(To catch up on this series, "Frank W. Lee's Great Adventure," click HERE.)
Today let me share with you three more entries from Dad's 1932 travel journal. After leaving his grandmother's home in La Grange, Kentucky, and going to Louisville, Kentucky, Dad traveled by train from Louisville to Williams, Arizona--a trip which took three days. The images below are of the scanned pages of Dad's actual travel journal.
Left Louisville at 8:15 A. M. on Monon for Chicago--Heat was terrible, over 100 degrees. Arrived in Chicago at 5:20, bought Pulman & Canyon ticket & then walked around until time to leave, 10:45 P. M. on the Grand Canyon Limited.
Indiana & Illinois
On train all day although did get off for several minutes in Kansas City, Newton, & Dodge City. Met 2 boys from Virginia & 1 from Penn.
Missouri & Kansas
Country is nothing but vast plains, no hills & but very few trees. Large fields of corn, wheat, & potatoes.
On train all day. The scenery was very pretty, plateaus(?), wastelands, & mountains. Saw many Indians & Spaniards. Arrived in Williams at 9:30. Several of us walked around & saw many ? sites.
Also saw many mud or clay villages in N. Mex. where the Indians still live.
Colorado, N. Mex., & Ariz.
Very little farming. Cattle raising as land (covered?) with sand and sage.
Though Dad was certainly a man of few words, these brief entries contain some interesting tidbits about railroad history. In the first entry, for example, Dad writes that he went from Louisville to Chicago on the "Monon." I had never heard of the Monon, and I really thought I was just misreading my dad's handwriting. When I asked my husband to take a look, he suggested I google "Monon" to see what came up. (Thank you, dear!) Well, I discovered that Monon refers to the Monon Railway, also known as the Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville Railroad. Operating as the Monon from 1853-1971, the 300 miles of this railway criss-crossed Indiana. According to monon.org, in addition to transporting countless passengers, the Monon also transported Union soldiers and supplies during the Civil War. It also pulled President Lincoln's funeral train for 90 miles. In 1971, the Monon merged into the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, and part of the old Monon line is still operated today by CSX.
Dad also writes that he traveled from Chicago to Williams, Arizona, on the Grand Canyon Limited. Established in 1929, only three years before Dad's great adventure, the Grand Canyon Limited was part of the Atcheson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. It quickly became one of the country's most popular vacation trains, providing access not only to the Grand Canyon but also many other destinations across the United States. Evidently, Dad traveled in a Pullman Car on his trip. Since the trip took three days, passengers could purchase tickets to ride in Pullman Cars which provided them with sleeping berths.
What a great way to see America! Next stop, the Grand Canyon!
www.monon.org. Monon Railroad Historical Technical Society, Inc., 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
|Frank Welch Lee, age 19, on his Great Adventure|
Today, let me give you a brief preview of the album containing the photos of Dad's trip. His photo album is just a simple one with a black cover and black paper pages inside. The front cover has an embossed center that surrounds it's gold-colored title: Photographs. The album is in good shape even after spending years in my mom and dad's musty storage room and later my basement.
|Frank Welch Lee's 1930's Photo Album|
Inside the album are photos of Dad's high school days in Middlesboro, Kentucky, plus photos of his "great adventure." Dad took the time to create a title or introductory page to the section of the album about his 1932 trip. He used a white marker or pen for the title page as well as for the labels under some of the photos. The white print shows up well against the black background, but in some places the ink or marker is beginning to smudge. (Note To Self: place some archival tissue between the pages of this album soon!)
|Title Page Made By F. W. Lee|
1930's Photo Album
I hope you'll visit the blog next week to see the beginnings of Dad's trip. He'll leave Louisville, Kentucky, and travel by train to California making one "grand" stop along the way.
Monday, March 18, 2013
|Phi Delta Chi Fraternity Composite|
Frank Welch Lee (top row, third from left)
University of Louisville, 1934
In the summer of 1932, my dad, Frank Welch Lee, was nineteen years old and had just completed a year of pharmacy school at the University of Louisville. A member of Phi Delta Chi, a pharmacy fraternity, Dad was elected to attend the fraternity's national convention in Los Angeles, California. Thus, began my dad's Great Adventure. For the next few weeks, I'll make use of Amanuensis Mondays and Travel Tuesdays to share with you the travel journal and the photo album Dad kept during this time. Those who knew my dad will understand how rare and wonderful this piece of family history is. For Dad to have traveled is surprising enough, but for this very private man to have documented his trip is almost unbelievable.
