Grandmother, Martha Jane (Thomas) Root


A year or so after we moved to Missoula, my grandmother, Martha Jane Root, came to live with us. She was a small, slender woman, had lovely white hair and was a lady in every sense of the word. She always wore black.

I didn't get to town very often so when Grandmother took me there on the street car it was a treat and I was thrilled. One day on our way back to the streetcar we passed Woolworth's 5¢ & 10¢ store on Higgins Avenue and went in. And Grandmother bought me a ring! Dad had given me a ring with a diamond in it, but Grandmother's was my favorite.

My visual picture of grandmother is of her sitting in a rocking chair reading her Bible. She knew it cover to cover. Whenever Mormons came to the door and tried to talk to her, she soon had them scurrying. We belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church and the women's group was called The Lend-A-Hand. They met in homes each month and during their meetings had Bible quizzes. The quiz consisted of someone's giving a chapter and verse and someone was to recite the verse. One meeting in particular I remember being discussed at the dinner table. This meeting was at Mrs. Wilbrat's the last house on Vine Street at the foot of Mt. Jumbo. Our minister, Dr. Crouch, attended and Grandmother answered far more of the questions than Dr. Crouch.

Grandmother was ill for some time before she died and I can't remember her actual death. I do remember the day of her funeral however. All the neighborhood children including me were out in the street playing baseball. When I was called in to get ready I wasn't at all happy. I didn't see why I had to go. From this you can tell I wasn't as close to my grandmother as my grandchildren are to me. I can't remember her ever reading to me, or playing games with me. In fact, she never played games with anyone. She was just there, someone in the background. She is buried in the cemetery in Missoula. (1)

(1) Martha Jane (Thomas) Root (aka Jennie Root) died Oct 6, 1917 age 83. Hazel would have been 12 years old.

Handwritten on White, 7"x 8 1/2" center spiral notebook paper. JA typed 8/20/2000. GRANDMO.TXT Page 1 of 1 01/19/01 12:43 AM