Monday, March 12, 2007

Friday, March 12, 1926

Grandma starts writing again in her diary in two days. In the meantime, I'll continue with the story of Gilbert, picking up where we left off yesterday. This is what Grandma wrote in her family history.

"His (Gilbert's) first job was for a fertilizer company in Francesville. I do not know how long he worked there, but am sure that he did not enjoy it, so was glad when his friend McMullen came to Indianapolis and wrote for him to come to the city as he could get a job with the gas company if he were here. For a while he lived with Mac at the home of his aunt, which was in the north west part of the city near the Langsdale Avenue plant where Mac worked, but his work was in the downtown office, so that is how he happened to walk up Alabama Street looking for a room, and see the "room for rent" sign in Mrs. Bell's window which led him to move into Bell's home.

The Bells, whom I had known for many years, were in charge of the Intermediate Department of the Central Christian Church Sunday School, having been active in the organization of that department when the Sunday School was first departmentalized and they were the first Superintendents and I was the first secretary. At that time more than a thousand people attended every Sunday, and there were close to a hundred in the department. Mrs. Bell had been of the Robert's family in whose home the church had been organized, and she was a relative of William Canfield who, at his death, left a half million dollar estate to the church for educational purposes and was at that time time still active in the Christian Endeavor and one of its sponsors whom Gilbert and I came to know.

The Bells lived on Alabama Street, in the block east of the church, in one of the big old houses of the neighborhood. They had three girls in school at that time, and Mr. Bell worked at the post office. He aspired to become a minister so in order to further his education and study for that calling, they rented their spare rooms to augment their income. So they had a card in the window advertising a room for rent, andGilbert had seen it while looking for a place to live and had moved in. Always looking for a chance to do a good turn and to promote the interests of the church, the Bells soon learned that their new roomer was from a Christian home, without a church connection in the city and had invited him to visit Church and Sunday School with them. So it happened that on that Septmeber Sunday morning, as the departments assembled with the rest of the Sunday School fro the closing exercises, I looked across the balcony and saw a stranger and asked Mrs. Bell, "Who is that tall good looking young man over there on the other side?" and she replied "That's my Mr. Smith. I brought him here, and I want you to see that he comes acquainted and stays. So I did! Could it have been "love at first sight"? He was there every weekend after that, and went to Christian Endeavor too, and the next Easter, he put his letter in the church, and on October 20, 1915, we were married in my father's home on College Avenue."

Annie was so right in her comment yesterday. We are lucky and fortunate that Grandma took the time to write all of this down. Otherwise, we would not know so much about our grandparents. And having my Mom and Aunt Marjorie comment with what they know, just adds to the depth of information.

Have YOU taken time to write your own family history?


  1. This happened over 80 years ago, but the line, ""Who is that tall good looking young man over there on the other side?" gave me goosebumps. I could just imagine Ruth getting hit by the thunderbolt.


  2. And that is just exactly, word for word, how she wrote about it. No arranged marriage for these two.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. I love reading about how couples met.