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.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mother and Kevin. October 1961.

Luella Williamson, age 22. Kevin Williamson, age 3 months. October 1961
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From the Fortress of Solitude.

The Lady Luella called me to her chamber this evening. On my orders she fumbled through a file of old pictures looking for tonight's postings. A gleam from her eye brightened the room as she pulled this photo from the file. The original was small, the kind you get from the old photo booths of another era. Remember them, you found them at Kmart, Gibsons and the super markets. You put in two quarters, sat on a spinning stool, looked at a mirror and waited for the flash to take 4 pictures of you. After the pictures, you waited outside the booth for the pictures to drop into the receptacle. All they could afford in those days I'm sure.
"This is my favorite picture of me," mom said smiling as she placed this snapshot into my hands.
"Don't I look a treat?"

I know Kim and I were present when this was taken because there is a a series of pictures of the two of us in the same booth, to be posted another time. I decided to let this picture stand alone, considering it's importance to our old Ma.


And Now, The Mattsons and McCrillus.

From the Fortress of Solitude

This evening we peer into the past, capturing visions of ancestors long dead. Tonight we meet John Albert Mattson, my Great Grandfather and father of Walter Mattson (Luella's father). He was born August 6, 1873 in Fjaras, Halland Sweden. He is 16 years old in this picture, taken in 1889, the same year South Dakota was made a state. The picture was taken in Scranton PA.

John Albert Mattson. Age 16
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John Albert Mattson. Age Unknown
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This picture is of John Albert and his wife Ida was taken on the Mattson ranch in Montana. They moved from Lead where they owned 5 houses. They sold the houses, bought a homestead in Montana and moved the family. The homestead was one mile from the town Pinele. Our grandfather Walter was 10 years old when they moved. Walter was their only child.

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This was written on the back of the picture. It is written in his own hand in Swedish. I'm guessing it was written to his sister Josephine in Lead.

John Albert Mattson died on May 16, 1955 in Belle Fourche South Dakota.

John Albert came over from Sweden when he was 16 years old. He didn't speak English. His family came over one at a time. One would come and get a job, save money, send the money back to Sweden so another family member could come. His oldest sister was the first to come to America. He saw a fruit pie for the first time in America and thought it was an omelet. He helped in the San Francisco 1906 earthquake recovery. He eventual moved to Lead South Dakota. He met his wife in Lead and that's where they settled.

He moved to Spearfish with mom and the family in 1954. He lived with them until he died. He was 72 when he died of Leukemia.

Also Tonight you are fortunate to meet Isabelle Deanora Helgerson McCrillus. She was Grandma Mattson's Grandmother, my Great Great Grandmother. She was born in 1851 in Vermont and died the day after Christmas in 1896. The McCrillus line is where we trace most of our royal blood all channeled into your bloodstream by Great Great Grandmother D. Bell (as she was known).

She was married before to a Helgerson. Later she married John Dennis, mom's Great Grandfather. He worked on the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

Now, we end for the evening. There will be more to come.