Louise Ruth Reynolds: A woman of many names and identities.

 

Louise Ruth Froemling: Child.

 

Froemling, Louise Ruth - Birth Record
Froemling, Louise Ruth – Birth Record

According to my husband Mark, his grandmother, Louise Ruth Froemling was born on 10 Oct 1911 at 1712 Paulina Street in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois to Emma Mary Froemling and William Read Kirk.

Since Emma was unmarried, and William, a soldier, returned to his military post with no intention of marrying her, Emma made the difficult decision to give Louise up for adoption.

Notes of Louise Reynolds
Handwritten research notes of Louise Reynolds regarding her birth parents.
The Matthews family. Left to right: William Matthews, Dennis Matthews, Louise Ruth Matthews (Froemling), Claudia Matthews.
The Matthews family. Left to right: William Matthews, Dennis Matthews, Louise Ruth Matthews (Froemling), Claudia Matthews.

Louise was adopted as an infant of about five months of age by William Dennis and Claudia Matthews.

The circumstances surrounding the adoption are unclear.

At the time of the adoption, William and Claudia lived in Morning Sun, Iowa and it is believed they were acquainted with Emma Froemling and/or her family and the adoption was arranged privately.

She lived with her adopted parents in Morning Sun until at least grade 11.

 

Louise Ruth Matthews: Student and Nurse.

 

29ish-15.-Louise-183x3001.jpgAfter her graduation from high school, Louise took her training in nursing – more specifically in infant care, working to be one of ‘Wisconsin’s Little Mothers’ in Wisconsin around 1930.

She shows up in Chicago, Illinois about 1930 and again in 1935, working as a nurse.

Her Social Security Card indicates her address was 3901 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois at one point.

 

Louise Ruth Blythe: Nurse and Mother.

 

Marriage Certificate for Chester Blythe and Louise Matthews.
Marriage certificate for Chester Blythe and Louise Matthews (Froemling).

At the age of 25, Louise met and married Chester C. Blythe, son of Clayton William Blythe and Harriet Maude Jones. The marriage took place on 25 Nov 1936 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

According to the US Census, Louise lived in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois on 01 Apr 1940 and she was employed as a nurse at the time.

Chester C. Blythe and Louise Ruth Froemling had the following children:

Not long after, Chester left the family and they divorced. No one is sure what happened, but the general consensus is that Chester had just abandoned them.

 

Louise Ruth Reynolds: Farmer’s wife and mother.

 

Reynolds Family circa 1944
Rear: Jim and Louise Reynolds. Front: Louise’s sons, Marsh and Paul Blythe (respectively) from her first marriage.

Once Louise was divorced and living as a struggling, young single mother working as a nurse in Chicago, she met Harmond James (Jim) Reynolds. They were married prior to 1933, but the exact date is unknown. After the death of Jim’s mother, they moved to Seymour Township, Peterborough County, Ontario, Canada, where they took over and worked the land he inherited on Mud Lake.

Jim and Louise had the following children:

She died on 16 Apr 1989 in Havelock, Seymour Township at the home of her son William (Bill) and his family.

In 1972, Louise had taken up the challenge of finding information about her birth and her biological parents. The following are two of the many letters she wrote to the City of Chicago during her life.

Louise Reynolds - Adoption Records request.
Louise Reynolds’ letter of February 9, 1972 to Wilmette, Illinois authorities to request her adoption records.
Request for adoption records to Chicago, Illinois
Louise Reynold’s request to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Chicago Illinois for her adoption information.

Sources:

  1. Blythe, Chester and Matthews, Louise; Marriage Certificate; 25 Nov 1836 ; Rev. Preston Bradley, D.C.L., Pastor; The Peoples’ Church of Chicago.
  2. Interview with Marsh and Bev Blythe – about 15 March 2005.
  3. Louise Matthews, comp., Bureau of Child Welfare, Infant Care Course. (: Wisconsin State Board of Health,).
  4. 1930 Census, Morning Sun, Louisa County, Iowa; digital images. Ancestry.com , 1930 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012), Ancestry.com .
  5. 1940; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T627_1019; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 103-3104; Record for Marshall Blythe. http://search.ancestry.ca/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1940usfedcen&h=145155311&indiv=try. Ancestry.com , 1940 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012), Ancestry.com .
  6. Louise Matthews, comp., Bureau of Child Welfare, Infant Care Cou rse. (: Wisconsin State Board of Health,).
  7. “Keefer, Christian W; Outline Descendancy Chart,”, 22 Feb 2013; pp. 1-7.

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