The Stuart and Adams Families
The Stuart branch of the family can be traced back with confidence to James Stuart, who was born in 1814 in Perth, Scotland and his wife Mary Tuggle or Turggle*, who was born in 1821 in Sheffield, England. The couple appears in the 1841 English census as residents of Derby, where James is identified as a 27-year-old "coach painter" and Mary as his 21-year-old wife. At this point the couple had no children. Because James and Mary do not appear in the 1851 census, we have to wait until 1861 before we get another glimpse of them. The census takers that time found the couple in Sheffield, where James, at 47, was still painting coaches, supporting not only Mary but their six children: James Jr. (age 19), Charles (age 14), Mary Jr. (age 9), Jessie (age 5), Robert (age 3), and Allie (a boy of 11 months). Of these, the two oldest were also working at the time, James Jr. helping his father paint coaches and Charles working as a cooper and "case maker." Because the 1861 census records are more detailed than previous ones when it comes to indicating "place of origin," we can use them to reconstruct the family's movements during the middle of the century. James Jr., the oldest son, was born in Derby in 1842, where James Sr. and Mary lived from at least 1841, when they were counted by the census that year. Charles, five years younger than James Jr., is listed as a native of Edinburgh, so the Stuarts must have moved to Scotland for awhile sometime before 1847. The rest of the children were all born in Sheffield, so we know that the family moved back to England no later than 1852, when Mary Jr. was born.
For some reason the census takers missed the Stuarts again in 1871. But in 1881 James Sr. (age 67)--now described as a carriage maker--and Mary (age 60) turn up, still living in Sheffield, this time presiding over a much smaller household. The oldest child listed is Mary Jr. (age 29), her two older brothers having long since begun families of their own. After Mary comes Robert (age 24) and Alexander (age 21), both employed by their father as carriage painters. Jessie (age 26) is also listed, but with a different last name: "Blacktin." The census entry identifies her as a married daughter of James Sr., without listing her husband among the members of the household. The only other "Blacktin" in the family is a six-year-old named James, identified as the "grandson" of James Sr.
Searching the census records for the father of little James yields promising results. A "James Blacktin" (6/?/1857--1933) is included in the 1881 census, living in another part of Sheffield. He is identified as a 23-year-old "table knife hafter" living with his father Joseph, a 63-year-old "gas lamplighter," and his 30-year-old sister Annie Maria, who made "saw rubbers." James is listed as "married," but--conveniently enough, for our purposes--there is no one in the household who is identified as his wife. According to English marriage records, a "Jessie Stuart" was married in September 1873 in the part of Sheffield (Ecclesall Bierlow) where the Stuarts lived. Why she and James were not living together is not clear. James would have been only 16 and Jessie 18 at the time of their marriage. Jessie became pregnant seven months later, in early April, 1874 (James Jr. who was born on January 5, 1875). Ten years later, in the 1891 census James Blacktin Sr. turns up again as part of his father's household, identified this time around as "single." Presumably he and Jessie formalized their separation on the eve of her emigration (see below).
Going back in time to get a better sense of the Joseph Blacktin family, the 1861 census identifies Joseph Blacktin (1817-1897) as a 43-year-old gardener in Sheffield, the head of a household that includes his wife Jane Hipkiss Blacktin (1816--3/?/1873), and six children: Jane (age 16), Sarah (age 14), Ann M. (age 10), Joseph O. (age 8), William H. (age 6), and James (age 4). Going back all the way to the census of 1841, Joseph Blacktin, the gardener, and his wife Jane, both listed as age 20, are found living in Sheffield with only one child--a one-year-old daughter named Hannah--who was already married and living apart from the Blacktin family by the time of the 1861 census. Marriage records indicate that Joseph and Jane married in September 1839. The reason for Jane Blacktin's absence from the 1881 census is made clear by English death records, which indicate that she died in March, 1873 at age 57. Death records indicate that Joseph Blacktin died in 1897 at the age of 80. His son James lived almost as long, dying in Sheffield at the age of 77 in 1933.
