My Aunt Ruth

I have a lovely picture of my Aunt Ruth as a young girl/lady. No date is given for the photo. She was born in 1888 and lived a long life, marrying twice and living to the age of 97. She was born in Peoria Florida as her parents spent 10 to 12 years there for reasons of my grandfather’s health. The family returned to their base in Ohio when my grandfather became terminally in 1898. Aunt Ruth would have been about 10 years old when her father (my grandfather) died.

So she spent the remainder of her formative years in Newark Ohio. She became a teacher and taught school in both Newark and then Indiana. In Indianapolis Indiana she first married John H. Hilkene, a widower with one child. She was 42, he was 55. This was in 1923. He subsequently died in 1930. One thing that struck me about him is that he served in the Spanish American War in 1898, and he also served in the 1st World War. He was very active in the American Legion in Panama. He (they?) were living in Panama when he became seriously ill and subsequently returned to Indianapolis to die.

Five years later in November 1935 she married James S. Milligan in Indianapolis. (Her younger brother my father married for the 3rd time in December 1935). She was in her late 40’s when she married James. He was a widower with 2 children.

At some point she moved from teaching to work as an underwriter for the Sun Alliance Insurance Company. She worked for that company until retirement.

She spent her final years between Indianapolis, Raleigh North Carolina and Florida with her sister Myrtle and her mother, She died at age 97 in 1984.

I might have met Aunt Ruth in the fall of 1948, but I doubt it. I was 11 years old when my sister Ruth and I went south (by train) to Raleigh North Carolina to visit our Grandmother and our Aunt Myrtle. My only recollections of that trip are in photographs and my only real memory is of the suit I wore – a lovely brown and white suit and so-called sport shoes.

Why would Aunt Ruth have been there in North Carolina – possibly visiting her sister and mother? Doubtful, I’m sure she was busy enough in Indiana.

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