My Ancestors (31) – Alfred Beck Guion – 1854 – 1899

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) Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion; (2) Alfred Beck Guion; (3) Alfred Duryee Guion; (4) Alfred Peabody Guion; (5) Judith Anne Guion

My great-grandfather, Alfred  Beck Guion, was born on September 24, 1853, in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The earliest documentation I have been able to find was the 1860  U.S. Census.  He is listed with his father Elijah Guion, 50 years old, classified as Clergy (Episcopal); his mother Clara D.  Guion, 41; and siblings Clara B, 17; Josephine B, 16; Elijah B,  14; Adolphus B, 12; Covington B, 10; Elizabeth B, 9; Alfred B, 6; Almira B, 4.

The next Census I have found him listed in is the 1875 New York Census, living  with  Mary L. Guion. His relationship to her is recorded as a cousin. (I have determined that Mary L Guion is actually Mary (Lyon) Guion, widow of Rev. Alvah Guion, first cousin to Alfred Beck’s father, Rev. Elijah Guion.)

In the 1880 U.S. Census, he is also recorded as living with Mary L. Guion in New York City. He is recorded as her nephew and his profession is recorded as a Stock Broker.

On the 16th of September, 1882, he married Ella Duryee of New York City.

Alfred Beck Guion

 

Ella (Duryee) Guion

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

The birth of a son, Gaion, on September 11, 1884 is listed in New York City birth records. This is the birthdate of Alfred Duryee Guion, my Grandpa. The name must have been corrected at a later date.

My grandfather records the following memories of his father in Reminiscences of Alfred D.  Guion:

In 1884, the year I was born, that part of Fifth Avenue, New York City where my parents lived was “uptown” which meant somewhere above 59th Street.  At that time my mother could recall looking out of their dining room window and seeing cows in the nearby pasture.

Soon after the birth of my sister, we moved into a brand-new house which my father had built in a newer part of town known as Chester Hill.  Here I spent most of my childhood.  My father, who insisted on having the best regardless of expense, was quite proud of this house.  He had an architect designe it.  My grandfather, Joseph W.  Duryee, being in the lumber business, was able to procure exceptional lumber for its construction so that each of the rooms was finished differently, one in Cherry, one in Black Walnut, one in Quartered Oak, one in Circassion Walnut, etc., all selected for their beautiful graining.  On the ground floor was what we called the “round room” in which even the windowpanes were curved glass.

My father liked sea trips, one summer took me to Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy with its tremendously high tides. On the voyage I saw my first whale.  Later he also took me to Newport News and Richmond, Virginia, on the old Dominion Line.

Papa was quite active in Masonic affairs, being eminently successful in this as in most other projects that interested him, was generally very popular, a good entertainer and storyteller, prominent in the local Episcopal Church of the Ascension where he was a vestryman.

My father seldom drank any alcoholic beverage stronger than beer.  One hot summer day both father and mother had beer at their evening meal.  It looked so cool and bubbly I asked for some.  My mother said, “No” but my father said, “Oh, let him have a taste.”

My parents did not believe in frequent or promiscuous spankings but we knew we would get one when we deserved, and then not a slap or two, but pants taken down in my case, and the back of a hair brush vigorously applied enough times to create a healthy respect for the punishment.

My father took me aside for a serious talk on the evils of smoking for a growing boy.  He exacted no promises of me but did say that if I did not smoke until I was 21 he would give me a gold watch.  When he died a few years later and I inherited his own gold watch, I felt doubly bound by the obligation and kept faith in spirit and letter.

My father was apt to be short-tempered at times, energetic, quick to form opinions, intense in his feelings, forceful and eloquent in expressing himself and alert-minded.  In any social gathering he usually outshone the rest by his personality.

He worked for a brokerage firm in Wall Street and was quite conscientious, so much so that in years of panic (today we would call it depression) losses of his clients, as well, I suspect, as of his own, worried him to the extent of bringing on heart trouble.  He died in his 40’s from angina pectoris.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting a week of segments from Reminiscencesof Alfred Duryee Guion.  Grandpa tells the story of his early life in his own words. 

