Autobiographies of Ray Q. Brewster
and his wife
Ida Fay (Stewart) Brewster
Ina May b. Sept 17, 1886
d. Feb. 14, 1967
Ira Jay b. July 4, 1889
d. Oct. 10, 1965
Ida Fay b. Feb 1, 1892
(this memoir was written while she lived. Iíll verify date of death and add it later.)
Children: See Part III, Sec. 1. (not yet on web)
After being in school in Ottawa for several years, Mamma taught the country school at Ransomville (no longer in existence) a few miles southwest of Ottawa for about two years. Iím glad to have in my possession the hand-bell with shich she called the children in from recess. (I have it now in my possession.)
At this time she met a young carpenter and volunteer fireman, Charles C. Stewart, in Ottawa. They were married on July 14 (Bastille Day in France) in 1884. Ray jokingly used to tell Mamma that Papa did not get out of prison that day; he fell into it. For the first year of their married lives the folks lived in the 600 block on Walnut Street but early en 1885 bought a vacant lot at Eighth and Locust Streets where Papa build the house that was their home for almost 60 years. Here we children (Ina, Jay and I) grew up and here Howard and Ina as well as Ray and I were married. Here also, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
By 1942-1943, roughly 8 or 9 years beyond their golden wedding, Mamma became increasingly ill with heart trouble. Papa was able to care for her for a time but then it became necessary for me to go to Ottawa, from my home in Lawrence, to stay with the folks for three or for days and then Ina, from her home on the farm near Overbrook, would come to look after them several days. Eventualy, we overcame the folks reluctance to leave their home by proposing that they come to Lawrence and stay with Ran and me for the winter. The idea seemed to please them, so we packed their clothingand such personal items as they would want, called the ambulance for Momma and made the move on Nov. 23, 1943. The 60th anniversaryu of their marriage came on July 14, 1944. No celebration could be attempted because Mamma was seriously ill, bedfast nearly all the time and quite confused in her mind. Rev. and Mrs. Ross, pastor of the U. P. Church in Ottawa came to see the folks as also did Howard and Ina, but Mamma did not seem to realize that the day marked their 60th anniversary. She passed away on Dec. 24, 1944.
Papa and Mamma were quite at home with us. We had arranged the downstairs bedroom with its adjacent half-bath for their use. After Mamma's death Papa continued to occupy the same quarters for the next elelven years. Even to the present day we refer to that bedroom as Papa's room. He was temporarily with Howard and Ina at Overbrook, however at the time of his death on March 19, 1955 at the age of 93.
Papa and Momma are buried on the family plot at the top of the higher ground on the east side of Mt. Hope Cemetary at the west edge of Ottawa. Here, also, on this lot you will find the gravees of other family members.
My Greatgrandfather, Charles Howell, 1808 - 1870
My Greatgrandmother, Sarah Howell, 1808 - 1868
Greatgrandfather's sister, Marth, 1843 - 18 72
My Grandpa, Charles O. Howell, 1838 - 1915
My Grandma, Mary Howell, 1849 - 1912
In years to come someone in future generations may wish to locate this burial lot. As you enter the cemetery from Second Street turn to your right (eastward) you will see two driveways leading northward. Preceed northward on the first of these driveways some 250-300 feet to a crossroad at the top of the rise. At his point you will find the headstones marking the graves directly on you right.
Papa was a carpsenter and even if other work was rushing he always found time on a volunteer basis, to keep everythin at the chruch building in good repair. Quite appropriately, at his funeral service on the the ladies of the Ottawa U. P. Church sang the old hymn, "On the Ture and Faithful God Has Set his Love."
The forgoing material will, I believe, give you the main points about my parents and grand parents so I'll pass on to my own early life.
Two stories I would like to add to these notes. My mother tells me that the story she heard was that when Grandpa started doing the cooking when Grandma was ill, everything he made turned into a pancake. Perhaps he was way ahead of his time and they were crepes?
The other bit of information was that when they folks were moved to Lawrence for the winter, the house was sold and there was some unhappiness about it later. Grandpa Stewart, my great grandpa lived into my memory, as a dignified old man who sat in his chair watching me play. I thought him a kind spirit. I remember seeing him sleeping when we went to visit Ina one time in Overbrook. I thought he had died, though my mother tells me he died several days later. I was upset that he was sound asleep and would not rouse to talk to me.