Johnson City, N.Y.,
March 25, 1925.
Another year has rolled around and our cousins' letters are due. Mine
was all ready to copy when Cousin Roswell
Young wrote suggesting that "because of household duties, etc.",
we might be reluctant about writing. I'm some busy getting noon luncheon
for eight school teachers, from the school across the street, but in our
town everybody works, even Father.
I don't want to miss getting my letter in, for I really believe
outsiders enjoy our books as much as we. I have several friends who have
asked when the next one is due.
We took a trip the week of July fourth. Went to Nelson, and stayed over night, then took the Susquehanna Trail1 at Lawrenceville at six A.M. Met all the men going to work through Tioga and Mansfield, and reached Blossburg, to fill up with gas before going over the mountain, just as the gas station opened. I enjoyed the ride through the woods. The mountain laurel was beautiful. Passed through Williamsport and ate noon lunch at Harrisburg. Went through the capitol of Pennsylvania. Spent the afternoon on the battlefield of Gettysburg. Reached Washington, D.C. about seven-thirty P.M. Stayed two nights with friends. Called on Cousin Jennie Bosard and the girls2.
My best impression of the Capitol was the lights on the dome at night from the Congressional Library. We saw about everything described in Cousin Edith Selph's letter of last year, except the cherry trees in bloom. Mt. Vernon was very interesting to me. Cousin Em Buck and I ought to take these historical trips together so we could read all the inscriptions3, for her son and my husband never have time to stop long enough.
We spent the "Ever Glorious"4 at Ocean City with friends. Junior did enjoy the sand and water so much, and I could just sit and look at the ocean and be happy. Returned via the Lackawanna Trail5 from Philadelphia to Binghamton.
1. US 15
3. Referring to the roadside historic markers that lined the highways before interstates.
4. July 4th
5. US 11
In August we entertained the Wells from Washington State. Some of the cousins will remember Nellie Parker6, Aunt Carrie Blackwell's niece7. She has been dead fifteen years, but her daughter, Evelyn8 (who lives in Portland, Oregon) with her father9, his wife10 and son11 motored across just three thousand one miles from Vancouver, Washington, to Mamma's in Nelson.
In October, we went to Nelson and brought Mama home with us on Sunday. And on Wednesday, October fifteenth, we "set sail" at five o'clock in the morning for Stroudsburg and the Cousins' Dinner. It was one of those perfect fall days, with gorgeous foliage that I love. Reached Marshalls Falls at nine A.M. Found Cousin Charlie Congdon's home full of guests, and more arriving. I shall never forget the wonderful view of the falls and the autumn coloring of the trees all around his place. Had such a good visit with relatives we hadn't seen for years.
On our way home that night, between Scranton and Nicholson at about seven P.M. we ran into a big meeting of the Klu Klux Klan in full regalia12 - a rather spooky sight on a dark night in a strange country. And the joke was on Ed. He told his boss that about ten years ago he joined the clan, and wanted to go to a meeting in Stroudsburg on Wednesday. Of course, he meant the Campbell clan.
After leaving Mama at Cousin Charlie's I didn't hear from her in two weeks. I began to get alarmed, for lots of things might happen to her in the city. But they say she was able to make the subways or elevated as quickly as any of them, and she had a perfectly wonderful time, thanks to Cousin Will Selph and his wife.
If there are any two cousins who deserve the two nice trips each has had lately, it is my mother and Cousin Ann Owlett. I haven't heard if Cousin Ann attended the Inaugural Ball, but she wrote me she couldn't come home before it. I was in Elmira a few weeks ago and Treva said, "Ford Owlett is in the hospital." So we went down to see him, thinking, because his mother was in Washington, he might be lonesome. And say -- his room was so full of flowers and folks we just couldn't get in the door. There were people from all up the Cowanesque Valley, and some from Elmira. Ford said the doctor said that he could get up in a chair that day, but there hadn't been a chance. I really believe he was enjoying his operation.
In November we had a smallpox scare right in our school. Of course everybody was vaccinated. Endicott Johnson Medical did wholesale vaccination free13 - as many as five thousand a day. But there were no deaths, and only a very few bad cases.
6. Nellie Lee PARKER Wells was born Aug. 1873 in MN, d. Jan 21, 1912 in Vancouver, Clark Co., WA. She was a daughter of John Parker and Frances "Fanny" Thurber.
7. Great-niece. Nellie's mother, Frances THURBER Parker, was a dau. of George Thurber and Judith C. Power, a sister of Caroline POWER Prutsman Blackwell.
8. Mazie Evelyn Wells, b. Aug. 26, 1893 in PA, d. unmarried Aug 19, 1984 in Multnomah Co., OR.
9. Warren Charles Wells, b. Jan 1869 in PA, d. Nov. 25, 1947 in Vancouver, WA, son of Warren & Sophrina Updyke Wells.
10. 2nd wife Gertrude Rawson Wells, b. 1891 in WA, d. Oct. 27, 1927 in Vancouver, daughter of Albert Rawson.
11. Norman Rawson Wells, b. Aug. 24, 1914 in Moscow, UT, d. Nov. 4, 1947 n Vancouver.
12. The 1920s were the heyday of the KKK in Northern states. Not only in rural parts of Lackawana Co., but they also held parades and rallies in cities all over the north, including a parade down Johnson City,s main street. I only live a half hour from what many consider the part of PA that the KKK is presently strongest in --- bu they keep a much lower profile these days, and have MUCH less money and members.
13. The services provided by Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company to its employees (Ed Hills was one of their leather buyers), and to the Villages of Endicott and Johnson City was an amazing example of early 20h century industrial paternalism. The company built and owned the parks, the water works and lines, the libraries, bowling alleys,and dance halls, and built good, low cost homes its employees could purchase on an affordable, easy payment plan. During the depression, it reduced hours rather than massive lay-offs, and provided affordable meals for employees and their families. See Johnson City History.
We've had lots of snow this winter, and it nearly all came while Ed was away on trips. Junior and I did a lot of exercising on a corner lot14 with the snow shovels.
People are still wearing shoes, so Ed is buying more leather all the time. Ed is a baseball enthusiast - always takes in the game while in the city. Drove to New York one day last summer to see Ty Cobb play. Guess that was the time he and the Prince of Wales were there together.
Junior is progressing very nicely in school, but he'd like to find some kind of a job where you don't have numbers (arithmetic).
We hope to drive toward Boston for our vacation trip this summer, so all cousins living that way, watch out!
Anxiously awaiting the new edition of the Campbell Cousins Correspondence, I am
14. I lived a couple of blocks from her home for 2 years. Her lot was narrow, but fairly deep, so they had a lot of sidewalk to shovel - wbt.
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