By the time James Blacktin Sr. died in Sheffield in 1933, his son, James Stuart Blacktin (1/5/1875-8/13/1941), a.k.a., J. Stuart Blackton (with an "o"), had made a fortune (and lost it as a result of the "crash" in 1929) as the founder of the American Vitagraph Company and a pioneer in the motion picture industry.
James Stuart Blackton (Wikipedia) The American Vitagraph Company (Wikipedia)
It is not clear exactly when or how the Stuart-Blacktins made their way from Sheffield to New York. In the 1920 United States census, James and Mary Stuart's oldest daughter, Mary Stuart Jr., turns up in Brooklyn as a "head of household"** with an immigration date of 1885. Born in 1852, she would have been 33 at the time of her crossing. It is highly likely that when Mary boarded the ship, she was accompanied by her younger sister Jessie, age 30, and Jessie's son James, age 10. The biographical materials about James Stuart Blackton indicate that he was ten when he came to the United States, which fits an immigration date of 1885 perfectly. In his (1918) application for a passport, however, Blackton indicated that he left Liverpool for New York in September, 1886. For what it's worth, he told the census-takers (in 1930) that he had immigrated in 1890. In contrast to the many (albeit conflicting) data regarding James Stuart Blackton, there is only one known piece of information about his mother Jessie after her arrival in America. New York marriage records indicate that a "Jessie S. Blacktin" married one Thomas Adams in Manhattan on Christmas Day, 1888. These same records indicates that Thomas was a native of Rowley Regis, England, the son of Thomas Adams, Sr. and Nancy Plant.*** Knowing where Thomas Adams came from helps us fill out the picture of the world that he left behind when he emigrated to New York sometime between 1881 and 1888.
English census records provide wonderfully consistent, if thin, slices of the Adams-Plant family of Rowley Regis at regular ten-year intervals from the middle of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth. The economic life of Rowley Regis was clearly dominated by nearby Birmingham, one of the principal centers of the Industrial Revolution. Given this, it is not that surprising to learn that literally every male member of the Adams family--and not a few female ones--worked, from a remarkably young age, as "nailors" or "rivet makers." Rivets were used, prior to the invention of welding, to hold together sheets of metal for building ships, railroad cars, etc., and England at the time led the world in iron and steel production. That entire families living in the outskirts of a city like Birmingham could dedicate themselves to the production of rivets hints at the vast scale of metal manufacturing in this period. In 1851, we find Thomas Adams Sr.**** appearing for the first time as the head of his own household: a 30-year-old "nailor" married to Nancy (age 27), a "dressmaker" and mother of three: Joseph (age 5), John (age 3), and Benjamin (age 1). By the census of 1861, Thomas Adams Sr., now 40, is a "rivet maker." His wife--identified this time around as "Ann" instead of Nancy--is still supplementing the family income as a seamstress. The three boys from the previous census--Joseph, John, and Benjamin, ages 14, 13, and 11 respectively--are all listed as "nailors," just as their father had been ten years before. Their modest contributions would have helped feed the four additional Adams' that had been added to the family since 1851: Thomas (age 9), Sarah (age 5), Ann (age 2), and little George (eight months). Ten years later (1871), Thomas Adams Sr, age 50, is still making rivets, though there is no mention of Nancy's dressmaking. By then Joseph and John are no longer part of this Adams household, though John (age 23) appears as the head of the family living right next door. By this time Benjamin (age 21), Thomas Jr (age 19), Sarah (age 17) and Ann (age 12) are all working as "rivet makers." There is no mention of George, the toddler listed in the previous census; he must have died in the meantime. But by 1871 Thomas Sr. and Nancy had produced three more children--Alfred (age 8), Edwin (age 5), and Isabella (age 4)--all listed as "scholars," that is, school children. By 1881, all three of them had "graduated" to rivet making themselves, joining their sister Ann in this task. By then all of the older children had moved on, including Thomas Jr., who turns up in the 1881 census as a 29-year-old "rivet forger" living with the young Roberson family, also of of Rowley Regis. Sometime between the time that this census was taken (in 1881) and December of 1888, when he married Jessie Stuart In New York, Thomas Adams Jr. emigrated. There are two men named Thomas Adams, both born about 1852, who made the crossing from Liverpool to New York in that time frame. One came across at age 28 on the steamship "City of Brussels," which arrived on November 19, 1881. The other, a 35-year-old, boarded the "Alaska," which arrived on August 15, 1887. If one had to pick between the two based on the information available in the passenger lists, one would probably opt for the Thomas Adams on the "City of Brussels," since he is identified as a "laborer"--which would be consistent with a life dedicated to making rivets--while the other appears as a "clerk." Life in Rowley Regis trudged along without Thomas Jr. In the 1891 census records, Thomas Sr. is still making rivets at age 70. His daughter Annie (32) is the only child living at home with him and Nancy, although their son John is still living right next door with seven children of his own. In 1901, Thomas Adams Sr. (80) and Nancy (77) are still alive, living as always in Rowley Regis with Thomas still listed as a "rivet maker." Death records indicate that Thomas Adams Sr. finally died in March 1903 at age 82. His wife, Nancy Plant Adams lived another nine years, dying in September 1914 at age 89.
