Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ancestor In The News

I was not hard pressed to find newspaper articles mentioning my ancestors but the difficulty was selecting a story that I wanted to post and share with readers.

Many of the articles are the standard obituary type although there were one or two which leaned more towards the sordid with gruesome details of my ancestor's death.

I've opted for one which caught me by surprise since no one had ever mentioned that my grandfather Abraham MacEntee had been an amateur boxer. In 1933, when my grandfather would have been 20 years old, he was part of the Civilian Conservation Corps or C.C.C. as it was known. The C.C.C. was a work relief program created earlier in that year by the Roosevelt administration to utilize the labors of unemployed men in locations that could benefit from basic civil engineering projects on a small scale. There were C.C.C. camps in each state and they were run by the Army.

Abraham MacEntee was dispatched to the 232nd C.C.C. camp in Bountiful, Utah along with many other young men from Kingston, New York. The article displayed here appeared in the August 18, 1933 issue of the Kingston Daily Freeman as a way of allowing the men to communicate as a group with their families back in Kingston. Articles in this same vein contained typical items as to events, weather, project, etc.

In the article, besides a description of the newly built mess hall and a visit from the Secretary of War on August 3rd, there is a mention of the "Friday night fights." It seems that my grandfather was matched against a G. VanFleet from Bountiful and after "three fast rounds" in the ring, my grandfather won the bout in a decision.

One bit of information which requires my follow-up is this quote: "This past Friday night a cameraman was here at our camp taking all kinds of pictures of our camp, among which was one of our entire company." Since I don't have any photos of my grandfather, I might be able to find one if I do some research.

Finally, over the summer Donna Pointkouski posted a great article at her site, What's Past Is Prologue, explaining how to use records of the C.C.C. in genealogy research.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the link! I hope some of the links in my post will lead to more info for you. The Center for Research Libraries shows 2 camp newspapers for Bountiful, so maybe you can find more "news"! I'm sure those photos are available somewhere if you dig deep enough.