In 1999, Mel Foley told me an amazing story of Mary (his mother)
and her upbringing.
Mary's parents had their third child when Mary was very young. But the
child and mother both died. After that, when Mary was about 2 and
her brother about 4, Mary's father decided to go to Colorado, maybe to
work in the gold mines or something like that. They had got as far
as Oberlin, Kansas. Apparently James, the father, was talking with
a couple there and they told him that the wild areas of Colorado were
no place to take small children, so he left both the young children
with this Kansas couple. And that's where Mary and Joseph were raised.
Mel thought James died somewhere in Colorado or Kansas, but didn't
know exactly where. In 1901, Mary wrote a letter back to the Lawler
family in Clinton Co., they forwarded it to her closer relatives in Crawford
county. Thus after almost 15 years, Mary and her brother Joseph
found all their relatives again and moved back to Iowa.
Mel had only recently discovered the 1901 letter when he told me about it
More Information: OBITUARY