Sanford Wiseheart: Wise, Resourceful, and Industrious (52 Ancestors #09)

“Pap used to say, ‘If you can’t find work, make work.'”  These are words I frequently heard from my grandpa about his father.

Sanford Wesley “Sandy” Wiseheart was born on October 30, 1890 in Elizabeth, Indiana to parents William Henry and Frances Lydia “Fannie” (Browning) Wiseheart.  In the 1910 Census, he was still living with his parents.  He was a peddler working on his own account and owned his own wagon.  Grandpa told me that when his dad was younger he used to buy things in town and load them up on a wagon and sell them at a slight profit to the people who couldn’t make it into town.

In 1917, Sandy filled out a Draft Registration Card.  His occupation was “driver for David Brubeck.”  According to the 1917 New Albany City Directory, David Brubeck was the owner of Brubeck Ice Cream Company.  About a month later, on Sandy’s marriage application with his first wife, his occupation is listed as paper hanger, that is one who hangs wallpaper.

In August of 1918, Sandy went to France and served in the occupation of Privenelle Sector, west of Moselle (Second Army Offensive).

Sanford Wesley Wiseheart (ca. 1914)

Sanford Wesley Wiseheart (ca. 1918)

While there, he was a medical transporter in Field Hospital 22.  He frequently wrote to his mother and to his friend, Mildred Springer.  One such letter contained the following:

if you could of saw what I have over here you would learn that there is no use to worry about anything we must just keep a brave heart and meet our trouble half way for we cannot change what must be.

Sandy married Mildred Gertrude Springer, his second marriage, on May 5, 1920 in Floyd County, Indiana.  Here, Sandy’s occupation was “transfer business,” which is delivery service.  On the 1930 Census, he was a salesman of medicines and toiletries.

Grandpa also told me that during the 1937 flood, Sandy and one of his friends borrowed a neighbor’s rowboat and took hay around to the stranded cows.

The 1940 Census lists Sandy as being a general contractor, working on his own account, who repairs and builds homes.  In 1941, he bought a farm and the family raised crops and chickens as well.

Sandy Wiseheart on the farm.

Sanford Wiseheart on the farm.

Sandy wasn’t afraid of hard work, and he did whatever job was necessary and available in order to provide for his family.

Wiseheart, Sanford - business card

Jonathan Lindley: From Orange County to Orange County (52 Ancestors #08)

I haven’t done any real research on my Lindley line yet.  I suppose I always thought they’re fairly well documented and it will all still be there when I’m ready.  Jonathan Lindley was my sixth great grandfather and my eighth great uncle.  I am descended from his daughter, Hannah, and his nephew, Owen.  My grandpa told me a story about Jonathan Lindley on more than one occasion.

In the spring of 1811, Jonathan Lindley and his wife, she was Deborah Dicks (or Dix), moved their whole family and a large number of freed slaves from North Carolina up here to Indiana, up in Orange County.  They were Quakers, see, and they didn’t believe that people should be slaves.  They wanted to make sure that these freed slaves got up here safely.  They also wanted to live in a state where slavery was illegal.  I don’t know exactly how many went or what all their names were, but one of them freed slaves was called Alexander Polecat.  He was a character.  Always crackin’ jokes.

When they got to the Ohio River, they had to camp a while on the Kentucky side.  The water was too high to cross, see.  So, they camped there the first night and everything was fine, but the next mornin’, Jonathan Lindley’s dog was missin’.  Well they looked around and they called for him but he never did come, so they figured he must’ve been scared off by an animal or somethin’.  Some time later, they got a letter from an old neighbor down in North Carolina sayin’ the dog come home.  Now, isn’t that somethin’, a dog findin’ his way back home all those miles?

In February of 2014, I went to Orange County, Indiana with my dad.  We stopped at Lick Creek Friends Cemetery to see Jonathan and Deborah Lindley’s memorial stone.

Jonathan and Deborah Lindley memorial stone with original tombstones on either side.  Photo taken by Melissa Wiseheart, 28 Feb 2014.

Jonathan and Deborah Lindley memorial stone with original tombstones on either side. Photo taken by Melissa Wiseheart, 28 Feb 2014.

