Rachel Ann Hays 1888-1986

Rachel Hays as a young woman.

I am keeping my promise to tell about all the women in my tree by working my way back in time, starting with my great grandmothers. It has been a while since Charlotte Hatch, but here is my second one.

She was known by family and friends as ‘Dick’. What can one say about Dick. Most of what I know about her has either been told to me by her granddaughter, gleaned from looking through all the old family pictures, researched, or heard in one poorly recorded interview from about 1982. The person that I recollect was what you would call a ‘character’. She very short statured, loved cocktails, and wore awesome eyeglasses when she was older.

This is her life, as well as I have been able to piece it together.

Rachel started her life journey September 19, 18881. She was the second child, and second daughter, of Osborn and Eliza (Stackpole) Hays, and had been named in honor of her grandmother, Rachel (George) Hays. Osborn and Eliza would eventually have 10 children together, but from what I recollect hearing, Rachel was always her father’s favorite.

‘Dick’, as she became nicknamed by the family, grew up in Grant Township, Wetzel County, West Virginia. In fact her family lived there their whole lives, farming, and making a living off the land. She was a tomboy, and always had a preference for boys to keep company with. I guess she didn’t have much use for girls. The hills and landscape that she grew up in probably made for great exploration and tomboyish proclivities.

This is the typical landscape in Wetzel County where she grew up.

As was typical of children during the time she was growing up, she only went through the 8th grade2 in school*. Which means she was about 14 when she was done with learnin’. As the Hays family had settled in the Pine Grove area of Wetzel County, it would seem likely that Dick attended the Pine Grove School (although we don’t know that for sure). It was known in its early years as Free School.

Of course over time, as is wont, she got older. Then along comes William Atkinson Shepard, a newly minted teacher who recently arrived in Wetzel County, having received his teaching certificate from a Normal School, (although at this time we don’t know which one). Family rumor has it that this is how Dick and he met. It is not likely that they met because he was her teacher, because he would have been about 16 years old or younger in order for that to happen, which is doubtful. So it is possible that they met when she went to pick up some of her younger siblings from school. Maybe the locals took turns having the new teacher to dinner to get to know him, or they met at church or a local festivity. We might not know the exact how of it, but she definitely took a shine to him.

A quote from Dick’s son William:

My father, William, had received “higher education” beyond the customary 8th grade and attended normal school which prepared him to become a teacher. He taught in several places, and I think his last was in Jacksonburg, where he taught several of my aunts and uncles (Hays). He met and married Rachel Ann here.

–William A. Shepard, Dick’s son

They were married by the Rev. Reid of the M. E. Church in New Martinsville, Wetzel County, on March 9, 1907.

Their marriage license.3

Their first child, Herman Osborn Shepard, was born November 28, 1907 (pretty much 9 months later). That was fast work.

The birth was a hard one for Dick, as Herman was quite a large infant when he was born and Rachel was a small woman. Her injuries were such that Herman was raised by Dick’s parents in his early years, so that Rachel could recover her health. The doctor’s also told the couple that she shouldn’t have any more children, as the next one could kill her. This news must have put much stress on their early years of marriage. Decent birth control was not readily available to folks then like it is now.

Her husband was working in the steel mill in the town of Parkersburg by 1910, and possibly sooner. I imagine a school teacher’s wages were not all that great to raise a growing family on, so he decided to try for better wages. However, by 1912 they had moved to Ohio and were living in Columbus, where William started working as a clerk for the US Post Office with the rail road. He continued in this line of work until he retired in the 1950s as a supervisor. This job, no doubt, helped the family get through the depression with less damage than those around them.

Rachel was a typical woman of her time. She stayed at home, raised her child and kept the home. For other income they bought properties and made money renting the lots, or homes. It didn’t make them rich, but they were able to buy a home in Florida to retire in, and land in Canada to make their summer vacation spot. (A spot that is mentioned many times in family letters.)

1919 might have been an especially tense and worrying year for Dick and Dad, because Dick found out she was pregnant again. She was due in late December to early January. And on January 4, 1920 she delivered a healthy baby boy, William Atkinson Shepard, jr. Dick did okay too. There was no long hospital stay to recover from the delivery, so she was able to give junior her undivided attention, and she had her 13 year old son to help. This would be the last child that they would have though, possibly the second pregnancy caused problems we are unaware of–and Dick didn’t share that part of her life with her children, or grandchildren.

I believe this is Dick and Herman with the family dog.

The Shepard family moved over the years in and around Ohio. In 1920 they were in Pickaway County, in 1930 it was Franklin County, in 1940 Delaware County. But no matter where they moved, Dad was always working for the US Postal Service for the railroad, in fact he told his sons that when they were older to get jobs working for the government, because they were the most steady and secure. One of them heeded his advice.

Dad, William, jr., Dick, Herman.

Over the years they visited with family and friends (Dick was remembered by others as a very gracious and hospitable person), built their own cottage, from scratch, on Thessalon Lake in Canada, (and went there often to fish and barbecue), then they retired to a cute little house in Safety Harbor. The cottage in Canada they sold in the 1960s, and Dick gave the money from the sale to her sons.

She was quite a pill, was Dick. I, no doubt, don’t even know a single percent of the shenanigans she could get up to. The only story I vaguely remember hearing happened shortly after her eldest Herman, started dating his future wife, Ruth Kring. Apparently Dick, (no doubt with malevolent glee), decided that Ruth needed taking down a peg or two, because she somehow made sure that they conveniently ran into an old girlfriend of Herman’s. I guess that’s how she kept herself busy while Dad was at work.

When Dick and Dad moved to Florida to officially retire, Dick kept busy with the Woman’s Civil Club and her Order of the Eastern Star Safety Harbor Chapter (No. 173).

MOVIES AT WOMAN’S CIVIL CLUB HALL NOV. 7TH
       On Monday, November 7, at 8 P. M., a program of free movies at the Woman’s Civic Club Hall will present the Rich Plan __ Frozen Foods. Attendance will give the Commercial Award credits. Light refreshments will be served gratis. Movies of the Cape Coral Development, near Ft. Myers will also be shown by Mr. Jerry Flynn…
        The new members received at the meeting of October 14 are: Mrs. William Shepard…Members please add these names to your Blue Books. Several former members expect to attend the Club meetings this year.

