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Edward Martin Herman (n) was born Feb 11,1878...
Edward's childhood and those of his siblings was typical...





Edward Martin Herman (n) was born on February 11, 1878.  In the 1800’s the way to travel across the oceans, lakes and wide rivers was by boat, ship or ferry.  The way to be saved from navigational disasters was to be rescued by a passing ship or if close to the shore by a lighthouse keeper or a Life Saving Station crew.  Navigational disasters involving ship wrecks and accidents were recorded in newspapers almost on a daily basis.  Travel by ship was so common the New York Times would post the departure and arrival of passenger ships into the ports of New York City.  Newspapers were the way most people learned about local, national and world events.  Ringing in the New Year for January 1878 was a month filled with navigational disasters.  The New York Times recorded 32 marine disasters, one with all 100 lives lost in a ship wreck off the coast of Chili.  The report of the Life Saving Station Superintendent for the previous year recorded 134 disasters at sea attended to by the Life Saving Stations in the United States.  

February 1878 was not without its own troubles for ships and sailors.  The month Edward was born experienced 38 marine disasters, three of them the Times reported suffered all hands lost.   Even the lighthouse steamer “Tulip” was not immune to navigational mishaps.  She was mentioned as having “gone ashore” in a Times article for that month.  There were at least two reports of cannibalism on ships at sea following wrecks.  If that wasn’t enough, the Times reported goods from another ship wreck had been washed ashore.  It was almost a daily fare for people reading the news. 

In 1878 women did not have the right to vote.  Yet, the month before Edward was born a woman, Ida Lewis was making a name for herself in the newspaper accounts of the day.  One of only a few women lighthouse keepers, she was responsible for some of the most dramatic lighthouse keeper rescues of the day.  On many occasions Ida single handedly rowed out to shipwrecks in treacherous storms.  She pulled into her boat men far larger then herself and rowed them back to safety.  And while her sex would not be accorded the right to vote for years to come, she risked her life to save the drowning men who denied her that right because women were the “weaker sex”.  The government was happy enough to have a woman rescue their men folk, but not give her a government pension.  A January 27, 1878 article in the New York Times gives an account of this.  Ida Lewis was still living at the lighthouse and still performing rescues.  When Congress meets again for the winter session the Times article recorded, “every effort will be made to induce Congress to grant her a pension”.

And while Ida was being hailed as the heroine of the day another article in January told the account of the cowardly acts of the all male Long Island Station #27 Life Saving Crew.  The entire crew was being replaced for their less-then-heroic actions.  They refused to rescue those on board a wrecked ship citing the dangerous conditions of the water and rough seas as their excuse.  There would later be much debate over the true nature of the incident.  However, the crew remained permanently dismissed and replaced.  

The General Superintendent for the Life Saving Service was voicing his opinion about the qualifications needed for the members of the Life Saving Station crews.  It was his opinion that political services were not among those qualifications.   

February was perhaps an even more telling month for anyone born who would eventually become a lighthouse keeper.  While one month derided the cowardly actions of one Life Saving Station crew, the next was signing its praises.  And, begging for another lighthouse to be built.  An article praising the efforts of the Life Saving crew at Cape Henry appeared along side an article begging for a new lighthouse at Cape Henry due to the increased commerce of Baltimore, Washington and Richmond, VA.  The United States Life Saving Station and crews also needed to be increased as they were deemed too far apart.  More Life Saving Stations and crews and a new lighthouse were needed to help avert the disastrous loss of life occurring in the area due to all the ship wrecks.  The country was growing economically through increased trade.  Increased trade meant more vessels sailing the seas and coming into the ports and harbors of the nation.   The New York Times reported there were 442 trade vessels in the New York harbor for the month of December 1879.  This did not include the number of passenger ships sailing passed Lady Liberty into the harbor filled with new immigrants. 

A hint of the technology Edward would face when he entered the new century as an adult was briefly mentioned in a Times article about a “flying Machine”.  Also, that same month two new planets were discovered.    Yes, it was an auspicious time for one to be born, especially one who would hear the call of the sea and the United States Lighthouse Service at the turn of the new century 21 years later. 

