This week's Sepia Saturday theme is guys in overalls and forms of advertising. I happen to be able to give you a two-for-one special today.
First, out of the family photo album, I found a picture of some friends of my grandmother's family in overalls:
Meet my great-great Uncle Evans Willis "Kit" Letsom. Born to John T. Letsom and Sarah Harer Lewis Letsom on December 1, 1870, he later became known as "Uncle Kit" to the Oregon communities of Scotts Valley, Yoncalla and Drain. Uncle Kit was my Granny Talitha Letsom Hedrick's brother. They were the last of the batch, and were only a couple of years a part.
A busy farmer on the original homestead of his parents, Lone Cedar Farm, Uncle Kit successfully farmed the productive 300 acres. Uncle Kit never married, but he was the one who kept the large family tied together. He took care of his father, John T. Letsom on the family farm until Grandpa Letsom died at the age of 94, on April 29, 1922. Each summer, there was a Letsom Family picnic on the old homestead in Scotts Valley, but they ended with Uncle Kit's death when another side of the family worked their way on to the property.
My Mom remembers Uncle Kit best as he rode around the farm on the back of his old donkey, in his felt hat and overalls, and his long legs ... his feet brushing the ground as he went along.
Uncle Kit also took over his father's job of being School Superintendent. He was a generous man, though often behind on his paperwork, and sometimes on his bills. He paid for others funerals, and would sometimes receive mail demanding payment for some relative or another who had charged a room in his name. It seems that some were prone to take advantage of his good nature.
Uncle Kit died in Roseburg on July 1, 1957 and is buried at the Yoncalla Cemetery next to his sister Litha and their brother Thomas.
Thanks to Roots Web, I just found what was stated in Uncle Kit's will. He got it revised when he was 79, and he died at the age of 85. It says, in summary, that after he dies his bills and funeral expenses were to be paid off. His two surviving sisters, Talitha Hedrick and Martha Harris were to each receive one dollar. And, though this will was "probably" not changed under duress, or anything:
"I give and bequeath unto Raymond R. Miller all the balance of my property both real and personal and wheresoever situated. The said Raymond R. Miller having taken care of me for many years."
After reading that I am so relieved to know that all was done fair and square. I'm just sayin'. There is a family cemetery on the property, but nobody is allowed to visit it any longer. Mr. Miller died in 1994, and his son lives there now (as far as I can tell, anyway.) Mr. Miller was named the special administrator of the estate of "Uncle Kit".
I wonder if Granny Litha and Aunt Martha spent their money wisely. It looks like they had the will contested, but seeing as the property has been handed down through the Miller family, I don't think that the sisters won. The Millers did inherit the 300 acres, the equipment, buildings, livestock and, well just about everything and it added up to around $100,000 (in 1957) according to the Roots Web information. It seems that they put themselves into the right place at the right time, and how convenient for them that the will was changed!
Oh well, we did get the Letsom Letters.
My Mom commented:
Slipped among the monthly invoices from the the local store, Stearns & Chenoweth in Yoncalla, Oregon to Uncle Kit would be advertisements of one form or another. Here are a few of them that I found when sorting through The Letsom Letters:
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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!
|Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews|
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