Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A to Z April Challenge: A is for Argene


My theme for the A to Z April Challenge is “In-Laws and Out-Laws – Friends of the Family.”  I will be researching friends, colleagues, neighbors - those people who came and went touching my family’s lives in both small and large ways. 


is for Argene.  I never heard my grandaunt Violetta Davis Ryan talk about Argene Louise Lauck; however, they were friends in college.  Since Argene grew up in Shenadoah, Virginia, it is likely she and Violetta went to high school together as well.

Argene Louise Lauck 1923
Argene Louise Lauck Ranson 1923
5 Nov 1903 - Aug 1981

Under her Senior picture is this description:




Troubles she’s had?  I wonder if that could refer to her mother’s death.  In the 1930 census, her father was listed as a widower.  Perhaps her mother died while Argene was in school.

And that “Well, listen, Myrtle” – doesn’t that have the innocent ring of 1920s slang? 

One of the amusing school activities in the early days at the State Normal School in Harrisonburg (now James Madison University) was clubs based on popular names such as the Mary Club, the Virginia Club, the Elizabeth Club, the Frances Club, and the Louise Club.  Apparently Argene was not fond of her name and chose to go by Louise instead, and of course, she joined that club along with 20 other Louises.

Argene, er uh Louise, was also a member of the Choral Club and Athletic Association.  Along with my aunt Violetta, Louise joined the High School Club for students seeking certification to teach on the high school level.   
 
High School Club Harrisonburg Normal School 1923
Louise Lauck is circled; arrow denotes Violetta Davis
And teach she did.  After graduation from the Normal School in 1923, Argene Louise must have started teaching right away.  In both the 1930 and 1940 Shenandoah, Virginia census, she was teaching in public school while living with her widowed father John Samuel Lauck and her two sisters Myrtle and Audrey.  Audrey likewise was a teacher.  The oldest sister Myrtle must have been in charge of the household.  A younger brother Jennings died in 1938. 

Argene Louise apparently married after 1940.  That was rather late in life for women of her generation.  She is buried in a family plot in the Coverstone Cemetery in Shenandoah, Virginia, the town where she was born and educated and returned to serve future generations as a teacher. 


photos courtesy Jan Hensley
findagrave.com


I advise you to advance to the A to Z April Challenge where you are assured of amiable company among the most affable artists and authors.


29 comments:

  1. I think Argene is a fantastic name, and I also am very admiring of those shoes. A most endearing portrait all round!
    Happy A-Z and thanks for visiting me :-)
    Lisa at Wishbone Soup Cures Everything

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    1. It is an interesting name -- more so than Louise.
      I like those shoes too. At one time this picture looked really OLD to me, but now I think it looks almost 1960ish.
      Thanks for visiting!

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  2. Wendy you are taking the A to Z Challenge + 52 ancestors in 52 Weeks?! What do you do in your spare time? :)

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    1. Oh, I have given up Wordless Wednesday. LOL

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  3. What an unusual name! I've never heard it before. :)

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    1. Me neither. I don't think you'll see it in many Baby Name Books ;-)

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  4. Now this is a 'Brilliant' idea for expanding your Family members history, stories and photo albums. I love the way you are utilizing your 'Genealogy Research' skills in putting together Argene's story...all the way to the grave. So nice the way you have given her a special place of appreciation for being a Teacher, devoted daughter and friend. The school history of Clubs is so interestings....never heard of that. AMAZING start to the AtoZ Challenge, Wendy!
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. Yeah, no Wendy Club when I was in school.
      Thanks for the kind words. I do feel like I know Argene Louise somewhat after tracking her down.

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  5. Yay, the name game is back! It's nice getting to know Argene.

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  6. You have such wonderful photographs of that era to help create a fascinating story. . .

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  7. A fascinating read. I have always enjoyed looking into my own family history, but it is just as enjoyable reading about members of someone else's family, I suppose because they come from a different time and place that is so different to my own, yet there are still similarities.

    I will certainly be popping back again during the A-Z to read more!

    Natalie

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    1. I've spent so much time on my family that it's a nice break to do some short pieces about their friends. Even friends offer a glimpse into my family's lives too.

      Thanks for the visit and comment!

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  8. Great idea for the A to Z challenge. Very unique. I look forward to coming back for more photographs and history.

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  9. I love history, especially family history. What a great theme for the A-Z challenge. I also looking forward to coming back. ~A-z Blogger.

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  10. I love that club idea!! In junior high there were 7 Mary's in my home ec class! Of course, I was the only Mar"e"y.
    I am looking forward to your posts :)
    Happy A-Z April!

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    1. Yep, you could have been in the club!

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  11. As Colleen already alluded to in her comment, you are one busy lady!

    It's wonderful of you to write about Argene's life. Perhaps someday one of her descendants will come across your blog and be so thankful for the photos and information you've provided here. =)

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    1. That would indeed be cool for Argene's descendants to stumble into my blog.

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  12. Visiting from A/Z. I did enjoy reading about Argene (Louise). I think it is neat you have stories and pictures from the past in your family! Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

    betty

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    1. I'm glad for old photos! Thanks for the visit and comment.

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  13. She and Violetta must have had a lot in common. I don't remember hearing her name, but I think her brother's name is interesting since we always heard about the Jennings house. I wonder if there is a connection?

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    1. I don't know, but that name made my ears perk up too. However, I have seen many Jennings as first names in the census records.

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  14. Wendy this is so fascinating. I love finding the box of vintage ephemera in an antique store and can spend forever looking at strangers from generations ago. I was given a box of negatives that belonged to my step fathers mother when I was in college. I was taking a photography class and had access to a dark room. I loved what I discovered: a teenaged Sabina Larson goofing for the camera out in the Arizona desert in the '20s. Posing in men's clothes, flapper dresses, jeans & stetsons. Incredible.

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  15. I really like your idea for the challenge. I have pictures of some of my grandparent's neighbors and I imagine some of their descendants may have some of my family or letters or something I would love to see. Maybe this will open up new doors in you research.

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  16. These posts are really research intensive. You must have spent a lot of time on them. And I have to say, I ADORE your little ditties at the end using the letter of the day! Quite impressive how you make that work!

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