Bessie Gertrude Strader

Bessie was born in Minnesota on November 14th 1898.

Bessie's parents were Charles Franklin Strader (11 Aug 1873 [Canton, St Lawrence, New York, United States] - Stettler, Alberta, Canada) and Gertrude James (Sep 1882 in Minnesota - ).

Married to William Hollie Westfall

Move to Los Angeles

The 1943 City Directory for Glendale does not have Westfal, Westphal, or Strader. However, the 1944 City Directory, published Jan 15 1944, shows Leila J Lile on p 306 as an aeroworker at r138½ S Everett. Westfall Bessie S Mrs. is at h138½ S Everett. Westfall Marjorie D is at r138½ S Everett, the same address as Leila J Lile. No listings in the 1945 nor 1947 directories; the 1946 directory was missing.

Settling in Hanford

Check if there were any other Strader relatives in Hanford.

Married to Ysidro

Bessie married Ysidro Garcia Raygoza in Hanford. Leila recalls that they likely married before Marge was married.

Death in Hanford

Passed away 1988 Sep 24.

Bessie as author

Punching the Clock for Freedom

Punching the Clock for Freedom has been transcribed.

Letter

Left at 7pm arr about 10:45 up until 12:30 am

Slept good until 6 up + went back until 8 am. Got up Orion up Tao too. Marge got up - mad -

Couldn't help any. She made my bkfst. And was Argumentative Cross, bossy -- I guess it is good to prove how very bad it would be to live with her unless I was deaf dumb + blind. Could just sit lump like in a conner. Impossible to say anything. Sure decided about any stay of length ***** I might come up to spend the day. Nothing seems to go right + nothing pleases, the children are no different in fact. I think even less brilliant. School don't make brains. Nature does that.

Sundial

The yellow pamphlet "Sundial" is a collection from the Spring-Summer 1988 cohort of the Adult Creative Writing Class sponsored by the Adult School under the direction of the Visalia Unified School District.

Within it were some writings from Bessie. Out of the pamphlet's 59 pages she wrote a total of 2, which makes her among the least prolific people in the class. I'M A CANDLE is the most vivid instance of her creative writing voice. The second contribution from her reflects her personality but is composed almost entirely of other people's voices (as the title indicates). I like her remark about the post office. It combines the sense that things are changing quickly that she reveals in the third piece, with the fact that she perhaps spent a lot of time at the post office since she seems to have enjoyed letters.

The third, final contribution she made to the pamphlet seems more like a book review and seemingly unpolished expression of frustration and uncertainty. The careless typos in this piece seem to be just were just that, careless errors when her writing was typed up from a likely handwritten manuscript -- but who knows whether the typos were originally typed by Bessie or were caused by the pamphlet's typist.

I'm A Candle
I am like a lighted candle sitting by an open window,
A breeze makes the candle's light flicker, bow down, and squirm;
But the candle burns on until a gust of wind extinguishes its flame
Leaving only a small round of soft wax and a brittle, black wick
To show where once was a glowing life.
Other People's Opinions and Sayings

In an old Readers [sic] Digest I found this, "There's little chance of people getting together as most people want to be in the back of the church, the front of the bus and the middle of the road."

"I'm telling you when the farmer goes there isn't going to be a country; just a lot of people. There are too many organizations and too many figuring to heck with the other guy. People don't work together and we need each other."

Heard on a plane -- "Every time I get to thinking the world is moving too fast, I go to the post office."

Columnist Elizabeth Grant said, "The older I grew the less important the comma becomes -- let the reader catch his own breath."

We Can Only Wait and Hope

Books are great. Books are entertaining; they make us laugh and they can make us cry. They are often called passers-of-time. But, sometimes a book can make a person aware of something that exists and has not been thought of as dangerous. Then a book starts you thinking and you become afraid, deathly afraid and worried. So much afraid and worried that when I think of future generations, perhaps, even the now generation handing on the plans of the Shan [sic] of Iran, who is a fanatic and likely deranged. [It seems incomplete, but I double-checked.]

The farther I got in Paul E. Erdman's "THE CRASH OF '79" book of 428 pages the more frightened I became. In fact, I got more than frightened, I became terrified to think of what could, or might, happen.

What does a person do when that happens? Should you go out into the streets and yell, "DANGER AHEAD. BEWARE! STOP LOOK AND LISTEN?" I might even collect crows, "What's this all about? She must be crazy. Someone should call her folks, or take her home." All this they would be saying while I was shouting, "Do you realize the United States is calmly sitting on barrels of eastern oil and the Shan of Iran is holding a lighted torch?

He is a dire threat and if he knew for sure there would be delays and no repercussions he would not hesitate to apply that torch. The only think that is holding him back is he knows if just one United States airplane with a load of nuclear bombs escapes his attach his oil kingdom and he would be finished. [sic] His intentions were proven when he kept the people in the United States Embassy so long. Do you think the Shah gave them up for free, out of the goodness of his heart? Of course not. After reading this book I concluded that the Shah had some guarantee of getting the war weapons and supplies he wanted. Some influential person, or persons, not the then President Carter, but others guaranteed that.