Judy Guion

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My Ancestors (23) – Elijah Guion – 1770 – 1844

(1) Elijah Guion, Sr.; (2) Elijah Guion, Jr.;  (3) Alfred Beck Guion; (4) Alfred Duryee Guion; (5) Alfred Peabody Guion; (6) Judith Anne Guion

Elijah Guion, son of John Guion, was born in Rye, New York but eventually became a resident of New York City and until 1838 lived at 542 Broadway, near Prince Street, when that region was open country. His residence stood just below the site was occupied by Niblus Garden and later by the Metropolitan Hotel.

Elijah Guion learned the trade of house joiner and carpenter and in that capacity spent some time in the West Indies. When about 22 years old he then engaged in the grocery business in New York City. He was married to Elizabeth Marshall by the Rev. Dr. Pilmon, May 10, 1798 in New York City where they afterward lived. In about 1810 or 1811 he carried on a block and pump-making business. During the war of 1812 he secured the monopoly of furnishing the vessels of the US Navy with his blocks and pumps and the materials for their gunnery. In the hands of some, this monopoly would have been the means of amassing an immense fortune, but he was far too honest to make the business very profitable. During the latter part of his life his pecuniary means were very slender and precarious. On May 20, 1839 he was appointed Collector of Assessments under the City Government. He was removed from his office in 1842 by a political change in the corporation. His various residences were as follows: Broadway, Oliver St., Franklin Street, Walker Street. Then again on Franklin Street, east of Broadway, then at the S.E. corner of the Bowery and Grand Street, where his son George kept a drugstore. He then boarded at Thomas Brown’s at 542 Broadway, thence removed in 18 39 to 223 Mulberry St. and in May, 1839, to 507 Bowery, Eastside, second door above 13th St., where he died.

He was in all respects a godly man and spent a life of toil in the cause of religion. In 1831, according to his private journal which he kept from 1819 to the time of his last sickness, he was a principal mover in establishing the Protestant Episcopal City Meeting Society and, during the same year, the Presbyterian Meeting House on Vanderwater Street was purchased for a station. In 1832 he was instrumental in opening a city mission Sunday School in Ridge Street and from this sprang the Church of the Epiphany which was erected under his superintendence. The cornerstone was laid August 26, 1833. “Among the deposits,” he says, “in the cornerstone was a letter purported to be from the dead to the living, written by myself and directed to my descendants, earnestly entreating them to seek the salvation of their souls through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, through whose name alone we can obtain forgiveness of our sins; and humbly beseeching Almighty God that His blessing might rest upon all who may descend from me, down to the end of time. That he would excite skill and animate the industry of the workmen and protect them from accidents and danger and grant to all who are in any way connected with this earthly temple and all who may ever enter within its walls, the influence of His Spirit, that may become living stones of this spiritual building not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens, —- I also besought the Lord that when my frail body shall be for centuries mingling with its parent earth, my prayer might continue still to come up as a memorial before Him.”

He was for 30 years a member of the congregation of Christ Church. He and his wife first went forward to the Communion in 1813.

He was for seven years (1830 to May, 1837) the honored superintendent and for a long time was Senior Warden of the Parish. He died in New York City on Easter Sunday, April 7, 1844, deeply lamented, after a long exemplary and useful life, “A bright example to his fellow Christians, seldom has there been one of greater worth or one more respected and loved by all who knew him.” (From the Funeral Sermon).

The funeral service was performed in St. Mark’s Church and his remains were interred in the graveyard of that church. A Funeral Sermon was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Lyell of Christ Church.

He witnessed the building of old Trinity in New York and its removal in 1839. His four eldest children were baptized by the Rev. Joseph Pilman, D.D., and the remaining eight by the Rev. Thomas Lyell, D.D., who succeeded Dr. Pilman about AD 1805 in Christ Church.

Elijah Guion served as Captain in Col. David Hobby’s Westchester County regiment in 1812. He married his wife, Elizabeth, born on October 11, 1779, on May 10, 1798. She was the daughter of Maj. Ellihu Marshall, Staff Officer of General Poor’s Brigade in the Continental Army during the war of the Revolution. She died August 9, 1872, and was buried in Philadelphia. (See My Ancestors # 8 and # 9 for Elizabeth Marshall’s ancestors.)

