Sunday, April 13, 2014

More Staeheli's in Texas

My cousin, Diann Apfelbeck, forwarded the Staeheli info to me yesterday.  I was so thrilled to see all the Staeheli family history.  My mother was Johanna (Hannah) Romang, daughter of Johanna Staeheli and Gottfried Romang.  My grandmother stayed in Wisconsin when the rest of her family went on to Washington because she met and fell in love with my grandfather, Gottfried Romang.  I remember Aunt Walda and Daphne coming to visit us in the 50’s when we were living in Milwaukee.  In fact, Aunt Walda sent me a stuffed koala bear when she returned to Tasmania.  I still have the bear.


My husband, John Lax, my children, Jolie and Jason, my mom, and my Aunt Mildred, who married Gottfried, another son of Johanna and Gottfried Romang, all visited our relatives in Seattle and Spokane in the early 80’s right after Mt. St. Helens erupted.   One of our favorite remembrances of that trip was visiting Virginia and Rock because Rock took some of us up in his plane for ride over the Seattle area.  We truly enjoyed meeting many of our relatives while on that vacation. 


John and I have resided in Houston since 1986.  Our two children are married and we now have four grandchildren who are all Texans!  If you ever get to Texas, please stop and visit!


Judy Lax

8531 Star Hollow Lane

Houston, TX 77095


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Contact from Wisconsin

In this morning's email there was a contact from Diann Lehman Apfelbeck, who lives in Medford, Wisconsin.  Diann learned about this blog from a nephew who had happened on it. 

Diann and her brother, Gary Lehman from Edgar, Wisconsin are children of Rose Lehman who was born to Johanna Waldburga Staeheli and Gottfried Romang.

Diann has a family photo to share.  She also inquired about a family facebook page, an idea I had not considered.  That will be another way to connect the Staeheli family so I will get to work on that.

I look forward to adding information about the Wisconsin Staeheli's to the Staeheli Family websites.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Daphne Dempsy Moves After 55 Years

In December Daphne Dempsey wrote to inform me she has moved from her home of 55 years in Kenmore to an assisted living facility in Bothell.  She describes Vineyard Park as a very lovely facility where she has her own one bedroom apartment with a living room and kitchen. There are many activities, games, exercising classes, a library and more.

You may contact Daphne at -

Vineyard Park at Bothell Landing
10519 East Riverside Drive
Apt. 211
Bothell, WA 98011

I will provide her telephone number by request.

A New Facebook Friend

I received a Facebook invitation from J'Nene Staeheli-Boland and clicked to include her as a friend.  J'Nene is a sister of Jerry Staeheli who my father and I met several years ago in Spokane.  It has been gratifying to know Jerry and I am pleased to have contact with J'Nene, too.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Den Dempsey Updates from Irene Dempsey

December 21
I bought Den a leather recliner for Christmas and he enjoys the change from the wheel chair.  He is eating a little, but keeps saying he wants a Sub sandwich.
January 7
Den had surgery on his right eye yesterday. Den and the doctor were great. I was a nervous wreck.  Anyway, it went well and in two weeks the stitches come out and his eye should be much improved.
Tiny steps, but in the right direction. He has eight therapies a week and every one moves him a little closer to a better life.  He's so strong and determined!  Love to you all. Irene
January 15
When we woke up yesterday I put my hand on Den's face and knew immediately he had a fever. I grabbed the thermometer and found it was 101. I called the doc and he said "Probably pneumonia, Take him to ER".  So I did.  
But the good news is it isn't pneumonia. He has a kidney stone in the left kidney that has stopped up plumbing and caused a very serious infection. So he been in ICU again and has been flooded with liquids and antibiotics and they put a tube into the kidney to drain the infection.
Poor Den !  Another tube! Anyway, tonight he is better and out of ICU. When he is stable, I can bring him home and monitor the kidney tube for some time until the infection is gone. Then he'll go back for a surgery to remove the stone. It is very fortunate that we discovered it right away.
So, my sweet Den is back in the hospital and dealing with tubes and doctors again. He has definitely had far more than his share of the hospital scene. When I left tonight he said, "I want to go home with you." It broke my heart to leave him.
But we will prevail! He is the strongest fighter I know and he is determined to win.
Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  Much love to all. Irene
January 19
Den is home today. Very weak and quiet. The infection and the antibiotics are battling in his kidney. But his numbers are all pretty good. Keep thinking of him. Love to all
January 23
Den is home. Very tired and weak with the bugs and antibiotics battling inside, but he is a strong and determined fighter and doing well. Thanks for the many messages of love and support. We have some wonderful friends. Love to all.
February 8
Den is home again from another stay in the hospital with very serious Sepsis. He's had so many tubes and meds and needles, he's exhausted and very lethargic, but still up for therapy. I've never seen such a strong will as his. Anyway, he's home again and loves to get cards, visits and phone calls. Our love to you all. Irene

