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Monday, February 13, 2012

"Good Night, Gracie"

At the same time I inherited Allen's diaries, I was given a box of papers that had belonged to my great Aunt Belle Lucas.  They tell the story of her father-in-law George Burns from Stockton, NY.

In February 1896, 26 year-old George married 18 year-old Ella Hodge and 6 months later their first son, Alvah was born.  Alvah was followed two years later by his brother George, Jr.  By 1880, the couple had a third son on the way and problems brewing. 

I have not yet, if ever will, found the reason but in January 1880 George Burns went to Buffalo to have his leg amputated.  He was a resident at a boarding house at 63 Division Street--something that resembles a parking lot today.  Across the street in an old Post Office is now Erie County Community College.

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Letter One

Buffalo
Friday Jan 9/80

Dear Friends

Dr. Miner has just amputated Georges leg.  He thinks he stands the usual chance of getting well. Dr. Miner said that he would not have lived more than a few months as it was.

We are at a private boarding house a splendid place for him.  Miner thought it was the best place for George better than the Hospital.

There will have to (be) some one (to) take care of him.  i think it would be as well and as cheap as any way for you to come and do it. the woman that we board with a splendid good one Just like Our folks. I think you had better come on Monday next I will be at the Depot and meet you will write again tomorrow.

W. Drake

This woman wears a calico dress and says it is good enough for anybody.

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Further Info and thoughts:

Most likely candidate to be George
Westly Drake was George's uncle and likely a paternal figure since George's own father passed away in 1861.  I also think Drake has the hots for the lady in calico who runs the boarding house.  Oh, and I think the title of this post starts and ends the "George Burns" references.  Oh, God! Unless I think of any others.



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