Thursday, October 20, 2011

Keep This in a Safe Place

For all intents and purposes, the letter from Theresa Blaising Stevens to her Chicago daughter-in-law, Agnes Tully Stevens, must have ended with the fourth page, although the last few words seemed to indicate she had more to say. Whatever that “more” might have been is not evident from the rest of the package, though, as the remaining two pages were on a piece of the same type of paper, but cut to a different size. Something cut out? I’ll never know.

Here is what the next page shows:

Lawyers name is

Judge James O. Ballou
312 Standard building
200 block of East Berry St.

Sylvesters address is
Sylvester C. Blaising
636 West Fourth St
Ft. Wayne – Ind.
            keep this in a safe place
Sylvester, Theresa’s nephew that she discussed in the part of the letter that I posted Tuesday, was indeed at the address she gave. A copy of his World War II registration card showed that same location.

As for the judge—an unexplained entry only mentioned at this point—I had to do some additional sleuthing. At first, I wasn’t sure from the handwriting whether the last name was Ballou or Ballon. However, finding a couple entries for a lawyer by the name of James O. Ballou, entered into practice in Fort Wayne July 27, 1934, as a graduate of Indiana University law school, I presumed I found my man. And there was, indeed, a “Standard Building” on East Berry Street in Fort Wayne, although I’ve read that the name was changed from the “Elektron Building.” It appears that, even today, the building houses some attorneys’ offices.

Whatever the building might be called, its location on one of the main streets in downtown Fort Wayne with proximity to a courthouse and city hall, and its purpose of housing those employed in legal affairs, gives a hint that the end to Theresa’s somber musings on the previous page of her letter was not merely thought without action. The final page of her package, which I'll share with you tomorrow, will show more details.

1 comment:

  1. You are an excellent sleuth! Nancy Drew has nothing on you!


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