On Dec. 10, 1935, they were married in Davenport. The Schwabs
came north of Wilson Creek from Schoonover Station between Odessa
In 1936, the twins arrived in November; Donna first and then
Jeanne. Gary was born Sept. 5, 1940. All three attended Wilson
Creek schools. After high school, Donna and Jeanne attended
Whitworth College two years, University of Hawaii one summer and
San Jose State two years. Donna graduated in Commercial Science.
Gary graduated from Washington State College, in Agronomy.
Wilson Creek history
The Rev. David H. Crawford compiled and published a history of families in and surrounding Wilson Creek titled, "Family Memories of Wilson Creek Area." The book was printed in 1978, which was the 75th anniversary of the town. David's son, John Crawford, has given permission for those memories to be a part of this column.
Today we continue the story of Sam Gross, Jr. and his family:
On Dec. 10, 1935, they were married in Davenport. The Schwabs came north of Wilson Creek from Schoonover Station between Odessa and Ritzville.
In 1936, the twins arrived in November; Donna first and then Jeanne. Gary was born Sept. 5, 1940. All three attended Wilson Creek schools. After high school, Donna and Jeanne attended Whitworth College two years, University of Hawaii one summer and San Jose State two years. Donna graduated in Commercial Science. Gary graduated from Washington State College, in Agronomy.
In 1930, Sam became a charter member of the Wilson Creek Grange and in 1934 Mollie joined the Grange and both attended nearly every meeting.
Sam was Master for four years. Sam served terms on the Wilson Creek Union Grain & Trading Company, Grange Supply, McKay Hospital and Cemetery Board. In the early years the family attended the Presbyterian Church and later the Grace Baptist Church
In 1972, Sam and Mllie moved to Wilson Creek, built a new home there, but Sam still took care of the cattle, as he enjoyed doing that so.
And now we begin the story of the Gross History by Helen Vidano and Jeanne Flemming:
Great grandfather Gottlieb Gross was born in 1840. His wife, great grandmother Christine Fano Gross was born on February 16, 1845. They were married in 1861.
Both sides of their families were of German descent, the country in which they were born. Gottlieb Gross followed the family trade of wagon maker and because of conditions that prevailed in Germany at the time, his family settled in Odessa, Russia by way of Romania.
Details are vague as to dates and places between Germany and Odessa, Russia. Because of his useful trade, evidence points to his being solicited along with other skilled Germans, as was the practice started under Catherine the Great, so that the Russian workers could acquire like trades and skills.
These German tradesmen received higher pay and benefits than Russian peasants, which in turn led to jealousy and persecution of the German settlers. Russia, through internal strife, war with China and neighboring countries sought to induct Germans into military service.
To keep their sons from serving in the Russian army and perhaps against Germany, Gottlieb, Christine and their 11 children came by boat to New York City in the year of our Lord 1886. The children were Samuel B., Caroline Freilinger and twin who died at birth, Mike Michael Gross, Adolph Gross, Gottlieb Guy Gross, Louise Gross Chapman and Martha Gross.
Many European emigrants were coming west to the New Frontier for the undeveloped homestead land. Gottlieb and family followed this tract to the Dakotas, although there is not anything to indicate whether or not they farmed. The new families be cause of speech, religion, and customs usually formed communities resembling those they left in the country from which they came. As one family was established, they would save and sponsor relatives enabling them to come to America.
Many of the early pioneers relate that conditions of travel during this period were slow and without sanitation. Parents and children spent many weeks in ship holds and train cars. As the migrating families moved west, from one settlement to another, they stayed in the homes of their settler friends.
It seems that the travelers always had body lice, which infested the home where they stayed. As soon as one family moved on and the lice were rid of, an other family came. No one was turned away be cause all had at one time or another made the journey.
Shortly after settling in their new land, the oldest son, Samuel, now approximately 22 years old, developed an eye allergy due to the prevailing arid conditions. Samuel left home seeking relief for his eyes in the moist and mild climate in Oregon's Willamette Valley. The conditions of Oregon cured his eyes and after two years in the Dakotas, the whole Gross family moved to Pete's Mountain, just south of Willamette, Oregon, except Caroline. Caroline married Simon Huether in Dakota.
The Oregon community included the families of Schatzes, Elligsens, and Schaffers, probably friends they had known in Odessa, Russia. The land of Pete's Mountain had to be cleared of timber and stumps, and roots. The rainy season softened the ground and made this work possible by hand but just barely.
Only a few acres a year could be put into production. The crops of grain and garden goods were only enough for the family and live stock. There is a picture taken of Christine peeling potatoes on the back porch of their house. The children remember that Gottlieb wanted potatoes cooked for every meal.
Gottlieb and Christine moved into the town of Willamette several years later, leaving two of their sons on the farm. The Pete's Mountain Farm was sold in the years to come, however, some of the improvements built by the Gross family still stands.
Great grandparents, Gottlieb and Christine resided at the Willamette City until April 20, 1920 when Gottlieb died. Seven years later on Feb. 19, 1927, Christine followed her husband.
Samuel Gross and Matilda Hoffman were united in marriage on March 23, 1897. Matilda's parents were Thersa Baumgartner and Anton Hoffman. They had three children; Matilda, Adolph, and Carl. Carl died at infancy.
Matilda was born in Austria on August 18, 1881. In 1898, Matilda gave birth to their first son, Dewey, in Oregon.
The Big Bend area of Washington was open to homestead rights and in 1899, Samuel. Matilda and Dewey came by train to Ritzville which was predominately German settled.
As the trains came to town, a hotel owner, Jack Schroeder, met the incoming people. In order to get to know the country better, the Gross family stayed their first year in Washington in the Schroeder's Hotel. Sam was employed during this time in a lumber yard. While in Ritzville Samuel had chances to buy developed farms in that area, but decided against it.