From Europe to Mid-America

Ruth ("Nadine") Elson

Ruth ("Nadine") Elson

Female 1918 - 2006  (87 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Ruth ("Nadine") Elson  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Nickname Nadine 
    Born 29 Apr 1918  Riverside, Berrien Cnty, MI Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 5, 6, 7
    Gender Female 
    Occupation Education - Teacher 
    Died 3 Jan 2006  Rancho Bernardo, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 5, 6
    Buried Cremated; ashes given to family or friends Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I474  SnoufferCampbell
    Last Modified 7 Jan 2017 

    Father Claude Henry Elson,   b. 2 Aug 1882, Hagar Twsp, Berrien Cnty, MI Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Mar 1951, Benton Harbor, Berrien Cnty, MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Mother Bessie Elizabeth Snouffer,   b. 2 Dec 1891, Cedar Rapids, Linn Cnty, IA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Aug 1958, Riverside, Berrien Cnty, MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years) 
    Married 28 Apr 1915  Cedar Rapids, Linn Cnty, IA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 11
    Family ID F161  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Harry William Knecht,   b. 26 Jan 1921,   d. 26 Jun 2000, Charleston, SC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 21 Jul 1950  Detroit, Wayne Cnty, MI Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 7
    Divorced 13 May 1973 
     1. Karen Beth Knecht,   b. 2 May 1951, Detroit, Wayne Cnty, MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
     2. David William Knecht,   b. 4 Aug 1953, San Diego, San Diego Cnty, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
     3. Wanda Jane Knecht,   b. 26 Jul 1956, San Diego, San Diego Cnty, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years)
    Last Modified 12 May 2010 
    Family ID F208  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Benton Harbor [MI] Herald-Palladium (28 Jan 1947):
      "Riverside, Jan. 28 -- Miss Ruth Nadine Elson, a former Hartford high school teacher and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Elson, of Riverside, received a master's degree in education at Wayne university commencement exercises at the Masonic temple in Detroit on Jan. 21. ***
      "Miss Elson was graduated with honors from the Benton Harbor high school in 1935. She was awarded the coveted Kiwanis Key at the high school commencement exercise.
      "She was graduated with honors from Albion college in 1939.
      "For four years, Miss Elson was a home economics instructor at the Hartford high school.
      "Since 1943, Miss Elson has been a home economics instructor at Lincoln high school in Van Dyke, a suburb of Detroit. During these last years, she had studied for her master's degree at Wayne.
      "Miss Elson's parents, her sister, Miss Ruby Elson, and her brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Elson, attended the graduation exercises in Detroit last week."

