Sunday, April 27, 2008


Left to Right: Robert W. Fecht, Martin Fecht, Mildred Fecht, Ronald Fecht, Todd Fecht and in front Derek Fecht.

Robert Fecht is the great grandson of Margaret (Bost) and Jacob Fecht. Mildred Fecht was the grand daughter of Mary Ann (Secrist) and Josiah Crites. She is Robert Fecht's mother. The young men in the photo are his sons. Bob's son Chris Louis Fecht is deceased.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


To see a World War II military service flag made by Leona Belle (Weaver) Crites, go to the blog of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

Monday, April 21, 2008

Etta Mae (Crites) and Jess Larimer

Etta Mae Crites (B-2217113) (c-50) was the third child and eldest daughter of Leona Belle (Weaver) and John Franklin Crites. She was born on the 16th of April, 1900, in North Webster, Kosciusko County, Indiana. Mae Crites Larimer died in 1970.

JESSE ______________ LARIMER (B-2217113-S ) (c-51)
born: 7 October, 1886 in North Judson, Green County, Indiana
mother: Lorina (ROBERTS) --- father: Joe LARIMER
married: 30 August, 1919 to Etta Mae CRITES (B-2217113) (c-50)
in Minot, Ward County, North Dakota
died: _________ in ____________, _________ Co., California
buried: ________ in ___________ Cemetery, in ________, __________

Etta Mae Crites Larimer (called Mae) attended Minot School at Minot, Ward County, North Dakota and Live Oak School at Live Oak, California. She went as far as the 8th. grade.
As a child she was happy and loved to sing. However, at the age of 15 she was badly injured when a horse lunged throwing her at the base of a hayrack. Mae was knocked unconscious, then awoke only to lapse into unconscious again. She had rib injuries but many in the family believed that she suffered a skull fracture or sever concussion as well. According to general family belief was never the same after the accident.

Mae Crites married Jess Larimer, a railroad man, in the parsonage of the Minot Methodist Christian church.

Mae is buried next to her daughter Bonnie McDougal at Loma Vista Cemetery in Fullerton, California. The graves are in an old part of the cemetery near a tiled roof building.


Janne Fecht, wife of Gerald Fecht distributes ice cold orange slices to AIDS Life Cycle riders who are preparing for their San Francisco to Los Angeles ride in June.
Jerry Fecht gives directions to AIDS Life Cycle riders during their Day On The Ride 80 mile practice ride. April 2008
Gerald Fecht is the great grandson of Mary Ann (Secrist) and Josiah Crites. Jerry will be a "roadie" on the big bicycle ride in June. Janne works as a volunteer for just about everything to support the ride (when it's not tax season).

Monday, April 14, 2008


Henrietta Weaver Hire in old age.
Aside from photographs and information about John Franklin Crites, his siblings and ancestors, photos and stories about his wife's family (Leona Belle Weaver Crites) will also be posted.
This is one of the Weaver Family postings.

Henrietta Weaver (c-301) was the daughter of Louisa (Strombeck) (c-821) and John S. Weaver (IV) (c-178). One family photograph indicates that Henrietta may have been called Etta as a nickname. Henrietta’s mother Louisa died while she was a young woman. Henrietta’s father then remarried to Elizabeth Ann Paugh, who much loved her step-daughter.
Henrietta was the half-sister of Leona Weaver Crites.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


John Franklin Crites - collection of Mildred Fecht
John Franklin Crites (B-221711) (c-47 -s-317) was the eldest son of Josiah (c-46) and Mary Ann (Secrist) Crites (c-79). He was born the 20th of February, 1870 in Noble County, Indiana (probably near what is now called Indian Village). The tiny farm hamlet is located very near the border of Kosciusko County and the town of North Webster, the largest commercial town in the area. Indian Village acquired its name because it was the site of one of the final camps of the displaced Miami people.
John Franklin’s father experienced a lifetime of suffering and debilitation caused by diseases to which he was exposed during the American Civil War. A result of the father’s limited ability to work was that there was little money his son John Franklin’s needs, even when measured against the modest lifestyles of the time. The boy called “Frank” was however able to secure a good education for that time.
For many years “Frank” Crites played the coronet in town bands. The instrument in this photograph however appears to be a small tuba. It was rumored that his coronet had, at one time, been played by the famous American band leader and composer, John Phillip Souza.

1889: Frank Crites grew to manhood around the beautiful lake Wawasee, the largest body of water and popular resort in northern Indiana. He attended a country school and graduated from high school in the village of Ligonier in Noble County. At that time a high school education was a major achievement. Since there was no prosperous farm for his family, Frank moved with his parents to the town of North Webster. Frank was 19 years old when he got his first job working as an “engineer” in a local saw mill.
About the time he met his future wife Leona Belle Weaver, Frank went into partnership with a friend in the grocery store business. During the summer months business was brisk, with the influx of summer vacationers at Lake Wawasee, but winters were a different matter. To cover the “lean times”, he and his partner operated a tourists’ steam ship on Webster Lake.
1895: In North Webster, John Franklin Crites met and married Leona Belle Weaver the daughter of John S. Weaver (c-178) and Elizabeth Ann (Paugh) (c-179). According to the old Weaver “Christmas Book”, John and his mother were twice guests at the Weaver house before their names were moved from the “guests” column to that of “family.” They were wed in the winter of 1895. Leona was the daughter of grist mill operator at Oswego Mills on the Wabash River.

