Tuesday, March 26, 2013


As written by my Grandma, Hazel F. Browne


Written for the C.H.S. (Cloverdale (California) High School) Spectator in 1909 and 1910


The thirty students of Cloverdale High
O'er many ponderous questions bent.
But one which called forth many a sigh
Was "what will the future to us present?"
I took a walk one night in May.
A bright moonlight showed on my way;
Wise owls hooted in the trees,
And inspirations filled the breeze.
I heard a noise like the patter of rain
And at my side descended an aeroplane.
The aeronaut from thence alit
Saying if I in his airship would sit,
I might go with him to Futuredom,
To see what my schoolmates would become.
And gladly to this I then complied,
For an opportunity I spied
Of solving that problem difficult
Of which many sighs had been the result.
Then began that journey of mine
Leaving the world of nineteen nine.
Through many a year we rapidly passed
Till the land of the future was reached at last.
Into Cloverdale we downward sailed.
But so changed was it I almost failed
To recognize the same old town
Which twenty years ago I'd known.
I took another walk in May.
The sunlight now shown on my way,
Which past a mansion large did run
Where I saw Professor Netherton,
A little Netherton on each knee
To whom he was teaching geometry.
I asked how Mademoiselle had fared,
And was told that by Cupid she had been ensnared.
I wandered into a beautiful lane
Where I saw a house on whose window pane
Was written in letters golden and bright,
"Babies cared for day and night".
And when I asked, I learned of course
That this was the home of Miss Ada Morse.
I turned a page of the Reveille.
What do you think that I did see?
Hazel Shelford, my old schoolmate
For U.S. President was a candidate.
I took a walk around the town
And met a preacher, 'twas Cecil Gowan.
A little later I met Lucy Baer,
She said she had found a calling rare
As a careful student of bugs and ants,
She also studied the life of plants.
Jeanette and Reba had met like fates
For they had found themselves good mates.
Each day they did cook and dust and sew,
Happy homes they had I know.
Herbert Belford was world renowned
His encyclopedia was everywhere found.
Frank Allegrini kept a grocery store,
And 'twas honesty he was noted for.
I always knew Charley Walbridge could run
And now he had won the Marathon
In the Olympic games he had competed
And all opponents he had defeated.
Some beautiful music floated to me
The laughter of Isabelle Gaant you see,
Married and happy as she could be.
She told me that Allie was teaching school
And that all the pupils obey her rule.
Emma Sedgley was teaching a class to sing
It was wonderful the notes she could fling.
Dan Sink had at length hung out his shingle
A doctor he was, and no longer single.
He wore a handsome brown Van Dyke
And on his rounds he rode a bike.
Theodora Netherton was traveling in France
Learning to play and also to dance.
Will McCabe wrote verses galore
Countries he'd visited, a dozen or more.
At length a circus came to town;
Melvin Hotelle played the part of a clown.
Calling forth trains was T. Brush's vocation,
For the town was now graced with a Union Station.
Anita and Ethel had both been married
And Ethel, of course, still in Cloverdale tarried
While Ukiah was Anita's abode
Though often to Cloverdale she rode.
Lloyd Browne was busily practicing law
In a little village in Arkansas.
Frank Belford had conceived the notion
Of becoming inventor of perpetual motion.
Teaching physical culture was John's occupation
This was always known to be his inclination.
And Mable Hill 'cross the seas had been
Learning to play on the violin.
In the new Union High School I found Lola Lee
She was teaching algebra and geometry.
In a millinery store I found Florence Lyle,
And the hats she sold were the latest style.
Lonie Allegrini was teaching Latin
The dresses she wore were made of satin.
Matthew Seanlon owned a large vineyard
And to estimate his wealth would be hard.
When Evelyn Smith at the door heard me knock,
She was busily patching her husband's sock.
And now to the last of the pupils I come,
Delmar Vassar was engaged in manufacture of gum.
And then having seen every High School friend,
Back to Nineteen-nine my way I did wend.


To H.B. '10

Allen and Greenough and Hale
Gildersleeve, Bennet and Harkness
Latin grammarians old and stale,
Bringing us out of our awful darkness.
She will wield them all some day
Over the heads of eager youth,
Only to drop them--"Why?" you say--
To wield the broom and dustpan forsooth.
This prophecy was written for me by my Latin teacher, Miss Ada Morse. Her home was in Dixon, California where her father was a doctor. She was a good teacher, well liked by her pupils. She married a Berkeley lawyer and they had one son.


