While searching through the attic of his father’s house, a son came across boxes of old items. The most interesting were piles of love letters sent from a man named Max. From 1913-1978, Max and Pearle wrote each other. All his letters begin with “My Sweet Pearle” and end with “Forever yours, Max”. These letters were supposed to have been burned when Pearle passed away in 1980, but the family didn’t honor those wishes, and one of the greatest love stories began to unfold.
In 1911, a woman named Pearle Schwarz met a man named Maxwell Savelle at the Country Club. They fell madly in love. Unfortunately, Maxwell would not convert to Judaism (his parents were Southern Baptists) and so they could not be together. They went their separate ways – Maxwell went into the Navy and Pearle continued to pine for him until she died. She never let go.
Stephen Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom may have miraculously found Sixto Rodriguez alive and kicking in Detroit and persuaded him to play some concerts in South Africa in the late 1990s, but that was the easy part.
Grace Snyder's lively eyes gaze out of her 1903 wedding photograph. There's an astonishing hat atop her head and a tiny, cat-got-the-cream smile on her lips. She perches just behind her cowboy husband, her clasped hands resting near his left shoulder.
Her story, in many respects, mirrors Nebraska's history in the late 19thcentury and much of the 20th century.
Born in 1882, reared in a sod house on a Custer County homestead and married to a Sandhills cowboy and rancher, she recounted her pioneer life in the 1963 book "No Time on My Hands," as told to her daughter, author Nellie Snyder Yost.
Along the way, she became nationally known for her quilting expertise. Two of her quilts were designated as among the 100 best 20th-century quilts by Quilters Newsletter Magazine in 1999. She was named to the National Quilters Hall of Fame in 1980, two years before her death at 100.
Now Grace Snyder is the focal point of an innovative new history curriculum developed jointly by NET Learning Services, the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Nebraska State Historical Society.
Called "Tiny Stitches, Big Life," the online multimedia project uses Snyder's quilts and her life experiences to bring pioneer history to life for Nebraska elementary school students. It is the first module of a larger project, "Stories of Nebraska Quilters," with plans to develop additional material about other Nebraskans who are remembered through their quilts.
Her house in Morriston, Swansea, South Wales is home to her ever-growing collection of Christmas ornaments, which now numbers over 1800 pieces. The glittering holiday baubles come from all over the world and, because she has more than would fit on her Christmas tree, they hang from her living room ceiling for all to enjoy.
Genealogy is a passion and not a single day in the year passes in which I am not engage in some kind of genealogical activity. Some days I bury myself in census records, and other days, I study the Dawes Roll, Kern Clifton Roll and Dunn Roll from Indian Territory. On another day, Civil War research might take up my time, and a different day might take me to a cemetery as my eyes scan the burial ground for USCT's or benevolent society members from the Mosaic Templars.
Of late, thanks to the inspiration from a fellow genealogist, in Tennessee I have been nudged to also re-visit another old passion--that of quilting.
Deanna Dahlsad's insight:
Using quilts to help date and discover more about your ancestors.