Trumbull – Dear Reader – The End Of An Era (2) – July 19, 2021

For several weekends – perhaps more – I will be posting pictures and memories of the Trumbull House and what it has meant to my Family.

Quotes from The Reminiscences of Alfred Duryee Guion,: “…. written in the spring of 1960 while on a four months “around the world freighter trip.”

“We moved in one late December day.  There was a furnace of sorts heating a potentially good hot water heating system.  Water was pumped from a nearby broke to a large storage tank in the cellar. No lights, as a storage battery system in the barn had frozen, so we celebrated our first Christmas with candlelight under rather primitive conditions.  Early the following year the local power company installed electric lights that heating and water supply still furnished problems.  There were six fireplaces to supplement the furnace and firewood was plentiful.  With foot valve troubles at the broke and of the water supply, water pipes freezing, frequent pump failures, it became necessary at times to draw water from the three Wells on the property until some years later, when city water mains furnished adequate supplies.

At one edge of the property a small cottage once served as an office for a long vanished paper mill.  This cottage was lent, rent-free, to various couples in return for the man’s help in his spare time in taking care of the grounds and the woman’s aid in helping Arla with the housework.  Over the years we had many and sundry types of individuals in the cottage, all of which would make an interesting story in itself.

Guion kids - Daniels Farm Road (dirt) - about 1925

Lad, Ced, Biss and Dick on the dirt road in front of the house, taken in 1924, probably. Biss, born January 6, 1919, was 5 years old when she broke her arm climbing on a fence to pick grapes.

We inherited some scraggly chickens with the place but these were soon abandoned.  A small pony cart and harness and an early vintage Waverley Electric auto were also found in the barn, which later led to the acquisition of a pony for the children, a gentle little goat named Geneva, and Airedale dog, Patsy, and later, when my sister came to live with us, she brought a high-spirited Bridle horse, Nador,, who one day broke loose, ran down the railroad tracks, broke her leg and had to be shot.

DICK – Aunt Elsie had a wild stallion named Nador. He threw Lad and Dan.

LAD – When we first arrived in Trumbull, the house had been unoccupied for a while; there was an awful lot of cleaning and fixing up to do.  We had cows, chickens, pigs, but we didn’t have any horses at that time.  We got the horses later.  In the cottage, there was a fellow named Parks, who was living there with his wife.  They helped Dad and Mom with the Big House.  His wife did the cleaning and he did the outside work.

A.D.G. – Meanwhile, I was having serious commuting troubles.  Each winter the trains were frequently late, which, together with the antagonistic attitude of my immediate boss at the office, made my frequent late arrivals it worked increasingly disagreeable incidents.  Also, the 7 mile auto ride to and from Trumbull in all kinds of weather, the 2 1/2 to 3 hour train ride to Grand Central followed by a crowded subway ride to the battery, and this twice a day, not only was physically exhausting but also necessitated my leaving home early and arriving home late.  There seemed only one sensible alternative – to seek employment in Bridgeport.  A letter campaign from New York to Bridgeport manufacturers proving unfruitful after months of vain effort, in desperation I resolved on desperate measures.  With five little ones to feed and clothe I simply had to get a job, so burning all bridges behind me, I quit my New York job cold to wage an all-out on-the-job search to find something in Bridgeport.  To make this step was one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but within two weeks I became Assistant Advertising Manager of the Bridgeport Brass Company, and a few months later, Advertising Manager, which job I held until I left to start an advertising agency of my own.

Tomorrow, we will revisit 1945. Lad has arrived home from France, Dan remains in France with his new wife, Paulette, Ced continues to work at the Woodley Airfield in Anchorage, Alaska, Dick and his wife Jean are in Santaliza, Brazil and Dave is in Manila, the Philippines.

Judy Guion

 

Special Picture # 347 – Early Pictures of Arla Mary Peabody (Grandma Arla)

These are the earliest pictures I have of my Grandmother, Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion.

 

Blog - Peabody Girls - scouts

Anne Westlin Peabody, Arla Mary Peabody, Helen Perry Peabody, Dorothy Westlin Peabody

Arla Mary Peabody c. 1911

Arla Mary Peabody c. 1911 probably about 17 or 18.

 

Arla Peabody as the Virgun Mary

Arla Peabody dressed as The Virgin Mary for the Church Pageant where Grandpa really SAW her for the first time and fell in love.