The only known product of the union between Thomas Adams, Jr., and Jessie Stuart Blacktin Adams was William ("Billy") Stuart Adams (6/23/1892--12/3/1930). Unfortunately Thomas and Jessie disappear from the records after Billy's birth. Though James Stuart Blackton's life is reasonably well documented, the principle biography (written by his daughter Marian Blackton Trimble) says nothing about the mother that he shared with Billy except to point out--at the end of the first paragraph--that "before he was thirteen, James Stuart Blackton was the sole support of his mother, his aunt, and his ailing half-brother." This is not accurate, since little Billy wasn't even born until James was seventeen, but it does suggest that Thomas Adams either died or left his wife shortly after the birth of their son. Jessie must have died sometime between then and 1917, since William's World War I Civilian Draft Registration card identifies him as "sole support of aunt" (who would have been 65 at the time), without mentioning his mother. This same card provides us with his birthdate (June 23, 1892) and the address where he presumably lived with his aunt: 1658 East 12th St. in Brooklyn. Billy's occupation is given as "assistant director" at "Vitagraph Co.," which the document correctly locates at Locust and E. 15th in Brooklyn.
The registration card describes William as physically "short" with "gray" eyes and "light brown" hair. It also indicates that he had "heart trouble," which probably kept him out of active duty in the war. But William Stuart Adams did serve as an "employee of the Office of the Chief of Staff of the War department." His oldest daughter, Ruth Elizabeth Stuart Adams Wolf, remembers him as charged with the task of photographing documents. Copies of "passes" that William had at the time have survived. One that is undated but has his signature on it, is headed "Enlistment Detachment: Purchase, Storage and Traffic Division--General Staff," and reads: "This is to certify that William S. Adams, whose signature appears hereon, is a member of the Enlisted Detachment serving with the General Staff, in Washington, D.C.; that he is not required to live in barracks, and has the freedom of the District of Columbia and its immediate environs, when not on duty." Another such pass, from November, 1918, indicates that he was 5' 4" tall, 153 lbs, with a "light complexion." A third one, the writing on which is for the most part too faint to read, includes a small picture of him.
Other surviving documentation from the time indicates that William was an active Freemason. A certificate from the "Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York" of the Clinton Lodge, No. 453, indicates that William Stuart Adams was a "Master Mason in regular standing," as of September 16, 1918. A surviving membership card shows that Willam Stuart Adams "paid his dues "While Serving the Colors." William was a also Shriner. A certificate from the "Imperial Council of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America" (founded June 6, 1876), indicates that he became a "Noble" at the Kismet Temple in Brooklyn on January 29, 1920. His daughter Ruth remembers that he was also a member of the Knights Templar. This would eventually lead to his wife becoming an "Eastern Star" and his oldest child a "Job's Daughter."
