Sunday, April 23, 2017

Motherhood Brings Joys and Sorrows to Sarah Eva Howe Salyers

On March 22, 1907, one year, three months, and eight days after their marriage, Sarah Eva Howe and William Levi Salyers welcomed their first-born into the world. They named him Robert King Salyers, in memory of Will's brother, who died in 1897 at age 16.

Three years and 15 days later, their family grew by two! Twins James Richard and Mary Alice were born on April 6, 1910.

After another five years, one month, and eight days, on May 14, 1915, another set of twins arrived. Will and Sarah named them David Hillis II (after Will's grandfather) and John (the name of Sarah's grandfather, the Irish immigrant). Imagine the sadness that fell on this family when John died either at birth or shortly after.

Sarah Eva Howe Salyers with (left to right) David, Robert, James, and Mary Alice, circa 1920

Will and Sarah reared four children to adulthood. All three sons went off to war, and all three returned. All four of the children became successful professionals in their chosen fields. All four married, and three gave Sarah and Will a new generation of Howe-Salyers descendants.

The next few posts will share profiles and stories about the four children. I'll have more to say about the three youngest than about the first-born. Robert lived much of his adult life in and around Washington, D.C., while the other three lived in my home state of Kentucky. I saw "Uncle Bob" only a few times, while I knew the others well, especially Mary Alice and David. In fact, in 1966, David became my father-in-law!

I have found scrapbooks created by Sarah for Mary Alice and for David. So far, no luck finding books specific to Robert or James. Sarah probably gave them their books at some point, and they have been lost to us. Thank goodness for Mary Alice! She saved all of the scrapbooks made for her and her little brother David. We'll go through those books together in this blog and, in the process, learn what growing up was like in the first 30 years of the 20th century.

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