I will get around to researching the Lindleys.  My focus, for the moment, is telling the stories of those ancestors whose lives are relatively unknown.

Marie Neider: The Dancing Queen (52 Ancestors #06)

I know very little about my great grandmother, Marie Neider.  She was born in Lampertheim, Germany to parents Christian and Elisabeth Neider on January 25, 1922.  She had three daughters, one of whom died at the age of one, and one adopted son.  She was married to Rolf Wolfgang Wölfert genannt Schmidt.  She died in November of 1993, when I was ten years old.

My only memories of Oma (Marie) are vague at best.  She and Opa (Rolf) flew here from Germany to visit for a while when I was about one and a half.  I remember walking with Oma and Opa down a sidewalk.  I remember stopping to smell the roses on the rose bush with them.  I remember them giving me Äpfel (apples).  I remember Oma laughing a lot.

Years later, in 1989, I remember waiting with my family in the kitchen for a while.  The Berlin Wall had just come down and we were waiting for her phone call.  I remember my mom and grandmother talking to her, but I don’t remember getting to talk to her.  Although, I was six, so I may just not remember.

I recently asked my grandmother to tell me about her.  I’ve heard stories, both good and bad, over the years, but I really wanted to know what she was like.  She told me that Oma was a very social person.  She loved to go to parties and her favorite thing to do was dance.  Whenever she danced, she was happy.

Gottfried und Marie tanzen.

Gottfried und Marie tanzen.

There is much that I need to learn about her still.  I’m planning to take a class on German genealogy to learn how to find records over there.  My grandmother said that her sister has a book with information in it that she will see if she can get copies of for us.

Sanford Wiseheart: The Strong, Silent Type (52 Ancestors #05)

Mary Elizabeth (Gilliland) Rakestraw with her great grandson, Sanford "Bud" Wiseheart, circa 1924.

Mary Elizabeth (Gilliland) Rakestraw with her great grandson, Sanford “Bud” Wiseheart, circa 1924.

Sanford William “Bud” Wiseheart was born on May 30, 1923 in New Albany, Indiana to Sanford Wesley and Mildred Gertrude (Springer) Wiseheart.1  Bud’s great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Rakestraw, lived with the family until her death in 1935.2,3  She was the widow of a Civil War soldier and passed down many family stories to Bud and his siblings.  In 1941, Bud’s father bought a farm just outside New Albany.  They raised crops and chickens.  Plucking the chickens was one of Bud’s jobs.  He never would eat any poultry after that.

Sanford "Bud" Wiseheart on the farm.

Sanford “Bud” Wiseheart on the farm.

Bud married Dolores Louise Schroeder on August 2, 1958 at Atkins Chapel United Methodist Church in Floyd Knobs, Indiana.4,5,6  (For their engagement story, see Dolores Schroeder).  They had four sons.6  Bud was a carpenter.  He worked for New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation and he also did some freelance work.  He was also very active in the church.  He was an usher, bell ringer, Sunday school teacher, and maintenance man for Atkins Chapel.  He also built the church’s Harvest Homecoming booth and assisted with Vacation Bible School.  Bud died at home on October 30, 2014.7

Sanford William "Bud" Wiseheart

Sanford William “Bud” Wiseheart

My grandpa was a hard working man who didn’t seem to have much to say, but when he did say something, it was more than worth it to pay attention.  He was an excellent story teller and knew a lot about a lot of things.  Every time he told me a story, it was full of heart.  Bud was no stranger to hard times, but he weathered them all.  The following is a story, in his own words, that includes two such times:

World War II.  I must’ve been nineteen when it started.  After a while, they started draftin’ and they had a bunch of us went over to Louisville and we were sent letters that we were to be inducted into the Armed Forces.  Thirty three of us went over in that bus from New Albany to Louisville and eleven of us came back rejected.

