Shirley Anne Blaisdell Garcia


Shirley's life story—before 1928      

Shirley was born to Mildred Elizabeth Lidderdale, who had married Leonard Gordon Blaisdell, probably in 1927. Blaisdell either worked with Mildred's father (Arthur Edwin Lidderdale) or was known to him through work connections. Mildred remembered her father as working for the Spang Tool Co. An internet source shows that it was connected with the oil and gas well business.

Mildred had been born in Scio, Ohio, and an oil well can be seen in a photograph taken of the family on its front porch in the fall of her birth year, 1909. In our conversations about her early life, I never thought to ask where she had gone to school, but there is a photograph of the family home when she appears to be 8 or 10, and Jean Campbell has identified that location as being Junction City, Ohio. Another photograph might well have been taken during a parade to celebrate the end of World War I (1918), and that is likely to have been in Ohio, as well.

Sometime around 1920, Arthur either took a job in Casper, Wyoming or was transferred there by Spang Tool. There are several photos from Arthur's scrapbook showing travels in the company car, and postcards from that time show a constant movement by Arthur, almost certainly in a role as salesman for that company.

Probably in 1927, Mildred married Leonard Gordon Blaisdell and had a stillborn child some months later. Mildred remembered that Leonard Gordon worked for Union Tank Car.

Notes from and about postcards kept in Arthur's scrapbook:

30 August 1927 Arthur Edwin writes to LG Blaisdell (family) that he's on business in Moab UT, and on his way back. LGB is living at 521 E 12th St, Casper WY.

31 January 1928 Arthur Edwin writes from Presidio, Texas that he'd been in Mexico (not stated whether for business) and was going back the next day. Presidio has not had an oil presence, but in 1930 a railroad was extended there, and the town experienced a relative boom. Jean Campbell mentions a telegram sent by Grandma upon the death of her brother (1928), which said that Arthur Edwin was in Mexico and couldn't be reached. Proves she wasn't with him, and further suggests business as the reason for the trip.

26 June 1928 Shirley Anne Blaisdell is born.

6 December 1928 (?year is blurred) Arthur Edwin wrote from Vancouver, British Columbia to the Casper address reflecting a Pacific Coast trip from which he was returning via Canada. Union Tank Car (a Standard Oil company) would eventually supply cars to Canadian shipping.

Implication in all three cards is that Casper is his home, too.

Arthur Edwin Lidderdale


Shirley makes it clear in her audio interview that it was her grandfather to whom she felt closest during her youth.

Audio interview