52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 34:
Character
FF Charteroak

Quite the Character

I did not personally know my great aunt Grace, but those who did often described her as being fun, and full of life. My father said his aunt Grace was “a character,” my aunt Lois would say Grace was “lots of fun,” and my grandmother said her sister “liked to laugh.” Grace’s husband, my uncle Frank, would say “Grace loved her flowers and her family.” From records and family photos, I think Aunt Grace looked for the positive even when life was a challenge. Aunt Grace was a character with character.

Grace Osborne, 1887-1954

Grace was born when her mother, Jennie, was 29 and her father, David, was 39. They had been married not quite 10 months when Grace was born. I wrote about the marriage of Grace’s parents a few years ago, read about it here. [1] Grace was a middle child, she had two younger sisters and two older brothers from her father’s first marriage. Grace’s father was a Civil War veteran, he did interior finishing work for a home builder and he was active in several clubs and associations. The Osborne’s did not have extended family living nearby and the family changed address nearly every year. [2] These are just a few of the family dynamics that may have contributed to Grace being a “character”.

Grace Flucawa 1943

Grace Osborne Flucawa
1943

Osborne Girls 1912
Grace, Nell and Augusta Osborne, 1910

At left is Grace with her two younger sisters Sadie and Pearl. Above, Grace is having some fun with her two sisters-in-law, Augusta and Nell. Both photos are undated but probably about 1910.

Family and Friends

Grace married in 1903, at age 16, to Gurdon Fithian, he was 12 years her senior. She and Gurdon had one son, Glenn, born a year after the couple wed. By the end of 1910, Grace and Gurdon divorced. Grace and her son Glenn lived with her parents and Grace did a variety of jobs, including as a bookkeeper and as a landscaper. [3, 4] She met her second husband, Frank Takeo Flucawa, through the ME Deaconess Mission and they married in 1912. [5] Grace and Frank did not have children of their own, but they often entertained those of their friends, neighbors and relatives.

Aunt Grace, Lois and Pearl LaFara, 1917
Grace Flucawa and MaryAnn Buskell, 1927

Plants and Poultry

Grace took a great interest in growing flowers and raising poultry. She won recognition for both at local flower and poultry shows. [6, 7] She and Frank operated a commercial poultry business in Warren Park on Indianapolis’ east-side for many years. [8] Later they had a commercial flower business on the south-side of New Castle, Indiana, “The Flowerteria” and “Flucawa’s Flower Gardens.” [9]

White Leghorn
Grace Flucawa 1947
Oriental Poppies
American Beauty
Bearded Iris

The photos I have of Aunt Grace, her chickens and gardens are in black and white. But, a few years ago I came across several color slides of the hothouse and flowers. The one’s that are acetate have faded badly and I have attempted to colorize them. But three are glass slides and scanned fairly well.

Hats!

Grace also was keen for hats, as you can see in the photos above. I have found several photo-booth type images of her wearing various hats. Although she is not smiling in some of these, I think she was trying for drama as she modeled the hats.

Aunt Grace wearing Hats

I made a scrapbook page several years ago featuring some of the hat photos.

Aunt Grace scrapbook page

Conclusion

I wish I had known my great aunt Grace. She passed away in 1954, a few years before I was born. [10, 11] Although, I did get to enjoy her flower garden when I was a child. The stories told by family, and the photographs I have, lead me to believe she was indeed a character in the best way.

I wish this photo were in color to show the flowers. That’s a 1933 Auburn in the background, it may have belonged to her son Glenn.

Grace Flucawa

SOURCES

  1. Blog post, Family Finds: The Marriage of David and Jennie Osborne; https://barblafara.com/the-marriage-of-david-and-jennie-osborne/
  2. Blog post, Family Finds: David L. Osborne: His Indianapolis Homes; https://barblafara.com/indianapolis-addresses-for-david-l-osborne/
  3. Entry for Martha G[race] FithianU.S, Federal Census: Year: 1910; Census Place: Indianapolis Ward 1, Marion, Indiana; Roll:T624_366; Page: 7A ; FHL microfilm: 1374379;
  4. Entry for M Grace Osborne, “Indianapolis, Indiana, City Directory”, Page: 968, Online at Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.
  5. Entry for Martha Grace Fithian, Marion County, Indiana; Index to Marriage Record 1911 – 1915 Inclusive Vol, Original Record Located: County Clerk’s Office Ind; Book: 69; Page: 393; Online at Ancestry.com. Indiana, U.S., Marriage Index, 1800-1941
  6. Profile of Martha Grace Osborne, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/-60123978/facts
  7. Article, “Lewisville Home Demonstration Club,” National Road Traveler, 26 Aug 1954, page 9, col 7.
  8. Entry for Takeo Flucawa,U.S. Federal Census; Year: 1930; Census Place: Warren, Marion, Indiana; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0252; FHL microfilm: 2340351,
  9. Entry for Grace Martha Flucawa, Indiana Archives and Records Administration; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Death Certificates; Year: 1954; Roll: 12; Online at Ancestry.com. Indiana, U.S., Death Certificates, 1899-2011
  10. Online memorial for Grace Flucawa at Find a Grave, Access Online: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/71868064/

Frank Takeo Flucawa

Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.

David L. Osborne: His Indianapolis Homes

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.

The Marriage of David and Jennie Osborne

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.

Do You See A Resemblance?

While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.

Probate of Jesse King 1868

Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.

Letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary

A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.

Sarah Smith: Challenge

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846

Laferre to LaFara: Unusual Name

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.

Luella Pressell: Surprise!

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.

Rumple Family Photo 1895

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 8: Family Photo
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one in particular I found very informative.

Conrad Rumple: Bachelor Uncle

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.

George Lafary and Catherine Landon: Large Family

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 11: Large Family
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.

In The Paper

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.

Genealogy Brick Walls

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.

Catherine Landon: Out of Place

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 16: Out of Place
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.

Immigrant Ancestors, Fresh Start

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week1: Fresh Start.
The varied reasons my European ancestors immigrated to North America for a fresh start.

William and Uva Lafara: Favorite Photo

I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.

Close to Home

My grandparents. Earl and Pearl, met at church, close to home, in 1914,

So Far Away

My great-uncle Frank immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1905 to further his education, so far away

Same Name

I get excited when I discover an ancestor with the same name as a friend, or co-worker, or neighbor. Maybe we are related!