They examined me and I had a bad ear.  And the psychologist held me up and asked me all kinds of questions.  He asked me what I got out of life.  I told him, ‘I like to help other people, my mother and my father.’  And he kept callin’ me ‘Old Man.’  Nineteen years old and he’s callin’ me ‘Old Man.’  He said, ‘Tell me, Old Man, was there ever somebody in your life you loved very deeply?’  And I said, ‘Well, I can’t think of anything right off.’  Of course, what it was, my little sister, Mary Katherine, I used to sometimes change her diapers.  I was kind of an interpreter.  Sometimes she’d say something to her mother and Ma would ask me what she said.  And so, when she was two years old, she walked right past where I was cleanin’ the stables out and into the neighbors’ yard and fell in the fish pond and drowned.  That went pretty hard with me.  I felt responsible, like I should’ve seen her.  I should’ve saved her.  I even prayed to God to bring her back and take me in her place…

But gettin’ back to it.  I took a heck of a lot of flack.  One time I was goin’ to the grocery with Pap and someone remarked, ‘There’s a young man who ought to be in the military.’  Well, now you can’t tell by lookin’ at somebody that they ought to be in the military.  I just never did have any desire to shoot and kill anybody, but I never made any effort to avoid the draft.

They sent a notice out, ‘All people that are unfit for military service are expected to get into the defense work to help the cause.’  And if we didn’t go somewhere voluntarily, they were goin’ to draft us into defense work.  So I went on up to Charlestown and got in on the construction over there.

My mother got a letter one day from Clara Edwards.  ‘My Dear Mrs. Wiseheart, Thank you for your compliments on Albert and Vernon.’  They had both been inducted into the Army, you see.  ‘Thank you for your compliments on their nerves.  Well, let me tell you something.  All you’ll ever see out of the Wiseheart boys is dirty bedsheets, the dirty yellowbacks.’  And then she signed it off.  ‘Course Frank was too young and I was 4F, I couldn’t help it.  Not that I wanted to go, but they said I was unfit for military service.  So anyway, all them years of this hostile attitude.

Sanford "Bud" Wiseheart hanging the flags for the 4th of July.

Sanford “Bud” Wiseheart hanging the flags.  July 4, 2009.  Photo taken by Sarah Wiseheart of Wiseheart Photo.


1.  Floyd County, Indiana Births, CH-14, p.113, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

2.  1930 U.S. Federal Census, Silver Creek, Clark County, Indiana, p.14B, Ancestry

3.  1940 U.S. Federal Census, New Albany, Floyd, Indiana, p.10B, FamilySearch

4.  Floyd County, Indiana Marriages, Vol. 55, p.244, Floyd County Clerk’s Office

5.  New Albany Tribune, Sun 24 Aug 1958, p.6, c.1, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

6.  New Albany Ledger & Tribune, Sun 2 Aug 1998, p.B2, c.3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

7.  New Albany Tribune, Sat 1 Nov 2014, p.A4, c.3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Dolores Schroeder: A Servant’s Heart (52 Ancestors #04)

Dolores Louise Schroeder, circa 1949.

Dolores Louise Schroeder, circa 1949.

Dolores was my grandmother.  I was born the day after her 52nd birthday.  We both love daffodils and cooking, although, my love of those things is probably because of how much time I spent with her.  My cousins, siblings, and I spent every spare moment at her house.  At Christmas, I helped her bake Springerles and German Sour Cream Twists.  I still bake those every year.  I’m like her in many ways, but I aspire to be more like her.

Dolores Louise Schroeder was born on March 3, 1931 in Toledo, Ohio to parents George Herman and Louise Marie (Von Allmen) Schroeder.1,5  The Schroeders moved to Indiana when Dolores was about seven.  They lived in Lafayette in Floyd County, Indiana and joined Atkins Chapel United Methodist Church.1

Dolores graduated from Indiana Central College with a bachelor’s degree in education, and she received her master’s degree at Indiana University Southeast.  She taught at S. Ellen Jones school from 1954 to 1955.2  In 1955, she was forced to resign.  She would never tell me what happened.  The account I had from my grandpa, Sanford “Bud” Wiseheart, is as follows:

She was teachin’ over at S. Ellen Jones and Peder Espeseth was the principal over there.2,3  Well, he called her in the office one day and said, ‘Miss Schroeder, I’d like for you to resign.’  And she said, ‘Well, Mr. Espeseth, what in the world about?’  And he said, ‘You didn’t seek my counsel and that’s one of the rules in the school system.  Teachers always have to seek the principal’s counsel.’  She never could figure out what was provoking him and she went to see Willie Wilson, superintendent.  He said, ‘Miss Schroeder, unfortunately, in the school system, if you do not resign and he presses it and they fire you, then you can’t teach anywhere in the state of Indiana.  But if you do resign, you are free to go anywhere else in the state and teach.’  She said it hurt her terribly, but she went ahead and resigned to please Espeseth.  So she went back up to where she’d been goin’ to college and got on up there.