Edward’s journey began across the oceans and ancestors who were born on the continent of Europe.  His grandfather, Johann Christoff Ferdinand arrived in the United States in 1847 as a young boy.  His great grandfather, Frederick was born on April 20, 1780 in the town of Brandenburg.  He was a Westphal.  The Westphalian branch of his family can be historically traced to about the 15th Century.  It seems that as the size of the family branched out they established many branches in the Regions of Prussia, Brunswick, Hessian and Bohemia.  Another branch rose to prominence in the duchy of Brunswick.  Of this line, Christian Heinrich, Lord of the estate Bornum near Wolffenbueltel and private secretary to Duke Ferdinand von Brunswick was knighted in 1805 when he was taken into the Daneburg Order of Knights.  His descendant Fredrich von Westphalen became a Minister of State for Prussia.  Family accounts for the Westphal history indicate that some relationship to the Prussian king existed with the Westphals who emigrated from Prussia to the new world.  A family document written by Edward’s uncle to his mother many years after the fact details this information.  The uncle remembers his father telling him that as a small boy he was taken to a very large estate.  The family was quite wealthy, his ancestor being the overseer for the King of Prussia.  It was thought a family legacy may still have existed due them from the estate of this ancestor.  Whether truth or the blurring of memories of a young boy, there is no doubt the Westphals carried in their numbers many prominent individuals.  Fredrich Wilhelm Ferdinand was born in 1780.  He died in 1809 in a battle fought during the Napoleonic Wars.  He was a major in the Austrian army. Otto von Westphalia born in 1807 was Lord Chamberlain at the courts of Prussia.  He became ambassador and minister to the Swedish and Norwegian courts.  Karl Fredrich Westphal 1833-1890 was a well known neurologist and psychologist. 

Following the French invasion during the Napoleonic Wars, the family name became more then a way to identify individuals.  Westphalia was declared a kingdom. 

For those who sailed to America, a new land offered new opportunities and a chance to further the Westphal name.  By 1961 the Westphals, Edward’s ancestors were spread form New York State to California. Over 170 Westphals listed their highest level of education as college and all reported having a high school education. Their numbers included 12 ministers, 74 government employees, teachers, college professors, engineers, nurses, military, 19 dentists and physicians and one lighthouse keeper.

Edward’s great grandmother, Wilhelmina Werth arriving in the United States in 1841 at the age of 14, was born in the town of Stettenburg. (Family records list the spelling as this variation, the actual name of the town was Stettin and most likely was the port of departure, not her town of birth. This area is now a part of modern day Poland.)  The family apparently moved at some point to the town of Althagen located near the coast, possibly to be nearer passage to America.  Very little is known about Wilhelmina’s family before they arrived in the United States. One notarized document survives from her son. He mentions his mother told him her family were landowners and they were wealthy. The son was not able to recall any other detailed information. Wilhelmina Werth married Johann Westphal making their home in the town of Wendelville, New York State.  The marriage produced six children, Alvina, Elizabeth, Charles, John, William and Martha Mathilda, Edward’s mother.  Johann’s death shortly after the birth of his daughter left Wilhelmina property to call her own and a farm to tend.  She eventually married again.  This time to a man named August Goerss.  Other children soon followed. 

Throughout her life, Martha Mathilda, known as Mathilda remained very close to her siblings, especially her older brother.  When John Westphal left New York to travel west to the Dakota Territories he sent his sister a cabinet photograph documenting his arrival.  He and Mathilda continued a life long correspondence, the distance between them never lessening their ties.  Edward also was close to this uncle.  The earliest postcard in the collection from a family member, 1906 is addressed to Edward when he was at sea on the Lot. M. Morrill.  It was written by John Westphal from Valley City, North Dakota.  No longer a wild western territory, Dakota had been admitted into the union as the 39th state on November 2, 1889. (Edward's mother was also close to her Westphal cousins who moved to Wisconsin. She shared correspondence with her cousin, August Westphal. In a letter dated 1912, August wrote to Mathilda about his family. After moving to Wisconsin, that branch of the Westphal family joined the Seventh Day Adventist church. Two of her cousin's sons, Frank H. and Joseph Westphal became Seventh Day Adventist missionaries while August's third son, Henry, became a medical doctor. In 1894, Frank Westphal became the first Seventh Day Adventist missionary to South America, primarily serving in Argentina and Chile. In 1899 Frank Westphal helped to establish the first Seventh Day Adventist college in South America, the River Plate College. The college is still in existence. After returning to the United States, Frank Westphal wrote his memoirs. "Pioneering in the Neglected Continent", was published in 1927, and gives an excellent account of his life and work as the first Seventh Day Adventist missionary in South America.)  