Sources:

COLONIAL ORIGINS of the CALIFORNIA GUIONS, An Informal Genealogical Study by Ernest Jerome Hopkins, finished in 1952.

Descendants of Louis Guion,  Huguenot, of La Rochelle, France and New Rochelle, West Chester County, Provice of New York, A Guion Family Album, 1654 – 1976,Compiled by J. Marshall Guion IV, Edited by Violet H Guion, Olean, New York, 14760

A French Huguenot Legacy by Debra Guiou(n) Stufflebean, Expanded and Revised 2nd Edition, LuLu Enterprises, Inc, Morrisville, NC

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Tomorrow I’ll begin posting letters written in 1946.. Lad and Marian have just added twins to the Guion family and are living in the Trumbull House. Dan is still in France with Paulette and baby Arla awaiting the time when both mother and baby can travel to Trumbull. Ced remains in Alaska. Dick and Jean are also living in the Trumbull House along with Dave, Grandpa and Aunt Betty.

Judy Guion

My Ancestors (22) – John Guion – 1723 – 1792

(1) Louis Guion); (2) Isaac Guion; (3)Isaac Guion (II); (4) John Guion; (5) Elijah Guion, Sr.; (6) Elijah Guion, Jr.;  (7) Alfred Beck Guion; (8) Alfred Duryee Guion; (9) Alfred Peabody Guion; (10) Judith Anne Guion

 

John Guion, sixth child of Isaac II, was born February 1, 1723. On April 15, 1747 he married Anne Hart [born April 11, 1728- d. February 26, 1814]. She was the youngest daughter of Monmouth Hart who was a descendent of Edmund Hart, who settled in Flushing, Long Island, in 1654. He formed a protest against the Dutch government which forbade them to entertain Quakers. For that he was imprisoned.

John Guion was the father of Elijah Guion. John Guion is worth a little further mention, mainly because he and Anna Hart, whom he married on April 15, 1747, were the greatest breeders in the American Guion family up to the end of the 18th century. Whereas four or five children had contented the other Guion’s so far, John and his English wife had 11. Jonathan (b. 1749) who, fought in the Revolution; Sarah (b. 1751) who married a Haddon; Peter and James, who evidently didn’t marry; Dina and Anna (b. 1755 and 1757) who both married English boys named Knapp; John (b.1762) who was killed in the revolution after he had married a Phobe Heustice;  Abrahm (b. 1765) who married Mary Purdy (the Purdys are a prominent Connecticut family today); Isaac, (b. 1767) who married Elizabeth Wiltsea; Elijah (b. April 19, 1770), our ancestor who married Elizabeth Marshall; and Monmouth (b. 1771) who married Anne Lyon.

It will be perceived that John Guion and Anne Hart had their 11 children over a period of 22 years; thatcovered the French and Indian War, the Sugar Act and Stamp Act troubles, and up to the eve of the American Revolution. So far from participating in these stirring events, I gather that John Guion stuck to his farm and his fishing, bred and reared his family, and was the last man in the colonies to deserve the beating from the British that he received. When Anna Hart Guion died, I don’t know . It’s possible that she was an old lady and at the wedding when her next-to-youngest son Elijah married Major Marshals girl, Elizabeth.

In the 111 years since the first Guion’s had landed, the Huguenots had outlived their clannish this and were mating with English blood as a matter of course. Elijah Guion himself, though he bore a French name, was half English. Elizabeth Marshall was wholly so, with just a sprinkling of Huguenot and of scotch.

Sources:

COLONIAL ORIGINS of the CALIFORNIA GUIONS, An Informal Genealogical Study by Ernest Jerome Hopkins, finished in 1952.

