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ROBERT NELSON STANDLEY





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If I'd had my choice of grandfathers, I'd have chosen my Grandfather Standley on the spot. He was gentle, but he had a pixie sense of humor. I have a treasured letter that he wrote to me just before my eleventh birthday when I was recovering from the mumps. It had just the right balance of teasing and love, and it always makes me smile when I read it.



It says:1-26-1939

Dear Anne, We have your picture on the left side of the old clock and there is a look in your eyes that wasnt in them the last time I saw you. Kinder like a cat after the bird disapeared. Now be a good girl and tell gran-dad jus what you did to make you about the best looking girl I ever saw. I want to try it on my girls if it isnt to late. I was awful sorrie you had to have the mumps just at the rong time. And I hope you have all quarentine troubles over. Sammie Dickson was out of school most all this winter, but is back this week and seems to be better than he ever was. I would of liked to of been with you all New Years nite. I hope you and Pat got just the things you wanted Christmas. I think my Grand-daughters pictures was the best ever. I hope you and Pat look after your Mother's ever want while you are eating her food. You should be awfuly proud to have a smart Mother. Pat Murrie has been reducing but it hasnt taken so you can notice it yet. I dont see how you get along with out a dog but you may have a new one that I havent heard of. Hope you all get to come home next Summer. Love, GrnFather


Since two of his sons lived in Sacramento, Grandfather would travel from Missouri to California every other year by train.

Children's Train Menu - 1940


By the time he arrived in town, he had made friends with half the people on that train. His only bad habit was chewing tobacco, and my sister and I always had the chore of tearing strips of newspaper to fill a coffee can for a spittoon. But from then on it was fun, fun, fun!

He was a handsome man, even in his old age, but his mustache was always a bit stained along the sides from the tobacco juice. Grandfather had a love of what were then called potato doughnuts, and he bought a "baker's dozen" every few days. He also loved to ride to a nearby area to buy oranges and a variety of olives. He would occasionally slip each of his grandchildren a nickel, a veritable fortune in our eyes.



The Standleys were a Baptist family, and they were not very pleased when Grandfather chose to marry a first-generation Irish-American girl named Sarah Edna Gleason. Undaunted, he did just that.

****Sarah Edna Gleason 1884****


My Standley grandparents had a family of three sons and four daughters, my father, Robert Milton Standley, being the youngest, born in 1899. One of my favorite pictures was taken by one of the sons, James Gleason Standley.

The Robert Nelson Standley Family


I loved everything about my Grandfather Standley's home, from the loud "tick-tock" of the clock on the mantle, to the fragrance of "glycerin and rose water" that his three spinster daughters used to soften their hands. There was a nice front porch, but it was the large wrap-around porch on the side that held me entranced. My older sister and I would "fly" as high as we could on the porch swing - possibly why I later earned my pilot's license.

Mother and Anne 1928 - Grandfather's Side Porch


Anne 1929


Grandfather's home was on an acre of land, only a few blocks from the Carroll County Courthouse. His Great-Grandparents had donated the land for the County Seat of Carroll County, Missouri. Half the land contained a wonderful vegetable garden, and along the fence which separated the two sections were lovely rows of hollyhocks and petunias. When I see hollyhocks I always think of my grandfather!

Pat, Grandfather, Anne - 1935


***But it was Grandfather Standley himself who was the big attraction.***
Small wonder that I have such happy memories of my childhood!


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Copyright 2003 by Anne (Standley) Brunt