      Benton Harbor [MI] Herald-Palladium (8 Aug 1950):
      "Riverside, Aug. 8 -- Announcement has been made of the marriage of Miss Ruth Nadine Elson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Claude H. Elson, of Riverside, to Harry William Knecht of Detroit. The bridegroom's parents are Mr. and Mrs. William J. Knecht of East Detroit.
      "The wedding, a double ring ceremony, too place July 21 in the Nardeen Park Methodist church, Detroit.
      "The couple's attendants were Mrs. George Wintersteen, the bride's sister, and Robert W. Knecht, brother of the bridegroom. Ushers were Westey Bohnoff, Ed Lisk, Roy Elson and Joseph Michael.
      "A graduate of Albion college and Wayne university, where she received a master's degree, Mrs. Knecht teaches school in Detroit. She is attending Wayne university this summer, taking special courses.
      "Mr. Knecht is employed at the Dodge plant of the Chrysler corporation in Detroit...."
    • Birth Notice, The [Benton Harbor, MI] News-Palladium, p. 9 (4 May 1951):
      "Birth at Detroit
      "Riverside, May 4 - News has been received here of the birth of a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Harry Knecht, 2976 Chicago boulevard, Apartment 406, Detroit.
      "The baby's mother is the former Ruth Nadine Elson, daughter of Mrs. Claude Elson."
    • Obituary, San Diego [CA] Union-Tribune (15 Jan 2006):
      "With great sadness, the family of Ruth Nadine Elson Knecht announces her death on January 3, 2006. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2000, Ruth Nadine passed away peacefully in her sleep.
      "Ruth Nadine was born April 29, 1918 in Riverside, Michigan. She was the daughter of Claude Henry Elson and Bessie Elizabeth Snouffer Elson. Ruth was the first in her family to attend college, graduating in 1939 from Albion College in Albion, Michigan. In 1946, she earned a Master's Degree in Education from Wayne University in Detroit, Michigan. Following her marriage to Harry William Knecht in 1950, the Knecht family moved from Detroit to San Diego, California, in 1952. Ruth was a resident of La Mesa from 1958 to 2001. She loved being a teacher and her teaching career spanned over 45 years. She spent most of her teaching days at Spring Valley Junior High and other schools in The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. Ruth Nadine was one of the first Home Economics teachers in the country to teach cooking and housekeeping skills to boys.
      "Ruth Nadine is survived by her daughters, Karen Beth of Poway and Wanda Jane of San Diego, and her son David William of Bakersfield, California; *** [and siblings and grandchildren]. Ruth was married to her former husband, Harry William Knecht, for 23 years. Harry died June 26, 2000.
      "Ruth Nadine is a direct descendent of John Elston [sic] (born 1608), a ship's carpenter from Devonshire, England, who immigrated to Salem/Boston, Massachusetts with The Winthrop Fleet in 1630. She is also a direct descendent of Johann "Hans" Michael Schnauffer (born 1716) and Magdalena Wendel (born 1716) who immigrated from Renningen, Germany to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1751. ***
      "A memorial service ... will be held January 21, 2006...."
    • A note from Ruth's daughter Karen:
      "My mother went up against the IRS!!!!.... Back around 1980 when she was retired, the IRS sent her a notice that she owed an extra $300 for some medical deduction or something like that. My mother is very stubborn & not afraid to confront anyone if she thinks she is right.
      "So she went to downtown San Diego IRS office and tried to get the IRS to change its mind. IRS did not back down, but she refused to pay the $300. Just to make her point, Mom said that as she left the IRS office, she tacked an article about Richard Nixon legally paying $0 taxes as he lived the high life in his huge San Clemente mansion.
      A few days later, the IRS sent an agent to her front door to collect the $300. She gave him a piece of her mind ---- but not $300.
      "Later, a letter came from the IRS demanding the $300. So she wrote them back saying that she still thought she was right, but would concede defeat. However, she did not have an extra $300 to pay them so she chose to do what Chuck Barris was doing. (Barris was the producer of THE GONG SHOW & was in jail for about 45 days because he refused to pay over $100,000 in back taxes.) She had clipped out the article about Barris & enclosed this with her reply. She wrote that she did some calculations & figured that one could do jail time @ $100/hour for non-payment of taxes. So if it was all the same to them, that's what she would like to do & then everyone could consider the matter closed. All they needed to do is let her know the jail location where she could serve her time & if it was all the same to them, she is generally available on Tuesdays or Thursdays. Also would it be okay if she brought a crocheting project she was working on? And she promised to sit quietly in jail & would not bother anyone as she served her time.
      "She never heard from the IRS again."

  • Sources 
    1. [S2] Bertha Newens|, Bertha Ina (Newens) Snouffer, "Newens & Snouffer Family Records", (Bertha Ina (Newens) Snouffer; unpublished charts; created abt 1960; revised abt 1970; original charts possessed by Wm.C.Snouffer).

    2. [S70] Knecht, Karen|, Karen Beth Knecht, "Correspondence", (Karen B. Knecht,

    3. [S40] Obituary, Anonymous, "Obituary", (Ruth N Elson; 15 Jan 2006).

    4. [S42] Jewell - Snouffers|, Carol Snouffer Jewell, "Snouffer, Schnauffer, Newens of Germany, IA, 1523-1997" (Nov 1999), (Family Tree Maker, "World Family Tree," CD-ROM database (vol. 54, tree 2400), Cambridge, MA; The Learning Company, Inc. : 2000).

    5. [S103] FindaGrave, (, 13033410.

    6. [S749] Ancestry Tree - Minnick [Elston / Elson], Teri Minnick, Minnick Tree - DNA, (, Online database,

    7. [S3] Personal |, Person Named, Spouse, or close Relative or Friend, (Donna Jean Wintersteen).

    8. [S879] IA Marriages, 1838-1934 |, Iowa County Court Clerks, Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934, (Online database,

    9. [S40] Obituary, Anonymous, "Obituary", (Claude H Elson; 16 Mar 1951).

    10. [S69] Cedar Rapids Lutheran|, "Church Records", (First Lutheran Church, 1000 Third Ave, SE, Cedar Rapids, IA, 52403).

    11. [S37] Ancestry Tree - Mann, James D. Hug, "Mann_2011-12-09", (, Public Member Tree, Online database, ).