Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Letters from Grandpa 4 December 1915

Commercial Hotel
W. M. Doyle, Prop.
Elko, Nevada

Miss Allene S. Kelley
Huntington Hall
South Pasadena, California

My dear Allene:--
Your letter didn't arrive the day I expected it. It was one day late. So negligent, or careless of you dear to disappoint me!!

The description of the riot has made me laugh--well, every time I think about it. That flight up those stairs, then the breathless bunch in suspense and then the relief which followed. You needn't ever mention "first year composition" to me again.

So you cry quits on the "eats,"--that is modified by "well not so often." Alright dear, you shall have your way--modified by for awhile.

As for the picture--I'm waiting for the one of you. You remember of me asking you,--don't you? As soon as I get where there us a photographer who I think is capable of doing justice to a subject such as I, I will comply with your request. In the meantime be patient dear--not like I, tho'.

I can't leave here for about ten days as one of the boys who is going with me-(he's an expert auto mechanic)-is sick and the doctor says he can't get out for at least a week. I'll start as soon as possible. I was up to Wells last week--Notice the position of prominence in which that paper makes note of it!! I am of course sending you a copy of that paper.--'Twill prove to you that Wells is not without a representative even tho' you did think it might be off the map. So I'm not someone from nowhere,--but no one from somewhere perhaps.

Love dear--to you.


Saturday-December 4th, 1915

Monday, December 6, 2010

Letters from Grandpa 19 November 1915

Commercial Hotel
W. M. Doyle, Prop.
Elko, Nevada

Miss Allene S. Kelley
Huntington Hall
South Pasadena, California

In all that long (?) letter I wrote you last night Dear--and with all the time I put in on it--I neglected to thank you for the picture taken at Mojave. You never fail to express your appreciation and thanks when I give you things, girlie, and really just an acknowledgement of the receipt would be sufficient, because I know you appreciate them. Of course I like to have you thank me and all that, but should you fail to do so I would consider it just a simple forgivable oversight,--and I expect the same forgiveness from you dear. That's not unreasonable, is it?

This morning I was agreeably welcomed at the post office by your letter.

Glad you enjoyed the candy and that Mrs. Coolidge likes the look of my back. You might tell her that I'm really very pleasant looking and am not at all ashamed of my face.--That is if you can tell it with a sincere look. Of course I wouldn't have her know we were joshing.

So you had your picture taken!! And am I to have one? I know that a thing worth having is worth asking for so I'm asking you, dear.

Will try and write to Mrs. Maze today. Received one letter from her but the one she addressed to Wells, for some reason or other, has failed to reach me. I have written the postmaster of that place regarding it and I may get it tomorrow. I'm hoping anyhow.

I would like to be in San Francisco when the folks arrive but then I'd not be satisfied even then. 'Twould be like a dinner without dessert;--seeing them without you.

In a few days you'll be in San Diego. I hope you have the dandiest time ever dear.

Sincerely yours
Friday, November 19th, 1915

Monday, November 15, 2010

Robert Boyer Sauls

Robert Boyer Sauls is my paternal grandfather. I never met him because he and my grandmother were divorced many years before I was born. I posted this to my Facebook account, to try to learn more from other family members. I have included some of their comments, but have removed their names.

Robert Boyer Sauls was born April 5, 1895 in Wynnewood, Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma, the fourth child and third son of William David Sauls and Elizabeth Enice Aker Sauls. He was named Robert for his paternal grandfather Henry Robert Sauls, and Boyer for his maternal grandfather Johnson Boyer Aker. His siblings were Verta May, Quincy L., Roy Eugene, Neta L., and Helen Burdette. Robert was counted with his parents in the 1900 Census of the Chickasaw Nation in McClain County, where his father was working as a Methodist minister.

In 1910 Robert was in Wister, Oklahoma doing farm labor, and in 1920 when he was 25 years old, he was in Stanislaus County, California, workng as a hired man. Since the picture I have of him shows him in a military uniform, and he is buried in a national cemetery, I am sure he has military records, but so far I haven't seen them.

