Tag Archives: Juanita (McCammon) Richards

Momento Mori

This month our family lost one of its oldest surviving members. My father’s oldest cousin. The first grandchild of James E. Foster and Emma (Lawhead) Foster, my great grandparents.

Indiana birth certificate, 1914, “Waneta” Geneva McCammon (Image courtesy Ancestry.com)

Born in 1914, Juanita lived a long life! It was a life filled with tragedy early on. Her mother died when she was not yet five. Her only full sibling, Wesley, died in a car accident on his way to school, aged 11. Her father remarried and produced a large family with his second wife. Jesse McCammon survived until his 101st year, but his daughter surpassed him by celebrating her 103rd birthday last November.

I never met Juanita in person. I corresponded with her a few times after I discovered who she was. I even helped, in a small way, to bridge an introduction between Juanita and another first cousin whose branch of the family had disappeared for 50 years. Juanita shared some lovely stories of my grandmother and my great grandmother Emma. After Juanita’s mother died, she spent parts of her childhood living between her two sets of grandparents.

Gladys Foster with Juanita and Wesley, 1918 (Image author’s private collection)

My grandmother, Gladys, was only ten years older than her niece so they were close when they were younger. When my uncles John and Mark were young, Juanita came to stay for a while to help take care of the boys, while Gladys ran her beauty parlour and Roscoe attended medical school.

I am most grateful to Juanita because she left me a legacy, beyond her letters and stories. Her DNA. Several years ago, unbeknownst to me, her family asked her to do an autosomal DNA test. I use this data on a regular basis. Most likely, without really knowing it, Juanita has helped me to solve several family mysteries over the last few years. I will be forever grateful for Juanita’s willingness to take a DNA test. Rest in peace, dear cousin!

©2018 copyright Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/01/20/momento-mori/

Texas

1965-09-27-gry-p-1Letter transcription:

Sept. 27-1965

Dear David & Bonnie –

As we ride along toward Houston I will write and if it gets unreadable I will have a good excuse. We left El Paso yesterday a.m. (6:00) because we wanted to stop and see Juanita and they live in Odessa, but were leaving in the afternoon to go to Alpine where Ralph works, and we figured it would make less driving for us to see them in Odessa than in Alpine. I hadn’t seen Juanita since your grandmother passed away when you were 13 months old. All these years I have always thought of Juanita as being much younger than myself but she is just 9 years younger—the same difference between you and Mark. She was quite pleased that we stopped to see them. I called her on Sat. night from El Paso and she could hardly believe her ears when I told her “Aunt Gladys” was calling. She said they plan to go to Laredo to retire—said they could never stand the cold weather in the north.

We plan to attend a game in the Astrodome tonight. We have reservations in a motel near there. We plan to go on to Hattiesburg Wed. evening and visit the Georges. We hope Debbie doesn’t kick up too much trouble in that area. The weather has been delightful where we have been—after we got out of the cool northwest in Gila Bend, Ariz. It was 104 the day passed thru. I remember Clint Youle, the weatherman in Chicago was always giving the high reading in Gila Bend.

We will pass thru Johnson City this a.m. also Austen on our way. This is very interesting country—but as I told Dad, as large as Texas is, everything should be here. We have seen mountains, farm lands, oil wells, sand and rocks. I told Dad there is so much land not being used in Texas, there should be plenty of room for some time to take care of the population explosion. Texans probably would not appreciate my comment. Juanita says in the 16 years they have lived in Odessa it has grown from a small town to a fair size city. We just passed a sign pointing toward the L.B.J. Ranch.

We have driven more than 6,000 miles so far and we have to cross the rest of Texas and then over to Miss. And then north, so as you can probably figure we still have a few miles to drive, but we have really enjoyed seeing the good old U.S.A.

Love Mother

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/02/14/texas/

Aunt Minerva Died (Gladys)

Letter transcription:

Kentland Ind.
1-27-44

Dear Daddy –

Rec’d yours of Jan. 16, 17 & 19 today. David is taking a nap just now, I have lunch cooking and thought I would write the daily line while I have time to sit and think. That is quite a job when David is awake and going. It seems to me he is much more restless than either J. or M. Before this last cold I could pen him up in the nursery and get something done in the mornings, but last week when he had a temp I kept him on the couch and was with him constantly, consequently he doesn’t want to be alone now. This morning I finally put him in his bed and he went to sleep. I was getting along fine on the thumb business until last week and not wanting him to cry when it caused him to cough, let down on the breaking business and the past two days he has been keeping a thumb in his mouth almost constantly. I pin his sleeves shut at night so he can’t get to them at night but the first thing he does when I take his sleepers off if to stick either one or both thumbs in his mouth. I have one thumb guard on today so he is using the other thumb. I took him out for a long walk yesterday. It was so warm out I knew it wouldn’t hurt him. He still coughs but so many people do. There must be a cough bug around this year.

