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~ Kathy M.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Antique Spokane, Washington Postcards (1903-1915) and Some Letsom History:

This was a little tiny picture among the Lestom Letters; not a postcard but still neat.

I recently posted about W.J. Carpenter Souvenir Letter and Wall Card, Spokane WA 1905-1908, and Larry Cebula from the blog "Northwest History" emailed me and asked if I had any more old postcards of Spokane.  I went through some of the cards in our "The Letsom Letters Collection" and found a few more to show everybody.  

These postcards were mailed to my Great-Great Grandfather John Letsom of Yoncalla and Elkhead, Oregon or to his daughter, my Great-Granny Talitha Letsom Hedrick.  The dates that they were mailed are between 1903 and 1915.

Mailed from Spokane, Washington on March 1, 1915 at 3:30 PM:

Dear Grandpa I heard that you were going to have a postcard shower and thought I would send one.  It will hardly get there in time though.  Wishing you a happy birthday.

Your loving grandson James.

Mailed from Chelan, Washington on July 24, 1908: 

July 23.09
Dear Sister,
We are all well.  It is quite warm here now.  Hoping you are well.  I will write you one of these hot days.

Mailed from Spokane Washington, March 9, 1907 at 5:00 PM:

March 8, 1907
Dear Father, it is snowing today.  We went on a drive tour yesterday.  Are going out to Darla's (?) tomorrow.  All are well but Mr. Harris.  Love to all.
Martha and Litha

Mailed from Spokane, Washington on October 10, 1908 at 10:00 PM: 

Began in Spokane this week had free time, go home tomorrow.
Marosora (?) and Elise


This one isn't of Spokane, I don't think, as it was mailed from Yoncalla, Oregon on May 21, 1907 at 4:00 PM:

Papa has been very sick again and we was greatly alarmed for 4 days fever at 102.  Is some better now.  I will send some papers and write when I get a chance.
Captain Boswell 

I am now working on a post about Capt. Benjamin Boswell, developer and owner of the former Boswell Springs - 3 miles south of Drain. One thing leads to another around here.

I couldn't help but look up where Granny was at the time. She may have been staying with her sister Martha for awhile, since she wasn't married yet.  Here is the present day Google image of the address:

Mailed from Spokane, Washington on April 13, 1907 at 6:30 PM.  This is actually a cover, but there was nothing inside by the time it got to me.

I featured the postcard below in this post J.W. Quackenbush's Hardware Store in Eugene, Oregon:

There is no postmark nor stamp, so I am guessing that it was mailed in an envelope.  The message reads:

Hello, Litha how are you making it by this time?  You are well and happy, I suppose?  How many different fellows have you on the string?  I'm having a very jolly time.  
From Pearl

Who is Who:

Meet my Great-Great Grandparents, John Letsom and Sarah    Harrar Lewis Letsom.  When the postcards above were sent, Grandma Sarah was already gone. 

"Sarah Jane Harer Lewis Letsom"

Born in 1830 near Little Rock, Arkansas, Pulaski County.  Died in 1898 at Yoncalla, Oregon, and buried in The Letsom Cemetery.  Sarah was a twin, who lost her sister at birth.  Four years after that, both of her parents died.  Married Stephen Marther Lewis in 1849.  In 1852, Sarah came to Oregon crossing the plains by wagon toward Portland, Oregon.  Her infant son, Ivan, died in route.  As their group barged the Columbia to land in Portland, Sarah watched two more of her family members drown in the river.  Sarah was 25 when she settled in Scots Valley with her husband and children.

The photo below is of John and Sarah Letsom later on in life.  Sarah had four children with her first husband, Stephen M. Lews, including baby Ivan.  Stephen died two years after they arrived in Oregon, leaving Sarah a widow with three young children.  (Her son Elijah Dave "Cougar Dave" grew up to be quite famous as a mountain man of Idaho, and has his own book written about him by Pat Cary Peek.)  Nine months after Stephen died, Sarah married John Letsom.  She ended up having eight more children with him.  She looks worn out and sad in the picture below, and it seems self-explanatory now that I know the details.  Though, as I get further into the "Cougar Dave" book, she really did enjoy all of her kids.  When the two oldest girls grew up and married, they lived close by and she had their eight grandkids running around on the farm.

