Those are the facts, as both families—the Strands and the Daileys—knew them. There was another fact, however, that remained unknown for almost 100 years. This fact is that Thora Strand gave birth to a baby boy on Feb. 6, 1905 in St. Paul, Minnesota and on his birth certificate Edward Dailey from South Dakota was listed as the father.
UPDATE: In September of 2011, I finally found out what was located at 669 Jackson st. in St. Paul, Minnesota by searching the St. Paul City Directory for 1905. The organization at that address was the St. Paul Salvation Army Home for Fallen Women. Wow. So, there's the answer to the question of whether or not Thora and Edward had ever been married. As definitively as I'm ever going to get, I guess.
The birth certificate originally had “-Illeg- ” typed on it and that was later crossed out by hand. [Does that mean something? One official at the Children’s Home Society said that she believed that the parents of this baby were married. But I have found no evidence of a marriage in South Dakota or Minnesota. During this time period, many orphanages would not accept illegitimate children because they were considered unworthy for adoption by a good Christian family.] (see Ann Fessler's excellent book on the subject: The Girls Who Went Away : The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade. )In order to get access to his birth certificate, my mother as a direct descendant had to formally petition a judge in Minnesota, who granted her request. Not all judges are willing to unseal such records, believing that to be a violation of a promise made to the birth mother to keep her secret. Luckily for us, this judge was sympathetic to our request. Does Edward’s name on the birth certificate prove for absolute fact that he was the father of Thora’s baby? No. She could have lied or been mistaken. It is, however, quite possible, that Edward Dailey and Thora Strand were the parents of this baby boy. But we will probably never know for sure what, if anything, really happened between these two young people. But whatever it was, it wasn’t meant to last.The baby boy was placed about five weeks later, on March 16, 1905, at the Children’s Home Society in St. Paul, Minnesota where he was recorded as Baby Boy Strand, Ill [illegitimate?] whose mother was Thora Strand, Norwegian and whose unnamed father was English sic. (In the CHS’s old Record Book, the baby’s date of birth is also different from the birth certificate and is listed as Jan. 31, 1905 and the parents’ ages seem to be completely wrong, too.) In a phone conversation with Janet Jenkins, a current employee of the CHS suggested that Baby Boy Strand was first “placed in May with a family and for a reason which was not noted, he was was returned and replaced in July with the Reinke family who later adopted him legally. (We are left with questions about this first placement since no record of that was given to me.) Here are Baby Karle's pictures. Wasn't he a sweet baby?