 

SOL-Arla Mary Peabody - wedding picture

Arla Mary Peabody, probably taken for her wedding announcement in the paper in 1913.

Tomorrow, I will begin posting letters written in the fall of 1945. Lad has come home from France, Dan has married a French girl in Calais, France, Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, Jean has travelled to Santaliza, Brazil, to be with her husband, Dick and Dave is in Okinawa (for now).

Judy Guion

Special Pictures (340) – The Peabody Women – 1889 to 1956

This Post is a tribute to the Peabody women who played a large part in raising the generation that form the basis of this Blog. The Peabodys go back many, many generations but I will begin with Kemper Peabody, born in 1861 and his wife Anna Charlotta Westlin, born in 1865. they were married in June of 1889.  They had seven children: Burton Westlin, Arla Mary (my Grandmother), Kemper Francis, Helen Perry, Anne Westlin, Laurence Kane and Dorothy Westlin.

 

Blog - Peabody Girls - scouts

        The Peabody girls – Anne Westlin, Arla Mary, Helen Perry, Dorothy Westlin 

 

Arla Mary Peabody c. 1911

                    Arla Mary Peabody c. 1911

Arla Peabody as the Virgun Mary

Arla Peabody as The Virgin Mary, in costume, as she appeared to Alfred Duryee Guion on that fateful night. 

Alfred Duryee Guion: “I was also actively interested in a dramatic society which every year for a number of seasons gave amateur plays in which I was frequently given the lead and in some of these plays an attractive young girl named Arla Peabody occasionally played parts.  She also sang in the choir and the more I saw of her, the better I liked her in a mild way.  She was modest and dignified but very popular with boys and girls alike.  She had big brown eyes, a sweet smile, full of life in a quiet way and kind to everybody.  I  suppose I was starting to fall in love but had no realization of it at the time

*************

Then one Christmas season the church or Sunday school staged a religious play with a Nativity scene and Arla Peabody was chosen to play the part of the Virgin Mary.  She wore a soft white scarf over her head and carried a doll for the infant Christ.  That night as I watched her holding the child with tender contentment and a placid dreamy look in her soft brown eyes, something inside me suddenly exploded.  I had read about “love at first sight”, but this wasn’t first sight.  Here was a girl I had known and seen for several years, but apparently I had not seen her at all.  This couldn’t be the same girl!  Had I been blind?  Here was the most enchanting person anywhere in the world.  I didn’t know what had happened to me.  I was in a daze.  The room was crowded with people I knew but I didn’t see anyone else.  I didn’t speak to anyone else.  I didn’t dare speak to her: she was too far above me.  Somehow I found my hat and groped my way out the door and on my way home.  It may have been cold outside.  I didn’t know.  All I could think of on my way home was how I could be worthy of even speaking to her.  One moment I would be hugging myself with the thought that I knew her and perhaps she would notice me, the next moment I was in the depths of despair knowing that everyone who had ever seen her must have appreciated what I had been too blind to see and that I would stand a poor chance when such a wonderful girl had so many potential husbands to choose from.  I knew how St. Paul felt on the road to Damascus when a bright light transformed him.  In a word, quite suddenly, I was head over heels in love with Arla Peabody.

Arla Mary Peabody and Alfred Duryee Guion were married in March 1913.

 

ADG - Arla and Alfred Guion - @ 1913

I believe this  picture was taken shortly after Arla and Alfred learned that she was to have a child.

 

 

Four Generations - 1914

Four Generations – Anna Charlotta (Westlin) Peabody, ________ Westlin holding Alfred Peabody Guion, Arla Mary Peabody Guion, 1914.

ADG - holding Dan, Arla Peabody Guion with Lad in her lap - 1917

Alfred Duryee with young Daniel, Arla Mary with Lad

 

Blog - Arla Mary Peabody and children - 1922 (sepia)

Daniel Beck, Alfred  Peabody, Cedric Duryee, Richard Peabody in Grandma Arla’s lap, Elizabeth Westlin, 

I believe this picture was taken as a Christmas family photo in 1922 at the Trumbull house. Dave was not born until 1925.

Arla Mary Peabody Guion, portrait

Arla Mary Peabody Guion — portrait — painted after she passed away in 1933 at the early age of 43 from a long illness.

