52 Ancestors, Week 26: Fredrick Harrison North and Emma Olga Hroch

Fred and Emma

Fred North and Emma Olga Hroch were my great grandparents.  Just like last week, I welcome all memories from my aunts, cousins and siblings!

Fred was born 27 Dec 1887 in Marshall, Saline County, Missouri to Nancy Cooper and Marion B North. Fred’s dad, Marion died sometime before 1900, and Fred and his mom, Nancy moved to Nebraska.

In 1900, Fred and his mom lived with and worked for the widower Samuel Davis and his three children in Beatrice, NE. Nancy remarried, and Fred had a half-sister, Florence Pausner.

Fred served as a private in the Nebraska National Guard Infantry for two years, sometime in his early adult life. In 1910, Fred (22) lived as a lodger in a home in Wymore, NE with his fellow railroad workers.

click within image to enlarge.  Fred's family is still a bit of a mystery
 and  Emma's family were immigrants from Bohemia.

Emma was born 2 Dec 1892 in Castalia, Charles Mix County, South Dakota to Anna Melichar and James Hroch.  She was the 5th child of 7. In 1910, Emma (17) was living with her aunt, uncle and cousins in America, South Dakota.  Emma’s parents and younger siblings moved to Wymore, NE and were enumerated in the 1910 census.

Fred (24) and Emma (19) were married in Wymore in 1911.  Millard was born in 1912, Opal was born in 1915 and Keith was born in 1917.

Fred (31) registered for the WWI draft on 5 June 1917. He was listed as tall, medium build, blue eyes and brown hair.

From Missouri and South Dakota
 to Nebraska and then Wyoming

In 1917, the family moved to Casper.

6 Feb 1920 census: they lived at 954 United, in Casper, and Fred was an engineer on a locomotive for the CB &Q. (The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad operated in the Midwestern United States and was commonly referred to as the Burlington or Q.)  Emma was pregnant with Helen (my grandmother) and Helen was born 12 Apr 1920.

Edward was born in 1927.

4 Apr 1930 census: Fred (42) was a Still Cleaner at the Oil Refinery. Also enumerated are Emma (37), and all five children: Millard (17), Opal (15), Keith (12), Helen (9) and Edward (2) and they lived at 722 Lincoln.

Looking south on Center Street in downtown Casper about 1938.
The Arkeon was a popular dancing academy.
Wyoming Tales and Trails photo. (1)

16 Apr 1940 census: Fred (52), an Engineer and Fireman at the Oil Refinery Company, Emma (47), Keith (23) and Edward (12) lived at 1027 N Jefferson in Casper.

Fred (56) died 30 Mar 1944 in Casper of stomach cancer.

In 1951, Emma still lived at 1027 N Jefferson (bsmt).  Aunt Bev told me that Emma (Grandma North) spent a lot of time with Helen’s family and with Ed’s family.  Emma was 5’10” and she was a happy person.  She liked to bake Chocolate Cream Pie and Cinnamon Rolls. *

Emma watched cousins Annette and Debbie during the day so Aunt Betty and Ed (Helen's brother) could work.  She was the typical wonderful grandma. **

Aunt Pam tells me, when Sandie and I were home Grandma North would come to the house to babysit if Mom and Dad went out of town.  Grandma was always nervous about watching me because of the asthma, she was afraid I would have an asthma attack.  Although by then I was old enough , even at five to do what was needed.  Once a week she would take a cab to town, walk around and pay all her bills and stop at Woolworths for a cold drink and then another cab home.  Jena learned to count by playing cards with her.

Aunt Betty, Mom, the nurse across the street and myself each took a day to "watch" her so she could live at home.  Aunt Opal lived with her so weekends were hers.  So Friday was my day and I would surprise her with a sandwich "fast food" and then we would play cards for a while.  Jena would say "Counting cards"! Then I would put both of them down for naps.  Grandma loved her soap operas. **

In 1978, Emma (86) died on 12 Oct in Casper.

Casper Skyline

  • 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 US Federal Census
  • 1917-1918 WWI Draft Registration Cards
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago,_Burlington_and_Quincy_Railroad
  • (1) http://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/casper-wyoming
  • *Aunt Bev
  • **Aunt Pam


  1. I note that Fred and Emma had a five year age difference yet Emma lived for nearly 34 years after Fred's passing. Her chocolate cream pies and cinnamon rolls must have had a good effect on her longevity.

  2. Thanks for your research on our family.

    Rob Araas ( Opal's great grandson )


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