On October 16, 1907, nine weeks after the last posted letter and ten days before his 23rd birthday, Chester Daniel Jones took Mabel Claire Ledlie to be his lawfully wedded wife. They were married 59 years.
The letters in this blog document one chapter of their courtship, in which a family vacation separated the young lovers. The photos and visuals were researched 111 years after Chester penned these colorful confessions straight from the heart; scroll down to read them all. Mabel’s replies are lost to history.
Chester and Mabel had one child, Ledlie Prescott Jones, born August 16, 1911 in Suffern, New York. Ledlie never married. His World War II enlistment card indicates he was single with no children and had completed two years of high school; occupation: photographer. He died December 14, 1999 in Brunswick, Maine.
Chester was born October 26, 1884 in Hopedale, Massachusetts, the oldest of four boys. His parents were Walter Bailey Jones and Flora Ethel (Mason) Jones; brothers Lloyd, Bertram and Elmer.
Mabel’s information is scarce, and less certain. She was born March 13 or 28, 1882 in Illinois. Her parents were James Russell Ledlie and Caroline (Johnson) Ledlie, and she had an older sister, Mary Gertrude.
Mabel died in 1966; she was 84 years old. Chester died five years later, at the age of 86. Chester, Mabel and Ledlie are buried at Riverside Cemetery in Yarmouth, Maine.
Many thanks to Jim for inspiration, encouragement, and a very good eye; to Debbie for keen editorial advice; to Charlie for expert technical assistance, and to Susan, flea market companion beyond compare.
Special thanks to Kim, Chester’s cousin twice removed, for family photos and insights. And to Linda Borg at The Providence Journal:
Chester’s letters will be donated to the