Mathilda Westphal married August Frederick Herman (n). August’s father, Martin Frederick Herman (n) was born in 1819 in Verket Gruenow, in the Provinz Brandenburg, Kreis Angermuende. A potter, he married Augustine Vandre who was born in 1817. The Vandres, a Dutch family originated from Friesland, the Netherlands, moving to eastern Prussia several hundred years prior to their arrival in America.  They emigrated from Prussia to America in 1845 and settled in Martinsville, New York State. The Herman(n) family was part of a larger group of "Old Lutherans" who defied the king of Prussia's dictate to abandon the Lutheran doctrines and worship as a combined Union Church. (For further information on the Prussians in Western New York State; "Uprooted From Prussia Transplanted in America", by Eugene W. Camann and "Nineteenth-Century Emigration of Old Lutherans from Eastern Germany (Mainly Pomerania and Lower Silesia) to Australia, Canada, and the United States", by Clifford Neal Smith.)  August Herman(n) was born in 1852.  Typical for the many Prussian immigrants who settled in western New York, the family lived in a split timber home.  Often mistakenly called a log cabin, these homes were usually small and consisted of one room.  August’s mother never moved to a larger home, instead preferring to live in the original split timber house all her life.  A newspaper article written long after the death of her husband, mentions Mrs. Herman (n) still living in the only remaining split timber structure in western New York.  Edward’s youngest sister remembered many years later visiting her grandmother and helping to make quilts in that one room house. 

For many of the Prussians the small rural towns and farms of western New York were home in the new land.  Others worked in the towns along the newly built Erie Canal.  Later arrivals came to the city of Buffalo to work the shipping docks, the Erie Canal and the industries associated with it.  Census records tell the story of a people who came from Prussia, who spoke the German language, and remained culturally and ethnically German well into the 20th century.  The German language was spoken in the home, mostly Lutheran, the church services were conducted in German and children were taught to read and write in the language of their ancestors.  When the kingdoms of the Germanic people were united as the Prussian empire in 1701, the people listed themselves as Prussian in the census.  Wars were waged and fought changing the names of the lands from where they originated.  The census reflects this also.  The language declared still spoken in the homes remained the same, German, even if their country of origin changed, which by 1871 was known as "The German Empire".  Thus for many they became ethnically the language they knew and spoke, German. 

When Mathilda and August married on April 30, 1876 in St. Johnsburg, NY, they left the small rural towns of their childhood, and moved to Tonawanda, NY. The first picture of Edward was taken on the family property (33 Kohler Street) when he was 11 years old. Edward, standing next to the fence is the oldest of the four Herman(n) sons. Still very much a small community town, the family cow shares the front yard. His parent’s move to a larger house on Broad Street (346 Broad Street was around the corner from 33 Kohler street, still a part of the family property) set the stage for the Herman(n) family’s relationship to the Great Lakes and the Niagara River. 

Tonawanda, NY was originally a small village located south of Buffalo on the Niagara River and the Erie Canal.  One of the “Twin Cities”, the other being North Tonawanda, it is located in Erie County.  North Tonawanda is situated in Niagara County and the two towns later were often rivals in high school football and industries.  Tonawanda began to grow economically after the opening of the Erie Canal and with the introduction of the lumber industry.  The Tonawanda docks on the canal and the Niagara River were in the 1880’s a strategic place to load and ship lumber.   Tonawanda and North Tonawanda would be known as “the lumber cities” by the time August Herman and Mathilda moved to property several blocks from the river.  On the 1910 census August’s occupation is listed as a longshoreman on the “lumber docks”.   He was 58 years old. 

Edward cut his teeth on ships and it was not a silver spoon that graced his home but the oars of a canal boat.  Located behind the house on Broad Street was an owner of canal boats and a builder of organs, a gentleman who also happened to be married to Edward's aunt. Augustine Herman(n) or Justine as she was called, was married to August Gottfried Rosseau, or as he was called, Gus Rosso, a Civil War veteran. The last name having suffered many spelling variations during the course of its recordings, Rosseau, Rossow, was listed in family records as Rosso. (August (Gus) enlisted on September 15, 1863 at age 16 years old in Company B Infantry, Albany, New York State. He was discharged from the 4th Regiment in City Plant, Virginia on November 29, 1865. Gus, apparently, lied about his age as the official Union Army records list his age as 18 years old.) Thus, life for Edward was lived in this shadow and the stories his father told of the longshoremen’s working.  Ship builders and lumber docks surrounded Edward.  Photographs with Edward and his siblings boating in and around the river are many.  It not only provided their recreation, it also buttered the bread they ate and put food on the table.  And, much food was needed to sustain the large and growing family that followed Edward, his sisters and younger brothers.   