1960-10-28 Friday, Safety Harbor Herald, Safety Harbor, Florida, p1

WOMAN’S CIVIC CLUB NEWS
        …Mrs. Brown presented each newcomer with a corsage…Mrs. Rachel Shepherd

1961-02-03 Friday, Safety Harbor Herald, Safety Harbor, Florida, p1

SAFETY HARBOR CHAPTER 173, ORDER OF EASTERN STAR, INSTALLS
          Mrs. William A. Shepard was installed as Worthy Matron of Safety Harbor Chapter 173, Order of the Eastern Star…in ceremonies recently held at the Masonic Temple here…
        Mrs. Shepard stood under an arbor made of fresh red roses while Thomas Peasley, Past Grand Patron of the State of Maine, sang, “How Great Thou Art.”
      Mr. and Mrs. Herman Sheppard, son and daughter-in-law of Mrs. Shepard, came from Worthington, Ohio, to be present for the ceremony and Shepard presented his mother the gavel she will use throughout her term of office.

1963-02-08 Friday, Safety Harbor Herald, Safety Harbor, Florida, p1

O.E.S. RUMMAGE SALE MAY 4TH
The O.E.S. will hold a rummage sale Saturday, May 4, in the lot next to Clark’s 5&10 store. Anyone having clothing or other items they don’t use bring them to Mrs. Rachel Shepard, 305 7th Ave. N., or the day of the sale.

1963-04-19 Friday, Safety Harbor Herald, Safety Harbor, Florida, p1

Ashley Chapter 147 members heard comments by Mrs. Bess Evans, past matron, on her attendance at a meeting of a Florida chapter of Order of the Eastern Star. Mrs. Evens’ sits, Mrs. Rachel Shepard, is active in that Florida chapter, Safety Harbor No. 173.

1975-04-16 Marion Star, Marion, Ohio, p26

I don’t know what Dad did, when he retired. Maybe he walked to the ocean and fished everyday. He was the quiet type, at least when we were around, so one never knew what he got up to.

Dad and Dick showing of their catch of the day. Probably in Canada.
At the cottage on Thessalon Lake.

Dick lost her husband on April 19, 1973. They had been married for just over 66 years. (Unfortunately, our family was overseas and unable to attend the funeral.) She was a widow for 13 years before she died April 27, 1986. I heard tell that she spent many a Friday evening at the local bar flirting with all the old widowers after Dad died. As I mentioned before, she did enjoy cocktails.

Dick at home in Safety Harbor, Florida 1970s-1980s. Must be 5:00pm!

I have an audio recording (be sure to download it) that I have had digitized of Dick talking to her niece Evelyn Conning (1980sish). It is about 30 minutes long, and is of very poor quality. The interviewer definitely wasn’t a professional, and there were no questions asked that I would have asked. But it beats having nothing. Too bad we don’t have one of Dad, apparently he told great stories.

I am very glad that I was able to meet my great grandmother, and I was at an age that I can remember her these many years later, even if only vaguely. I definitely remember her voice, and hearing it on the audio recording helps to bring back those fond memories of my visits to their house in Safety Harbor, Florida. (You can read my post on their house here.)

*Here is a great web page that gives an excellent synopsis of rural schools in the latter part of the 1800s: http://www.heritageall.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Americas-One-Room-Schools-of-the-1890s.pdf.
—————————
SOURCES:
1. Rachel Hays birth entry, 19 Sep 1888, General index and register of births, Wetzel County, West Virginia, page 74a. Parents O. Hays and Eliza Hays.
2. 1940 US Federal Census, Genoa Township, Delaware County, Ohio details;
SD 17, ED 21-17, Sheet 3A, Enumerated April 4, 1940; household 48, home owned [by parents], not a farm, lines 33-34
. What is the highest grade finished is one of the questions on census.
3. W. A. Shepard and Rachel Hays marriage, 1907; Marriage Record, book no. 13, page 180; West Virginia, Wetzel County, Clerk of the County Commission.

August 27, 1959 Letter Herman Shepard To His Parents

August 27th 1959
Dear Egghead:-
From the shores of Lake Erie and the banks
of the Scioto:- now how’s that for a
fancy take off? Here I am back at the Salt
Mine. I left Ruth up at the cottage and
will go back myself Sat. afternoon.
today was my first day back to work,
and was it ever hot, the temperature
here and at the lake has been in the
90s for over a week now.
Although it did cool of at
night up at the Harbor. I am
forwarding you a few letters that I
picked up at the Post Office
after I got home yesterday. I
received you letter of the 20th
and also one from the Dept of
Lands and Forest. Thanks for

[page 2]
your trouble. I’m going to write
the dept. and inquire if that lot
could be zoned for commercial
or resort purposes if so what
steps would be necessary. I’m
going to check these items before
I send any money. I suppose
you know all the details about
the purchase as you arranged it
for me so I’ll not go into
those details. Dick Rodenfels just
came back from up there, said
they had a good time camping out
etc..but the fishing wasn’t so good
He was telling me about all
the camping areas that have
been made-since I was
up there. Sounds like

[page 3]
they’re making it too easy for
these campers that like to rough it.
Ruth and I had a good time up at the
lake, caught a lot of fish-blue gills
and perch, have several in the
freezer so we’ll have a mess or
two when you come home. We also
found a new spot to fish for blue
gills out in the lake it just west
of Lakeside along the shore will
have to tell you more about it later
when you come home.

I went out to check on Ruths
mother last night and she recovered
from her attack what every it was
but is still having the pain in the
stomach and back, she’ll probably

[page 4]
go up to Dr. Jenning office for an
examination and xrays next week.
I didn’t get to talk to Unk and Elise
yet but from the sound of your
letter you must of had some trip
to Reception Lake.

As Ruth said I should have
listened to you about that bump on my
cheek bone, you and her both are giving
me the devil, the thing swelled up about
the size of a banty egg and sure
made me look lop sided, but
the doctor wouldn’t lance it for
me while it was infected, he
gave me penacillen shots for the
infection and I have to go back
later to have the source of the trouble
removed. The swelling is all gone
now and I suppose I’ll be going
back to him some time next week.

[page 5]
It not serous as he says its
an enlarged skin (pour?) that became
clogged and couldn’t drain just
filled up and became infected.

