Emogene Ingersoll Winterer was your great grandmother. She was born in Bergen, New York, July 27, 1868. She was the youngest child. She had four sisters, and all the family petted her. Her mother was 35 when Emogene was born, and her father was 42. Her mother was Mary Ann Caldwell before her marriage. She was a Quaker, and although she did not lead her children to become Quakers, they observed some of the Quaker customs. She set aside a quiet time to meditate alone every day for an hour, and each one of the family went to her own room. It was hard for Emogene to be quiet so long, so she sometimes made doll hats secretly during that time.
She remembered her father as a gentle kindly man who painted frescoes in some of the large churches in New York City. He was Henry Mortimer Ingersoll. The Ingersoll family have traced their ancestry clearly to Goeffrey Ingersoll of Southwell, England. His grandson John emigrated to America during a Puritan migration in 1654, and lived at Meadows Farms, Huntington, Long Island. His grandson Samuel, thru the line of John, then Samuel, lived in Stanford, Connecticut, and served in the revolutionary war as a private in Captain Smith’s company, in General Wooster’s regiment. The record states that he marched in the War of the Revolution Nov. 10, 1776, and was discharged Jan. 11, 1777. He was 32 when he entered the Army. Through his ancestor you can be daughters or sons of the Revolution, if you choose to join.
When Emogene was very young she moved with her parents to Concord, Michigan. He she lead quiet childhood. Bertha was just three years older than Emogene, but far apart from her in disposition. Delia was grown and married when Emogene was only four years old. Lura was eight years older than Emogene, but they were very companionable.
She had a great deal of trouble with her eyes. One of her school rooms was in a basement which was poorly lighted, and she strained her eyes trying to see the blackboard. She was naturally left-handed, but her teachers insisted on changing her to be right-handed. This made her very nervous, and perhaps affected her eyes. All of her life she suffered with her eyes.
Several times she and her mother went back to New York State to visit relatives. Her uncles were all big handsome men, who adored their sister. Two of these uncles had canal boats, and they took Emogene and her mother for trips on these boats. Those were the days before railroads crossed the country, and much of the freight was hauled on these canal boats.
When Emogene was in high school she earned money by selling milk from her jersey cow. She had been given the calf, and made a real pet of it.
Every day she led her through the town to pasture, petting her and talking to her. At night she led her back home to milk her. All the townspeople knew Emogene and her pretty cow.
She was not very strong, so when she was thru high school she went to visit her sister Lura, who was married and lived in Valley City, North Dakota. They gave her a pony, and she rode alone over the prairies, fast as the wind. She became well again, and since there was a need for school teachers, she was persuaded to teach in the grade school. She loved the children, and wanted to play with them all the time. Here she met Edward Winterer, who was principal of the school, and very elegant in his tail coat and high silk hat. He fell in love with her, and would scarcely let her out of his sight. However, she left and went to St. Cloud, Minnesota and took a course in teacher training for two years.
One morning while she was at normal school she woke up so depressed, and just wouldn’t get out of bed. The girls in the dormitory couldn’t do anything with her, so they called the house-mother. Emogene sobbed and cried, and told her that she had just realized that she would have to get up and dress herself every day of her life, and she just didn’t want to.
Once in a test, the class was asked what they would do if they saw a child drowning in the river. Emogene answered truthfully, “I would stand on the shore and scream!.”
She and Edward were married in 1891 at the home of her Uncle Lovejoy in Minneapolis. It was a beautiful wedding and reception. Uncle Lovejoy was wealthy and provided Emogene with a lovely trousseau.
Valley City, North Dakota was to be the Winterer home until 1907. It was bleak, cold country, where temperatures went far below zero in the winter. Fortunately there were many well educated people in the little town, and they found a full, satisfying life. Emogene read good books, and learned poetry, and studied the great art of the world. She carried on a lively correspondence with some of the great artists of America.
Their four handsome boys were born within eight years. She adored her children and devoted much of her time to them. Edward was a very successful lawyer and businessman, so they could afford to have a fine home and a servant. All the children’s clothes were ordered from Best’s in New York. The children must have looked like little fashion plates. In those days boys wore dresses until they were three or four years old. Then they wore white ruffled blouses and velvet pants. Emogene told of having 28 blouses washed and ironed each week.
Their beautiful son Galen died of diphtheria when he was nine years old. Emogene grieved so for him, and was so afraid for the other children to live in that rugged climate, so Edward moved the family to Hollywood in 1905. They bought a house on Orange Drive, just north of Hollywood Blvd. That was to be their home the rest of their lives. In her whole lifetime, Emogene only lived in four houses.
