Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cousin Stelle's Visit

Copied from a letter from Mildred (Aunt) Elizabeth Newton to Grace Newton

Estelle or Stelle Walker was Daddy's cousin. She and her husband came thru Beaumont when we were living upstairs at Mrs. Johnston's, in 1908 [sic] or 09, you [Grace, born July 1909] a baby, Daddy working at Roos Bros. He asked Mamma to have them over for the noon meal, and they came. (They were staying at the Fields Hotel.) Much of the visit didn't sink in, as I was rather young, but Mom told me the details several years later when we were living downstairs. The Walkers invited us for lunch in their room at the hotel. As we went upstairs, the light streaming through crisp, white curtains in the glass in the door was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. It made such an impression on me, I remembered it, and Mamma didn't know of it, as I never told her. Daddy came and we ate. Mamma told me when I was older that Stelle had sliced ham, bread, milk and coffee on a small table. addy said he had to leave early to meet a buyer at Roos Bros. But that night he told Mamma he could not go all the rest of the day on sandwiches, so he had a meal at a cafe before going back to work. When the Walkers left, Stelle gave Mamma a brown and dark green striped dress she had. Mamma took it, but never wore it.

When we moved downstairs ay Johnstones [sic] I was about 7 [circa 1912]. I decided I needed a husband, so put an old broom and a mop handle together with rope. I needed a suit for Mr. Brown so Mamma gave me the old taffeta dress, and I made coat and trousers of it, and that's what became of Cousin Stelle's finery. What became of Stelle, I never knew.

[Estella Newton was born around 1875 in New Madrid, Missouri. She was the only surviving child of John R. Newton and Nannie Massengill. Estella married Arthur Walker. I have been unable to track this couple. John R. Newton has also been a bit of a mystery. He was a merchant in New Madrid, but died sometime before 1909, which was when his wife remarried. GMN.]

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