Carpenters tearing into the plaster at 1107 4th Street discovered a letter dated 1909 written by Frank Wythe to his son Roy.
Roy A. Wythe, was president of his 1908 Fulton High School class. The commencement exercises were detailed in the Fulton Journal in May/June of 1908. The junior class gave a reception for the senior class in the Odd Fellows’ hall (500 block of 12th Avenue ?) on Thursday evening. On Sunday evening, May 31, the baccalaureate sermon was delivered by Rev. Armin H. Ziemer in the Presbyterian Church. Class day was observed on Thursday evening, June 4, in the Fulton Opera house (This was located where the Fulton City Hall/Police Station now stands.) At that time Roy A. Wythe presented the class will. Peter M. Starck was the valedictorian. The commencement lecture was by John W. Cook, president of the Northern Illinois State Normal school in DeKalb, whose speech was entitled “Tendencies of Modern Education.” The motto of the class was “Out of School’s Life into Life’s School.” Six people were in the class of 1908: Roy A. Wythe, Irene L. Mathers, Zella Rathgeber, Joseph W. Ferry, Peter M. Starck, and William J. Rice.
In 1917, eight years after the “letter in the wall” was written, Roy’s mother, Nellie Daley, age 55, died. Roy is listed as a survivor living in Dixon.
In 1934, Roy’s stepmother, Frances, died and both Roy and his sister, Helen, were living in Los Angeles.
When Frank Wythe died in 1947, the obituary read, “Mr. Wythe’s son, Roy Wythe, of Altadina, California., was unable to be present.” Roy of Altadina, California, was listed as a survivor along with a granddaughter of Sherman Oaks, California. Since Helen Wythe had no children, it is assumed that Phyrne Wythe was the daughter of Roy.
Roy lived to be 88 years old. A tombstone in the Fulton Cemetery in the Wythe plot has a stone for Leroy A. Wythe 1889-1977. An examination of all of the Fulton Journals for 1977 yielded no obituary and a relative of Roy’s said that he thought Roy was buried in California. It is likely that his sister Helen had the Fulton stone inscribed with the year of his death.
If there were only more letters…