I learned more about my great grandfather who I never met during our vacation. We stayed at the cabin that he had build in 1927. It is in the mountains to help escape the heat of Yakima, where he lived. Here is a photo of him with his children; my grandfather John and my great aunt Marie at their home in Yakima.
He was in the apple business in Yakima. Here is some letterhead I had seen before. I had seen others, but this one mentions prunes, that I hadn’t realize he was involved with. I do have copies of the two apple crate labels on the left.
As I had mentioned, I read one of his unpublished books during our vacation. Here is a handwritten list of the chapters of the book. It helps because some of the chapters were out of order. But unfortunately this list wasn’t complete so I had to figure it out in the end. Possible spoiler alert for my family, I summarize the book below so if you are planning on reading it, skip the next paragraph.
The book was about a fictional character who started out in the fruit warehousing business in California, went bankrupt with that but managed to buy into a new refrigeration technique where he made a fortune. To avoid paying his debts and taxes he moved to Central America, leaving his wife behind. He bought into a gold mine there which was very successful. He had secretly developed a German security force that ultimately defeated the government’s attempt to take over the mine. He then took his forces to the capitol of the country and took it over. He then managed to develop an army and took over all of the countries of central American and Mexico. He created a new government trying to unite all of these countries into one. He developed a lot fo enemies along the way. The book is constructed in that based on the title and other hints, you know he is going to be killed. My great grandfather alternated a chapter with his history with a chapter describing the minutes before his death. So you are always wondering who is going to kill him. And, of course, it is a surprise in the end. I was actually fascinated by the book, although skip some of the many rants against FDR, and it was one of the highlights of my vacation. Interestingly the main character visits Germany in 1937 and his mistress dies in childbirth, paralleling my great grandfather’s life (although it was his wife who died in childbirth).
In with the book were two letters addressed to Fred Albertson regarding fruit sales/shipments. My great grandfather is starting to have some health issues that seem to be starting to affect his business.
I found this letterhead as well where he is listed as on the executive committee of the International Apple Association. Mysteriously, it doesn’t seem to be very international as all of the people listed are in the United States and surprising Morton is the only one from the west coast.
Then I explored the other boxes of papers related to him and his business. There are photos of his plant in Yakima that I hadn’t seen before.
I am assuming that this was his office.
Here is a publication about Germany from September 1937.
There was another book of his “Jakob in Search of his Honor”.
Here is a photo of an aerial view of his warehouses.
A document of appreciation for his work with the International Apple Association.
A couple more books he wrote. There were some pages in his handwriting as well so we are speculating that he handwrote the books, and his wife typed them out. It was a lot of work.
And this is a document from the US Department of State stating that he is a delegate on behalf of the USA in the Fifth International Technical and Chemical Congress of Agricultural Industries in the Netherlands July 1937.
More books. I had initially thought there was only one book.
And he edited this book. I was surprised because I thought the book I read could use some serious editing.
Even more books.
I knew he was a major reader of books as is most of that side of the family (me included when I have the time). I believe I have inherited a lot of his books that I hope to read in my retirement (I am not sure I will read all of these books he wrote though). I also discovered that his favorite drink was bourbon with branch water. So I have learned a lot more about my great grandfather in my vacation so that was nice.
FYI I previously posted about his experiences with the Big Burn at The Big Burn and at The Hiawatha Trail or Where my Great-Grandfather Survived the Big Burn . There is a post Cliffdell Memories with photos of his and other family members’ homes and graves toward the end of the post. There is a current photo of his apple storage warehouse from 1927 in Trip to Mom’s Family Cabin about halfway down. There is a post dedicated to a lilac at our house that originally came from my great grandfather’s home at 2711 Lilac.