My Ancestors (38 and 39) – Marian Edith Rider and Mowry Addison Irwin

Last June I read about a Challenge, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, and I was intrigued. I decided to take up the challenge. Some Ancestors may take more than one week, but I still intend to write about 52 Ancestors. I hope you enjoy reading about My Ancestors as much as I am looking forward to researching and writing about them.

(1) Edith May (Lewis) Rider; (2) Marian Edith (Rider) Irwin; (3) Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion; (4) Judith Anne Guion

Homer Marchant Rider married Edith May Lewis on 29 July 1885 at Rider’s Ranch (near Coralitas, CA)

Their children were as follows:

  1. Homer Allen Rider, ,b. 8 Aug 1887 at the Rider Ranch
  2. Marian Edith Rider, b.  15 Oct 1888 at Santa Cruz
  3. Louise Rider, b.  12 Sept 1890 at Westport, CA
  4. Child died at birth
  5. Delo Margaret Rider, b. 7 Dec 1898 at Watsonville, CA
  6. Donald Lewis Rider, b. 16 Aug 1901

Marian Edith Rider was born 15 Oct 1888 at Santa Cruz, CA

She married Mowry Addison Irwin on 28 July 1914 in Watsonville, CA

Mowry Addison Irwin was born in Erie, PA on 16 Oct 1888

Mowry Addison Irwin, Marian Edith (Rider) Irwin, Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion and Alfred Peabody Guion 

They had the following children:

Marian Dunlap Irwin and Homer Addison Irwin about 1920

1.  Marian Dunlap Irwin, born 11 Nov 1915 in Sacramento, CA

2.  Homer Addison Irwin, born 24 April 1917 in Marysville, CA

3.  Margaret Edith Irwin, born 28  May 1920 in Oakland, CA

4.  Donald Mowry Irwin, born 3 July 1925 in Albuquerque,NM

Mowry Addison Irwin passed away on 10 May 1947.  He was a resident of Berkeley for 10 years.  Mr. Irwin and his family had moved to Orinda in 1940.  He was President last year and a Director this year of the Orinda Association and was instrumental in helping to start the Orinda News, a community newspaper.  He was employed for the past 15 years by the Westinghouse Wholesale Sales Co.

Marian Edith (Rider) Irwin passed away 8 June 1958.

Next Sunday I will be posting more information about Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion, my Mother. 

Tomorrow I will be posting a week of the memories of Grandpa and Grandma Guion’s children during their time in Trumbull.

Judy Guion 

 

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Trumbull – Friends, Roamers and Countrymen (2) – From Jackson to a French Coastal City – September 10, 1944

 

Marian Irwin

Marian Dunlap Irwin

And now some late news from Marian. “Practically a week since I’ve been here in the fair city of Jackson – – and high time that I got a letter written to you. On the last day of our trip we had tire trouble – – not too bad, really, and considering the roads we went over I’m surprised we didn’t have more. One of the trailer tires went out and we had to use the spare for the car, but as it was the last day of the trip I didn’t mind too much – – I was sure we could limp in for the last hundred miles and we did. We stopped by the Camp to see if we could reach the fellows by phone to tell them we had arrived safely, and while I was waiting in the Provost Marshal’s office for the message to be put through, the fellows arrived at the gate ready to go out for the evening. We really timed that meeting well and Lad, wonderful person that he is, had already found a place for me to stay, so I didn’t have any house hunting problems the very first night. We are looking now, however, for an apartment, but they are few and far between. I have plenty of time during the day, however, and if the weather were just a little cooler it would help a lot. It is awfully hot and very humid and the nights don’t cool it off at all. There are thundershowers quite frequently and they help a little. Lad’s present training set-up consists of night classes – – he is to do part of the instructing – – so I might be able to see him just on weekends. I’m waiting to see what Lad’s hours are going to be before I look for a job. It will help if I have something to do and also keep my mind off the foul weather. Two letters from Ced last week – – one written in March which failed to reach us at Pomona. He mentions a package we were supposed to have received, which we are tracing.

