Memories of Mom and Dad

It has been a while since I last posted as I have taken a break for a bit since our mom passed away August 28th.  So to start, just a few pictures of my mom and dad.

The first two pictures are from a yearbook called the “The 1950 Crucible” which is from my mom and dad’s freshmen year at Bay City Junior College.  They got married in February of 1951 so it is probable they knew each other at this time, although I did not see where mom signed the yearbook (the yearbook was my dad’s copy based on the comments from his friends).  I note the name of Lawrence Gordon in the Vet’s Club photo, whose family became lifelong friends of our family.  At least I assume that it is the same family.

Dad JC editedMom JC edited

And 51 years later here are a few pictures taken for their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in 2001.

 

Mary Matilda Matney

Great grandmother on our mom’s side.

Mary Matilda Matney was born on August 6, 1875 in Appanoose, Iowa, her father, William, was 40 and her mother Mary (Van Dyke) was 34.  She married John Magill in 1892 (when she was 17 years old) and they had 10 children in 19 years.  She died on May 9, 1936, in Hoisington, Kansas, at the age of 60.  Her husband John Magill passed away in 1954 at the age of 89.  I vaguely remember meeting him in Saginaw at Grandpa and Grandma’s house and I would have been 3 years old at the most.

After giving birth to five sons, her first daughter was Mary Esther Magill, who was to marry Hudson Dexter Mead II.  The fruit of their loins is our mother Gloria Jane Mead.

Mary grew up in Kansas, married and started raising her family in Kansas, but sometime before 1913 the family moved to Falls City, Nebraska where the last three of her children were born.  Around 1923 it appears the family moved to South Dakota and sometime before 1930 she would move back to Kansas where she lived out her remaining days.

Hudson Mead II and her daughter Mary Esther were married in 1927 in Chadron, Nebraska, which is near South Dakota.  Don’t know how they met, but maybe she went to see a band called the “Revelers” and fell in love with him at first sight!

I would guess that the picture shown here was probably taken around the time she was married and she indeed was a beautiful looking woman.

Mary Matilda Matney

Pine Haven Recreation Area 2017-05-13

Good hiking trail especially with the great weather today.  Only about 30 minutes from Bay City just west of Sanford Lake.  The Salt River is one boundary and the Mud Creek runs through the area also, which gives it some elevation changes.  Lots of standing water in some areas with mosquito’s out in deadly force already.

I saw two pileated wood peckers and a large eastern garter snake.  Only ran into one other person on my approximate 4 mile hike.  There were three levels of trails marked out and I took the most difficult of course.  But this is Michigan and not the Appalachian mountains.  Some of the trails were designed more for mountain bikes than for walking, which I think is it’s main attraction.

Here’s a few pics of the trail.

pine-haven-map
Trail Map
Mud Creek
Mud Creek
Salt River
Salt River
Swamp
Wet Trail
Mosquito
Mosquito’s Attack!
Snake
Eastern Garter Snake
Trail
Trail
Trail1
Nice Trail

Arthur J. Mead

Born in December 1862 in Niles, Michigan.  His dad was John Groot Mead and mother was Delia Louise Corell.  Delia passed away in 1866.  John Groot Mead married Mary Eliza Dexter (nicknamed “Dan”) in Connecticut in 1867 and they had one child, Hudson Dexter Mead who is my great grand-father.

So, Arthur J. Mead would be a step brother to Hudson Sr.  My mom, Gloria, who is a granddaughter of Hudson Mead Sr. has no recollection of hearing of Arthur.  But, my mom also has a couple letters, signed by Arthur addressed to his mom and his brother Hud.  Through ancestry also found a document by a great granddaughter of Arthur (Laura Squires) referring to Arthur and his possible suicide in 1910.

Arthur married Laura Belle Bryant on 15 Feb 1892 in Uintah, Utah.  She was quite young at the time being only 17 years old while Arthur would have been 29.  They had 4 children, Delia, Nila, Hudson S. and Gertrude.  Sometime after 1903 when Gertrude was born and 1910, it appears that Laura ran off with another man to California leaving Arthur with the children.

Below are scanned copies of the letters from 1910 which are hard to read.  I have also attached my transcription of the letters along with a copy of the document from Laura Squires. 

Arthur_Mead_Letters_0005Arthur_Mead_Letters_0006Arthur_Mead_Letters_0007Arthur_Mead_Letters_0008

Transcript of Arthur letter to Hud:

Chadron, Nebraska         Dec 29, 1910

 Dear Hud,

                You’re a Prince and I realize to the full the difference between you and I.  No doubt I have about the same natural ability as you, but you have used yours while I have wasted mine.  I remember a remark Grandma Mead made to me when I was a little boy “Hell is paved with good intentions”.  If I could have fully realized then what this meant my life’s story might have been different.  I have intended to do things.  You have done them.  Results speak for themselves.  I have been figuring out why a black hen laid a white egg while you have been getting the egg.  That explains the whole situation.  Sentiment is a good thing when under proper control, but instead of keeping it under control I have allowed it to control me and the result is wreck and ruin.  No man ever lived who loved his wife and children and home more devotedly than I did, but I did not seem to know how to mix the business in and make it combine.  So I lost my wife and when I lost her I lost everything that made life worth living for me, because I had allowed sentiment instead of judgement, to rule.  To say that I have suffered the fortunes of the damned during the past 15 months is putting it mildly.  No words can express what I have suffered.  This suffering has rendered me worthless to the world, my family, my friends and myself, so I am getting out of the way to make room for someone more worthy.  I fully appreciate what you have done for me, but the prospect of repaying you seems utterly hopeless, so I want to get out of the way before the debt grows larger.

