Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day & visit to the Warbirds

John & B-17G
Just a couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see and explore a couple warbirds from the Collings Foundation that were making a stop in San Luis Obispo. I had been tracking the tours a few months back but not recently and almost missed this one. We just happened to be out at the SLO Airport seeing our daughter off when all of a sudden the B-17G Flying Fortress lands and is soon followed by the B-24J Liberator. A P-51 Mustang fighter was delayed until the following day so I went back to check it out too and to get a second look at the big birds.

The B-17G was of special interest. You may have read the previous blog entries regarding my mom's brother, my Uncle Jule (Juke), who survived the war only to be killed on July 20th, 1946 in a post war accident when two B-17G's clipped wings while searching for three missing P-47 Thunderbolts off Coiba Island, Republic of Panama. I will include links to the accident report and about Uncle Jule at the bottom of this post.  

B-17G landing
While touring the B-17G and B-24J, and working my way fore and aft (crawling and squeezing) through the fuselage of each, one certainly gains a greater appreciation for the 10-man crews flying in far off regions and often under a heavy barrage of flak. Many never made it back home.

So enjoy a few pics of of these wonderful old Warbirds on this Memorial Day weekend, and please reflect on all the men and women who have been lost in service to our country.

Starting with a few pics and will probably add more as I go. Click on any of the pics for the enlarged slide show.

B-24 landing

P-51 landing.

More B-17G Flying Fortress
1st class with back cushion
Turret was not open for tours. I wouldn't fit.
Lying on my back looking up through the
open bomb bay doors. Don't drop the bomb!

Flying over my house!
Tail gun
ARC-5 series radios.
BC-348 in the radio room.
Of course I had to make a stop in the radio room. We see the venerable BC-348 on the left and ARC-5 Command radio's on the right. Similar were used in the B-24. I have a couple setting around here and there. As we know, Uncle Cal was the radio guy, U.S. Army Signal Corp during the war and lifetime Ham Radio Operator. Click on link below.

Monday, May 25, 2009: "CQ,CQ,CQ, this is W6WFV....William 6, William, Frank, Victor...CQ, CQ, CQ" ...Memorial Day 2009...and "dits" and "dahs"  

You can see a little more radio stuff if you scroll about half way down over in the right hand column of this blog.
More B-24 Liberator
Crew names

Nose Guns
Top Guns

More P-51 Mustang
Dual cockpit/dual seater so you can take a ride. I watched a couple guys check off a bucket list item at $2,200 for 30 minutes or $3,200 for a full hour.

Next in
Betty Jane

Taxi anyone?

I couldn't leave without a B-17G T-shirt.

Related Blog Post & Links

Monday, September 3, 2012
Dog Tags, Ribbons & Pins

Sunday, February 5, 2012
Jule "Juke" Steunenberg killed in air crash 7/20/1946

Monday, November 10, 2008
Veteran's Day November 11, 2008 - Staff Sargent Jule Steunenberg 

Army Air Forces Report of Major Accident (may be prompted to grant permission for download)

397th Bombardment Squadron

If you are family, friend, veteran, historian, etc. and have any more info on the above squadron, the accident, the B-17G pilot Paul J. Hydo or my Uncle Jule Steunenberg―I would love to hear from you.

 397th Bombardment Squadron emblem

B-17 patrolling the Panama Canal zone WWII. 
Click on the pic and go to my Fold3 account for better viewing.


B-17 ‘Texas Raiders’ To Fly in the Heart of Texas…

B-17G “Lacey Lady” Safely in The Hangar

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mom at the Frazier Farmstead Museum

While reflecting today about my mother, Brenda Steunenberg Richards, I was reminded that one of her favorite childhood experiences was visiting family at the Frazier Farmstead in Milton, OR. The photo of the Frazier home below comes from the Frazier Farmstead Museum website. I had been exploring the website recently as it was being updated.
Frazier Farmstead in Milton (now Milton-Freewater), OR. Former home of our Frazier kinfolk. Photo above comes from the updated Frazier Farmstead Museum website.
Mom proudly displaying her copy of Whither Thou Goest
A favorite book of mom's (and mine too) is Whither Thou Goest by Patrick Simpson. It is an account of the Beardsley family journey by covered wagon in 1878, and Patrick's retracing of that trip in 1996, from Wells Bridge, NY to the Wallowa Valley and Milton, OR. Mary Jane and Theo Beardsley made this long cross country trek with their two young daughters, Eva and Frankie. 

Frankie & Eva.
Photo Frazier Farmstead Museum.
To help make the family connections, Eva Beardsley would marry Ralph Maxon Wood and their daughter would be Francis Beardsley Wood Steunenberg—my grandmother.  Hence, Ralph and Eva were my great-grandparents, Theo and Mary Jane would be my great-great-grandparents and Patrick's great grand-aunt and uncle. Hopefully I got that right and it makes Patrick and I cousins of one kind or another.