At some point, William ("Billy") Stuart Adams married Ruth Lillian Owen (7/25/1894-10/18/1974). The date of the wedding in not known, but a copy of a salary check from the "Treasurer of the United States" for $45.83 made out to "Mrs. Ruth Adams" on November 7, 1918 (four days before Armistice Day) has survived. The fact that their oldest child, Ruth Elizabeth Stuart Adams, was born on March 20, 1919, suggests that the couple probably had a traditional June wedding in 1918. Two pictures from the happy event have survived and clearly show that Ruth and Billy's wedding was a double one that also involved Ruth Lillian's older sister Elizabeth Mae Owen and her husband Paul Edward ("Ed") Pfitzenmeier (2/19/1887--8/?/1971). According to Ed Pfitzenmeier's WWI registration card, he was employed by Vitagraph just like his new brother-in-law, suggesting that either Ed and Billy met there, or that Billy helped Ed get a job there. The second photo has William Stuart Adams and Ruth Lillian Owen flanked on the bride's side by Ruth Lillian's mother Elizabeth MacGregor Laing Owen and on the groom's side by William's aunt, Mary Stuart. The fact that it was his aunt standing with him and not his mother strongly suggests that Jessie Stuart Blacktin Adams was no longer living at the time. This second picture is actually torn down the middle, largely obscuring the image of the groom. The story is that the picture was "edited" by someone on the bride's side (probably one of her sisters) who did not think Ruth should marry Billy.
From left to right: William Stuart Adams, Lillian Ruth Owen Adams, Elizabeth "Mae" Pfitzenmeier, and Paul "Ed" Pfitzenmeier.
From left to right: Mary Stuart (William's aunt), William Stuart Adams, Ruth Lillian Owen Adams, and Elizabeth MacGregor Owen.
The 1920 US census lists "William S. Adams" (27) living in the household of Mary Stuart (at 1645 East 9th St. in Brooklyn), along with his new wife, "Ruth L. Adams" (25), and their new daughter, Ruth (9 months). Ruth ("Ruthie") Elizabeth Stuart Adams (9 months). At about this time the song "Till We Meet Again" was all the rage and quickly became Billy's and Ruth's song. There is a line in the song--"Smile the while you kiss me sad adieu"--that would strike a chord with their daughter, who regularly requested that her mother sing the "Saturday" ("sad adieu") song. While little Ruthie was still a toddler, the family moved a bit south to the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn. In 1922, they welcomed Jessamyn ("Jess") Stuart Adams (3/17/1922-7/18/2008), the second and last child born to Billy and Ruth Adams.
The Adams girls, Ruth and Jessamyn (c. 1923)
The same census entry from 1920 lists William Adams's occupation as "Motion Picture Photographic Producing," but his work as a cameramen actually dates from seven years earlier. The Internet Movie Database gives him credit for his camera work in 34 films (31 as cinematographer and 3 as an assistant cameraman), The first being "The Wreck," which appeared in 1913. The first five films that he shot were all directed by Ralph Ince. After that he worked on a series of nine films directed by his half-brother, James Stuart Blackton, beginning with the film "The Moonshine Trail," which was released on October 19, 1919. The last of these, "The Forbidden Valley," was released on October 10, 1920. "Billy" shot movies for his half-brother again in 1925 ("Tides of Passion") and 1926 "Bride of the Storm," before working with director Bruce M. Mitchell on a string of "flying ace" movies: "Three Miles Up" (1927), "Sky-High Saunders" (1927), "The Air Patrol" (1928), "The Phantom Flier" (1928), "Won in the Clouds" (1928), "The Cloud Dodger" (1928), and "The Sky Skidder" (1929). Finally he shot a series of westerns directed by Joseph Levigard: "Grit Wins," "Born to the Saddle," and "The Smiling Terror," all of which were released in 1929.