We’ve had other troubles also I’ll list a
few. Cost me $57.00 for parts to get
our car fixed. The garbage disposer
almost fell out of the sink (you know
it was leaking) the durn thing rusted
out and I couldn’t get a part for
it in the city of Columbus, had to
order it from California and it
hasn’t come in yet, that’s been
2 weeks ago I ordered the part
and thats going to cost about
$15.00 I got my new teeth and
had to have some of my lowers

[page 6]
ones filled that was $90.00 and
the thing I grip about the most here is
the real estate tax, I just got that
paid for the last half year and
that was $175.85, bought 4 new
tires for the car and so on. You’ll
get a kick out of this one, when I
came home yesterday Ruth had taken
my door key off my key ring and
I didn’t know it until I tried to
unlock the door, so I had to
cut the screen out of the guest
bedroom window and climb
in that way. Boy I’ll bet Ruths
ears were burning about that
time as I was hot to trot.
You know what I mean.

[page 7]
I’m also enclosing a letter
we received from Iva and Roy
Buchanan its self explanatory.
I haven’t seen Burch or talked to
him yet as he wasn’t at work
today and when I checked his time
card he hadnt only been to work
2 day since I started my
vacation on August 13th.
I don’t know what his trouble
is and unless he comes into
the shop I wont have a chance
to check on him until Sat
afternoon after work as I’m
going to be busy tomorrow night
on De Molay work etc.

[page 8]
well its after 11:PM so think
I’ll fix myself a good stiff
drink and go to bed. I’ll
be thinking about you when I
drink it. As you notice
my pen went on the blink
also.
Love to all
Herm

Gert And Vic Go West!

Buck Lucas on Light Foot American Legion Stampede, Casper, Wyo (Doubleday). (Postcard in the John family collection.) These postcards are probably from the 1920s.

–Coincidentally Victor’s birthday is the 13th of this month, so I guess you could say in honor of his birthday…–

It was May 11 (or 18)* of 1908, a day filled with excitement tinged with a bit of sadness for the family of Gertrude and Victor John. Sadness, because just over a week or so ago they had said good bye to the matriarch of the John family. Johanna (Dedrich) John, Victor’s mother had died on April 30th and the funeral had been on May 3rd. But there was great excitement too, especially for their boys Clarence, Lincoln and Victor, junior, because they were taking a trip to the great unknown. The Wild West! Wyoming.

The Wyoming and North Western Railroad (aka Chicago & North Western) had finished a new line from Casper to Lander in 1906, part of what was known as the “Cowboy Line”, and Vic was going to be a station agent there. This expansion was part of C&NW’s plan to build a line all the way to the Pacific coast. (Spoiler alert: the railroad company ran out of money, so never achieved that dream.)

In 1906, the government announced that 2,285 square miles of Shoshone reservation would be open to settlement. At the time, there was railroad service from the eastern border of Wyoming to Casper. The Chicago and North Western Railroad (then Wyoming and North Western Railroad) extended the tracks from Casper to Lander to transport the settlers and their belongings to the land, located north and west of Lander.1

V. H. JOHN TO LEAVE
Station agent V. H. John has resigned his position and will leave Monday with his family for Casper, Wyoming to accept a position as cashier [station agent] for the Wyoming & North-Western Ry.

LOCAL AND PERSONAL–Mr. and Mrs. V. H. John and children left Wednesday [13th] for Gillett where they will visit a few days before leaving for their new home at Lander, Wyoming, where Mr. John will enter on a more lucrative position with the Wyoming & North-Western Ry. Mr. and Mrs. John were among the pioneers of Wabeno, Vic having been station agent here for nearly eleven years, ever since the road was built. He was also postmaster up to January 1, 1906. They have a host of friends here who sincerely regret their departure.

May 7, 1908, page 1, col. 6–; May 14, 1908, page 1, col. 5 [Thursday]

Shortly before they left they sold some Wabeno property:

Real Estate Transfers.
V. H. Johns to John Bigglin, part of block, village of Wabeno. Consideration $100.

Forest Echo, Crandon, Wisconsin —Crandon Public library digital images
Friday, May 22 1908 p8c5; v2no39

I don’t know exactly how long the trip took, but I am guessing that they took the route to Chicago and then headed west from there. (The two places with a red dot next to them on the map are Casper and Lander.) Using the estimate of about 25 miles per hour, and approximately 1530 miles all told, they were looking at 3-4 days travel by train to their new home.

CNW Railways map from 1912. I am only guessing on the route. They could have taken a large variety of different ways to their final destination.

For the boys this would have been a grand adventure. They had never been anywhere more exotic than Oconto, or up north in the scary, largely unsettled woods of northern Wisconsin. Which could, in and of itself, be a grand adventure in those days. But now they were going west, the place of dime-novel adventure stories.

Their father, Victor, had been places. In fact he went to telegraph school in Valparaiso, Indiana for a couple of years. So he was not unfamiliar with Chicago and Milwaukee, or other similar big cities. But for the rest of the family this was all pretty new. Gertrude, does not appear to have traveled much further from home than the north woods either, at this point in time.

They arrived in Wyoming in the latter part of May. From newspaper articles in the Wyoming papers it looks like he was a station agent at Arapahoe, and not Lander. Maybe he had started at Lander, and then shifted to Arapahoe. (Arapahoe was actually part of the Reservation.)

I am very curious to know what they thought when they arrived at their new home. Looking at Arapahoe using current satellite maps, it looks like maybe 100 people live there, (although the 2000 census indicated close to 1800). What was it like in 1908? If it was as desolate of humans as it appears now, I don’t wonder that the family would have been quite happy to move, about 5 months later, to Casper.

The local newspaper tells us that one way the family enjoyed their new home was by bringing their love of the outdoors and hunting from Wisconsin. The articles also tell us when the family moved to Casper. A helpful bit of information we would never have otherwise been aware of.

V. H. Johns and wife of Arapahoe, and eastern friends [possibly the Howell family] left for home Saturday morning after spending several days in this locality fishing and hunting and taking in the fine scenery in this section. Mr. Johns has been transferred to Casper, where he is now the agent.

October 08, 1908, page 2 Wind River Mountaineer no. 49 (Lander, WY https://newspapers.wyo.gov)

V. H. John lately station agent at Arapahoe, Wyoming has been transferred to Casper. Mr. John is a very obliging agent and the press hopes he has come to stay.

October 09, 1908, page 5, col. 2 Casper Press no. 22 (Casper, WY https://newspapers.wyo.gov)

One can get a sense of how popular the John family was back in Wisconsin by looking in the Wabeno newspapers:

LOCAL AND PERSONAL
The following items from Wyoming papers regarding Mr. and Mrs. V. H. John, former residents of Wabeno, will be of interest to our readers:

W. H. Howell and wife Lovington, Ills., who have been visiting with Mr. and Mrs. V. H. John returned home Wednesday.

J. H. Howe, who has been station agent at this point for several months, left the first of the week … V. H. John, who has been agent at Arapahoe, takes his place in the depot here.—Casper, Wyo., Tribune.