On 3 Nov 1920 Robert married Eunice Dale Broadwell, probably in Gila Bend, Arizona. She was 14 years old when they married, and a cousin shared that although her parents were against it, she agreed to meet him at the railway station and go to a nearby town to marry. Her father followed them, but by the time he arrived, the marriage had already taken place. A year later they had their first child, Robert Dale Sauls. My father Alva Fay was born in 1923, then Jack N. in 1929, and R. Glen in 1931. All the children were born in Stanislaus County, California. Robert and Eunice divorced after Glen was born, and she remarried in 1938.

Robert also remarried; his second wife was Esther A. Krenzler, and together they had 10 children, some of whom I have become acquainted with on Facebook. From them I have learned that he was not a tall man, that he had curly hair, and that he wore a fedora. Unfortunately, they don't know very much about him, either.

Robert died June 17, 1965 in Napa County, California according to the Social Security records. He is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California, in plot 14415F.

Some tidbits about Robert:

My grandmother told me once that Robert's mother was a twin, and that he was "brilliant." She also related a story about standing between him and one of the children with a gun when he was about to beat the child with a halter chain. This is not a "nice" thing, but I have learned that genealogy is not for anyone who wants to keep their fantasies about their ancestors; I hope those who read this are not offended.

Robert's eldest child, my uncle Robert, told me that his father used to tell the children that they were descended from Chief Big Toe (I think that was the name he used). This helped me understand the story my mother told us about being part American Indian. I have found no proof of this at all, and have discarded the idea as a misunderstanding which became a legend. My uncle also told me that his mother's family, the Broadwells, were in Arizona trying to raise cotton at the time Robert and Eunice married.

One of my newly found aunts related that Robert was uneducated and had health problems, and that their life was hard.

One of his grandnieces said, "That was an interesting story you told about Robert going to beat one of the children with a halter chain. My Father told me that his Father (Roy) said that William David was very harsh with his sons. Kicking them out as soon as he could so he would not have to feed them. He even sold the team of horses that my Grandfather had been using to work at his job of building a highway without telling him. He just work up one morning and they were gone."

One of Robert's daughters said, "Mom and [Dad] divorced when I was 12 around 1959. He died in June 1965 the year I graduated from high school.

Robert's youngest son said, "I remembered him as being about [one of my brother's] height but stupped over, but I only remember seeing him in person 2-3 times... and really by the time I came to be he was old....."

I suspect that Robert Boyer Sauls will always be something of a mystery to me!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Letters from Grandpa 18 Nov 1915

P.O. Box 162
Elko, Nevada

Miss Allene S. Kelley
Huntington Hall
South Pasadena, California

Allene Dear Your letter with the picture enclosed was here when I arrived and I've read it over and over because I didn't want to miss one single thing, either in the lines or "between" them--and I'm going to read it again soon. The picture is pasted in one of my cherished albums.

The other letter dear, the one in which you said you'd kept me waiting a week because I'd kept you waiting so long, was received day before yesterday, so I've received two which have made me very happy, since writing. I can hardly realize that such a short time ago I was there at the school with you and now I'm way out here--over a thousand miles away! And I want to go back!

Daily I've been expecting word from Salt Lake City in reference to that work I spoke of but nothing has come yet. Maybe I'll not get to do it after all.~I'm not worrying over that tho'.

It's the new venture that's taking up all my spare thinking moments. But no matter what happens dear I'm going to try and not be "flustered" or "fussed" like I was when you saw me last.  Will try and take things as they come and just be natural at all times.

As a rule I'm very negligent about answering questions asked in letters and there was one you asked which I will answer before I forget.
As to the address given on my stationery and cards--I was located in Wells for several years and I haven't used up all the old stationery and cards I had there. And no, dear, emphatically no, "C.E." does not stand for Christian Endeavor in that case.

Glad you liked "Frank". Of course he doesn't look like me~ he's cunning, you say.--!!

And you'll be saying something awful to me pretty soon I expect if I don't quit writing so I'll cease for tonight.

Buenos noches Allene,

Thursday, November 18th, 1915

Monday, October 18, 2010

Letter from my Mother, 4 Dec. 2002

Mom passed away a few years ago, after years of health issues. I saved this letter, which has many memories of her life.

