In tomorrow’s 52 Ancestors Story, I talk about a journey that my mother’s family made annually from Killbuck, Ohio in Holmes County to my grandmother Vera Stout Anderson’s relatives in Guernsey County. Instead of food this week,we’re talking about a journey in an antique car.
Mother (Harriette Anderson Kaser) mentions in her story that her great aunt Elizabeth Stout “Lib” Cunningham was a terrific cook, but unfortunately, she doesn’t tell us what Lib cooked. Instead she remembers all the details about every antique car, the road conditions and travel directions. Even though my mother was a home economics teacher for many years, she was always more interested in cars than in food preparation.
In her eighties and nineties, she could lovingly describe every car she ever owned. And Grandma Vera Anderson and Grandpa Leonard Guy Anderson started driving cars as soon as it was feasible. After the ones named below, in the late 20’s they owned a Stutz, which you can see here. My uncle Herbert Anderson posed beside that car in 1927.
In her story that I relate tomorrow, Mother describes the red Maxwell Runabout that her parents were driving when she and her brothers were small. From the pictures I have been able to find, theirs was probably a 1912. Mother describes a round gas tank in front of a luggage box and that is missing on the earlier models I’ve seen pictures of, but it is present in 1912. Nevertheless, here’s a picture of a 1911 Maxwell Runabout, because I like to picture my Grandmother and Grandfather and their three small children in this bright red car.
Mother tells another story about a later trip to Guernsey County, in another car, the Saxon. The Saxon was harder to find pictures of (with use permitted), but here’s one that was for sale. It is a 1917, which was no doubt more practical, although not nearly as much fun.
Here’s my mother’s story of a trip that went wrong.
In looking for pictures and information about the Saxon car, I came across a site dedicated to Saxons and their collectors. They have a story there, The Suffragist Saffron Saxon, about a Suffragette who traveled across the country campaigning for the woman’s vote. Since Grandma Stout read the New York Times, sent to her by her son Will, I like to think that she read that story and it influenced the family decision to buy a Saxon.
Of course I can’t provide concrete evidence, but the circumstantial evidence is strong. We know her son who lived in New York, sent her the paper. We know that her greatest desire was to live long enough for women to vote. And we know she was not bashful about expressing her opinion.
Perhaps she would have changed her mind after the night of the road trip gone wrong in this antique car.
“Harriette Anderson Kaser’s Memories of Killbuck, Ohio in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s” were transcribed from an audiotape recorded in the home of P. W. Kaser, Fresno, California about 1980. Paul William Kaser, her son, made the transcription. Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher made slight edits.
Added material was taken from other notes of conversations with Harriette,