Sincerely Yours,

Arthur

Transcript of Arthur letter to his mom:

Chadron, Nebraska         Dec 29, 1910

 Dear Mother,

                I am so sorry that you don’t think I appreciate what you have done for me and mine.  I appreciate it in my heart.  I guess my acts do not show it, but that’s my misfortune more than my fault.  I have no recollection whatever of the remark you mention concerning Grandma Mead.  I may have uttered the words you quote, but if I did, they were said without reference to you.  You were always entirely welcome at our house both by Laura and myself and the only fault we ever found with you was that you would not rest and take life easy while you were with us, instead of being the first one up in the morning and digging into the work as though you were getting paid by the hour.  We have both made our mistakes but neither of us ever had any unkind remarks to make about you while you were present nor while you were absent.  I did not try to answer you when you were talking to me because I am unable to control my emotions and I was too much choked up to talk.  I appreciate fully what you have done for us and the fact that I have been unable to do my share in return is one of the things which has made life so miserable for me.  I’m sorry you have misunderstood me but I can’t help it now.  It’s too late.  If I had been the fortunate possessor of a spirit like yours things would, no doubt, have been different with me.

Sincerely,

Arthur

Information in letter by Laura Squires:

Laura B. MacLean’s Marriages

Posted 09 Nov 2015 by Laura Squires

My great grandmother, born Laura Belle Bryant, married Arthur J. Mead in 1892.  They had four children, Delia, Nila (my grandmother), Hudson and Gertrude.  Arthur was a train master in Cedar City, Utah and sometime between 1903 when Gertrude was born and the 1910 Census, Walter MacLean happened through Cedar City and met my great grandmother.  She left her husband and children and ran off with Walter MacLean to San Jose, California.  The 1920 census shows them living in San Jose and that my grandmother and my dad (Robert P. Squires) were living with them at that time.  My dad would have been less than one year old (he was born on December 1, 1919).

The 1910 Census shows that Arthur Mead took the four children (Delia, Nila, Hudson and Gertrude) and moved back to Dawes, Nebraska where he lived with his parents at that time.  According to the story told by my grandmother Nila, Arthur Mead committed suicide, but I’m not certain when that happened.

Hudson Dexter Mead Sr.

Hudson Dexter Mead Sr. (my great grandfather) was born on August 26, 1868 in Niles, Michigan.  He died sometime in May 1950 in Chadron, Nebraska.Hudson_Mead_Sr

His dad’s name was John Groot Mead and his mother’s maiden was Mary Eliza Dexter, affectionately called “Dan”.

On Sept 16, 1902 he married Nora O’Melia Blake in Carbon, Utah.

They had four children:

            Hudson Dexter Mead II (Gloria’s dad) – b. 11 Sep 1906, d. 18 Mar 1985
            Mary Elizabeth Catherine Mead (Denny) – b. 18 Nov 1910, d. Oct 1984
            Kate Jean Mead (Bristow) – b. 7 Nov 1913, d. 1979
            John Mead (died when 18 months old)

In the 1880 census he was living in Bon Homme, Dakota Territories and in 1900 lived in Dry Creek, Dawes County, Nebraska.  Somewhere along the way he lived in Utah where he met our great Grandma Nora, got married and then ended up in Chadron a few years later where he lived out his days and passed away in 1950, one year before I was born in Chadron. He is buried in Chadron, Nebraska at the Greenwood cemetery.

According to mom (Gloria) he was an only child, but according to my research on Ancestry he had a brother name Arthur J. who was born (also in Niles, Michigan) in 1862.  Arthur did get married and had some children, and I did find a handwritten letter from Arthur to his mom and to Hudson.  (more on this to come)

His occupation according to the census information was as a civil engineer in Chadron.  At one point, he was the water commissioner of Chadron.

Homemade Desk History

This is a desk made by Hudson Dexter Mead I (my great grandfather) who was married to Grandma Nora.  Probably made in the 1930’s or thereabouts.

It was made in Chadron Nebraska with a lot of the wood coming from used wood crates.  Great Grandpa also made the wooden train set which is in storage at 306 Woodside right now.

This was passed down from Hudson Mead I to Hudson Mead II to Hudson Mead III (Uncle Huddie) and then passed down to me after Uncle Huddie passed away in 2016 and for now resides in the dining at 1202 Borton.

desk1desk2desk3