When I say that Dad kept a travel journal, what I mean is that he wrote down a few details of his trip in a little 3" x 5" notebook he kept in his shirt pocket. Some of the things he saw and experienced, however, are just amazing. Without further ado, here's Dad's first journal entry.
|Entry # 1|
Frank Welch Lee's 1932 Travel Journal
Left home at 1:40, arrive in Louisville at 9: P.M. Had a very pleasant trip although was very dusty when arrived. Spent the night with Jim. I sure did enjoy talking over old times together.
"Home" in this instance was probably his grandmother's home in La Grange, Kentucky, where Dad often stayed during his breaks from college. He would have traveled from La Grange to Louisville by train. The railroad tracks ran through Main Street right in front of the Lee house in La Grange. The depot was only steps away from the house as well. "Jim," I assume, was a friend, maybe a college buddy.
At the bottom of the page, written in pencil in a different handwriting, are some numbers and the words "Rains" and "gladiola bulbs." I think these are probably some notes written by Dad's grandmother, Georgia Lee. More than likely, Dad borrowed her notebook to serve as his "travel journal."
Thursday, March 14, 2013
|Frank W. Lee's Baby Book|
|Opening verses & illustrations plus Title Page|
|One of my favorite illustrations in Dad's baby book|
|Baby's First Smile: seen by father & nurse at 4 days old|
Baby's First Laugh: heard by mother at about age 1 month
First Gifts included Beauty pins, gold buttons, ball rattle, cap, booties
|First Word: Daddy|
at 5 months old
Also, in the baby book is one photo of Dad, age four months.
|Written on the back of this photo:|
Frank Lee Jr.
at 4 mo.
Thank you for this, Grandmother.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
|Frank L. Lee chewing his unlit cigar and filling prescriptions|
Lee's Drug Store, Middlesboro, Kentucky, 1954
|Frank L. Lee and his cigar|
The National Bank, Middlesboro, Kentucky, c. 1955
Thursday, March 7, 2013
|Old Razors Belonging to Frank L. Lee (top) and Price Southworth|
A few years ago, I was cleaning out a closet in our basement when I ran across a box of things I packed away when preparing my parents' house for sale. I opened the box and found a treasury of memories, history, and love. I had re-discovered the contents of my dad's top dresser drawer, the place where he kept items that were dear to him. I found photos, cards that I had given him for his birthday and father's day, old watches, and much more--including a box of my granddad's belongings that Dad had saved. Well, the closet cleaning was put on hold as I sorted through these prizes. After I had looked through everything, I found it very difficult to close the box and just store it away on the closet shelf. I made the decision then to let a few of my favorite treasures come out of the closet, so to speak.
Since then I have found several ways to display family heirlooms throughout our home. Why keep all of these wonderful treasures hidden away? Heirlooms personalize and add character and beauty to your home. They can be great conversation starters with guests. Most importantly, perhaps, for your children and relatives, these treasures become the storytellers and teachers of family history.
|Display of Old Shaving Items|
So from time to time on Treasure Chest Thursdays, I'll show you some of the ways I've displayed family heirlooms in my house. Today, let me share with you what I've done with some old razors and shaving items. With the help of my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law, I decided to put these things in shadow boxes. (Lucky for me, my talented brother-in-law is a framer!) The old straight-edged razors and accessories belonged to my husband's grandfather, Price Southworth, and to my granddad, Frank Lewis Lee. They now decorate the wall beside my husband's sink in our master bathroom. It's kind of neat to watch my husband as he shaves right beside these old razors and imagine our grandfathers once doing the same.
Do you have heirlooms displayed in your home? If so, I'd love to hear or see what you've done with your treasures! Thanks!
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
|My Dad & My Granddad|
Frank Welch Lee & Frank Lewis Lee
In front of Lee's Drug Store after 1929 flood
Middlesboro, Kentucky, March 1929
|Lee's Drug Store|
Fountain Square, Middlesboro, Kentucky
Before the March 1929 Flood
Lee's Drug Store
After the March 1929 Flood
A few days after the flood, The Middlesboro Daily News reported that the town was busy around the clock cleaning up the mess left by the flood waters.