1909: On the 7th of March, 1909, he moved his young family to North Dakota, where he took possession of a meager homestead near the village of Berthold. This venture failed to bring enough income or food to sustain the family, so Frank and Leona moved them into Minot, in Ward County.
Very early in her adulthood Leona Weaver Crites worked as a doctor’s helper. That influenced her daughter Mildred to work as a nurses aid (a job that would be called a licensed vocational nurse.

April the 3, 1919
“At this date Leona B(elle Weaver) Crites is living in Minot, North Dakota” (Old Weaver Family Christmas Book)

Leona Belle (Weaver) and John Franklin Crites had nine children. They were: 1) Clinton Charles, 2) Claude “N”, 3) Etta Mae, 4) Mildred Irene, 5) Mary Elizabeth, 6) John Edward, 7) Howard Dale, 8) Richard Franklin, and 9) Theodore Kenneth Crites.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Charles Clinton Crites as a baby in Indiana.
Clinton leads children on his horse.
Charles Clinton Crites (s-322) was born on the 29th of September, 1896 in North Webster, Kosciusko County, Indiana. Called by his middle name “Clinton”, he was the oldest child of Leona Belle (Weaver) (c-53) and John Franklin Crites (c-47). According to marker on his grave, he died in Wheeler, near Hinsdale, Montana of the 17th of December, 1948.

The following is a statement written by Mildred (Crites) Fecht concerning the life of her brother Clinton. In 1995 it was loaned by James L. Fecht for this history.

"I know very little about my oldest brother Clinton, he was six years older than me. Others have told most of these stories to me. "He stayed with our grandmother Crites a lot of the time. My mother told me that one day Claude brought in a baby skunk. Clinton and Claude had found him along the road. Clinton knew it was a skunk or pole cat. He tried to get Claude to put it down, but Claude wanted to take the pretty kitty home. Clinton didn't come in for a long time. Mother got quite worried. Clinton was waiting to see what happened, and of course nothing did. This was in Indiana.
“When we moved to North Dakota, Clinton was eleven years old. He didn't like to go to school. Claude was only one year younger than Clinton, and soon he passed Clinton in school. This must have discouraged Clinton. He was quite unruly at times. He left the house with the rest of us in the morning, came to school at lunch time, and was there to go home with us. All I remember about this is the teacher(s) were sending home notes with Claude saying Clinton had been "playing hooky" which lead to a great deal of punishment at school and home. I learned later he was delivering groceries.”
“One time when our mother was gone, he cooked a meal for us. He had brought home a little wild duck. He put it in kettle and boiled and boiled it. He put it on a big platter, it was very dark (black) not much bigger than a quail. He ladled us out a bowl of broth which was tasteless and then he tried to carve the duck. It slipped all over the platter, but he managed to give each of us a small piece. We couldn't eat it. We did eat the home-made bread in the hot water. He was very angry with us and said, "This is the last meal I'll ever cook for you." It was. Thank goodness.”
“We moved to Montana leaving Clinton and Claude in California. Claude came soon after but Clinton didn't come to Montana for several years. He didn't stay at home very much. I think he worked on a ranch in Montana and Canada. I left Montana in 1918, was married in 1920, going to Missouri to live. I didn't see Clinton for 15 years.
When Bill (William T. Fecht) and I visited his grave in Montana we were told by a friend that Clinton was well liked in Hinsdale, Montana. Some of his friends there had cut the grass and put flowers on the grave."

In September 1997, Gregory Crites emailed: " Hinsdale is west of Glasgow and east of Malta on Highway 2. It is north west of Fort Peck dam. I'm sure that Uncle Clinton worked on Fort Peck dam during the 1930s. We stopped for a tour when we were on that trip.
One thing that I remember from that trip was the fact that there were little towns every 6 miles in that part of the country. They were put there by the railroad as re-supply spots for the old steam driven trains.”
As a child, your author Gerald Fecht, I recall my mother speaking about how Uncle Clinton complained about his "god damned leg hurting all the time." The problem with his leg, I believe had something to do with his death.
In 1988, while on vacation in Old Mexico, Dorothy (Fecht) and Elmer Fetterhoff met a man and woman from Hinsdale, Montana. The lady and her husband owned a ranch there, and "wintered" in Mexico. "She remembered 'our Uncle Clinton', who worked for years in a saloon and in later years owned it. She didn't remember his death or when it was."
Your author believes that Clinton probably owned a bar or worked in one.