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Mattie was my 2nd great grandmother on my father’s side.  To learn more about her and her husband I recently reviewed the transcript of a video my grandmother Ottie made in which she spoke of her mother’s parents, Jessie & Mattie Hilton.

Anyway, my mother [was born] in Atchison, Kansas and her mother’s name was Mattie Neeley Hilton but she had a previous marriage and he was a photographer and he had a farm and they were going to Colorado for his health and he died. And then she married this Jesse Hilton and they moved to Ponca City and they lived at 205 S 2nd, which is nearly downtown. And, uh, the earliest recollections I have of Ponca City and going to my Grandma Hilton’s was the wooden sidewalks they had downtown and the Indians wrapped up in their blankets sitting on the sidewalk edge. And, uh, there was dirt streets. And, uh, my grandfather went to California and left my grandmother to raise 6 children all by herself. And at that time there wasn’t much work to be had for a woman in her home to bring up 6 children. And she took in washings and ironings and she rented out part of the house and later she built a little 2-room or 3 next door and rented it and then later on she built 2 more apartments and rented them. And, uh, so that was all the income she had when she got too old to work but she got the 2 girls, Maude, my mother, and Jessie, who was later Jessie Hilton Randolph. And then she had 4 boys, there was Ora and, uh, Lee and Dewey and the youngest one was Ray. And, uh, uh, I think Orie was the glass, glass blower they had a plant in Ponca City and then later he lived in Kansas and we stopped off the train to see them one time.

Putting the pieces together Jesse Hilton married Mattie Neeley about 1888 probably in Kansas where she and her family had been living and where their first two children were born. The remaining 4 children were born in Oklahoma. According to the information from my Grandma and in the 1900 census, Jesse & both of his parents were born in North Carolina.  My grandmother indicated that Jesse left Mattie and their children and went to California. Their last child was born in 1901 and Mattie was listed as divorced in the 1910 census so that narrows the time when Jesse left Oklahoma.

I have much to learn and I want to know more about my great, great grandparents but so far this is really all I know.  For now, I’m quite happy that I have some images of my 2nd great grandmother, Mattie.

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