MARY JEANNETTE (BLAIR) PETERS

The Tales of a Blair Family    

Nettie Blair PetersMary Jeannette Blair was born in Forreston, Ogle County, Illinois on October 9th, 1865.   She was the youngest surviving daughter of Matthew and Sarah Ann (Blair) Blair.

Mary Jeannette, known as "Nettie", grew up in Forreston and was a very popular young lady.  She was always off visiting friends and relatives or throwing a party for visitors.  She often served as a hostess at church sponsored events such as "necktie sociables" or "pink sociables."

At age 19 she traveled to Meadville, Pennsylvania with her cousin Angie Forbes to attend her brother Edward's college graduation.  Nettie stayed on for six weeks and got acquainted with her many relatives in Pennsylvania.

In 1888, her brother Edward graduated from medical school and set up a private practice in Sioux City, Iowa.  Nettie went along to be act as his housekeeper until his marriage in 1889.  When she returned to Forreston, she worked as the Assistant Postmistress to her father who was then the Postmaster.  Her father passed away in 1891 and Nettie took over his position until her  her marriage in 1892.

Nettie married Charles S. Peters on May 12, 1892 in a small early morning ceremony at her mother's house in Forreston.  Only a few close friends and family were in attendance and afterwards a wedding breakfast was served.  The happy couple then boarded the morning train for a short honeymoon in Chicago.  Charles Peters was the son of Simon P. Peters and Sara Mourrer.Mary Jeannette Blair Peters  He was a relative of Nettie's close friends and neighbors, the Galbraith's, and it is presumed they first met on one of his many visits to Forreston.  Charles was employed as a druggist in Sioux City, Iowa and soon after their marriage they took up residence in that city.

Nettie continued her travels after her marriage and made several trips back to Illinois to visit her sister, mother, cousins and friends in her first years of marriage.  She seemed to settle down for awhile after the birth of her son, Blair McKinley Peters on October 2, 1893, but by the time he was two years old she was off again with little Blair in tow.  She would spend weeks at a time with one or another brother or sister or cousin.  One might wonder how happy her marriage was, as Charles is rarely mentioned or seen in pictures, but they seem to have remained married.  In 1912 Blair was taken ill with a stomach disorder and died in Chicago on February 6, 1913.  Following is a copy of his obituary:

Wayne Herald, Wayne, Nebraska on February 13, 1913.

Blair Peters.
    On Monday, February 10, at 10:30 a.m. were laid to rest in Greenwood cemetery the remains of Blair Peters of Sioux City. Blair Peters was the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. S. Peters and a nephew of Dr. E. S. Blair of this city. He was a frequent visitor to Wayne and had made a number of acquaintances and friends during his visits here. He was a graduate of Sioux City high school, a member of the Civics club, and a young man of exceptional character and promise. He had high aspirations and was looking forward to several years of further study in college or technical school to prepare himself for his life’s work. Nearly a year ago he began to suffer from some Blair McKinley Petersserious stomach trouble which gradually increased until in October last he was taken to a Chicago hospital where he had been continuously since, and where he had the benefit of the best skill that could be secured in the attempt to save his life. About four weeks ago he was operated on by Dr. Oschner, Chicago’s most eminent surgeon, and though at death’s door when the operation was decided upon, for a few days he seemed to rally and give promise of recovery. His vitality had been so reduced, however, that nature’s efforts proved unavailing and the little spark of life remaining went out. His remains were brought to Sioux City Saturday morning and on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. the funeral services were held, conducted by Rev. Wallace M. Short of the Congregational church and the Elk’s Quartet. The body was brought to Wayne Sunday evening and on Monday at 10:30 a.m. the family and a few sympathizing friends followed the remains to their last resting place in Greenwood cemetery where a short service was conducted by Rev. William Gorst.

After Blair's death Nettie started to take vacation trips to California and eventually settled there permanently.  Nettie's closeness to the various branches of the family has made her unique in the family.  Nettie still serves as a common frame of reference to those branches of the family who otherwise would have none. Nettie was truly one of a kind!

Letter written by Jeannette "Nettie" #1
Letter written by Jeannette "Nettie" #2

 

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