A Short Biography of Marian Solomon

Marian Solomon
Marian Solomon

Welcome to my new blog! It’s always difficult to know where to begin when embarking on a new adventure, so I guess that today I’ll tell you how I became interested in Aunt Marian and her story.

When I was cleaning out my parent’s attic, I found a trunk full of her items, including a handwritten cookbook and lots of Women’s Army Corps (WAC) memorabilia. There were items from Fort Oglethorpe, occupied Japan, San Francisco, and other places. My mother apparently stored the items for Aunt Marian many years ago.

When I first found Aunt Marian’s items in the attic, I had little interest in them because I barely knew her. I complained to my son that it was a lot of work going through her things. He said, “If seems like your grandmother’s sister would have been really old in World War II. How old was she when she joined the WACs?”

His comment led me to dig out a small spiral-bound,  mimeographed family history. This is what her sister Martha wrote:

Marian Mildred Solomon

Marian Mildred Solomon, fourth daughter of Frank W. and Caroline (Carrie) Miller Solomon, was born February 17, 1899. She attended the Mountain Grove Country School–an elementary School. She did not attend high school, but took a number of short courses while in the service.

Marian helped her father on the farm until his death, July 14, 1943. Then she joined the Women’s Army Corps. She received a few medals for her service and was a Sergeant First Class when she received a medical discharge after almost twenty years of service.

Marian was a member of First Methodist Church, Montgomery, Pennsylvania. Her hobbies were many–traveling,photography, ceramics, embroidery, tailoring, sewing, baking, and preparing meals. Her greatest satisfaction in life was keeping in touch with her family and helping them and others. She contributed to many charities. Marian never married. She passed away April 5, 1966.

Perhaps Aunt Marian’s life can be summed up in these three paragraphs–but I have a nagging feeling that there’s much more that needs to be remembered and told.

How did a woman who was a farm laborer and caregiver with an 8th grade education, reinvent herself in her forties?

I hope that you will join me in the upcoming weeks and months as I research Aunt Marian’s story. I’m not sure where the journey will take us–but my gut feeling is that it will be a fun adventure with lots of twists and turns along the way.

45 thoughts on “A Short Biography of Marian Solomon”

  1. I am really looking forward to meeting your Auny Marian through this blog. I have been following your blog “A Hundred Years Ago” and had tears in my eyes reading the final diary entry today!

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    1. Thank you for your kinds words. It’s nice to know that you enjoyed A Hundred Years Ago, and that you’re looking forward to this blog. (I also had tears in my eyes this morning. Even though I’m excited about doing something new, I’m going to miss my daily visits with Grandma.)

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    1. One of the things that I find exciting (yet scary) about this blog is that I don’t currently know many of the details of Aunt Marian’s life. Part of the adventure of this blog will be the process of fitting the various pieces of the jig-saw puzzle together to learn more about her, as well as finding additional pieces to fill-in some of the blanks.

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  2. Reblogged this on knowleselle and commented:
    If you are interested in genealogy and family history go along on the ride with Sheryl as she researches and tells the story of a family members’ life as a WAC. She’s a great storyteller so you are in for a treat! Here is the first entry. Don’t miss out!

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    1. I think you enjoy this new adventure. I’m finding it both fun and challenging to think through how to tell Marian’s story since her story is so different from the one I’ve told the last few years–and the memorabilia that I have is also very different. But I figure that the process of figuring everything out part of the adventure. 🙂

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  3. Your aunt was a real trail-blazer and independent woman at a time when a woman’s place was in the kitchen. What an adventurer and interesting person she must have been. My own great-aunt Mary would have been about the same age. She didn’t join the service, but was real spit-fire.

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      1. My grandparents have studied their family history and they have lots if photographs that they are willing to share. I have thought that in 2015 I would share some of their stories. You have been one source of inspiration 😊

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  4. YAY! I found you and your new project!
    I love that your son inspired you to learn more about your Aunt, and yes, what a woman she must have been to embark on a whole new adventure in her 40’s! I’m excited to be along for this ride, Sheryl.

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    1. I’m honored that you thought this post was worthy of reblogging. I agree that history is fascinating. I find the lives of ordinary people particularly interesting. I look forward to exploring your site.

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  5. Happy 116th birthday to Aunt Marian! She sounds like a wonderful reminder that we’re never too old to reinvent ourselves (40s is young now, but back then it was a different story!).

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