Thursday, January 16, 2020

Henry and Lulu Acker

At the Acker family plot in Melson are the graves of Henry Charles Acker and Lulu Elizabeth (Feemster) Acker.  The Ackers moved from Montana to be in Delmar about 1928.   The reason for the move is unsure but the depression hit Montana hard and there was still a strawberry boom going on the Eastern Shore so maybe that is the reason. 
Lulu Elizabeth Feemster was born in 1874 in Tennessee to Paul Silas Feemster and Isabella “Bella” Ranklin Wilson Feemster.  Lulu had two brothers; John and Hugh and one sister Alberta. Her father was a college professor and Congregationalist Minister and the family ended up in Missouri.  Lulu worked as a clerk in Kansas City while her sister Alberta Moffet  went to the College of Physicians to become a Doctor.
 About 1908 Dr Alberta Feemster moved from Kansas City to Judith Gap Montana.  She took with her, her sister Lulu and her widowed mother, Bella. 

above 1909 item from the Judith Gap newspaper
Judith Gap was a small town that was in the Judith Gap between the Big Snowy Mountain Range and the Little Belt Mountains.  A railroad; the Milwaukee, has a line that runs the valley with a station in each of the small towns that dot the area.  The area grew Winter Wheat and raised sheep at the time Lulu Feemster lived there. 

above from the 19th Jan 1912 Judith Gap Journal Newspaper 
While Dr Feemster made herself busy being a doctor, Lulu filed for a homestead claim and took a job in town at McKenzie Trading Company store. She was in charge of the dry goods department.
In 1911 Henry Acker arrived in Judith Gap from Minnesota to work his 160 acre homestead (Section 34-Township11n-Range 15E).
above Henry Acker
Henry was born in 1860 in Grand Island Erie, New York.  Henry’s parents were Lambert and Amelia Wilke Acker.  His parents were from Germany.  The family traveled across the northern United States living in Michigan and Minnesota.  They were farmers. 
10 March 1911 Judith Gap Journal
Henry and Lulu meant over an ice cream freezer in Judith Gap and at the age of 52 and 37 they were married in 1912 in Judith Gap, the first wedding ceremony to occur in that town.
23 Feb 1912 Judith Gap journal 
By 1915 their son Donald Acker was born on the homestead.  The family attended the Community Congregation Church where Henry was a deacon.   Following World War 1, Montana slipped into a deep depression that ran through the 1920s into the Great Depression in 1929.  Drought compounded the economic failure and Montana was one of the few states to lose population after World War 1.  About 1929 Henry, Lulu and Donald moved to outside of Delmar, Maryland.  Lulu brother, John, would move to Iowa, her other brother Hugh would move to Baltimore, her mother had died in Montana and her sister Alberta lived in New York.  Of historical interest her brother Hugh William Feemster, who ran a grain elevator for the Western Maryland Railroad in Baltimore, sit on the 1932 grand jury in the Euel Lee case. Euel was a negro charged with killing Green Davis, his wife and two daughters over around Berlin.
In 1936 Henry Acker died and in 1962 Lulu Acker died.   

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