William Stuart Adams (June 23, 1892--December 3, 1930) and his half-brother James Stuart Blackton
(January 5, 1875--August 13, 1941)
Sometime between the "flying ace" films and the "westerns," Billy Adams relocated from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. While preparing for the move, his wife and two daughters stayed behind, living with "Grandma Owen," who by then had an apartment on the corner of Bedford and Martense in Brooklyn. There were already marital problems between Billy and Ruth (young Ruthie remembers living with her mother and sister at Grandma Owen's place in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn even before the Bedford and Martense apartment), but ultimately Billy did send for his wife and two girls, hoping for a fresh start in Los Angeles. The family's train trip across the country most likely took place during the summer of 1926. Ruthie's minister in Brooklyn gave her a bible--presumably as a going away gift--inscribed with the date June 12, 1926. Ruthie, who was seven at the time, remembers a big send off at Grand Central Station, where every family member seemed to give them boxes of chocolates, none of which tolerated the heat of the train ride. She remembers her four-year-old sister Jessamyn being sick most of the time due to the excessive heat. But Jessamyn's plight had its bright side, since it led to the three of them getting a private compartment. Ruthie also remembers eating "huckleberries" on the train for the first time in her life. When Ruth Lillian and her daughters finally arrived in Los Angeles, William met them and took them to a house that he had rented in Westwood. Ruthie remembers the adjacent vacant lots filled with gopher holes, something she had never seen before. Over the next couple of years the family moved to Laurel Drive in Hollywood, where she remembers seeing her first "Good Humor" ice cream truck. When treated to a 20-cent ice cream bar, she always picked the one made with peppermint ice cream dipped in chocolate. Later the family moved to Glendale where Billy and Ruth Adams bought a house at what was then 1020 8th Street, and then promptly lost it. Shortly thereafter, William and Ruth separated, getting a divorce in 1928. The 1930 Census lists Ruth Lillian Owen as the head of her Glendale household--at 1355 Graynold Avenue--with no mention of her husband. He turns up in the same census living in Beverly Hills with his aunt, Mary Stuart, who had apparently followed Billy and family when they moved California. The entry lists "Mary Stewart" as a 79-year-old head of a household that included only her nephew, William Adams, age 38, a "cameraman" for a "Picture Studio." Ruthie, who remembers the apartment being on Florence Avenue, recalls visiting her dad during this time, in particular the fun that she and Jessamyn had sneaking up behind "Auntie" while she worked in the kitchen and surreptitiously clipping clothes pins to her apron strings.
During this time, Ruth Elizabath got to know a number of families who, like her own, were connected to the movie industry. She recalls in particular the children of Reginald E. Lyons and his wife Isabel and those of Frank P. Hulette and his wife Mary; both couples were friends of her father's who lived in Los Angeles. Reginald, a cameraman, had come to California in the 1910s. His wife Isabel would pass on her oldest daughter Isabel's clothes to Ruth, something she greatly appreciated. The Hulettes were also connected to the film industry, Frank being an actor in his early years. Another movie industry couple in the Adams family circle was that of Robert "Bob" Newhard--another cameraman--and his wife Edna. They lived somewhere in the San Fernando valley (in the midst of potato fields) and there they would host the Adams family for weekend visits. Ruthie remembers the couple having two daughters, Joyce and "Teedy" (officially, Betty) who had such beautiful hair they were featured in "White King" shampoo commercials. She remembers watching their mother Edna carefully washing the girls' hair in the sink. Ruth also remembers a large walnut tree whose branches were covered with candles that the Newhards would light in the evenings. Ruth also recalls a yardage store nearby where she bought fabric for her first (of many!) sewing project. Another couple that comes to her mind from those days was Charlie and Mabel Glouner, who had a peach orchard on Lankershim on North Hollywood; Ruthie can still taste taste those juicy, sun-warmed peaches, the best she has ever had.
On a less happy note, Ruthie remembers the confusion of living with one and then the other parent while the details of the divorce were being worked out. William's premature death simplified things in that sense. He had been in Borneo working on the movie "White Captive" when he became ill with "Jungle Fever." He died back home in Hollywood on December 3, 1930, age 38, and was buried in Hollywood cemetery. The movie was ultimately released by Warner Brothers in August 1931 under the title "East to Borneo," though with George Robinson credited as the cinematographer. Ruthie was only 11 years old when her father died and she remembers having lived apart from him more than with him. But in all of his travels as a cameraman, he never forgot to bring souvenirs home to his girls. Ruth still has two ivory earrings and four dolls from this time, one from China, one from (Yokohama) Japan, one from Fiji, and one (of a Native American) that must have come from the American southwest.