[page 2] John is coughing now. He told David he got a cough from him. I think John’s cough may be an allergy. He had one such last fall. When I took him to Dr. V. he said it was hay fever. John went back to school this a.m. after taking yesterday p.m. off. He had a terrible headache but it was due to reading a book & writing a review – working too constantly on it. He reads all the time but not quite as steadily on this book. The way he like to read it, is too bad his eyes bother him. However, I wish sometimes he would get out a little more. I think he would be happy just to study all the time without any activity and that isn’t normal. I am glad he has to take physical ed. in school. Mark on the other hand studies just as little as possible and is always ready to play something out of doors. He gets out in the yard and kicks his football around if he doesn’t have anyone to play with.

It has been so warm the past week, yesterday was just like a spring day. It is too dry for the good of crops in the spring. The government is already predicting crop shortages next summer, or if not shortages, the crops won’t come up to last years. We haven’t had much snow or rain either this winter. Of course this is easy on the present coal supply but that isn’t all to think about. I do hope they get in more of the better coal but am afraid they won’t. I think we have enough yet to run us thru the coldest part of the winter, providing we don’t have an unusually cold March, which we may have since it is so warm now.

[page 3] The Democrat had the acc’t of Mrs. Kindall’s death. I didn’t know she was ill but the paper says she had been down two weeks. She used to stop and visit with me once in a while, and had been here not so long ago. I suppose it was her diabetes.

Bun Walkup hauled the clinkers yesterday. I had been trying to get him to get them for weeks. We had quite a pile, due to that Ind. coal we used in Nov. He says he will have to go in Feb. for his physical. He thinks he won’t pass. I told him he probably would. He seems to think he has enough wrong with him to keep him out but apparently he is enjoying good health.

Had a letter from Juanita. Ralph is in the Navy now. He was due to go in the Army but joined the Navy instead. She also told me Aunt Minerva had passed away – I don’t know when – the family didn’t let me know. I sent Aunt M. a birthday card (Nov. 14) and I had a letter from her after that but that was the last I heard from her.

– – It is afternoon now. David is awake, has been fed and in and out of everything he can find. I finally penned him up in the nursery and he is now dragging his bath towel around to amuse himself. His favorite place to play is the downstairs bathroom. He had his nap this morning so is full of pep for the afternoon.

[page 4] It is raining now. I hope we have more and tho I don’t care for cold weather, would rather have it now than later in the spring.

While walking yesterday met Mrs. Krull. She had been with Louise, but Father Krull died and after attending the funeral in Ohio, Mrs. Krull decided to remain home. I told her D. had a cough – She said “Are you greasing him?” I said “What good would that do?” She said “You young mothers.” – She related some experiences at Louise’s about using some home remedies on the new baby – of course on her own – Louise doesn’t share her mother’s belief in the curative powers of goose grease, etc. She said I should use goose grease on David.

Margaret Kruman is taking her yearly vacation in Fla. I see in the paper that Mrs. Shandy & son have gone to Miami to join Cliff. I imagine Marg. went with Mrs. S. – They both left Monday. Also Mrs. Dixon & Nettie have gone and I saw in last week’s paper that Mrs. Dye, son Ross & Gladys Webber had gone to Fla. together.

Lucile just called and while we talked D. went from one thing to another, the last thing he did to get me to stop talking was get some bread out and scatter it over the floor. Lucile was having similar trouble with J.E. David is being unusually – whatever you want to call it today.

“Love Mother”

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/11/02/aunt-minerva-died-gladys/

Lafayette and Back (Gladys)

Letter transcription:

Kentland Ind.
Dec. 10 – 1943

Dear Daddy –

Just back from Laf. Took Lucile down to shop and purchased a few things too. John wanted records for Christmas so got him “The Nutcracker Suite.” In case you don’t know what it is, it’s from an operetta. I was going to take David and Lucile was to take Jimmy and we would leave both babies with her sister, but David still had some cold and I didn’t want to have him around Jimmy – so I got Clara to come stay with D. and also she got all the venetian blinds washed and windows while here, so I got some housework down even tho I wasn’t here. I didn’t want to take David away from home while he has any cold. He slept last night without coughing and didn’t run any temp. today but coughed quite a bit all day. He is asleep now and

[page 2] seems to be resting very good. I called Dr. M. wed. about giving him sulfadiazine and he said give him ¼ tablet every 4 hrs. I did that 36 hours then stopped. After I got back from Laf. this evening I went down and talked to him about d. He said if he continues to cough to give him sulfa again in two days. This cough seems to get so many people. I don’t know how contagious it is but know of no one being close to D. that had a cough. Ed Johnson has had it for several weeks but he hasn’t been close to David only out of doors – last Sun. he took some pictures but it was in the yard, I didn’t take D. into their house. At any rate it hasn’t made him feel bad and so far he isn’t running any temp. He is not as bad as he was yesterday, so I suppose I will just have to keep him in and keep him warm. When I came home this evening he was walking around the house having a grand time. I fed him and put him to bed, then I went

