Wordless Wednesday: John Adam DeLawder, John Lurman DeLawder, Rosa Alice DeLawder

John A DeLawder, John Lurman DeLawder, Alice Rosa DeLawder (nee Glofetly)

from left to right: John Adam DeLawder, John Lurman DeLawder
Rosa Alice DeLawder  (nee Glotfelty)
most likely taken in Takoma Park, MD cira 1920

 

Advertisements

First Love: John and Frances

“Capital ‘D’-e” {pause} “Capital ‘L,’-a-w-d-e-r.” I can still hear my grandmother Frances spelling out her last name to persons unfamiliar with the surname. “DeLawder is two words, she said, always ending the spelling with this explanation. Frances clung to the name in honor of her beloved John and his family decades after his departure. 

In keeping with her Victorian upbringing, she remained faithful to her first love. I have said “John DeLawder lived a long and prosperous life after he died in 1924,” Frances never allowed his memory to fade. John was the epitome of the knight-in-shinning-armor; or, at least he morphed into this over the years. His thick dark hair, blue eyes, and chiseled features where not outdone by his unabashed tenderness and ambition.

top left: Rebecca Ruth (b. 1894), Martha May (b. 1897)
Kingsbury (b. 1892), and John Lurman (b. 1898.)

John Adam DeLawder and Rosa Alice Glotfelty married on September 3, 1889 in Deep Creek, Garret MD. John Lurman followed sisters Rebecca Ruth, Martha May, and brother  Kingsbury. The DeLawder family settled in nearby Washington DC, where John Adam worked in the government printing office.

Like the Davis family, the DeLawders where middle class Americans. Both heads of households held long-term government positions, Albert as a clerk for the Pension Department and John Adam DeLawder as Assistant Foreman in the Printing Office.

High school provided an outlet for Frances’ outgoing nature and enthusiasm. At home she was expected to be quiet and reserved. Her passion for life flourished in the public high school she attended. She received the praises and accolades of her instructors. At Business High School in Washington DC, she learned typewriting and stenography, she danced, played basketball, played tennis, and swam. Her undeniable charm made her a natural leader, being elected Vice President of the student body government. In her senior year she competed with the rifle team, and dabbled in the theater arts.

 

Washington Post, June 4 1914

Girls Rifle Team
Business High School 1914
Washington DC
(Frances is bottom row, left

In that same year the Davis family moved from 214 “A” St SE, Washington DC to Takoma Park MD, on the outskirts of the city. Frances’ determination to graduate entailed a daily commute on the street cars arriving home barely in time for the evening meal. Frances completed her public schooling in June 1914

Before graduation, Frances attracted the attention of a boy. He was a prize. George, Frances’ younger brother by two years, also liked John DeLawder very much and approved of the match. Mutual friends introduced them. John attended the McKinley Manual Training School across the street from Business High School in Congress Heights of Washington DC. From their first meeting, John was gallant, never engaging in degrading conversation about the “weaker sex.” Frances and John shared their lunch break, and so began a great love. 

Canoeing on the Potomac River, walks along the towpath, and secret passions was everything a girl could want in a boy. With John she was free from her distant father, who never tired of believing that Frances “should have been a boy” and her somber mother who believed that girls where “shedding their femininity.”

John Lurman DeLawder (1898 – 1924)

John graduated from McKinley in 1916 where he had studied science. He aspired to be a bacteriologist. He found his way into the Bureau of Standards(the Federal Governments first physical science research laboratory),  where he was appointed apprentice later that same year. It may have been John’s abilities that landed him the position in the Bureau of Standards from instructors at his high school as implied by this note in a closed case FBI file. John understood higher education was the way up and applied himself to study with as much vigor as he worked.

John would spend his weekends with his sweetheart in rural Takoma Park and travel back to the city for weekdays. She mourned his absence those days but John could not be persuaded to marry before he could provide for a wife and eventual children.