Daniel Beck Guion

And another letter from La France. “It is early morning in a coastal town, and I am sitting by a window of a second rate hotel near the waterfront. A dismal rain accentuates the drab grayness of the narrow street – four stories down. Most of the windows up and down the street are still shuttered tight from last night but slowly the place is becoming alive. Across the way, the door of a stenographer’s school is opened. One of the American soldiers greets the young lady who has appeared by saying, “Bon jour” in rather bad French. The girl looks up and smiles. “Cigarettes?” questions the soldier, holding up a package for her to see. She nods, still smiling. He tosses the package down. It lands in the street in front of the door. She runs out, picks it up, says “Thank you” in equally poor English, waves goodbye and disappears into the building. A few men pass by dressed in faded blue trousers and shirts, wearing dark blue berets. They are on their way to work – – perhaps to work for the Americans who have recently arrived. They seem quite oblivious of the rain as they pause in front of a shop to exchange a few words with the proprietor who is loitering in his doorway beneath a bedraggled French flag. A few more shutters are thrown open and I can see a woman shaking out the blankets of her bed. Down the street in the direction of the docks is a hotel with a gaping hole which reveals a mass of charred beams, rubble and a bed half hanging over the edge of the remaining foundation. The destruction has been wrought perhaps by the blowing up of the harbor installations, but more probably, by an American bomb before Jerry pulled out. Back up the street the woman has finished making the bed and is standing just inside the window fixing her hair. There is electricity in town but many of the houses must wait until the wires are repaired before they can have lights again. I hear above the drizzle of the rain a sudden splash on the pavement. Someone up the street has emptied a basin of water out of the window. All this I have just seen in the rain. But yesterday noon it was quite different – – the soldiers were forming a “chow” line; the street was alive with khaki, the rattling of mess kits, the voices of many children who played or watched nearby or even canvassed the line for “souvenirs”, bonbons, chewing gum, insignia, pocket knives, etc. A small girl stood near the rinsing pan, insistent that each passing soldier should permit her to dip his mess kit into the hot water and hopeful, of course, that she would be rewarded occasionally. Older folks stood in doorways looking on with amused tolerance.”

Dan         And that’s all this week. DAD

Tomorrow, a Birthday Poem written by Grandpa. Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Marian’s Arrival in Jackson, Mississippi – September 4, 1944

 

MIG - letter to Grandpa after arrival at Jackson, Miss., Sept, 1944

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Monday

Dear Dad: –

Practically a week since I’ve been here in the fair city of Jackson – and high time that I got a letter written to you. On the last day of our trip we had tire trouble – not too bad, really, and considering the roads we went over, I’m surprised we didn’t have more. One of the trailer tires went out, and we had to use the spare one for the car on the trailer, but as long as it was the last day of our trip, I didn’t mind so much. I was sure that we could limp in for the last hundred miles, and we did. We got our signals mixed and came into Jackson a different way than we had planned, so we stopped by the camp to see if we could reach the fellows by phone so that they would know we had arrived safely. While I was waiting in the Provost Marshal’s office for the message to be put through, the fellows arrived at the gate, ready to go out for the evening. We really timed that meeting well, and Lad, wonderful person that he is, had already found a place for me to stay – so I didn’t have any house – hunting problems the very first night. We are looking now, however, for an apartment, but they are very few and far between. But I have plenty of time during the day to hunt, and if the weather were just a little cooler, it would help a lot. We certainly can’t say very much for the weather down here. It is awfully hot and very, very humid, and the nights don’t cool it off at all. They do get thundershowers quite frequently, though, and they help a little.

Lad’s present training set up consists of night classes – he is to do part of the instructing – so I might be able to see him just on the weekends. So far he has gotten out of camp every night, but he has to be back there by 1 AM. We think that after the training program gets going, these rules might be changed – we hope! Lad probably told you about the camp set up here. If it weren’t for so many trivial rules and regulations it wouldn’t be a bad place. But as long as we are in the Army we take what is handed us without too much griping or fussing. It doesn’t do too much good, anyway, but it sometimes helps a little.

I’m waiting to see what Lad’s hours are going to be before I see about a job, but it will help during the week if I can have something to do. And maybe it will keep my mind off the foul weather.

