Ancestor Sketch – Gilbert Frank Raidt – TR #12

Raidt Project
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Gilbert Frank Raidt was born on 1 April 1894 in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, the sixth child of Frank H and Catherine Frances (Justin) Raidt. He had five siblings: Baby Boy, Sarina Frances, Stella Catherine, Lucy Helen, and Baby Boy 2. He died on 8 July 1974 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When he was 26, he married Beatrice Marie Gleason, daughter of John M. and Addie (Raymond) Gleason, on 13 October 1920 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Rev. J. P. Valley performed the ceremony. 

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Jerome Gilbert Raidt (1924-1994)
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Gilbert Frank Raidt (1894-1974)
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Frank H. Raidt (1851-1931)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: Thomas Raidt (c. 1816-____)

Gilbert Frank Raidt (1894-1974)

Birth

Gilbert Frank Raidt was born on 1 April 1894 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Although he was the sixth child of Frank H and Catherine Frances (Justin) Raidt, his two brothers died before he was born, so he grew up as the youngest of four children.

Other children of Frank H and Catherine Frances (Justin) Raidt

Name Born Married Died
(Baby boy) Before 1884 N/A Before 1886
Sarina “Rena” Frances 1884   [TBD]
Stella Catherine 1887 John Timon Leavin 1962
Lucy Helen 1889 Charles Nagle [?] 1971
(Baby boy) c. 1891 N/A Before 1893

During the 1895 Minnesota Census, Gilbert was living with his parents at 1621 11th Ave. So., Minneapolis. By 1900 the family had moved to 1949 Oliver Ave., No., Minneapolis. By 1905, the family moved again, this time to 1623 Dupont Ave. North, Minneapolis, where he would live until he married in 1920. Gilbert probably attended St. Thomas College in St. Paul at this time.

Military Service

Photo of the ship "Empress of Asia."
The Empress of Asia

Gilbert enlisted in the US Army on 19 May 1917, Shortly after the United States entered World War I (on 6 April 1917).  He remained stateside for his first year in the service. But on 19 September 1918, he shipped out aboard the “Empress of Asia[i]” heading to Europe (Liverpool) to be part of the Headquarters Troop, 86th Infantry Division. He returned and became part of the 311 Fire Truck and Hose Co. Gilbert was discharged on 24 August 1919 as a Sargent.

Marriage

Gilbert Frank Raidt married Beatrice Marie Gleason on 13 October 1920. After their honeymoon, they lived at 1724 Third Ave. So. They had six children, all born in Minneapolis.

Adulthood

Gilbert and Beatrice purchased a home at 4215 Stevens, Minneapolis, and Gilbert worked as a Building Contractor throughout his married life.

In 1942, Gilbert registered for the draft. He was described as being 5’10”, 175 lbs, blue eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion.

Death/Burial, etc.

Marker – Gilbert F. Raidt

Gilbert died on 8 July 1974 in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota. He was buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Minneapolis.

Further Research

  • Research Sarina “Rena” Frances and determine if she ever married and when she died.
  • Confirm Lucy Helen’s husband was Charles Nagle.
  • Research Gilbert’s military service more. Did the 86th Infantry Division see action? Was the 311 Fire and Hose company stateside or overseas?

Events by Location

  • England, Liverpool                                                   1918 – US Army Service
  • Illinois, Winnebago, Camp Grant                       1917-1918 – US Army Service
  • Minnesota, Hennepin County, Minneapolis  Birth, 1900-1940, Death
  • Minnesota, Ramsey County, St. Paul                 c. 1917 – College
  • New Jersey, Hoboken                                                1918 – US Army Service

Endnotes:

[i] The Empress of Asia was built in Govan, Scotland, and launched in 1912. According to Wikipedia, “On 9 September 1918, Empress of Asia set sail from Hoboken, NJ bound for Liverpool carrying troops from the 86th Infantry Division’s 331st Machine Gun Battalion, 311th Engineer Regiment and 311th Engineer Train. She arrived safely on 21 September 1918.

