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On the 1870 census George Rudolph is listed with George “Wice” next door. This is George Weiss and his wife Brigida or Bridgid, with son Ferdinand and daughter Agnes. Then on the 1871 map it shows G. Weiss with G. Rudolph

next door.

So the home was built between 1866 and 1870

probably by George Weiss.

In the 1880 census Brigida is listed as “Brickett” Weis, George having died sometime in the 1870’s and probably buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery where Brigida was buried in 1902. Meanwhile George Rudolph had a daughter Lisette Margareth who married John George Wagner in 1883 and sometime between then and 1891 they acquired the home from Brigida Weiss who had moved to her daughter’s home.

On the 1894 map of Monroe the house looks slightly larger than it is now. The home was owned by Mrs. Lizzie Wagner until 1920, when according to the tax records it passed to Daniel Laudenslager, who owned it until 1927 when Fred Salow was added to the owner line as “contract” or contractor.

Through these years from 1920 the home was valued at $1,700.00 then $2,000.00 and finally in 1929 at $4,000.00. (The jump in value seems to signify major remodeling)

In 1929 Alva Zorn was named owner with his brother in law Fred Salow as contractor.

In 1932 Mrs. Mina Zorn Salow is the owner up through 1940 with her death.

For a few years it was rented out according to city directories until 1946 when Norman Bragg and his wife Clara, who lived there until her death in 1994, acquired it.

Illustration from ‘American Vernacular Design 1870-1940’ by Herbert Gottfried and Jan Jennings, 1988 Iowa State University Press

_________

Page 5

Elizabeth Custer by Chris Kull

Elizabeth Bacon was the only surviving child of Judge Daniel Bacon and Eleanor Sophia Page, three other children died in infancy. Her father came to Monroe from

Howlett became

Hill, New York in 1822. a lawyer, businessman and

He was a

teacher

circuit court

judge.

and Her

mother

was

the

daughter

of

a

successful

Grand

Rapids

nursery

owner. Both pampered.

parents

were

devoted

to

Libbie

and

she

was

We know much of young Libbie's activities and private thoughts because at age nine her father gave her a diary, which she did not use for a year. However when she started to keep the journal, she wrote of guests, school and church activities, and P. T. Barnum's circus visiting Monroe. As she grew up, she gave a full account of her many beaus and

her thoughts about them.

As a child, she was a bit impulsive.

She often

wandered from home when told to stay. avoided the truth and her parents were hard

She sometimes pressed to find a

punishment that worked. One night her mother prayed loud by Libbie's bedside, asking for improvement in

out her

daughter's

behavior.

This

concern

touched

Libbie.

She

vowed to behave, although she admitted to herself it was quite

exhilarating to go against her parent's wishes.

Around the age of ten, according to Custer Family members, Libbie was swinging on the fence gate at home when George Armstrong Custer walked by. She called out "Hello you Custer boy" and ran into the house.

Although born in Ohio, Custer lived in Monroe for awhile during his youth with his oldest sister, Ann, and her husband, David Reed. Apparently he was able to receive a better education in Monroe and his family sent him to Monroe to help Ann after the birth of her first child. During the Civil War the whole family would eventually move to Monroe.

In distraught,

1854, Libbie's mother died. Libbie writing in her diary, "Alas! My poor

was quite diary you

have been sadly neglected. When I last wrote you my mother

sat comfortably in her rocking chair by the fire.

mother is sleeping her last great sleep

will

awake,

no

never!

Not

even

to

from which correct my

My dear she never numerous

mistakes. Two weeks ago my mother was laid in the cold ground .. . . . Why did they put mother in that

cold, great

Black cofin [sic] and screw the lid

down

so

tight?….I

hope the

Lord left."

will

spare

me

to

my

father

for

I

am

his

only

comfort

Judge Bacon closed up their home and moved into the Exchange Hotel and Libbie became a boarding student at

the Young Ladies' Seminary.

They visited each

other

on

Sundays and sometimes other days of the week.

The Young Ladies' Seminary was considered the finest finishing school west of the Allegheny Mountains. Here students learned French, music, literature, and "fine arts." The

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