As the holidays approached I found myself as I do every year looking through my wrapping paper, gift bags & cards and trying to determine what I need to buy more of in order to get thru the current season. Inevitably, I also find the box which contains cards I have received over the years as well as some older cards that people sent to my paternal Grandmother. One from her sister, Kitty Jakes Bell, another from Cora Jakes Gibson(another of her sisters)...one from her niece Olive Bell Shriver and her husband Sam. One of the cards was from someone I couldn't place in her family and I thought it might be a neighbor or someone she has rented a house from as they lived in East Nashville rentals a bunch after moving from Old Hickory and before she moved to Dickson. I looked inside to get the name which I believe I had done before and just figured that the card was from family. In addition to the name I also noticed faded ink across the entire card. At first it looked like a letter had been in the card and faded, but on further examination I can see that the sender, a lady I'll call Flora had written a letter on the folded inside of the card. The letter told of some hardships she and her family were going thru and made me further curious about how they knew each other. My curiosity was peaked even further when she asked about my Uncle Morris and sent her regards.
Clues from the Letter
Flora and her husband live in Akron Ohio on Austin Avenue. She gave vague details of the health problems she and her husband had been facing. Flora's son was in the hospital in Chillicothe (OH?) and apparently it isn't a minor hospital stay as she mentioned not having written to him in awhile. This leads me to believe that it may have been a Veteran's hospital so I want to check the census records for this family and see what I can find. Flora's daughter is also having a hard time. Her husband has left her and her children(Flora's Grandchildren) at the holidays. What little information I do know is pulling at my heartstrings and I want to know how it turned out for these people....and yes...how they know my grandmother. I note all of the clues to her identity in the letter so that I can use it in my research.
1940 Akron Ohio but not at the address on the card.
- Flora was born about 1902 which puts her at about 11 years younger than my grandmother.
- Her husband works at a Rubber Plant( Goodyear or Firestone?)
- Living at home is a daughter age 17 and a son age 15
- Living at the same house in 1935 (Stanford Ave, Akron, Ohio)
A check of the 1930 reveals a bit more
- Flora and her husband have a son age 11 who isn't in their household in 1940
- Flora's husband was working at the Rubber Shop(maybe the plant hadn't expanded at that time)
- All are Born in Ohio and there parents were also according to this census.
- Flora was 15 when she married and her husband 21.
Checking some of the suggested records that pop up when I view the census records at Ancestry.com lead me to find Flora's marriage record as well as marriage records for her daughter. The older son was in the Navy as I find his death noted with U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File as well as a FindAGrave listing which shows his Navy marker.. I wonder if this is how the family would know my Uncle Morris. He was in the Navy briefly in 1945. Was the older son the one who was in the hospital
More clues....and more questions.
I want to look for a divorce record for the daughter. That will give me an idea of what time period the letter was written which will tell me how far back their friendship goes. I wonder if Ohio has the divorce court records and rulings at Ancestry like Michigan does.
Lots to think about.