After the prisoners were released, the Shah had everything he wanted to make bombs of any size he desired. He also got scientists and instructors to use their know-how to help the Iranians make them.

That shows naivety of this government, even issuing pamphlets to anyone how to make bombs drugs, or whatever, even to criminals.

I got more frightened and worried as I neared the end of the book. Because of the way our so-called, intelligent officials, whom we voted in to run the country solved one problem, should make all United States citizens take notice.

The United States was short of money, banks were going broke, New York City was close to bankruptcy, no one, it seemed was too concerned; out [sic] smart Washington men would solve these minor problems in the wink of an eye. Banks borrowed from banks to meet the "I WANT MY MONEY," demands of the depositers; those of them somehow found out there was an ill-wind blowing. But, some of the banks went broke anyway, and the rest were worried so they descended on Washington D.C. saying, "There's no money, what can we do?"

Smart Washington thought and thought and decided the only way was to PRINT MORE MONEY, as the U.S. was in bad trouble, the Arabs, who had hung [sic] sums of United States money were holding back, spreading their trillions between different countries, leaving the U.S. holding empty bags. Too much of our money had gone to foreign countries, too much spent on arms for way, too much spent to keep the population satisfied as the Asians had swelled the population to over-flowing. So the idea of printing MORE MONEY was the only one left: the U.S. had plenty of PAPER and idle presses. Of course, there was no gold or silver backing it. Where was the gold and silver? It is likely in neutral Switzerland's over-flowing banks.

The money solution really happened, the remaining banks were saved. The Shah was -- we hope IS -- satisfied with the arms he now could use against the United States anytime. That threat remains, my fears remain, so what's to do about it? Just wait and see and hope is about all we citizens can do.

The last paragraph of "THE CRASH of '79" in this book is: "The world was now forced to live with a bank system that lay in ruins, with monetary chaos, and the prospect of having to survive on half of its former oil reserves. The lights everywhere gradually began to flicker and fade."

So, we, who are the survivors, having enjoyed the very best of times, can now go back a couple of hundred years and face what the pioneers faced with much less resources and I'm afraid a lot less courage. I can't help wondering if the now [sic] generation, being used to so much plenty and expecting that to go on forever has the stamina to being [sic] their hopes to fruition.

Bessie Strader family tree

  • Charles F Strader (c 1877 [NY], or 1873 Aug [NY] - )
    • Married 1897 - 1898 to Nellie (c 1884 [MN] - ) or Gertrude (1882 Sept [MN] - )
    • Bessie Strader (1898 Nov 14 [MN] - )
      • Married to William Hollie Westfall
      • Doris Marjorie Westfall
        • Married to Myron Benjamin Levi. Five children. One grandchild.
      • Married to Ysidro Garcia Raygoza
      • no children
    • Mabel A Strader (c 1901 [MN] - )
    • Blanche Strader (c 1903 [MN] - )
    • Dorothy Strader (c 1904 [MN] - )
    • Ingersell Strader (c 1906 [MN] - )
    • Thomas O Strader (c 1908 [MN] - )