Dearest L--,

Once I remember you told me that because my handwriting slanted upward that it denoted optimism. The reason I remembered this is that your grandfather, Frank Huntington Russell's handwriting always did this. Also, until my signature changed, it was exactly like his even to the shape of the letters. Even on his dental laboratory door, somehow, the sign painter was able to write his name exactly like he did & also right under this he (my father) had him write "Master Craftsman." He made dentures with one or two gold crowns which made them look natural.

In Nevada where he lived for, perhaps, many years he learned to be a dentist from Dr. Whitesides, but when he moved to California after Grams [Allene Kelley Russell] said to him after living there for about two years, "I'm going back to California! You can come if you want to, but I'm going back." Of course he loved her so much he came, but he couldn't practice dentistry here, so he became a dental technician.

L--, I remember when you & [your husband] drove down from Idaho for the expressed purpose of getting Grams' cedar chest & while you were showing him the different items in it, you said, "We're a sentimental family." I distinctly remember that she had kept in it a shoe box where she had saved all the letters tied with a blue satin ribbon he had written her while she was staying in a finishing school in Pasadena where Auntie & Unkie [Mr. & Mrs. W. C. Maze] took her. You must have that, of course. Have you ever had enough spare time to read any of them?

You asked me to tell you their love story. It all began when they were on their way to Pasadena on the train. Grampa was going to San Francisco to collect some money he had loaned a man. It just so happened that Grampa & Unkie were in the club car at the same time & must have been sitting at the same table where they introduced themselves &, in the course of the conversation Unkie must have told Grampa about his wife & niece.

When the train stopped at some place, they all got out at a landing, so Unkie introduced Mr. Russell to his wife, Mrs. Maze & his niece, Miss Kelley. She had the most beautiful auburn hair & I like to think that she wore it piled on her head in the same fashion of a Gibson girl whose pictures were so popular in those days. Well, dear, here's what you asked me for, because it was love at first sight.

Even though she more than likely received a letter from him every day, she told me she was so homesick she even had the nuns crying.

She told me a funny thing that happened after they were married. She told him to break his toast, but evidently he didn't remember to do it, so she got angry & grabbed his piece & said, as she broke it in pieces, "If you won't break it, I'll break it for you!"

To show you he also had a temper, there was a woman he had made dentures for who kept coming back complaining they still didn't fit. The last time he said, "Here, give them to me & I'll fix them," so when she did, he took them & threw them on the floor where they broke in pieces. He more than likely told Grams, because after he gave her a string of cultured pearls that didn't hang just right, when she showed this to him, he said, "Give them to me," but she said, "Oh, no you don't!"

Allene K. Russell 1917
Honey, I wish I could describe her wedding dress, but I'll do my best. It was made of a gray net with a pleated bodice, & had silver ribbons from the waist to the hem that were spaced evenly around a slightly full modified hoop skirt. She kept it for years, & when I was old enough she let me dress up in it until the net started to tear, so she put it in the garbage can. But that's how she felt about me. I can remember using some of the sterling silver spoons she let me use to dig in the back yard, so a few of them got lost.

I used to help her polish the silverware before Thanksgiving & Christmas when our relatives came for the holiday dinners. Those were the only times she would use the gold-banded dishes, & she always washed them herself, so, as far as I know, none of them got chipped. [Your sister] has the set & told me that she uses part of them occassionally [sic]. She also has her engagement cups.

At Christmas time she & I cracked walnuts & then I'd sell bags of them for money to buy gifts with. Then I'd go to the Woolworth's where I'd buy a 10 [cent] gift for all of them.

I spent many happy times with her--shelling peas & stringing & breaking into smaller pieces string beans.

L--, I remember that you were a Job's Daughter for a while. Will you please write & tell me what you can remember about it?

I joined when I was 13 & remained one until I reached 18, which was the oldest you could be. Your Aunt Jean was elected Honored Queen, & your Aunt Helene served as Senior Princess. I was the Musician for most of the time, but also was Recorder for one term.

