Frank W. Meserve, Jr.
Preble Chapel S.S.
for Not Missing a Sunday
between Sept. 1926 to June 1927
I found it at an indoor flea market. It caught my eye, not because bibles are hard to find—in fact, there are almost always bibles jumbled into book stacks at flea markets—but because it was full of clippings, notes, etc. It was clearly a “family” item, and those lost items always make me curious.
Inside the front cover was a newspaper clipping including a photo of Frank W. Meserve, Jr.: Seaman Wounded In Sinking Spending Leave At Home Here.
And there he was, Frank Meserve himself, in Naval uniform (cap tipped back on his head, eyes bold and clear, mouth slightly open in a half-smile.
He was a handsome man.
I bought Frank’s bible for ten dollars, and then I took it home.
I went through the entire book, picking out the clippings and postcards, reading them all carefully (making notes as I went along), putting them all back where I’d found them.
High school in Portland, Maine, WWII enlistment in the US Navy, service in North Africa, Trinidad, Newfoundland; wounded in the battle of Luzon; marriage to Bernice; a small photograph of a baby, a clipping from a calendar—September 13, 1946—with his handwritten note to his wife: Happy anniversary...; a clipping of a photo of the winners at the July Fourth Old Home Day parade, one of whom isCharles E. Meserve who won first prize!
His son, I’m sure of it.
Another clipping had a photo of volunteers who were working on the Cystic Fibrosis fund drive (first woman on the left? Mrs. Meserve); two colored bells cut from stiff paper—clearly a school project; a spelling paper; a short article from the Social Notes about a party Mr. and Mrs. Meserve hosted honoring their son Charles E. on his 11th birthday.
You get the idea—a family record (of sorts); lost to a flea market.
After a bit of scrambling, some research on Ancestry.com and a few weeks of emails and responses, I found a relative of Frank Meserve’s—a woman in
sent his bible to her. Wisconsin