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4142Re: Miss Ruth Norton

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  • Cadia Los
    Feb 5, 2007
      Tonight I stopped by the lubrary to return a book and decided to
      look for an obit for Prof. Stevenson Smith, 67, who died November
      27, 1950, in a Seattle hospital.

      No mention of Ruth Norton, but I did glean the name of his second
      wife, his daughter, and 2 addresses where the family lived between
      1948 and 1951.

      From the obit in The Seattle Times (Nov. 28):

      "Surviving are his wife, Dorothy, of 3933 Belvoir Place; a daughter,
      Mrs. Bradford Mattson, Seattle, and a grandchild."

      At first glance, it would seem that "Bradford" was the husband's
      name, but the funeral notice published the next day provides better

      "Beloved husband of Dorothy Davidson Smith; father of Mrs. Bradford
      Smith Mattson; brother of Mrs. Charles Ruggles, Berkeley,
      California. Memorial services Thursday 10 a.m., Christ Episcopal
      Church. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to
      millionaires Club Charity or Heart Fund. Forkner's, directing."

      The form of Mrs. Mattson's name suggest she may have been a young
      widow. If she were a divocee, her name would have been given as
      Mrs. Smith Mattson, following the custom of the time. On the other
      hand, use of the daughter's given name specifically identifies her,
      which would be more appropriate in this instance.

      The Smith residence on Belvoir Place (now NE Belvoir Place) was in
      the Laurelhurst neighborhood, east of the UW on Union Bay.
      Expensive real estate these days!

      In checking the 1948-1949 and 1950-1951 Seattle city directories, I
      found no Bradford Mattson, though there were plenty of Mattsons.
      Possibly Bradford was living with her parents; I have not had a
      chance to cross-check the reverse directory.

      In the earlier directory, Professor Smith is listed at 4515 Brooklyn
      Ave. (now NE), which is about a block north of where the Safeco
      building has stood for decades. (It's the tallest building in the
      University District.) The later directory lists the address cited
      in the obituary. Professor Smith began teaching at the University
      of Washington in 1911 and served as head of the psychology
      department from 1919 until 1948, when he retired. He continued to
      serve as a professor in the department and as Director of the
      Institute of Child Development.

      I still need to take a look at the 1920 and 1925 local newspapers to
      see what I can find out about Ruth and Dorothy's respective weddings.

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