Descendants of Louis Guion,  Huguenot, of La Rochelle, France and New Rochelle, West Chester County, Provice of New York, A Guion Family Album, 1654 – 1976,Compiled by J. Marshall Guion IV, Edited by Violet H Guion, Olean, New York, 14760

A French Huguenot Legacy by Debra Guiou(n) Stufflebean, Expanded and Revised 2nd Edition, LuLu Enterprises, Inc, Morrisville, NC

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Tomorrow, I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1943.All of the boys are serving Uncle Sam in one way or another. Grandpa continues to hold down the fort in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

My Ancestors – (19, 20 and 21) – Louis, Isaac and Isaac II Guion – New Rochelle, New York

(1) Louis Guion); (2) Isaac Guion; (3)Isaac Guion (II); (4) John Guion; (5) Elijah Guion, Sr.; (6) Elijah Guion, Jr.;  (7) Alfred Beck Guion; (8) Alfred Duryee Guion; (9) Alfred Peabody Guion; (10) Judith Anne Guion

This may or may not be the first house Louis and Thomasse built in New Rochelle. 

Louis Guion built the first house in New Rochelle, New York, on Bonnefoy’s Point (Hudson Park). Louis and Thomasse used the residence as a communal house while early inhabitants built their own homes. It was a cabin built upon a 6 foot stone cellar, sleeping dormer and thatch roof. Smaller homes were built along Boston Post Road, now Huguenot Street that runs through the middle of town, dividing east and west by North Avenue. Louis Guion was an early officer of New Rochelle, serving as a Collector.

The French language continued to be spoken, although by 1739 official documents were also recorded in English. The first New Rochelle marriage was performed by Pastor David de Bonrepos who married Jean Coutant and Suzanne Bonnefoy at the Guion communal house around 1690.

Bible reading and singing of hymns were the primary means of weekly worship among those French families who gathered at the Guion communal home. For many years Pastor David de Bonrepos offered the sacrament, presiding at marriages and conducted funerals at the Guion communal home as the citizens of new Rochelle didn’t have enough money to build their own church AND pay a minister a living wage.

Most of Louis Guion’s descendants became Episcopalians and attended the Trinity St. Paul Episcopal Church in New Rochelle. Louis’s grandson, Aman Jr., however, married a Dutch girl from Staten Island, Sara Cranclheyt and they became members of the legendary Dutch Reformed Church of Sleepy Hollow in Tarrytown, NY.

A look at the older part of the genealogies of Louis Guion shows spouses with French names of: Malherne; Bonnet; Secord; Angevine; Chadeagne; Suire; and Soulice. Yet by 1720, the English families of Morgan and Drake began being represented.

Isaac Guion, first son (and twin of Suzanne ) of Louis and Thomasse Guion, was born in England about 1686. He traveled with his parents and sister from England and arrived in New York, settling in New Rochelle, New York, in 1687. Since Isaac was a yoeman, it’s logical that he would be the son to inherit the Rye land at Guion’s neck. His son John, grandson Abraham, and great grandson William Henry, for at least four generations, lived on the Rye property. Isaac operated warehouses along the shore, harvested oysters, and fished in the waters along the nutrient rich salt marsh. For almost 25 years, Isaac was the town clerk at New Rochelle (1738 – 1763). He served as the Justice of the Peace in 1737, an office that became the responsibility of his son, Abraham.

Isaac married Marie Malherne on August 25, 1710. She was the daughter of Nicholas Malherne, one of several Huguenots who came to America from Louden, Poitou, France. He died in New Rochelle in 1776. His Will dated February 9, 1769 was proved May 7, 1783, just nine days after the proving of the Will of his son Isaac (II). The Will of the senior Guion mention various parcels of land as well as in English Bible, a French Bible and a silver watch.

Of the union between Isaac and Marie were eight children, one of whom was Isaac Guion (II). Isaac (II) was born in New Rochelle in March 1720, he was a doctor by profession and served in the American Revolution as a surgeon. Quoting from “Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War”, Vol. 6, page 946; “ Capt.-Lt. Isaac Guion of Capt. John Doughty’s Company, Colonel John Lamb’s (Second Artillery) Regiment; Muster Roles for February – April 1781, dated at West Point, reported on command with light artillery at the southward.”

After surveying Staten Island and Long Island, Gen. Washington and his men entrenched themselves at Gravesend Bay, what is today called Coney Island. Among his men were: Capt. Lt. Isaac Guion Jr, surgeon, and Lt. David Guion of Westchester County, sons of Isaac Guion.

Isaac died before April 28, 1783, the date his Will was probated. This Will was made May 27, 1776.

