Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Three Susans

 Susan Rosina Sherwood Weber
Susan Stevens Rhodes

I came across this letter from Aunt Dora today and for the first time had some confirmation that the Eastman's that David Eastman Stevens family was descended from was the David and Susanna Ordway Eastman family. Lydia's birth wasn't recorded in Topsham, VT but we believe that is because she was born before the family moved to Topsham and of course the census records do not list individual family members by name until 1850.  

1953-0930 – Dora Atwater Sherwood Lindsey to Susan Sherwood Weber

Wed. Sept 30, 1953

Dear Sister: - The sheets on nutrition came yesterday and I do thank you so much.  I immediately loaned them to the lady who lives upstairs.  She is ill and the doctor says she has no blood.  I was interested I the amount of iron in soybeans, lima beans and dry peas.   I think that is the reason I crave beans, especially lima beans.  We have a soil condition here not found everywhere, that is, a lack of iron in the soil.  I learned that when out a Marge’s.  One of their peach trees turned yellow early in summer.   Took some leaves down to the county agent who said the condition is common on the high benches which were the borders of old Lake Bonneville[1] which used to cover all this part of the state.  The soil is gravelly, having been formed of gravel carried down by the streams, and of course the heavier part falling to the lake bottom first.  Irrigation has tended to leach out what little iron was originally in the soil and phosphate of iron or sulfate of iron has to be sprayed on the leaves which absorb it or added at the roots or in time the leaves turn yellow or spotted and the fruit is inferior until the tree dies.
            Naturally fruits and vegetables do not have as much iron as they need and so many people suffer from insufficient iron in the blood.  I believe most of the dried beans we get here come from Idaho which has a different soil. 
            Of course you are thrilled about Mary June as we all are.  Atha says she looked well when they were there.
            I was deeply disappointed because George and Atha did not come up or at least call me before they went to Tacoma because they knew I wanted them to get some information about the Rhodes family while they were there.  Grandfather Steven’s sister Susan Rhodes.  You know when you were born grandmother and grandfather [David and Rosina Richardson Stevens] came down and the first thing he said was, “Have you named the baby?” “No.” “Call her Susan after my sister.”  By the way, Aunt Susan was named after their grandmother, Susan Ordway Eastman.  So you see you have an old Stevens name and an old Richardson (Rosina) name. 
            Well, the Rhodes boys[2], brothers of Ida Pollyblank, established the Rhodes Store in Tacoma and Mother and Father visited them when they were there.  Of course they [brothers] are probably both dead but if they [Geo and Atha Sherwood] had gone to the store or even called it, they could have gotten names and addresses of living children.  Our friend Marian from Seattle says the store is in operation.  But in spite of the fact that Geo. was named for Grandfather Stevens [David Eastman Stevens], he was not interested enough to remember.  They did bring home some sheets I had sent to Grace on the Sherwood line and I’m grateful for that but I still do not understand the indifference to mother’s line.  I have a big wash and ½ bu  pears to do tomorrow and am so sleepy so will close.  Dear, my prayers are with you always.  May you have physical, mental and spiritual strength for all the dear Father has for you to do. 

                       Love to all the family,
                              Your sister Dora

[2] There were four brothers and at least three stores (Tacoma, Seattle, North Seattle). Henry Rhodes, 1863 -1954;  Albert James Rhodes, 1864-1920; William Lawrence Rhodes, 1867-1945;  Charles Wesley Rhodes,  1871-1952. AJ Rhodes died in New York of Influenza in 1920.  He had no children.  Henry Rhodes had two children, his son Edward Byron Rhodes (named Byron for the oldest Rhodes brother, who died in 1879 at 20 years of age.