The early years of Blanche Henrietta Wilhelmina Bucher Thompson

Lillie, Earl and Blanche_0001

Lilian, Earl and Blanche Bucher

How about a name like that?  My Grandmother wore it well.

She was born in Manistee, Michigan in 1880 to an immigrant family from Germany or Poland or both.  Family lore is vague and perhaps misleading on the place of origin.  Her family spoke German and Blanche studied German in school.  I have her notes from her High School German classes, as well as those from Physics, Chemistry and English. Someday soon I will publish all of them, as they are true masterpieces.  Blanche was a very good student. She had to leave High School for a year to care for Earl, her adoptive brother.

She returned to High School the following year and graduated with honors.

I know so little about her early years.  The trove of photographs that have recently come into my hands tell far more about Blanche’s early years than my memory does.  To me, my Grandmother was always an old lady. However looking at these photographs gives me a new and much deeper appreciation  into the girl and young woman who would grow up to be the Mother of my Father, and the Grandmother of my brothers, cousins and me.

Blanche in Elementary School

Blanche Bucher – Elementary School

Blanche in Elementary School 2_0001

Blanche Bucher – Elementary School

Close-up of Blanche in Elem. School

Blanche in Elementary School

Blanche in Sunday School

Blanche Bucher at Congregational Church Sunday School

Bucher Family, Ludwig, Lillian, Blanche and Emma

Ludwig, Lillian, Blanche and Emma Bucher

Blanche in Wedding Dress 1903

Blanche Bucher – Wedding Dress

Walter on Wedding Day

Walter Thompson – Wedding Day

Aunt Isman, Blanche's Mother, Aunt Amelia 1903

Aunt Isman, Emma Bucher and Aunt Amelia 1903

The last photograph is of her German family who lived throughout Northern Michigan.  This photograph was taken in East Jordan.  If you look to the right of center you will see Blanche’s Grandfather, Michael Kowalske, who immigrated to Michigan during the Civil War with his five children.  He lived until he was 103.   Blanche’s Grandfather, Michael Kowalske with arm around post.  Aunt Isman and Amelia in front row.

East Jordan 1903  Blanche's Grandfather with arm on post

East Jordan, Michigan – Kowalske Family

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