Sources

  • 1900 Census, Various, Frank H Raidt – Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, Sheet 24A. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/93073807:7602.
  • 1910 Census (NARA), Family Search, F H Raidt – Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M2G7-Z2N.
  • 1920 Census (NARA), Family Search, Frank Raidt – Hennepin, Minnesota. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWYX-CDZ.
  • 1930 Census (NARA), Family Search, Gilbert F Raidt, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X3ZB-WJN.
  • 1930; Census Place: Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota.
  • 1940 Census (NARA), Family Search, Gilbert Raidt – Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota/ https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KSKD-7MG.
  • Correspondence with Jerome G. Raidt – 1970s – Questionaire Answers. In the mid-1970s, I asked Mary Elizabeth Raidt’s father, Jerome G. Raidt, a series of genealogical questions. His response to those questions.
  • Find a Grave, Internet, Beatrice Marie Gleason Raidt – Memorial #157188096. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 July 2018), memorial page for Beatrice Marie Gleason Raidt (4 November 1896–7 March 1962),
  • Find a Grave, Internet, Gilbert Frank Raidt – Memorial 157187764.
  • Little Falls Herald (Little Falls, MN), Newspapers.com, 1920-10-22 – Page 4 – Gilbert Raidt & Beatrice Gleason.
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Internet, Beatrice Gleason – 1920-10-14 – Page 13 – Cathedral Candles and Autumn Leaves Setting for Wedding. https://www.newspapers.com/image/181524749/.
  • Minnesota Death Index, 1908-2002 (Minneapolis, Minnesota Department of Health), Family Search, Gilbert F. Raidt (No Image). https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V4CX-V8J.
  • Minnesota Official Marriage System (https://moms.mn.gov/, ), MOMS.MN.GOV, Gilbert F Raidt & Beatrice Gleason.
  • Minnesota State Census, 1895, Family Search, Frank Raidt – Hennepin County Minneapolis city, Ward 11 – Page 86, Line 2698.
  • Minnesota State Census, 1905, Family Search, Frank H Raidt – Minneapolis Ward 3, Hennepin County, Minnesota. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SPSY-BX7.
  • Minnesota, World War I Records, 1918-1941, Family Search, Gilbert Frank Raidt. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QRVL-3NPZ.
  • Multiple, U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1926 – Raidt. https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/2469/images/14899304.
  • Multiple, U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1938 – Gilbert F Raidt. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/1018568082:2469.
  • S., Army Transport Service Arriving and Departing Passenger Lists, 1910-1939, Ancestry.Com, Gilbert F Raidt – Departure 19 September 1918.
  • S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs), Ancestry.Com, Gilbert F. Raidt. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/7635739:2441.
  • S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007.
  • S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, Ancestry.Com, Gilbert Frank Raidt – 25 April 1942.
  • United States Social Security Death Index, Family Search, (No Image) – Gilbert Raidt (1894-1974).

 

When I first left home

My History, My Memories
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I was reading Randy Seaver’s Blog “Genea-Musings,” (http://www.geneamusings.com) where, in his blog, he asked, “When [did] You First Left Home.” He had five questions,

    1. When did you first leave your parents’ home? 
    2. Why did you leave? 
    3. Where did you move to? 
    4. What was it like? 
    5. What did you learn?

That is complicated to answer. An abusive stepfather complicated my life and my mother’s life. My mom left him several times. One of those times, we left him in Minneapolis and went west to Denver, Colorado. He convinced her that he had “changed,” and we returned to him in Minneapolis.

A few months later, I had had enough and ran away, this time by myself. I hopped on a bus by myself and headed for Denver. I had learned there was a circus operating there and intended to join it. (Yes, I really did “run away to join the circus.” On the bus, I fortuitously encountered a man that was returning to the circus. He had been a clown with the circus. He dissuaded me from joining that life. So, once I got to Denver, I didn’t join the circus. Instead, I got a room at a rooming house and a job at a nearby store. It was summer, but I registered for school in the fall and intended to live independently, go to school, and work enough to pay for food and a place to live. I was 14, living just off East Colfax, and working at a Safeway (I lied about my age) just a few blocks away from my rooming house. I was in Denver for about four weeks.

Then, one evening, I was walking home quite late and the police stopped me. I didn’t have any ID and they suspected I was underage, so they brought me in for a “curfew violation.” I didn’t want to give them my address, but after a few hours, I finally gave them 2419 Bryant. A few minutes later, a furious policeman came back to inform me they sent a car there, but there was no 2419 on Bryant. I thought I had been so cute, but they didn’t think it was funny. It was then I told them it was 2419 Bryant, Minneapolis (not Denver).

