Thursday, February 19, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 7: ADAMS, Eulaliah Louise

** cross posted to Lass Chronicles **
Week 7 (Feb 12-18) – Love. Which ancestor do you love to research? Which ancestor do you feel especially close to? Which ancestor seemed to have a lot of love?

When I decided to try the 52 Ancestors challenge, I didn't plan on writing about any family closer than my great grandparents. Though all of my grandparents are dead, it seemed...too write about them. However, I don't think there is any couple more deserving of a spotlight about love.

Eulaliah Louise ADAMS was born 15 June 1922 in Mt. Vernon, Texas. She was the first of four children for her parents, Benjamin Franklin and Sallie Lou [possibly Lue] (GREEN) Adams.

Polly, as she preferred to be called, was a no nonsense lady that loved her children and her husband. There are a few family stories about my grandparents that always make the rounds at holidays and birthdays.

First, let me introduce my grandfather: John Moore GARRETT, Jr. He was born  07 Aug 1919. He also, was the first child (of two) to John Moore (Sr.) and Sidney Carrie (GUTTERY) Garrett.

JM, as he was called, and Polly met at a dance. This is what my grandmother says on 17 Sep 1940:

17 Sep 1940 - Diary Excerpt - Eulaliah Louise Adams
The tiniest entry in her day: "Met J.M. Garrett, Jr. tonite."

Here's the version I have heard:

My grandfather met Polly at a dance.  At the end of the night, he came home, woke his mother, and told her he had found to girl he was going to marry.

Either way, they did marry just a few months later on 23 Feb 1941. I even have their marriage license. Still sealed in an envelope. I refuse to open the envelope.  I'll just have to get a copy of the record from microfilm.

Funny thing though, I have always heard my grandparents ran off to get married. They didn't tell anyone, keeping it a secret for several days and/or weeks.  However, my grandmother's diary debunks that story.

Saturday, 22 Feb 1941

Sunday, 23 Feb 1941
Her diary does go on to say they didn't tell his parents until March 1.  She tells her parents (via letter) on March 8.  They are not pleased. Still, Polly and J.M. are completely in love.  J.M. is serving in the national guard in Lockhart, Texas.  Polly is still attending college at what was Southwest Texas State Teachers College.

They spend a large part of their first 18 months of marriage apart, seeing each other on weekends and holidays.  On 25 Sep 1942, Polly boarded a bus that took her from Texas to Oklahoma to Missouri to Ohio to Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. She was reunited with J.M. on 29 Sep 1942.  On 24 Mar 1943, Polly left Massachusetts to return to Texas.  J.M. left with is unit on 31 Mar.  They would not see each other again until World War II ended in 1944.  During that time, my mother was born.

My grandmother lived with her in-laws during the war.  She sent weekly pictures of my mother to my grandfather.

At the end of the war, J.M. and Polly settled in San Antonio, Texas. They bought a house. They had a second daughter in 1946. They lived a happy life until sometime between 1969 and 1970 when J.M. was diagnosed with cancer.  He died 22 Sep 1971.

My grandmother never remarried. I asked her once why she never remarried. Her answer still brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat.  "Why? I married the perfect man the first time around."

My grandmother died 11 Dec 2009 in the house she bought with her husband. In the house she raised her two daughters. In the house that held both joy and sorrow and love. Lots and lots of love.

J.M. and Eulaliah Louise (Adams) Garrett - circa 1941

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