Saturday, August 25, 2018

ANCESTORS IN THE NEWS ~ My Grandaunt May Adele Gould, age 9, plays piano in “remarkable” concert - 1909


I have to admit, newspapers are a complete source of fascination to me and always have been.

I never cease to be surprised what I can find when I start putting ancestor’s names in the search box.  Today was no exception.  I had already located several obituaries and other articles of interest.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about, and then I came upon this gem.

My Aunt Adele (full name May Adele Gould), mentioned with another young girl when they played in a concert together at ages 9 & 10. And what?  There’s even pictures of the girls!

Copy of GOULD_MaeAdele_plays piano_DFP_4 Jul 1909_pg 7

Transcription – Miss Mae Adela Gould, Miss Dora Easterbrook – Two child pianists, Miss Dora Easterbrook, 10 years old, 141 Lincoln Avenue, and Miss May Adela Gould, 9 years old, 828 Fourteenth Avenue, both pupils of Mrs. Marie Wolverton, gave rather a remarkable concert in Grinnell Hall Thursday evening.

They played from memory selections of Beethoven, Grieg, Haydn and MacDowell in most artistic manner, displaying wonderful technique and interpretation for their age; Miss Vila Hoffman assisted with songs.

At first I wasn’t 100% positive this was “my” May Adele Gould.  The age was off by a year or so, her having been born (according to my sources) 25 Feb 1898.  And, her middle name being given as “Adela” and not Adele.  This concert took place in 1909.  The article gives her address as 828 Fourteenth Ave. and don’t you know, that’s the exact address she and her family were living in the 1909 Detroit City Directory and the 1910 census.  That put to rest any doubts I had.

I was curious as to where Grinnell Hall, the location of the concert, was located in Detroit.  I conducted a Google search and found out that Grinnell Brothers Music was a prominent company.  They built a music house on Woodward Avenue in 1908.  Was that what was called Grinnell Hall?  You can read about the Grinnell Brothers here Grinnell Brothers Music House.

Oh to be able to have a copy of that picture of Adele with the big bow in her hair. Adele is one my grandfather’s three sisters.  I have absolutely no photos of he or his siblings when they were young.  I’m sure that at some point in someone’s items they probably existed. 

My Aunt Adele moved to California (where I have lived since 1965).  She didn’t pass away until I was in my mid 30’s, but I never went to see her.  One of her other brothers, Roy Gould, lived with her after the death of her husband.  So, there were two of my grandfather’s siblings within about a 3 hour drive of where I lived.  What family heirlooms, photos and memories were disposed of when they died?  It makes me shudder to think.

We had moved away from our family when I was pretty young and staying in contact with them was just never a priority.  Makes me pretty sad now.

I understand from cousins I’ve talked to, that Adele continued to play piano and organ throughout her life.  Here is a picture of her in her later years (generously shared with me by a cousin).  And, there she sits, right in front of her organ.

GOULD_May Adele_1974-rec'd from Bonnie Nymberg 7-13-09_resized for FAG

Thoughts that came to mind as I was writing this blog post. 

  • Did any of the other five children in the family take music lessons?
  • Adele’s father, William, worked as a supervisor at a paint store in some census and city directory listings.  In the 1900 census he is said to own the home they were living in.  By 1910 they were renting in another location.  It’s wonderful that they were able to afford music lessons.
  • I have had an affinity to the piano since I was a young girl.  I’ve taken lessons at many times during my life, but don’t consider myself really able to play. No one else I know, in our family, played.
  • I wish I would have taken the time to go and visit Adele when I was in my late teens and twenties.  My Dad (her only nephew) certainly spoke of his Aunt Adele often.
  • I also remember when we moved from Florida to California in 1965, we stayed at Adele’s home in San Bernardino, for a couple of days.  As a teenager it certainly never occurred to me to ask her about our family, or to show me photos.

What other stories will I find in my newspaper searches?  What interesting items have you found? I’d love to hear about them.



TOMBSTONE TUESDAY–William & May Thorp Gould–My great grandparents

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall


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I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.