Monday, February 9, 2015

Crown Me With Many Crowns (Sorry!)

The Family of Franklin Crown and Julia Sell

Ok, here's one for the Montello side of the family. While in Montello recently I got to looking for some of the albums I had seen before, but hadn't seen for some time. Found them. One of them belonged to Gramma Minnie (Crown) Mateske. It was a scrapbook of sorts that followed the descendants of Franklin and Julia (Sell) Crown - or in other words, Gramma Minnie's siblings.

Julia was Great Grampa Franklin's second wife. The first one, Caroline Fenske, died. She is buried in the cemetery out at Mecan. They had five children of their own. Now, add seven more!

The Crowns were farmers in the Township of Mecan. Don't know where the farm is - yet. I will find that out soon and check it out. I may even be a regular at the Crown family reunion - if they have any more of those. These were quite the affairs in their day, but alas, things change.

Making heads or tails of who's who in this family always confused me (like: there was a Big Ella and a Little Ella - really!? Did they know that?) Working through Gramma Minnie's book helped me sort some of it out. This picture is a classic - and a family historian's dream. You just have to follow each one of the seven children, and sit back and learn a lot. Some highlights of the picture:

+ Gramma Minnie Mateske is the little girl on the end right. 
+ Aunt Clara Quick (Aaron and Clara from Waupun) is the little girl standing front left. 
+ Martha is the older girl back left. Her family lived and grew up in and around Rochester, MN.
+ The other older daughter in the back is "Big Ella", who married a Bill (Ross). Their son Arnold made his home in Princeton. He and his family were active in our church there. A friend of my brother David, Pastor Bob Pless served them for many years. And a former MLC tutor and son of one of my grade school teachers in Kenosha, Dan Heiderich, buried his wife not long. Now, sit down for this one. One of the great, great grandchildren of Bill and Big Ella was a student of mine at FVL and another married a child I baptized, the daughter of our good friends from Appleton, Matt and Denise Schlawin. Blows my mind. And God smiles!
+ The boy in the center is William (Bill) who married Little Ella (Schmitz). We bought the refrigerator we took to our first call in Portage from them.
+The other boy is Walter. He married Lena Schmitz who is the sister of Little Ella. Follow?
+ And another one for my brother David. The older son in the back row is Clarence Crown, the father of Harley, and the grandfather of your prep friend, Terry Crown. Small world, huh!

And there you have it. Ask me when you are in Montello, and you can see the Crown book.


  1. The connections are amazing. How did you know those things?

  2. Wait, so do we have relation by marriage to the Schlawin's then? I'd like to look at the book in Montello. :)

  3. What no comments on my clever title!?!?

  4. I did think the title was clever, but my initial thought was not because of the family name, but thinking of the hymn and that we sung it at Granny and Grandma's funerals!!

  5. Wonderful reading.I remember singing that hymn Katie.