William Stuart Adams, Hollywood Cemetery.
The date of death should read December 3, 1930.
Though the cemetery records give him the correct date of death,
whoever arranged for his burial (his aunt, Mary Stuart?)
seems to have made a mistake.
At the time of Billy's death, Ruth Lillian Owen Adams and her two daughters, Ruth (age 11) and Jessamyn (age 8), were living in a rented house on Graynold Avenue in Glendale. The landlord James Connor and his wife Jessie lived nearby in a big house on Glenwood Road and took the Adams family under his wing. This provided welcome relief for Ruth Lillian, who sometimes had to work late as a "negative film cutter" at Warner Brothers. On these occasions, the Connors' would welcome young Ruth and Jessamyn into their home. That's where the girls had their first coffee (mostly milk), which Mr. Connors brewed in a big enamel coffee pot that he never washed ("that would spoil the taste"), only rinsed. With the coffee came white toast (sliced from "Pullman loaves") with lots of butter. While they sipped and ate, they would listen to the KFI news on the radio. Other memories from that time include an ice cream man named "Fats," who kindly shared the pieces of broken popcycles with the Adams girls, and the occasion trip to the Tam O'Shanter Inn on Los Feliz in Atwater Village, where Ruthie savored a burgers served with a delicious sauce. One momento from those days: a silver "slave bracelet" that Ruth Sr. had made for Ruth Jr.
Ruthie attended Jefferson elementary school and then Mark Kepple elementary, part of a newly built cluster of schools that included Eleanor J. Toll Jr. High and Hoover High, which Ruth attended in due course. She remembers her sister Jessamyn attending Pasadena High School, on whose campus Pasadena City College had been founded in 1924.
Ruth Elizabeth Stuart Adams and Jessamyn Stuart Adams
In the summer of 1940, Ruth Lillian Owen Adams remarried. Her new husband, the Wisconsin-born, but proudly German Carl Crueger (2/12/1888--2/2/1961), had long served as her insurance agent. Though Ruth and Carl had been a couple for some time, Ruth had always insisted that they wait to marry until her girls were out of high school so that Carl would not be saddled with supporting step-daughters. Ruth Lillian Owen Adams Crueger moved into Carl's home on Manor Street in Altadena. Both of her daughters lived there for awhile as well, with Ruthie earning her keep for a time as the couple's
housekeeper and Jessamyn Stuart working in a local bakery. On April 18, 1941, the Manor Street house became the venue for Ruthie's wedding reception. She had met Baxter Keyt Wolf (11/28/1917--6/16/1973) in 1935 when the Wolf family moved to a house on Idylwood Road right near the Adams' place on Graynold. Ruth actually befriended Baxter's sister Helen first, but because all of the Wolfs walked to school together, she got to know Baxter as well.
She remembers how, when she first met him, he was gallantly carrying the books of another girl from the neighborhood. But before long it was Ruth's books that he was carrying. Not long after, Baxter put his prodigious talents as a ceramicist to work, making a cameo of the profile of his girl friend (both the cameo and the "mock up" survive). His intention was to mount it on a ring, but Ruth's mother intervened and it ended up being part of a necklace instead. Baxter finally popped the question in December, 1940. Ruth remembers coming home late that night and waking her mother and step-father to tell them the news. Her mother's response: "You don't have to give him an answer right away!" She didn't realize that her daughter already had. Baxter and Ruth were married at the church of the Lighted Window in La Ca–ada the following April. The bride had a bouquet of orange blossoms and Easter lilies.
