dee_burris: (Default)
2011-08-09 05:36 pm

Fleshing out the family lore...

Every family has some interesting stories about past events.

My brother-in-law has told me a few of those stories about his family as I have searched his family history.

One of them involved his paternal grandmother, Anna Marie Rian.
Anna Marie Rian was the daughter of Niels Rian and Maria Leontina Fallstrom, immigrants from Norway and Sweden.

She married John Hooper Rollins in January 1920 in Buhl, St. Louis Co., MN.

The way the family story went, Anna Marie had stowed away on a commercial passenger ship with one of her girlfriends.

This one wasn't far off, except there was no girlfriend aboard ship with her, although she had some help from friends.

I found this clipping today from the Duluth News Tribune, 17 Jul 1919.


Growing weary of Honolulu, Miss Anna Rian Decides to Return to States

Buhl, July 16 - American pluck with an equal amount of Yankee determination resulted in the return to Buhl of Miss Anna Rian, daughter of a prominent local merchant who shipped as a stowaway on an ocean liner to get away from Honolulu, where she had been teaching school.

The story which came to light today is this. Miss Rian, two weeks before the close of her school term, heard the call of "home." A steamer was sailing within a few days for the states and to miss passage on that boat would mean the plucky little school teacher would have to remain several weeks longer. School teacher friends of the Buhl girl arranged to finish out her contract for her and allow her to leave.

Another obstacle presented itself, however. Miss Rian was under contract and the Honolulu school authorities stated she would not be permitted to depart. The American get-there-spirit asserted itself.

Stows Away

Miss Rian managed to get on the boat as a stowaway and she was soon on the ocean sailing for home shores. Three hundred miles out the captain of the ship discovered the young woman and advised her that a mail boat sailing for Honolulu would pass them and she would be placed aboard and sent back.

Luckily fate helped the Buhl girl and the mail ship delayed by a storm did not pass the ship until it was close to San Francisco.

In the meantime passengers had interested themselves in behalf of the young woman. "We will send you back," the captain stated to her one morning as he neared Frisco's shores.

"I don't care now, I can swim that distance," she is said to have replied. The captain later congratulated her. Miss Rian says the experience was worth the effort as it brought her home several weeks ahead of time.

Then, another article in the same newspaper, dated 30 Jul 1919.

BUHL, July 29 - The transfer of the large Pacific Ocean steamers to the Atlantic ocean during the war is causing much hardship for persons in Honolulu who want to come to the United States, Miss Anna M. Rian says. She returned from Honolulu where she taught school recently.

"Hundreds are waiting at Honolulu for passage to the United States and all the steamers have been booked up until November," Miss Rian says. The recent articles which stated that she was a stowaway on a Pacific ocean steamer have been exaggerated, she said.

"When my school closed, I wanted to come home," Miss Rian said today. "It was a question of weeks of waiting, or getting aboard a steamer without a ticket. I chose the latter course, but about an hour after the steamer had left the harbor, I paid the purser for my passage and was listed as a passenger."