Research

1900 census
1900 June 19
Star Lake township, Otter Tail county, MN. Charles Strader (head) - age 26, born 1873 Aug in NY; father from Canada (English); mother from Canada (Irish); married 3 years; farmer. Gertrude E Strader (wife) - age 17, born 1882 Sep; both parents English; married 3 years; two children and two surviving. Bessie Strader (daughter) - age 1, born 1898 Nov in MN; father from NY; mother from MN. Hazel Strader (daughter) - age illegible, born 1900 Apr in MN; father from NY; mother from MN. William L Strader (brother) - age 23, born 1876 Oct in NY; father from Canada (English); mother from Canada (Irish); single; invalid. All are white. There are conflicts with the 1910 census: Charles age; his wife's name is either Gertrude or Nellie, but the years married indicate these are two names for the same woman; his wife's age. I believe this is the correct census because the 1910 census says Charles was married 12 years, which would have included this census. Also, Bessie is a perfect match down to the month of her birth. I think that Hazel/Mabel are the same child, but there might be an incorrect entry in one of the censuses.
1905 census Charles F Strader - age 31, born c 1874 in NY; father from Canada; mother from NY; lived 20 years in MN; lived 18 years in district; farmer. Nellie Strader - age 22, born c 1883 in MN; both parents from England; lived 22 years in MN; lived 8 years in district; house wife. Mabel Strader - age 6, born c 1899 in MN; father from NY; mother from MN; lived 6 years in MN; lived 6 years in district. Blanche Strader - age 4, born c 1901 in MN; father from NY; mother from MN; lived 4 years in MN; lived 4 years in district. Dorothy Strader - age 2, born c 1903 in MN; father from NY; mother from MN; lived 2 years in MN; lived 2 years in district. Lawson Strader - age 28, born c 1877 in NY; father from Canada; mother from NY; lived 20 years in MN; lived 18 years in district; farm laborer. All are white.
1905 census Star Lake township, Otter Tail, MN. Separations between households are unclear. T J Holman - age 64; born c 1846 in KY; father from KY; mother from France; lived 24 years in MN; lived 8 years in district; carpenter. Clara Holman - age 50; born c 1860 in NY; father English; mother Irish; lived 26 years in MN; lived 26 years in district; house keeping. Minnie Strader - age 18; born c 1887 in MN; both parents from NY; lived 18 years in MN; lived 18 years in district; Bessie Strader - age 6; born c 1899 in MN; both parents from NY; lived 6 years in MN; lived 6 years in district. All are white.
1910 census
1910 May 03
Edna township, Otter Tail, MN. Thomas J Holman (head) - age 69; born c 1841 in KY; both parents born in KY; second marriage; married currently for 13 years; carpenter in the industry of house and something illegible; children field is left blank. Clara Holman (wife) - age 54; born c 1856 in NY; both her parents are from Ireland; second marriage; married currently for 13 years; no occupation (housekeeper); six children, five surviving. Bessie Strader (granddaughter) - age 11; born c 1899 in MN; father from NY; mother from MN. All are white.
1910 census
1910 May 11
Star Lake township, Otter Tail, MN. Charles F Strader (head) - age 33; born c 1877 in NY; father Canadian (German); mother Canadian (Irish); married currently for 12 years; laborer in working something illegible. Nellie Strader (wife) - age 26; born c 1884 in MN; both parents from England (English); married currently for 12 years; six children and six surviving children. There are six children listed, all daughters and sons of the head, all born in MN, all with father born in NY, all with mother born in MN. Bessie Strader - age 11; born c 1899 in MN. Mabel A Strader - age 9; born c 1901 in MN. Blanche Strader - age 7; born c 1903 in MN. Dorothy Strader - age 6; born c 1904 in MN. Ingersell Strader - age 4; born c 1906 in MN. Thomas O Strader - age 2; born c 1908 in MN.
1920 census Dent village, Otter Tail county, MN. W H Westfall (head) - age 37, born c 1883 in WV; both parents born in WV; occupation illegible. Bessie Westfall (wife) - age 21, born c 1899 in MN; both parents born in MN; housewife. Marjorie Westfall - age age 2, born c 1918 in MN; father from WV; mother from MN. All are white. Owned home.
1930 census White Earth township, Ogema, Becker county, MN. William H Westfall (head) - age 47, born c 1883 in WV; both parents born in WV; age 34 when married; dry goods salesman. Bessie G Westfall (wife) - age 31, born c 1899 in MN; father from NY; mother from MN; age 18 when married. Doris M Westfall (daughter) - age 12, born c 1918 in MN; father from WV; mother from MN. All are white.
1940 census Wadena village, Wadena, MN. First Street NW. William Westfall (head) - age 58, born c 1882 in WV; 7th grade education; proprietor of cafe. Bessie Westfall (wife) - age 31, born c 1899 in MN; four years of high school education. Doris Westfall (daughter) - age 22, born c 1918 in MN; one year of college. All lived in same house at last census. All are white.
1943 Glendale directory No listing under Westfal, Westphal, nor Strader. Researched at Glendale Public Library, Special Collections.
1944 Glendale directory Published Jan 15 1944. Leila J Lile, aeroworker, r138½ S Everett p 306. Marjorie D Westfall, r138½ S Everett. Mrs. Bessie S Westfall, h138½ S Everett. Researched at Glendale Public Library, Special Collections.
1945 Glendale directory No listing. Researched at Glendale Public Library, Special Collections. Researched at Glendale Public Library, Special Collections.
1946 Glendale directory I was told the directory for this year was missing. Researched at Glendale Public Library, Special Collections.
1947 Glendale directory No listing. Researched at Glendale Public Library, Special Collections.
1988 death Born 1898 Nov 14 in MN. Died 1988 Sep 24 in Tulare, CA. Father's name: Strader. Mother's name: James.
1988 death Born 1900 Apr 22. Died 1988 Sep 24. SSN 560-30-6111. Last place of residence: 93291, Tulare, CA. Her birthday is in conflict with every other source and appears to be an error.
Clara and Thomas Holman
1873 Holman-Shephard marriage Maybe correct, though location seems unlikely. Clara Shephard. Thomas Holman. Married 1873 Dec 25 in Saint John Evangelist, Limehouse, London, England.
1900 census Village of Pelican Rapids, Otter Tail, MN. Thomas Holman (head) - age 59, born 1841 March in KY; both parents born in KY; married 4 years; carpenter. Clara Holman (wife) - age 44, born 1844 Feb in NY; both parents born in Ireland; married 4 years; six children, five surviving. Roy Strader (stepson) - age 15, born 1884 Dec in MN; father born in Canada (English); mother born in NY. Minnie Strader (stepdaughter) - age 13, born 1887 Jan in MN; father born in Canada (English); mother born in NY.
1938 Clara Holman death Clara Holman. Born 1855. Father: Guy Scott. Mother: Mary Ann Marshall. Spouse: Thomas J Holman. Died 1938 Oct 05 in Bemidji, Beltrami, MN.
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