Sources:

COLONIAL ORIGINS of the CALIFORNIA GUIONS, An Informal Genealogical Study by Ernest Jerome Hopkins, finished in 1952.

Descendants of Louis Guion,  Huguenot, of La Rochelle, France and New Rochelle, West Chester County, Provice of New York, A Guion Family Album, 1654 – 1976,Compiled by J. Marshall Guion IV, Edited by Violet H Guion, Olean, New York, 14760

A French Huguenot Legacy by Debra Guiou(n) Stufflebean, Expanded and Revised 2nd Edition, LuLu Enterprises, Inc, Morrisville, NC

Next Sunday I will continue the story of Louis Guion’s descendants and my ancestors.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin posting letters written in 1943 as Lad ad Marian move towards a life-time commitment.

Judy Guion

My Ancestors (19) Louis Guion, Equyer, – 1654 – 1725

(1Louis Guion); (2) Isaac Guion; (3)John Guion; (4) Elijah Guion, Sr.; (5) Elijah Guion, Jr.;  (6) Alfred Beck Guion; (7) Alfred Duryee Guion; (8) Alfred Peabody Guion; (9) Judith Anne Guion

Louis and Thomasse Guion might have gone on to America had she not been with child. Some members of her family went immediately, establishing the Narragansett colony at Frenchtown, Rhode Island. Louis and Thomasse stayed in England. Within weeks, perhaps days, of arriving in Bristol, Thomasse gave birth to twins! We know this because on June 4, 1686, Louis traveled to London to receive a dispensation from the Royal Bounty. He declared himself as being married with two children. [Royal Bounty Record number 89010] The children were named Isaac and Suzanne.

Louis supported his wife and two babies by working as a blacksmith (forgeron) in Bristol, a trade that had a ready market since people in the growing city of Bristol needed tools, weapons, and building materials — a lucrative profession for the new world, as well. In fact, iron tools and plants for domestication on foreign soil were major commodities taken by passengers leaving the port en route to America.

In the fall of 1687, the family immigrated to America. The fare was 105 L (pounds) per adult. The ships to America left once a month. An allowance was given in messes, eight passengers to a mess. On Monday each adult received their weekly allotment: seven lbs. bread; two – two lb. Pieces of pork; two – 4 lb. Pieces of beef; 7 lbs. of cheese and an unknown quantity of butter. Children under the age of six years were given oatmeal, fresh fruit, figs or raisins, sugar and butter as the parents required. Sugar biscuits were available to help with seasickness. One-fourth of the hold of the ship was for emigrant passengers who slept on hammocks for their beds. They arrived at the Port of New York at the confluence of the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, probably late October or early November, before winter snows began.

A man named John Budd negotiated the purchase of land from the Mohegan Indians that constituted the area known as Rye. Both Connecticut and New York argued ownership of the territory that bordered the northwest side of Long Island Sound from Port Chester to Mamaroneck. In 1683 the boundary dispute was settled and the land ceded to New York.

Louis Guion purchased acreage that created a neck from the bay near Hen Island, reminiscent of the land along the Gironde in France. A beaver stream (Stony Brook) forms the western boundary. He felled trees for a cabin along the salt marsh — then winter set in. Temperatures are colder, more rain and larger snowfall, as much as 5 feet, occurs in this area than in New York City because of the lands exposure to the Atlantic Ocean. The climate would not be conducive to raising a vineyard. Thankfully Louis had his trade as a blacksmith to fall back on.

Jacob Leisler, a Huguenot fur and tobacco merchant in New York City, came from Frankfurt, Germany on “The Gilded Otter”, April 27, 1660. Leisler purchased 6,100 acres from John Pell in 1689 for French Huguenots who wished to sustain a settlement closely resembling La Rochelle from their native land. Among the first names of those who purchased land from Leisler was Louis Guion — 138 acres. From 1689 – 1691, Leisler was acting Governor of lower New York and implemented a de facto government by the people.

