Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Norine, the early years . . .

What an image of my grandmother, Norine! The grandmother I remember, known to me as Jan, did not like to have her picture taken. I love this picture. She looks so sweet and happy. One of the things that jumps out at me is that the picture was taken in Lexington, KY.

As most of you know, I "inherited" family history notes from my mother. In discussions with Patty and Rosemary, I know that much of what she had was given to her by Margaret Ann and Edith. Here is what my mother's notes said about Norine:

Norine Augusta was born in Mt. Sterling, KY. Her mother, Lucy, was sick for a long while. Norine had a "Mammy" for a while. She later moved to Lexington, KY. Norine went away to school because her mother was ill. The notes get a little confusing when speaking about Josie, Lizzie and Gussie. Josie and Lizzie Williams were apparently school friends of Norine. Their mother was Gussie Green.

Norine moved to Cincinnati where her brothers Joe, Albert, and Charlie had a grocery store located at 711 Main St. Her sister Addie married Fred Kincaid. Another sister, Annie (Margaret Ann), moved to California.

When Norine moved to Cincinnati to work, she did not live with her brothers. Instead she moved in to a boarding house in Norwood with Lizzie Williams and Gussie Green. She worked at the Manhattan Restaurant as a clerk in an office which was located at 5th and Race Streets where the Carew Tower now stands.

Mom's notes say that Norine's father was John Cronin. In a later post I will discuss some of the evidence disputing this fact -- an area I've been researching for the past six years. John Cronin was the father of the five older children.

"Jan" married "Pop" in 1909 at St. Rose Church in Cincinnati. They lived on Dandridge St. for awhile and then moved to 2416 Eastern Ave. to the Zins' home. The Zins ran a neighborhood saloon and the newlyweds lived upstairs. Their first child, Edith, was born there. They then rented an upstairs apartment from Uncle Tom and Aunt Ella, living at 2269 Columbia Ave. (now Columbia Parkway).

My mother's notes say that "Pop's father owned a four-family house on Gladstone." In fact, this house was torn down in the last few years. The original address was 632 Gladstone, but the streets of Cincinnati were renumbered and it had a different address later on.

Pop bought the family home in 1929, right after the stock market crash. He paid $5500 for it and sold it for $7500 in 1966.

I was lucky enough to have these pictures shared with me of Norine as a young woman.
Note: This afternoon I went to the Cincinnati Public Library and checked City Directories beginning with 1900. The first record of the Cronins in Cincinnati was in 1903. At that time Addie, Albert, Charles J. and Norine are all living at 326 E. 6th St. Charles is listed as being a clerk for Joseph R. Peebles and Sons. The 1904 Directory lists Addie, Albert, Joseph A., and Charles A. living in the same home with the boys working at a grocery at 711 Main St. Norine is living at 708 Broadway. In 1906, Addie, Albert and Joseph are living on Broadway and Norine is now living at 3641 Floral Ave. in Norwood. Notably, Lizzie Williams is living in the same boarding house as Norine. (When I left the library, I tried to find this address. It is now on property covered by Interstate 71.

The 1908 City Directories list Norine, Albert and Addie all living in the same locations as those listed for 1906. In 1907, Norine is listed as a check clerk at 17 W. 5th Street -- probably the restaurant discussed in Mom's notes. By 1909, Norine is living at 2953 Gilbert Ave. and Addie and Albert are living at 1306 Pendleton where Albert is a bartender. In December 1909 Norine married "Fred". In all of the City Directories, Norine is listed as a Cronin.

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