Much of what is known about the courtship and early married years of Ruth's sister's Jessamyn comes from a recorded conversation between Linda Jean Wolf Kubitz and her Aunt Jess and Uncle Cliff in Vista, California in 1993. Jessamyn met the Canadian-born Clifford John Bradshaw, (1/6/1922--6/2/1994)--son of Joshua "Brady" (pronounced "Braddy) Bradshaw (1880-1964) and Selina Esther Moore (1879-1968), both of England--in Mr. Thomas's eleventh-grade history class at John Muir High School, which, from 1939-1942, was located in the west campus of Pasadena Junior College. Jackie Robinson was also a student and four-sport athlete at John Muir at that time. Like Baxter's courtship of Ruth, Cliff's interest in Jess was signaled by his willingness to carry her
books home from school. They often sat on the swing in the backyard of the Manor Street house and ate cookies that Jess's sister "Ruthie" baked. At that time Cliff grew chrysanthemums and regularly brought bouquets to Jess, to the point that Ruth Lillian chided him for taking up all the space in her house with flowers. It was some time before the young couple let Ruth see them holding hands and even longer before they divulged their plans to marry; only Ruthie knew what was going on. But Cliff was in the army at that time and when it looked like he would be shipped out, they hurried up the wedding date. Cliff was bold enough to ask Carl Cruegar for his step-daughter's hand, but he had to ask three times because Carl was listening to the radio and did not hear him. The young couple was married on October 25, 1942. Due to a heart attack, Carl was bedridden during the wedding ceremony. A small reception was held at the home of Selena and Brady Bradshaw. Cliff had a three-day pass so he and Jess honeymooned nearby at Eaton's Hotel in Santa Anita and then went to Mt. Wilson. During the early weeks of their marriage, Cliff, who was stationed at Victorville, came home almost every weekend to visit Jess. He also secured a few fake passes that allowed him to sneak out and meet Jess from time to time. In January 1943, Cliff enrolled in a meteorological course at Pomona College in Claremont. Soon after he suffered an attack of appendicitis and was sent to March Field in San Bernardino for an appendectomy. After he recovered Cliff went to the University of Oregon to complete meteorological school and Jess followed him there. A year later, Cliff graduated as a weather observer. He was then sent to Hondo Army Base near San Antonio, Texas were he served as a weather observer for the base. He and Jess lived in a one-room apartment at the edge of town where they were bothered by a peeping tom and the drunken workers who went by at night, singing at the top of their lungs. Cliff applied for an advanced weather observer program and was assigned to Childress Army Airfield in the Texas panhandle. Knowing that Cliff would soon be shipped out, Jess returned home to live with her parents on Manor Street. Cliff became part of a mission that would drop him behind enemy lines in Japan to get weather information to the United States prior to an imagined U.S. invasion. To prepare for this mission Cliff was sent to Harvard where he took post-engineering course work. After completing the course work, Cliff was sent to Brownsville, Texas to prepare for his deployment. While he was there the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, forcing its surrender and ending the need for the invasion. During Cliff's time at Harvard, Jess gave birth to their first child, Michael (May 2, 1945). Cliff kept in touch by phone, thanks to the collections that his friends orchestrated so that he would have money for the calls. [here the interview transcritpion ends].
Ruth Lillian Owen Adams Crueger continued to live at the house on Manor Street for some time after her husband Carl died on February 2, 1961. But when she could no longer handle living there alone, she moved to a Lutheran rest home in Alhambra, California. Ruth Lillian was a regular guest at Ruthie's house in Santa Barbara and Jess's houses in Pasadena and then Oceanside until she died in Alhambra on October 18, 1974.
Ruth Lillian Owen Adams (July 25, 1894--October 18, 1974)
*Marriage records for Jessie Stuart indicate that her mother's maiden name was "Turggle." Family Search, Batch No. M005098: "Jessie Stuart."
**Mary Stuart's age is erroneously given as 77. She would have been 67 or 68 at the time.
***Family Search, Batch No. M005098: "Thomas Adams."
****Based on census records of 1841, Thomas Adams Sr. is either the son of Benjamin and Estere Adams or the son of Jane Adams. Both of these Adams families lived in Rowley Regis at the time (unfortunately with no indication as to address), both were supported by "nailors," and both included a 20-year-old Thomas among their members.