Grandma Peabody at her home  - cropped

Grandma Peabody (Anna Charlotta Westlin) Peabody) 

APG - 1947 Christmas - Aunts Helen, Anne and Dorothy

Helen (Peabody) Human – married to Ted Human, who hired Lad and Dan to work for him in Venezuela,

Anne Westlin (Peabody) Stanley, mother of Donald and Gwenewth, the only Peabody cousins

Dorothy Westlin Peabody

These women, along with her mother, Anna Chrlotta (Westlin) Peabody, were a tremendous help to Grandpa after his wife passed away.

Tomorrow I will be posting another special picture but I doubt it will be as extensive as this Post.  Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (3) – Newspaper Article – October 1, 1939

This is the Article which was published by the Bridgeport Times Star at some point prior to the election on October 2, 1939. 

ADG - The Bridgeport Times-Star picture, Sept. 12, 1939- September 12, 1939 (2)

This same picture was used for the article below with this title:

ALFRED D GUION

Trumbull First Selectman

Town Officials

by Don Quaintance

Fifteen years ago, if someone had suggested to Alfred D.  Guion that he enter the political arena he would have laughed, shrugged and labeled the suggest or a wag.  At that time he was advertising director of a big industrial concern.

But today, he plays his role of leader of Trumbull’s 5,000 citizens with skill born of true executive ability.

Trumbull can thank the depression for Guion.

For, if business conditions in the advertising field had been better than they were, he would still be plotting nation-wide advertising campaigns, working far into the night, with no time for the mundane tasks of a New England town selectmen.

Guion has been in the advertising business most of his life.  He spent six years of it as advertising manager of the Bridgeport Brass Co., and also held executive jobs with Allied Chemical, the Celluloid Co. of New York and Century Co. publishers.

His entrance into the field of public service was inspired, he says, by the late Mrs. Guion, the former Arla Peabody of Mt. Vernon, N.Y. Those who knew her can readily understand, since the sales manager’s wife was devoted to the community in which she lived.  An ardent worker for civic improvement, she never tired of doing things for other people – little kindnesses, in addition to large-scale organizing for new roads, Social service and better local government.

There are many who remember Arla Guion and her work, her friendliness.  She took care of her own home, she was invested in work that made for the betterment of Trumbull.  In addition to that she inspired a career.

Those who get to know the First Selectman regard him as an all-round booster.  He never knocks.  As a matter of fact, he is rather inclined to be indulgent.  Deplores, for instance, the towns self-separation into Trumbull – Nichols – Long Hill.  Thinks it should be all one.  Becomes very unhappy of the “feeling” between the sections which crops out at intervals.

According to Guion, there should be no “across the railroad tracks.”

“If that’s going to be the case, he says, let’s tear up the railroad tracks.”

Guion’s political ideology is predominately Republican, although locally, he says, politics shouldn’t mean a thing.

“He knows his people so well who serves a small community that it is always the individual work of the man that counts, rather than his politics,”  he maintains.

“In a community-minded town liked Trumbull, for instance, political questions affecting the State or Nation have no place.  The only local interest should be the common welfare.  Because of this belief Guion has more than once discussed the prospect of a change in the form of Trumbull’s town government, from the unwieldy town meeting system to a non-partisan, business-like town managership.

“There should be no selfish axes to grind, and the non-partisan governments should take an interest in such things as education, the religious activities, instead of some of the things they do now.”

Guion proves beyond a doubt that he is a square shooter when, regardless of his political following, he makes open declarations of where he stands.

“I’m convinced that Trumbull could get a good deal more for its taxes than most critics would be willing to admit; redeeming it with: and that’s what we are constantly striving to do.”

Alfred Duryee Guion was born Sept. 11, 1884, son of Alfred Beck and Ella (Duryee) Guion in the city of New York.  Went to Mount Vernon High School and took a B. S. C.  at the NYU School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance in 1912.

Mr. Guion has six children, five of them boys.  Alfred, Daniel, Cedric, Richard and David; and the sixth a girl, Elizabeth. (Elizabeth was actually the fourth child)

He was employed in various corporations in New York from 1912 to 1921, throughout the war.,  and was associated with the Bridgeport Brass Co. during the next decade.  In 1929, he formed his own Corporation, the Alfred D.  Guion and Co. Advertising Agency and has been President and Director since.

He served as Justice-of-the-Peace since 1928, was assistant prosecutor of the town court in 1934-35.

