Let me paint a picture, if I may.
Anna was born Sept 4, 1861 in Dutchess County New York. Anna was the youngest of twelve children born to James and Mary Dempsey O'Connell. James and Mary immigrated to New York from Ireland, with their first three children, about 1842. Their fourth child was born in Kings County New York in 1844.
By the time Anna was born the family was settled in Dutchess County New York. Abraham Lincoln had just become the 16th President of the United States. Daily life was still pretty primitive. The family was living in an uninsulated wood frame house with an outhouse for life's necessities. The home was most likely heated by a fireplace or wood stove. Candlelight or oil lamps illuminated the evening hours. I imagine baths were taken in the kitchen, once a week, with cool water after the third or fourth bather took their turn.
One of my favorite films, "Streets Of New York", opens with a portrayal of life in New York in 1862.
What was life really like at the start of the civil war? To us it seems such a quaint, far away time, but it was a thoroughly modern world in 1861. Was Anna aware of the times? Was her life any more difficult because of the war? Three of her brothers enlisted, but I imagine she was too small to know what was going on.
|Poughkeepsie Female School|
After her graduation Anna went on to teach school. I do not know at what grade level she taught.
Anna went "West" to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1881. I do not know why. Her father had died several years prior. Her mother, along with two brothers and two sisters also took the long journey west.
Upon arrival in St. Paul Anna became a bookkeeper for the large wholesale dry goods outfit Lindeke, Schurmeier and Warner.
|St Paul MN c. 1893|
In 1892 the couple had the first of their five children, the artist Raymond Lloyd Faulkner. Dr. Faulkner, naturally, attended to the birth.
By 1900 the young family of five had returned to St. Paul, residing at 165 Forbes Av.
Let's look at life in 1900 America. William McKinley was just elected the 25th President of the United States. Women were not yet allowed to vote. People were enjoying music in their own homes thanks to wind-up phonographs. Indoor plumbing was still just a curiosity. Electricity was beginning to appear and replace the dangerous gas light in many homes. Houses were now being heated centrally with coal and hot water.
Anna must have been amazed at all the technological advances being made at the time!
|washing machine ad c.1910|
The world had become a rapidly changing place, I wonder what Anna thought of it all?
|1920's publicity still|
In 1928 penicillin was discovered, effectively eradicating so many common diseases that previously resulted in certain death.
America was riding high and Anna was right there in the middle of it.
|Hooverville of the 30's|
Then the world came crashing down.
October 29, 1929. Black Tuesday.
Anna, 68 years old, had raised her children and sent them out into the world. At a point in her life when she should have been preparing to settle in for a quiet retirement with her husband, her life was thrown upside down. Her husband continued to practice medicine, taking payments for services any way he could. I don't know how the Great Depression affected her or her life for certain. I can wonder and imagine as to the struggle it may have been after the decade of living large and easy.
In 1933 Anna's husband died of cancer. Anna, at 72 years old, moved in with her daughter and son in law.
This seems like a good place to end our story, but there was so much more to come!
|no caption needed|
Jan 20, 1961. John F Kennedy was sworn into office as the 35th President of the United States.
Anna was 99 years old.
In September 1961 she celebrated her 100th birthday.
|Anna O'Connell Faulkner on her 100th birthday|
Anna Elizabeth O'Connell Faulkner died on April 18, 1962. She lived through 3 wars, 19 Presidents, and an unprecedented technology explosion, the likes of which we may not see again.
Oh, and she had a glass eye ......
|Four generations Anne Faulkner holding Anne Faulkner|