Grave obsessions

The Story, the pictures and the facts!
Stories. My grandmother told many of them.

Little Goldie Simpson, probably about 1924, aged 3

Like many families, stories of a Native American heritage circulated. My grandmother, Goldie (Simpson) Uphouse Edwards, truly believed her father was half American Indian, but that tale turned out to be completely erroneous and false. (Oh my, I still wish I hadn't burst my grandmother's bubble when I learned of the unwelcome truth!)

Thankfully, most of my grandmother's stories were right on target, and it was so fun to share with her the newspaper articles, censuses and other documents that supported what she'd told me. After my grandmother's death, my mom developed an interest in my genealogical endeavors.  Together we'd work to uncover the truth about other narratives my grandmother had detailed during her life.  My mom died in 2006, and with her passing I not only lost her, but someone who shared my joy in sleuthing into our family tree!  So, dear reader, I turn to you to share my elation in last night's findings!

Yes, one more mystery is solved, thanks to!  And magnificently, the yarn my grandmother told about her early childhood visit to the Black Hills of South Dakota is corroborated by both family pictures and newspaper articles!
Simpson siblings

Siblings:  Ernest L. Simpson, Susan (Simpson) Barlow Locke, and Frank O. Simpson

The story goes that in 1924, when my grandmother was three, her parents sold their farm in Owatonna, Steele County, Minnesota, bought a Ford Model T, and motored their way to Hill City, South Dakota, where her uncle Frank lived with his family.  The picture above shows the only known photo of my grandmother's father, Ernest, with his brother Frank.  In the photo they are joined by their sister, Susan.


The Rapid City Daily Journal, 29 May 1924, Mrs. S.A. Locke visiting brother, p. 8

Much to my delight, it turns out that before the purported visit to South Dakota, my grandmother's Aunt Susan was visiting Uncle Frank herself!  The article from the Rapid City Daily Journal in May 1924 notes that "she may stay through the summer."


Then, on 20 September 1924, the Argus-Leader, another South Dakota paper, printed the following:

Hill City.  F. O. Simpson and family are enjoying a visit from Mr. Simpson's brother, Ernest Simpson, with his wife and daughter from Fairbault (sic), Minn., after a separation of 40 years.  Mr. Simpson did not recognize his brother when they met.

The two news clippings tie together the visits of siblings Ernest and Susan with brother Frank in 1924.


Far right:  my grandmother, Goldie Simpson, on what would have been days before her third birthday (based on news article above).  In the background is Aunt Susan (Simpson) Barlow Locke, and I believe it is probably Uncle Frank's wife, Emma (Keese) Simpson, kneeling down with young Goldie and the family dog.


Goldie, above, being held by a likely cousin, probably Willis or Leonard Simpson, one of Frank's two sons.

Historical newspapers and old photos - two of my most favorite things!  And together, they corroborate my grandmother's story of her visit to the Black Hills of South Dakota!