He is a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, is a Mason and a member of the Algonquin Club.

True, he has an impressive business and public service record, but the private life of Mr. Guion is much more interesting.

His hobby, to begin with, is cooking.  Like many other business executives of today, he is an expert chef.

Along these lines, he likes home life and has five sons and one daughter.

His “oldest boy” (Lad) is in charge of the mechanical equipment on an oil well in Venezuela.  Another son, (Dan) has been building a road through the jungles of Central America, (actually Venezuela) is now visiting his father in Trumbull, and will continue college work in geology in the fall.

The First Selectman of this landlocked town likes water and boating.  He has often dreamed of owning a yacht, just like most of the other people in town.  If he had the money, that’s what he might do.

He likes dogs.  He has one at home called “Mac”, short for McKenzie, the son of an Alaskan malamute brought by a friend (Rusty Huerlin) from the Mackenzie River in Alaska.

He loves to read ancient history, mysteries and see stories.  Says it permits him to relax.

Best known of Guion’s social activities of course are those which take him out among his neighbors.  Primary among them is his interest in young people.  He is a member of the National and local Boy Scout Councils and an Executive Board member of the Pomperaug Council.

He is vitally interested in promoting the activity of young people in Trumbull.

He thinks more young folks should be interested in government.  They’ll be running the show tomorrow, he says.

Guion likes the youngsters and they like Guion.  It’s not supposed to be known, of course, but rarely do they approach him for a favor to ask that it is not granted with alacrity.

Locally, the First Selectman favors bi-partisan Boards and Commissions, which in many towns have found constant opposition from the parties in political power.

The “hecklers” rap him in print and speech, he usually refrains from defending his actions, believing in the old adage, “Don’t chase a lie, let it alone and it will run itself to death.”

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guon

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Financial Situation – Grandpa Get’s It Off His Chest – April 19, 1939

This is the conclusion of Grandpa’s four-page letter to his sons in Venezuela.

 

Lad at one of the Socony-Vacuum Oil Camps in Venezuela.

 

Page 4 of R-19

The only compromise might be that as taxes, interest on mortgage, insurance, repairs, etc.,  Have since mother’s death, been paid on property which party now and all eventually will come to you children, there might be some justification in your each paying your share towards this amount which does take a considerable portion of my small income at the present time to meet.  Roughly it figures out about this way:

Taxes                            210

Interest                       210

Insurance                     50

Repairs                       150                            or a total of $600 a year or about $50 a month in lieu of rent. this is some does put quite a crimp in my available income under present conditions although in normal times I did not and would not consider it a burdensome some to provide.

And while I am on this financial essay I may as well record hear those old and long-standing bills which I have had bothering me since the time of our great family calamity.  Outside of current bills for coal, and regular recurring household monthly expenses, I have pretty well cleaned up these bills throughout the years but still owe:

Kurtz                          560   ( being paid back at rate of $20 per month from Selectmen’s salary)

undertaker                  75

Dr. Pat.                         35

Miss Hawley               65               or a total of $735.  Of this amount I am pledged to pay Kurtz through a loan taken out at the bank, the sum of $20.  A month, which reduces Kurtz Bill when the loan is paid up, some $240 which leaves the net amount still owing and rough figures about $500 out of a former bill of some $2000. $1500 paid back during depression years is not too bad, after all.  Of course I still owe Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie but they have sort of resigned themselves to just let me owe them yet.  I hope that by the time good times come around again the securities I have, which I really consider belong to them under the circumstances, may increase in value enough to take care of my debt to them.  Aunt Betty of course tells me to forget it, that all she may have will come to Elsie and me anyway when she goes, so there is no point of my thinking of paying her anything back, but that is not the way I look at it naturally.

Well I didn’t intend to get started on this tack when I sat down to write this letter, but it’s just as well to get it all off my chest.

Dick sold his old piece of junk that Bissie wrecked.  Got $4. for it and something additional for the tires, I believe.  I am certainly glad to get it off the property.

The yellow Bush (forsythia) out by the incinerator is in bloom, a Robin is building a nest in the lilac tree by the kitchen window, and I am going to bed, Good night.

DAD

Tomorrow I will be posting letters regarding the conclusion (hopefully) of the Inter-America, Inc.  affair.

