Great Grandma Ruby’s Cornbread

Harrold & Ruby Scanlan

Written & researched by Patti Scanlan


Our Scanlan family story began August 9, 1899 with the birth of Harrold. Harrold was born in Fargo, North Dakota to Ole and Martha (Katie) Winger. A couple of weeks after Harrold was born, his mother passed away. We are told that being newly widowed and with a small child, Harrold was given up to John and Della Scanlan. John worked as a policeman in Fargo. The Scanlan family moved to Kansas right after the time of Harrolds “adoption”. Adoption is used as a loose term in this case, as there was no legal adoption. In fact, Harrold did not even know he was adopted until he was around 5o years old!

There are several different stories as to when, why, and how Harrold came to Montana. One story is that Harrold jumped on a train when he was 13 and ended up in Montana. The first time Harrold shows up on a Montana census is in 1930, when he was living in Fergus county.

Ruby Strausburg was born in Kansas on September 27, 1909.  She moved to Fergus when she was 5 years old. Harrold married Ruby on May 26th, 1932 in Lewistown, Montana. They lived in Fergus/Roy area until they moved to Kinsey, Mt. They had 9 children! Harrold and Ruby passed away in 1978, just days apart. Harrold passed on February 21st and Ruby on March 3rd. Harrold was 78 and Ruby was 68.

Random Tidbits of Info:

  • Harrold’s nickname was “Flunky”
  • Harrold’s father (Ole) immigrated from Norway in 1873
  • Harrold’s father (Ole) was remarried to Anna Johnson in 1905
  • Harrold had a natural brother named Clarence, and three Scanlan siblings Walter, Harry, and Ruth. Harrold was the youngest of the Scanlan clan.
  • Harrold’s brother Harry had a son named Karl Marion Scanlan (this is important in the future!). Karl was born in 1910 and died in France during WW2.

I hope you liked learning a little bit about how we started out! Enjoy making Great Grandma’s cornbread, and think about your own family legacy! Next week we will be making another of Ruby’s recipes (one of my favorites!), and learning how Harrold and Ruby ended up in Kinsey, Montana!

If you make this recipe, we’d love to see pictures and hear about it! Have your own family legacy recipe you want to share? Let us know!



Print Recipe
Great Grandma Ruby's Cornbread
Ruby's cornbread is a moist, simple cornbread! I had to tweak this recipe a bit from the original, but it's still delicious!
Course Side Dishes
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
  1. Boil water. Slowly add cornmeal to the water, stirring constantly.
  2. When smooth, cool.
  3. Add eggs, butter, salt, and sugar.
  4. Sift flour and baking powder together. Alternately add milk and flour/baking powder mixture.
  5. Grease a 9" x 9" pan. Pour in cornbread mixture.
  6. Bake at 400deg F for 30-35 minutes. It should be golden brown on top!
Recipe Notes

I did have to tweak the recipe a bit, but it turned out wonderful! This cornbread isn't the dry, crumbly cornbread that I am used to. It was moist, and had good flavor! If you wanted a dryer cornbread for chili and such, you could reduce the amount of boiling water in the first bit. Don't go less than 1 cup though! Top it with honey and butter for a tasty experience!

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