David's Reformed Church Congregation

David's Reformed Church Congregation
Congregation of David's Reformed Church, Montgomery Co, Ohio, Circa, 1900

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - The Letter of Recommendation


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.

5 comments:

  1. How wonderful for you to get this letter and picture!

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  2. That's really great. As I was reading the letter, I was thinking to myself how awesome it was that you got that account of your grandfather's character, so it's cool to know that you were most touched by that part. I think that's the goal for many of us - to get an actual sense of the "people" our ancestors were. Names and dates are great, but documents like this really can help us to make the type of connection we so long for.

    :)Renate

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  3. What a wonderful letter, I also grew up not knowing my father's mother and met my father's father only twice. I have letters from both of them that let me get to know them better. Thanks for sharing

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  4. Wow, so many people would have thrown the letter away, but thank goodness, it wasn't. You’ve got some interesting things to share, time after time. I enjoy them all.

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  5. Like yourself, I never got the chance to enjoy both of my grandfathers as I was very young when they both died. Like you I wish I could roll back time and have the chance to speak with them, what would they have said to me today?
    Greta letter, shows his character and his values of hard work

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