What about Alice? … an interesting phenomena

Have you ever noticed that a name keeps popping up in your life? For me, it’s the name Alice. I’ve searched the internet and find very little information about recurring names; what I find is an abundance of information about recurring numbers.

Here’s a few instances where the name Alice pops up …

Alice Victoria Hagstom - my great-grandfather’s sister (my great aunt) and who, of course, I never knew. I discovered her doing family genealogy.

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Alice Bunker Stockham - a homeopathic doctor who practiced in the Chicago area in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It all started when we were in Duluth and came across a leather-bound book with gilded edges, titled “Tokology” (which is midwifery practices). We chuckled a bit when we read some of the ‘cures’ and decided to buy the book.


A few years later, when I was in the library at the University of Minnesota, taking a well-deserved break from studying quantitative analysis, I casually looked up Dr. Stockham. To my surprise, I found that Tokology had been published in many languages (English, Swedish, German, Russian, Japanese and Chinese) and sold over 2 million copies. That started my twenty plus years of research on Dr. Stockham. I am writing two books - one on her remarkable and interesting life and the other a fiction book that ties closely to her life. Tokology was published from 1884 to 1909; I have a least one copy from every year.


As many of you know, I am the planning director for the City of Anoka. When I started there twenty years ago, one of my first projects was a land division for a lovely older woman named Alice Bunker. Coincidence?

In 2010, I joined Philolectians, a woman’s group from the Anoka area that has been in existence since the late 1800’s. Philolectian means “lovers of learning.” The group raises funds for scholarships and area non-profit organizations during their monthly meetings from October through May. One of the first women I met was - you guessed it – Alice Skinner. We became immediate friends, sitting at the same table for each meeting.

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And my latest Alice is —— the Allis B tractor, now nicknamed Alice. Alice is very special because she belonged to my Dad; he loved that tractor.

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Is there a name that keeps popping up in your life? If so, do you wonder why?


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