Trumbull – A Page From The Book of Trumbull Personalities – July, 1943

Every once in a while, when there doesn’t seem to be much local news to report, Grandpa composes an update of what is going on and where each of the boys are located. In this addition, he also adds news of friends too.

A Page From the Book of Trumbull Personalities

Compiled July 25, 1943


When last heard from was in New Orleans, and may still be there in the absence of any news to the contrary. It was in this city that your paternal great grandfather, in the days just preceding the outbreak of the Civil War, at that time a chaplain in the US Army, insisted on saying the prayer in the regular Episcopal service for “the President of the United States”, and in consequence found half his congregation walking out on him.  ( I received the following note from another descendant of this great-grandfather, Elijah Guion:

Is there anyway that you can edit today’s letter or add for tomorrow that Elijah was the  interim Priest at the cathedral in New Orleans when they had been informed that they could only pray for the south.  He wrote Lincoln saying he wanted to pray for both north and south and keep the church open.  No reply.  He prayed as he felt led and left the church to join the army  as a chaplain.
I had not heard that the congregation walked out, which I do not question.  Everything I ever read was he joined the army after he closed the church. Small detail!
From the book “colonial origins of the California Guion’s, and in formal genealogical study, by Ernest Jerome Hopkins, I add the following information:
“Guion was a very able man,  scholarly, fanatical in his devotion to his Church,  with a rock-like firmness of conviction and character. If you have wondered why a Northerner of unswerving principle and black-and-white judgments as to right and wrong ever selected the New Orleans of that day as his field of work, the answer is perfectly plain – – no more sinful spot could be found, no environment more in need of a flatulent crusade against Satan and all his works. I think of this grimly combative man, who never knew the meaning of the word “compromise”, as a throwback to his Huguenot ancestors of the sentries of the Great Persecution and the years of the Seizure of Law Rochelle. Certainly he was a flaming sword in exotic New Orleans, and he commanded a following, as his long tenure proves. Then, in the end, they repudiated him, it was over a matter of principle as to which he wouldn’t yield. He cared not a comma for public relations – – that was his wife’s concern – – and he never yielded a point in his life. You could follow such a man, or you could hate and fear him, but in either case, he would have your deep respect.”



Is now a (De-) MOTHER, at least she claims to have spent most of the week past cleaning up her room and spraying her clothes. Tomorrow she starts her quest for a job in Bridgeport, having given Harvey Hubble, Inc. a weeks opportunity to lure her back to her old work.


Has recently been the object of an investigation by the F.B.I. One of their G-man, a very likable chap, has recently called on Police Chief Beckwith, EX-scouter Shaddick, Papa Guion, Mr. Hughes and probably Rev. Douglas Chandler, and from what I am told, the quality of the reports are such as to make a person with only the rudiments of modesty blush violently. During the last week, just before the deadline of the agents report date, a letter from Alaska arrived from the principal, which, while still indicating his adherence to his ideals, proclaimed the practical, common sense of the necessity of force under the world conditions that have developed. I assume this means he will not be classed as a “Conscientious Objector” and have to be included among the bunch of religious fanatics and extremists that constitute the majority, and to which he does not of course belong at all. Whether this now means that his occupational deferment will still enable him to work at Woodley’s, or whether he will join the three other brothers on Uncle Sam’s payroll, is the next question on which an answer is most anxiously awaited. The answer too, will have a bearing on what home visit plans he might have up is long sleeve.


No word this week from our special Topo. Engineer, which I take it to mean, indicated he is still at Indiantown Gap. Incidentally I wish both he and Dick would give me some information as to how much quicker the mail would reach them than letters written the regular way.


Has now resorted to the telegraph to keep us home folks posted, “No further news about furlough but just the same send along my valise” is the optimistic message it conveyed. I’ll do just that Lad, if I can locate one that seems to be yours. I hate to send it empty but don’t know what to fill it with. The only reason it will not be on its way to you soon will be a post office regulation limiting size of packages that may be sent to boys in the service without special permission from the commanding officer. You might inquire about this from your end.


Has recently received notice not to report for signal course in which she was interested, and which has been discontinued. Now has opportunity to join up with the regular WACS, but prefers to wait until a decision is made as to what alternate course may be available.



To be married August 31 at Annapolis, Maryland, at which time he finishes his course. He will not know until the last minute whether he will be assigned to a training ship or will be sent to another school, Ensign in the naval reserves. Mrs. Mantle, by the way, will soon be elected head of the Red Cross chapter in Trumbull.


Next week goes to Hoffman Island for training in his job as steward in the Mercantile Marine service, a 13 weeks course. I hear he will be able to get home weekends. Mr. and Mrs. Bushy have returned from Florida.



The former is getting back to her former self, but is quite properly taking things easy. Aunt Betty is still going strong. Both would make life miserable for poor little me if I failed at this juncture to convey to you all their love and best wishes.


A letter just received from Massachusetts informs us that first Lieut. Whitney is East on leave, and expects sooner or later to visit Trumbull, but is now confined to his bed with an infected foot for an indefinite period.


This gentleman suggests: “Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent”, which just about cancels the whole thing as far as I am concerned, and incidentally clears up the mystery or two regarding some of you boys. I rather suspect you are aiming to be great men, the Dionysius did not write this:

Lives of great men all remind us

as their pages o’er we turn,

that we’re apt to leave behind us

letters that we ought to burn.

And thus ends of another emanation from


As we have seen with the boys, during the service things change in an instant. Grandpa finds himself writing these updates more often than in the past. Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a letter from Lad. 

Judy Guion


2 thoughts on “Trumbull – A Page From The Book of Trumbull Personalities – July, 1943

  1. […] look at Thursday’s post,…,  for some additional information on the Rev. Elijah Guion, the Episcopal Priest at St. […]

  2. […] look at yesterday’s post,…,  for some additional information on the Rev. Elijah Guion, the Episcopal Priest at St. […]

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