Irving chose his own name. The family couldn’t decide on one, so just called him “Baby”. The other boys had classic names, Horace, Galen and Virgil. Uncle Herman said “why don’t you name this one Julius Caesar and be done with it?” Finally they placed a number of names in a hat, and let the child choose, so he pulled out Irving Hilaire.
The neighbors were slow to call, but finally one of them, a fat one, came and left her calling cards. When Emogene returned the call, she took little Irving with her. He sat quietly on a little stool and didn’t say a word until they were ready to leave. Then he shyly looked up at the lady and said “Your arms look like sausages!”
Emogene never seemed to have much trouble with servants. She needed help when Tubby was about seven. One good strong Swedish woman named Anna applied. She looked over the household and the children and announced “Yes, I’ll take the job, and I’ll stay until Virgil is thru high school.” And she did! Another servant was Tai, a Japanese boy. He stayed for several years, and ran the house so smoothly. For years after he left, he would appear every Christmas with some fine tea, and a beautiful present. Delfin was a Philipino boy that stayed with the family for at least ten years. He went to high school while he was living with them, and learned to drive an automobile and operate an elevator. Mother paid for violin lessons for him, and taught him to cook very well. He had a horrid temper, and was often disagreeable, but he was very devoted to his lady.
Irving was never very strong, and Emogene and he were the closest companions. When he was not able to go to school, she tutored him, and she read to him a great deal. He was very artistic, so they painted together. Emogene wrote poetry, and much of it was an expression of her love for Irving. He played the flute, and she studied piano again to be able to share music with him. Irving died of tuberculosis when he was 23, and poor Emogene grieved for him all the rest of her days.
In 1911 Edward and Emogene took a trip to Europe. They were gone several months. She had such a wonderful time in the art museums, seeing all the rich art that she had studied for so long. Once when they were being conducted thru one of the galleries she admired one marble statue so much that she felt she just had to touch it, even though that was forbidden. She lingered behind the others, and ran her hands over the curves of the smooth marble. A guard saw her, but tactfully looked the other way, so she could enjoy the treasure.
They went to Greece and reveled in the ruins of Greek buildings. Pompei thrilled them, and the Blue Grotto at Capri, and she thought Amalfi Drive was the loveliest ride in the world. When they were in Algiers Emogene and another woman passenger became separated from the other tourists, and got lost in the old section of the town. They were terribly frightened, for they couldn’t find their way out of the little narrow streets. Once some native men locked arms and filled the street so they couldn’t pass. They couldn’t fine anyone who spoke English, and they knew it was time for the boat to sail. Near sundown they had to walk around many workmen who were praying to Allah. Finally they found a cab drive, who raced them back to the boat. Edward had been frantic, and had persuaded the Captain to hold the boat for two hours. All the passengers were leaning over the rail, straining their eyes hoping to see the lost women. When they finally drove up, everyone cheered loudly, and Edward hugged and kissed Emogene in front of everyone.
In Germany they visited relatives of Edward’s in several towns. The Burgomeister of Freiburg was a distant cousin, and the principal street was Wintererstrasse. Edward spoke German with his people, and Emogene noted in her diary how lonely she was where she couldn’t enter into the conversation, and she wrote how much she missed her children.
She was terribly annoyed in Holland with the eternal cleaning. When they left their room to go sight-seeing in the morning, immediately the maids would come in, move all the furniture, scrub and clean all day, and sometimes they didn’t have the room in order by evening when they returned. The maids threw all the dirty scrubbing water out the window into the street, and narrowly missed Emogene’s head.
Paris to her meant a Paris gown, but Edward wouldn’t let her have one made because he was a little worried about their money holding out. She cried, so he promised her a fine dress when they got to New York. He kept his promise and bought her a dress with a Paris label when they got to New York and back in Hollywood she didn’t tell her friends she hadn’t bought it in Paris. She never quite forgave Edward for denying her that pleasure.
She bought fine lace in Brussels, and in Ireland, she always enjoyed good lace, and never could resist a salesman who came to the door with it. She collected many sets of fine table laces. She also liked fine materials, especially woolens, and always had several pieces of material on hand to be made up into suits. Sometimes she insisted that the men in the family use these materials, whether they wanted to or not.
Emogene was active in the Daughters of the Revolution, and for several years was president of the Hollywood Woman’s Club. She was a good leader, but I don’t think she really enjoyed club work. I think she did it principally because being in public life was a help to Edward’s business.
Edward liked to see new places, and took the family in the automobile over all sorts of roads. Emogene was often terrified on the mountain grades. Once on a narrow road they had barely enough space to pass another car. The cars had canvas tops with metal supports. Emogene stuck her head between the supports to see the other car, and as the car passed she nearly had her head taken off. Edward insisted on taking her, whether she wanted to go on these trips or not. The boys loved to go, and the more dangerous the roads, the better they liked them.
