's cousin Alida and her husband William White, who in the wintertime lived just two blocks north of us on Lake Drive.This trip was quite an adventure, for we had many tire failures and some broken springs.On more than one occasion, we had to be hauled out of deep ruts on sandy roads by farmers with horses.
We drove mostly with the top down, and sometimes did not get it put up and the side curtians extricated from behind the back seat and on fast enough to avoid getting drenched by sudden rainstorms.We carried our clothes in suitcases on a rack on the side running board, since this was before the days that cars had trunks for luggage.We returned through Sparta, Wisconsin, to stop and see Dad's old college friend, Lewis Hill, and his family.We also stopped in Madison to see several of Dad's friends there.
For a short time in early 1918, [my mother's] health was poor, and she took my two sisters with her to Summersville, North Carolina. They stayed in an inn near to where her sister, Gertrude, and her husband Samuel Hall had a home.In April, Dad took me and my brother to Washington to meet Mother and my sisters on their return trip.A week in Washington at that time, during the war, was an exciting experience for a fourteen-year-old boy, particularly because my uncle George Wilson, a widower who had been the husband of mother's oldest sister Anne, took us to many historic places, army posts, government buildings, and monuments.
After the First World War, Mother and Dad became even more adventurous.We made several motor trips east to Niagara Falls, and to visit Dad's three aunts, Jane and Louise Durand and Hannah Gould, in Rochester, New York, and several Durand cousins there who were all most hospitable to us.We drove on other trips to Jamestown, Washington, Gettysburg, Valley Forge, and Philadelphia to see many historic places, since Dad's great interest was American history.We visited New York City, where Dad had meetings with the executives of various insurance companies he represented in Wisconsin.We visited many historic places in New England and the old Durand farm homesteads in Berlin and Derby, CT.
Each summer from the time I was about 7 until about 16 years of age, we spent several weeks in the country in cottages rented on one of the lakes west of Milwaukee.
...On the morning of the day Jerry and I were married, my father and mother and sister Glee had come to Kingston from Milwaukee.My other sister Lucia and her husband, Donald Wright, had come from Cambridge [MA].Two of Jerry's friends from her Stanford University days were also at our afternoon wedding, which was at St. John's Episcopal Church.My uncle, Rev. Poyntell Kemper, was the rector of the church, and he married us.After the ceremony, my uncle and aunt had a very nice reception in their home.The next day, Jerry and I sailed for Europe on a honeymoon trip.
Upon our return from Europe we bought a car in Milwaukee and drove to California.This was during the Great Depression, when four of every five engineers were unemployed.My own job with the International Telephone and Telegraph Company in New York had terminated at the end of February, 1931;their International Communications Laboratory where I had done research and development was closed, and 450 engineers were let go.However, during several months of the previous year, I had been at the ITT plant in Palo Alto, California, supervising manufacture of 60 shipboard radio transmitters that I had designed.Knowing that vacuum tubes were still in production for these transmitters, I got in touch with the manager of this plant.I was told that if I came to Palo Alto, he could give me a job that would last for several months in tube manufacturing work.
We bought a three-year-old Chevrolet car for one hundred dollars, and drove via Yellowstone Park to California.We visited Jerry's family in San Gabriel for a few days before I went to work on the 4p.m.-to-midnight shift at the plant in Palo Alto.Just before
Christmas, a large stock of transmitter tubes had been produced, and the plant was closed and its buildings sold to the City of Palo Alto for warehousing space.So, with me out of work again, we went to San Gabriel for Christmas with Jerry's parents and her sister Jean.
I got a job for awhile in Hollywood, and Jerry and I had a small apartment there.Each Sunday we drove over to San Gabriel for dinner with Jerry's mother and father, and each Wednesday they came over for dinner with us.After our meals, we enjoyed duplicate bridge, playing sixteen hands "down" we had previously played, and then sixteen hands "up" for our next session.Jerry's mother was an expert bridge player, and enjoyed these games with us immensely.
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