The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Historical Society Gives Answers To Out-Of-State Guests

When Margaret Flynn (Fredricksburg, Virginia) and Joan Salerno (Omaha, Nebraska) walked into the La Harpe Historical Society Museum and asked for help finding information on their grandfather, Leslie Bradfield, they were sure surprised when Dan Gillett said, "I will help you, I am your cousin."

Although Dan and the Bradfield sisters had not seen each other for nearly 30 years, they quickly became reacquainted and began digging into the Bradfield family history.

After two and half hours of research using the complete "Quill" newspaper collection along with The La Harper newspapers and the museum extensive obituary files and local family histories, most of the Bradfield history was put together for the cousins.

With this complete they wanted to meet another cousin, Darrel Gillett, who lives in one of the original Bradfield family homes on west Main Street. After meeting Darrel and taking pictures with the cousins back together again, they were invited to go in to the old home built in 1905, for a tour.

After many stories were told about the early days of the old home, the next destination was the local cemetery to find the final resting place of the Bradfield family ancestors.

When all the graves were found and many compliments on how well their grandparents plot and the La Harpe Cemetery was cared for, they all bid a fond farewell until they meet again.

Dan's mother Delma Bradfield Gillett was a sister to the cousins' father Elzie Bradfield, the owner of Bradfield Funeral Home in Warsaw for 30 years. Joan and Peggy grew up there. Their mother Margaret Bradfield, ran a successful Beauty Salon on Main Street in Warsaw.

Harry Flynn, Margaret's husband, took a picture in the La Harpe museum of the cousins Margaret, Joan and her son Steve Salerno (Twins Cities, MN), and Dan, and Jayne Eckhardt - one of the historians at the museum. He commented on their "stroke of luck" in meeting their "long lost cousin, Dan Gillett, a genealogy researcher at the La Harpe Historical and Genealogical Society office."

The Family said that Dan provided them with information about their ancestry only a living relative could. His help provided information the sisters probably would never been able to find if it was not for the records kept by the Society and the intimate detail of the family tree that Dan Gillett was able to share with them.