Apparently, they contacted the Minneapolis Police Department, because the next day, the police informed me that my “parents” were informed where I was, and they were going to have me fly back to Minneapolis. I don’t recall if it was the third or fourth day being in custody in Denver, but I was eventually taken to the Denver airport and put on a non-stop flight to Minneapolis. The social worker person told the flight crew I wasn’t to be allowed to slip out of the plane. The plane was met in Minneapolis by my mom and my stepfather.

I learned to not be cute, clever, or difficult with the police. I also learned making a life for yourself is difficult.

Things with my stepfather improved for a while. First, my stepfather didn’t get on me for a couple of months, then my parents bought a new house, and we moved to a temporary home for a few months while the new house was being built. While in that temporary house, one of my step-sisters lived with us. My stepfather was always “good” when she was around. Anyway, she returned to her mother’s about when we moved to the new house in the suburbs. It was several months before I ran away again, but that is another story.

Halloween 2018

Caith “My Halloween Kitty”

Halloween or Samhain is said to be the day where the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. As such, it is an important time to remember those who have passed. Although I try to remember all my ancestors who have passed, this Samhain I want to remember three people who were not ancestors but had a profound effect on my life. Their passing touched me deeply.

First, is my first close friend to die. Steve Plowman was a close friend while I lived in North Minneapolis. He lived about a block away – down the hill to the corner then left a half a block to his house on 24th that adjoined the alleyway between Aldrich and Bryant avenues. On Tuesday, November 24th, 1964, Steve and a mutual friend, Gary Dorf, were crossing Lyndale Avenue in North Minneapolis while a bus was stopped. Gary stopped walking while in front of the bus,  but Steve ran out trying to beat a car that was coming. Steve was hit by the car and died before getting to the hospital. He was the first close friend I had to die, and one of only a few I’ve known that have died due to a car accident. Steve was only 15 when he died. To this day, I am ultra-careful when walking past a bus into traffic and cringe when I see someone step past a bus without using super-great caution.

Sadly, I was in Minnesota a few weeks ago and at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, where Steve is buried, and didn’t realize he was there. So, visiting his grave will be on my list of things to do during my next visit to Minnesota.

Marker – Alvina B Kirks – photo by Don Taylor

Next, is my best friend’s mother, Alvina Kirks. She was a really nice woman. Hers was the first, and only, funeral where I was a pallbearer. It was difficult for me to say anything that would help my friend or the rest of his family. I recall making a conscious decision to do my absolute best to fulfill the honor my friend and his father bestowed upon me asking that I be a pallbearer, at only 16-years of age. Alvina was only 47 when she passed. From her, I learned that even when cancer is taking your life, you can be strong and dignified during the process. She was. I was able to visit her burial site at Fort Snelling National Cemetery when I was last in Minnesota. She is buried next to her husband, Charles N. Kirks.

Gravesite: Mary E. (Raidt) Taylor – Photo by Don Taylor

Finally, is my first wife, Mary. She was an exceptionally good woman and mother to my first child. She was very tolerant and in so many ways amazing. I was married to her for over ten years and don’t rue a day of it. We were so young when we were married and tried very hard to make it work. But the separations of Navy life took their toll on our relationship. She passed away last spring (June). I was able to visit where her cremains are buried at Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Minneapolis. I was saddened that there wasn’t a stone monument there. Cemetery records indicated where she was buried. She is resting with her grandparents, John & Marie (Hawley) Langford. Although she doesn’t have a stone marker at the cemetery, I did create a virtual monument for her on Find-a-Grave. May her life in heaven be more joyous than she ever imagined.

Schools I’ve Attended – Jordan Jr. High

My Life
Those Places Thursday

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.We rented the house on Fremont Avenue for only a few months in 1962. During the summer of 1962, Budgar[i] bought a duplex at 2419 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN and we moved there. We lived downstairs and had renters living upstairs. Grandma Kees lived with us for a short time. Budgar and her argued all the time. He called her a liar and she knew he was an abuser. In any event, Budgar threw Grandma Kees out before Christmas, 1962.  It is interesting that I have no photos whatsoever of anyone at that house. Not me, not my mother, not Budgar, not even my sister Sharon, who was born in the fall of 1962.