You can read more about John and Sarah and their children in the this link:  John Letsom of Yoncalla, Oregon.

This is one of their children, Litha and three of their grandkids.  Florence is my Grandma T.:

Granny Litha with her children:  Florence, John and Homer and their dog at Jack Creek Ranch.  Not shown are her husband Ben and step-son Hobart.

Martha Letsom Harris 
Martha was born in 1868 at Scotts Valley, Youncalla, Oregon.  She died in 1959 at McMinnville, Oregon and is buried in the Yoncalla Cemetery.  Martha married James William Harris in 1901.

Talitha Letsom Hedrick 
Litha was born in 1873 in Yoncalla, Oregon.  She died in 1962 at Drain, Oregon and is buried in the Yoncalla Cemetery.  Litha married Benjamin E. Hedrick in 1909 at Cottage Grove, Oregon.

Evan Willis "Uncle Kit" Letsom
Uncle Kit was born in either 1870 or 1871.  He was named after his Mom's two brothers, Evan and Willis.  He died in 1957 at Roseburg, Oregon.  Uncle Kit never married.

To learn more about Martha and Litha, you can check out this post: Sisters Martha and Talitha Letsom.

I know that some of you are seeing the same pictures of my family over time, but I keep learning more and am getting the puzzle pieces put together.  I now have a solid plan for a book! ~ Kathy M.

So, there you are, my friends.  If you enjoyed this story, please visit my Sepia Saturday friends by "CLICKING HERE" to find other neat photos and stories.  To read more about my family and other stories featuring old photos, memories and more, please look for this picture of me and my dad on the left-hand sidebar and read whatever else catches your fancy.  Thanks so much for visiting!

~ Kathy M. 

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Grammy Goodwill said...

It's such fun to see the postcards and read their messages. I guess they were the first email type greetings - short and to the point. Maybe I should compare them to twitter. hehehe

Retired English Teacher said...

I loved these. I have found some old postcards sent by my grandfather recently. Aren't they just a treasure?

Nick Wilford said...

They look very nice. Things were a lot different in those days - I don't know what a postcard shower is! Sounds like your great-great-grandmother had a hard life. Not that long ago really, but things were very tough.

Little Nell said...

A postcard shower is a new one on me too, but I think I can guess how it worked. Poor old Sarah certainly suffered many hardships and losses.

KathyB. said...

This is very interesting to me. When I read about the lives of my grandparents, and their parents, I am convicted of my wrong thinking about life needing to be easy & fair.So many ( most) of them suffered the deaths of more than one child, and early widowhood, yet went on with their lives instead of wallowing in self pity and using it as an excuse to check out of life and responsibility. I guess because it would not have worked, almost everyone suffered such losses.

The post cards are remarkable, thanks again.

Wendy said...

I didn't know card showers went back so far - I thought it was a relatively new idea.

Bob Scotney said...

It continues to amaze me how much material you have about your family. These postcards make up a real treasure trove.

Postcardy said...

I liked the message about the postcard shower. My favorite card is the ad for ladies' costumes and waists--too bad it isn't in better condition.

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

I liked the idea of a postcard shower also. Maybe we need to start something like that. Next time I am out I will look for some old ones from my area. Enjoying the stories.

barbara and nancy said...

Those are some interesting postcards. I liked seeing the inside of that fancy restaurant.
I had never heard of a postcard shower either.

Sharon said...

What a great collection. I love the fashion and the way they wrote in times gone past.

Mike Brubaker said...

Antique postcards of urban life like these are always better for the postmark and message. It's like a time machine that let's us see a moment and even touch a person from long ago. Thanks for the story.

Joy said...

I love the idea of a postcard shower, you have some great Spokane ones. Sarah Jane had much tragedy in her life, people of those times were certainly resilient.

Connie said...

Hi, I am so very impressed with your blog. It is so much fun reading local history. I am your newest follower. Have a wonderful day, Connie :)

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