Period around the time of the death of Irene Buckner Stith Fontaine
Irene Buckner Stith Fontaine died May 22, 1915 at Nowata Oklahoma, buried in Alma
Arkansas near son Charles.
Letter from Aunt Toke
Letter from Diva
Irene Buckner Stith Fontaine and Charles Beauregard Fontaine married January 7, 1886 at
Willard Hotel in Louisville Kentucky. Charles at that time was Commonwealth Attorney
of Meade County Kentucky. They moved from Kentucky to Fort Smith Arkansas in early
fall of 1887. Charles Beauregard Fontaine born April 19, 1859 in Meade County
Kentucky, died March 12, 1924 in Fort Smith Arkansas. Children:
1. Ruth Fontaine (Ma) b. December 12, 1887
2. Diva Fontaine married Will Reves who was a pharmacist in Piggot Arkansas
Will's father was a doctor, the Dr. Reves mentioned below.
1. Helen Reves lives in Florida (1998)
2. Norman Reves
3. Fontaine Reves b 1911 (gave book of Milton which had belonged to Charles Beauregard Fontaine to Walter Charles Scott on Sunday, December 20, 1931) At age 20, Fountain calls home to be Piggot Arkansas and was a Junior at Hendrix College in Conway Arkansas.
Diva died while the children were still young and Will Reves remarried.
3. David Lewis Fontaine
Married Cora May Bradley daughter of Earnest Bradley on December 21, ???? in Alma Arkansas
ref: wedding announcement
4. Charles Fontaine died as infant
5. Jesse Turner Fontaine b. Aug 4, ???? in Van Buren Arkansas
married Zada Van Choate of Knoxville Arkansas daughter of G.K. Choate at Gore Oklahoma
on Tuesday October 5, 1915
ref wedding announcement
1. Jesse Turner Fontaine, Jr.
6. Stith Phillips Fontaine
1. Madora Fontaine d ????
2. Ann Wagnon lives in Van Buren Arkansas 1998
3. Macy Phillips lives in ???? in 1998
4. Phillip d ????
Coffeyville & Little Rock
Apr 11, 1915
Mrs. Irene B. Fontaine
646 Sth. Pine St.
Wells Fargo & Company Express (letterhead)
April 11, 1915
Spring morning. Well this is the prettiest one in the world. & You speak of flowers well in our front yard there are pansy - violets & some more that I don't know how to spell & on my desk there are violets & on my lapel there are violets & fresh ones every day too. & every time I go to see Zada she makes me bring her a bunch. You don't know Zada do you, well I will tell you about Zada when I get back to Nowata & you will know Zada some day but we should worry about that shouldn't we
Arkansas why the only country in the whole world & me I'm the happiest child in the world do you know woman we are going to get a regular job down here somewhere ain't we. Well we should worry. Be sweet & good I'm going get off & go to Sunday School.
Uncle Jess was working in Nowata Oklahoma as a telegrapher.
Postcard May 8, 1915
To Mrs. Walter Scott (Ruth Fontaine Scott)
(From Irene Buckner Stith Fontaine)
Jess reached home Tuesday morning has his old job back. I sent your letter to Davie and wrote him. What I fear was a doleful letter, the fact is am homesick for him - Am rather under the weather - Sister is helping me greatly - Best love to all Ma - Keep Baby warmly dressed.
(the baby would have been Jessie Virginia Scott)
May 20, 1915
Received your letter this noon, Suppose you have received my postal saying Mamma stood operation all right. She has done fine all the way through, she is a little bit sick at her stomach today for the first time, but this is not a bad sign for she is doing remarkable well. She was on the operation table 4 hours and some minutes five pelvic organs were removed, it seems cancer of the womb. Don't worry girl, Mamma is coming along all right she will be well pretty soon it won't be necessary for any of you to come. We'll keep you advised and will wire you in case anything goes very wrong.
Irene died May 22, 1915.