Budgar wouldn’t give me an allowance. He said I needed to earn my way. So, while living on Bryant, I had a paper route most of the time. I always delivered the morning paper. I’d get up about 3:30, get my papers about 4 am, and have my route delivered by 5:30. I’d be home by 6 for breakfast and to get ready for school.

Photo of 2419 Bryant Ave N, Minneapolis, MN in May, 2013.
2419 Bryant Avenue – Today (May 2013)

Across the street from where we lived on Bryant was the Franklin Junior High attendance area. Likewise, two blocks south was also Franklin Junior High attendance area, so we lived just about as far away from Jordan Junior High as was possible and still be in the Jordan attendance area. During the winter, some of my friends and I would hop on the back bumper of the city bus. It was really dangerous because the bumpers on the bus only stuck out about a half an inch and the sign on the back of the bus wasn’t sturdy enough to rely upon.  Better than the city bus, we learned the route a postman took and could hop the back of his mail truck for several blocks. We’d also just hop the back fenders of moving cars occasionally.  I think all of us could hop off the back of a car moving at 30 miles per hour without falling. On really snowy days we would just grab a passing vehicle and slide on our shoes for blocks on the snow-packed streets. Budgar hollered at me a couple of times about my needing to walk and not shuffle my feet as I was going through shoes way to fast. Little did he know…. I remember putting linoleum inside my shoes to make it through the summer and not need new shoes until winter.

I attended all three years of Junior High at Jordan starting with 7th grade in 1962 and completing 9th grade in 1965. It was the longest I ever attended a school. There were a couple of excursions during that time, but more about them later. I remember school lunches at Jordan (after my grandmother moved out) or any other school I ever attended.

Photo of Mr. Goodrich in 1963
Mr. Goodrich in 1963 Source: Jordanian 1963

By the time I got to the 9th grade, I was pretty much incorrigible and continually battled with Budgar and with my teachers. I had a Home Room teacher named Mr. Goodrich. He and I didn’t get along at all. I think I received the paddle from him every day for two weeks straight. I am sure I was the bane of his existence in 1965. Within the 20-minute homeroom period, I pretty much always smarted off. Sometimes, I’d be sent down to the Vice-principal’s (Mr. Carlson’s) office, but mostly, Mr. Goodrich and I would step out into the hallway, and he’d give me from one to three good swats with a paddle, depending upon what I had done. For me, it was something of a game and a mark of status in the school.

Music Room, Jordan Jr. High (c. 1937)

During junior high, I learned that I was good at almost everything scholastic and I didn’t need to study. I did great in science and math, very good in history, civics, and social studies, and about average in English. I was a klutz in sports. Even though I once did 1000 sit-ups without stopping, I couldn’t climb a rope up 20 feet in gym class. (I had core strength but no upper body strength). I did well in the shop classes they had, particularly well in print shop but I still did okay in woodworking and metal shop as well. I got a few stitches in my head because in woodshop someone came around the corner with the base for a soapbox derby car and smacked me in the head by accident. I was also in the school orchestra and learned how to play the cello using a school-owned instrument. I had enough skill that my orchestra teacher suggested I try out for the Minneapolis Junior Symphony Orchestra. I asked Budgar to buy a cello for me. Of course, he wouldn’t. I had to have my own instrument to be considered for the Junior Symphony and couldn’t afford one on my newspaper delivery income, so I never had a chance to try out. I wonder how different my life would have been had he purchased that cello… I still love the sound of the cello; it is my favorite instrument.

Jordan Junior High School, Minneapolis, MN (1924 photo)

I remember gaining some “cred” when a school bully was picking on skinny little me. (I was probably over 6 foot and under 135 pounds in 9th grade.) We were to meet in the alley behind Frank’s Grocery store, a half a block from the school.  He and I fought; there were probably 50 kids there to see the fight. My first punch was a lucky punch that broke his nose; after that, I kept hitting on it whenever I could. Blood everywhere. Don hit me a few times but nothing damaging. After a few minutes of fighting, the police showed up, and everybody ran. Neither Don nor any of the other school kids messed with me after that. I didn’t look for fights, and they didn’t look for me either.

Jordan Junior High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Photo of Jordan Jr. High during demolition, 1985
Jordan Jr. High during demolition, 1985.