[page 3] to see the Dr. Mark said he would go along. After seeing the Dr. decided to get my supper downtown – I was hungry and didn’t like the idea of coming home and frying eggs – (meat frozen isn’t easy to work with) so Mark & I ate at Krulls – the first time I have eaten out for weeks – but eating in Laf. is quite out of the questions with us – We try to eat before we go or after we come back. Sometimes we have stopped at the Triple X on the hill and get a sandwich and drink. The Krull children were going to the ball game at Remington and asked J. & M. to go along. I come home as soon as I finished eating so John could go. I am here with David now, trying to catch up with my correspondence while it’s nice and quiet (except for the stoker).

I saw Phyllis M. downtown and Art is soon to be traveling. He is to go to some eastern port for 8 weeks, then, who knows where. The Emmet Millers have a baby boy. Born just shortly after Emmet was sent out.

[page 4]  They were somewhere in the South – he was sent to N.Y. and she came home one day and had her baby the next. She made the trip part way by plane, so you can understand why. James William came 3 wks. early. She was in the hospital in Laf. but I didn’t try to see her today – I figured she would be home by now.

Mr. Z. had been in Laf. attending something at Purdue since Tues. Mrs. Z. was going down today to get him, but Virginia took a cold and Mrs. couldn’t go, so Lucile and I brought him back with us. I was going to take Alma today but she had another one of those terrible attacks last night and wasn’t able to go. She has been doctoring with Rumkorf since you are away. Jack told her to either go see him today or have him over but I haven’t talked to her this evening so don’t know whether she did either.

Yours of Dec. 3 came today – not bad, eh. Just hope you get mine as fast as you have been. If 18 months mean anything – oh well, you know the answer. Thanks again for the check. As I said before it will help a lot, as we are a little low.

Had a letter from Juanita and Ralph was going to be drafted so he joined the Navy, so you see the pre-Pearl Harbor fathers are being taken –

Love Mother

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/07/28/lafayette-and-back-gladys/

Glenn Returns (Gladys)

Letter transcription:

St. E. Hospital
Sept. 11, 1943.

Dear Daddy,

Writing from the hospital again. Glenn & family returned last night – got in just before Juanita & I returned from the hospital. Glenn, John & I came down today. John had an appointment with Dr. Van Buskirk and we spent some time in the clinic waiting. No seemed to be in a hurry. Alma had taken John with Jimmy two weeks ago and we had this appointment together too. We went to eat lunch and had a little time before our appointment so went out to Cole’s office but he was so busy we couldn’t see him – I will talk to him on the phone before going home. Mother seems better but is so weak & pale. I noticed Dr. Cole had two ampules of coramin of C on the dresser so I think he must be expecting another spell to come on like Mother had yesterday morning. I was afraid to leave her last night so got a special nurse to stay during the night. She said this morning she didn’t want her to stay tonight – she bothered her – but I am afraid she will have another spell and won’t be able to call a floor nurse. While in the Clinic I talk to McClelland about the X-Rays but he said Mother didn’t have enough barium to get good pictures & he couldn’t make a diagnosis from the X-Ray. There is a lot of fluid in the abdomen and he said that could be caused from a lot of things. However Cole says there is a mass in the abdomen – I am not a Dr. and I can feel it when I press on her abdomen.

Juanita & Pauline are holding forth today with Danny, Mark, David & James L. Juanita was going to pick tomatoes & makes catsup. Also help Mark dig potatoes. Just so they take care of the babies & do the necessary things – I don’t care about the extras.

[page 2] John has been “hacking” around with an irritating cough so had Van Buskirk look at his throat. He wanted to know if John had any allergies. I said he had day fever – he said this cough is an allergy condition and it wasn’t anything serious. I think I wrote you last year about this time that John would cough & sneeze every morning during hay fever time. He had been doing that some this year then the cough got more persistent and goes on thru the day. The Dr. listened to his chest – looked at his nose & throat. He gave me a prescription – bromides, but said John is on the jittery order & thought a good sedative was indicated. You know how jumpy John is about having anything done to him. Dr. Van kept telling him to relax when he was trying to look at his nose & throat.

This weather is still on the cold order. This is the first third of Sept. gone and as cool as we expect in Oct. Glen says it’s probably cold in Nev. now. He isn’t as bad as when they left to go to Penn., but says he will be glad to get back to the dry air in Nev.

John & Glenn are tired of sitting here in the room so are going to walk down the hall & mail this.

