Help:About this Site
This is my site. My story? In the beginning, I didn't have a particular interest in family history. I had always known about my family's descent from the famous German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, and, of course there had been various family stories, but except for the events below, I might never have gone much farther.
In 1882, my mother's Uncle Fred Reeves died. His wife, my mother's Aunt Minna was sharp as a tack, but blind. Uncle Fred had been physically fine, but deteriorating mentally. Together they could manage, but neither one could make it alone, so Minna had to break up housekeeping. My parents and Aunt Betty went down to Eudora, Arkansas, where they were living (Uncle Fred had his last pastorate there) and started in cleaning up. I think David Gauss and his wife were there, too. They threw out tons of stuff. Apparently they excavated in "the Horror Room" until they unearthed a desk and a bed. Aunt Minna went to Oklahoma with David, and lived in a nursing home until she died in 1984. Some months later, my mother and I (Dad had had a heart attack and couldn't go) went down and brought stuff home. Among other things was a big old cherry chest that had been promised to my Aunt. Uncle Fred had a LOT of books, and I sorted through those, making snap decisions. I only hope I didn't put anything really valuable in the "give away" pile. At any rate, with a great deal of help from one of the local men, we got the trailer packed up, divided stuff with David and set off back to St Louis.
The Big Cherry Chest
The big cherry chest had a drawer filled with old letters and papers collected by my grandfather, Henry Gauss, son of Eugene Gauss and his wife Lizzie, and passed down to their daughters Anne and Minna. I have been calling it "The Charles Henry Gauss collection", or, alternatively, "The Minna Gauss Reeves collection". The cherry desk never got to my Aunt's, but sat in my parents' dining room for the next decade. We would get out the letters periodically and look them over. I got more and more interested, and finally my mother gave them to me. Along about the same time, 1995, I think, I got my first personal computer. I had been working as a computer programmer since 1981, so I knew my way around. I got a scanner and a supporter's web site at Rootsweb.com (at that time a free site) and started putting up transcriptions of the letters and papers.
It is a funny thing, but when you share stuff on the Internet, a lot comes back to you. People have sent me lot of stuff, like scans of photos they have, articles, newspaper clippings. Skip Johns, a Johns cousin, sent me 3 boxes of photos, letters, papers, etc., on long term loan. Besides that, I have ended up with my Chambless grandmother's stuff, some of my Uncle Joe's stuff, my Simmons (Gauss) grandmother's stuff, and Aunt Betty's stuff, as well as all of my parents' stuff.
My goal is to post ALL of the letters and papers on this site, as well as some of the pictures -- all of the old pictures and a selection of the newer stuff and to provide a context for it, which includes a genealogy for the people mentioned here. Then I need to find permanent homes for all of it. It's a big job, but well worth it, I think. I am still a computer geek, so this web site is also my "playground". I plan to retire in the next couple of years, and so should be able to spend more time here.
I don't need any more physical stuff, but I would welcome any information that could fill in holes. Particularly, I would love to have scans of photos of the older members of the Charles William Gauss side of the family.