April 2019 President’s Tidbits

 Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D. ()

SFA Reunion 2019, St Charles, Missouri

Wednesday, Sept. 18 - Sunday, Sept 22

Best Western Plus "The Charles Hotel"

1425 South Fifth Street, St Charles, MO 63301

St. Charles, Missouri was founded in 1769 as Les Petites Cotes ("The Little Hills") by French Canadian fur trader Louis Blanchette. The Spanish government controlled the Mississippi Valley between 1762-1800, and for a dozen years "The Little Hills" became "San Carlos Borromeo." Lewis and Clark met here on the banks of the Missouri River to begin their westward expedition in 1804. Shortly thereafter, the city became known as "Saint Charles."

Meanwhile, Daniel Boone and his family built a homestead in nearby Defiance. His Booneslick Road later became the eastern starting-point of the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail. Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable, the "Black Frenchman" who founded Chicago, lived the last 10 years of his life in the Frenchtown neighborhood of St. Charles and died here in 1818.

Also, in 1818, Saint Philippine Duchesne established the Academy of the Sacred Heart, the first free girls' school west of the Mississippi. Missouri's First State Capitol was here on Main Street from 1821-1826 while the new capital city of Jefferson City was being built. Lindenwood College, a landmark private fine arts school, was founded in 1827.

Throughout the 19th Century, German settlers developed a wine region that became the country's first federally recognized American Viticultural Area in 1980. During the 20th Century, residents worked to preserve homes, stores, and streets from every period and to make St Charles a family vacation destination. So, join us and experience the charm and beauty of a city that has been welcoming visitors since 1769.

About our hotel - The Charles Hotel is located on Interstate 70, just 5 miles west of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. To make a reservation, please call the hotel directly at 636.946.6936 or toll-free at 888.274.0988. Our group rate is $105 for a double queen room. Be sure to mention the Sheldon Family Association and make your reservations before AUGUST 18, to get the group rate!

Breakfast is included, along with pillow top beds, 32" TVs, high-speed internet, refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee/tea makers in every room. There is also an indoor pool and fitness room, and an electric charger for your car!

Within easy walking distance of the hotel is a Bass Pro Shop, Texas Roadhouse, Denny's, Walgreens, and Dunkin Donuts.

For more info about the hotel please visit www.bestwesternSTL.com

We will have time to explore historic Main Street in St Charles. It is a great place to shop, have lunch or dinner or just window shop along the 200-year-old street. There is a free trolley system connecting our hotel and Main Street. For a sneak peek, check out www.discoverstcharles.com

For those of you considering coming early or staying longer in the St Louis area, I would highly recommend visiting the towns of Hermann and Augusta. The towns are so quaint and the German food and wines are amazing! For history buffs, don't miss the Daniel Boone home near Defiance, just 40 minutes from our hotel. Or, head east to see where the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers meet at Confluence Point State Park, then cross into Illinois and visit Alton for a ghost tour, and dinner at Pere Marquette State Park for the best fried chicken in the area. (Source: Libby Wilson, SFA Reunion Host)

Last month I shared my excitement going to the WWII Museum in New Orleans. A memorable exhibit at the museum was the special exhibit on women. Yes, there were women who were nurses, aircraft transport pilots, women who grew victory gardens, and women who learned to cook with honey rather than rationed white sugar. The Rosie the Riveter exhibit included examples of women in munition factories, in shipyards, in aircraft factories, in universities, and even running gas stations. I found one humbling poster was the story of a mother who had three sons in military service. We are losing WWII veterans, their families, and their stories. (In my family, my father and five uncles were in the military during WWII and are now all gone.) In addition, we are also losing stories of women and children who lived during this same time, often without being recognized or even noticed. I want to encourage SFA members to take the challenge to ask family members, both men and women, about their lives during WWII. Please share their stories in the Quarterly to recognize them.

More and more visitors and SFA members are visiting the new SFA website, sheldonfamily.org. Another new addition is the super information in the “Descendants List.” If you are a descendant of one of the 5 progenitors, go to the “Five Colonial Sheldon Families” page. Click on your Progenitor’s name and then on the “Descendants List” link near the top. The new page will show 5 generations of your people, plus an index of people at the bottom, showing the page number where you can find the person clicked on. Awesome!!!!

April Historical Events:
1621 The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts, to return to England.
1775 Paul Revere makes his famous ride from Boston to Lexington.
1789 George Washington takes office as the first U.S. President.
1841 President William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia one month after his inauguration.
1860 The Pony Express begins between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California.
1865 John Wilkes Booth assassinates Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
1945 American troops begin landing on the island of Okinawa in the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific during World War II.
1955 Ray Kroc opens his first McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.
1975 The last Americans evacuate Saigon as South Vietnam surrenders to the Vietcong.
1978 The U.S. Senate votes to turn the Panama Canal over to Panama by the year 2000.
1981 The first manned space shuttle flight begins as Columbia blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1996 Fast-food chain Taco Bell announces it has bought the Liberty Bell and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell, and thousands believe the April Fool’s Day prank.
(Source: The American Patriot’s Almanac by W.J. Bennett and J. Cribb, 2010)

An SFA member sent this Tidbit:
Recently PBS re-aired the show called Shakespeare's Tomb. The mystery and story about it are in regards to the finding of Shakespeare's skull. It was found in St. Leonard's Church in Beoly, UK. The church itself has an interesting history which is online. Anyway, the skull was in the grave or ossuary of Ralph Sheldon and other Sheldon family members.

Another SFA member sent this comment:
I have watched this program on PBS and found it fascinating but a bit gruesome. The idea of a Sheldon being involved really kept me watching to the end. I do recommend it.

Another SFA member sent the following link:

I am looking forward to seeing you in St. Charles in September!

P.S Next month I will share my story of having lunch with three Sheldon sisters who also live in my area…… fun!