On the way here, we drove right past the main gate of Camp Crowder, and I wished that I had had time to stop to see Dave. I wasn’t too presentable, but thought maybe he would excuse me. However, we were a little late so I didn’t stop – maybe it was just as well I didn’t as Dave was out on maneuvers then so I couldn’t have seen him anyway.

We received a letter from Ced last week, in fact, two of them. One was written in March sometime and failed to reach us at Pomona. He mentioned a package we were supposed to have received, so we have started tracing the missing link. Maybe it will turn up the way the picture did.

It’s almost time to meet Lad for dinner downtown so I’d better close – until next time.

All our love,

Lad and Marian

For the rest of this week, I’ll be posting a long letter from Grandpa to family members far from home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear “Offspring of a Small Explosion” – Advice From Grandpa – September 3, 1944

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Trumbull, Conn., September 3, 1944

Dear “Offspring of a Small Explosion”:

Well, why not? That’s the definition of “pop”, isn’t it, and anyway there is justification in the term due to the fact that I have just been sneezing away at accelerated tempo by reason of the fact I have been wandering through fields and brush for the last hour on a child hunt. Sometime late this morning Skipper and Susan disappeared and not having shown up by 2 PM, their mother scoured the immediate vicinity by car and “mother calls”, which proving ineffectual, the neighbors gradually joined in the search, still to no avail. Finally Kit decided to call the police, and being just a big Boy Scout at heart, I decided to brave the naughty pollen and put in my little two cents worth of searching. I chose for my particular territory Reynolds sandpit and thence both sides of the stream and neighboring woodland from there down as far as Levy’s. After an hour the pollen definitely won and here I am jabbing downwards between teardrops with an occasional sneeze for punctuation. However it was a vicarious sacrifice on my part for I learned after returning home that a few minutes after I had left, the two children came nonchalantly strolling in, having been spending the time in a study of animal life watching the horse in Reynold’s barn. If Sue grows up to be a second Rosa Bonheur I shall feel reconciled to the price.

You will be cussing me, I suppose for a bothersome hair shirt, but here goes for another whack at the desirability of knowing where you want to go so that you can set an intelligent course for your goal – – this time it is an editorial from the Bridgeport Post: “It is characteristic of youth to live for the moment, grabbing the fleeting hours with little thought of the morrow. But the theory that life is brief at best and that it is up to the liver to have the best time he can while he may, is not a fancy confined to youth. Among the world’s most dismal failures are those whose schooling, skill, mental power and discipline of will were all invested for a short life and a gay one (My friend, Roger comes to mind). Therefore, one of the best tests of maturity is the capacity of looking far ahead and of realizing that “the road passes on through the long afternoon and stretches away in the night”. Paradoxically, shortsighted people discover that life is not short, but long, much too long. For the day’s work they have insufficient training, capital or experience. For the fullest enjoyment of the sunset of the years they have insufficient health and nerve – force. So, in life planning, as in other issues, the longest way ‘round is often the shortest way home.”

Dan-uniform (2)

Daniel Beck Guion

Personally, I think this view is a bit too austere, but I do sincerely believe that while we can and should snatch enjoyment from life as we go along, there is nothing to prevent us at the same time knowing where we are headed for and having our fun while traveling this particular road. Dan, for instance, seems to have the capacity of getting a great kick out of whatever he is doing, as witnessed the last V-mail letter which has just arrived from “somewhere in France”. And by the way, note his new address. Co. A. 660th Engr. Topo. Bn., Hq. Communications Zone (Forward European Theatre of Operations) APO 887 C/o PM, New York, N. Y. He writes: “Observe our new address! Terse, eh? Mail service is abominable these days, but the war makes up for it. I am finding less and less leisure time as you no doubt are well aware. I am constantly exposed to what I consider to be the greatest enjoyment of life, i.e., the observance of (and participation in) exotic customs, habits, sites and languages. However heretic it might seem, I am almost disappointed to realize that the war is nearly over! It is amazing how quickly one can lose contact with the past. I have no idea what goes on in the U.S. — the latest songs — movies, politics, business trends — even London seems distant now. The other day I was talking to a couple of WACS. I was shocked and disappointed in the way they talked. After becoming accustomed to the English girls the American girls seem vulgar – loud. I realize those WACS were average Americans but I cannot help feeling that those of us who have been in Europe for a year or so will find America a bit difficult at first — and wonderful, too.”

