Catherine NeulingX

Born: 1888

Location: Illinois

My grandmother was born in 1888 to German immigrant parents in Chicago, Illinois. By 1912 she had met and married my grandfather and was pregnant with my father. They were living in Billings, Montana. One day in 1912 he came home and told her she needed to return to her parents in Chicago because his girlfriend was pregnant and he wanted a divorce. She arrived in Chicago still pregnant only to have her father send her back to Montana to be where she belonged, which in his mind was with her husband. She returned to Montana alone, frightened and soon to be a single mother. After giving birth to my father she homesteaded in Wyoming scraping by on the little she could earn by taking in sewing from the local townspeople. Although she had had to drop out of school high school, she loved reading and she loved reading to my father. When he was 12 years old, she moved with him back to Chicago in order to provide him with a proper education. Upon his arrival, he was tested for placement by the Chicago public schools who immediately double promoted him. He graduated at age 16, as both president and Valedictorian of his class. My grandmother earned her G.E.D. the year I was born. Five years later, the son she read to and worked so hard to bring up was promoted to a major general in the U.S. Army. She read to her grandchildren and was wonderful part of our lives until she passed in the 1960s. Our father passed on to his children the love of learning his mother had passed on to him. Mary Jane Hatton, granddaughter Hancock, MI

Contributed by: Mary Jane Hatton, Hancock, Michigan