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Rear Admiral [Ret.] James J. Carey
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Poy Sippi 150th Anniversary Booklet
Since the Harrisons & Daughters annual reunion for 2015 will be held in Poy Sippi, I thought I'd share the booklet that was prepared and printed in 2003, when the Sesqi Centennial was celebrated in Poy Sippi Aug 1, 2, & 3. I found it when looking for some old photos of my sister RoxAnne, who recently passed away [May 2015]---- it had been sent to me by our Cousin, Barbara Kettlewell Beaman, in July 2003, and as you will see, she enclosed several post-it notes explaining some of the pages. It's a 42 page booklet filled with pictures that I'm sure all of our Harrison and many of our McGregor relatives saw in their youth as they would visit Poy Sippi to shop or for the 4th of July parade, etc---- I can remember my Mother telling me about their "trips in to town via either horse & buggy or horse & sleigh---- remember that she was born in 1903, which as I write this was 112 years ago". As you will see from Barb's note, her family was unable to attend as they had a Beaman family gathering in Ohio on those same dates. But that said, we can all now share it through the booklet that Barb was kind enough to send and share with me and also make notations on some of the pages. Also, be aware that I've not done any genealogy work for at least 15 years [last effort was in 1999], so my database does not have the more recent births, deaths, marriages, etc., etc. ---- something I hope to get to one of these days, but the years keep "slipping by".
I took the time to number the pages so that I could refer to them in this message and in some cases, elaborate on the information and how it relates to our families. Suffice it to say, there are many such instances which I am sure I am not aware of, but for those where I do have knowledge, I'm passing it along so that it's not lost in the shifting of the sands of time.
One that may be of interest begins on Page 6 titled "Poy Sippi and the Civil War", and talks about Captain Riley P. Colt of Co. H, 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry who served in the entire Civil War and was mustered out in July of 1865. CPT Colt is "shirttail relation" to us, as his Granddaughter Flavia married into our McGregor Clan. More details on this linkage and relationship are contained in my family history database which you can access on my personal website via this website and the links into the family history database link on the LH side of the home page and then on the link on the new page that comes up that is highlighted at the bottom of that page's narrative. Then click on "C" and then on "Colt" and you can find the Colts that way and the details of Flavia's marriage into our McGregor Clan. Having tread the grounds of the Poy Sippi Cemetery many times, I can certify that there are many of the Colts buried there, including the CPT. You can access the Harrisons by clicking on "H" and the McGregors by clicking on "M" or your own family by clicking on the first letter in your family name.
Of interest, there is no mention of our Great Grandfather, John McGregor, Father of our Grandmother Jennie Mae McGregor, with regard to his Civil War involvement, and I think I can explain that and back it with logic. At the time of the Civil War, John and his family lived in Winnebago County about 4 miles East of Berlin, on a farm near what used to be the Koro Creamery and about a mile or so from the Nepeusken Cemetery there. John was not married before the war, nor were any of this brothers and sisters, so when he joined the Army for the Civil War, he did so in Winnebago County, in Ripon, and not in Poy Sippi. So John and his younger brother Andrew both fought in the Civil War for almost the entire war, and later their older brother Alexander also joined the Army and fought in the war. John and his wife are buried in Poy Sippi Cemetery, as is his daughter, our Grandmother Jennie, whereas his brother Alexander is buried in Nepeusken Cemetery along with his parents and several brothers and sisters, and Andrew is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Ontario, Oregon, where he settled after returning home from the Civil War and not finding much of a future there [back then, the family farm almost always would go to the firstborn son of the family, which was Alexander, and the rest "were on their own"]. Almost all of this information is further documented in my family history database on my website. Be aware that there IS a photo of John with some of the Civil War survivors on page 9 of the Poy Sippi booklet, and I well recall my Mother, who was born in 1903, telling me about her and the family going into Poy Sippi for the 4th of July parade and seeing her Grandfather John McGregor march in the parade.
Between pages 11 & 12, there are a couple of Barb's post-its that I had to copy there separately since they were covering up the photos on page 10, and they are included in the attachment so all can see them.
On page 25, there's a picture of the old Emmaus Evangelical Lutheran Church from 1907, and as you look at the church, to it's left is a dirt road heading off into the distance----- that is the road that we used to take to visit our Grandparents, Jennie and Joe Harrison on their farm, where the Harrisons and Daughters were all born. And just down the road a mile or less from their home was the old homestead of our Harrison Great Grandparents, Samuel Aaron Harrison and Elizabeth Ruth Tackaberry, where Grandpa Joe would have been born. That home is now gone, but I have some artifacts made from the wood flooring there as do my daughters,---- turns out that a high school classmate of mine, Bob Roggow, bought the place and built a new home there. When I asked him at one of our class reunions why he didn't keep the original Harrison homestead there, he told me that it was a very old building with mud between the planking, and over time it had crumbled or washed out in the rain, so that he could hear the wind whistle through the place. Ergo, time for a new modern home, which is there today, I'm guessing about a mile or so from Tustin which is right on the lake there. I remember visiting that lake with my Mother and her telling me that her Grandfather Samuel Aaron Harrison, which would have been Grandpa Joe's Dad, who had emigrated from County Wexford, told her that the lake reminded him so very much of Lake Tacumshen [sp] in County Wexford, as Hardyglas where he lived in Ireland was only a mile or so away.
One final memory on page 40, which shows the Centennial Queen and her court, which included Carol Fraser. Carol was a year ahead of me in Berlin High School and she and I both served as Camp Counselors for the Lion's Club Camp for the Blind when it first began at the Twin Lakes Boy Scout Camp in Waupaca, WI. If memory serves me right, Carol was also the Prom Queen at Berlin High School her Junior year there.
So---- these then are my memories and recollections of some of the pages of this Poy Sippi Booklet that Barb was so very kind to send back in 2003. It is my hope that for those of you who have not seen this book, it will be nice to see some of the photos that are the Poy Sippi that our parents and the Harrison & McGregor ancestors saw and lived in and visited. This is both their history and ours. And I'm sure for others of us, it will bring back memories of our own visits to Poy Sippi in years gone by and we can talk about them in Poy Sippi this August 2015 during the annual reunion this year. Please feel free to forward this message and the attachment of the booklet to any and all of our Harrison/McGregor relatives and your branches of our family tree who might enjoy knowing about this chunk of our family history.