5. The Second Child.
She was born in another state on a different day than the one she knew as her birthday. Her mother, who had given birth to eight other children, died in January 1926 when she was barely six weeks old. Her father made ready to move to where he had family to help him care for his sons. Two of her aunts, her mother's sisters, came to take the baby into their care, but in the end placed her in an orphanage on 11 September 1926.
It would be six months before she was eligible for adoption, but the Snow's were able to take the baby girl from St. Vincent's Infant Asylum into their home on 1 December 1926. They legally adopted Dorothy Mae Snow 22 June 1927 when she was about 19 months old.
Her Baptism was recorded at Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago, Illinois, which was the repository for all baptisms performed at the orphanage:
Dorothy Mary Snow was Baptized January 23, 1926.
Father Harry Snow, Mother Mary Dolores Walsh.
God Father Henry MacDonald and God Mother Margaret Wolf Rogers. Officiating Priest James E. O'Brien.
The church offered no explanation as to how the Snow's were
named the parents in the record almost a year before they adopted her and only a day after mother died.
The stock market crash in October 1929 triggered the Great Depression, but as a public accountant Harry's family enjoyed some stability. In the 1930 census they are found renting a duplex on North Central Park for $55 month. Mae took care of their home and of their 4½ year old daughter, Dorothy Mae, while continuing to volunteer in the community. Harry's niece Margaret and her husband Joseph Rogers lived in the apartment next to theirs.
Harry lost both his parents a few months apart in 1930. They had been living on Claremont with daughter Anna Wolf. Martin died in March at the age of 87 and Lena, 86, passed in November of the same year. Both are interred in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Rivergrove, Illinois.
The family owned two cottages at Long Lake, Illinois where they enjoyed spending their summers swimming in the lake. The smaller of the two was often rented out. Growing up an only child, Dorothy played with paper dolls she cut out from newspapers and magazines. She had a pet bulldog that she laughingly recalled dressing in a baby bonnet and pushing around in her doll carriage. Her grandmother Annie Walsh was a much loved figure in her life.
The Snows were married twenty-five years in 1936. They celebrated their milestone wedding anniversary with a service at Our Lady of Grace Church at noon, followed by a four o'clock reception at Chicago's elegant Hotel Knickerbocker.
Dorothy Mae attended school at Our Lady of Grace elementary, and then went to Providence High, a Catholic girls school on Central Park Avenue and Monroe Street. Both she and her mother were involved in the school activities. Mae was a member of the Mother's Club and helped to organize pageants such as "The Seven Ages of Women" that the girls performed in, and several card parties for the club members. Dorothy sewed her dress for an Easter exhibit presented by the girls in Home Economics class. She formed friendships with her classmates that would last a lifetime.
While on summer holiday at Long Lake Dorothy Mae, known to her friends as "Snow", met Eddie Petelle. He was a guest of friends who also vacationed at the lake. The two became inseparable. Their dates included proms and movies and roller skating. By coincidence they did not live far apart from each other in Chicago.
Second World War.
Europe once more plunged in to war when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. As in the last conflict anti-German sentiment ran high leading to boycotts of businesses owned by people of German descent despite their investment in America; the Snows however continued to patronize the bakery run by Jacob Hudetz on Fullerton.
The United States entered the fray on the side of the Allies after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawai'i on 7 December 1941. Ed graduated high school in January of that year and had been working as a switchboard installer for Western Electric, but with the US entry into World War II it was not long before he enlisted. Dorothy graduated in June 1943 and the two were married during his leave in November.
While her husband served overseas in the US Army Air Force Dorothy contributed to the war effort at the Admiral Corporation, an electronics company which made radar. (The word "radar" is an acronym first used in 1940 by the U.S. Navy to shorten "RAdio Detection And Ranging").
In 1943 her 57 year old father was employed by Crawford and Company, a large insurance company. Harry was a member of the Knights of Columbus and very active in Chicago politics.
The Last of the Line.
By the time the war ended in 1945 Harry and Mae moved to 2411 North Ridgeway Avenue in Chicago. Son-in-law Ed recalls the phone number was BElmont 5-5830. This was a "two and two" (four apartments - two having three bedrooms) which he rented. Dorothy and her husband lived with them briefly after the War as they started their family.
Harry was the insurance examiner for the State of of Nevada. He often travelled by train with his wife on business to New York City, staying at the Hotel Wellington. At times they included their grandchildren on the trip.
Around 1959 they moved to Florida to be near their daughter, Dorothy, and her husband and four children. They first lived in a waterfront home on South Shore Drive, St. Petersburg (South Pasadena) and later moved into a condominium in Paradise Island Towers in Treasure Island. He was 81 years old at the time of his death on 10 August 1967. Mae went to live with her daughter, but months later succumbed to a broken heart on 16 May 1968. The couple was interred in Woodlawn Memory Garden, St. Petersburg, Florida.
- The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
- Cook County Court: Adoption records
- The Daily Herald, Chicago: Women's club notes
- Admiral Corporaton ID card: Dorothy Snow
- Recollections of Edward Petelle: Boycott of German business
- Recollections of Patricia Yanulis: employment of Harry Snow