Sandy Schaub James recently sent a wonderful artifact: the newspaper-style announcement of the birth of her uncle, my grandfather Robert Churchill Schaub, handwritten in 1904 by his father, Illinois newspaperman Howard Churchill Schaub.
In addition to the main event, the front page of the faux newspaper The Daily Sevenfortyeight reports on a Shocking Case of Child Abandonment, in which Schaub senior delivers his still-tiny older children, Fred and Georgia, by train to his sister-in-law in Peoria just hours after the arrival of the new baby, along with a number of other newsy items. The tired father, apparently writing his limited circulation newspaper while clickety clacking back home that winter night, does not fail to show off a dry sense of humor very much like that of his grandson, my favorite uncle, the late Robert Churchill Schaub, Jr..
The little photo above shows the Schaub home at 748 W. North Street, Decatur, Illinois, after which The Daily Sevenfortyeight is named, as it appeared in 1904. Soon after this photo was taken the house was moved around the corner to Pine Street and a beautiful new home, designed by my great-grandmother, Pearl Winifred Weiennett Schaub, was built on the site. How she found the time to design a house while watching over, by that time, five young children, will be a mystery to any parent. The new house, where all the Schaub children were raised and where my mother later spent every Christmas Eve, still stands.
Sandy James is a first cousin of my mother, Lisette Schaub, and her brother, my Uncle Bob. I’m delighted that Sandy sent this handwritten page, along with a small collection of other documents–this is just the sort of thing I hoped for when starting this blog: that family members could share their treasures so all of us could learn our back stories. It’s so easy in this digital age. However, the digital age is yet imperfect: the birth announcement is overly trimmed at the edges, just as it came to me, but with persistence the missing letters can be filled in. I don’t know why scanners cut off edges and add blank borders; they just do. As always, clicking on the images will bring up larger versions.