Stirpes, Volume 34, Number 1, March 1994

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In one of the letters Sarah wrote, the
message was from Phillip's father, saying he
(Phillip) could reach his brothers Edward
and Mathew in Astoria, Oregon. Phillip
wrote, and in the course of time, an answer
came from Edward, who gave very glowing
accounts of the wonderful new country and
how well he and Mathew were doing. He
begged Phillip and Sarah to go there, so in
the spring of '88, Phillip went to see how he
would like it and to prepare a home for
Sarah. They had a darling daughter, Anne
Eliza, about two years of age. Sarah and
Annie stayed with us until Phillip sent for
her. She and the baby left in May. The
Southern Pacific Railroad had just been
completed through to Portland when Sarah
left. She had not told any of us that she was
expecting another baby, so we were all very
much surprised when we heard in October
that she had a son, Stanley Pontefract.
Sarah did not like Astoria. She was
very homesick so they moved to Portland.
She loved it there and was very happy and
contented. She wrote most enthusiastically
about it and wanted Father and Mother to go
and see their new home. When they decided
to do so, I went to San Antonio, and on their
departure, Emma came to stay with us. We
rented a funny little house, built flat with the
sidewalk that ran straight back with four
rooms. It was a few blocks from the Alamo.
San Antonio at that time was a mud hole, but
so interesting to us, and still holds its charm
for me. We started to keep house. Neither of
us had had any real experience but we
blundered along and had lots of fun.
Harry's run had been extended to
New Orleans from San Antonio, which made
it a very long one. My darling Laurie was
born on March 21, 1890, and christened at
St. Marks. We named him Harry Lawrence
Pontefract, rather a load, but he thrived under
it. He was such a bonny golden-haired
boy. Emma and I took such pride in him and
enjoyed everything about him. Mother tried
to reach San Antonio to be there at the time
of his birth but all through the northwest,
terrific storms were raging. All the rivers

were overflowing, and the railroads through
the Willamette Valley were nearly all washed
away. She had to travel a roundabout way to
get out. Mother reached San Antonio when
Laurie was about three days old. How grand
it was to have her with us!
In June, we went to New Orleans as
Harry had his layover there. Father returned
from Portland so he and Mother went to visit
Eva and Jennie in Beaumont. Tom and Fred
had bought a small laundry there and were
doing very well. Eva and Tom had four sons
by this time, William Pontefract, Frank,
George Harry, and Albert Edward. Jennie
and Fred had then one daughter and two
sons, George Frederick and Leo.
Harry left Wells-Fargo and we went
to Beaumont where he worked in a lumber
company office. My second son, Harold
Mellor, was born there Jan. 16, 1893. Such
a frail baby! I remember meeting an old
darkie who had worked for me, and she said,
"My, my, Miss Mattie, what a lovely lilywhite
baby you hab got!"
Emma and David Woodhead were
married Nov. 12, 1894, by Dr. Leon Sonfield.
And Nov. 1, 1895, their little Daphne
was born. My little daughter, Eva Marion,
came Sept. 24 the same year. We were very
proud of our sweet baby girls. The following
August, darling Daphne was taken ill and
died. She had always been a frail child and
no food seemed to agree to her. Her going
was a sad loss to Emma and David. They
were most disconsolate. Emma's health was
bad too. It was a sad time for all of us, as
Daphne's death was the first loss we had
felt.
Sarah and Phillip came back to
Texas and went to Cleborne. A son, Phillip,
was born there. It was a very sad move for
them, as the following year Phillip was taken
ill with pneumonia and passed away, leaving
Sarah with three little children.
In 1897, Harry, myself, and our
three children went to England. Eva had her
second birthday there. We sailed from
Galveston on the S.S. Leona to New York.
We spent some time in Key West and then

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Texas State Genealogical Society. Stirpes, Volume 34, Number 1, March 1994. San Antonio, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39868/. Accessed November 28, 2014.