Anna Margaret (McCurry) Wolf

Anna Margaret (née McCurry) Wolf
Born: November 21, 1935 Died: March 3, 2013
First cousin to Madelyn (née Payne) Dunham, first cousin twice-removed to Barack Obama

Anna Margaret (McCurry) Wolf Interview

Interview ID: 03
Recorded: May 29, 2009
Location: Media Resource Center, Butler Community College
Videographer: Steve Cless
Interviewer: Sonja Milbourn

Interview Summary

Margaret talks about how she is related to Barack Obama, and her memories of his mother’s family. She recalls playing with Obama’s mother, Stanley (Ann) when they were both young girls. She spends a few minutes talking about going to Washington D.C. on a bus trip to see Senator Obama and how happy and proud she was to meet him and get to give him family pictures. Margaret also tells two stories about Thomas Creekmore McCurry who, family lore says, shook President Lincoln’s hand when Thomas was a young boy. Thomas was also hidden in a feather bed when Missouri Bushwhackers raided the McCurry family home in eastern Kansas. See “Back Story, Thomas Creekmore McCurry” for more information on this ancestor. Finally, Margaret briefly discusses air raid alerts and food rationing during World War Two in Wichita, and she confirms that Obama’s mother, Madelyn, worked as a “real Rosie the Riveter” at the Boeing plant.

Run Time: 30:01

Transcript/Finding Aid:

Finding Aid Notes

00.00-00. Camera, sound adjustments
00.05-04.02 Relationship between Margaret and Barack Obama: Margaret explains how she is related to Barack Obama. Margaret is first cousin to Madelyn Payne Dunham, Obama’s maternal grandmother. Margaret is closer in age to Stanley Ann (Madelyn and Stanley’s daughter). Margaret has a list of Madelyn’s first cousins. Margaret was named after Barack’s great-great grandmother. The families spent holidays together. At time of interview, Madelyn had 1 sister, 2 brothers, all living.
04.02-06.17 Learning about her relationship to Obama: Margaret describes how she learned about her relationship to Barack Obama. She describes meeting Barack Obama in Washington DC.
06.17-08.09 Memories of Stanley Ann: Margaret reports her memories of Stanley Ann. Stanley Ann was 4-5 years younger than Margaret. She describes Stanley Ann as “beautiful.” They played dolls together.
08.09-09.22 Memories of Madelyn’s mother, Lee: Margaret describes “Aunt Lee,” Madelyn’s mother, as kind to everyone, a person of high morals.
09.22-10.27 Family traits: Margaret describes family traits she sees in Barack Obama.
10.27-13:34 The family’s devotion to education: Margaret describes family members’ devotion to education and how that was instilled in Barack Obama by his mother and grandmother.
13:34-19:57 A family member shakes the hand of Abraham Lincoln: Margaret notes the McCurry family migrated from Scotland to Illinois. She tells the story about how Margaret’s grandfather at age 3 shook hands with Abraham Lincoln. Margaret describes how Bushwhackers raided the family’s house in Granby, Missouri, blinding a baby by placing coals on her eyes, and burning the house to the ground. Margaret’s grandparents then moved to Peru, Kansas, where they raised 8 children.
19:57-20:49 Peru, Kansas: Margaret describes her recent visit to Peru, KS where she visited the graves of her grandparents, Margaret and Thomas.
20:49-22:12 Family traditions: Margaret describes family traditions, especially eating homemade ice cream at her Aunt Lee’s (Madelyn’s mother) home in Augusta Ks.
22:12-23:16 Childhood: Margaret describes events from her childhood, including trying to see President Truman at a KC baseball game.
23:16-27:12 The war years: Margaret describes her and her family’s experiences during the war years, including air raids, rationing, purchasing savings bonds, and female family members working at the aircraft factories.
27:12-28:21 Wild Bill Hickok: Margaret reports that Wild Bill Hickok was her 5th cousin.
28:21-29:06 Sonja thanks Margaret for her interview.