Louis Guion was the first blacksmith in a New Rochelle. The name, blacksmith, is derived from the fact that iron turns black when fired and the word, smite, which means “to hit”. The French used the name forgeron which comes from the process of forging or shaping iron by hammering. From Guion’s Forge, Louis hammered, punched, and chiseled all types of tools, plows, horseshoes, wheels, pots, knives, guns and swords. His son Lewis, who was born in 1888 in America before the move to New Rochelle (some sources say onboard the ship to America), and his son Aman (or Amount), who was the first child born in New Rochelle in 1691, both became blacksmiths as did some of Lewis’s grandsons and great grandsons for four generations.

Louis kept the Rye property with its salt marsh and fishing boats which produced income, especially under the supervision of his son, Isaac.

COLONIAL ORIGINS of the CALIFORNIA GUIONS, An Informal Genealogical Study by Ernest Jerome Hopkins, finished in 1952.

Descendants of Louis Guion,  Huguenot, of La Rochelle, France and New Rochelle, West Chester County, Provice of New York, A Guion Family Album, 1654 – 1976,Compiled by J. Marshall Guion IV, Edited by Violet H Guion, Olean, New York, 14760

A French Huguenot Legacy by Debra Guiou(n) Stufflebean, Expanded and Revised 2nd Edition, LuLu Enterprises, Inc, Morrisville, NC

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Next Sunday, I will continue the story of Louis and Thomasse in New Rochelle, New York. 

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in the fall of 1946. Lad and Marian, Dick and Jean and Dave are all living in the Trumbull House with Grandpa and working in the area. Dave has been in charge of Guion Advertising while Grandpa took a much-needed vacation. Dan, Paulette (Chiche) and baby Arla are still in France, waiting to begin their voyage to America and their new home in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – My Dear “Poor Dogs” – St. Patrick’s Day – 1946

St. Patrick’s day in the mornin’, 1946

My dear “poor dogs”:

No disrespect intended of course. And besides, it is generally admitted I believe that the dog is man’s best friend, but even this implies designation of you as my best friend is not the meaning I had in mind in the usual salutation. It is rather based on the old childhood saga. When this here Father Hubbard went this week to the mailbox cupboard he found it entirely bare of quotes and so you have none. Q.M.D. of course I might have called you snakes, again in no sense of disrespect but hoping in view of the day that you in turn would be driven out of your respective “islands” and shipped back to the mainland of the U.S. anyway, it is St. Patrick’s Day in the morning here or glancing at my gold watch and chain I see it is but nine A.M. – – an unusually early time for me to be indicting my weekly Clarion, but you see I have already been up hours applying a coat to tar to the laundry roof – – that and the driveway seem to be perennial jobs. And the reason for all this unseemly early morning activity? Well, Friday evening the phone rang and Aunt Anne (Anne Peabody Stanley, Grandma Arla’s younger sister), after the usual inquiry as to the state of my health, thought it might be a good thing if the six of us (Grandpa, Aunt Betty, Lad, Marian, Dick and Jean) should motor down today and visit them at her apartment. I consulted the various oracles and as all the auguries seemed favorable, I gave an affirmative answer and in an hour or so we start for the big city; AND not wanting to let the day go by without the usual letter you have learned to expect on this day, it seemed best to get started with it early, and there you have the whole thing laid bare before you. It took me a long time to say “I’m writing you early because we are going to N. Y. this afternoon”, but I have to fill up the page with words of some sort and news this week is confined to Joe Stalin’s blasts, Winston Churchill’s flowing measures and news of the settlement of the General Motors and General Electric strike settlement.

There is a little of local moment. Paul (Warden, the apartment tenant, along with his wife and two children), with the aid of Walter Mantle, is putting a new wall on the apartment bathroom. Jean went shopping in New York Thursday with Marion Hopkins (one of her objects being to see if, in the big city, she could find some suitable dress material for Paulette, unsuccessfully, I might add). Dick and Jean went horseback riding yesterday morning from the Madison Avenue Sables, it being a beautiful spring day, and later came back and did some cleaning up work around the yard.

Dave, I forgot to mention in last week’s letter that I received a note from Herman R. Semenek of Chicago, enclosing a five dollar bill and asking me to thank you for your trust in him. You will regret to learn that your Alaskan brother Ced has been insulted by the Bridgeport City Trust Co. They read his signature and addressed him thereupon as Pedric D. Tucon. It cannot be that his handwriting is a bit illegible.

