in 52 Weeks
Close to Home
Earl Meets Pearl in 1914: Close to Home
I enjoy putting facts and sources to family oral history. This one involves my paternal grandparents and how they met at a church, one close to both their homes in 1914.
I recall looking at a photo of my grandfather, Earl LaFara, and realizing he was 5 years older than my grandmother, Pearl Osborne LaFara, and grew up in a different town. I asked my grandmother where they met and my grandmother’s simple response was, “At church.” I don’t recall asking any follow-up question and I think I assumed the “church” was the one she attended at the time. Fast forward forty-odd years and I decided to research this thin memory.
Pearl Osborne, Born and Raised in Indianapolis
My paternal grandmother was born 19 May 1893 at the home of her parents on E. 12th at Sterling St. in Indianapolis. Pearl attended Indianapolis Public School #33 (Whittier) and Shortridge High School, graduating in the class of 1913.  The Osborne family resided at 1102 N. Beville for about 10 years, including during 1914. 
Earl LaFara Moves to Indianapolis
My paternal grandfather was born 25 July 1888 at the home of his parents in south-central Tipton County where they were farming. Earl attended school in Tipton, when the demands of the family farm permitted, he graduated from Tipton High School in 1908.  Earl was a good student and wanted to have a career away from farming. By 1914, Earl’s father sold their home in Tipton and the family moved to Indianapolis and resided at 1129 N. Dearborn.  Earl was working at American Express as a clerk, he would eventually become a clerk at the downtown United States Central Post Office.
They Met, Close to Home
I placed both my grandparents in 1914 in Indianapolis, living less then three-quarters of a mile apart. They were certainly in proximity to meet. I then found an announcement for their wedding in the Indianapolis News for 5 October 1914 which stated they were wed at the 10th Street Methodist Episcopal Church.  Placing the church on the map it made complete sense they met “at church.” The Osborne’s and the LaFara’s were Methodist’s and it would make sense to attend a church within walking distance at a time when family cars were mostly for the wealthy. Case closed, Earl and Pearl met close to home, at church.
The E. 10th St. church is still ME, the house on Beville is long gone and replaced with a large modern house, and the house on Dearborn still stands, although vacant.
My grandparents lived at a number of addresses on the near east-side, including Irvington and Warren Park. Sadly, Earl died in August 1928 at the age of 40 from a hemorrhage on the brain he suffered while walking home from the interurban stop after work. Pearl led a full life, raising their three children, caring for her father and sister, she was active in the DAR and her church and doted on their grandchildren.
2. Entry for David L. Osborne, Indianapolis, Indiana, City Directory, 1913, p1230, R.L. Polk & Co., Publishers; accessed online: https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/2469/11712753
3. Entry for Earl L. LaFara, Indianapolis, Indiana, City Directory, 1914, p853, R.L. Polk & Co., Publishers; accessed online: https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/2469/11674571
4. “Society” The Indianapolis News, Indiana; 5 October 1914, page 7, column 4, above the fold; accessed online: https://www.newspapers.com/image/37353661
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.