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Ann Kathleen Otto


Family Treasures

If we're lucky, we inherit a special item from an ancestor. As an only child, I'm fortunate to have many, like the chair I recently received   that connects me to the characters in Yours in a Hurry. I also asked friends what heirlooms they cherish.

One Chair Survives

Readers know that the eight children of Adam Milo and Rhoda Anne Terry Hartle were distributed among relatives after Adam and Rhoda died suddenly. Evidently a chair from their mid-1800s dining room set went with each of the children. Recently Henrietta Sanford Spencer, the last remaining daughter of one of the children, died. The chair was given to our family genealogist, Richard Hartle to determine a proper home for the heirloom. The family presented the chair (at right) to me, a descendent of my great-grandparents, Adam and Rhoda. We're all wondering where the others are.

I also value Anna Hartle Petry's jewelry. I inherited a few 1910's pieces. She must have loved jewelry. She's wearing beautiful pieces in the few photographs I've seen.  The ones below  are from Charles Gildemeister & Sons Jewelers which, according to the San Antonio City Data site, appears to have been in business until the late 1960s.

Two Harriets

Carol's great-grandfather built a chest with four legs in the late 1800s for his daughter's baby Harriet . Little Harriet died.  Someone in the next generation named their daughter Harriet, and the chest went to her. There wasn't another daughter in the family for some time, so now the chest sits in Carol's home under a mirror as a reminder of past generations. On the chest is a photo of Carol's granddaughter. Our lives and stories intertwine. The mirror was given to Carol by a neighbor. It was his mother's.

A Father's Goodbye

Kathy's dad worked for a power company tearing down buildings. One day he took home a very tall metal library filing cabinet. He was remembered for sending cards to relatives routinely. Years later Kathy and her siblings didn't expect what they found when her dad passed away. They decided to look in the many cabinet file drawers. The first of many notes to his children that they found said, "To Mike. I love you, Dad."

What do you cherish? What special item have you inherited?

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