A cool day in October, 96 years ago

Today I’m remembering my Nana, who was born 96 years ago today.

Mildred A. Kaiser was born in 1923 in DeKalb, IL, and was the oldest daughter of Glenn and Mildred Kaiser. Her father was a veteran of WWI and the owner of a sheet metal business in DeKalb. The year that she was born was a year of great sorrow. She was born exactly one year and two days after the birth of her baby brother Vernon. Tragically, he passed away when he was only four months old after contracting a cold and pneumonia. Just five days before Millie was born, her grandfather Andrew Kaiser passed away, and Glenn, along with his brother Floyd, now had full responsibility over their father’s tinning shop. Millie was born on a cool, cloudy October day, and I like to imagine that after a year of sorrow and stress, that her new life brought joy to the family when they needed it the most. On this cool day in October, I’m going to celebrate my Nana’s birthday with a scoop of chocolate frozen custard from Ollie’s (her favorite)! These are some of my favorite photos from her childhood in DeKalb.

Millie Kaiser on a pony, 1924
Millie as a child on a small horse when she was one year old. Her family lived in town, so she may have ridden the horse at her grandfather’s farm near Cortland. (Image source: Kaiser Family photos, privately held.)
Lawrence Family in their car, 1924
Some of the Lawrence family in 1924 on the road. Millie’s Aunt Fannie (Lawrence) Estabrook is standing on the left, and it’s likely that her two daughters Ruth and Mary Ann are the older girls sitting on the running board of the car. Millie is the baby sitting in the middle. I’m not sure who the others are, but they are probably other Lawrence family members. (Image source: Kaiser Family Photos, privately owned.)
Millie and Jeanette Kaiser, 1926
Millie and her cousin Jeanette Kaiser in the garden, when they were both about 2 years old in 1926. (Image source: Kaiser Family photos, privately held.)


Millie Kaiser, 1937, 14 years old
Millie at 14 years old, when she started high school. (Image source: Kaiser Family photos, privately held.)


Millie as a high school student, on the sidewalk along Lincoln Highway in DeKalb. This was probably taken about 1938-1940. (Image source: Kaiser family photos, privately held.)


Read more stories about my Nana here:

4 thoughts on “A cool day in October, 96 years ago

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