The Grinkevich Family

The Grinkevich Family
For years this family with the many varied name spellings has been a source of fascination. I never knew my great grandparents-- we visited when I was very young, but I have no memory of this momentous occasion. Pictures show them as two tiny, wizened people aglow with love for each other. Perhaps therein lies the source of my interest. Though they went through many trials in their lives, from living in poverty in a Russian ruled country with no hope of a happy future, to burying several children in the spring of their young lives. Their tenacity carried them through. That, and their devotion, and faith in God.

Monday, December 31, 2012

The 1930 Census: Grinkevich, Grinker, and Pupp

The 1930 US Census

William & Magdeline in Little Black
Line 34 begins the enumeration of the William  and “Madgline” Grinkevich family at their dairy farm in Little Black.  Not only are they the only foreign born citizens on the page, they and their family are the only ones enumerated that weren’t born in Wisconsin. 
In addition to William and Magdeline, the Grinkevich household consisted of their son, 26 year old Charles, daughter-in law, Clara, age 24, and grandson, Robert, age 2 years and 6 months who was born in Illinois.  Daughter, Helen left the farm for Chicago a few weeks before the census to find work. (A blurb in the gossipy local newspaper told of Helen leaving for Chicago. Try as I might, I've been unable to find her enumerated in that city in 1930.)
Notice the neighbors are dairy farmers as well.  The only exceptions are a man who is a machinist at a tin shop, a young woman who is a public school teacher, and a 15 year old girl who works as a servant in a private home. Two of the neighbor men were veterans of the World War.

Albert & Agnes Pupp in Chicago 

This enumeration states that Albert, 25, and Agnes Pupp, 22, were renters at 4538 Spaulding Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.  By this time they had a start on a family as “Margery”, age 1 year and 7 months, and Irvin, 5 months old had arrived.  Both were born in Illinois. The couple paid $33 rent/month to the landlord, a native of Lithuania.  Albert Pupp was employed as a laborer in a tool manufacturing plant. He was not a veteran.  The family owned a radio.
Click on image to enlarge


Later in 1930 Albert, Agnes, and children moved back to Wisconsin.  The Great Depression had cost Albert his job, forcing the family to restart their lives.  Initially they moved to Holton Township in Marathon County, WI, home of Albert’s parents, then on to a house just outside Dorchester in neighboring Clark County by 1932 or’33.  During these tough economic years Albert worked on road crews, farms, and even planted trees, doing anything he could to feed and clothe his growing family.  

Joseph & Mary Grinker
Click on image to enlarge-census images courtesy of

According to the enumeration, newlyweds Joseph and Mary (Pupp) Grinker were living at 1531 West Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois in 1930.  Joe was a World War veteran, and was employed as a machinist at a radio parts factory.  The couple owned a radio. Mary’s brother, William, lived with them.  Very conveniently in the apartment next door resided two of the Geiger sisters from Clark County, Wisconsin.  Both Elsie and Frances Geiger had jobs ironing at a laundry.  (Elsie and William married in Dorchester one year and five months later. They were the first of what would be a total of five Pupp siblings that married one of five Geiger siblings. Four of these couples later appeared on the show "I've Got a Secret" due to the circumstances of marriage). Column 28 asks “Whether actually at work yesterday” (or the last regular working day).  Both William Pupp and Elsie Geiger answered “No”.  We don’t know from this enumeration if they are laid off, or on a reduced schedule due to the Depression.

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