Verne and Dorothy were among the generation of Americans that moved in droves from the country to the city. Both began their lives in fairly big cites (Fort Worth and Dallas), but neither town was very old – both traced their beginnings to around 1850, but neither really got going until after the Civil War. Verne and Dorothy were born into a world where horses and trains were central, but saw in their youth the rise of the automobile. Both of them were comfortable in both worlds. In the newly transcribed letter in this post, you see how much Verne liked the old world, which he inhabited in an AZ that was still a frontier. In other letters, you see how much he liked the new world of photography, telegraphy, telephones, cars and the rapid expansion of science.

Verne’s paternal grandfather was Lovick Pierce Garrison. He was a seemingly interesting character. When he was 55 yrs old he graduated with an M.D. from Emory Medical College in Atlanta. Aside from his age, the remarkable thing is that it was 1865, the year the Civil War ended. He subsequently moved to east Texas, like so many southerners after the Civil War, and lived in Garrison, Texas. He later moved to Dallas. He died in 1881. His third wife Sarah Moore G., with whom he had no children, lived on until 1916, when Dorothy noticed her obituary and wrote to Verne in AZ to tell him.

Sep 012011

This is an updated summary of Verne G.’s and Dorothy Logan’s relationship from V.’s letters to D. from 1913-1919. Recently added material is marked with *s.

Aug 312011

Verne G. by late May, 1918 was working for the Associated Press receiving the news by telegraphy. During 1918, the world and Verne had a prolonged and very serious encounter with a new strain of the influenza virus. They didn’t even know what a virus was, but before long they knew that it was no joke.

Verne’s letters to Dorothy around Xmas 1917

Posted by Preston G. on August 29, 2011 at 9:52 pm
Aug 292011

These are Verne’s letters to Dorothy around Xmas of 1917, right before he would leave to go to Los Angeles.

Letter from W.O. Garrison to Verne G. April 6, 1923

Posted by Preston G. on August 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm
Aug 272011
Letter from W.O. Garrison to Verne G. April 6, 1923

This is the first page of a letter from W.O. Garrison (Verne’s father) to him in which he tells V. what he needs to do to document his homestead claim. The letter was 4 pages, but page 2 is missing. I don’t know what happened on the homestead claim, but there are no property tax receipts on this property in the file.

Verne bought lots in San Simon in 1921.

Posted by Preston G. on August 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm
Aug 262011
Verne bought lots in San Simon in 1921.

This is a survey of the townsite of San Simon from about 1917. There is a similar map in Verne’s estate file that marks 8 lots that he bought for $50 in 1921. One of them is marked by a blue check mark on this map. Not sure what the red checks represent. V. bought these lots from a John and Mozella Rempel of Bowie, AZ. Got to love the wife’s name.

There are property tax receipts for at least one of the lots in the town of San Simon that indicate that V. paid taxes on it until his death in 1967. He sold a part of one lot in 1947 for $150 so got his investment back. Verne still believed in San Simon as an investment after he married Dorothy in 1919, and to some extent, for a long time thereafter.

*Sat. Jan. 26, 1918 L.A.

V. is going to school – on Mon, Wed and Fri all day and at night as well and on Tues and Thurs for 7 hrs. [He doesn't say what school.] He says he hasn’t seen anything interesting in Calif because all he does is eat, sleep and go to school. [But wait until you see what comes next!]

A Series of Sudden Decisions – Verne G. 1914-1918

Posted by Preston G. on August 24, 2011 at 8:38 am
Aug 242011

There is a recurrent pattern reflected in the letters from Verne to Dorothy. At the beginning of 1915, in Sept. 1916, in Sept. 1917 and in Jan. 1918 Verne made sudden moves to new places and new jobs. In none of these cases was the specific place or the job revealed at all in the letters before the move, although it is clear in each case in the letters leading up to the move that he was growing restless and somewhat frustrated where he was.

Aug 202011

This is all my notes and transcriptions of the letters as it stands at the moment. I have read all the letters through March, 1917, quite a few from later in 1917 and a few from 1918 and 1919, and the summary was based on that. I have taken notes on all the letters through July, 1915 and a fair number from 1917. I will fill in the gaps as I get a chance.

This is a very long post (20,000 characters), but I wanted to make it available to anyone who is impatient. It will help to read the summary posted earlier before you read this.