Best display in Class 19, first, Mrs. V. H. John, Arapahoe…Special prize, Best Double Collection, Mrs. V. H. John, Arapahoe. (Display was fancy work at the Fremont County Fair, Wyo.)

October 29, 1908, page 1, col. 6

In October they started selling off some household items. This might have been to lessen the load for the move to Casper. Or, was the thrill of being in the Wild West starting to fade?

If you want some cheap second hand household goods see V. H. John at the depot.

October 16, 1908, page 5 col. 2 Casper Press no. 23 (Casper, WY https://newspapers.wyo.gov)

And in November they tried to sell even more goods. This looks serious!

For Sale
1 bed room set
1 book case
1 large leather rocker
Dishes and two carpets
Enquire at the depot of V. H. Johns [Casper, WY]

November 11, 1908, page 5, col. 5 Natrona County Tribune

By the 21st of December, a mere 7 months after their grand adventure started, the John family was back in Wisconsin. To stay.

V. H. John and family of Casper, Wyoming, are visiting Mrs. John’s mother, Mrs. John Cain, and calling on old friends in the city.

LOCAL AND PERSONAL
Mr. and Mrs. V. H John and children arrived at Gillett Monday from Casper, Wyo.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS
Mr. and Mrs. V. H. John were in town a few hours yesterday visiting friends. They recently returned from Casper, Wyo. and are making Gillett their home for the present.

Oconto County Reporters, Wisconsin —ocnews.co.conto,wi.us digital images
Thursday, Dec 21, 1908 v38 issue 9, p7c2; December 24, 1908, page 1, col. 3; January 7, 1909, page 2, col. 2

Family tradition says that Gertrude was missing her family, friends and life in Wisconsin too much to want to stay in Wyoming anymore. So Victor quit his job and they packed back up and left for good. We don’t actually know why they moved back. Gertrude’s unhappiness might have been the catalyst, or it could have been something else altogether. The town of Casper had been trying to clean up its image to attract a more respectable residential population. But maybe there was still too much unlawfulness, drinking, and prostitution in full view of the kids. I guess it will forever be a mystery.

By 1910 Victor and the family were living in Hackley, Vilas County, Wisconsin where he was again working as a station agent. Six years later he started his new career in banking.

Both Clarence and his brother Lincoln must have retained good memories of their time out West because years later, as adults, they returned to Casper. Lincoln lived there in 1918, and then, after a couple of years break, was back by the 1920s-’30s. He was living in Casper and working as a fireman on the railroad line. Clarence went out to visit him in the ’20s, and he might have done some work on the oil rigs when he was there.

The short time that they had spent in Wyoming as boys had left enough of an impression that they had to return. At least for a little while.**

Clarence at an oil rig.

*It is difficult to tell from the newspaper articles exactly what day they left, it appears to have definitely been on a Monday, so, it was either the 11th or the 18th of May.
**I do not know if their brother Vic, jr. ever went back.

—————————————-
SOURCES:

  1. https://trib.com/news/local/casper/answergirl/answer-girl-casper-lander-train-history/article_a8a6717a-4ea4-5079-a7e5-d8a0072db900.html.
  2. Visit the two following links to see lots of images from Lander and Casper, in the general time period that the John family was there. Both have more than one page of pictures to look at, along with town histories. I could find nothing on Arapahoe. http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/lander.html
  3. http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/nplatte3.html

March 8, 1959 Letter Herman Shepard To His Parents

Worthington Ohio
March 8th 1959

Dear Dick and Dad:-

How is the land of Sunshine? Ill
bet its OK. Weve had about every
kind of weather since we got home,
three different snow storms, a couple
of rains with a little sunshine
mixed in here and there but the
temperature hasn’t been above 50 degrees
at any time and its been down to
20 degrees several nights. Oh! to be
sitting out in your back yard.
At least we have that to remember.

We got all our pictures back
and are going out to Lucile and
Ralphs to show them tonight also to
see Luciles. The roll I had to
start in my camera must have
been older than I thought because
all the pictures are colorless, how
ever the roll I bought at the
Sears store in Tampo is good.

The pictures of your formal
turned out good also the ones
I took by flash out in the

[page 2]
yard turned out fair they should

have been taken about an hour
earlier. Thats what we get for
sight seeing to long. Lu, Ruth and
myself, thats the day we bought the
tree. Hows our tree doing anyhow?
any fruit yet? Ha Ha. Ill bet Dad
could have killed us for bringing
that tree in for him to take care of.

Ruth and I were to Grove City O. F. S.
inspection last night, the first in our
district, ours is the last, on June 17th
so you can be here to see it. I’m
making it a date for you. We
are going to attend as many inspections as
possible, I think you can pick up
a lot of pointers that way besides
meeting the officers of the different
chapters personally.

How does it feel to be alone after
everybody went home. You sure
had a gang for a while including
us. I think it is much better
to have one set at a time but
what else could you do.

[page 3]
We enjoyed visiting with Edna & Hod
and I hope all of us didn’t drive
you nuts. How is the front porch
project progressing? I suppose its
finished by now and you are
using it by now. I can picture
all of us sitting out there reading
the Tampa Tribune, first thing every
morning. Speaking of the paper
all of the Columbus paper are on
strike and have been since the
day after we got home so the only
paper we are getting is the Tribune
once a week. We really miss
the papers as the news you get
on the radio and T.V. only hits the high
spots and don’t give any of the
details besides we miss the
ads etc. Ruth misses the “Funnies”.

Dick Rodenels has been in
MIami sinc I came home and
is still down there for another
week. I hope he is enjoying
the weather. Maybe he’ll
can me when he gets back.

[page 5]
there was a woman customer in the
shop last week who had applied
for a job in the new Wards store at
“St. Peter” when she was there about
Christmas time and she had a call
from them to be there ready for work
this Monday which is tomorrow. She
said the store was to open soon
and that they wanted her to help with
the stock as of now. So that shows
a northerner can get a job in
Florida. She said they had told
her she would be paid $50.00 per
week plus a bonus on sales,
not bad I don’t think.

We haven’t heard any news
from Lyida[Lydia] this past week. Jupe[Jesse?] is
supposed to let us know when
she will be released from the
doctor so we can get her. I’ll try
to keep you informed of any
developments. How is Edna
and Ray making out?
I imagine Edna would like
the south better if she was well.

