Sunday, March 7, 2010

Friday, March 8th, 1935

Sharing food, playing cards and other women

In the next four days, Mary writes about sharing food with family and about how when family visits they pass their leisure time away.

Stella is mentioned here for the first time. Stella is Stella Kelley, the fraternal twin of Nellie Kelley. In the 1900 US Census of Grand Prairie Township, Marion County, they are enumerated as Stella E and Nella B., both born in March of 1893. A kind reader reported this relationship and also helped answer another question, which is who is Mae that Mary so often writes of? Mae is the daughter of Stella and Don, last name not currently known.

Moving on. The Friday entry didn't make much sense to me in the first couple of readings. What did it mean? "Then they went to the hospital and got a girl C goes with and left for home." I read it several times searching for understanding.

Then I realized that "C" meant Clarence. Still I was confused. Clarence was a married man with two little girls. This didn't make sense. I turned to my previous family research in my Personal Ancestral File to look up Clarence.

Ah-ha. I now believe that the girl Clarence "goes with" is Esther Hall, a young girl a few months shy of her 20th birthday. He's apparently going with her quite openly because his folks (parents) are with him and Mary writes about it without judgement even though he is a married man.

Bertha, Clarence's wife, sued for divorce the following year in Knox County, Ohio. From the Record of Divorce, Vol. 6, p. 354, she charged him with neglect and for running off with Esther Hall," with whom he left on the 19th day of September, 1936."

The divorce was final on November 5th, 1936, and Clarence and Esther Marie Hall were married that very same day. Together they would have four children. The second one, a little boy, lived only 15 minutes. He is known on the records only as "stillborn." He never drew breath. Shortly after birth, his little beating heart went still.