(Query – am I to give thought to the possibility of having an English, or possibly French, daughter-in-law?)

Carl was over here just before dinner time and he read Dan’s letter. His experience with the English girls is at variance with Dan’s. His months leave is up tomorrow and he now goes down for another assignment – – where or on what kind of ship is of course unknown. He told me of meeting a Capt. John Trunk in Cartagena, Colombia, S.A., which he thought Ced might be interested in hearing about. It seems the captain is associated with a branch of Socony-Vacuum known as the Andean National Corporation and is a flying instructor. Carl went out with him to the airport and looked over their 12-seater seaplane.

Alfred Peabody Guion (my Dad)

Both sides of the APG branch have been heard from, and when you realize that Marion wrote en route, from Kansas, and Lad from a place where he says “perspiration is running off me as I write worse than it did in South America, and that is H O T”, it really means they made a big effort to keep us posted, and by the same token it is very much appreciated. Lad’s trip was attended by a hot box on his train, causing a couple of hours delay until they could transfer to another car. They were en route from Monday to Thursday. After diligent search, Lad finally located a place in Jackson which is about 19 miles south of his camp at Flora. Lad hopes his stay will not last more than five or six weeks as the combination of humidity and hot sun makes it extremely uncomfortable. He also speaks of receiving an absentee ballot from Helen Plumb, which I asked be done in the case of each of you (except infant Dave). He’ll love that infant part. Naturally, I haven’t heard from him, and incidentally Marian, if you had been able to stop at his camp you would not have found him as he was out on a hike.

Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion (my Mom)

Marian says the trip as far is Wakeeny, Kansas, from which she wrote, was accomplished without more than the necessity at the start of having to have a couple of small part replacements. There is someone with her because she says “we”, but I don’t know whether one or two are along beside herself. “We have been through some beautiful country. The Salt Lake desert was very hot and dry but the past two days have been cool and comfortable. In fact this morning we were downright cold. We were going through the Rockies and at one time were at an elevation of 11,315 feet.

Your insurance, Ced and Lad, is due this month and I shall, of course, take care of the premium as usual.

And that’s about all, except that Aunt Betty and Jean send their best, being wafted on to you on a couple of sneezes from

DAD

Incidentally, according to the radio, today is the 1000 day of the war.

Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from Marian to Grandpa from Jackson, Mississippi. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion. 

Trumbull – Dear Halloween Pranksters (2) – News From Dan and Lad – October 31, 1943

This is the second half of a letter written by Grandpa to his four sons scattered all over the place.

page 2   10/31/43

The next letter in chronological order is from Dan. He starts out by saying it seems like his lot to miss the most interesting parts of the air raids — he has not yet even heard a piece of flak fall. “But the other day I witnessed another type of “warfare”. Two men and two ferrets were exterminating a rabbit colony in Wimbledon common. For the occasion the men were dressed in riding habits complete with black “Bowler” hats. They were armed with several nets and two ferrets — these animals look like white rats with a long wheel base. The nets were staked down over all the entrances and exits of the rabbit colony. Then the ferrets were given the signal to advance. Down the holes they went. Minutes passed. Suddenly one of the nets bounced up in the air with a flurry of brown fur. One of the men sprang toward it and seized it in his hands. Deftly he extricated a rabbit from the meshes, broke its neck and thrust the limp form into a sack. Soon a ferret reappeared and was promptly introduced into another hole. A questioning of the pseudo-nimrods revealed the following facts. Ferrets are raised by breeders who “bring out the beast in them” to be most effective in flushing rabbits. Finished products cost from 15 “bob” (shillings) to L 1. Naughty ferrets sometimes bite the hand that picks it up. Other undisciplined characters commit mayhem on its victims underground, leaving the exasperated hunter tapping his foot impatiently for an hour or two while the ferrets enjoys a subterranean banquet (or as one of the salacious Yanks suggested, the ferrets having heard of the reputation of rabbits, as he approaches his victim, “Put out or get out, rabbit!” thus explaining the long delay). Ferrets, while not on active duty, consume chicken heads or bread and milk, better results being obtained by the chicken heads. I learned later that the practice of ferreting is illegal, but, what with the scarcity of meat, officials are prone to overlook infractions of this law.

