Feb. 19, 2023. My mother told me that my grandmother Kitty Mom dated Francis Barrett before she was swept off her feet by his brother Tom. Indeed, here is a photo of them looking like sweethearts.
But look at a map. In 1908, Francis Barrett was a clerk at Norvell-Shapleigh Hardware Company on Washington Avenue, between Third and Fourth. [image below, source]
Eighteen-year-old Kitty Flanagan was an operator at Bell Telephone on 920 Olive Street, just a few blocks to the west. [image below]
Aha! They both would have taken the streetcar home every evening to the same neighborhood. (You can see the streetcars on the photo of Norvell-Shapleigh above.)
There were many streetcar lines originating in downtown St. Louis. As you can see on the 1915 map below, the Natural Bridge line would have taken both of them closest to home. But they may have transferred there from another line. So many mysteries!
Still, it doesn’t take much imagination to picture the petite and gregarious Kitty Flanagan striking up a conversation with the 24-year-old bachelor. Huddling together during the evening rush hour, they would discover all they had in common, from living in the shadow of brilliant older siblings to maternal roots in the poor Irish county of Mayo.
I could move my story along.
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Books from Mad in Pursuit and Susan Barrett Price: KITTY'S PEOPLE: the Irish Family Saga about the Rise of a Generous Woman (2022)| HEADLONG: Over the Edge in Pakistan and China (2018) | THE SUDDEN SILENCE: A Tale of Suspense and Found Treasure (2015) | TRIBE OF THE BREAKAWAY BEADS: Book of Exits and Fresh Starts (2011) | PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD: A Thriller in Pakistan and China (2008). Available at Amazon.