[page 5]
We bought a bag of tangelos on
our way home they were the large
red ones and so good. They are
all gone and only a few grape
fruit left so I’m hoping maybe
you could send us a basket about
half & half of each. Now Im only
hinting but if you do send some
try to get the grape fruit a little on
the green side as some of the ones
we brought home were soft
and spoiled (only 2) of course we
bought the bag and didn’t inspect
them. Well with that bit of
begging I’ll close for now and
hope this letter finds you both
well & happy

Love H.O. & Ruth.

Young Clarence Hamm

Headstone image found at FindaGrave memorial

You probably don’t remember anything about Clarence Hamm. That’s most likely because he was only 8 years old when he died from injuries received in a car accident in 1935.

It was a nice 80º day in Wisconsin. Clarence, his brother Arthur, his mother, Emma, and Uncle Paugel were heading home from a day of berry picking north of Antigo, when disaster struck.

The Wittenberg Enterprise, August 8, 1935 
Clarence Hamm Funeral Is Being Held This Afternoon
Funeral services for Clarence Hamm, the eight-year-old boy who died Sunday as the result of an automobile accident, is being held this afternoon at the Dobber Funeral Home and at First Lutheran church in this village. The Rev. N. B. Ursin officiated in the absence of the Rev. T. Aug. Lillehei, pastor of the congregation, who is on a vacation. Interment was in Forest Home Cemetery. The pall-bearers were Marty Swensen, Vernon and Kenneth Matson, Robert Heistad, Kenneth and Magnus Gunderson.

August 21, 1935
Clarence Hamm Dies Following Auto Crash 
Eight-Year-Old Wittenberg Boy Is Fatally Injured Early Sunday Evening 
An eight-year-old boy was killed and seven people were injured, two critically, Sunday night when two cars collided head-on on highway 45 just north of Koepenick. 
The boy, Clarence Hamm, of this village, died on his way to Memorial hospital at Antigo from a severe skull fracture. 
The injured are: Mrs. George Hamm, Wittenberg, mother of the dead boy, condition critical, suffering from a fractured skull and badly lacerated right arm; doctors doubt she will live. 
Mrs. Harold Zeiler, Chicago, broken arm and leg and body injuries. 
Albert Paugel, Wittenberg, driver of the Chevrolet coach carrying the Wittenberg party, lacerations over entire body. 
Arthur Hamm, 12, Wittenberg, son of Mrs. George Hamm, lacerations to the head. 
Harold Zeiler; Chicago, head injuries. 
Kenneth Anderson, Ironwood, Michigan, lacerations to his head.
Bert Wesley, Antigo, dislocated shoulder. 
It could not be learned definitely, just how the accident occurred, says the Antigo Journal. The Wittenberg party was bound south after a day picking blueberries. Zeiler, his wife, Anderson, and Wesley were going north in an Oldsmobile sedan. Zeiler was driving.
Paugel turned out to pass a Chevrolet truck being driven by Vernon Stoltenberg, Amherst Junction. Evidently seeing the other car Paugel tried to turn in again but side-swiped the truck. The Chevrolet then swerved directly into the path of the oncoming Oldsmobile the cars colliding head-on.
Almost all the people in the Chevrolet were thrown clear of the car. Mr. and Mrs. Zeiler were thrown through the windshield of the Oldsmobile. 
Passing motorists picked up the injured and rushed them into Antigo. Both cars, especially the Chevrolet, were demolished. Bill Hamm, 23, of Wittenberg, a brother of the dead boy, and Emil Klabunde, about 40, also of Wittenberg were sitting in the rear seat of the Chevrolet with Arthur Hamm. They were not injured, although they were thrown clear of the car. 
Zeigler, who lives in Chicago, is a traveling representative of the McClellan stores. He is stationed at Wausau at present. Anderson, also an employee of the McClellan stores, is working in the Antigo store as a relief man. 
The impact of the two cars colliding could be heard for more than a mile. Parts of the demolished cars were scattered around the wreckage for more than 25 ft. 
A warrant charging reckless, driving was issued Monday against Albert Paugel, driver of the Chevrolet coach carrying the Wittenberg party. The warrant will be served on Paugel as soon as he is discharged from the hospital, says the Antigo Journal.1

The case against his Uncle did indeed go to court and was reported in the Oshkosh paper:

WAUSAU MAN HELD NOT AT FAULT FOR FATAL AUTO CRASH
Judgment Reversed in Supreme Court Also Releases Indemnity Company From Liability

Madison (AP) — The state supreme court ruled today that Harold Zeiler, Wausau business man, was in no way responsible for a traffic accident near Antigo in 1935 in which a child was killed and several persons injured.
The high court reversed lower court judgments returned against Zeiler and  the Bankers Indemnity Company, with which he was insured, and ordered that the complaint against them be dismissed.
Nine year old Clarence Hamm was killed and several persons injured in an automobile collision on Highway, 45, 15 miles north of Antigo, Aug. 4, 1935.
I[n] one car were Harold Zeiler, Wausau business man, his wife, Vera and Bert Wesley, Zeiler was driving. In the other car were Albert Paugel, Wittenberg farmer, Emma Hamm, his housekeeper, and her son, Clarence.

HAD DEFECTIVE BRAKES
Trial of three damage suits in Circuit court disclosed that Paugel, whose car had defective breaks, turned to the left side of the road when a truck stopped in front of him and collided with the Zeiler car, approaching from the other direction.
Call uncle, and the latters insurer, Bankers Indemnity Company, were named defendants in suits brought by Mrs. Zeiler, Mrs. Hamm and Wesley. Paugel did not offer defense.
The jury, however, found that Zeiler was partly to blame for the accident by not maintaining a proper lookout.
Against Paugel, Zeiler and the insurance company the jury returned the following judgments; For Mrs. Zeiler, $3,688.75; for Mrs. Hamm, individually and for her son’s death, $5,191; for Wesley, $467.28.
Zeiler and the Bankers Indemnity Company appealed to the supreme court.2

As you can read in the article the insurance company was not happy with the outcome, so they took the case to the State Supreme Court. I was able to find a summary of it online, (use the link to see it.) The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the County court and refused any rehearing of the case.

Combining all the details from the newspaper articles, and case summaries, I was able to get a pretty good sense of where this accident happened too.

According to the court case the accident happened about 15 miles north of Antigo, by a golf course on (old) 45 (now known as B). Well, the map shows the golf course. The bit circled is where there appears to be a dip in the road as mentioned in the case, which you can see if you use google maps street view. The Paugel car was going south towards Antigo, probably heading back to Shawano where they lived.

