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Alice Williams BESSEE[1]
 1899 - 1928

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  • Birth  26 May 1899  Fort Dodge, Webster, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender  Female 
    Died  7 Sep 1928  Chicago, Cook, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Cause: Pulmonary Thrombosis 
    Buried  Mount Hope Cemetery, Chicago, Cook, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I52434  Brainard (Brainerd) / Foster / Fish
    Last Modified  27 Mar 2005 00:00:00 
    Family  Titus George LECLAIR, b. 26 Aug 1899, Superior, Douglas, Wisconsin  
    Married  26 May 1922  Schenectady, Schenectady, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Family ID  F22775  Group Sheet
  • Notes 
    • Alice Williams Bessee was born 26 May 1899 in Fort Dodge, Iowa. AliceBessee's marriage certificate lists her occupation as organist, aged 23years residing in Moscow, Idaho. She married Titus in Schenectady, NewYork 26 May 1922, his address being 244 Union Street in that city.
      Alice achieved some renown for her efforts in helping to create thestate song of Idaho. The following is from the University of Idaho Website: The year 1917 was the year of the dawning of "Here We Have Idaho."Actually, the saga of the song begins a bit earlier - in the tropicalgarden of a home in Hawaii. There, Sallie Hume Douglas wrote a poem, setit to music and called it "The Garden of Paradise". Across the ocean inIdaho with the Senior Song and Stunt Fest of 1917 coming up, MacKinleyHelm of Lewiston and Alice Bessee of Moscow were struggling to provide anew song for the fest. They had been captivated by "The Garden ofParadise" with its music of lingering quality, like the glow of a sunsetover the hills of Idaho. So, MacKinley wrote new words for the music andAlice adapted the melody. The Idaho version was the hit - indeed. In thelate twenties, Bethel Joy Packenham, a student from Boise, rewrote theverses, but the chorus remains just as MacKinley penned it in 1917. Then,in 1933, the Morey O'Donnell touch was added with his arrangement.
      The following write up came from the State of Idaho web site forsymbols of the state: IDAHO SYMBOLS - STATE SONG. The music for the Idahostate song, composed by Sallie Hume Douglas, was copyrighted on November4, 1915, under the title "Garden of Paradise." In 1917, McKinley Helm, astudent at the University of Idaho, wrote the verse which became thechorus of the Idaho State song, and Alice Bessee set the words to themusic by Sallie Hume Douglas. The song was popular then, and Alice Besseehad no idea of its origin. This song won the annual University prize forthat year, and eventually became the University alma mater. Albert J.Tompkins, Director of Music in the Boise Public Schools, wrote a set ofverses for the song. In 1931, the Idaho legislature designated "Here WeHave Idaho", previously known at the University of Idaho as "Our Idaho",as the Idaho state song.
      Alice Bessie died of a pulmonary thrombosis. She died 7 September1928 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, and was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery,Chicago, Illinois
  • Sources 
    1. [S669] Captain Consider Law and his Descendants, (Guernsey Printer, Rome New York).

    2. [S43] United States Census, Idaho 1910 N. Archives 624, 225, page 172.
      Alice W. Bessee, daughter of Giles J and Ellen L. Williams was age 10 as of April 23, 1910. Born in Iowa.

    3. [S43] United States Census, 1920 - Idaho, Latah, Moscow, p. 228.
      Alice Bessee aged 20 born in Iowa

    4. [S668] State of Illinois Vital Records, Death Certificate #26694.
      Died in Chicago, Ill. on 7 September 1928

    5. [S2034] State of New York Vital Records, Nbr. 10394.
      Titus George LeClair & Alice Williams Bessee married 26 May 1922
      State of New York Vital Records, Nbr. 10394, Titus George LeClair & Alice Williams Bessee married 26 May 1922. Residence was 244 Union Street, Schenectady, New York. Alice's home is listed as Moscow, Idaho.


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