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So, this is Dad and Mom. Ray is the son of Conrad Herrmann and Kate Bundock. He is the step-son of Edith Armstrong and Wally Hewitt. ...

Friday, July 31, 2015

Great-Uncle Fred Herrmann

Sometimes, in genealogy research, a person can find anything - a happy event, a sad event, tragedy, or devastation. I recently came across something so devastating that it will never see the light of day from me.
But this was not from Uncle Fred. 
Uncle Fred's discovery was tragic, and sad.
I don't know much about Uncle Fred. Dad never talked about him. Only through research did I know basic information - married twice (at least) and six (at least) children. 
However, from his first marriage to Pauline, there was also three step-children. A boy and two little girls. 
There is conflict as to exactly when Fred and Pauline married. One California database gives a marriage record from 1930, but that conflicts with the birth years of the step-children. However, there is a small article from a Nevada paper that reports a marriage license issued to the couple in 1940. However, the oldest of their 3 children they had together was born in 1948. 
What is known about them comes from a news article in the Sacramento Bee from 1946. 
Fred, Pauline and her 3 children were living in a small 2 room cottage in back of her brother's home in Colonial Heights. In the article, Pauline mentions a housing shortage as reason for the living arrangement. 
Pauline went to work as a nurse at an Arcade Hospital, and Fred had taken the two girls to the theater. The boy was staying with family members for the night. 
Fred and the girls arrived home and the girls were put to bed. Fred left to pick up Pauline from work, and they stopped for a bite to eat before arriving home shortly after 1 am. 
Fred had left the gas heater on to keep the cottage warm, but did not open or crack any windows. 
Sadly, the girls died from asphyxiation. First responders from the fire department tried for over an hour to revive the little girls, but it was too late. They were 12 years old and 8 years old.