Judy Guion

Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion (17) – 1892 – 1933

 

             Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion – portrait

 

Blog - Letter of condolence - J.P. Oppenheimer

 

Mr. Alfred D. Guion

231 Fairfield Avenue

Bridgeport, Conn.

Dear Mr. Guion:

It certainly was terrible news to me to hear of your bereavement. It was particularly shocking as it came right on top of news of the sudden passing away of a dear friend of mine.

Words cannot express my heartfelt sympathy in your hours of sorrow, and I hope the good God will soften them to make your loss a fond memory of golden hours spent with the most cherished and loved one.

If my lame expressions can only convey to you one half of my feeling and sympathy, I am thankful to be able to add them to those of your many friends.

I sincerely hope that time will heal this very deep wound and that the memory of your loved one will serve to press you forward to greater success for her sake and remembrance.

Sincerely yours,

J.P. Oppenheimer

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Blog - Letter of condolence - Frank Hetzel

 

July 27

Dear Al,

Elsa and I were so shocked that it seems all we can say, over and over again, is, “We are so sorry.” and “Why should it have had to be Al’s wife?”

There is so much one could write and say and after all we could write and say, it would all mean that our heartfelt sympathies go out to you and yours. You know this old-timer.

Elsa is all okay and the kiddies too. I’ll be in Bridgeport soon and would be awfully glad to see you.

Love to all the kiddies-

Frank Hetzel

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

August 1, 1933

 

Dear Al:

I was shocked to hear of your loss and want to extend my sincere sympathy. One thinks of such a possibility now and then but it hardly seems possible when it actually happens to a friend, much less than to one’s self.

My “little” family is away for the summer at the beach, so I only see them weekends. Next week is my vacation so that will shorten this month considerably.

I’ll see that you get a Standard Rate Book now and then, if I have to”lose” one.

Sincerely yours,

Irving E. Blaine

These are the final letters of condolence I have that were sent to Grandpa following the death of his wife, Arla, after only 20 years of marriage.

 

Tomorrow, we will move forward to 1934, over a year since Arla Mary Peabody Guion, my Grandmother, has passed away. Her only daughter, Elizabeth, is 14 and having a very hard time dealing with everything. I think that Grandpa, having his own problems adjusting to the loss if his wife, is thinking that his only daughter, Biss, should help with running the household and she is having nothing to do with that idea. Grandpa and Arla’s sisters, Aunts Helen, Anne and Dorothy, discuss the situation and decide that Elizabeth should move to St. Petersburg, Florida, to live with Aunt Anne and to help her care for her children, Donald and Gweneth, spending a year away from Trumbull.  On Saturday and Sunday, for many weeks to come, I’ll be posting the letters written during this time.

Judy Guion

Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion – 1892 – 1933

 

Arla Mary Peabody Guion with her first five children - Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick and Biss

Arla Mary Peabody Guion with her first five children – Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick and Biss

Arla Mary Peabody Guion was 18 when she married my Grandfather, Alfred Duryee Guion, in 1913. This picture was taken shortly after the family moved to the house in Trumbull in 1922. A short 11 years later, she passed away after a battle with, what the family believes, was cancer. Dave was only nine when he lost his mother.

These are some of the many letters of condolence sent to Grandpa after his wife passed away.

C. J. MERCER AND SONS

STRATFORD, CONNECTICUT

July 10, 1933

Mr. A. D. Guion

Cor. Broad & Fairfield Ave,

Bridgeport, Conn.

Dear Al:

I have just learned of your bereavement.

Please accept my sincere sympathy. Mrs. Mercer and those in the office feel for you, and each one of us wish there was something we could do. Maybe we will be able to help in the days that are immediately to come.

Sincerely,

Frank H. Mercer

********************

123 Waverley Place

New York City

My dear Alfred:-

It was such a shock when Elsie told me of Arla’s death. I did not even know she was seriously ill although I had heard that she was not feeling so well. You are such a devoted couple and you all seemed to enjoy life so much but don’t wish Arla back for she certainly would have suffered and been bed ridden and bad would have been harder on you both. You have the children and they are and will be a joy to you and they are so grown up and that they can take care of things.

You have my deepest sympathy in your great loss.

Sincerely,

Gladys

********************

MRS. HARVEY BOGART

385 WESTCHESTER AVENUE

MOUNT VERNON, NEW YORK

Dear Alfred:

It was a great shock to us to learn of Arla’s passing away, and I cannot tell you how sorry we all are for you and the children, for I know how much she meant to you, and how much you all will miss her. I always thought she had such a sweet disposition and manner, and was such a nice Mother.