Jordan Junior High was at 29th and Irving Avenues in North Minneapolis. It was named after Charles Morison Jordan, a Superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools. The school opened in 1922. It was razed in 1985. Today the school location is Jordan Park. Next to it is the Hmong International Academy.


Endnotes

[i] Budgar is a combination of “Bud” my step-father’s nickname and “Edgar” his actual first name. In the 1960s, I always called him “Bud,” and I learned to call him “Budgar” later in life.

Elizabeth Hall Elementary – 6th Grade

Schools I’ve Attended

My Life
Those Places Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My mother married Budgar (Edgar J. Matson) on 8 December 1961 in Webster, South Dakota. We celebrated the following Christmas at the Spring Lake Park house. I remember Budgar’s two daughters from his previous marriage being there. They received a bunch of Barbie stuff. It might be when things started to become difficult between Budgar and myself.  He made me play a board game, “Barbie Queen of the Prom,” with his two daughters, Janna and Heidi.  I was not amused.

Shortly after Christmas, we moved from the small house on Monroe Street in Spring Lake Park to a much larger home in North Minneapolis.  We rented the upstairs of a fairly large duplex at 1502 Fremont Avenue North. Fremont was a very busy street.  It was a multi-lane one-way street that commuters used to go into the city in the morning. The owners of the house lived downstairs and we rented the upstairs.

Photo of tront of 1502 Fremont Ave N, Minneapolis
1502 Fremont – Front

I have no photos of the house from the time we lived there; however, in 2013 I visited the neighborhood and took a couple photos of the house. The house, built in 1900, has fared well over the years and it looks better now than it did in 1962. I’m pretty sure we moved in there the first few days of January 1962.

It was a very rough part of town. I had lived in the country and in the suburbs before that and Fremont Ave. was my first experience living in the inner city. The three and a half block walk to school was dangerous. There were kids that would beat you up and take your lunch money. Some would beat you up just because they could. I quickly learned to take a route to school that avoided the Franklin Junior High kids, who were the older kids most likely to beat you up. It wasn’t too bad in the dead of winter, but as the year warmed up the likelihood of being accosted on your way to school increased exponentially. Not much could be done; parents in those days didn’t drive their kids to school. Besides which, Budgar thought it built character to be beaten up occasionally.

Elizabeth L. Hall Elementary

Photo of Elizabeth L. Hall Elementary c. 1960
Elizabeth L. Hall Elementary (from the back) circa 1960. (This was the view I saw when walking to school.) Photo Courtesy: Minneapolis Public Schools.

Elizabeth L. Hall Elementary was built in 1960 as a K-6 school. There were ten classrooms, a kindergarten area, lunchroom, and gymnasium. It was a four block walk to school and I had to cross Emerson, a fast running one-way heading North that carried much of the commuting traffic. If I remember correctly, my teacher’s name was Mr. Malmburg. He was the first male teacher I had in school. He did an excellent job of keeping control of the class. I think the school worked hard at developing the social skills of the students rather than focusing on academic skills. About a week before the end of the school year, Mr. Malmburg left the school for a job in Germany. A substitute came in for the final week and the class went utterly out of control, especially the last couple days. On the last day of school, and for us sixth-graders the last day of elementary school, many of us boys were so disruptive that we spent our last couple hours in the assistant principal’s office. My mother had to leave work and come to school to take custody of me and my report card. The school detained me because I jammed a screwdriver into an electrical outlet blowing a breaker thus plunging several classrooms into darkness. I have no doubt we would have been suspended if it wasn’t our last day.  That poor substitute teacher.  I feel sorry for her today. She probably never wanted to come back to Elizabeth Hall school ever again. I didn’t either.

An addition of another six classrooms was added the following year, in 1963. Today, Elizabeth Hall is a “magnet school” supporting K-5. According to Trulia and Realtor, it is graded as a 1 on the scale of 1 to 10. Its academics don’t seem to have improved much.

That summer, we moved again, about a mile away to Bryant Ave. so, I begin Junior High School at Jordan JHS, which is another story.

Sources

Internet: Minneapolis Public Schools History // Schools and Facilities // Elementary Schools // Elementary Schools D – H // Hall // Planning for the Future

Image Source: Internet: Minneapolis Public Schools History // Schools and Facilities // Elementary Schools // Elementary Schools D – H // Hall // Slideshow