Dolores taught in Indianapolis from 1956 to 1958.4  By the summer of 1958, she had gone on some dates with Bud.  That story is also best told from his point of view:

Dolores and I had took in some things together.  We went to James Whitcomb Riley home and things like that.  Finally it came to July one night, I was goin’ home from her house.  We walked out to the car together and she said that it’s gettin’ to that time of the year when she has to let them know at Indianapolis whether she was goin’ to teach that year or not and she’d have to sign a contract.  And I said, ‘Well, I don’t know what to tell you, but,’ I said, ‘if you want to stay down here,’ I said, ‘I’ll sign a contract with you.’  And she said, ‘It sounds good to me.’  I guess that’s a crazy way of proposin’ to somebody.

Dolores Louise Schroeder and Sanford William Wiseheart were married on August 2, 1958 at Atkins Chapel United Methodist Church in Floyd Knobs, Indiana by Reverend Earl W. Reed.  5,6,7Dolores and Bud had four sons and ten grandchildren.9  She devoted her life to her family, her church, and helping others.

Dolores was the treasurer of Atkins Chapel for twenty years.  She was a Sunday school teacher and she was in charge of Vacation Bible School, a program to provide meals for those in need, and the church’s Harvest Homecoming booth.  She was also involved in the church’s quilting group, which made quilts for Home of the Innocents and St. Elizabeth’s Maternity Center; Helping Hands ministry, which paid rent and utility bills for people who couldn’t afford it; women’s missions; fundraising for charities; and other outreach, such as visiting the sick.  In 2006, Dolores received the Gold Leaf Award from Community Foundation for outstanding volunteer service.8,9

Dolores Louise Wiseheart died of leukemia on Sunday, September 10, 2006 at her home in New Albany, Indiana.9

Dolores Louise (Schroeder) Wiseheart, June 2006.  Photo taken by Keith Williams for The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY).

Dolores Louise (Schroeder) Wiseheart, June 2006 at Atkins Chapel United Methodist Church. Photo taken by Keith Williams for The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY).

I wonder if she really didn’t know why Mr. Espeseth wanted her to resign, or if she just didn’t want to say.  I never heard her say a bad word about anyone in her entire life.  Just a few weeks ago, I was down at my grandparents’ house with my dad and my uncles.  We were going through paperwork and came across some of her school records.  This prompted my uncle to tell us what he knew about what had happened with Grandma and Mr. Espeseth.  Dolores had been in charge of a school play and had allowed African American children to be in it (this was during integration).  Mr. Espeseth was upset that she hadn’t consulted him about it and asked her to resign.  I’ve always been proud of my grandma, but hearing this story makes me tremendously proud of her for doing the right thing.


1.  1940 U.S. Federal Census, Lafayette, Floyd County, Indiana, p.1B, FamilySearch

2.  Caron’s New Albany-Jeffersonville (Floyd-Clark Counties, Ind.) City Directory, Vol. 40, 1955, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

3.  New Albany Tribune, 9 Oct 1963, p.1, c.6, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

4.  Polk’s Indianapolis (Marion County, Ind.) City Directory, Vol. 47, 1957, InternetArchive

5.  Floyd County, Indiana Marriages, Vol. 55, p.244, Floyd County Clerk’s Office

6.  New Albany Tribune, Sun 24 Aug 1958, p.6, c.1, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

7.  New Albany Ledger & Tribune, Sun 2 Aug 1998, p.B2, c.3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

8.  The Courier-Journal (Louisville), Sat 24 Jun 2006, p.B3, c.2

9.  New Albany Tribune, Tues 12 Sep 2006, p. A3, c.3