Otoe , Nebr.
July 27, 1930

Mrs. H. A. Thalimer
Huntington Park
, Cali .

Dear Pearl:
     Without a doubt you will be surprised to have a letter from me but I’ve been wanting to write you ever since Aunt P
et died.  Thot perhaps you would like to have a few details and etc.

     First I will say Aunt Pet died at the State Hospital Clarinda, Iowa , the death certificate read:-

     “Exhaustion from Senile Psychosis depressed and agitated state.”  She died alone among strangers which was a thing she had often anticipated and dreaded.  We received no report from the hospital only as we would write and ask for information and I asked to be notified in case she was ill or wanted us but I was shocked to have a long distant call from the hospital one stormy night at 8 oclock with the following message, “Mrs. Pound passed away at 6:05 what shall we do with the body?”  My husband, dad (Rob.), mother (Julia) and I left early the next morning to visit Council Bluffs to get in touch with her guardian and see what we could do.  It took practically the whole day to settle affairs.  You know Aunt Pet made a will shortly after Uncle Lester died and then Ward came from Chicago and forced her to sign a will giving every thing to him.  She signed this later will on Sat. and she was sent to Clarinda the following Thurs.  Well!  Her guardian was her old friend and banker (Tinley) and his brother wrote the former will, but Ward imployed another lawyer so of course as soon as W. lawyer heard of her death he wired W. and the following answer was received.  “Leaving tonite, bury Mother beside father, Sat.”  (she died Tues.)  Aunt Pet wanted to be buried in Keota Iowa beside her father, mother and Aunt Mary, had told us of her wishes and had stated these facts in her first will.  So the lawyers, guardian and me met and it was decided that she be buried in Keota before Ward arrived and we set the date of funeral on Thurs, he arrived and nothing suited, we were rushing, looked as if we wanted to get her buried and etc, etc.  His idea of delay was he wanted to stay in Council Bluffs longer and he was going to escort the body, “Mother had made him _ _ _ _ promises.”  Neighbors said, “That was not true as she was afraid of him, she said “if he found out she had made a will he would kill her.”      We had an awful time, finally dad said, “He would have to consider that her folks had something to say” so we had the funeral that day but the body left Sat. for Keota and we persuaded dad to go along as we had chosen the best casket, valet _ _ _ _ _ and shroud the undertaker had and we were afraid Ward might take it on to Chicago and dispose of it as he worked for an undertaker there.      Ward is certainly a spoiled fellow, had been married 3 or 4 times and he was desperate and pushed for money.  Had ditched his last wife and had a case on his accompanist.  Aunt Pet was so afraid of him I stayed with her at the time Uncle Lester died and she kept saying if Ward wouldn’t come she couldn’t sleep at night and he just kept after her to find out.  He persuaded her to go to town and went thru her papers and etc in some way and kept a key to her box.  Bout after he left she rented a box in another bank and transferred her papers.      Returning to her former will, she left nine heirs.  I can’t state the amounts of each one, but I can name them Ward $500 (and that’s all) then Lauren, Jim, Robert Mickle, John Wolfe, Olive Brown, Pearl Hatch, myself and a very good friend and neighbor Mrs. Arnold.  Owing to the fact two will s were recorded the state of Iowa demanded that the case come before a Jury and will come up in Sept.  The lawyer that wrote the former will thinks it will be every simple to prove she was incompetent as you remember less than a week elapsed from the date of the last wills signature and her going to Clarinda.  We wonder in case there is expense you as an heir be willing to help bear expenses.  We know Ward has no money to fight and the former will reads any one starting suit or trouble is to be deprived of his share and it is to be divided among the other heirs.  Aunt Pet had about $8000 on deposit in Tinley’s bank, some bonds I can’t state amount but nearly $1000, and a bank account in two other banks, and her property.  Every thing was in her name and if you remember she received all of Aunt Mary’s money and she had money when she was married.  The will reads a stated amount to be given to each heir and the balance divided among the eight.      Her house was rented, some of her treasures were locked in the cedar chest and the house rented furnished.      Poor Aunt Pet was so alone the last few years, the folks and I went to see her often and I stayed several weeks but she felt so neglected and helpless.  We wanted her relatives to take turns with us staying with her but they refused or didn’t reply to our letter.  Uncle Frank’s kids would not come.  She had hoped Olive Brown would come but she was in training for a nurse and had not completed her course.  I stayed as much as I could but I have two children 1 age 7 and the other 4 years.  I could take one but could not have two with me, and as you know Aunt Pet was not very fond of children.  Momma couldn’t go because grandfather died while Aunt Pet was bad and she had to care for grandmother.      Uncle Frank is in a bad state of mind in fact should have been in Clarinda.  One of the boys stays with him.  (Merle) but he is a ro_ _ _ _ _ so I don’t wage he receives very good care.  Uncle Frank and Aunt Pet were so suspicious of every one in regard to money – every one was stealing and trying to get their money.  You can imagine how hard it was to find some one to stay with her, she was so suspicious and accused them of such awful things and would not buy eats.  Half the time at the last Aunt Pet would not provide eats, it got so we had to charge things.  She would hide her silver ware and etc, and then declare someone had stolen it.  She had a very nice lady staying with her.  That poor lady had so much to contend with.  In fact dad stayed a couple of nights with her shortly before she went to Clarinda and he was afraid of her.  But when I stayed with her when she was not bad, she was so nice but she grew worse o quickly after Uncle Lester went, so poor in fact she could not have weighed more than 90 lbs.  We visited her in Clarinda sometime she knew us and was so pleased to see us, again so distant and cold.  But I thought so much of her I wouldn’t gladly have done anything for her.  Brought her home after Uncle Lester died but she wasn’t satisfied and was home sick.      Aunt Alice died last summer it was a blessing as she was helpless, could not feed herself and they could not get help to care for her.  They told her (Aunt Pet) Aunt May had gone and she realized what it meant.  Aunt Pet wanted to go I was afraid she might commit suicide she was so despondent.      I realize my letter is not one of the most cheerful one ever written but I thot you would like to know a few details.      Will attempt to tell you a few things about us.  I have been married ten years.  Harry is married and has two girls, the folks live on Grandmother Wolfe’s place in fact dad bought it.  Lauren has 4 children and lost a girl 12 years old, he lives at Denton Nebr works for the Burlington road.  Jim lives at Shanon City , Iowa , has three young folks.  Will lives at Alamo has two children married.  I wonder if you remember all the folks that I have spoken of.  George H. visits the folks occasionally.      Well!  I must close, in fact I’m getting writter’s cramps.       Would you answer soon and tell us if you would be interested in helping to have the first will stand?  If the heirs are not interested I suppose Ward’s will stands and that was far from Aunt Pets wishes.  She felt she had spent a fortune on him as it was, but he says “she never spent a dime and her folks are trying to beat him out of his father’s money.  Please write.

Genevieve M. Ganzel Otoe Nebr.


Copyright ©2004 by Beverly Mabb-Morten