Saturday, April 19, 2014

Aunt Sadie: Life with the Thomas Family

Bird's-eye view of Milo, Maine, where the Thomases lived.
From a c. 1910 postcard
Source: Wikimedia Commons

This is the fourth excerpt from my Aunt Sadie's Memoirs. The previous posts are: Parts 1 and 2 (Life on the Farm), and Part 3 (Separated From the Family).

Aunt Sadie continues:

Now I will tell you about life with the Thomas family. The Thomases were wonderful people and welcomed me with open arms and hearts. Auntie [Sarah Ermina Crabtree Thomas] had six children and I would like to introduce you to each of them individually.

1. Eddie [William Edgar Thomas, 1892-1956]:

Eddie was not religious. (I think he was bitter about losing his beloved brother Blair in the War [World War I]). I adored him because he always laughed at my jokes. He lived in Abbot Village, Maine with his wife, Ina, and two children, Grace and Blair [named for Eddie's brother]. Grace was my playmate and I still hear from her. She is married to a rancher and lives in Nebraska. I think her brother Blair is dead. (By the way, Grace looks a lot like Auntie).

2. Blair [Blair Frazier Thomas, 1894-1918]:

Blair had passed on and I did not know him.

3. Hayward [Hayward Stanley Thomas, 1889-1956]:

Hayward was a Harvard graduate and a Methodist minister in Presque Isle, Maine. He was a delightful man with a wonderful sense of humor. He and his wife, Marian [Marian Whitaker, 1890-1982], had three children, Ruth, Esther, and Stanley. [There were four more children who died young]. I visited them a lot and loved to be there. They had wonderful toys and books for me to enjoy. Marian always told me she wanted to keep me but she had three children of her own. She lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with her daughter Ruth after Hayward's death. And I wrote and visited her until her death.

Hayward said he would rather spend a day talking philosophy with Papa [David Jewett Crabtree, Sr., 1875-1954] than anyone he knew. He loved what he called Pap's "horse sense." Do you know Pap prophesied exactly what is happening with China today? He knew China would be our ultimate enemy. I lost track of Esther, but I know Stanley died quite young and Hayward was devastated.

[Note added 4 Dec 2017: Hayward's son Stanley, died at the age of 91, in 2014. I am not sure if there was another Stanley who died young that Sadie might have been thinking of. Thank you to Nancy Kinney for pointing this out and for information on Stanley W. Thomas' death].

4. Perry [John Perry Thomas, 1890-1961] :

Perry lived in his own little home very near us. Auntie and I could walk over and play Parcheesi in the evening. Perry was a staunch Methodist. I think he helped Auntie with the farm. He was a dear sweet man. I spent many happy times with him and his wife, Effie [Effie Mae Gourlie], . One of [their] neighbors was fortunate enough to have a radio and we would all make a trek to their house to hear "Amos and Andy" in the evening. They had no children but took care of Effie's little nephew because his mother was sickly.

5. Annie [Anna Maria Thomas, 1888-1962]:

Annie was a little uppity and bossy. I suppose being the only girl she usually got her way. She married Charles Kinney [Rev. Charles Lewis Kinney, 1882-1977], no blood relation. He was a Methodist minister. They always vacationed with us. She declared the Crabtrees were on the Mayflower and I am inclined to agree with her as I have read several historical novels that mentioned an Abby Crab who was very fertile. That sounds like a Crabtree to me! [Note: The family name was changed in court in Milo, Maine from Crabb(e) to Crabtree in 1910].

6. Bernice [Bernice Clifford Thomas, 1899-1947] :

Bernice was the baby of the family and he didn't like me much. I gave him mumps when he was a grown man and he nearly died. Also, I was exploring the vast attic region (I never did see all of it) and I found a still. He was making home brew. Of course, I asked Auntie what it was. I don't think that endeared me to him. He just sort of ignored me.

Auntie's sisters Annie Bolster [Anna Thursa Crabb Bolster Field, 1883-1964] and Addie Anderson [Adelia Mae Crabb, 1871-1944] were around a lot. They behaved exactly like us. Lots of giggling and very jolly. Their favorite pastime was playing Parcheesi.

Next: Sadie's "Jess story"

1 comment:

  1. I wish we could have heard some of the conversations between Hayward and our Grandfather.


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