Family Stories

Hugh Linton’s Letter to Frances Barber Linton Montgomery

Hugh Linton and Frances Barber Linton Montgomery, my great-grandmother, were cousins.  They shared their love of genealogy through letters and visits.  Hugh lived in Hopkinsville, Christian County, in western Kentucky.  Frances lived in Washington County, in the center of the state.   That doesn’t sound like a far distance in our day and time, but in the 30’s and 40’s – during the Depression and World War II – it was very far.  I have letters from 1934 to April of 1945.  The last letter was from Hugh’s wife, Lydabel, informing Frances of Hugh’s death three weeks earlier.  Frances died four months later.  I treasure these letters – but what a marvelous thing to have the letters Great-Grandmother Frances wrote to Hugh!  I fear they are long lost!

The Carrico boy killed in the war, that Hugh speaks of, was my Uncle Robert.  My grandmother, Mary Alice Montgomery Carrico, was the daughter of Frances and Robert E. Lee Montgomery.  I believe Hugh has her confused with Margaret.

Ann Mason, mentioned in the letter, was the wife of Captain John Linton.  They moved their entire family – children and grandchildren – from Loudoun County, Virginia, to Washington County, Kentucky, in 1818.

I apologize for the look of the blog.  WordPress has changed and I no longer have the option to make my block paragraphs, or use additional fonts.

April 10, 1944

Mrs. R. L. Montgomery, Walnut Street, Springfield, Kentucky

Dear Cousin Frances,

In your letter written about the first of the year, you were kind enough to enclose a typewritten letter from Reverend Davis of your city about the Mason family, including the name of our ancestor, Ann Mason.

I am returning this letter which I have gone over very carefully several times.  I showed it to the banker downstairs, whose name is Mason and who is a cousin of the well known Jesse Jones, and used to hunt rabbits with him when he was a boy.  But this Mr. Mason couldn’t trace in his family tree any connection with your great-grandmother and my great-great-grandmother.

It was very sad to learn about the Carrico boy.  After learning that, I read in the Louisville paper about Thomas who was wounded in the Italian fighting and the paper said he was the son of Margaret.  This means, I am sure, that he was a brother of Robert.  I know these things have cast a shadow over the family and about the only thing we can be proud of is that they have had the courage and patriotism that a great many other boys have lacked.  I trust that Margaret is holding up well and that all of you know that you have our heartfelt sympathy in these troubles.  I trust Cousin Robert is getting along well, and the rest of the family.

If it hadn’t been for the gas shortage last summer when we were at Mammoth Cave a few days, we would have driven to Springfield to see you and your family.  Some day the war will be over and we hope to renew our very pleasant acquaintance.

My boy, Walter, is in Phoenix, Arizona, and has a baby about 15 months old, whom we have never been able to see, and if I can’t take Lydabel to see them before long, she is going to leave me and go anyway!

Lots of love and best wishes.  I beg to remain

Your Cousin,


Leave a Reply