From Kristin Simpson:
My uncle was Joe Sanford Wolff. He was married to my aunt Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Sheffels. He died in 2003 and my aunt died just last year. They never had any children so their nieces and nephews were like their children. I got all of the old pictures and paperwork and started finding out bits and pieces of Joe’s young life and relatives. I started coming across pictures and other things and figuring out about relatives. I have had a picture of Jacob Bell on my desk for months (just because I like it) and I finally Googled “Jacob Bell and Williston North Dakota” and fell upon your blog.
Here is what I know about Joe Wolff’s life:
He had a sister named Roberta L. Wolff whom married Thomas Wilson – they had at least some children, but I don’t know who they are/were. His parents were George Sanford Wolff and Maud Bell. George was a train engineer and they lived in Great Falls Montana. Joe’s grandparents were Hannah Turpin and Doug Bell.
I ran across a “term paper” that Joe had written in Junior High or High School that was about Hannah Turpin and I will attach it to this email. I typed it out but haven’t checked it for mistakes. [Next post.] He also talks about a gun in the paper. I believe that we still have that gun in the family.
I also have several pictures that I think are the Turpin women. I would love to know if you have any more information about any of the photos that I send. I will have to put them into several emails because sometimes they won’t send because of size. [Another future blog.]
Joe was a fascinating man. He was extremely interested in art, history, and the aristocracy. He could tell you how any royalty in Europe was all inter-related. He was educated at Principia, University of Montana, University of Florence (Italy), and Oxford University. He lived in Great Falls Montana his whole life after spending 4 years in WWII. He landed at Salerno and Anzio Beachheads in Italy. He kept a fascinating diary during the war and I’ve been working on getting it published. It is nothing like other war diaries. He wrote about his surroundings and what the people from the country he was in were doing and what he saw. If you are interested I have started a web page for the book (which will eventually be called Ammo, Art & Anzio) the page is called JoeWolffbook.com . It will tell you a lot more about Joe there.