The newspaper reported that his mother Emma was critically injured and not expected to live, but she did survive her injuries. However she died not too many years later, in 1943. Fred does not appear to have been living with Emma at the time of the accident. He was somewhere in Becker County, Minnesota, according to the 1940 census (the 1940 census asked where you were living 5 years earlier). This is confirmed by the 1934 directory for Shawano, Emma is the only Hamm listed.

Clarence was one of my grandmother Myrtle’s half brothers. I do not know if she ever met him, or even if she ever heard about his death, as he was a son from her father’s 3rd marriage. And if we have a picture of Clarence in our family albums, I am unaware of which one it might be. (The problem of unlabeled family photos rears it ugly head.)

SOURCE:
1. Clarence Hamm accident, The Wittenberg Enterprise, Wittenberg, Wisconsin, 8 August 1935, page ? column?, in Antigo Journal, Antigo, Wisconsin. (Transcription of newspaper article found online <www.ancestry.com> HAMM surname message boards.)

2. 1937-11-09, Tuesday, The Oshkosh Northwestern, Oshkosh, Wisconsin; p9, col. 8

February 25, 1959 Letter Herman Shepard to His Parents

Worthington Ohio
Feb. 25, 1959

Dear Dick, Dad & Edw, [is this Dick’s brother?]

Just a line to let you know we arrived
home safe and sound. It was 1083
miles from you house to Lucilles in
Gahanna [Ohio]. We drove until 10:10 PM
Monday and covered 679 miles then
started out again at 6AM from
Yadkinville N.C. and drove the rest of
the way home arriving at Lucilles at
4:50 PM We didn’t have a bit of
trouble and the weather was all good
except on the W Va turnpike where we
had a light snow. The temperature
here this morning was 25 degrees.

We found everything here O.K.
so all I got to do now is get on the
ball and get back to work, which
shouldn’t be to bad after a nice
vacation like we had. Lucille
said that was the first real
vacation she had ever had, one
that she could remember for ever,
and we all want to thank you

[page 2]
for making it possible.

We left Ralph a bag of grape-
fruit and some oranges. of course
they wanted to know all about
you and dad and how things
were in Safety Harbor. We ate
supper at Lucilles and then
went up to Mom & Pop Krings
where we had to give them all
the news and we got home
about 11 P.M. Ralph and the
boys got along O.K. so Lucille
felt relieved about them.

I called Dick Sheridan to
night and he says every
thing at the shop is O.K. so I
suppose I still got a job.
“darn it”.

Well I’ll sign off for
now as I don’t know any
other news to write.
Love to all
Ruth & H.O.

Walker & Hatch Lumber Company

I have always known that my great great grandfather Dillon Franklin Hatch, (Frank), made his money in the wood manufacturing industry. But until now I hadn’t really known the details. Thanks to digitized newspapers, directories, and census records, I now have a better sense of how his manufacturing experience all went down. So here is the story as I know it.

When Frank married Almyra Brooks in 1873 he was working for an apothecary as a clerk, but it wasn’t long after their marriage (1874) that Frank and his new brother-in-law, David Walker, went into business together. (David was married to Frank’s wife’s sister.)

I can only speculate about where the money came from to start the business, possibly Frank’s parents, and/or his new father-in-law, John Brooks. Both families had money to spare for such an enterprise. (I don’t know about David Walker’s.) Or, the reputation of the patriarchs of these families helped them get the loans they would have needed. Regardless of the how, they did.

The following entry appeared in a local history book:

An important and promising industry is the WALKER & HATCH Lumber and Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of solid and veneered hard wood work, doors, sash, blinds, stair builders’ supplies, and all kinds of house finish. The business was started in 1874 by David WALKER and D. F. HATCH. C. E. MACOMBER was admitted to an interest in the concern in 1882, and the firm name of WALKER, HATCH & Co. adopted. The present stock company was chartered on the 12th of August, 1885, with a capital stock of $50,000. The officers are D. F. HATCH, president; David WALKER, vice-president; Gilbert HARRIS, treasurer; C. E. MACOMBER, secretary, and F. B. HOWE, clerk. At the time of the incorporation of this company they purchased the stock and interest of the Burlington Spoke Company and the Winooski Lumber Company. They make something of a specialty of the Stevens sliding blind, which is one of the best inside blinds manufactured. The buildings, situated on a five-acre plot on Winooski River, consist of a mill about 200 x 50 feet and three stories high, adjoining a saw-mill, boiler and shaving rooms, offices and sheds, and twelve large kilns for the drying of lumber, heated and arranged by the most approved methods.

CHAPTER XVIII HISTORY OF THE TOWN AND CITY OF BURLINGTON; http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vermont/ChittendenBurlington_4.html
Ad in 1881 Burlington paper.
Gazetteer and Business Directory of Chittenden County, Vermont, for 1882-83–Google Books search. You can see that David’s sister is working as a bookkeeper at the company.

Other than one tragic accident, (that we know of), in 1877, the business went along pretty well for about 10 years.

[1877 Apr 9]--On Monday afternoon a man fell down the elevator way at Walker & Hatch’s mill in Burlington, a distance of forty feet, and received injuries that were thought to be fatal.

[1877 Apr 11]-CHITTENDEN COUNTY.
Charles Beauchamp died on Saturday last, of injuries recently received at Walker & Hatch’s mill in Burlington. He leaves a widow and seven children, who were dependent on his labor for their support.

–from Orleans County Monitor and Vermont Watchman and State Journal.

In 1882 they changed the ownership of the business, and the name.

They also had visions of expansion dancing around in their heads, because in April of the next year they purchased the Burlington Spoke Company, (and a Winoonski Lumber business, although I can find no articles related to that purchase, other than the local history book entry):

Messrs. Walker, Hatch & Co., have purchased the business of the Burlington Spoke company and will carry it on under that name

Messrs. Walker, Hatch & Co.,…page 5, col. 1, Burlington weekly free press. (Burlington, Vt.), 27 April 1883. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86072143/1883-04-27/ed-1/seq-5/>

The Burlington Spoke Company, WALKER & HATCH, agents, engaged in the manufacture of carriage spokes, axehelves, pick, hammer and sledge handles, have their mills located at Winooski village, and their place of business in Burlington. They employ a number of experienced workmen, and do a large business.

Gazetteer and Business Directory of  Chittenden County, Vt. For 1882-83 Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child Printed At The Journal Office, Syracuse, N. Y,  
August, 1882. 

