The Diary of Lizzie Dopps





Chapter XVI


Our two families had a wonderful trip.  There were papa and I with our two little girls, Nellie, ten years old, and Jess just six.

Sister Stella's family then consisted of Stella and Joe, their little daughter, Zula, five, Claud, three, and Vern a baby of about ten months.  He was such a pretty, happy, laughing baby, he was a joy and amusement for all in our coach.

I begrudged every minute of sleep.  I wanted to see things.  I had never seen such beautiful scenery, through deep gorges, across roaring rivers, climbing high mountains with their invigorating air.  It seemed to me to be a different world.

At last we arrived in Seattle.  Eli and I had planned to locate in Vancouver, Washington Territory, the boom town of which we had seen the pictures in the magazine and had instilled in us the desire to come west.

But I wanted to see my brother Charlie and his family who had already come west and located in Seattle.  I wanted to see him before we settled down to make our home in Vancouver.  Joe and Stella decided to locate in Seattle.

When we went to Seattle, it was just after their great fire in that city.  I say, "city," but it didn't look much like a city at that time.  Most of this young western city was in ashes.

Nothing daunted, they showed the true western spirit and tents sprang up overnight like mushrooms, and business was carried on as though there had never been a great fire.  

My brother, Charlie, was in the restaurant business, but he was carrying on a good business in a tent.  Tents everywhere both for business and homes after the fire of 1889.

When I go to Seattle in these days, it doesn't seem possible that I could have seen hills and tents where now stands a comparatively level city with busy streets and many storied buildings.  In less than a life time, those hills have been cut down and buildings of twenty or thirty stories, buildings of which any city in the east might be proud, erected.

Joe and Stella and family made their home in Seattle, while our little family returned to Vancouver.

This is one of the oldest landmarks in the west, it being the site of one of the old Hudson Bay Trading Post.  Some of their buildings were still standing when we first came to this place.

Here we bought property and built our own home.  I thought it was the prettiest country I had ever seen with its beautiful evergreens.  They laughed at me when I gathered great armfuls of common brake ferns that others considered weeds.  I thought they were beautiful and put them in vases all over our house.

About a year or so after we had come west, Ellen and Dave and their two boys, Wilbur and Burt, came west to visit us.  While they were here we went to the ocean--my first view of the great Pacific.

After a year or two we bought ten acres of woodland.  Eli cleared part of this but, oh, such hard work as clearing land where grew those big trees.

In time, we had quite a nice farm.  We lived here a while, but good schools were not very accessible, so we lived in town most of the time.  We were anxious our girls would acquire an education.

Nellie and Jessie were growing up.  Eli was doing carpenter work now, and I tried to help out at times by nursing, sewing, sometimes keeping boarders, etc.

Nellie graduated from high school in 1897 and then taught school.

In 1898 when the Spanish-American War broke out, the little military town of Vancouver was filled with young boys and men who had enlisted, as here was located one of the largest barracks.

There was a tall, dark, good-looking boy, Elwell Hoyt, one of those newly enlisted men, whom Nellie met at church.  Their friendship grew, and ripened into love and in 1900, the 27th of June, they were married and made their home in Tacoma.

We were lonesome without our Nellie, and by fall we also had moved to Tacoma.  Here Jessie graduated from high school in 1902.

This is a story of my life and not my children's, but of course, what effects their life touches mine.

Nellie and Elwell had four lovely daughters, Evelyn Barbara, Marjorie Elizabeth, Esther Branson and Eleanor Marshall.

When Evelyn was nine years old there was an epidemic of the dreaded infantile paralysis and Evelyn became a victim.  We despaired of her life.  Four doctors held a consultation and said there was no hope.  God gave her back to us though--perhaps through prayer.

She was never very strong after that, although she finished school, graduated with honors from the Annie Wright Seminary and later graduated from training school of the Tacoma General Hospital.  She was an excellent trained nurse and the Mountain View Sanitorium wanted her services.

She was there only a short time when she contracted tuberculosis.  She put up a brave fight, always smiling and sweet even when in pain, and just as we all thought she was the victor, before dawn, February 17, 1935, shy slipped quietly away to her heavenly home.

Marjorie was graduated from Stadium High School and Normal of College of Puget Sound and then taught school a while.  When teaching, she met Hugh Barclay Antrim, the principal of the school and they were married February 21, 1927.  They now reside in Baker, Oregon.

Esther graduated from Stadium High School and then took up newspaper work and was quite successful.  She married Alfred Goddard, October 17, 1930, just eighty years to the day after her great grandmother was married--Esther Branson, after whom she was named.

Esther and Alfred have two lovely little boys, my great grandsons.

Sammy was born July 4th, 1931 and was named after my father, also very appropriately as the Fourth of July is called "Uncle Sam's Birthday."

Little Donny, or Donald, came January 14, 1935, and was a great consolation to all when his Aunt Evelyn passed away a month later.  They live in a little rustic home at Wauna, Washington.

Eleanor, Nellie's youngest daughter, was born April 24, 1915.  She was always a sweet happy child, born with a smile on her face that never wore off,

She graduated from Stadium High School and later, 1936, from the College of Puget Sound, working her way through most of the time and receiving scholarships.

After her graduation from college, she was offered a splendid position in the east in Social Service, Child Welfare work as head of Youth Council of the State of Vermont.  This welfare work is a sort of missionary work and she is doing so much good.  I am so proud of her.  She is soon to marry a nice young man, Granville Davies, and I am sure God will bless her in her marriage.

Nellie and Elwell have had their ups and downs, but are now happy in a rustic little home near Tacoma.  It has a beautiful water view and I very much enjoy my visits with them, and sit on the little rustic veranda and gaze over the peaceful waters of Puget Sound.  Elwell is a druggist in Tacoma.

--Jessie and Walter and Family--

Jessie graduated from High School in Tacoma 1902.  She was married to Samuel Warren Shaw October 26, 1904, but tragedy stalked this marriage and after suffering, from diabetes nearly all the two years of their married life, Warren passed away January 7, 1907 at St. Paul, Minnesota where they had gone for treatment for him, leaving Jessie a widow at twenty-three.

Later she married a newspaper man, a really brilliant writer, Robert Vernon Harden, but this was not a successful marriage and did not last long.

She later married her first sweetheart and old stand-by, Walter Palmer Botsford, and they have a happy little home at La Grande, Wash. where Walter is an electrician and is connected with the Nisqually Light and Power Company for the City of Tacoma.

They have a daughter Lorraine and a son, Glenn.

Lorraine also attended Stadium High School in Tacoma, but is now happily married to Virgil Earl Kalhagen, and they have a darling baby daughter, Sally Ann.  She sort of has my name, too, you see, Ann from Anna.  So now I have three great-grandchildren, two great-grandsons, Esther's boys, and a little great-granddaughter, Sally Ann.

Last September, 1937, Glenn enlisted in the army in the field artillery and is now stationed in far away Hawaii.  He writes the loveliest, most interesting letters and so gives the rest of us a glimpse of that tropical faraway land.


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  2006 Laurie Arnold.  All material presented herein was transcribed or otherwise provided by Laurie Arnold from the unpublished text of the diary, family photos and personal genealogy.  She and her family have graciously given permission for the diary to be posted to the Norton County Kansas GenWeb website, for the benefit of others who had pioneer families in Norton County, Kansas. This diary, photos and personal genealogy may not be reproduced, published or re-published for any reason, in any format, without prior written consent of the contributors or copyright holders.  web design 2006 Ardie Grimes