August and Mathilda produced a large family, typical for those who lived during this time period. Perhaps as a way to alleviate her grief, or just a peculiar quirk of German culture, Mathilda, would rename those born later after the dead siblings.  Those that lived to adulthood out-numbered the siblings that did not survive. The Herman(n) family consisted of the following children: Esther Mathilda (1877-1880); Edward Martin (1878-1964); John August (1879-1972); Esther Mathilda Alvina (1881-1930); Emma Augusta Helena (1883-1889); Mathilda Sara Marie (1886-1974); Mary Wilhelmina Rosina (1888-1910); Karl Ludwig (Charles Louis) (1890-1968); Alfred Herbert (1892-1910); Infant girl (1894-1894); Clara Emma (1896-1971); Emma Alvina Ernestine (1898-1978); Viola Luella (1901-1992). Edward’s family like most families spanned several decades.  The last child would be born not of the same century, but into a modern world very different from her older siblings. Although the Herman (n) family seemed a confusing jumble of names, they all remained close. Several eventually lived within the same block after marrying. 

The early deaths of her first children surely caused Edward’s mother grief and heartache, though time and other children eventually filled the emptiness.   It was many years after the deaths of her daughters Esther Mathilda, Emma Augusta and the unnamed infant girl before Edward’s mother faced a child’s death again.  The name of one would remain an enigma to all, the other life entwined with Edward’s own history. 

These were the siblings that remained close to Edward and whose postcards survive to tell the story of their brother the lighthouse keeper.

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Edward’s childhood and those of his siblings was typical for the German middle class in the late 1800’s early 1900’s.  Education was important.  But, it was not the education of the English speaking world; it was the education of the ethnically German speaking community.  Already two generations now born in America, German was the language of choice to be spoken in the home and in the community.  Seeds of discontent were scattered through out the English speaking America because the German population had exploded with new immigrants all speaking the German language.  In fact, the German population in the United States was so large; it influenced President Woodrow Wilson’s decision making policy on the country’s entrance into WWI.  He felt that given the high numbers of German Americans populating the country, they would hesitate to go to war against fellow Germans.  He would be proven very wrong on that account, but not before the newspapers made clear the anti German sentiment felt by much of the country.  Yet, many of the German speaking people remained much grounded in their ethnicity and Edward’s family was no exception. 

The Lutheran church played an important part in this identity.  Rising to lead the Reformation and revolt against the Roman Catholic Church was Martin Luther, a German.  Many of the Lutheran German speaking immigrants who came to the northeast United States in the mid 1800’s did so because they claimed religious persecution. They were being forced to abandon their Lutheran traditions and forbidden to conduct any Lutheran religious services or practice any Lutheran religious observances. (No longer the Roman Catholic Church, the Prussian Union Church was the culprit now. In 1817, King Frederick William III tried to unite the Lutheran and Reformed Churches in Germany.)  Therefore the church, the reason they left behind a homeland they had prospered in, was central to their lives and identity.  It was not easy to part with the memories of the extreme measures by which one had come to America.  And, it was the church which shaped their very lives and played a most important role in forming their cultural and ethnic identity.   When communities of high numbers of German speakers found themselves being surrounded by those of different ethnic backgrounds, they retreated, withdrawing into a tightly knit community rather then giving into assimilation.  Eventually, the world around them engulfed their communities and propelled them into inter-ethnic, inter-faith marriages and membership in other religious denominations, even those of the Roman Catholic faith.  But it would take two world wars before some in the country finally released the bonds of ethnic identity that held them as a German speaking community.  And, the Lutheran churches were the last to let it go.  Their church, Emmanuel Lutheran, continued to hold German speaking services at least once a month into the 1960’s.  Edward’s nieces and nephews, born in the 1920’s-30’s would be the first generation raised in the Tonawanda German community to speak English and not German in the home.  