Middlesboro today is recovering slowly from the effects of the most disasterous flood in the history of the city. Three full days have passed since the waters receded late Saturday afternoon, after the entire business district and a large residential district were flooded, and the effects of the flood are rapidly disappearing. A deep mud, ranging from three to six inches deep, still covers the city, but extra cleaning crews by the city are rapidly taking this away in the main business districts. All of the business houses are still cleaning and mopping and drying, in a courageous effort to get back to normal and save whatever merchandise that is possible. Fully five hundred homes suffered terribly from the waters, ranging in depth in the first floors from a few inches to several feet.
My granddad, my dad, and the employees of Lee's were literally up to their ankles in mud for a time as they worked to clean out and rebuild the drug store.
|Lee's Drug Store Employees|
Cleaning Up After the Flood of 1929
Frank Welch Lee (my dad) is inside the store on the left
|Frank Lewis Lee (far left) and Employees of Lee's Drug Store|
Taking a Break From Cleaning Up After the Flood of 1929
The drug store, along with other downtown businesses, also took part in a big two-day sale of merchandise salvaged from the flood.
|Advertisement for"Lee Has It" and Other Businesses|
Middlesboro Daily News, March 28, 1929, p.6
"Middlesboro Is Quickly Recovering From Effects of Most Disastrous Flood," The Middlesboro Daily News, March 22, 1929, p. 1
The Middlesboro Daily News, March 28, 1929, p. 6
Friday, March 1, 2013
|Lee's Drug Store in its original location|
Middlesboro, Kentucky, c. 1920
|Frank Lewis Lee's WWI Draft Registration Card|
As WWI was coming to a close, however, another even greater challenge was facing my grandfather and the rest of the world. A few months before the war would end in November 1918, the Spanish Flu began to attack people all around the world. According the National Archives, WWI, in the four years it raged on, was the deadliest war in history and brought about the deaths of 16 million people. The Spanish Flu, in scarcely over one year, killed at least 50 million people worldwide. It was the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history.
Middlesboro, Kentucky, was not immune to this epidemic, and, as a druggist, Granddad played a role in the way the community tried to combat this. According to my grandfather's notes, he kept his drug store open eighteen hours a day, seven days a week when the flu was at its peak in Middlesboro in the fall and early winter of 1918. He made medicines and delivered them to the hospital and to the homes of people who were too ill to come to drug store themselves. He and his employees would take naps in the back supply room of the store when they could.
The Pinnacle News, the local newspaper at this time, published several accounts of deaths that occurred in Middlesboro due to the flu. Several other stories about the local flu outbreak appeared in The Pinnacle News along side headlines about World War I.
|The Pinnacle News, Middlesboro, Kentucky|
October 25, 1918
The hearts of the people of the entire city are opened to the appeals for assistance from the many suffering and afflicted with the prevailing epidemic, and those having charge of the Emergency Hospital, which opens its doors today, are fairly inundated under the rush of offers of assistance and help.
A few days later, The Pinnacle News published a poem addressing the fear that many had of contacting the Spanish Flu. The poem (author unknown) reads in part like this:
We must remember there's a germ
What's worser than the 'Flu'
Because it permeates our life an'
Everything we do.
Its name is 'Fear'. . .
As the flu epidemic began to subside, the newspaper reflected that life in Middlesboro was getting back to normal. Earlier in the epidemic, the Kentucky State Board of Health had issued bans on many places and events where large crowds of people would gather--schools, public gatherings, movie theatres, etc. They hoped this would curb the spread of the flu. Finally, in the February 12, 1919, edition of The Pinnacle News, the following headline appeared: "Children Under Fifteen Can Now Attend Picture Show--Flu Ban Lifted."
Perhaps the most sobering detail about the devastation the Spanish Flu brought to Middlesboro and the surrounding communities appeared in the December 17, 1918, edition of the local paper. On the front page of The Pinnacle News that day was the following notice:
To The People of Bell County:
The Kentucky Council of National Defense is still in existence and it desires the namesof all orphans whose parents have died of Spanish Influenza during the recent epidemic and also the names of those orphans whose parents may hereafter die from this cause.
"The Influenza Pandemic of 1918" from virus.stanford.edu/uda
"1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic" from history1900s.about.com
"The Deadly Virus: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918," The National Archives
The Pinnacle News, Middlesboro, Kentucky, from Newspaper Archives Online
"U. S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918" from Ancestry.com