This letter was written to Virginia Shumate Moran, one of Martha's many Shumate cousins. Notice the Win the War stamp on the envelope, it has arrows but no olive branch. Sometimes the way to peace is through war. Applicable then as well as today.
|Letter from Martha Belle SHUMATE (Mrs. James B. FAMULINER) to|
Virginia SHUMATE (Mrs James H. MORAN)
Jan 21st 1944 (like many of us Martha found it hard to transition to the new year, the postmark is 1945 but she still wrote 1944)
Dear Cousin Virginia:
I was truly glad to get your nice letter a few days ago, but was much saddened to hear of Cousin Selwyns' unexpected passing and my sincere sympathy goes out to all those, to whom he was near an dear.
Altho' I was only in his presence a few hours, in that brief time, one could tell he was an individual of character and a pleasing personality.
I have always regretted the fact that I was not acquainted with my Shumate kin, for I feel certain we all have much in common in our inherited traits, that would have made us congenial associates, and our lives could have been greatly enriched by our knowing one another, but fate dealt otherwise.
I am also writing to Cousin Patti, to let her know that my heart goes out to her in this hour of her great sorrow.
To lose any member of our family is hard indeed to bear, but to lose one's life mate is the saddest blow that can befall us, I feel. There is the consoling thought that he did not have to lie on a bed of pain & suffering for a long period of time like so many do. To go quickly is so much the better way I think. One does not have the haunting memory of seeing a loved one enduring great misery & not being able to help them.
Our only son, James Jr. was home for eight days, arriving on Jan 2nd, from Corpus Christi Texas, with his young wife & darling baby daughter, who was 21 months old the first day of Jan & it was the 3rd time we had seen our grand daughter. and what a precious little thing she is, to us, you can imagine, also being a grand-parent.
This was the first leave of absence James has had since Feb last year when he was home for about 10 days. We received a letter from him yesterday saying they had arrived in Corpus Christi O.K. They drove thru in their car and it is such a long, tiresome trip (nearly a thousand miles).
James is stationed at the Naval Air Technical Training Center. His rating s Aviation Radio Technician 1st Class and he has been an Instructor there nearly two yrs. but he informed us in his letter that he is getting a re-assignment to Gross Isle Michigan, which is about 20 miles from Detroit, (in the neat future) & that he might get to come by home again when he made the change. My! that is a long ways' off too. And such a drastic change in climate. Is is warm all winter in Corpus Christi. Was about 70 degrees when they came up to MO. They thought it awfully
cold here. I know it will seem bitter that far north. Gross Isle, as you may note is on Lake Erie.
You asked if my brother left any sons to carry on the SHUMATE name. No he did not have any children. He had been a widower for about 15 years. When he married the second time only a few months before he died in Feb. 1938. His death too was sudden & Unexpected for a number of years he had suffered from a liver complaint and was seized by a bad attack & was operated on, at which time they found he had cancer of the liver & it was so far advanced that he only lived a short time, but suffered greatly.
His wife Irene Shumate lives in Auburn California. She is a business woman, and owns & operates her own business called "Irene's Gift Shop & Woman's Exchange" at Auburn. She writes me such nice letters but I have never met her.
My only sister Nannie Shumate CONNELY died many years ago. Her husband has also been dead since 1928.
Their two sons Charles & Raymond Connely are fine men and both live in Kansas City Mo. Charles, the older of the boys, is in the Grocery business at 20th & Lawn K.C. Mo. It is know as Connelys' Market and he does a big business. Raymond is salesman for the General Baking co. & has been with this large firm for 20 yrs. He is unmarried, but makes his home with his brother Charley as we call him. Charley has a fine wife and two children, a son & daughter, both married. His son, Charles Jr. is in service stationed at Oakland Calif.
All of which now makes us realize that "Time waits for no one" and we are no longer young folks, but as you say are of the older generation.
Changing the subject, but we are having quite a snow storm here in MO. this a.m. Wonder how it is with you. This is a very wet snow and is so disagreeable out but is expected to last thro' tonight & tomorrow according to the Radio Weather report. We don't like it, ha!
