Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sharing Memories on Sunday - Paul and Dorothy Kinnick residences

Sharing Memories on Sunday - Paul and Dorothy Kinnick residences

Today is literally "sharing memories" - of my own, from Mom's diary entries, from her two brothers (my uncles, Buzz and Leo; and Colleen, wife of Buzz!) and even brother Jim!

This particular line to thought started with Mom's diary entries but was really sparked by the 1940 US Census images of my grandparents, Paul and Dorothy (Sorensen) Kinnick, and son, Edward (Buzzy), in Coon Rapids, Iowa.

I realized I didn't really know how Paul and Dorothy met (even though I lived around them for many years) and I was much more vague about where they had lived over their years together than I realized. So, to add to my own research, I sent letters to their sons, Leo and Buzzy. I had a long telephone conversation with Buzzy, in response, as expected. Today, I got a nice set of responses, from Leo, via an email from his daughter, Kathleen. In the meantime, I had also talked at length with my brother, Jim, on the telephone, and he added some insights, as well.

Paul Kinnick graduated from Coon Rapids High School in 1909. Buzzy says he has a paper document (in his safe deposit box, he will get me a copy) that is a contract by Lon Kinnick (Paul's father) to buy some land near Greenfield, Adair County, Iowa (about 50 miles south and a little east of Coon Rapids), around this time. This would account for Paul traveling between Coon Rapids and Greenfield in this time period. Leo said: "I think mom did house work in Stuart and Greenfield." Stuart straddles the Guthrie and Adair county line, about 20 miles north and east of Greenfield (the Adair County Seat).  Somewhere along the way, Paul met Dorothy Sorensen (she and her parents had arrived in Stuart from Denmark in about 1904; her mother died within a year of their arrival; as the oldest child, she was soon working). Another Leo quote: Dad and Uncle Robert were picking corn and if either found an ear of Indian corn they got to make a wish.  Dad found one and said "I wish I could kiss that Dorothy Sorenson.  He got his wish!" They were married on 12 Aug 1914, in Greenfield. 

{Here is useful map. I'll also do a Mappy Monday, tomorrow, with this map, and talk more about the area covered. For now, Coon Rapids is near the center, Greenfield in near the bottom, right center.}

They made their first home, just "South of town in a 2 story stucco house.  Eileen and I lived there too." [Quote from Leo, referring to Coon Rapids; confirms what Mom had told me! (more on this later)] Leo was born there in Mar 1917, Eileen in Dec 1918. From Mom: The little white house sits just east of Shirbroun's big barn. By August of 1928, when Buzzy was born, they were all living on Main Street (in the house where Irene Fick was living in 1997).

They moved from the Main Street house in June 1936 to the farm northwest of town (where Lon and Nettie had lived). By the time of the 1940 census, they were living back in town, in the house on old 141, now Elm Street (assume it was called 2nd Street in 1940 - east-west street, two blocks north of Main Street). According to Buzzy, they moved from there out to the "Harvey Place" on the Glidden Road.,, the Bass family lived there in the 1960s and later… Buzzy said he went to High School ('42-'46) from there. Also, from fall of '46 to Jan '48, he was in Japan in the Army - I remember his return home to that house. He reminded me that Paul Nielsen (Dorothy's nephew) came and helped farm while he was gone, and, my Dad, Pete, came over and helped out as well. I remember that, with his reminder!

When Buzz and Colleen were married in Jun 1948, they made that their home, and Paul and Dorothy moved into the Trailer House I mentioned earlier, north of our house on our farm. Colleen says she has seen a photo of Tom, about 3, with them in the house in Bayard - that would have been 1951. That all comes out about right. THANKS to all!

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. I got goosies when I read about his wish! So sweet!

  2. Good reminder to ask aunts and uncles for their memories. The short answers can have great insight! ;-)

    Thanks for reading and commenting! ;-)

  3. Really great story. I'd never really thought about how Paul and Dorothy got together. I LOVE the indian corn story. From my point of view, I just assumed they'd like in Bayard FOREVER!

    Thanks for tracking down this great story!

  4. There are still so many family stories to seek out, research and share... interesting how one question, one answer, can lead to the next. Real research... whatever the subject matter! ;-) Thanks for comments, as always! ;-)