The Herman (n) family was a part of this strong community.  Edward and his siblings attended public school and German speaking school (these schools were often an extension of the church, called day schools).  Penmanship was learned by copying pages from a German /English book.  A well educated child was one who could read and write in both languages.  Boys took on responsibilities for work.  Girls learned the art of sewing, embroidering and quilt making.  They also learned to play the piano.  Music was central to Edward’s family.  Relaxation and recreation for the family meant travel to the island across the Niagara River by ferry for picnics in the summer. Leisurely boating by canoe or rowing up the creeks also filled the warm lazy days.  In the winter ice skating and sledding and the occasional trip to Niagara Falls to walk across the ice bridge were the favorite activities.  And, there was church participation.  The winter months were spent preparing for the spring ritual of confirmation.   For German Lutherans this was both an ordeal and a ritual to enter adulthood.  Edward was expected to learn Martin Luther’s Catechism.  Early editions were in German, later they were written in English.   One’s family respect was centered on the child’s ability to pass the final exam in the spring.  Indeed, even the family budget rested on this momentous occasion.  Every child received a brand new set of clothing.  For the boys it meant new suits, for the girls elaborate dresses and hair bows.  Each child was dressed for the occasion and formal pictures taken at photographic studios were the standard ritual.  It had been done this way for generations.  Under the stern eye of the Herr Pastor, the group to be confirmed was assembled in the front of the church.  Facing the congregation in the pews before them and the family which had just spent much hard earned money on their new clothes, they waited for questions.  The ability to answer the question put before them by the pastor would determine if they were confirmed that day.  For those families whose child could not answer the difficult questions put before them, shame and humiliation followed.  Not only for the child, but for the entire family.  Suits and dresses could not be returned and elaborate family celebrations could not be undone.  The child was asked to step down and return to the pews to sit with his or her family.  The service continued and those who made their families proud were confirmed. 

The summer months had another ritual besides picnics and boating for middle class Germans; card playing and beer drinking.  When the newly arrived Germans from Prussia to America worked to build the Erie Canal, their employers provided them with beer to drink as part of the contract.  Recorded in those ledgers are the hundreds of barrels rolled down the docks to quench the thirsty appetites of the German workers.  When the German longshoremen came home from the hard work of loading the lumber on the docks, they wanted to relax and drink beer.  The weekends the men spent playing cards in the shade of the cherry trees and beer provided the beverage.  Taverns dotted every street corner and Edward’s community was no exception.  The responsibility for taking the pails to the local tavern rested with the daughters, not the sons. 

Another important ritual was the recording of events in the German family bible.  Every family had a record of their own generation recorded on a page in the elaborate script of the German pen.  Every birth, death, baptism, baptismal sponsor and marriage was written in pages bordered by scrolls and fancy decoration.  Martin Luther graced each page, giving his blessing to the marriage and the births that followed.  It was a sacred ritual, this recording of family history.  And, it was passed from one generation to another, until the pages were filled and could no longer hold the next generation.  By then the bible had worn its way through to tattered bindings and brittle pages.  But, if not for this record much family history would be lost or forgotten.  Edward’s family bible was born of this tradition and it recorded an entire family from the time they stepped off the boat on American soil until the first born children following WWII.  Finally, pages covered in German script from pens dipped in ink wells to pencils scribbled in English could no longer hold names.  The worn, frayed book, one hundred years of family history was closed and placed among the letters and photographs handed down to another generation.  

In a home rich with music, German culture and education Edward and his brothers and sisters grew to adulthood bordered by the inland seas of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie with the mile wide Niagara River at their door step.  How or when Edward first entertained the idea of working on a ship is not recorded in the family history.  It would seem a logical outcome given the nature of the environment surrounding his childhood.  From the letters and papers that survive it seems obvious Edward was regarded with much respect by his siblings.  Handsome and dashing, a young man waiting to see the world beyond his family, Edward left the comforts of home to seek out a living on the working ships of the inland seas.  When he chose to cross the boundaries of working ship to rescue ship is not known.  His decision served him well.   It also had a great impact on his family, especially his siblings, directly influencing the careers of two younger brothers.

The remainder of his siblings with the exception of Alfred and Mary Rosina married into families shaped by the culture of the Great Lakes.  And, sometimes this culture was neither German nor Lutheran. 

Edward Herman (n) and Margaret King: January 14, 1908

Margaret was born and raised in Michigan.  She belonged to the Methodist church.  Edward would leave his Lutheran roots and join Margaret’s Methodist church, remaining a member of that denomination until his death.  They did not have any children.

Esther Herman (n) and Otto Zastrow: October 6, 1903 or 1904 (family records list 1903, newspaper accounts of the wedding list the year as 1904).

Otto was born in Germany and was a first generation immigrant.  He spoke German only.  He was a master carpenter, opening his own business shortly after his arrival to America.  He was Lutheran.  Otto and Esther had a daughter they named Violet.  Edward was one of her baptismal sponsors.  Esther was very close to her brother, writing to him the night before Violet died at the age of two.  She and Otto would have no other children. (Otto Zastrow's mother, Amelia (Emilie) Kindermann, was a midwife. She delivered many babies throughout the Niagara County area in the small towns that were settled by the Prussians during the mid 1800's. Her medical books, written in German and brought with her when she left Prussia are still in the Zastrow family collection.)