When Elsie belonged to our club, we always asked about Arla and her family, but not having any news all year, and do not hearing of her illness, it was so much more of a shock to all of us.

Please extend our heartfelt sympathy to all, and we only wish we were nearer, to be of some help.

Sincerely yours,

Olga H. Bogart

********************

Parish – Burnham

Advertising   Merchandising

41 Park Row    –    New York City

July 13, 1933

Dear Al:

You have been in my thoughts, my dear friend, a great deal of the time since I saw you last week and I am hoping with all my heart that some way I may be able to make your great sorrow a little bit easier to bear. I know very well how very much she meant to you and how her ever cheerful presence kept you pushing hard when material things looked dark. You know, to, how greatly I admired her and felt how much her character contribute to the wonderful home life of your wonderful family. I shall always counted one of my richest privileges to have known her, that only as we all lived near each other in the garden, but especially her in the last three months when I was so much at your home.

I wonder if you know this poem by James Whitcomb Riley and I am assured expresses your feelings at this time:

“I cannot say, and I will not say

That she is dead. She is just away!

With the cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,

She has wandered into an unknown land,

And left us dreaming how very fair

It needs must be since she lingers there.

And you — oh you who the wildest yearn,

For the old-time step and the glad return,

Think of her as faring on, as dear

In the love of there as the love of here.

Think of her still as the same, I say.

She is not dead — she is just a way.”

I expect to be passing through Trumbull Friday afternoon or rather Bridgeport and if you would like to go up to fishers island with me and stay till Sunday night or Monday morning I would be ever so happy to have your company and fellowship. Maybe such a change of scene among old friends for a couple of days would be a blessing to you. I believe Louise is writing Dorothy to suggest that Dick might like to come up then, too, and visit Brad who is crazy to have him come. I think I’ll get to your office about 1:30 or possibly 1 PM and can take any of the children who might like to go. I hope especially you may feel like coming.

Always your true friend,

Rufe  (Rufus Burnham, a neighbor and life-long friend, who met Alfred and Arla when they built their first house in Larchmont Gardens, Mount Vernon, NY)

Tomorrow I will begin a week of letters written in 1939 when Lad and Dan are working in Venezuela for INTERAMERICA, INC. Their pay is supposed to be sent to Grandpa to help support the younger children but that is not happening.

Judy Guion

 

Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion – 1892 – 1933

 

Arla Peabody Guion on the Island in New Hampshire

Arla Mary Peabody Guion

Grandpa and his wife Arla had friends all over the country and even abroad. Arla passed away at the end of June but here we are in July and August and the news is still spreading. Friends are just finding out and writing to Grandpa expressing their grief and consoling him for his great loss.

London

24 July 1933

Dear Al –

I need not tell you how profoundly I was shocked when the news of Arla’s death reached me – I had no idea but that she was in the best of health. I remember her as such and mark this as an example of radiant health and tranquility. Your household has always been to me the perfect example of the best in American family life, and it was Arla’s example, her serenity, her grasp of the fundamentals of life and disregard for its trivialities, that set the seal on it.

Yours, really sincerely,

Malcolm

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

My dear Alfred

This morning’s mail brought a letter from Rudolf telling of having had word from Helen Perry of Arla’s going in June. I find it hard to believe that it can be true for when I was in Wisconsin, Aunt Mary had heard from Lawrence (Peabody) that Arla was better. Some of us had had word that she had been dangerously ill, though Arla herself had written us that she had not been well. About Christmas time I had a note from her saying that she hoped sometime this summer you all might drive down to visit us, and I have had it in my mind to write, these last few days, and suggest that there isn’t a great deal of summer left, and that the country is very pretty now. If it would interest you and the children, I would still be most happy to have you come. This is lovely country – the hills would, I know, be very good for weary hearts and souls. If you should come before September 1, I have a house in the country where you and the boys could have things your own way, while Elizabeth could be with me in my apartment in town. In fact, I think I could take care of two women, if Helen or your sister wanted to come.

I have been a gypsy this summer. Friends who are abroad gave me the use of their house and I have been living out there in the country for three weeks and shall stay until the 22nd when I hope to come into a new apartment in town, so right now I have the responsibility of three places. All this to let you know what to expect, and I shall be so happy if you decide you want to come.

