Friday, June 17, 2011

Lynn McKee Carter

Lynn McKee Carter (1901-1938)
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp
Lynn McKee Carter
Born in Beaver County, PA, Sept. 19, 1901
Died in San Francisco (Stanford Hospital); lived in Los Angeles, CA, Jan. 18, 1938
Mother: Agnes Loretta Warren (1877-1951)
Father: Thomas Lynn Carter (1870-1913)
Wife: Dorothy Eleanor Paulson Carter (1901-1981), married Jan. 6, 1925
Children: Thomas Lynn Carter (born 1932) and Eleanor (Carol) Ann Carter (1936-2011)

Lynn’s only sibling was:
Miriam Leedom Carter (born 1904)

Lynn in 1901 or 1902
Photograph in possession of Bob Brubaker

Lynn in 1901 or 1902
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp
Lynn (on right) and a cousin, believed to be Warren E. Brashears (son of Hannah Warren), 1901 or 1902
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp

Lynn and his sister, Miriam
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp
In 1913, when Lynn was only 12, his father (Thomas Lynn Carter, who was working as a carpenter) died suddenly after a fall from a scaffolding.


Lynn and Miriam with their mother, Agnes
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp
Lynn, probably mid 1910s
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp
Lynn grew up in New Brighton and graduated from New Brighton High School in 1920.

Lynn’s pocketknife, engraved with his initials and high school graduation date
Pocketknife and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knap
He married Dorothy Eleanor Paulson on January 6, 1925, and they moved to Los Angeles soon afterward.
Lynn and Dorothy, late 1920s or 1930s
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp

Lynn in his front yard in Los Angeles, 1920s or early 1930s
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp
In 1992, Robert L. Carter sent me the photo of Lynn shown above. Robert is son of Robert Lymon Carter (b. 1888), who was Lynn’s uncle. He wrote that his parents spoke highly of Lynn, said that he was very bright, and remembered that he had grown a mustache when he lived in Los Angeles, so that he would look older and more managerial, as he was young for his position in the company. As you can see from the photograph with Dorothy, he was very tall, about 6'4", according to my mother. Dorothy was shorter than 5'. He had curly reddish-brown hair and blue eyes.

My grandmother, Dorothy, loved living in Los Angeles, which must have been very exciting and glamorous in the 1930s. I remember her talking about the orange trees that grew in their backyard.

Lynn and Dorothy had two children: Thomas Lynn Carter (born 1932) and Eleanor Carol Ann (born 1936). 
Lynn and Dorothy with Eleanor and Tom, Los Angeles, probably 1937
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp
I think this is Lynn with his son Tom in Los Angeles, around 1933
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp
The letter below, sent from Lynn to his mother, Agnes Carter, in New Brighton, after the birth of Eleanor in 1936, shows that he was very pleased to be a father:
Document and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp

Document and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp

Document and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp

It reads:
Dear Mother and Miriam:

What did you think when you received the telegram? Weren't you thrilled! We're so happy to think w have a little girl. Dorothy is the happiest person in the world. We haven't named her to date. She's a little dear, round plump face black hair and it seems sort of kinky (maybe it is going to be curly). She has quite a bit of hair too. She looks like Dorothy I think. She has the prettiest coloring, not the least bit red like most new born babies. Her head is so pretty for a new baby.
About eight o'clock Tuesday evening Dorothy started having labor pains and by 9:15 we were in the hospital. Things started to happen quickly and by 11:20 P.M. April 14th the baby was born. Dorothy didn't have the least bit of a hard time like she did when Tommy was born. It was all over in two hours. This morning when I went into her room she was all dressed in a pretty nightie and said she felt like getting up. She said it seemed too good to be true that it was all over and she had a baby girl. We had hoped from the first it would be a girl but we couldn't let ourselves think that sure it would be a girl. We even went so far to select a boys name (John) but sort of stayed clear of a girls name and the result is we are 100% sure of what we'll call her.
She's a little doll and believe you me we're the proudest parents that ever lived. Just think having a nice boy like Tommy and then to be blessed with a lovely daughter. Dorothy looks like a queen lying there in her bed. She has a lovely private room, the service is wonderful, and I'm sure everything will continue to be O.K.
Tommy is thrilled with his little sister. He wants to see his mumie. Poor little fellow was in bed all day to-day with a cold. He ate too many candy easter eggs on Easter and it upset him. We have a nurse here who will take complete charge of everything. She is engaged for two months and by that time Dorothy will be alright I’m sure. I want her to take it easy and not rush things.

I was walking around in the clouds to-day. I really was proud to be the father of a boy and a girl.

Please tell Dorothy's sisters all the news as I'm too busy to write them. Dorothy will appreciate a letter from them. She misses her mother and maybe this dear little girl will take her place.

With all our love, Lynn

(Tom’s much better to-nite; he will be up and around this morning.)
 
From the photos I have, it looks like Dorothy and Lynn traveled extensively in the western United States, and were sometimes joined by Lynn’s mother, Agnes Loretta Warren Carter, and his sister, Miriam.

Lynn with cacti, probably 1930s
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp
Lynn (top) and Dorothy (fourth from bottom) headed down the Grand Canyon, July 1928.
Photograph in possession of Bob Brubaker; digital image: Susan Brubaker Knapp
Lynn worked for McClintic-Marshall Steel Company (later purchased by Bethlehem Steel) as an engineer. He worked on two important projects in California: Los Angeles City Hall, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.




Lynn in front of the construction site for the Los Angeles City Hall, about 1926.
Photograph and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp
This postcard was among Lynn’s mementos.
Document and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp
This postcard was among Lynn’s mementos.
Document and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp


This stadium pass to the 1932 Olympics in LA was among Lynn’s mementos.
Document and digital image in possession of Susan Brubaker Knapp



Lynn died at age 36 at Stanford Hospital in San Francisco. My uncle Tom (Lynn’s son) says his premature death was due to “malignant hypertension,” and that doctors were going to operate on him, but he died before the surgery could take place. After a service at at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles (where he had attended while living there), his body was brought back from Los Angeles via train, and his funeral was held at First Baptist Church in New Brighton. He was buried in Grove Cemetery.





Photo by Mark R. Brubaker, taken August 2013
Photo by Mark R. Brubaker, taken August 2013

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