Nov. 17, 1927 Saint Paul Ramsey County Minnesota, USA
Sarah Lucille Palma Genevieve Ostby - who always went by "Lucille" - was born to police officer Otto Ostby and the former Stella Williams in Freeborn County, Minnesota in 1909. Her parents' marriage wouldn't last much longer; she was still a baby when they divorced, although she remained in contact with her father for the few short years he had remaining. As a motorcycle officer in Minneapolis, Otto's job could be dangerous, and indeed, he was killed in a motorcycle collision while racing to a call in 1915.
By this time, Lucille's mother Stella had already married a Canadian-born attorney named Leslie Solomon Ogden, himself a widower with a grown daughter. In 1913 Stella and Leslie had a son of their own, a boy they called Leslie Jr. In 1919, Leslie Sr. would pass away; Lucille's mother Stella would follow in 1921. Lucille and her half-brother were now both orphans. I have no information on where they lived after the death of their mother, a current topic of research for me.
Lucille married her first cousin Earl Ostby around 1926, when she was 17 years old. She was soon pregnant, and gave birth to her only daughter, Estelle. Unfortunately, her time was running out, and she wouldn't live to see Estelle's first birthday. Lucille died of peritonitis and hemorrhagic pneumonia in 1927, at the age of 18. Estelle was 10 months old.
Earl felt he couldn't take care of his baby daughter alone, and gave over her care to his older brother Bernard and Bernard's wife, Alice, who were childless at the time. By all accounts they took wonderful care of Lucille's little baby, and though she always knew who her birth parents were, she treated Bernard and Alice as her mom and dad.
As a final postscript to Lucille's short and sad life, her husband Earl would too meet an early fate. After giving over Estelle's care to Bernard, Earl moved to Southern California to start over. He remarried and found work there, and attempted to regain custody of young Estelle, though the courts sided with Bernard and Alice. In May of 1931, Earl went for an evening ocean swim with some coworkers after their shift ended. He drowned at the age of 24.
Lucille's star shone brightly but briefly. In every photo I have of her - all of them childhood photos, since she barely had an adulthood to speak of - she is pretty, smiling, with shiny dark hair and sparkling eyes. I still have an old sterling silver baby bracelet, engraved with her name, that she wore as a newborn.