The photo below to the right is of my mother in circa 1925 at the Farmstead. The cross in front of her came West with the Beardsley family in their covered wagon. If you compare the photo to the modern day view of the house, you can see mom would have been kneeling on the grass just behind the Frazier Farmstead Museum sign with the window seat over her right shoulder.  The cross now resides inside that same window seat. To find out more, read The Cross Story written by Museum Director Diane Biggs about our visit to the museum in 2005 (link below).

Brenda Steunenberg circa 1925.  JTR Collection.
I have always been pleased that my mother was able to enjoy Whiter Thou Goest and rekindle her connections to those memories of childhood before she passed away. I treasure our time spent reminiscing about the history of the Farmstead and all the good times she enjoyed during family visits.

Happy Mother's Day mom. 

The Cross Story

Frazier Farmstead Museum website

Facebook: Frazier Farmstead Museum - Milton-Freewater Area Historical Society

More fun at the Farmstead circa 1925.
Related Blog Posts
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Happy Mother's Day. We love you Mom.

Sunday, July 29, 2012
Where is Stonewall's Arm?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Frazier Farmstead Museum

Saturday, August 16, 2008
Private Justus Simpson, Company G of 152nd NY Volunteers

Saturday, August 16, 2008
Private Lewis Simpson, Company K of the Eighty-ninth New York Volunteers

Photo taken in 2005 during our visit to the Frazier Farmstead.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Nile Kinnick isn't the only one from Iowa

From Martyr of Idaho. No football but I
like the footwear, hat & casual look.
This post will probably continue to be refined and added to over the next week or so but hitting the publish button now to get it out there in cyberspace.

Nile Kinnick sure has been getting a lot of hits since last weeks blog post. No doubt a lot of Iowan's, particularity Hawkeye fans, and I thank you all for visiting.

If you are family, you already know the Steunenberg's/Keppel's settled in Iowa and many, including Frank and most of his brothers and sisters, were born there. We have Iowa in our blood, historical roots in the state and kinfolk still living there today.  Hence, there is definitely an Idaho/Iowa connection in our family.

Nile Kinnick has family history there too. An interesting parallel is that he was the son of Nile Clark Kinnick, Sr., and Francis Clarke. His maternal grandfather, George W. Clarke, graduated from the University of Iowa in 1878 and served two two-year terms as the Governor of Iowa from 1912 to 1916.

JTR Collection
As for my great grandfather Frank, he was born in Keokuk, raised in Knoxville, and was the fourth of ten children of Bernardus and Cornelia (Keppel) Steunenberg. We know Frank attended a couple years (sophomore in 1883) at that other Iowa school, Iowa Agricultural College (later State College and then Iowa State University) at Ames, and then went on to become a printer's apprentice and publisher. Around i881 he was hired by none other than the Des Moines Register. You will notice that the photograph on the left was taken at a studio in Des Moines (image below). Nope, it doesn't demand the price of a Kinnick but priceless nonetheless.

Frank later published a newspaper in Knoxville until 1886, when he joined other members of the clan who had moved west and settled in Caldwell, in what was still Idaho Territory. Along with his younger brother AK (Albert K. Steunenberg 1863–1907) he took over the Caldwell Tribune for six years. He then seriously entered politics and when Idaho became a state in 1890, Frank was elected to the first state legislature that fall at the age of 29. As they say, the rest is history and you can read about it on this blog and endless other sources.

JTR Collection. Studio of W.C. Edinger*
Related blog posts where you will see these photos and more about Iowa/Idaho connections.

Monday, May 12, 2008
A Teenage Future Governor

Sunday, November 22, 2009
1880 Census - Knoxville, Iowa-Steunenberg Family

Monday, February 14, 2011
COI Archives Spotlight #2 - 1/12/1890 original letter - Frank Steunenberg to family in Iowa 

Monday, February 14, 2011
Transcribed version of letter from Frank Steunenberg to his family.

Friday, January 1, 2010
Albert Keppel "AK" Steunenberg, born 9/11/1863 and died 3/16/1907

Sunday, November 22, 2009
1880 Census - Knoxville, Iowa-Steunenberg Family 

Monday, January 26, 2009
Newly Found Photo of a Young Frank Steunenberg circa 1880 taken in Des Moines

*"The photographer is W. C. Edinger of Des Moines, Iowa. Edinger was an accomplished photographer. His work appeared in the Photo Beacon Magazine (1897) and he is mentioned in Photo-Miniature Magazine (1901). Edinger was also the Secretary of the Photographers Association of Iowa."  From The Cabinet Card Gallery


A couple of pages copied from the original old family bible belonging to Bernardus and Cornelia Keppel Steunenberg. I don't see my usual notes but believe these came to me courtesy of Cousin Bill Crookam.  Straighten me out if I got that wrong.


