Friday, April 06, 2012
  Censusing Grandpa

I couldn't resist checking out the 1940 census. Actually the most interesting part is the detailed maps of towns that I know. Seeing which additions were built at that time, which additions were platted but never built, where the streetcars ran, and how the roads have changed.

Tried to locate both sets of grandparents. One was easy, the other is a complete fail. I knew ... or thought I knew ... where both were living in 1940. Both were in small towns. Father's side in Okla, mother's side in Mich.

Father's father lived on a small semi-farm close to town, and a scan through the pages for that town found him quickly. Didn't expect any surprises, and didn't find any. The only new info was his income: school janitor, $1100 per year. That's about $18k in today's Bernanke counterfeit, which doesn't seem impressive. But inflation doesn't tell the whole story. In a very small town where you can grow your own crops and chickens, $1100 was pretty good. Well above the national median of $956, and the 'proprietors' of various 'retail establishments' in town had similar or lower incomes. Verifies the assumption I'd already made, that Grandpa was wise and responsible to grab and keep a gummint job. Only oil company employees and teachers earned much more than average. (The notion that teachers have always been underpaid is wildly untrue.)

Mother's father (who I barely knew) wasn't listed anywhere in the town where he supposedly lived. I know two approximate addresses from that era, and I'd seen both houses when we visited there in the 1960s. I've even found one of them on Google Street View and pinned down the address. The subdivision containing that house is present on the census map, but the census zone written on the map in that area isn't listed as a valid enumeration zone, and the written lists don't include the street.

Well, that side of the family is already packed with myths and mysteries. Many dates and names have already turned out to be wrong. Maybe this is yet another mystery. I'll look again later, to see if the census fills in the missing zone.

= = = = =

August 2012: Checked again, through one of the newer non-gov't 1940 census sites. This listing includes the missing suburban enumeration zone, but it turns out that mother's father hadn't yet moved to the suburbs. Found him in the earlier in-city address after all. Maybe I simply overlooked it before, or maybe that part of town was also missing from the gov't site.

His job was listed as Engineer, and his income was $5000. That's about $80K now by strict inflation, but probably more like $150K in terms of relative rank. (Median * 5). So my mother's stories of a comparatively wealthy household, with a live-in maid, were probably accurate.

= = = = =

Both grandfathers were barely educated, quitting school around 6th grade. Both ended up earning decent incomes in the Depression. Mother's father, who was trained as a steam engineer in the Navy, did much better monetarily ... but it didn't give him a happy life. Around that time he started drinking, and things fell apart quickly.
 


<< Home

blogger hit counter
My Photo
Name:
Location: Spokane

Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

My graphics products:

Free stuff at ShareCG

And some leftovers here.

ARCHIVES
March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / May 2014 / June 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / September 2014 / October 2014 / November 2014 / December 2014 / January 2015 / February 2015 / March 2015 / April 2015 / May 2015 / June 2015 / July 2015 / August 2015 / September 2015 / October 2015 / November 2015 / December 2015 / January 2016 / February 2016 / March 2016 / April 2016 / May 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / August 2016 / September 2016 / October 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / January 2017 / February 2017 / March 2017 / April 2017 / May 2017 / June 2017 /


Major tags or subjects:

Carbon Cult
Defensible spaces
Experiential education
Grand Blueprint
Гром победы
Heimatkunde
Language updates
Metrology
Natural law = Sharia law
New toys
Patient things
Skill-estate
Switchover

Powered by Blogger