Love Mother

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/02/03/glenn-returns-gladys/

 

Almost Gone (Gladys)

Letter transcription:

St. Elizabeth Hospital
Sept. 10 – 1943

Dear Daddy –

Am writing from Mother’s room. She had a bad spell this morning. Dr. Cole called me – said he had come in to give her a hypo – was giving her shots of Betalin complex – and when he came in the room she was almost gone – she told me the gas was hurting her so – but he said it was her heart. Anyway he gave her coramin injection as soon as possible and she came to. I met Juanita at the train this morning at 4:25 so we came down together. Dr. said he thought I should come down. I tried to get Clara Molter to stay with David & Dannie – she couldn’t come till noon but Mrs. Zell said she would stay till Clara came. Their two older girls are in school & Mr. Zell could take the youngest girl with him. We got down here about 10:30 – Mother is awfully weak & pale. Dr. Cole is sure she has an obstruction but McClelland says no – However she is bloated and I think Cole is right – there is an obstruction there causing the distention. We went out to get some lunch & of course the Dr. came while we were out. However I think he will be back – says he has two O.B. cases going here today, so I’ll probably see him sometime before we go back home. I called him before we went out to eat and I talked to him over the phone, but I want to see him personally.

It is cool today – a coat feels very good. I hope Chet gets some coal in soon. We have enough to last a while but if this cool weather continues it will soon exhaust our coal supply. I have had an order in for coal – weeks or maybe months, but Chet hasn’t been able to get any. I hear that Harlan’s did have some but I imagine he had more orders than he could fill. I was going to have him send me some but Van Scoyck told me he had me down for coal as soon as a shipment came in so I

[page 2] didn’t say anything to Harlan.

I thought Juanita & I would get the washing done & clean up the house and come down this afternoon but when I got the call this morning – before I was up – we got ready & come one. Dr. Cole said I had better stay all day. I told Juanita I was in the garden yesterday evening and didn’t have time to get all the things gathered that need to be – She said she would dig potatoes tomorrow. There are beans & tomatoes that need to be picked. This cool weather is pointing toward an early frost, if it doesn’t warm up soon. Was almost that cold this a.m. Mark’s garden wasn’t quite what it would have been had he had better supervision – but I couldn’t devote the time I wanted to and as much as he likes to do things he needs someone over him all the time. I told Juanita I felt like we got our seed back. We didn’t have to buy any vegetables all summer, canned more than 30 qt. green beans, so far several qts tomatoes & more coming on. Had some cabbage & onions all summer. Will have carrots to store for winter and tho the potatoe crop wasn’t very good have had potatoes to use along. I found in digging yesterday that the hills didn’t have very many potatoes in them. Mark wants to do things but needs company when he does the. His nervousness is at present is completely gone & he has a better appetite. I believe the tonsils were guilty of that trouble because he runs & plays just as hard as ever and has no reaction, so from all appearances the tonsils were harboring infection.

The new bond drive is on & John wanted me to buy him a bond – or rather give him the money to buy one at school – I told him I would give him his allowance in advance but he said he just wanted it outright – however I think he was just trying me out – I told him he could buy our (yours & mine) next bond for us – he said couldn’t he add another name[?]. I said that wouldn’t be fair to Mark & David. Jim sent your letter on to me – Thanks for all the nice things you said about me – so

Love – Mother

St. Elizabeth's Hospital

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Lafayette, Indiana

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/02/02/almost-gone-gladys/

Ghost Town (Gladys)

1943-09-09 (GRY)Letter transcription:

MRS. R.S. YEGERLEHNER
KENTLAND
INDIANA
9-9-43

Dear Daddy – Yours of Aug. 24 & 27 came today. It is very cool here. The heat has been on and we have to keep the house closed. I wanted to take D. out in the sun but it kept clouding up and the wind was so cool and my hands feel so awful when I get out of doors, I came in & put D. to bed. He didn’t get his nap out today and is just plain grouchy. I am hoping he will take another nap and be better. It is so unusual for him to be cross, but he has been taking one long nap a day and when it’s disturbed – too bad. Juanita is coming on the 4:25 in the morning so guess I have to meet her. I want to go back to the hospital tomorrow to see Mother & talk to the Dr. again – see if they have found anything to do for her. She looked awfully tired yesterday – I tried to buy meat today & got some at Morgans – tho Morgans are out of the store now & someone new runs it. Fords are closed this week & Bairs just have prepared meats. I’ll have meat in the locker but need some for week-end company before the new beef is ready. I pd. 52¢ lb. for tenderloin – 49¢ lb sirloin. I had three packages of meat & it cost me $2.35. I’ll have to use a meat stretcher. Also collect meat stamps from our guests to turn in on our locker meat. The store[s] are still closing on Thurs. P.M. Main street is so deserted on Thurs. & Sun. – John called it ghost town. Mark just came in from school.

Love Mother

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/01/30/ghost-town-gladys/