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”]
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
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.