DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Lakewood realtor is searching for a family, after making a surprising discovery in a home. Lee Lamont, a realtor with Coldwell Banker, is renovating an old home on Cameron Avenue.
“We popped this [board] up to look and see where we could put some of the plumbing and mechanical and so forth,” said Lamont, of the site of the discovery in the home.
When he pulled up the floorboards, an old envelope with beautiful handwriting caught his eye.
“The handwriting is very, very pretty, and it’s clearly done with one of the ink-dipped, fountain pens,” said Lamont.
Lamont pocketed the envelope and later pulled it out at his office. When he opened it, he found a letter written from a husband to a wife. Addressed to Mrs. Emma Brown Sanders, the letter was written by John Sanders. The postmark date is 1927. A two-cent stamp is still in place.
A fascinating discovery, thought Lamont, but when he got to the back of the letter, one line stood out: “It reads, ‘I received a card from Lee’,” said Lamont. “Certainly reading that makes your heart miss a beat, you know?”
He took the mention of the name ‘Lee’ as a sign, and went back to the crawl space to look again. There, underneath anther floorboard, were several more letters.
The correspondence (ten letters in all according to Lamont) took place from 1924 to 1928. Some of the letters are handwritten, while others are typed – possibly indicative of a telegraph. The ones from John Sanders were mailed from Oklahoma to North Texas.
“Talking about their church, talking about their faith and about how they need to be strong in some troubling times,” Lamont said of the letters, which are written with a tone of devotion.
Not only did John Sanders and Emma Brown Sanders write each other, but man named J.P. Windle, thought to be Emma’s father, wrote as well.
The 1940 US Census record shows that John Grover Sanders was born in 1890 in Tennessee. Emma Brown was born in 1903 in Texas. The couple married in 1924 and had a son, John Sanwin Sanders, born in 1925. The record indicates that in 1940 John worked as a minister and Emma as a cook.
Emma Sanders died in June of 1969, and her husband’s death followed in December. Their son passed away in 1993. All three are buried in the Lamasco Cemetery in Fannin County, according to the genealogy website TXFannin.org. Adding to the mystery – the home where he found the letters was built in 1947, over twenty years after the correspondence began.
“So obviously somebody felt a lot about these letters, and brought them here to hide them for some reason,” said Lamont.
Lamont can’t help but wonder where their relatives are today. He hopes to reunite the letters with the family.
“I’d like to find the rightful owners of these letters. There’s obviously an heir somewhere and perhaps they’d like to keep these. Cherish these letters of the grandparents and so forth, who clearly had a strong relationship back in the 1920s,” Lamont said.
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