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The John Karcher family moved to Olalla some time around 1891. At that time there was John, his wife Anna Gertrude Klee Karcher, their children: Bruno, Elnora, Carl, Ada Elizabeth, Harry Joseph, William Edmund (b May 22, 1888) and Waldo, the only one born in Olalla, in Nov. 7, 1894. The family came from an area East of Dale, Indiana. John was born in upstate New York and Anna in Dale, Indiana.

The Olalla School photo is from my Aunt Carol's estate. She probably got the photo from her Aunt Ada, front center in the photo. Dad swears the young lad next to her on the left in the photo is his Dad, Harry Joseph (I thought it was a girl). Nora is the spitting image of Ada and from the photos of Bruno that has to be him in the rear. From the size of the kids and their birth dates, I put the photo circa 1891 to 1892 but it clearly has written 1895 on it. Nora looks to be 12 or 13, Bruno 15 or 16, Harry about 6 and Ada about 8 or 9.

The Kitsap County History list as an excerpt for Harry Karcher - Formations of schools in South Kitsap- 1888 District number 17, Olalla was formed. Harry was in the list of the first 15 students at this school. There are 15 kids in the above photo so this could be the first class. At the time of Harry's death, his obit in the paper listed him as the oldest living alumni of the Olalla school district.

Harry, my grandfather, grew up in Olalla/Fragaria and that is where they lived when my Dad was born. Harry's house is no longer there, but the house of Seymour Alva Kelly and Elnora Karcher Kelly (Alva and Nora Kelly in the Fraola cemetary) is still standing. Harry's place was between SA Kelly's place and his Father's, John Karcher, place. The barn that was adjacent to the John Karcher home is still standing. The house used to be directly adjacent but in front of the barn. The Black place was across the street from John Karcher's place. Today there is a loop road called Black and by coincidence, SA Kelly's and John Karcher's places are across the street from where Orchard and Black roads meet but at opposite ends of the road - The Karcher place being further South and closer to Olalla. SA Kelly was both Harry's Father-in-law and his Brother-in-law. SA is the Father of my Grandmother, Gladys Kelly Karcher. After SA's first wife died, he married Harry's older sister, Elnora Karcher.

Harry Karcher moved his family from Olalla in about 1923 to Annaplis (2-3 moves there) and then to Port Orchard (3-4 moves there). At one point Grandpa Harry ran an automotive garage and they lived above it. The building still stands in downtown Port Orchard.

Kelly Home in Olalla

Harry Karcher's Lot

John Karcher Barn

Port Orchard Garage

Port Orchard House
circa 2004 with
John Karcher standing in front

Port Orchard House
circa 1932

Harry Karcher built several houses in Port Orchard. He would build one, live in it and build another and sell the earlier one. The street he lived on is called Karcher Rd. The photo was taken Christmas 2003 and has Dad standing in front of the house he lived in. His room was top floor right (out of view). I would guess he lived there in the late 20's or early 30's while he was attending high school. Grandpa Harry once told me that Dad got mad at them for one reason or another and moved into the unfinished house next door, which did not yet have any electricity. He ran an extension cord to the new house and put a light bulb under the covers to keep him warm. The bulb started the sheets smoldering and luckly woke Papa John up with only a fright.

Other family members: Dad also says that his grandpa, John Karcher, was at one time on the school board or school super or something like that. In any event SA Kelly and his children including Gladys Kelly moved to Olalla across from the school on land sold to him by John Karcher sometime after 1910. Gladys became a teacher at Olalla or Fragaria School in 1912-13 or there about and that's when Harry met and married Gladys in Dec 1913. I think Dad has a photo of his Mom with her younger brother Alva James (Pat) Kelly as a member of her class. Gladys was only 17 or 18 when she became the teacher. Dad says that she was one of the older female kids around and therefore by default became the teacher. Harry and Gladys' marriage certificate lists both as residents of Fragaria. They lived about half way between the towns, but perhaps Fragaria was slightly closer and Dad attended Fragaria school which was definately closer then the Olalla school. Ellanora Theresa Karcher married Gladys' Father who was a widower.