1 envelope postmarked May 26, 1915
To: Mr. T.J. Stith
Dear Grandpa -
Among some of Jesse's letters that he brought down was the last letter you wrote to Mama and how it did make my heart ache to think that you and Grandma didn't come as I did. It was so hard at first for me to accustom myself to Mama being put away in Alma but as it was her request let us abide by it. Could you have only heard the consoling words of her minister what a cloud could be lifted for you. So sweet she was, so good and so beautiful - how I do thank the dear God for having given her to me, and much as our hearts are aching let us only try and think her troubles are over.
Please take good care of those two last letters she wrote me. The services were so pretty - so much like her - that it has helped so much. I had a dear hours communication with her all alone - keeping watch over her dear body. When I first looked upon her, Grandma, it seemed she looked sad, but the more I looked I realized it was peace. She wore a black silk dress - and so many lovely flowers you never saw. And I kissed her for you both, Grandpa and Grandma. Before we went to the Church, by my request four ladies sang "tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus" and my selections for the church were "Face to Face", "Asleep in Jesus" and her favorite, "Happy Day". How many times have we heard her sing it while at her work or rocking the babies. I can write no more now - but you dear people must get Uncle Sam to tell you -
Letter from Aunt Toka
Brandenburg May 27 (1915)
Your letter, just read, and we were so shocked to learn that your
Mother had passed away. And we all feel so sorry for you children and know you will miss
her so much, she was such a good faithful mother. Am so glad that you put her away by the
side of her little boy as I know she loved her old home place. You children must try to be
reconciled and trust in your Heavenly Father who knows best. And some day we will all know
why these sad partings must be.
Kate is at home and her baby was taken sick suddenly Sunday. We did not think he would live through the night, the Dr. stayed all night, but today he seems just a little better. We do hope and pray that he can get well he is such a cute sweet baby.
As we do not know where to write to the other children we'll get you to send this to them.
Nellie and Eva are here with us.
With lots of love for you all,
(Kate was Aunt Toka's sister.)
Letter from Diva
Papa is Charles Beauregard Fontaine
Miss Nannie was Charles's second wife
Miss Lenore (Lenora) was Charles's third wife
An envelope postmarked May 29, 1915 1 PM
To Mr. & Mrs. T.J. Stith
and Grandmother -
Can you take any comfort in the thought that
our dear one was buried in May in the Spring time among the flowers. Those flowers sent
her were beautiful - She was buried in black silk with white carnations across her breast.
I thought the white lilies and the pansies and the roses were so sweet and so many -
I arrived in Alma Monday afternoon at three o'clock and the funeral services were held at the home of Will's father, Dr. Reves. Just her family and her old friends from Van Buren were allowed to see her. Mrs. Burns, Mrs. Smeltzer and Mrs. Sadler with a few Alma ladies (that have known the family so long) carried the boxes filled to overflowing with flowers - This was on entering and leaving the church - The Nowata minister held very sweet services and told us many things of Mother's second conversion in December at Nowata - and Mother's earnestness in the matter and how she wanted to be sure O! so sure of the way. I feel like she found more trust and more faith than she had ever had and it seems to me that after a sad life she has found rest. She did not live and suffer for years with the cancer - she did not even know it was there - I think that saved her lots of worry. Don't you Grandmother? She was so brave to face the operation - yet when she told Stith Good-Bye she said "I am going on a long journey and I never will see you again" - I know it breaks your heart - it does mine - She rallied after the operation and Jess saw her on Friday. She told him she was mighty sick (but he thought she was better) the next time he saw her she was unconscious. Papa went up prepared to meet expenses (used all his own money that he had in the bank -) You knew they were reconciled and he did all everything he could for her in death.
I wish you and Grandpapa had come - Try to think of Papa as best you can -
I will tell you something that will make you understand things better - Papa left Miss Nannie about Xmas time and made a settlement on her and about four weeks ago she developed pellagra - That is almost incurable - it's an awful disease.
Mother had a host of friends here - she had a lot here next door to our new home and expected to build here some day. It seems she died so young - I expected to enjoy her for years to come - yet - I believe she was ready to end it all.