Lad’s letter is dated October 25th. He writes that he and Marian (spelled with an “a”) are to be married at the ”Little Chapel of the Flowers” in Berkeley on the afternoon of November 14th. He will, of course, wear his uniform. A Presbyterian minister of Marian’s choice will tie the knot. Lad is trying to secure a 7-day leave but thinks it will more likely be a 3-day pass. Financially, with their combined income and a budget, they expect to get by in good shape (at the time Lad wrote he had not received my letter telling him his Venezuelan Petroleum stock, which I had bought in 1940 for $75, skyrocketed, so that it is now worth $1100. Ain’t that sumpin’?)

To complete the record, I may as well give you Dick’s address, but if you don’t have any better luck hearing from him than I do, it won’t be much use writing him with any hope of a reply.

As Lad’s wedding date draws near, I have to fight a rising desire to throw caution to the wind and depart for Berkeley. It would mean closing the office (which, in the present circumstances, would mean going out of business permanently), leaving Aunt Betty with the entire burden of shopping, cooking, etc., to say nothing of the difficulties of civilian travel these days (and of course, the cost). So I’ll let my brain rule my heart and stay home.

DAD

Tomorrw, more Venezuelan Red Tape for Lad’s Voyage to Venezuela.

On Sunday, more about Marian’s ancestors, the Lewis, Rider and Irwin families.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Lad Answers Questions About Marian – October 25, 1943

Today, a letter from Lad to his Dad, addressing all the questions Grandpa asked in Monday’s letter. Marian even adds a few words at the end.

                        Lad – 1943

October 25, 1943

Dear Dad:-

Marian (and please note it is spelled with an “A”) has asked me to tell you that this paper is some I borrowed from her, thinking, I imagine, that blue writing paper is not very masculine, but even at that, it is satisfactory as far as I’m concerned. I can write what I wish, and you can read it – so it is satisfactory.

I got your airmail letter today and after discussing proper contents, pro and con, we have come to this conclusion.

Financially, believe it or not, we think we are O.K. We have gone into the matter quite deeply and scientifically and see no need for additional funds. A budget has been worked out, and even being very generous to ourselves, our combined income (about 51% in favor of Marian) covers everything very adequately. Her parents, although I have never met them, seemed to be wonderful, and insisted upon taking care of the wedding. That expense, therefore, is eliminated. A second elimination comes from the fact that Marian does not want an engagement ring. And she is very definite about it. I bought an identification bracelet home from S A (South America, Venezuela to be specific) which I shall give to her in its stead. So, Pop, forget about the financial matters for the present.

I have worn this bracelet continuously since I found it after Mom passed away in 2004. It has only come off prior to surgeries. On the front, the raised letters say”LAD”; on the back: “A.P. GUION, TRUMBULL, CONN.” Notice the two gold nuggets in the chain.

 

And, like Dick and Jean, since plans cannot be made at present with any certainty, and we shall have to live in furnished apartments for the time being, I think, or I should say we, that the idea of a gift should be forgotten for the present. We promise, however, that when the time arrives you shall be duly paged and solicited. I’d really like to know how Venezuela Petroleum stands, if you can find out anything about it. Marian’s Dad, like yourself, since he was reared at approximately the same time (and I wouldn’t say either of you is “old-fashioned”), gave the impression that he would like to be sure that his daughter will be able to live the life she has been accustomed to. I answered that satisfactorily, I guess, since he said nothing more. And anyway, I have a little confidence in myself, to boot.

