Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Story of Mary and Pomp

Sometime between 1941 when Grandpa Rawlings died and 1947, Grandma Mary married a widower named Bernard Rudolf Pomplin. Even though I have not yet located their marriage license, I do know they were married by 1947. I have a small announcement of my parents wedding that calls my father Henry Rawlings the son of Mrs. Bernard R. Pomplin. I had always wondered how they met. My opportunity to play detective and figure it out came once the 1940 census was available for browsing. Were they both members of Immaculate Conception Catholic church? Did they have mutual friends?  In 1930 Bernard lived on 18th Street in Wellsville, Ohio with his wife Jane, Jane’s daughter from a previous marriage, Helen age 20, Jane’s mother Martha Wilkerson and the Pomplins’ young daughter Justine who was just shy of the age of 4.

According to the 1940 census, Bernard was now a widower and a lodger at 1708 Commerce St. I happen to know that 1708 is across the driveway from Grandma’s house at 1712 Commerce since I lived in that house from 1959 to 1963. The house was set up as a duplex in 1940 allowing the upstairs with its own bathroom and private entrance to be rented. The closeness must have had something to do with them getting acquainted. It was a short trip across the driveway separating the houses. He was 48 at the time and she was 45 and they were both attractive and in good health! There probably was another factor that had an effect on them developing a relationship. The romantic in me wants to have them seeing each other across the driveway and then the music comes up and we do a discrete fade-out. They remained married until his death. At the time that I am writing this, I have not discovered when he died.

I thought the name Pomplin was Irish in origin. In looking back over Bernard’s family, it turned out that his family name was actually Pomplun or Pomplono with Pomplun being the most likely since his parents had emigrated from Prussia.

In playing detective to figure out how Grandma Mary and “Pomp” met and got married, I found out some other things that have left me with other questions: when I located Bernard living on Commerce St., his daughter Justine was not living with him. In searching for her, I found a Justine Pomplun living at the Fairmount Children’s Home just outside of Alliance, Ohio. It was a little shocking to me at first, but then I remembered that it was 1940, daycare was non-existent and  Bernard was a man in his 40’s who had a fulltime job as a machinist on the railroad. I am hoping that my Uncle David has some memories of Justine to share.

Grandma Mary and Pomp

No comments:

Post a Comment