Notes on Lawrence Stephan Balter and Snowie Mildred McCurry

Lawrence Stephan Balter

Whitewater Independent May 12, 1921  Page 8  column 5
Lawrence Balter visited the Miller Brothers in Murdock Township recently.


The Biography of my Ancestors
By Lawrence Stephan Balter

  My Grandparents the Stephan Boelter family lived in Prussia, and were quite wealthy, for some reason they were disposed of their property. They left Prussia and moved to Germany and established their home in Bromberg, where my Grandfather worked as a cabinet maker in a factory owned by the Keiser's father. My real Grandmother died and was buried at Bromberg, I never knew her real name. They had five children, Julius, Edward, Augusta, Emil and Reinhold.

My Grandfather married Anna Lueske and they moved from Germany to the United States, they bought passage on the Prinz Albert ship on August 12th, 1863 and sailed from Hamburg on August 15th, 1863, They arrived in New York October 3rd, 1863 . My Grandfather was about 46 years old at this time. They settled in Chicago, Illinois . Grandfather applied for and received his naturalization papers at La Porte, Indiana on May 7th, 1872.

They moved from Chicago or La Porte , Indiana to Brainerd, Kansas in about 1895 where they bought quite a few lots on the North side of town. They lived here the remainder of their lives, they are both buried in the cemetery One half mile North of the town of  Brainerd, Kansas. My father Edward is also buried at this cemetery, near his father. Edward Balter married Elizabeth Louise Robinson on August 27th, 1884. They were married in a log cabin on the Robinson Homestead One and one half miles South of Brainerd, Kansas.

I do not know when they changed the spelling of the name of Boelter to Balter.

  My Great Grandfather Robert Robinson was born in Scotland and went to Ireland when a young man, he married an Irish girl and they raised a family of Eleven children, My grandfather James O. Robinson was the youngest . James Robinson went to sea when he was fourteen years old and worked his way up to a Captain, he sailed ships on the Great Lakes here in the United States. He married my Grandmother Harriet Raymond on July 17th, 1854 in Chicago, Illinois. My Grandmother was born in Copenhagen, Denmark on December 12th, 1837, she was an only child of John and Louise Raymond.. They came to the United States and landed in New York, Harriet was six years old . They went to Illinois where they  bought eighty acres of School land in Will County, where her parents spent the remainder of their lives. John Raymond died in 1853 and Louise died in 1887.

James O. Robinson and Harriet lived in Green Bay, Wisconsin for some time, then moved to Lamont, Illinois in Cook County, not far from Chicago. They lived here for a time then moved from Illinois to Kansas in a covered wagon. They homesteaded 160 acres of land One and a half miles South of Brainerd, Kansas in Butler County. They raised seven children Emily, Elizabeth, Jennie, Robert and twins James , Martha and Lucinda.

  Edward and Elizabeth Balter had five children, Alice, Olive, Blanche, Clarence and Lawrence. They were always moving, They lived near Benton, Kansas for a few years and then sold out and moved to Union, Oregon moving from there to Joseph, Oregon where they homesteaded, they stayed in this area for eight years. Then they moved back to Kansas and bought a farm not far from Chelsea, Kansas where I was born on September 12th 1904. I do not know how long it was before they traded this farm for one in Major County, Oklahoma, North West of Ames , Oklahoma. They lived here at first in the old log house built by the original homesteader. Then they built a nice four room house near the log cabin. But in four years the drought run them out and they moved back to Kansas and farmed not far North of the town of De Graff, Kansas. They lived here in this area for a few years and then they heard of a wonderful country down in Texas, so away we went to a land of Chiggers, Malaria fever and snakes, We lived on several farms , mostly East of Tom Ball, Texas. Dad's health began to fail so the folks decided to move back to our old farm in Oklahoma. Dad and I drove a covered wagon from Tom Ball , Texas to our farm west of Ames, Oklahoma. It was in the fall of 1916 after the crops were harvested. The folks sold out and mother left by train going to stay with her Mother at Whitewater, Kansas while Dad and I drove through.

Dad and I loaded up the covered wagon and headed out, staying the first night with my Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary Robinson at Tom Ball, Texas.  When we left the next morning, Uncle Jim gave me a silver dollar, that evening we camped at Magnolia, Texas. I went up town to a hardware store and bought one pound of shot, one pound of powder and a box of caps for an old muzzle loading shot gun that my Grandfather Stephan Boelter had brought from Germany in 1863. As we traveled up through Texas I killed quite a lot of game with this old gun. We crossed the Red River into Oklahoma not far from Ringgold in the White Mountains. It was terribly cold and we ran into a blizzard, the storm was so bad that we were forced to take cover in a creek bottom in heavy oak timber on an Indian's land to wait out the storm. My feet froze and when they did thaw out , the hide all came off my heels.

When the storm let up we went to the town of Comanche, Oklahoma and got overshoes to wear. It was a cold and miserable trip on up to our farm, we were on the road about six weeks, I believe, after we got to the farm and cleaned up the house Mother came down from Kansas and we got settled again. I had to start into School And had to walk two and a half miles each way through the cold and snow. We stayed here for two years , Dad's health got real bad so we sold everything and moved to the place in Brainerd, Kansas. That was in the Fall of 1918 , Dad passed away March 3rd, 1919.