Now to answer a few questions from Sunday’s letter–

It will be an afternoon wedding in “The Little Chapel of Flowers” in Berkeley and I definitely will wear my uniform. Uncle Sam is still around. It is, the Chapel, I mean, not a part of a church, but very popular as a place for weddings and if Marian can have the minister she wants, he will be a Presbyterian. I am trying to arrange a seven-day leave, but I think I’ll end up with a three-day pass, since time is so short, we are driving up. The train connections are poor and it is quicker by car, due to the mountains. Marian will be entitled to the allotment, which brings my monthly salary to about $100/month. For the present, I don’t need any of my things, but I’ll let you know, if and when.

Marian is 5’5” in her bare tootsies and is far from slim. In fact, on the plump side, and (just a moment while I asked her) she hasn’t voted for Roosevelt all her life, and she says she very definitely likes father-in-laws with Hay Fever. You say, – “You can think of a lot of other things I’d like to know” – Marian says’ Oh, really?” And I echo her sentiments, – “Oh, really?” If you want to know more right away you’d better ask some more questions. One thing, however, she doesn’t like turnips, and neither do I. Well, Dad, Marian is just making some coffee and a snack, so I’m afraid I’ll quit right now. My love to Aunt Betty and remember me to everyone.

L.

P.S. – Hello, Dad. Things are so very clear to us that we just assume that everyone else knows all the details too – perhaps, by the next three or four letters, all your questions will be answered. Will write again soon.

Love – Marian

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa’s Distribution Center. 

Judy Guion 

Trumbull – Dear Members of the General Staff (2) – Notes to Dan, Lad and Marian and Ced – October 24, 1943

This is the second half of Grandpa’s weekly letter as Lad and Marian’s wedding draws nearer.

And as for you, Dan, old thing, you are not the only one that sends birthday greetings tardily. It was only yesterday that a homely brown box left on its way to merry England, via APO New York. How soon it will reach you is one of the mysteries of life, but let’s hope it will reach you before Christmas. If it speaks to you, if anything could, of the love and respect and esteem and high hopes the sender enclosed with it, it will have accomplished it’s purpose.

     Lad and Marian – Pomona, CA

Lad, to you and Marian both, these letters to you henceforth will be intended. In fact, if you have been in circumstances where any

of my former letters have been preserved, might I suggest Marian, (if she cares to), read them with the thought in this manner of becoming somewhat acquainted with your newly to be acquired Dad. I do not share the feeling I know some folks do, that letters are highly personal and are not to be shared with other than the party receiving them. I have no quarrel with those that do feel this way, but, except where really personal and confidential thoughts are put on paper, I like to share the news, if any, with those interested. So, Marian, your interesting letter received this week has been enjoyed not only by me but by  Aunt Betty and Dave and Jean. It will be interesting to see if all my boys wives get along together as well as my boys do among themselves. Perhaps this is too much to expect, this is not to be taken as a disparaging remark about my daughters-in-law, so much as it is the realization that few brothers, to my knowledge and observation, got along so cordially as my five boys with their entirely differing personalities.

Ced Guion

Ced and Lad: I don’t recall whether in my last letter I mentioned that I had come across a very interesting book on the theory of airplane mechanics put out by General Motors which I thought you would like to look over. Anyway, I have asked that a copy be sent you so, if and when it comes, you will know why. It did not seem the sort of thing that would interest Dick, in spite of the fact that this is the branch of service in which he serves, but if I am wrong, just let me know, Dick, old boy. Maybe this will serve as an excuse for writing me one of those rare epistles you occasionally favor us with.

Ced, the other day a tall chap with a mustache came into the office with the job for us to do. He is with a Bridgeport undertaker and asked if I were your father. He said he had been to high school with you and asked me to remember him to you when I wrote. His name is Ed Bachman. Does one ask if business is good under the circumstances?

I haven’t yet had time to hear from any of you since I sent along the news of Lad’s latest attack on the Citadel of a maiden’s heart. No matter where he goes he seems to attract the ladies. Soon after reaching Venezuela, he was chased by a reckless cow and now in California Cupid pierces him with a dart. I declare, he ain’t safe nowhere. With this bit of philosophy I had better bring this weekly Chronicle to a close. Happy Halloween to you all.

DAD

Tomorrow Lad’s writes to tell Grandpa a bit about his intended bride.On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa with all the “news that fit to print”.

Judy Guion