Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Violet Pierce Mattson in Photographs. 1918 to 1987

Violet Pierce around 1926.
She had blue black hair and white skin.
Luella says her eyes were coke bottle green

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
I've not given Grandma Mattson enough attention recently in this Blog, and knowing her dispostion, decided today would be a great day to let her come through and take a bow for her life's accomplishments.

I've arranged a series of not posted before photographs showing her from childhood to just before her death. One of my Bucket List goals is to post all the family pictures I have from our family history so you can select which pictures you like best to take from the Blog and place into your family's photo albums.

Some of the pictures will have commentary and some may not. That depends on Luella's memory. Shall we begin?

The Pierce family around 1926. Vesta was divorced. The family was living in either South Dakota or Montana. Walter, Vesta and Violet.

Violet Pierce was born in 1918. I'm guessing this photograph was taken sometime during her teen years - probably the early 1930's - at the height of the Great Depression. It looks like it was taken in the Black Hills. I believe it was taken just before the family moved from Montana to California. It may be her brother Walter standing next to her.

Violet as a teenager in California. Could this be her high school graduation picture?

Two pictures of Violet with her mother Vesta. It looks like they were taken in May, 1938 in a riverbed in Spradra, CA. Violet visited her mother in California while the family lived on the Montana Ranch. She took the bus. What a long journey in the 1930's, before the Interstate Highways were built. That's quite the hat Grandma has on. I would have loved to tease her about it if I'd seen these pictures before she died :)

Walter and Violet before they got married in California (around 1938). They look like they're in love don't they? I guess we can thank the Lord they saw something in each other or we'd all not be here.

Walter and Violet's first wedding anniversary on the Montana ranch. Walter is wearing his wedding suit and Violet her wedding dress for the occasion. Luella said that Violet had a 19 in waist back then. They both look wore out.

By the way, Luella still has Grandma Violet's wedding dress. Any of you nieces or cousins brave enough to come try it on and see if you can fit into it?

I really like this photograph. Luella say it was most likely taken by Great Grandpa Albert. Violet was 21 years old. Luella is on her lap. Notice that her hair receded above her forehead. Luella says that every time Violet had a baby her hairline receded, then grew back.
This picture was taken on the Montana ranch in the spring of 1939. World War Two was still several months from starting.

Another of Violet and Luella. The building in the background was the chicken coop. The horse tough is right behind them. This picture was taken next to the well. The Mattson well was the only well that never went dry during the drought. Everyone from miles around came to get water from the Mattson ranch.

Violet with Luella. Most of their dogs on the ranch were border collies. Again, a picture taken by Grandpa Albert - the family photographer. He loved photographs and wanted family pictures decorating the ranch house's walls. Violet disagreed. She preferred paintings.

Violet with Luella, Luella's first summer 1939.

Vesta, Luella and Violet taken around 1941. Luella thinks that Violet might have been pregnant with Walter or Linda at the time.

Grandma Violet with Cousin Diane's Step Mother, Elsie Kittrell, and her father, Jack Kittrell taken in front of Grandma Vesta's home in Arlington, CA.

This picture was taken in front of the Mattson home in Spearfish in the 1960's.

Violet in her green pants. Taken in the late 1960s early 70's. Location unknown. Luella believes it in California. And again, I wish I would have seen this picture before Violet died. Such great teasing ammunition. I'm no judge of fashion by any means but even I know those two colors don't go together. I guess we were all color blind in those days.

Kirk, Joseph and Angie Mattson with both their Grandmothers.

Violet with Aunt Beverly's mother. Children left to right - Gina, Kirk, Joseph and Angie Mattson.

Violet cooking in the Cafeteria at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. When Violet moved to South Dakota from California after Walter died she got a job working as a cook at Mr. Rushmore. She cooked at the Natl. Monument for a few years then got a job at the School of Mines. She cooked at the school of mines until she was 65 years old. Everyone loved her carmel rolls. Luella thought she'd lost the recipe but found it a few years ago written in Violet's own handwriting. Violet wrote the recipe twice. Luella says she forgot to include the cinnamon in both recipes. So, if you're going to try to reproduce these awesome rolls, include the cinnamon. (below. Click to Enlarge).

Violet's first job after moving to Spearfish from the ranch was at JC Penneys. After a few years she quit to work as a cook at Spearfish's Valley Cafe and she worked as a cooked from that day until she retired at 65 years old.

Violet with her brother Walter Pierce taken on Sept. 1, 1985 at the wedding of Walter's daughter Diane to Roger Hackett. Walter died on July 3, 1987 two months before Violet died.

Violet's headstone at the Belle Fourche, South Dakota Cemetery. She was 69 when she died in 1987.


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