Week 7: #52 Ancestors – Landed
By Eilene Lyon
Great-granduncle Ward Arthur Cutting sure landed quite a few trout in this feature image. The only information on the label is his name. My guess is it was taken in Oregon about 1940. Ward must have been a sporting kind of guy, as I also have these photos of him, probably from the early 1930s in South Dakota, where he is holding a handgun.
Ward Cutting was born in Dexter Township, Codington County, South Dakota, on December 13, 1893. When he was six, his parents, Arthur N. and Alice A. (Fawcett) Cutting, moved the family to Beaverton, Oregon. Ward’s older brother, Clifford, and younger brother, Harold, also made the move. Ward’s sister, Mabel P. (Cutting) Halse, remained in South Dakota.
The advent of World War I landed Ward a stint in the Navy. He enlisted July 30, 1917 in the Naval Coast Defense Reserve. At the time, he had an address in San Francisco, but was working at Camp #7 in El Portal, Mariposa County, as a “stationary engineer” for the Yosemite Lumber Co. I don’t believe Ward attended college, but his obituary mentions his taking extension classes from Harvard.
Because Ward was a private pilot, he landed (and took off) many times. He was involved in early airmail efforts. Then he had a decades-long career with the Civil Aeronautics Administration (precursor to the FAA), culminating in a position as chief of airways communications in Portland, Oregon, a position that landed a lot of other planes! He retired in 1958.
Ward married Eleanor M. Caldwell in 1923, and they had three children: Donald E. Cutting (born in North Platte, Nebraska), Muriel E. Cutting, and Elaine A. Cutting. He took an interest in family history, and did a little research long before computers and the internet came around. He mentioned meeting some distant relations, but the information about them does not jibe with my tree. (Rabbit hole alert!)
I never met Uncle Ward, but he sounds like an adventurous, intelligent man—much like his father and his grandfather before him.
In 1966, bronchopneumonia landed Ward in the Portland Sanitarium. Combined with the effects of his long-term suffering with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), it landed him, at the last, in the Willamette National Cemetery.
Feature image: Ward Cutting with his trout catch c. 1940 (Courtesy of W. Halse)
Ward Arthur Cutting. Oregon, U.S., State Deaths, 1864-1968> Multnomah-Tillamook> 1966> image 740. https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/61675/
Ward A. Cutting. Obituary. The Oregonian (Portland, OR), November 16, 1966, p. 44.
Letter from Ward A. Cutting to unknown recipient, dated March 30, 1955, collection of N. Ingram.
“Awards Presented” Medford Mail Tribune (Medford, OR), October 17, 1954 p. 5 – via Newspapers.com.
Ward Arthur Cutting. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918> California> Mariposa County> ALL> Draft Card C> image 84. https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6482/