Laura Josephine Bosman

Female 1888 - 1964  (75 years)

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  • Name Laura Josephine Bosman 
    Born 17 Nov 1888  New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Adopted Orphan Train Rider Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 07 Oct 1964 
    Buried St Nicholas Cemetery, Freedom, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I32773  Little Chute Genealogy
    Last Modified 11 Feb 2007 

    Father Cornelis Hendrikus Bosman,   b. 28 Aug 1832, Wolferen, Gelderland, Netherlands Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 1914  (Age 81 years) 
    Relationship Adopted 
    Mother Johanna Williamson,   b. 30 Mar 1833, Elst, Gelderland, Netherlands Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Feb 1921  (Age 87 years) 
    Relationship Adopted 
    Family ID F41178  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Joseph Herman Rickert,   b. 18 Nov 1881, Freedom, Outagamie Co, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Oct 1969, Appleton, Outagamie, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Married 02 Sep 1918  St Nicholas Church, Freedom, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Anna Mae Rickert,   b. 25 Jul 1919,   d. 07 Oct 1919  (Age 0 years)
     2. William Joseph Rickert,   b. 27 Dec 1920,   d. 05 Nov 2016  (Age 95 years)
     3. Robert Paul Rickert,   b. 30 Jun 1922, Freedom, Outagamie Co, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jan 2016, Phoenix, Maricopa Co, Arizona Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years)
     4. Richard John Rickert,   b. 03 Mar 1924, Freedom, Outagamie Co, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jun 2007, Appleton, Outagamie, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)
     5. Roy Edward Rickert
     6. Joseph Daniel Rickert
     7. John Michael Rickert
     8. Thomas Lee Rickert
    Last Modified 21 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F11126  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos

  • Notes 
    • I was a grown man before my mother confronted me in the normal course of conversation, with the news that Cornelius and Hannah Bosman were not her real blood parents. I had heard the word “adopted” mentioned several times, it is true, but it made no deep impression on me. The moment had arrived when I had my first real understanding of what it meant for Mother to be adopted. Her exact words were “did you never once stop to figure that Aunt Hannah was much too advanced in years to bear a child?” This first encounter was brief to be sure but the subject came up for discussion very soon again and many times thereafter. It seemed a shame, now that I think of it, that Mother never was able in later life to see her real Mother. If only to talk to her once, touch her affectionately. Come Christmas when all the wrappings from family gifts were scattered about the floor and everything in the house was merry and gay, there always came a quiet time, the sad moment when Mother would think longingly of her parents; the happy Christmases they might have had together. How thrilled she would have been to have them share even one hour of our joy and merriment. It was an awesome sight to behold the warmth and affection of our family circle and know that this had been missing and lacking in Mother's early childhood year.
      For mother found it most difficult to erase from her foster home at Rose Hill near Little Chute, despite the fact that she was treated graciously as a child and teenager in her second foster home by the Bosmans. Every time she held a new baby boy in her arms, her thoughts would drift back to her real mother in New York. Thanks to careful investigation and inquiry on the part of the “Aunties” in the early years of her marriage and the many reassurances given to her by her close friend and confidant, Aunt Alma Murphy )nee Brill) and her visit to the New York Foundling Home in 1951, the pain of sorrow was soothed somewhat. However, she never ceased to wonder what special circumstances surrounded her placement in the orphanage. To the question, “Why did my mother abandon me,” she could never find a suitable or satisfactory answer. To know the background of New York parents who had placed their children out for adoption, to know that only the well-to-do families at the time could afford to place their children in such an exclusive orphanage, to know even and to have the assurance that her father originally intended a true and lasting marriage, never seemed to heal the sound of being abandoned by her mother. In the years that followed, often she dreamed and wondered what her father and mother were really like as persons, what joys and sufferings they knew together, what inner strength they must have had, to bear a child, and give this child to the care of people they would never know and never meet.
      How proud she was when I sat with her in the office of the New York Foundling Home in 1951 on the 10th of July from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., our very first day in New York. Mother introduced me as her priest son and showed the snap shots of her husband and family of 7 boys to a room full of Sisters from the home. So great was her happiness and so intense her pride, that she tried to arrange a meeting with Francis Cardinal Spellman the very next day to tell him of the many priests she cooked for and knew thru here foster-mother, to tell of her relatives and friends in Freedom, Wisconsin. Indeed the Cardinal of New York would have praised and admired her achievements and her virtuous and pious life and her family of 7 boys. She was only too well aware, as were the Sisters at the Foundling Home, that the life of some orphan girls took completely different turns. Scarcely an hour or two had passed and Mother had captivated the hearts of the Sisters at the Home. They were delighted and pleased that everything had turned out so well since she left them as a tiny infant.
      I understand a little now, some of the problems of her life. I meet, as a priest, mothers who face the problems my mother did. Everything is so vital and real when something happens to you, and who but God Himself, can understand the problem or mystery when it happens to another. What was the problem, the painful ordeal for Laura Rickert? Even though the Bosmans were good foster-parents, Mother was always confronted with the fact that she was alone in the world, an orphan. She could never be really certain that Aunt Hannah believed in her. It was like having a stranger help decide the course of your life, your personal happiness, your future. All the everyday routines of a home, the give and take of members of the family, of friends in the village, these did not exist in quite the same way for Mother, the orphan, as for others. Months soon become years, and in fact, a lifetime is not enough to wonder who you were at birth, where you were going, why this all happened. Questions such as these will never be fully answered this side of Heaven. The final decision of whether or not to keep a child is always and totally the decision of the mother. Close friends who really care can give advice but they cannot make the big decision about giving up the baby or keeping it. The mother has to sit down and try to know herself. She has to be ready for a special kind of heroism if she is to give up her child. Mrs. Loden had to be one of these brave, heroic persons.
      Mother always referred to herself as a 'little woman'; she was small of size and stature; she stood 5'2” and her average weight was about 120 lbs. She looked for the smallest chair in the room, upon entering, so that her feed could touch the floor. As her boys grew up, she studied them carefully as size, posture and characteristics. Like all mothers, she remembered those special days when we did things for the first time; days when we squealed with glee and other very special moments in life and she recounted them to all who would listen, both on the phone and in person. Only our Dad could share with her in special moments like watching the expressions on our face or the glint in our eye with the hopes that she might be seeing her Dad in his grin of satisfaction over his grandchildren. Every time we would tell of the studies we liked, the games we were skilled in playing or the things we hoped to accomplish, her thoughts would turn to her background and physical make up of her parents. Mother knew enough about genetics to know that the color of our hair, eyes and skin were the results of a combination of different things and could not be ascribed as such to Adam Rickert or Ann Siddons or to the Lodens or Hancocks, but one think is particular stands out, that irregardless of whether in the estimation of men, the Rickert boys are considered to have fine features or not, we have inherited from someone and engrained in us from someone, a laudable system or sense of values. Mother always felt these character traits were passed on to us thru her, by blood. Our mother emphasized the fact that we came from good stock so much, that I have come to believe that my real maternal grandparents were warm, loving and strong people; and heaven permitting, that they now know some of the destiny of their grandchildren who were raised on the Rickert Homestead. Because they loved and cared enough to have a child in 1888, we are alive and here today. To be raised in the east would have been much different to say the least, but despite our poverty and hardships on the 100 year old farm, and despite the anguish and pain experienced by our mother in foster homes, we can say than you to the Lodens for sharing your child, your most precious gift with us; she was truly a wonderful mother.
      Often at her knee we would hear our mother relate the pleasant hours she spent with the Sisters in Freedom and how, save for an invalid mother in the person of Aunt Hannah, who required her daily services and attention until the day she died, she might well have gone off to the convent at an early age. We have always been of the opinion that her high regard and esteem for priests and sisters, and her close association with them thru her foster mother, was a deciding factor and definitely a contributing factor in her oldest boy becoming a priest.
      The most patient explanation mother could give us for waiting until the age of 30 to marry was, the fact she had to take care of Aunt Hannah. Aunt Hannah was a former priest's housekeeper for Father Welsh and she seems to have imposed restrictions on the social life of her two adopted girls that were equal to the strictest in the neighborhood. Dad called on her and courted her for a period of five years without seeming to mind too much that the courtship was extended. The home that she was raised in is presently the home of the Ferd Rieses and many is the time that I listened to my mother recount the family trees and Freedom history in this home as well at the Williamson home. Josie Williamson and mother had the entire account memorized beyond a doubt. If only she were alive today, she could submit countless corrections and pages of details that would add immeasurably to the already interesting tale. Her asthma improved after the folks moved off the farm to 419 East Roosevelt Street in 1951; possibly she was allergic to something around the buildings. Nine out of ten times when she would return to the farm for a meal or a visit, she would have a severe attack of asthma. Judging from the capable bookkeeping she did while on the farm, the way she handled the family checking account and the amount of money coming in and going out, the intense she took in the Freedom restaurant while it was operated by her son John, the rental of the upstairs rooms in the Appleton home, she might well have had a successful career as a business woman. The first money towards my seminary tuition was earned by peddling apples, hand-picked and windfall, up and down the streets of Little Chute and Kimberly. It took a lot of savvy, sales pitch and business know-how to convince a Holland housewife in Kimberly, whose husband was either unemployed or working only three days a week, to buy our apples; but she pointed to her future priest, gave her sales pitch and we always got rid of every apple the Model T could hold. I was only 13 years of age at the time and small for my age, but already a dependable chauffeur.
      We traveled to Appleton without dressing a half dozen chickens or a few turkeys and selling them to the Geenens, the Murphys or Dr. Keller. Many a quart of berried we got rid of at Murphy's Corners while I was at Mount Calvary. Some years, the price of early potatoes was especially good. Late potatoes were always planted on new ground near the woods; the large ones sold and the small ones we ate.
      Mother attended all 8 grades at St. Nicholas Parochial School and had some sort of extra business course which was at the time the equivalent of a 9th grade education. She was well loved by her school friends and often recalled pleasant memories of all who marched with her in the First Communion Class. She could recite from memory whole parts of her Catechism and the entire Dies Irae in Holland along with other prayers of the Mass, much to the amusement of her friends. She relished familiar dishes like Holland Brei, buttermilk pop, a glass of beer with an egg mixed in. How she would fret if special baking was in the oven and all seemed doomed because we had only soft wood from the shed and we were at a loss to provide the hard wood she so desperately needed at the moment to get a hot fire. The family rosary was said every evening during Lent and occasionally during May and October if we were not on the land.
      It was during the twenties that Aunt Leone gave up employment in Madison and got a job in Milwaukee. She was the next best thing to Santa Claus and always beat him by a few days as she paid us a visit and had packages for Mother and all the children. If I had a cap or a coat from the Boston Store in Milwaukee, I figured I really had something, due principally to the way Mother and Aunt Leone sang the praises of the store and the excellence of the merchandise. Later in life I visited the Boston Store in Milwaukee to see for myself just what a grand place that was. Our family has always been Aunt Leon's family in a sense and we have always received a Christmas present from her; while she was at the switch board at Geenen's, it was from there; afterwards from Prange's and so it will be until a better store comes along.
      Father William J. Rickert 1967