One of the bright spots in my life was a lovely Thanksgiving that Rudolf and I spent with you and Arla and your family. It was a rare experience, for to me, yours and Arla’s house was one of the loveliest it has been my privilege to be in. Ever since that visit I have felt deeply flattered at the thought that any of the family had felt there was any resemblance between Arla and me. Not much I’m afraid, but I should like to think there might have been some small excuse for the thought.

Rudolph will have written you I am sure, so he has told you probably of what he is doing. He has married a lovely girl and they both seem very happy at the prospect of making no income go a long way. It will take a lot of scheming but I feel sure that it would not have been right for them to have postponed the wedding any longer.

My very deepest sympathy to you all – and I would so love to have you all drive down some time –

Affectionately,

Ruth D. Voer

354 Spruce Street

Morgantown, W. Va.

August fifteenth

Tomorrow more Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion. On Monday I will begin a week of letters written in 1939. Lad and Dan have been in Venezuela for a few months but there seems to be trouble brewing because the men are not being paid as promised.

Judy Guion

Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion (15) – 1892 – 1933

Grandpa’s wife, Arla, passed away at the age of 42 from a prolonged battle with, what we believe, was cancer. She left 6 children, the oldest, Lad, my father, who was 19 and the youngest, Dave, who was 8 at the time. She left a void that would never be filled, especially as Grandpa and the older boys struggled to earn enough money to support the household and repay the tremendous outstanding debts incurred by Arla’s illness.

These are a few of the letters of condolence received by Grandpa after Arla’s death. They provide a glimpse of  Grandma Arla as a friend in addition to the view we have had as a wife and mother.

Arla Mary Peabody

July 6, 1933

BPT, Conn

Dear Mr. Guion and Sons,

The members of the Webster Club wish to give you it’s greatest sympathies upon the death of your dear wife. You have been of invaluable assistance to our club both in teaching us and giving us experience in the ways of public speaking.

Sincerely yours,

Stanley Higgs, Sect.

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FRANCIS K. DRAZ AND ASSOCIATES

ARCHITECTS

13124 Shaker Square

Cleveland

Dear Al –

We received your note, telling of Arla’s death, yesterday evening, both Dorothy and I extend to you and your family our heartfelt sympathies.

We wish it were possible to be near you at this time to do what little we could to help you.

At a time like this, while we may be materially separated, thoughts and the spirit span this great universe to comfort you and keep you on steadfastly.

Believe us as ever Al –

Your sincere friends,

Dorothy and Fran

July 6 – 1933

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July 6, 1933.

My dear Alfred,

Blanche and I were greatly shocked as well as grieved to hear of Arla’s untimely death. It must have been an awful blow to you, and those children. They surely have lost their best friend. Had Arla been sick or was it unexpected? I live so far away that we do not see you often.

Hoping God will bless you all, we remain

Yours sincerely, friends,

Blanche and George

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Hampton Institute

Hampton, Virginia

July 7, 1933

Dear Mr. Guion:

Any words of mine at a time like this would be inadequate to express my feelings for you and yours. I just want you to know that I am thinking of you with the kindest of thoughts and in sending you my sincerest sympathy and friendship.

Yours,

Dorothy M Seeley

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11 ROCKRIDGE ROAD

ALAMEDA PARK

MT. VERNON, N.Y.

Wednesday

My dear Alfred:-

The sad news of Arla’s death reached me Friday and I would have written immediately but we were getting ready to go away over the fourth. Frank joins me in sending our sincerest sympathy to you and your dear family. I was shocked to hear the news from Helen McVickar and to know what you must be going through. She was so needed for her family and was so well loved. I thought a lot of her myself.

I nearly lost my own life this winter, but thanks to our wonderful Dr. Anne Frank’s giving me such good care, I am alive today and feeling very well, except for one leg which still bothers me. I presume you heard from Elsie (Duryee) that I had pneumonia and a heap of other things. I was three months in the hospital and am just getting around again. Frank was a peach while I was sick and spent every cent he had for me to get well. With many regards and heartfelt sympathy from us all, I am sincerely,

Edna M. Lee

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NEW CITY, ROCKLAND COUNTY

NEW YORK

TELEPHONE NEW CITY  9 – W

Dear Al:

Mother (Aunt Anne Peabody Stanley) told me about Arla the other day, when I went over to spend an evening. It was a shock. You are facing the possibility but somehow facing it and meeting it when it comes also completely different, and if it hit me hard – it must have been terrific for you and your family.

