Way Back William


My mother and I have been cleaning out closets and corners of their home.  We came across some old documents and photos.  I have a longstanding reverence for the past, its really a disease.  So the old stuff is scooped up to bring home where it gets tucked away for posterity.  But now I have a soapbox to share what I’ve found. 

My grandfather, William Noggle was an interesting person.  He died when I was young, but I do have many vivid memories of him.  Particularly, with a camera in his hand.    The impatient little Debbie was his subject, quite alot. He and Grandma would come to stay for a week or so during the holidays and during the summer our family would drive up north and stay with them for a vacation.  I remember once, he asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  I said something like, “oh I don’t know, I don’t really want anything….but, if we could go fly up and lasso the moon and a star that would be great.”    I truly must have thought he was superman.  And yes, I really did ask for the moon! 

Since he was always behind the camera, photographs of him are rare.  This one was taken at his workplace, and is the ONLY photo I can find of him.  Note the tie and dress shoes under the coveralls.  Somehow the salesman was asked to pose for this picture. 

William at Besser

He was a talented, hardworking man.  With only a sixth grade education, he did well for himself.  His main career was with the Besser Company, manufacturer of cement block machinery.  He worked his way up the ladder, from factory worker, to supervisor and eventually a sales rep. 

As a young man, he was in the home building business with his friend, Joe La Belle.  (I was so surprised,  had never heard this business mentioned before.) model home

We found this letter from the Governor of Michigan:

letter from governor

Gladly,  I could ask my mother about this.  She seemed to remember a bus accident that her father, and his friend Dr. Bunting assisted with.  Sure enough, I found this.

Perhaps curiosity about history came from him.  We uncovered a pamphlet used by the Ossineke Chamber of Commerce, way back when,  co-authored by William.


This was also found in amongst his things:

Ken   Add machine

I just know this was his pocketsize, mechanical calculator.  I remember his briefcase, and surely this was in it.  A fascination with adding machine/calculator gadgets perhaps runs in the family too.

These finds just touch on some of the details of his life.  There is much more to tell you….another day. 

4 responses »

  1. That’s great! I know my great grandfather worked in a glass plant but wore a shirt and tie to the plant every day…a hat also. Funny how different the world was back then…

  2. Pingback: Way Back When-sday-The Boy « No Whining Allowed

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