John Herman (n) and Rose Gath: October 6, 1909

Rose was a second generation German.  She was from Tonawanda and was Lutheran.  They were members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church and lived within the family compound on Broad Street.  They did not have children.

Mathilda Herman (n) and Hugo Dornfeld: August 20, 1908

Hugo was a third generation German.  He was born and raised in Pendleton, New York. The Dornfeld family were original settlers to Martinsville, a town in Western New York of Old Lutherans.   They resided after marriage in North Tonawanda.   His occupation on the 1920 census was listed as being a bookkeeper for a bank.  They had two surviving children, Robert and Thelma.

Clara Emma Herman (n) and Albert Lawrence: March 14, 1917

Albert was born and raised in North Tonawanda.  Bertie was the youngest child from the first of three marriages.  His father would claim parents of Scottish heritage (Lawrence is a derivation of the clan name MacLaren, a Scottish Highlander clan) .  Bertie's mother, Edith Lillian Lacey was Irish.  John Lawrence, Bertie’s father was an engineer and inventor who worked for the Buffalo Iron Works Company.  An early photograph is of John standing next to a large steam whistle.  Written on the back is; “John Lawrence built this steam whistle, the largest ever built”.  This may have been a prototype for a steam fog whistle to guide ships into the Buffalo harbor.  Edward would eventually be an assistant lighthouse keeper in that same harbor.  Albert worked on a Great Lakes ship as an oilier for several navigational seasons before his marriage to Edward’s sister.  Bert, as he was called in adulthood and Clara would live at 33 Kohler Street, Tonawanda, NY in a home on the family property, one street over from Broad Street.  Albert would become Lutheran attending Emmanuel Lutheran Church.  He worked for the Bolt Company after their marriage.  They had three surviving children, Delcia, Delbert and Richard.

Charles Louis Herman (n) and Augusta Engler: May 27, 1919

Augusta was a first generation German, speaking both German and English.  She was raised in Buffalo, NY where her father was listed as a building contractor in the 1920 census.  She had one brother, Arthur who may have died during the Great War or from the 1918 influenza epidemic.  She was Lutheran.  Charles and Augusta had a child by adoption, Arthur August.  They lived in Buffalo before moving to Alexandria, Virginia, where Charles eventually became Head Custodian for the Washington National Monument. 

Emma Herman (n) and Ivory Shain: December 31, 1923

Ivory was first generation German on his maternal side.  German was the language spoken by his mother, Sophie as listed in the census of 1920. He and Emma were listed in the 1920 and 30 census as living in Buffalo, NY.  His occupation was listed as an engineer on a lake steamer and then as a marine engineer on the lakes.  They had two daughters, Lois and Carol.  Emma and her children remained close to Edward, visiting him often at the lighthouse in Marblehead.  She would take care of him in the proceeding days before his death and after tend to his estate.

Viola Herman (n) and John English: August 16, 1926

John (Jack) was a first generation of Irish decent.  He was Roman Catholic.  He and Viola lived in the family compound, next door to Viola’s brother John.  They had no children.  Jack’s listed occupation in the 1930 census was in connection with the Bolt Company. A nephew of Jack and Viola would play an important role in California politics.  Dick “Bulldog” English was a lawyer, having graduated from the University Of Buffalo School Of Law.  In 1954 he moved to California and became a City Councilman.  He chaired Pat Brown’s campaign for Governor of California.  In 1960 Dick worked full time in John F. Kennedy’s campaign for president.  He ran for Congress in 1964, losing by only 148 votes.  He was a delegate on the Robert F. Kennedy for president slate in 1968 at Chicago’s Democratic Convention.  During his legal career Dick represented Robert Shroud the “Birdman of Alcatraz”.  Among the documents and photographs collected from Viola after her death was a picture of Dick English shaking hands with President Kennedy at the White House.  It was addressed to “Aunt Viola and Uncle Jack, Best wishes, your nephew, Dick English”.

Whatever shapes our destiny in life is played out in the shadows of our childhood.  Edward and his siblings were shaped by the shadows of culture and religion within a world that had stood intact for two generations.  That world was changing and the culture around it was either consumed by it or embraced it.  For those who embraced it the world became theirs to own.  For those who resisted the world remained a closed and forbidding place.  Edward chose to embrace the world and in doing so would travel the inland seas and sail on the winds of change.  His was to be a life of adventure.




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