Carl had TB and moved to Phoenix for weather better suited to his condition. He came back to Olalla in ~1918 or there about and died from his ailment. Waldo, the youngest was sent to Phoenix to take care of Carl's affairs and the family lost track of him. Recently, through Ancestry.com, I found more info on him. Waldo was at Camp Travis in Texas in 1918, as a Pvt. 1st class training for WWI. That fits with the oral history which had him joining the Arizona National Guard to fight against Poncho Villa (not likely IMO). During the war years he was listed in the Phoenix, Arizona phone registry. Was there a hospital there for WWI casualties of war? In 1930 census he's in Nevada working at a mine. He was not a miner, but took care of the mine equipment. It was not until recently that I discovered him in the 1940 census living as William E Karcher in China Gulch, North of Redding, CA. He also signed his WWII registration card as William Emerson Karcher, born in 1895 (not 1894). He's in Winnemucca and lists person who knows him as W.D Shebley, 217 French Ave, Grass Valley, CA. Employed by West Coast Mine. This is 1942. He is listed as 6'-1 3/4" tall and 260 lbs. So he as a pretty big man. Brown hair and eyes, ruddy complexion and scar on left hand palm. Update: I found Waldo in the 1940 census. He's in French Gulch under the Ancestry.com erroneously transcribed name of William E Roscher. He's still a mine-man and still using the first name of William. He lists Inyo as his place of residence in 1935. Ref 1940, Cal, Shasta, Other Places, 45-5, pg 28. In 1934 Waldo is listed in LA votor index. So he appeared to move around a bit. His death is recorded in the California Death Index as July 23, 1960 in Hillsborough, San Mateo County, California. However, the enternment record has a morturary in Redding and the next of kin is listed as the city administrator of Redding. That fits whith where I located him in the 1940 census.

Ada married John Hughes and eventually moved from Seattle to LA. She died in Reno where Dad's Sister Carol was her guardian. William Edmund was called Edmund and that's where Dad gets his middle name. He lived in Oak Harbor and never married. Bruno obtained a land grant for 160 acres in Wenatchee. He lived and farmed there his whole life. He didn't marry either. Dad once owned the 20 acres above the pond, on the South edge of his Dad, Harry Karcher's, property, but let it go for the $13 in taxes. Also I found where Grandpa Harry Karcher took out a land grant for 160 acres in Coos, Oregon in about 1909. There's no oral history of him ever living there so we believe all he did was sell the timber and then let the land go back to the feds for taxes.

John and Anna Karcher

SA and Nora Kelly

Olalla Area Overview

The book Starvation Heights states that Waldo Karcher had inflammatory rheumatism and that John Karcher spent lots of money on a cure for him. Dad tells me that it was Edmund that had the inflammatory rheumatism and also had TB of the bone. They cut a piece of the bone from Edmund's leg to remove the TB and stitched the remaining two parts together. He was laid up for several months. The hip never fully recovered and one leg was always shorter then the other. Because of the hip, in order to walk, Edmund would swing the hip forward to swing the leg forward. Carl was the one with TB who went to Arizona for his health. The book centers on Linda Hazzard and her Sanitarium where she used starvation as a cure for ailments. When a British heiress, Claire Williamson, died from her treatment and her sister was severely undernourished, Linda was put on trial for murder but was found guilty of only manslaughter. She served her time and eventually came back to Olalla to fulfill her dream of the great sanitarium. Her sanitarium was next door to the Karcher farm and John and Anna Karcher were friends with Linda and Sam Hazzard. John Karcher designed the sanitarium and Grampa Harry Karcher did some carpenter and the plumbing work on it. Dad said that one time he got a hernia and was taken to Linda Hazzard's Sanitarium for treatment. He said the dog ate table scraps that were better then what the inhabitants got. Linda Hazzard eventually became ill herself and put herself through the starvation treatment during which she died. I have discussed the book with others who haven't read it and found that there are still people who believe a fast, such as described by Hazzard, is a legitimate treatment claiming to cure all sorts of things including cancer. Kill the good cells and the cancer has nothing to grow on and dies (along with the patient?).

Bob Karcher