Now, I must bring this rambling talk to a close and start getting dinner. Let me hear from you again sometime and in closing will say I too hope we may yet meet & know each other some day.
With much love to you & yours,
Martha Shumate FAMULINER
Now to dissect the letter a bit.
Page 1- Martha mentions the passing of Cousin Selwyn. Selwyn Dennis TUCKER married Patti SHUMATE who was Martha's cousin. In my previous post the TUCKER's had been on a trip and stopped in for what ended up being a very short visit with Martha. That letter and that visit happened in 1935. Selwyn died of a coronary thrombosis and was pronounced dead on arrival at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, January 1945.
Page 2- On page two Martha is talking about Virginia's sons as well as her own children and service in the war. Nathan Harrell MORAN was the youngest son of Virginia and James MORAN and was in the Air Force. Nathan married Maria Furman while he was stationed in Germany. They made their home in Dresden TN at Moran Place and had two sons: Charles Scott MORAN and Nathan Kent MORAN (my husband). Virginia's oldest son was James Henderson MORAN IV and the daughter that is away at school is Louise MORAN
Martha's son was James Buford FAMULINER Jr. He married Mamie Clay BREWINGTON. I'm still researching this line of the famliy but James Jr is a second cousin once removed of my husband Kent MORAN. James and Mamie have two daughters, Dorothy and Sharon FAMULINER. Martha mentions a "darling baby daughter who was 21 months old" in her letter. I don't know if it was Dorothy or Sharon as she doesn't mention a name. I find it interesting that James was being transferred from Corpus Christi to Gross Isle Michigan because my father was stationed in Michigan with the Navy and was taking courses as an Aviation Radio Technician. How interesting if Kent's cousin and my father had known each other!
Page 3- Virginia had asked if Andrew, Martha's brother, had any children to carry on the SHUMATE name. Sadly enough he didn't have any children. Andrew Jackson SHUMATE's first was named Pauline. I have not discovered her maiden name yet. At some point they moved to California. From the little bit of information I have it seems that Pauline died about 1924 and Andrew remained a widow for the next 15 years. He then married Irene BISHOP, the owner and operator of "Irene's Gift Shop & Woman's Exhange". Andrew had been having liver problems for sometime and it was soon after his marriage to Irene that he had a liver attack and went into the hospital. Unfortunately they discovered he had inoperable cancer of the liver. He died soon after.
Martha's sister Nannie Bond SHUMATE married Thomas Lee CONNELY in 1898 in Missouri. According to Martha, Nannie and Thomas had two fine sons: Charles Conner CONNELY and Raymond Jason CONNELY. Charles owned a grocery store and Raymond, who never married, was a salesman and made his home with Charley and his family. Charley married a woman named Mildred. I'm still looking for her maiden name but I did discover that Mildred either worked at or owned the Kozy Nook Beauty Shop in Kansas City MO in 1955. Mildred and Charley had two children: Charles Conner CONNELY Jr and Gay Nelle CONNELLY. At this time I don't know what happened to Gay Nelle but Charles Jr married Juanita Faye ARBUCKLE. They in turn had two children: Charles Conner CONNELY and Jeanne CONNELY.
Nowhere in Martha's letter does she mention her sisters other son, Howard Shumate CONNELY. Howard was the youngest of the three sons of Nannie Bond SHUMATE and Thomas Lee CONNELY. Howard was born in 1904. He is living at home with his family in the 1910 Census. His mother passes away later in 1910. In the 1920 Census we find him living with his grandparents, Jason Champ Shumate and Jennie Lackey in Grand River Missouri. The next reference I find is his death certificate. Cause of death: Gunshot wound to the chest. Justifiable homicide. He died at 10:30pm on March 16, 1925. An autopsy was performed and the informant was his father, T.L. Connely. His body was removed to Harrisonville, MO. This family secret obviously bears more research.
Page 4 - The rest of the letter is chit chat about being the older generation and the weather. Martha closes with the hope that someday they get to meet in person, a hope which I think never came true.