Postcards from Sealy Mattress Factory carpenter

Patrick Mortensen, former Sugar Land, TX resident and fellow Brooklyn transplant, offered some context for my great-granddad’s philanderings after I posted about his predilection for dragging the family to construction sites and then abandoning them to shack up with someone new.

“Based on the pretty faces I remember from 63 years or so after Zone was there,” said Mortensen, “he had the cards stacked against him.”

Zone arrived in Sugar Land for work on August 2, 1911. It’s unclear whether his wife was supposed to join him, though he writes in the first postcard below — sent to Athens, rather than their usual residence in Dallas — that he “found our home all OK.”

More than a year and a half later, on May 28, 1913, he tells his 9-year-old daughter Martha, back in Dallas, that he’s sending her mama “a nice 25 Sealy Mattress” (second postcard below).

Whether it was one of the buildings he worked on, I can’t say, but the “Sealy Matras Factory & Paper Mill” is pictured above. And at the bottom of this post is a photo of Zone (at far left) sitting with two buddies on a construction site somewhere.


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