Surprise. Dick is up. He just came from this cellar where he has been coaxing the old coal water-heating stove into activity. The oil burner installed eight months ago burned out apart and for several weeks now we have been waiting for the replacement part to arrive. Meanwhile we have sort of a local ration allotment for hot water. Today everyone will want to take baths and get all dolled up before going to visit so the little old stove will be working overtime.

Aunt Betty has just called me into breakfast, so leaving with the hope that the coming week will bring news from Alaska and abroad to liven up next week’s screed, I remain, respected Sirs,

Your doting father

familiarly known as

DAD

Tomorrow and Friday,  I’ll be posting pages 2 & 3 of a letter Grandpa wrote to his far-way family. I did not have a copy of page 1 so I went to my original letters and page 1 is missing from there also. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Scattered Flock (1) – January 2, 1944

Trumbull, Conn.  Jan. 2, 1944

To my scattered flock:

There are several matters of import to record in this my first letter of the new year. First, about Grandma. Burton phoned me at the office early in the week to say that his mother was very weak and the doctor had told them she had not many more days before starting out on the great adventure. Might be a week, possibly two weeks, but to be safe and in accordance with Grandma’s wishes, all the children were summoned to her bedside. Thursday, Ced, Jean and I, together with Elizabeth, her two kids, Flora Bushey and Red (Sirene) all went down on the train together. We phoned to Anne from Elsie’s shop and learned that Grandma would like to see us that afternoon, so, Red and Flora having planned to attend some movie, Jean and Ced and I went to Grandma’s while Elizabeth stayed at Anne’s apartment some blocks away with her two children, then Ced and Jean left to meet Red while I went back to Anne’s to amuse the kids while Elizabeth went over to see Grandma. Grandma looks very bad, but is alert and interested in all that goes on. She was interested in reading Marian’s letter and also one from Dan, doing so propped up in bed without the aid of her glasses, too. Physically she is extremely weak, there apparently being a combination of intestinal and liver trouble. Helen was there with Anne. Dorothy had gone to work. Kemper, Marian and Larry had come on but Larry and Marian, with Alan (now 7 years old) had gone to see old friends in New Rochelle and Kemper had gone to Mount Vernon. Before we left Anne’s apartment to come home, Larry phoned from the Grand Central and he and Marian came down and we all had supper together. I neglected to say that Dave had gone down to see Grandma the day before and to my place at the office Thursday, as otherwise I would have had to close up shop.

Two airmail letters from Dan, one in the first part of the week and the other the last day of the old year, sort of ended up 1943 in good style. His first letter mentioned having had a very pleasant Thanksgiving Day with Mr. and Mrs. Heath, of whom he says he has never encountered any people more sincerely generous than the Heaths. He mentions receiving three invitations to Christmas celebrations, but “the old fox is waiting to see which invitation will be most worthwhile”. His second letter describes a short furlough which he spent in a visit to Cornwall in a little town called St. Ives (of Mother Goose fame) and a short distance from Penzance, immortalized by Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates. He was guest of a very hospitable elderly retired couple named Burnett who were introduced to him by mail through the kindness of one of the Red Cross workers.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Dear Dan:

Lt. P. R. Martin, the Censor who usually goes over your letters, felt it his duty to remove the Heath’s address, but he very courteously wrote the following note: “Send the articles to T-5 Guion. Sorry I must cut the address out; however it is of little importance.” Accordingly, I had D. M. Read Company make up a package of bath salts, powder and soap and will get it off to you early in 1944. Are you getting some good movies or Kodachrome pictures or won’t they allow the use of a camera in England? Send me another list of things you want sent, now that we know they arrive, even though somewhat delayed. I think hereafter, that with every package I send you, I shall include some item of cosmetic or toilet article as gifts to those who are so good to you, BUT, please, in every letter make a definite request which I can show the post office as otherwise packages will not be accepted for mailing overseas. We all enjoy your letters very much and it’s so good to know you are well and content.

Tomorrow I’ll post the conclusion of this letter, with notes to Lad and Marian.

On Saturday more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House, Then and Now.

On Sunday, another Guest Post from GPCox about the Women of World War II.

Judy Guion