Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Shot in the back, and you're to blame

Montana Standard article -
3 Jun 1938
Now that I'm back to going through my own family records after going through everything I have on my wife's ancestry, I'm happily back in familiar territory - the Joseph family. A quick glance at how many records I have on these guys told me this is not going to be a quick job. But I'm ok with that; I'm actually very interested to see what I've collected on them, and seeing what I have that I don't know that I have.

I came across one very interesting person on the first day I started doing the Joseph records - Adolph William "Bus" Leistiko. He's my first cousin three times removed (he was my great-grandmother Augusta Joseph's cousin), and had a short but eventful life. He was born in 1915 in Anaconda, Deer Lodge, Montana to John Adolph Leistiko and Justine/Christine Joseph. Bus was the youngest of the seven children born to his parents, though Tina, as his mom was often known, later had a daughter with her second husband, John Levick. He and his half-sister Mary Levick married their respective spouses, Lucille Bailey and Michael Frankovich, on the same day, 18 June 1934, both in Anaconda, Montana, by the same Justice of the Peace, William Lorenz. Mary's mother-in-law, Helen Frankovich, was a witness to both weddings. Sadly, Bus's marriage to Lucille was short-lived, as he married Rose Richards less than three years later, on 18 May 1937, and gave his marital status as divorced.

Shortly after his marriage to Rose, Bus was traveling with two friends (one of whom was a brother-in-law of his half-sister Mary), driving near Anaconda. Bus was at the wheel and his friends were in the back seat, examining a .22 pistol, when the pistol went off. The bullet went through the front seat and hit Bus in the back. Apparently they avoided crashing somehow, as Bus was taken to a hospital to receive emergency  treatment for the wound, and was released the same day and allowed to go home to recover.
Montana Standard article -
19 Nov 1950
Bus did recover, and went on to have five children and a career in the garage and surface department of the Anaconda Reduction Works, according to the Montana Standard newspaper. He even ran for the position of constable of East Anaconda Township in July, 1950. Just a few months after the election, he started complaining of pains in his left arm and side. On 18 November 1950, a week after the pains started, he got up from the dinner table to walk into the living room, when he suffered a heart attack and died. He was only 35, and while I don't know how old most of his kids were, I do know that one of his daughters would have been about 10. Given that he'd only been married for 13 years, the rest of the kids would have probably been close to that in age. I can't imagine what a shock that would have been, to have just finished dinner, when someone just...dies, right there, and possibly right in front of the family too.

So that was the life of Adolph "Bus" Leistiko (or what I've found of it in a few vital records and newspaper articles). Short, kind of rough, and a pretty sad end. But I'm glad I was able to piece together this much of his life, and retell the story. It makes what genealogy research so much more meaningful when I can find some of the stories behind the names, dates, and places. It's one of the reasons I do this research - all of our ancestors had stories like this, some longer, some shorter. But finding these stories makes me feel connected to these people, and hopefully I'll be able to pass that connection on to my descendants and relatives before my story ends.

1 comment:

sequimitesal said...

Very good article Brandt.. So interesting to read.