Now dear folks I hear that you are getting ready for a trip - Our new home will be ready to move into next week would you like to come and visit the town that Mother loved and meet some friends here that loved her too and see these grandchildren of hers that you've never seen. We are your grandchildren too dear ones and we would love to have you with us awhile.
Hope this letter will find you meeting it bravely. I am beseeching you and each one of Mother's people to be reconciled to the fact that she was buried in Alma - it was the only wish that she expressed.
With best love - Write to me and I sure will answer - I will write any how.
Envelope Post Marked June 3, 1915 Tampa Fla, West Tampa
From: Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, Box 102 W. Tampa Fla.
To: Mr and Mrs T J. Stith, Ekron, Meade Co., Kentucky
June 1st W. Tampa, Fla Box 102,
My Dear Mother & Father
I've known for some time that I was "way back" on writing to you, that I was neglecting some one dear and fine, that I was not doing my "mite" to help make your declining years, years of gladness, peace and contentment. A letter from J. R. Willet saying that he had been talking to mother over the phone reminded me very forcibly that I must write. I had in mind a cherry newsy hopeful letter, and was ready to voice such to you. When the letter from A. came saying our Dear old, oldest and first born Sis, has been taken from us gone to rest. Gone to await us at the Great and final Reunion. There to welcome us with smiling face & pleasant words, as she was so ready to do while here with us.
Our hearts cry with you, but be brave dear ones and mourn not - She is at Rest. Write us soon. As ever yours lovingly,
Leonard & family
August 18th, 1915
I received your letter a few days ago -
The folks came Wednesday morning, August 11th and left Tuesday morning (yesterday). I certainly did enjoy having them. I had the best girl to help of mornings. She belongs to one of the best families here - so she was so clean and a good cook. We cooked enough every morning to have plenty for dinner.
Dr. Billie sent us a bushel of elberta peaches the morning before they came so we had those to eat. I baked an angel food and a jam cake before they came. Then Sat. we baked a jam cake and a white cake with chocolate filling. Then Pope made foudaut twice - We had fried chicken every other day and beans the "between days". Of course we had watermelons - These were served between meals in the basement. We ate breakfast in the breakfast room tho' it was crowded - but WIll never stays for breakfast. The breakfast menus were coffee, buttered toast, eggs, and blackberry jelly - one morning we had beef steak - another bacon and gravy.
Mrs. Spraggins took us out automobiling once and Mrs. Woofout took us once. We were scared to death both times as they are both poor chauffeurs.
Mattie had so many swell clothes for herself and babies too.
Monday morning the 16th the last day that Pope and Mattie were here - Jones had her baby. Pope was there to fan her and she gave chloroform - Jones "sho" did yell - So I thought I'd go over and see as from the looks of things I supposed it was born I got in at a most critical time - the baby was there but it was nearly dead the cord was around it's neck. I saw the Dr. work with it in a basin of water - it turned so purple and limp - Then he pulled it's tongue out blew in it's face - and lastly wrapped it up in hot blankets. It was the prettiest fattest girl baby you ever saw and in 15 or 20 min. it began to gurgle and purr - In an hour it was breathing fine - Jones is so proud of her baby - she just prayed so pitiful for it - and I prayed too. She begged the Drs. not to let her baby die - She said "Why I'd die if anything happens to that baby - Why don't it cry is that the way all little babies do?" In fact - Jones was very hysterical - She laughed a lot too - said she felt so good after the birth - I could tell you a lot but it's hard to write.
We have our concrete walks on the sidewalk in front of the house (100 ft) and up to the front door. The walks we began Monday and finished yesterday noon. I am so proud of it. I am going to show you a drawing of some more new concrete walks as it will help us to get to town this winter.
The drawing shows the new concrete route to Aunt Josie's. Then you can make it to town from her house O.K. I am tickled to death as the mud was fierce last winter up this way.
I have two new dresses will send you a sample of them.
I am tired of writing - I enjoyed your letter -
P.S. I had one of the dresses to wear the day I went to Paragould - the other to wear while the folks were here.
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