About 2 1/2 years later, in 1885, they became a stock company. The new board, thinking that business was going very well, but could be better, decided that they needed to expand even more. So they did, literally.

The stockholders of the Walker and Hatch Lumber company of Burlington have chosen these officers: President, S. H. Weston; vice-president, David Walker; secretary, C. E. Macomber; treasurer, J. F. Leonard; clerk, C. E. Macomber; directors, David Walker, D. F. Hatch, C. E. Macomber, S. H. Weston, J. F. Leonard, A. J. Willard, Gilbert Harris; managers, D. F. Hatch, C. E. Macomber, David Walker, J. F. Leonard. This concern is building a mill 200 feet long, 50 feet wide and three stories high with all necessary equipments

The Middlebury register and Addison County journal., November 13, 1885, Image 4, (Middlebury, Vt.) 1883-1885. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn98060001/1885-11-13/ed-1/seq-4/>

According to an article in the Middlebury Register a few days later, they were hoping to hire about 100 men when the new building was finished. The plans included a large store house, shavings house, office, and a brick boiler house. And looking at the map below, the location was excellent, right on the river for ease of transportation of goods. (The building no longer exists.)

This is a Sanborn Map page from Burlington showing the Walker, Hatch facility in 1884.

Unfortunately, this decision, while appearing sound at the time, was to prove their undoing. The costs involved with expanding the business became too much to handle and resulted in their inability to meet the huge expenditures. This led to the company’s insolvency in 1886, about 2 years after their fateful decision to expand.

Final notice of insolvency in 1894.

THE WALKER & HATCH FAILURE.

Meeting of the Creditors Friday—A.O. Humphrey Appointed Assignee.

The creditors of the Walker & Hatch lumber and manufacturing company held a meeting at the probate office in the city Friday and elected A. O. Humphrey, of the firm of Sanford and Humphrey, assignee. The creditors hoped to receive $.50 on the dollar allowing for shrinkage of sales, but the chances are against it. It was shown that the Winsooki water power company, who at first took stock in the new company, but subsequently sold out, have a mortgage on the factory for about $11,000 and H. E. Wright of Williston holds a mortgage on the machinery for $3000. The unsecured debts of the company aggregate about $29,000 in the estimate their assets at 17,000, but the unencumbered property will probably not sell for that amount.

The following are the major claims proved Friday: Shepard & Morse lumber company, $3450; Safford & Humphrey, $1026; Burlington Woollen Company, $320; Edwards & Stevens, $1830; A.R. Booth, $640; S. Bigwood & Son, $202; Skillings, Whitney and Barnes, $1747; B. Turk & Bro., $326.

The most important claims which have not been approved are as follows: John T. White of Concord, New Hampshire, $2000 Greenlee Brothers of Chicago, $634 … etc.

The statement of the firms affairs why the business should continue.

To the editor of the Free Press:

          The Walker & Hatch failure, I think, will turn out to be far less disastrous than was at first thought. The old company was a partnership composed of Messes. Walker, Hatch and Macomber. About one year ago they with others formed a stock company, and all the old company’s assets were turned over to the corporation. These assets, as I understand, were made up mainly of machinery, stock, both in the rough and partly finished. What their real value was it is my present purpose to consider. The old company had issued a catalog at an expense of about $2000, including the advertising in other channels, and it had worked up a good and profitable business. It was an industry which supplied a demand, and was in itself a credit to the city. The corporation made a purchase of $10,000. This was the original cost of the plant. The corporation have added to it in buildings, consisting of one large shop two stories high with basement, newly equal to another story for working purpose, a kiln two stories high and brick boiler house, the whole costing over $20,000. The buildings are complete in all their appointments with heating apparatus of the Sturtevant patent at a cost of $1,200. The shafting and main line of belting were all new and the same is true of every part of the above mentioned work except the two boilers. Probably no better shop either in its durability or in its adaptability to the uses for which it is built, can be found anywhere. The writer has seen quite a number of shops built for wood manufacture and has never seen one surpassing this one in the excellency or fitness of its appointments. The corporation have also added about $4,400 worth of new machinery and have spent some $400 in lowering the raceway. The figures above given are low considerable less that the actual cost.

If this estimate is accurate, therefore, it would appear that, calling the new machinery worth half of its cost, the plant, as it may called, with new machinery, is really worth to day to the purchaser $32,400. This does not take into account the old machinery which the old company had on hand, nor the stock on hand at the time of failure. The latter was inventoried at $8000, but was put in the schedule at $6000. The good accounts were said  to be $2500, call them $2000. There would be then in all $8000 to be added to $32,000, making $40,400 of real assets, not counting the old machinery, or the value of the work already begun and in process of completion, and which now being finished and the full value of which less the cost of finishing, from the time of the failure, must be added to the figures already given. At a low estimate based on the above considerations it would seem that as least $44,000 of assets are available. Out of this is the real estate mortgage of $11,650 and a personal estate mortgage of $3000; in all $14,650, which deducted from the assets would leave net assets of $29,350 available to the creditors. This sum is about what the unsecured debts amount to.

In the above statement the cost of the new buildings has been shrunk one-quarter, the new machinery one half, and no account made of the old machinery. The stock has been called $2000 less than the inventory made at the tie, the good accounts at their face value, and $4000 for the value of the goods in process of manufacture at them of failure.

Now this property is valuable. It is all in readiness for the carrying on of a good business. It should be added that the plant embraces one-tenth of the water power at the dam. There is a demand for the continuation of this same line of work. It is understood that order for work have come in unsolicited faster than the work could be done with a help of 70 men. It is to be hoped some enterprising man or men of means will be on hand to purchase this property, and thus a valuable industry be saved to this city.

Burlington, Vt., Oct. 15, 1886.

The Walker & Hatch Failure, page 3, col. 2 Burlington weekly free press. (Burlington, Vt.), 19 Nov. 1886. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86072143/1886-11-19/ed-1/seq-3/>

It was determined that the company was in debt to the tune of about $35,000. This is calculated in today’s dollars as somewhere in the ballpark of $1,000,000. The loss of their business must have been a devastating blow, not only to themselves, but to their standing in the community.

It is no wonder that in June of 1887, Frank and his wife packed up the children, and their belongings, and headed to Cleveland, Ohio, where he had found a job managing the Sturtevant Lumber Company. Although, he only worked there a short time before we find him employed at ‘Wood, Jenks and Company’, another lumber manufacturing business in town.

