Happy Birthday Barbara Mary Meyer



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Barbara Mary Meyer (1881-1972)

Barbara Mary Meyer was born on 09 Jun 1881 in Mendota, La Salle, Illinois as the child of Jacob B. Meyer and Barbara Mary Stadler. She had nine siblings, namely: Jacob, Frank M, Mathias, Robert, Christena, Katharina, Jerome Adam, Hieronimus, and a sister who died as an infant. Barbara was the seventh of the living children. She had two younger brothers.

Her parents had both been born in Germany and immigrated to the United States. Her father fought for the Union in the Civil War. Afterwards, he met her mother and they started their family in Illinois. When Barbara was a child, her family moved from Illinois to Iowa. They were living in Sac County, Iowa by 1885.

She attended school in Iowa through seventh grade. Though she was recorded in records sometimes as Mary, and many of her nieces and nephews called her Aunt Mary, she always insisted that her middle name was not Mary, that she just had a middle initial of M. She claimed that when she was in school she was teased about the name Barbara, so switched to being called Mary.

Barbara was not even six years old when her father passed away. Her mother managed to be a successful farmer and to raise her children, despite being a widow.

When she was 18, Barbara married Harry Allen Lawrence Fawcett, son of James W Huleress Fawcett and Helen Lucina Baldwin, on 03 Aug 1899 in Sac City, Sac, Iowa.

Harry Fawcett and Barbara Meyer had only one child:

  • Lona Iona Fawcett was born on 28 Jun 1902 in Sac City, Sac, Iowa.  She married Thomas Leland Estes on 30 Sep 1919 in Sac City, Sac, Iowa. She died on 30 Nov 1973 in Austin, Mower, Minnesota.

Barbara had problems during childbirth and did not have other children. When their daughter was born, Lona was so small that she could fit in a shoe box.

Harry, Lona, and Barbara Fawcett.
Harry, Lona, and Barbara Fawcett.

Barbara and Harry lived and raised their daughter in and around Odebolt, Sac County, Iowa. There were many newspaper items recorded in the Odebolt News social pages about the comings and goings of the little Fawcett family.

28 May 1914.

1914-07-02-page-4-chronicle2 July 1914.

8 July 1915.

Sometime in 1921, the Fawcetts moved about 165 miles from Iowa to Southern Minnesota. Their daughter and her husband also made the move. Harry and Barbara originally farmed, but later moved into the town of Albert Lea.

17 February 1921. Moving to Albert Lea.

Sometime around the mid-1940s, they moved from their house in Albert Lea to a home in rural Austin. When her husband died in 1956, Barbara moved into a tiny house in southwest Austin. Very late in life, she left her little house and moved a few blocks to live with her daughter, Lona.

Barbara Meyer Fawcett, circa 1957.
Barbara Meyer Fawcett, circa 1957.

Having had only one child, Barbara always said that she was not fond of large families. Her only child had seven children. Her son-in-law teased her at large family gatherings saying, “Look, you started all this.” She was not the easiest person to get along with and seemed to only like certain family members. Depending on where you were in the family, you may have had a different relationship with her. She is the first ancestor that I’ve written about that I actually knew. As a small child, I remember being a little afraid of her. I don’t think she probably liked me very much. But, I remember she did like my little sister.  And I do remember that she gave us boxed chocolate covered cherries for Christmas. I think of her whenever I see a box of cherries.

Barbara with her granddaughter, Thelma, granddaughter-in-law Mary, and great-granddaughter Dianne. Christmas 1956.
Barbara with her granddaughter, Thelma, granddaughter-in-law Mary, and great-granddaughter Dianne. Christmas 1956.

She lived a long life, getting to be grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother.

Great-grandma Fawcett and Darrin.
Great-Grandma Barbara Mary Meyer Fawcett and Darrin. 50 years ago.
Five Generation Photo: Great-Great-Grandpa Fawcett, Grandma Estes, Grandma Peterson, Dianne and baby Ron, 50 years ago.
Five Generation Photo: Great-Great-Grandma Barbara Mary Meyer Fawcett, Grandma Lona Iona Fawcett Estes, Grandma Thelma Estes Peterson, Dianne and baby Ron, 50 years ago.

Barbara Mary Meyer Fawcett died on 24 Mar 1972 in Austin, Mower, Minnesota at age 90. She was buried on 28 Mar 1972 in Grandview Cemetery, Austin, Mower, Minnesota.

What do you remember about her? Please share your memories with me via a comment, email, Facebook or other so that those memories can be recorded and carried forward to future generations!

Where is she in the tree?

Learn more…

To learn more about Barbara’s lineage, read The Meyer Family book.

The Meyer Family

To learn more about Barbara’s life, read The Fawcett Family book.

The Fawcett Family

  • Publication date: March 2020
  • Pages: 716
  • Formats:
  • We can trace our Fawcett ancestry back to Thomas Fawcett who was born around 1683 in Ireland. This book starts with him and then traces his descendants. Detailed biographies are provided for our direct line from Thomas Fawcett to Harry Allen Lawrence Fawcett. Our Fawcett heritage is an interesting heritage of Early American Quakers, soldiers, homesteaders, and farmers. In the records, the name is found spelled many ways including Faucett, Faucit, Fawcitt, Fewcatt, Fawcatt, and Fawcet, but we know the name as Fawcett.

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