If there was one thing I could change about my childhood, it would be that I would have had the opportunity to know my Grandpa Shoemaker. My dad's father died one year before my parents were married, so I never got to meet him. Most of his family lived a few hours away from us so we never were able to get to know any of his brothers or sisters very well. We did have a few precious photographs of him. The portrait above of my grandparents, Estel and Imo Huffman Shoemaker, and my father, Estel Shoemaker, Jr. is one of my favorites.
When I began seriously researching my family history, I enlisted the help of my Aunt Joyce to round up and scan whatever she could find for me. The letter above was one of the treasured items she sent to me.
It is a referral letter written by my grandfather's boss, George Horton, who was a foreman at The Wilmington Casting Company in Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio. The fact that the letter tells the reader what job my grandfather performed and that "his work has been a very high type" is fantastic. But, what makes this letter so meaningful to me is the statement that he was of "exemplery character". It isn't often that we can discover how others viewed our ancestors, so I consider myself very lucky that I have been able to "know" my Grandpa Shoemaker in this way.