In 1906 the present Junior class
From Grammar into High School pass.
Bashful Freshmen, ten in all,
Enter the large assembly hall.
English, History, Algebra they do;
Such Latin students none ever knew.
They are the first when it becomes a rule
To give a picture to their loved school.
When Sophomores by two they do diminish;
Eight members are there now who hope to finish.
Two athletes have they now of wondrous fame,
Class record in its studies is the same.
At last five members enter Junior year,
Whom all the other classes do revere.
Of great importance is the little class,
The Seniors boasting only of one lass.
And now their Junior year is almost done,
They glance back over their work and fun.
And looking to the future, too, they see
That soon wise seniors they are going to be.
A fine young comet went out to play
One beautiful morn in the month of May;
And many admiring glances were cast
On this fine young fellow who traveled so fast.
He looked upon Venus for many a day
For this beautiful creature stood right in his way.
Her enticing glances he failed to resist
But rushed to her side and her fair brow he kissed.
The wise men on earth had the time all set
When the earth by the comet at length should be met.
And you may well guess they were greatly dismayed
To think that the comet by Venus was stayed.
The traveler however just gave them the laugh
And straightway continued his heavenly path.
He treated those who were waiting with scorn
Leaving them feeling indeed quite forlorn.
But ever he went at the same rapid rate
And left the old world to its predestined fate.
and still the wise men ponder and fear
The comet's return after many a year.


A golden poppy bloomed one summer day.
Its faced uplifted to the bright blue sky,
With heaven's radiance it seemed to vie.
It filled me with a feeling of dismay.
I longed to be a poppy bright and gay
That I might ne'er have cause to grieve or sigh
And be contented as the days passed by---
Without a single care through all life's way.
But while I looked the poppy seemed to fade.
The breezes blew its petals to the ground
And there it stood with all its beauty gone.
I was content to be as I was made,
The value of my life at length I'd found;
My happiness had only reached its dawn.
(This was my last poetical effort).

June 20, 1978

Dear Shirley,

Nothing to do so I'll write a little more in your book. I've thought of a few more names you could choose from for this book:


It is quite a mixture. Today I thought of going back as far as I know into the past. I will start with the Curtis Family. The farthest back I can go is to your Great Great Grandparents who moved from Michigan to California way back in the 1800's.

*)FREDERICK and SUZANNAH JOHNSTON CURTIS. At one time they lived over near Yolo, California on a small farm.

Their children were: Frank, Charles, Cornelia (Aunt Nely), Emma and I think one other daughter (I do not know her name). I can not list them according to age.  Frank's wife was Nettie. Their children were: Alta (who married B. Carter); Elma; and Elwood (who married Beulah and they had one son: Lyle). Alta Carter had two children, as follows:

Dr. Carol Curtis Carter (died), his wife, Dorothy, lives in Fort Jones, California. He had two sons by a former wife and a son and younger daughter by his second wife.
LaVerne Smith; husband Eugene Smith. Had three children, all married: Donald Smith, Susan and one other.

Charles H. Curtis had six children.  CHARLES HENRY CURTIS, born August 30, 1851; died April 7, 1939 married CARRIE ANDREE, born September 13, 1851; died February 23, 1931.  THEIR CHILDREN:

Harry E. Curtis, born March 7, 1878; died May 10, 1952.
Earl W. Curtis, born May 21, 1880; died June 29, 1941.
Lilith B. Curtis Lindley, born July 22, 1882; died June 15, 1967. (Nanny)
Vera D. Curtis (your Grandpa), born August 6, 1887; died December 22, 1971. (a sad Christmas when you were 8 years old).
Glen G. Curtis, born March 24, 1890; died May 14, 1905. (**Somewhere I have the newspaper article pertaining to his death in Brooks, California on the ranch: He was just fifteen and out hunting in the orchard. He leaned his gun up against the barbed wire fence so that he could get through the fence. The gun fell and went off, fatally shooting him. As they carried him to the house, his last words were "I'm done for".)
Cecil Pearl Curtis, born April 14, 1896 (your Auntie Pearl).
Pearl married Leonard Cureton. Her children:
*Galene Cureton Mauzy, who married Rex Mauzy. They had two children: Roger Mauzy married Janice; and Edward Mauzy whose wife's name I do not know.
*Curtis Cureton, who married Betty. They had four children Scott, who is married; Russell, who is married; Kathy and Jeane.
Vera married Hazel Florence Browne (your Grandma who's writing this story) in Grass Valley, California on December 1, 1923. They had one child (your mother): Martha LaVerne Curtis, born in the old house on your farm on September 5, 1924. LaVerne (as she went by), married your father, Thomas James Holland. They had three children: Nancy Lou Holland, born January 9, 1952; Stanley Edward Holland, born June 25, 1953, married Lela Waddell June 24, 1977; and Shirley Ann Holland, born February 18, 1963.
Cornelia (Aunt Nely) Curtis Finch had three children: Lettie, married William Morgan, had one son: Glen Morgan. Glen's two daughters live in Washington and one son died; Delena married Will Randall.
Emma Iris Curtis married William McCullough. They had one daughter: Martha (Mattie). Mattie married Frank Cook. They had one son: Jack Cook, who is married. They were ranchers near Yolo and moved to San Francisco.
William McCullough sold the ranch you live on (the Curtis Ranch, now the Holland Ranch) in Brooks, California to C.H. Curtis, his brother-in-law, in 1901.


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