I first became aware of my cousin Ruth Quayle Boone (1904 to 1998) and her husband Travis when as a teenager in Pittsburgh we received an enormous box of walnuts for Christmas. The box was a four foot cube and so big we had to keep it in the garage. In 1977 I had the opportunity to meet Ruth and Travis at their walnut farm in San Ramon, California, on the other side of the Bay from San Francisco.
Cousin Ruth was warm, extremely generous and a nonstop talker. She indicated that Travis was “stone deaf” and couldn’t hear what we were saying. After about two hours of stories she announced she had a present for me and left the room. Travis startled us by correcting some of the details of the stories Ruth had just told us. When she returned he winked at us and went silent again. Cousin Ruth handed me a blue cloth album full of Cartes de Visite photographs. She knew I was the family historian and said that the photos were mostly of Bradleys and so I should take care of it. See the Downloads page or view or download it here: Cartes de Visite Photographs
Her stories were quite interesting but all the family history was a bit much for my girlfriend at the time. Ruth told of us how much more rainfall they used to get when the walnut farm was producing in the 1930’s and how they couldn’t grow walnuts anymore. She also showed us photos of their trips down the Pan-American Highway when it first opened and before there were any hotels. I was able to visit Cousin Ruth just one more time in 1993.
Ruth was descended from Alice A. Bradley (1847 to 1918), the oldest daughter of Henry Martin and Mary Cook Bradley. Alice married Guardis Edwards who fought in the 4th Michigan Cavalry in the Civil War and contracted a lung condition that brought about his death in 1878. Their daughter Fannie Edwards (1875 to unknown) is the teenager in the top row, far right of the 1891 Portrait (see Photographs page). It was her Carte de Visite photo album. She married William Quayle and Ruth Quayle was born to them in 1904 in Duluth, Minnesota before the family relocated to Hollywood, California. It was there that Ruth met Travis “Bud” Boone, a relation of the famous Daniel Boone.
Before Ruth died in 1998 she donated her 16 acre farmstead (out of the original 375 acre farm) to the City of San Ramon to be a Park called “Forest Home Farms” and dedicated to her late husband Travis. It is there that school children can learn about walnut farming and processing, and tour their 22 room Dutch colonial home.