The nation’s capital was abuzz with the talk of war as the United States failed to negotiate neutrality in the European conflict.  Young John may have viewed the war as an opportunity to advance his career. At the age of 19 years, John and close friend Francis “Fran” Clarke enlisted in the Army at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C as part of the National Guard.

He and Clarke where immediately sent to Long Island, NY for training at Camp Mills. They were assigned to the Medical Corps. The two friends departed for distant France soon after.

Copyright  ©amanoffamily.com 2012

edited by Donora Hillard

Wordless Wednesday: Will Rodgers State Park 1948

Will Rodgers Park, California

Will Rodgers State Park, California
circa 1949
looking towards the polo field

from my paternal grandmothers photo album (with her in the foreground)

Update: CIA library manuscript released

Personal circumstances have kept me from writing the last few months but that will soon be remedied.I have news that the CIA library has released my grandmothers unpublished (lost) manuscript and expect a copy of it soon. (Thank you Scott Hodes)How did it end up in the possession of the CIA?  I hope to answer that question.Since I have at least a partial copy of one version and a nearly full copy of the another version (seemed she re-typed the story at least twice,) it will be interesting to compare the two complete versions.

It is a grand idea to publish her work, (unpublished manuscript), at least on the internet. Then I could help to accomplish what she didn’t see in her life.

Rest in peace dear dear grandmother,
       your love did not return void.

Portrait sent to John DeLawder in WWI via special delivery a favor from Humes Houston Whittlesey, Lt Commander, USN

Copyright  ©amanoffamily.com 2012

P.S. The manuscript did arrive! Fortunately it is the first version she wrote. The CIA preserved her work. No indication how it ended up in the library but the manuscript is complete.

Evolution of a Sister Blog

I was challenged by someone to, “start writing,” after admitting to years of research for the Man of Family blog . I could not refute the logic or resist the challenge.

The idea of writing a blog seemed easy at first …….. until I attempted to write it …….. well here are a few of the lesson I have learned along the way.

I procrastonated and in retropect it seems as though I was protecting myself because the idea and the actual writing where more challenging than anticipated even though I have invested many years researching in preparation.

Writing a blog is like creating a piece of jewelry; the finished piece needs to be purpousefuly balanced and athestic in final form.

My blog is a family history project so there is the context of time to which I am necessarly bound, (chronological order).

Another equally important constraint is telling the story is a coherant narrative, not just a bunch of facts about people that other people are not related to, to add character and depth to ancestors near and far that I did not know in my lifetime.

The very first entry was important for my project, it may not be for others that have subjects that include subjects that are less restrictive.

The acutal writing seems to fall into place after the first sentance is written. The first sentance sets the tone for the entry.

Researching the facts are important pieces not be overlooked in the interest of time.

And related to the above sentence; understanding the historical context in which my ancestors lived. This includes reading and appreciating history as I have never appreciated it before. (I recently finished my second book on World War I, not much of a war buff but the historical context cannot be overlooked.)

Writing about ancestors first includes gathering as many of the facts of their lives as possible, this includes a photos, writings, personal effects if possible. People leave behind things and pictures that where important to them and this leaves a sense of who they where in “real life.” I also try and acquire vital records when possible.

The idea of the “sister blog” developed to include how the research has been done, some interesting observations, and points of interest and writing exercises to help bend the mind around the beauty and the power of the written word.

Wordless Wednesday: Home of Mary A Thornton and Edmund B Thornton

Home of Mary Braxton Thornton, Bedford, IN

“Mother’s home where I was married”
1133 Lincoln Ave, Bedford, IN
the property next door is the home of
Edmund B Thornton

“Mothers home” would be the home of Mary A. Thornton (nee Braxton) and “Ed’s home,” would be the house for Edmund Braxton Thornton

(written by Emma Sickles Thornton where she married Albert Hopkins Davis)
Bedford, Indiana

Reference: The Annals of a Family p. 125

Wordless Wednesday (not very this week): A Victorian Poem

Mary Caroline “Nannie” Thornton Shaw
March 30, 1874
Bedford, Indiana