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California Timeline

Cousin Phyllis Goold, daughter of Marjorie (McLaren) Butterfield, lived in and around Hollister all her life. Her father and her husband were both orchardists. So it is with some authority that she tells us the groves of fruit trees are orchards (not farms) and the folks who tend the orchards are orchardists (they don't like to be called farmers).

That was Peter Jr.'s chosen profession when he settled on San Juan Road, west of town, in 1917.

By 1920 Marion McLaren, the oldest child, had entered nursing school in San Francisco. In 1921 she graduated, married, and bore a son, William F. McLaughlin.

In 1922 Marjorie, the second daughter, married Earle Butterfield and they started their family (a girl and two boys) in Hollister.

In 1924 Peter Jr.'s wife, Mary Celia, died. She was 52 years old and had been in ill health for a number of years. Remember, she had born the last of their five children at age 44, which was rather unusual for the time. Her obituary stated she "has not been a very strong woman at any period of her life, and in recent years she has suffered much."

Peter is now a fifty eight year old widower with a twenty year old daughter and two sons, twelve and eight. At some point in the late 1920's the wheels have come off the dream wagon.

By 1930 Peter has moved to Wilmington, California, in the harbor of Los Angeles. He rents a home and finds a job as a watchman on the docks. His oldest son, John, now seventeen and a recent high school graduate, is working at a service station. This, remember, is the start of a horrific economic depression and they are fortunate to have any kind of work. Elsie, the youngest daughter, is now twenty five, single, boarding with a widowed woman in San Jose and working as a stenographer in a bank.

In January of 1934 Elsie dies. We are reasonably certain her death was by her own hand. You will find a tribute to Elsie in the Vignettes portion of this site.

This isn't good; but the story isn't over.


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This site, A McLaren Migration, is maintained by David J. McLaren - who may be contacted through The Mailbox
Updated July 1, 2011
Copyright © 2005 David J. McLaren, all rights reserved.
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