Saturday, February 13, 2016

Family History Writing Challenge Day 13

Michael & Mayme
The 1940 Federal Census was taken on 6 April 1940. Michael was 52 and working as a printer at a label company. Mayme was 50 and Marie, age 28, was employed as a sales lady in a department store. Catherine, at 19, was listed as a "sewer" for a sporting goods company. For the first time the census asked about incomes. Michael worked 40 weeks in 1939, for a total yearly income of $900. Marie worked 52 weeks and earned $720, and Catherine made $520 for the 26 weeks she worked in 1939. To put those numbers in perspective, the median annual wage for a man in 1940 was $956, and for a woman it was $592. The cost of a new car was $1,611, a gallon of gas was $.18, and a loaf of bread was $.08.

As mentioned earlier, Stella was married and in 1940 was living with her spouse and their newborn son Lawrence. The other five Crusham children listed on the census record were all in school. Rather telling on the census was the fact that the Crusham's house, which had been valued at $4,000 on the 1930 census, was now listed at $3,500. Undoubtably the depression played a part in the decline of housing values.

Back row: Michael, Mayme, Marie
Front row: Michael, James, Charlie, Betty
While the country was slowly recovering from the Great Depression by the end of the 1930s, trouble on a more global scale was escalating. Japan had invaded China, and Germany invaded Poland, which resulted in England and France declaring war on Germany in September of 1939. In the United States, Congress passed legislation enacting the first peace-time draft in the history of the country. The Selective Training & Service Act of 1940 initially required all men between the ages of 21 and 45 to register for the draft. Later the minimum age was lowered to 18.

America entered WWII following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. By April of 1942 the Fourth Registration, or Old Man's Registration, was held. Men born between 27 April 1877 and 16 February 1897 (ages 45-64) had to complete a registration card. The purpose was not to be used for military service per se, but rather to provide a complete inventory of manpower resources that could be utilized for national service during WWII. Michael completed his registration on 26 April 1942. On the card, he stated that he was employed by Kreger Printing & Stationery Co., and that he was 5'3" tall and weighed 136 lbs. That is quite different than his claim to be of "medium height" on the WWI registration card.

Michael's WWII Draft card - front
Michael's WWII draft
card - back
Roy & Catherine
Daughter Catherine married LeRoy (Roy) Kubler on 17 January 1942 at Resurrection Church. Standing up for the couple was Catherine's sister Margaret, and her brother-in-law Bud Wambaugh. Roy had enlisted with the Army Air Corp, and it wasn't long before he was sent to Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis to begin his training. Catherine lived with her mother and father-in-law until after the birth of a son, also named LeRoy, later that year. While she moved to St. Louis to be with her husband after little Roy was born, she came back to Cincinnati in 1944 prior to the birth of daughter Kathleen. Roy was being shipped out to the China-Burma-India Theater, and she wanted to be near her family after he left. She and the children lived with Mike and Mayme for awhile before she bought the Koch's house next door to them at 1240 Rosemont Avenue.

Back row: Roy, Bud Wambaugh, Stella
Middle row: Marie, Catherine Colgan Crusham, Mayme
Front row: Catherine, Betty, Lawrence Wambaugh, Charles, Michael
On 26 June 1943 Margaret married Charles Rizzo. In addition to gaining two son-in-laws, Mike and Mayme's family continued to grow throughout the 1940s with the addition of the following grandchildren (who joined Lawrence Wambaugh and LeRoy Kubler): Carol Ann Wambaugh, 1943; Kathleen Kubler and Charles Rizzo, 1944; Eugene Wambaugh, 1945; Kenneth Kubler, 1946; and Thomas Rizzo, 1947.

WWII ended in May of 1945, and the soldiers in the family made it safely back to Cincinnati to rejoin their families. And in a couple of cases to get acquainted with those who had been born while they were away. Following the war the Crusham family, as well as the entire nation, needed to find their new normal.

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