Amanuensis Monday, Blogging Prompts, Letters, Montgomery, Montgomery Line, Research

Amanuensis Monday – Lovingly Your Sis

On September 1, 1936, Mary Edna (Mamie) Montgomery wrote a letter to her youngest brother, my grandfather Lawrence. Mamie was 16 years older than her baby brother. The second child in the family, Mamie was now the eldest remaining sibling as her older sister Myrtle had passed away 5 years earlier. Another sibling, Bessie (next after Mamie) had passed away nine months earlier. Mamie was born October 3, 1885 in Mansfield, Illinois, and married Harley H. Kimble on November 30, 1905 in Fort Collins, Colorado. After Harley’s death Mamie would marry Ted Harrison Finn; Mamie herself died August 31, 1969 in Fresno, California.

Years earlier, in 1905, a photograph of the four Montgomery sisters was taken:

[Postmarked Bakersfield, Calif., September 1, 1936; Addressed Mr. Lawrence Montgomery, Battle Mt. Sanitarium – Ward 1, Hot Springs, South Dakota; stamp missing; Return address label on back flap: M. Kimble, 2827 K St., Bakersfield, Calif.; written on decorative folded stationery with cut-out “K”]

Bakersfield Calif.
Sept. 1st 36

Dear brother & family: Glad to hear from you but sorry Lawrence is sick, hope he is almost O.K. by now.

Alltho it has been an un-usually hot summer. We have all kept pretty well. My husband has worked all the time.
My boy Alfred who is 20 now is in the Army at Schofield Barracks, Honolulu. He reminds me of you boys, especially like Ward. He has been in 2 yrs. he is a Corporal.

Did you get a bonus?

As you know sister Bessie passed on in January. Helen came home in Feb. from Manilla it takes 20 to 30 days to make the trip.
Her husband came in April had a 6 mo. vacation with pay after 6 yrs work in the Ford Auto Co.  They have been living at Santa Monica. She was here 2 wks. at first. They go back Sept 15th.

Because Bessie did not have a will it takes 6 mo to settle everything So Helen won’t get her money till after she goes back to Manilla.
Lawrence do you remember pushing her in the go cart and upsetting her at Pierce Colo? and Auntie rather Bessie got so upset. Helen grew up quite tall 5 ft. 7 in. and rather dark like her father.

But she married a blond and has blond children. 

I hear Dad is working at the factory again. Sure glad he is able to.

I got an Easy Ironer last week. Sure like it fine. I have a Kelvinator refrigerator and an Electric Washing machine too.
I help my youngest daughter Rozella with her washings and ironings as she has 3 babies real close together. The youngest only 2 mo old.

Well write again. I like to hear from you.

Lovingly Your Sis
Mamie
2827 K St.

The Battle Mountain Sanitarium where Grandpa was apparently recuperating opened in 1907 and is now a National Historic Landmark. It was a soldiers’ home but the only one focused on temporary rather than long-term medical needs.

The Helen mentioned in Mamie’s letter was (as can be deduced) Bessie’s daughter, Helen Boyland. She was born about 1907-1908 in Colorado, but I don’t have much additional information on her at this point.  I do have one severely damaged photo depicting Helen and her dark hair.

Cemeteries, Death Certificates, Montgomery, Montgomery Line, Walker

A Life in Census (Almost)

Charles William Montgomery, my great-grandfather, was born January 17, 1861 in Lynchburg, Ohio, the son of John and Belinda (Simmons) Montgomery.  By 1870 his family had moved to Denver Township, Richland County, Illinois, where they were enumerated that year in June.  In the household that year are John, age 40; Belinda, age 31; Hattie, age 10; Charles, age 8; Franklin, age 7; Thomas, age 6; Harry, age 4; and Edward, age 2. John’s birthplace is listed as New Jersey, Belinda’s and the first three children’s as Ohio, and the youngest three children’s as Illinois.

In 1880, Charles, age 19, is still living at home with his parents in Richland County, but more children have been added to the family.  It now consists of John, age 50; Belinda, age 42; Hattie F., age 20; Chas W., age 19; Samuel F., age 18; Thos. M., age 16; Silas H., age 14; James E., age 12; Joseph T., age 8; John W., age 6; and Emma L., age 4.  The five oldest boys are all listed as “working on farm.”

Most of the 1890 census was destroyed by fire, so the next time we find Charles is in the 1900 census. By this time Charles has been married to Laura Maud Walker for 17 years and has moved to Holdrege, Nebraska.  Charles and Laura are the parents of six children; their youngest, my grandfather Lawrence, will be born the following year.  The household consists of Charles W., born January 1861; Laura, born July 1862; Myrtle P., born February 1884; Mamie E., born October 1886; Bessie B., born December 1888; Alta G., born August 1889; Walter D., born March 1898; and John W., born October 1899. Charles’s occupation is listed as butcher.

There is another 20-year gap in the census records before we find Charles again. Several of his children appear in various locations in the 1910 census, but to date I have yet to locate either Charles or Lawrence.  Between 1900 and 1920 the family underwent a number of changes. In December 1904 Charles’s wife, Laura, entered the Pueblo State Hospital in Colorado, where she remained for the rest of her life.  Myrtle, Mamie, Bessie, and Elta/Alta all married before 1910.  According to Grandpa (Lawrence), his father spent some of the intervening years “riding the range with Buffalo Bill.”  I have yet to determine what kernel of truth (if any) is to be found in that story!

In 1920 Charles finally reappears, now living in Fort Collins, Colorado.  He is one of many “roomers” living at 224 Linden Street, his family now dispersed.  He is listed as C. W. Montgomery, age 57, with “farm laborer” his occupation. It appears that this residence was known as Antler’s Hotel and still stands in Fort Collins.

By April 1930, Charles is still living in Fort Collins but has moved about two blocks away, to 326 Walnut Street.  He is now a lodger in the home of Charles and Minnie Reingold, Russian immigrants and proprietors of a junk store.  Charles is listed as age 69, paying $10 a month in rent.  He is employed as watchman at the G. W. (Great Western) Sugar Factory.

Charles’s wife Laura died in the Pueblo State Hospital in 1933.  Seven years later Charles has returned to Linden Street, though his street number is now 222. He is paying $10 rent again and is now listed as age 72 and unable to work.  Details provided by Charles indicate the highest educational level he completed was the eighth grade. The proprietors of Antler’s Hotel are Charles and Mary Bohnke.

About a year after this final census, Charles married a woman named Lyle who was born about 1884. In January 1942, Charles died at age 80 of a coronary occlusion.  He was buried on January 16 in Grandview Cemetery in Fort Collins.