Well, dear, I've used all my writing paper for now. Still waiting to get a letter from you.

Love you, love you, love you--

Letters from Grandpa 6 Nov. 1915

I was sent a box of mementos which belonged to my grandmother, Allene Kelley Russell. Much of what was in the box were letters she had received from my grandfather, Frank H. Russell, during their courtship. This is the text from the first letter.

Written on letter paper from Hotel Turpin, 17 Powell St., San Francisco, California

Dear Allene
It seems to me it has been a year since I "got" your last letter,--it's been almost a week--and I want another so I'm going to pen you a few lines and put you in debt to me.

Had made all arrangements for leaving Thursday, but received a letter from a cousin in Los Angeles which caused me to postpone my return to Elko indefinitely. It is a business proposition and if, after I've talked it over with him, I decide to take it up I will stay in California.

He wired me that he would come to San Francisco in a week or ten days. Maybe I'll not wait for him but will go down there. Anyhow there's a little girlie down near there whom I'd like to see. She's in such a prison and has so many guards watching over her tho' that I'm afraid I'd find all entrances-and exits too--barred. Let us be thankful for small favors and larger ones in proportion. I am thankful for the privelege [sic] of writing to her altho' I'm still wondering if these epistles must be passed by the board of censors before she gets 'em.

I wrote to Mr. and Mrs. Maze but as yet have not heard from them.--Possibly they answered and the letter is in Elko. I hope they are well and happy and able to write to you often enough to keep you from getting lonesome and homesick. Of course now that you have learned to talk french [sic] you can keep yourself company--huh? Ask yourself questions in one language and answer in the other, huh? again.

Any more exciting baloons [sic] or awful electric shocks-or-teacher's birthdays?

Now don't wait a week Allene to answer--cause I'm the boy who doesn't like to wait.

Sincerely yours

San Francisco, November 6th, 1915

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Allene Kelley and Frank Russell Engagement Announcement

Allene Kelley is my maternal grandmother. Here is the newspaper announcement of her engagement to my grandfather, Frank H. Russell.

From "Modesto Evening News" Saturday, July 15, 1916

"The News' Social Page by Mrs. A. A. Fields. Phone 6622"

"Miss Allene Kelly Announces Engagement"

"One of the most interesting events of the week was the announcement of the engagement of Miss Allene Kelly and Dr. Frank Huntington Russell, of Elko, Nevada, which was made at a delightful luncheon given Thursday at one o'clock at the lovely home in Fifteenth street, of Miss Kelly's aunt, Mrs. W. C. Maze.

"The luncheon table was beautiful with pink carnations, breath of heaven ferns, while from the chandelier hung pink tulle intertwined with pink ribbon and pink forget-me-nots in a shower boquet effect. The places were marked by Cupie brides and pink tulle bags of rice tied with pink ribbon. At each place was a pink box of candies and nuts tied with pink ribbon and forget-me-nots, and in the lid of each box was a card on which was the welcome news. The afternoon was occupied with bridge, Mrs. Albert Cressey Maze winning the prize for high score.

"Miss Kelly has made her home with her aunt, Mrs. W. C. Maze, for the last several years and is one of the most popular girls of the younger set. Dr. Russell is a popular young dentist of Elko, Nevada, and after the wedding, which will take place sometime in October, the young couple will make their home in Elko.

" At the luncheon table Thursday were: Mesdames Albert Cressey Maze, Louise Steele-Smith, Herbert Kelly and Hugh Downey; Misses Lena Schafer, Bethel Camp, Ethel Wilbur, Marie Wren, Hazel Howard, Irma Daulton, Allene Kelly, and Miss Hazel Kelly, of San Jose, who is a house guest at the Maze home."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Meet my Parents

This is my parents' wedding picture. They were married July 31, 1948 in California.
My mother, Frances Russell, was born in 1925.
My father, Alva Fay Sauls, was born in 1923.

This blog is to remember my parents and grandparents, as far back as I can find pictures, letters, or stories. I intend it as a memoir for myself, my siblings, my children, and their children. If others find it interesting or useful, that also will please me.