Monday, February 28, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Letter from My Great Aunt Cleo, Part 2

Dan, Sallie, Millie, Cleo, Chuck, Ray and Everett Proctor

Continuing from last Monday, a transcription of a 1990 letter written by Cleo Proctor Cavanaugh:

Since our dad was only nine at the time of his father's death, our Uncle Charley had a big part in bringing him up. Uncle Charley was nearly sixteen years older than our dad. 
Charles Campbell Proctor died May 19, 1932. He was superintendent of Foster Kleiser's advertising in Seattle. We kids benefited by getting many samples of food; It was our introduction to dry cereal. We also got tickets to circuses, etc. He had a job when he was seventy-some getting the outgoing mail from the post office and hanging it on a standard for the train to pick up as it traveled through South Tacoma. He fell doing this job and broke his hip. It was this injury that caused his death at eighty-one...Both he and Uncle Will were well educated. It's too bad their dad died young or I'm sure the rest of the children would have received the same education.
Uncle William Ephraim Proctor died December 21, 1921. He owned a butcher shop in Sidney, Iowa. He was very religious and wrote a book on the subject which was never found. He probably left it in Tucson, Arizona where he want to get cured of tuberculosis. He died a couple of weeks after he came home to Tacoma and is buried there.
John Martin died at birth.
George F. Proctor died of tuberculosis of the lungs Nov 24, 1945 at eighty six years and is buried in Tacoma.
Mary Proctor died at birth and her twin Sallie Proctor Fargo died in 1940 and is buried in Tacoma.
Daniel Hewitt Proctor, the only one to have children, died August 18, 1932 from a strangulated hernia. He was operated on for this, but he died in the Auburn Hospital and is buried in Renton. After farming in Iowa, he moved to Seattle with his wife Millie Travis Proctor and their two sons -  Ray two years and Everett six months. He built many houses there. If he didn't sell them soon, he rented them. Bennie and Cleo Cavanaugh moved into the first house he built when they were first married. Both Cleo and Roy had been born there. It still stands at 4221 Ferdinand St, Seattle. He built the houses west, east and south of the home place as well as several houses on forty-fifth and other places for different people. 

Dan and Millie Proctor

Namond Hewitt "Ray" Proctor died March 22, 1987. Ray was the leader of the children in our family. Of course, he was the oldest child. I remember when I was real young, Ray was organizing and putting on little plays, assigning the parts of Little Red Hen and Chicken Little. After rehearsing our parts behind the piano, we put the plays on for our parents. He also learned songs in the second and third grade and taught them to the rest of us children. One was Red and Golden Tulips, another Little Yellow Dandelion.
When Charles was born he had us hide behind a fence when the doctor came with his valise. Ray told us he had the baby in his black bag.
In the seventh grade in Seattle he was captain of the seventh and eighth grade ball team. They played other Seattle grade schools at Doug-dales Ball Park, later called Sic-Seattle stadium. 
He was very strong, especially in his legs. He did what we called the monkey dance when he was real young. I guess it was really a Russian dance. I've seen him put one of his small daughters on his shoulders and execute the dance when he was grown. 

Ray (center) with his brothers Chuck and Roy
Our mother canned many quarts of wild blackberries each year. It was Ray who thrashed around through the logged off brush and found new patches of berries for the rest of us to pick in. It was the same with the hazelnut bushes. We gathered many nuts and had several pillow cases of the nuts after the outer husks were removed. 
He only went one year to high school where he received all A's. The long walk to school was not easy, but he really quit to help my folks out I think. He and Everett helped their folks buy their first car and later in 1920 he and Everett did all the driving to Iowa in our seven passenger Buick. The roads were all gravel and I remember at one point the roads were so poorly defined, we ended out in a field. There were no motels along the way, so we all slept on the ground in a large tent and cooked on the campfire.  

Dan, Cleo, Roy and Millie Proctor

Before Ray was two mom took him to visit his uncle's hardware and grocery store in Sidney, Iowa. Uncle Al gave Ray a banana from a bunch hanging from the ceiling. Ray ate it and a second and asked for another. 
When Ray was about twelve, he got up in the late evening walking in his sleep complaining of an older friend stabbing him in the back. It was some time before my folks could persuade him to go back to bed. The doctor said that he had just played too hard all day and become too tired. It never happened again though Ray nearly always worked and played at a fast pace it seemed to me.
Our dad got a job at Fort Lewis, then called Camp Lewis, building barracks for the soldiers during World War One. He got work for Ray and Everett there as his helpers. Ray, I think, was just seventeen and Everett sixteen. The worked one summer until the war ended.
Ray and Everett worked in a small logging camp for awhile. It was about a mile from our place near Star Lake. It was here Ray got a desire to go into logging for himself later on, I am sure. 
Ray and Everett were very close through their growing up years. They kept their money and car together and built at least one house together. Everett tried so much to keep up with his older brother from the time he was real small. I think it was this that made Everett quite competitive.
A couple of falls, they hopped freight trains and rode to Wenatchee to pick apples. It was quite common for men to ride the rails at that time. Later, it became against the law.
Everett Herman Proctor who was Daniel Proctor's second son died May 1, 1974 of cancer of the lungs. He was a heavy smoker. He worked for the Seattle Water Department and became supervisor for the whole works from South Seattle to the intake at Cedar River. 

Everett's business card

Ray worked for the department too for years. There was only one person between Everett and superintendent of the Seattle Water department. He loved golf and became very good at it, playing the best golfers in this area. He is buried in Renton.

Everett and Cleo c.1925

Cleo and Everett, 1967

Charles William Proctor, the youngest son of Daniel and Millie Proctor died Feb 10, 1986. He was a very good pool player and loved playing the piano. He owned two chairs in a barber shop in the Venetian Pool Hall in Renton for years. His smoking probably caused the emphysema that was the cause of his death.  

Charles and Roy Proctor, c.1914

Roy Daniel Proctor died June 1, 1987. He owned three cranes at the time and operated one of them. He operated a huge crane in Todd's Shipyard in Seattle for a long time. He drove a truck when first married. He died of cancer of the lungs which had spread to his liver. He is buried in Renton.

Cleo and Roy Proctor, 1924

There is more about Daniel and Millie Proctor's children above mentioned in All In The Family written by our cousin Julia Travis...if you want more about the children, grandchildren and their wives, etc...

(To be continued next Monday...)

No comments:

Post a Comment