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Verne Alexander HO Railroad

Verne Alexander first emailed me in April of 2011 and I posted his information on this blog in February of this year.  This report repeats his description of his relationship with Paul and Glenn Staeheli.  Also included are photos from his HO railroad layout featuring the Addy Creamery.

I am not a member of the Staeheli family per se.  Paul Mathias Staeheli was my uncle, having married my father’s (Robert Alexander) sister Erma.  Glenn Albert was my cousin. 

In reading the section on Paul Mathias I noted some errors, and my intent here is to offer more accurate information.  Paul served his entire NP career in Spokane.  The nomadic career path listed for Paul properly belongs to his son, Glenn (spelled with two “N’s”).  Glenn was a road foreman of engines, not an inspector.  I am almost certain that his wartime service was in the Navy, not the army.

Paul had a one car garage on our property in Spokane, which was but a three block walk to the NP roundhouse.  I thus saw him frequently during my childhood as he came by on his way to or from work.  He had a gruff exterior, and I was afraid of him.  As I grew older I got a better handle on what he was like, which led to a greater appreciation of the man.  He had a Calvinistic work ethic, and believed that everyone should.  He was reserved around people until he was satisfied that they had the right character.  If ever one got a sign of approval from Paul, it meant a lot. 
Paul lived in a house he built on our original homestead property during my father’s childhood and youth.  My father’s father (Elmer E. Alexander) had been out of my father’s life since he was 6 years old.  Paul stepped in as a father figure, and remained my father’s principal role model for the rest of his life.  They were frequent companions on the railroad, hunting and fishing, and at the Staeheli house. 
I moved away from Spokane to attend school, but was privileged to be able to visit Paul on what proved to be his death bed.  There was a lot of denial going on in the family at the time, but without using the words Paul made it very clear that he knew he was dying and that this would be our last contact.  I felt genuine affection from him, and I was inspired by the manner in which he was facing his death head on, just as he faced everything in his life.

I did not get to know Glenn until after he retired from the railroad.  He shared many of his father’s characteristics.  We talked railroading extensively; he as a professional and me as a fan and modeler.  Before he died, Glenn absolutely insisted that I ride my bicycle on a stretch of abandoned Milwaukee road bed In the Bitterroot mountains of Idaho.  I shall forever be indebted to him for urging me into one of the greatest experiences of my life!

I am extremely happy to have had the opportunity to read so many things about the Staeheli family that I did not know.  I have Addy on my HO scale model railroad and I run a milk train that collects raw milk in cans as it works its way up from Spokane.  At the Staeheli creamery in Addy it exchanges its can car of raw milk for another car of finished dairy products.  These are unloaded at the team track in Spokane, one of the principle customers being the Davenport Hotel.  In real life the creamery never had rail service, but having it on my layout is a nice way of preserving memories.

My best to you as you continue in your pursuit of family history.

Verne Alexander

CRAP is the acronym for my HO scale Colville, Republic and Palouse railroad.  The CRAP runs north and south out of Spokane.  To the north it resembles the GN Kettle Falls branch; to the south it resembles the NP Palouse and Lewiston branch.  It is harvest time in 1944, and the war is still going on.



The Staeheli Creamery in Addy

In June of 2010 I received a packet of news clippings from JB of the Stevens County Historical Society in Colville, WA.  Among the clippings is the only photo I have seen of the Addy Creamery.  There is no evidence of that building now.

I was aware of Souvenir Editions of the Colville newspaper but could not find them among the newspapers kept as records at the newspaper office.  These clippings must be from copies with the historical society.

While visiting Colville, my father and I ate at the restaurant which occupies the former Staeheli Creamery there.  Attached is an article describing the opening of the Colville creamery.