Sunday, May 13, 2012

LETTER TO EARL: CLARA EHLER

"hit the road"  3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

In the previous post there was one sentence regarding Clara Ehler. I didn't have a painting done yet, I just finished it tonight. But the fact that the farm belonged to a woman, and had to be rented intrigued me. I wanted to learn more.

It's amazing what you can find when doing simple research on the internet. Just using ancestry.com I found out that, in 1930, Clara was married to Roy Ehler and had two children: Mata age 14 and Frances age 6. They also lived with her mother, Ella Jordan. This was a predominately German community. They had a laborer living with them as well, named Otis Ayers. In Earl's letter (1943) his mother claimed that Clara Ehler's farm was being rented. In newspaperarchive.com I found out why:
Clara Ehler Files Suit For Divorce

Charging neglect and cruelty, Clara Ehler filed petition in common pleas court against Roy Ehler, seeking a divorce and custody of a minor child.

A restraining order was issued at the request of the plaintiff prohibiting Ehler from entering the premises, a farm in Twin township, or disposing of property either chattels or real.

~ Hamilton Daily News Journal, September 17, 1940

I guess by the time of the divorce Mata was already 24 years old, so Clara just sought custody of her youngest daughter.

Clara Ehler lived to be 97 years old and died in Dayton, Ohio.

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