I finished my schooling there at Brainerd, I then had to start making my own living, worked out all over that part of Kansas. This was all a German settlement , they were nice people to work for. We ate five meals a day and worked accordingly. I worked in several places in Colorado and then came to Idaho. I worked on farms and then on the railroad until the summer of 1923, when I enlisted in the US Navy at Salt Lake City, Utah on July 9th, 1923, I went through boot training at San Diego, California. I was in the Company A-6 this was when this camp first opened . After training here , I was stationed on the battleship USS New Mexico. We went to Panama that winter, I took sick on the way down ( we were 27days out of sight of land on this trip ). I was transferred to the USS Relief Hospital ship at Colon, Panama . The ship brought all the patients to the League Island Hospital at  Philadelphia , Pennsylvania . I was given an Honorable  Medical discharge there on March 20th, 1924.

 I went to Potwin, Kansas for a while and then I went to Victor, Colorado and worked in the Gold mines. I left there and came to Idaho, worked some on ranches  then went to work for the Boise-Payette Lumber Company. From there I went to work for the Boise National Forest , in 1927 was stationed on the Swanholm lookout that year, Had my own pack outfit in 1928 and was stationed at the old Boise King that year.

  Snowie Mildred  McCurry and I were married October 16th, 1928 at Boise, Idaho in the old court house building. We lived at Fruitland , Idaho for three years , then I went back to work on the forest. I was transferred to the Bald Mountain lookout in 1935, we spent 14 years on this mountain. Then I transferred to the Long Gulch Guard Station, we were here until the Fall of 1954 when I had to enter the Veterans Hospital at Boise , Idaho for treatment. While I was here , I was granted a 50% disability for my service in the Navy and was granted 100% disability from my work on the forest.

We had bought a corner lot  at 204 Holly Avenue and Maple  in New Plymouth, Idaho in the Fall of 1932. We bought a house on a homestead in the desert, tore it down and used the lumber to build a two room house on this lot. We painted it Brown, in the Fall of 1936 we built a five room house on this lot and sold our little Brown house to Tony Jim for $100.00. He moved it North of New Plymouth and then we lost track of it. We lived in our new home until the Spring of 1961 when we bought a small place at 1311 1st Street,  Asotin , Washington. We sold our place in New Plymouth, Idaho in August 1961 to Cooper, a Baptist minister for $5000.00.

The following account is from an old ledger of Mothers and it says in part ;
I left Hufsmith, Texas November 18th,1917 , Ed & Lawrence left Tom Ball, Texas November 19th,1917 and drove 4 weeks and 2 days and arrived at Ames, Oklahoma December 18th,1917. I come down from Whitewater, Kansas on January 4th,1918. My ticket from Whitewater , Kansas to Ringwood, Oklahoma was $4.45.

"Slim" as he was known by friends, loved to hunt and fish, his special interests were working with wood, intricately  scrolled clocks and what-not shelves and also free hand wood carvings.

Lawrence S. Balter, 76, Asotin

   ASOTIN - Lawrence S. Balter, 76, a retired Forest Service employee and Asotin resident, died Sunday evening March 23,1981 at Tri-State Memorial Hospital of a heart attack.

 Balter had been ill of emphysema for the past two years. He and his wife, Snowie, came to Asotin in 1961. She survives at the family home. Balter worked for the Forest Service in the Boise area before retiring in 1955. The Balters lived in New Plymouth before moving to Asotin.

Balter was born Sept. 12,1904 at Chelsea, Kan., the son of Edward and Elizabeth Balter. He moved to the Boise area when he was a child. He married Snowie McCurry on Oct. 16,1928 at Boise.

Survivors in addition to his widow are five sons, George E. and Bill A., both of New Plymouth, Harold A. of Cheshire, Ore., Kenneth L. of Kamiah and Bob M. of Lewiston; a daughter, Geneva A. Walker of Clarkston; a sister Blanche Faunce in California; 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Two sisters, a brother and a son, Charles R. Balter, preceded him in death.

Graveside services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday , March 26,1981 at Lewis-Clark Memorial Gardens. Mountain View Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Lewiston Morning Tribune

Snowie Mildred McCurry

"Toots", as she was known by friends, Loved all small children, making patchwork quilts and collecting salt and pepper shakers, and going to garage sales . She worked for the US Forest Service for several years and then  worked in the packing houses during the  fruit and vegetable harvest seasons.

Snowie M. Balter, 81, Asotin homemaker

  Snowie M. Balter, an Asotin homemaker since 1961, died of congestive heart failure Monday October 28,1991 at Tri-State Memorial Hospital at Clarkston, she was 81.

  She was born June 30,1910 in Holly, Colo., to James Monroe and Lura Jane (Curry)  McCurry. She received her education at Holly.

  She and Lawrence S. Balter were married Oct. 16,1928. They moved to Asotin from New Plymouth, Idaho in 1961. Balter, a U.S. Forest Service employee, died March 23,1981.

  Her hobbies included quilt making and she especially enjoyed small children. She is survived by five sons, George and Bill, both of New Plymouth, Harold Balter of Cheshire, Ore., Bob Balter of Lewiston and Kenneth Balter of Blackfoot, Idaho; a daughter, Geneva Walker of Clarkston ; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

  A son, Richard Balter, died previously.

  A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday , October 31,1991 at Lewis-Clark Memorial Gardens at Lewiston with the Rev. J. Stanley Lyman officiating. Mountain view Funeral home at Lewiston is in charge of the arrangements.
  The family suggests memorials be made to the Elks Rehabilitation Hospital at Boise.

Graveside service was Halloween Day and it snowed during the graveside memorial, this was the only time that it snowed in Lewiston, Idaho in 1991.

Lewiston Morning Tribune   October 30,1991

Donated by  Harold Balter
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