Winfield, Kansas

I have so many wonderful memories of visiting Granny Kelley in Winfield.  Janet Hodson, the retired Presbyterian missionary who had worked in India, moved in with Granny after Grandfather died.  The family had always supported Janet in her mission work.  After her retirement, she moved into 915 Mansfield to keep Granny company & to look after her.  I was named for Janet Hodson.  Below is a google photo of 915 Mansfield.

Janet was also born to an unmarried mother (in 1895) and her mother chose to keep her.  Janet was badly mistreated by her grandmother and was often left locked in a closet.  Her grandmother blamed the child instead of the child’s mother for her illegitimacy.  (Info. from my mother Harriett)  This may have led Janet to a life as a missionary.

Janet was very exotic to me for a lot of reasons.  She had traveled all around the world, had a fabulous stamp collection, and she and her clothing smelled of sandalwood.  It has always been one of my favorite scents because of Janet.  When she retired, she brought home to Winfield several tables and chests made of sandalwood and this delicious odor permeated everything.  I still have a sandalwood table and at least one elephant bell left from Janet.  Janet left me her stamp collection in her will.  Harriett, being the wise woman that she was, didn’t think that was fair to the other grandchildren and had the stamps sold and the proceeds given to the Presbyterian Missionary Efforts.  I concur with her choice.  Janet died in 1974 and who knows how I might have spent the money. I certainly wouldn’t have invested it. But because of Janet, I have always dreamed of traveling to India, but unfortunately haven’t yet made the trip.

The other grandchildren probably wonder why I know or remember this stuff. I was a clingy kid who didn’t venture far from my mother. I was a “radar” and heard everything. When Mom (Harriett) couldn’t find something, she would always ask me and I always knew. Adopted children often are a bit strange, and I know that I was very strange. There is is an attachment disorder that many adopted children have & I know I had a severe case.

Janet Hodson

Our grandfather Kelley had his office in this beautiful stone building on the right. He died before I was born, but my Mom (Harriett) often took me there for doctor or dental appointments and I can still remember the “doctor” scent. I don’t know if it was alcohol or ether, but it definitely smelled like a doctor’s office. It is amazing that doctor’s offices don’t smell like this anymore.

Dr. Forrest Kelley’s office was in the stone building on the right.

I think Mom (Harriett) told me that she was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Winfield, KS. I’ll need to do some more research to prove this. But attached is a photo of St. Mary’s Hospital.

Dr. Forrest Kelley

Dr. Forrest Kelley

Patricia, Margaret and Harriett Kelley with their Grandmother

Patricia, Margaret and Harriett Kelley with their Grandmother

4 responses

  1. I still have your stamp collection. Haven’t pawned them yet, ha! There are a bunch of stamps from India. Were any of those from Janet?

    1. all of them were from Janet . . .I am so glad you still have them!

  2. This post reminds me of a few things-I wish I had the memory that some of my friends have, but alas I don’t. You probably know the story of Grandfather Kelley delivering me when Dr. Benson didn’t get to the hospital on time. Mom was living at home because Dad was in Europe (as was Uncle Bob, who was the one who could contact Dad to tell him of my birth). She told Grandfather she thought she was ready to deliver and he was in no hurry as he thought she was a bit of a ‘worry wart’. Anyway he got up and took her to the hospital (it was around midnight) and when they got there I was on my way into the world and he had to deliver me. He died (you would know exactly when) about 6 months later and I never knew him either. I have two photos I would like to attach but don’t know how.

    1. Thanks John for sending your photos.

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