The loss of his first business did not deter Frank, he stayed involved in the business of wood manufacturing and/or building his whole life. In fact in 1911 he shows up in the papers as part of a new endeavor:

Frank did pretty well for his family in Cleveland, I guess his motto was ‘never give up, never surrender’. Or it was just good old fashioned New England determination. (Just above Frank and Almyra, 1870s and 1910ish.)

July 22, 1958 William Shepard To His Parents

22 July 58
Dear Dick and Dad
I was happy to hear from you. And
to know that everything was alright. Be sure
that neither one of you do any lifting or
hard work. I wish I were with you to
enjoy the quiet and to fish. It is anything
but quiet in Europe these days.

Yes, I have an apartment, or rather, I
will have one soon. It is being built and
is near completion. Lois and the children
will probably leave Worthington between September
10th and Oct 10th.

I hope Kenny can have time to visit
before Lois leaves. We cant be sure about
anything for a few weeks. Then Lois should
hear something definite.

[page 2]
My work is keeping be busy, but I have
seen some of the country. It is much like
Ontario. Pine forests and streams. The
towns are small. It has been cold
most of the time. About 50 degrees today. And
it rains most everyday.

I had to buy a car here so that I could get
around. And when Lois comes, our Chevrolet
will be a month behind her. As long as we live
in town (Kaiserslautern) she will need the
car anyhow I bought an old 50
Desoto. It may be 2 years younger than
your Chevy, but it is old.

I haven’t heard much from Kenny, but
he is like me when it comes to writing

[page 3]
Germany is as nice as everyone described
it. the people work hard, yet they seem
happy. The houses are nearly all built
of concrete block. As soon as Lois brings
over the camera, Ill send home some pictures.
they go in a lot for heavy food. Potatoes
every meal I had sauerkraut and smoked
tenderloin tonight. It was good, only they
boil the sauerkraut until it is tasteless.

Well, its about time for the bed. Ill
have to get up early to fly tomorrow.
Take care of yourselves – you are the
only parents I have
Your Son
Bill

Fun and Games

Often when doing family history research one is presented with a few facts that you can add to the database: birth, death, where they lived. If your lucky maybe a nice obituary can be found to fill out a bit more of the person’s life. More often, not.

That is why I love doing newspaper research. Because sometimes you find out details about your ancestor’s life that you would never have known otherwise. In this case I was doing some Vermont research, because they have been adding more Vermont papers to some of the newspaper database I use. I found this fun gem regarding John Brooks, Sr. and his son, John H. Brooks, Jr, in Burlington. Looks like they enjoyed a little pool. The odds are, there was probably a little side betting going on too. At this time 1865, Junior was 28 years old.

Burlington Times (Burlington, Vermont)– Saturday, December 2, 1865, page 4. [Newspapers.com https://newscomwc.newspapers.com/image/364922592%5D

Junior ran a billiard hall later in life, maybe he had a love of the game? I found this in the University of Vermont Collage Yearbook from 1900:

I believe this was a collage boy’s drinking line, and apparently Junior’s billiard room/hall was one of ‘the places to go’ for a bit of fun.

This the Van Ness House where Junior’s billiard hall was located in Burlington. Taken about 1902, so about the same time period. It was a famous place in town.

All work and no play makes John a dull boy!

March 26th 1958 Herman Shepard To His Parents

Worthington Ohio
March 26th 1958
Dear Dick & Dad;

This is the “Old Professor” writing tonight, I’ve been
so busy with this school work and (lodge going)
that I’m way behind. Besides having my regular
night class, I gave a Career Day speech at Eastwood
High School today, and have another one comming
up next Friday at Grove City. After this week, I
have 3 more night sessions at Central, then
I’ll be through, “I hope” I don’t know yet if they
intent to carry on any further classes in
“Auto Mechanics” or not. I like the extra money,
but, with my long hours at work, and my
Lodge commitments, it really doesn’t leave me
much time for myself. If I go on with the
School work, I’ll have to drop some of the
Lodge functions. Well, thats enough griping
about my time.

We had our Father-Son Banquet last Sat.
night and Lee Miller was the guest speaker.
We have again as many to attend as we
expected. I was chairman of the committee
for Blue Lodge and Ruth was chief cook
and bottle washer for he Stars. She about
worked her self to death, went up to the
temple about 12 PM and didn’t get away

[page 2]
till 11 P.M. She and I locked the joint up. Counting
all the kitchen help and the members, they prepared
about 250 meals.

Ruth and I were up to see Lydia last Saturday
evening. We took up the rest of the Bed Room furniture
that she bought from us. She is giving up her job
of cooking and looking after her neighbor lady. She
has lost about 14 lbs and I don’t believe she has
that much to spare. We are going to have her
down here for a few days to give her a rest.
Another woman is supposed to take over for her
the last of this week.

You have been writing in your letters that
you folks were comming north and going
on to Canada this summer. I am quite
concerned about Dad making the trip, you
know he said he was going to “stay put” for
a year, also Doc. Wettercues[?] said he was not in
favor of Dad even making the trip down to Florida.
So Im just wondering, has Dad’s condition
improved enough for him to make such a
trip, or is he just bound and determined to go-
regardless! If the latter is the case, I think
it would be using poor judgement to take
such a chance. Please write and let

[page 3]
me know what ever the case may be. We love
both of you and don’t want you to do the wrong thing
so please give this a good “think” before you make
the trip. If it’s us you want to see we might
make a trip down for a few days after my
school work is over. That’s not a promise but
a thought.

Have you been enjoying and going to your
“Star meetings”? I’m so glad you got to join
the group because you are the type who will
work out very good, they will be good for
you and you for them. I’d like to hear
about your initiation and especially about
your neighbor Esther Smith. Ruth wants to
know if your “Chapter” recesses in the summer.

Has the grass, trees and flowers started to green up
yet? We are still having cold weather here and
some snow every day or two. I hope Bill,
Lois and the kids get to pay you a visit
over Easter. It would be a good chance for
them to see Florida. Bill said he would
like to buy property down there. I think it would
be a good investment for them. I hope they
like your locality. over—

[page 4]
Our business has slowed down a little. Columb
is not as bad as other places-like Detroit,
Cleveland etc. I look for a pickup when the
weather gets warmer. I believe a lot of people
will fix their cars up instead of trading for
new ones, as the case has been for the past
ten years. I’ve about run out of anything
to write, so will sign off for now.
With Love,
Ruth & H.O.

P.S. Ruth is ironing, misses her ironing lady. Ha.Ha.

P.S.S. We have 6 grape fruit left-you keep
up the grape fruit fund and we’ll take care
of your flower fund.