There’s nothing I can do, of course; and words are so awkward at a time like this; but that can’t affect the wish that my deep sympathy for you all might help to lift a grain of your burden. If it can, you know it is yours. Arla’s sweet courage (and Kemper told me how deep that must have been) is a real memory for which I shall be indebted all my life.

Sincerely

Donald  (Stanley)

Tomorrow, I will begin posting letters written in late 1944. The holidays are fast approaching and Grandpa is facing them for the first time without all of his sons  far from home.

Judy Guion

Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion (14) – 1892 – 1933

 

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Grandpa’s wife, Arla, passed away at the age of 42 from a prolonged battle with, what we believe, was cancer. She left 6 children, the oldest, Lad, my father, who was 19 and the youngest, Dave, who was 8 at the time. She left a void that would never be filled, especially as Grandpa and the older boys struggled to earn enough money to support the household and repay the tremendous outstanding debts incurred by Arla’s illness.

These are a few of the letters of condolence received by Grandpa after Arla’s death. They provide a glimpse of  Grandma Arla as a friend in addition to the view we have had as a wife and mother.

King Caesar Road

Duxbury, Massachusetts

July

Dear “Al”,

Before coming down here the other day I noticed in the Bridgeport paper the sad news of your wife’s death.

I know this has come as a terrible blow to you and I want you to know that you have my deepest sympathy. There is so little an outsider can do in such a situation but if there is anything I might be able to do to relieve the situation at your office, please don’t fail to let me know. I’ll be back at the end of the week.

Cordially yours,

Bob Shedden

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Dear Al,

I have just learned of your loss of your wife and I wish to extend my very sincere sympathy.

Having lost one very dear to us, I can fully appreciate your great sorrow and loneliness at this time and hope God may give you and yours comfort and solace during these dark hours.

Believe me to be very sincerely,

Bill Gamble

Fairfield

July, third

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THE BRIDGEPORT COUNCIL

Of the

BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, INC.

881 Lafayette Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut

July 4, 1933

Dear Al and sons,

It was a shock to read in the newspapers of the death of your beloved wife. We in scouting want you to know that we sincerely sympathize with you and your sons in your loss.

Sincerely,

Chief

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WILLIAM G. ROCKWELL

26 STRATFIELD ROAD

BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT

July 5, 1933

Dear Mr. Guion:

I am very sorry indeed to hear of the trouble and loss that has come upon you recently, and wish to extend my sincere sympathy. It seems hard to understand why a wife and mother should be taken when she is so much needed and none to really take her place.

We cannot understand the things of this world. We can only hope for something very different beyond. I have no knowledge of the circumstances of Mrs. Guion’s illness and passing; but realize it means great sorrow and an additional burden of trouble. Will you therefore, let me offer the word of kindness and fellow feeling that we all have for one another at such a time, and trust you may be given strength to carry on.

Very truly,

Wm. G. Rockwell

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My dear Mr. Guion,

Without knowing what to say, I am so deeply moved by your loss, I feel I must try to convey my sympathy in some way.

I have had a number of great sorrows in my own life and I know there is only one thing which eases the pain of loss — time.

You have indeed had more than your share of troubles lately. In the past I have comforted myself with the thought that life’s troubles run in cycles. So, perhaps your cycle of trouble is finished.

We who believe in the heavenly hereafter feel only happiness for those who preceded us.

In my own loneliness in years past I have found my greatest solace in work. I found it a welcome burden to have children to work and fight for.

If there is ever anything I can do for you, please give me a chance.

Sincerely and sympathetically,

Elizabeth Joslin Wright

July 5, 1933

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1461 Boulevard,

West Hartford, Conn.

Dear Alfred:-

I have just learned of the death of your dear wife, and I’m greatly affected. She was such a joy and inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to know her as a friend but I can appreciate how deeply her loss will be felt.

I realized that, at this time, that words are of little consolation, but I do want you, your dear ones, and our Arla’s folks, to know that an old friend offers her deepest and most sincere sympathy.

Very sincerely,

Gertrude Ferguson Greaney

July fifth

 

Tomorrow I will be posting more Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion.

Judy Guion