Happy Birthday Grandma!Sometime on 22 May 1899, likely in their two-story wood-framed house in Los Nietos, California, Henry Martin Kendall and his wife Ida May Brown welcomed a baby girl they named Ethel May. My Grandma. Baby Ethel joined siblings Charles, Celia, Henry and Joseph. Another brother, Arley, would arrive in a couple years. She lived in Los Nietos for several years until the family relocated to a city now called West Covina, California in the San Gabriel Valley. There, she was surrounded by the rich ground where citrus orchards were abundant, like on her father's ranch.
|Kendall family home in Los Nietos, CA circa 1899. |
See Ida May holding Ethel May.
|Ethel May Kendall about age 10 posed on the Kendall Citrus Ranch|
in (then) Irwindale, California
|Source: Covina Argus published 1917 June 17|
|Ethel May Kendall|
Covina High School Class of 1917
Following high school, Ethel attended the Woodbury Business School in Los Angeles after which she worked as a stenographer at the Office Exchange Agency in Covina according to the 1920 Covina City Directory. It was about this time she was smitten by a young man named Alba W. Hibsch. He worked at the Covina Argus newspaper nearby. Soon they would marry, have two sons and eventually, six grandchildren.
Ethel was active all of her adult life. When her children were young, she belonged to the Parent Teachers Association and helped out when her youngest son was a Boy Scout. Other organizations to which she belonged included the Covina Women's Club, Eastern Star and the Presbyterian Church. After the death of her husband Alba in 1959, she frequently traveled on her own, a rarity for the time. She doggedly pursued her family history in Kansas and Ohio and ultimately identified her American Revolution ancestor that allowed her to join the Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames and Daughters of the American Colonists. Having personally read many documents and memorabilia she left behind dating from her girlhood days, somehow she acquired an early appreciation for documenting history that lasted a lifetime. Lucky for me and that her youngest son saved it all!
She lived her entire life in and near Covina. She died on 9 October 1988 at the age of 89 and was buried at Oakdale Memorial Park in Glendora, California.