As we can see, Bernardus and Cornelia made a pretty good contribution to the population of Iowa. 

Bernardus (JTR Collection)
Cornelia (JTR Collection)

Happen to run across this web page and can't resist a good railway, trolley, interurban, or in this case...Dinkey.  I would bet Frank rode it a few times around Ames and the college. Click on the link below the photo.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Des Moines Register - Old Time Photo: Nile Kinnick

From The Des Moines Register. Nile Kinnick, Iowa Hawkeye.
Click here: The Des Moines Register 4/19/2015

See blog post links below for the Nile Kinnick connection. If you have more information about the Maxwell Club awards to local Philadelphia area high school, college and sandlot players in the late 1930's/early 1940's I would love to hear from you. My uncle Bob Richards played football at Roman Catholic High School, graduated in 1939, went on to sandlot football with the Zephyr A.C. (probably Athletic Club but looking for more information) circa 1940/41 and won a local Philadelphia area Maxwell Award. Kinnick won the national Maxwell Trophy in 1939. Still in search for a possible crossing of paths of Nile and Bob Richards, resulting in the signed photo postcard from Nile to my dad John Richards. See below.

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Bob & John Richards (AKA Ricciotti), Football & Nile Kinnick

Sunday, October 19, 2014
Addendum to Sunday, 9/28/2014 post about Bob Richards (AKA Ricciotti), Roman Catholic High School, Univ. of Iowa Hawkeye Football & Nile Kinnick
JTR Collection

JTR Collection

More Nile Kinnick photos from The Des Moines Register 
(Photos # 30 & 44 taken in Philadelphia, PA 1/9/1940)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Capitol Cellars dishes up pork belly and Idaho politics By James Patrick Kelly

Capitol Cellars 110 S. 5th, Boise Ave, Boise, ID 208-344-WINE
4/10/2015 Idaho Statesman: Capitol Cellars dishes up pork belly and Idaho politics

"Make sure to try the Steunenberg salmon ($15/lunch), an inspired entrĂ©e that gives props to Idaho’s only governor to ever be assassinated. A fillet of flame-kissed Vancouver Island salmon (crowned with fried leeks) gets leaned on a bed of silky mushroom risotto and wilted kale, while a pool of syrupy malbec gastrique surrounds it all." (It's $20 for dinner).

Capitol Cellars

Hmmm...maybe the Borah Burger later. Of course the Steunenberger came first but isn't around anymore.

No Darrow offerings? How about a good Darrow Pot Roast? 

Now I wonder if I get a family discount on the Steunenberg salmon?

Read more here:

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Ships lamp from Admiral Dewey to Governor Steunenberg circa 1899

Here's what I am describing as an old ships candlestick lamp. It looks like a candle goes in the top and is spring loaded. As the candle burns down, the length of candle in the shaft moves upward. My guess is the metal is brass and has been nickel plated.

This candlestick was given to Governor Frank Steunenberg in circa 1899 by Admiral George Dewey after the United States victory over Spain in the Spanish-American War. The Governor had sent Idaho troops to serve in the war (click to see related blog post with various other links) and the lamp was a small token of appreciation for their service. The candlestick has been handed down through the family and was given to me by my mother, Brenda Steunenberg Richards, quite a few years ago. Having had so few items come down through our family line, this is a very prized possession and connection to that time in history.

For several years, I had the lamp hanging on our living room wall. However, the glass globe would of course be irreplaceable and California earthquakes were making me a little nervous about it. Hence, back into a box with lots of packing material is where the lamp has been hiding out for quite a while.

On the bottom, embossed in the metal, are the symbols for a ships anchor and a compass. Being it came from Admiral Dewey, I would assume a Naval connection. I would like to think that perhaps Dewey "requisitioned" it off his flagship in Manila Bay, the Olympia, after returning home to San Francisco in 1899. Now that I finally got some photos, I will send a few off to the Seaport Museum where Olympia remains at permanent anchorage. I have only seen one other of these same lamps about 5-6 years ago online. It was missing the glass and had no specific identifying information.

In the photo to the left you can see the spring inside the shaft where a candle would go.

Top fitted over the glass
To the right, we see the assembled lamp viewed from the top. 

If you have other clues or knowledge about this type of lamp, I would be mighty pleased to hear from you.

Tad bit over 12"

 Now, if you been paying attention to this blog, you should be able to tell me what the impact of having the Idaho troops serving in the Spanish American war would have on another war that was breaking out in the Coeur d'Alene region.

Cruiser OLYMPIA Living History Crew

Cruiser Olympia at  Independence Seaport Museum