They had a boat trip to Alaska before they moved to Hollywood. Periodically they took other nice trips. They went to Central America, and to Cuba, and to Hawaii and New Zealand and Australia. They saw every state in the union. One year they traveled 11,000 miles by automobile.
They liked nothing better than to have their family with them. When the grandchildren came to visit, she gave all her attention to them, reading to them and playing games. Christmas was a wonderful time for her. One year she had 28 people for dinner, and it was a dinner unsurpassed. She always planned some entertainment after the dinner. One year she learned to do a Spanish dance for us, and she did it so well. Once she passed white candles to each of us, which she lighted, and we all sang “auld lang syne”. She usually brought out the very best table service when the family came to dinner, and often put on an evening gown. Nothing was too good for her family.
(From Genealogy of Ingersoll Family in America by Lillian B. Avery)
“Inge” is Scandinavian, and is first identified as the name of a celebrated Scandinavian Chieftan or Lord by the name of “Ingebar” who came into England with the invading Danish folk and settled in Middlesex and adjoining counties. This “Ingebar” bequeathed his name as a surname to a large number of English families. As for instance such families as Inglis, Ingram, Ingolsby, Ingerson, Ingleside, Inge, and Ingersoll. It may be noted here that Inge, son of Harold, King of Norway, lived in the twelfth century. (Patronymica Brittica Lower)
The name Ingersoll (Inkersall), is due to a combination of the surname “Inge” with the French word “Sale” which is the old French meaning for “house”. The first form of the name, therefore, was Ingersall. This form gradually changed to Ingersole and finally to the present Ingersoll. It should be noted that the name “Ingersoll” may possibly have been formed by combination of the Scandinavian word “Inge” with the Scandinavian word hail, holl, or all. The name appears in Bedwolf 51547. The Ingersolls (Inkersales) were found in the fifteenth century in Middlesex, Suffolk, Surrey, Hamshire, Nottinghamshire and Bedfordshire. As far as may be ascertained from present sources of information the name, as an appellation of a family of English gentlemen, appeared first in Nottinghamshire and the family which originated there passed into Herefordshire and possibly later to Hampshire and Bedfordshire.
Among the references to the name of Ingersoll (Inkersall) are the following:
In the thirteenth century in Amesbury Parish, West Riding, Yorkshire, Harrison, etc. etc. (Text omitted. Refer to genealogy book above.)
The Ingersoll arms and crest are testified under the hand of Sir William Segar, Garter, as is affirmed by John Phillipot, Somersett, and are as follows:
Arms Gules, a fess dancette, ermine between six trefoils slipped or.
Crest A griffin head gules, gorged with a fess dancette ermine, between two wings displayed or feathered sable.
There is a Latin motto on the coast of arms which is said to read “Virtue lives, but fame dies.”
Geoffrey Inkersall of Southwell married Dorothy, daughter of Richard Moreign Hall, Co. Mott and one of his heirs.
The only son of Geoffrey Ingersoll (Inkersall) who is named in the “visitations” was Robert Ingersoll of Weston County, Hergfordshire, who inherited the Ingersoll arms from his father and was one of the gentlemen of the Royal Court (Gentlemen of the Removing Wardrobe). Robert Ingersoll (Inkersall) married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Blover of Weston, Herefordshire. Their children were Robert, John, Grace, Elizabeth and Dorothy. Elizabeth married George Harrison of Orgrove. Robert, being the eldest, succeeded to his father’s estates. John, the second son, born about 1640, seems to be identical with the John who emigrated as a child in 1654 to American and became afterwards known as John of Huntington.
It may be assumed as definitely determined that all the Ingersolls (Inkersalls) that came to this country in the early Puritan Movement were related to Geoffrey Ingersoll (Inkersall) of Southwell, Nottinghamshire, England. The first Ingersoll (Inkersall) came to America in 1629. This was Richard Ingersoll, who came out of Bedfordshire (adjoining herts) and married Agnes Langley at Sands, or Sandy, Bedfordshire.
Jayred Ingersoll was a signer of the United States Constitution. He was born in Connecticut in 1749, and died in Philadelphia, 1822. He was a lawyer, a member of Congress from Pennsylvania in 1780-91. He attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787, was an unsuccessful Federal Candidate for the Vice-President in 1812. A copy of a painting by him by Rembrandt Peal hangs in Independence Hall, Philadelphia.
(I don’t know his relationship to your branch of the family. Perhaps you can find out in the Ingersoll genealogy book that Uncle Horace has.)