Archive for January 5, 2017
And now to the continuing mystery of “Who was Clara?” – The word “mystery” by definition problem, enigma, riddle, puzzle means something which baffles or perplexes. coming from the French – *misterie, Old French mistere “secret” fits the tale of the folded papers of a century ago.
I have reached out to historical societies in Oklahoma – and the consensus was ” For the time frame you are looking for is going to be difficult”. They did give me a couple of other resources to try but in the meantime I am hoping we will learn more about the first owners of the property – 212 18th Street, formally Forest. That may give us another clue ….
What we do know is the papers were “hidden” or secreted before 1926, how long before we don’t know . Unfortunately, there was a tornado that hit Lorain in 1924-
Could the home at 212 W 18th predate the tornado ? At a time of great turmoil when neighbors looked after neighbors, Is it possible “Clara” may have been a visitor to the home”- leaving before retrieving her writings?
Was Clara even a real person, could she have been the “character” in a budding writers imagination? Readers will notice at the top of each of the pages thus far documented here are numbers such as 200- 215 -225 counting the words on those pages ( some crossed out) the number of words generally correspond to those numbers. Many writers do this when writing the draft or outline of a story.
Could this be possible? Is this a draft of a book or short story???
Back to the mystery – the next pages( written in the same hand) but NOT on Lorain Lumber letterhead are NOT numbered ( neither was the last page (5) on the letterhead paper). The following pages are paper thin and although found folded with the previous writings they “jump” into a whole different locale to make it worse for the “History Mystery Squad” there is obviously a “segue” page missing which possibly could have explained the Oklahoma connection. Is this the story told to Clara by her mother that would cause so much heart ache and suffering and to tell of her mother’s courage and fighting spirit?
A single woman driving her own “roadster” pre 1926 and having the money to do so ( locally) may have been a bit of a rarity BUT then again we have learned woman in Lorain were often in charge of businesses as the men were elsewhere so maybe not so much of a stretch
Map of the Oklahoma and Indian Territories 1905
My romantic imagination tries to fill in the blanks but I know in my heart of hearts I have to follow the evidence trail.
BUT this continuation of “Clara’s ” writing was before Oklahoma became a state a lot of towns and townships were numbered or absorbed into larger communities- were these actual places and names ?
Surely though the prominent people mentioned should have some record history- BUT then I remember Lorain and the burying of her past and people only to find their stories and connection recently “unearthed” If any readers want to join in the investigation please do so , I would love to find out if this is fact of fiction!
CLARA the Oklahoma pages
“It really seemed that every man, woman and child in Bartmore (???) Oklahoma admired Bruce Barton and as a citizen of Bartmore I believe that I knew him best and in the (latter- crossed through) I was associated with him ( torn) (missing) found out that he never could (???) (torn) (missing) very much about himself. But if I am going to tell you the story of this man why let us start from the first day I met him.
It was in June 1902 when a young man came into my Law office and inquired if I was Judge Hartwell (???). Telling him I was he said ” Barton is my name “Bruce (???) Barton and as I am opening a Law office across the street, I thought I would come in and get acquainted . I remember at the time I remarked “Well Barton, misery loves company and I sure welcome you to Bartmore.”
You see Bartmore at that time was a small Oklahoma town with about 8,000 pop and ( torn) (missing) (possible words- :the future) did not look very bright for a young (torn)(missing) I had been called Judge for ???? (torn missing “
(1) was there ever a Bartmore Oklahoma – a Judge Hartwell- a Bruce Barton ?
(2) Was Bartmore one of the many townships lost to the future along with its citizens?
(3)Did Clara change the names to protect the “guilty or innocent”?-
The beam exposed when the old furnace was removed where the papers were hidden – Photo courtesy of Councilman Dennis Flores
(4)Why hide the writings if she ( and I believe the writings are of a feminine nature) was trying her hand at a story?
(5)Would the content have been frowned upon by those residing in the home in those early days of the 20th century?
To be continued