Brautigan > Biography

This node of the American Dust website (formerly Brautigan Bibliography and Archive) provides comprehensive information about Richard Brautigan's life (1935-1984). Information includes a brief biography, family history (including marriages), highlights from each each decade of Brautigan's life, and some thoughts about his continuing legacy. Use the menu tabs below to learn more.

Biography

Richard Gary Brautigan (1935-1984) was an American writer popular during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He is often considered the author to best characterize the cultural electricity prevalent in San Francisco during the ebbing of the Beat Generation and the emergence of the counterculture movement.

Born in Tacoma, Washington, 30 January 1935, Brautigan grew up there, and later in Eugene, Oregon, during the bleakness of The Depression and World War II. His earlier works reflected some of his childhood experiences.

By 1956, Brautigan was living in San Francisco, California, determined to become a writer. His breakout came with publication of his novel Trout Fishing in America, in 1967. Literally overnight, Brautigan became an international sensation.

He continued writing throughout the 1970s, the height of his success. Brautigan's popularity, however, waned in the late 1970s-early 1980s. Some of his works were banned in California in 1978. The case was decided as a split decision in December 1978. The classroom book ban was upheld, but Brautigan's books were ordered back onto the library bookshelves. The decision was appealed by both sides. LEARN more.

In an article in The Guardian, Saeed Kamali Dehghan suggested that Brautigan's In Watermelon Sugar, translated into Farsi by Mehdi Navid, was censored. Navid, speaking about word changes suggested by Iran's ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, says some were ridiculous (Dehghan, Saeed Kamali. Tehran International Book Fair Launches Crackdown on "Harmful" Titles. The Guardian, 2 May 2012, Main Section, p. 24).

Brautigan died in 1984, in his home in Bolinas, California.

Brautigan's body of work includes includes ten novels, ten poetry collections, and one collection of short stories, as well as four volumes of collected work, several nonfiction works, and a record album. Throughout, he is noted for using humor and emotion to propel a unique vision of hope and imagination.

Also significant is Brautigan's detached, anonymous first person point of view, his idiosyncratic, autobiographical, quirky, yet easy-to-read prose style and episodic narrative structure full of unconventional but vivid images powered by imagination, strange and detailed observational metaphors, humor, and satire, all presented in a seemingly simplistic, childlike manner.

Brautigan's best-known works include his novel, Trout Fishing in America (1967), his collection of poetry, The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster (1968), and his collection of stories, Revenge of the Lawn (1971).

Brautigan's legacy is his unique vision as a writer. It provides inspiration for writers, readers, artists, and musicians around the world.

Close

Brautigan Family Information

The surname Brautigan orginates from the German Bräutigam, itself derived from the Middle High German bruitegome, or bridegroom. Richard Brautigan was mysterious about his family, sometimes saying he had none, sometimes weaving them into his writing in imaginative ways. He did not know his real father, had several step-fathers, and abandoned all family ties when he left his boyhood home in Oregon and moved to San Francisco, California. He married twice and is survived by a daughter. See below for further information about Brautigan's family.

Maternal great (4x) grandparents

SARAH SULLENS
Born: circa 1767, Halifax County, Virginia
Died: ***?***
Father: Nathan Sullens
Mother: Winifred Mary May

WILLIAM ASHLOCK
Born: 1767
Died: circa 1818
Father: Richard Ashlock (See "Notes below)
Mother: ***no information***

Married

***no information***

Children

***No information***, other than Lineage Child = Rebecca Ashlock

Notes on Richard Ashlock

This webpage providing information on descendents of Richard Ashlock is no longer valid (http://www.reocities.com/heartland/meadows/6649/Ashlock.html).

Paternal great great great great grandparents

***No information***

Maternal great great great grandparents

REBECCA ASHLOCK
Born: 19 January 1792
Died: 25 March 1837, Anderson County, Tennessee
Buried: ***No information***

JOHN VANDERGRIFF
Born: 1790
Died: ***No information***
Buried: ***No information***

Married

1821, Anderson County, Tennessee

Children

Four children of their own, plus Rebecca's two out of wedlock. See "Notes."
Lineage Child: Meredith "Merriday" Ashlock
Possibly born out of wedlock, prior to Rebecca's marriage to John Vandergriff.

Notes on Rebecca Ashlock

At least two children, perhaps three, were born to Rebecca Ashlock out of wedlock. This webpage, no longer available, says court records show payments by the fathers to William Ashlock, Rebecca's father (http://www.reocities.com/heartland/meadows/6649/Ashlmisc.html).

Meredith "Merriday" Ashlock
Born: 19 October 1811, Anderson County, Tennessee
Died: 12 December 1896, Collen County, Texas
Buried: ***No information***
Father: Jesse Hoskins
Daughter, Madora Lenora Ashlock, married cousin, William Lee Ashlock, son of Jesse Ashlock. See below.

Jesse Ashlock
Born: 20 August 1813, Anderson County, Tennessee
Died: 10 December 1853
Married: 27 July 1838, Greene, Illinois
Nancy Broyles
Born: 24 July 1820, Kentucky
Children
Mary Ashlock
Born: 7 April 1841, Greene, Illinois
Married: Thomas Riley

James Ashlock
Born: 20 January 1849, Greene, Illinois

Jesse Ashlock
Born: 20 January 1849, Kane, Illinois
Died: 1915, Jerseyville, Illinois

William Lee Ashlock
Born: 28 May 1850, Greene, Illinois
Died: 1935
Married Madora Lenora Ashlock, cousin, daughter of Meredith "Merriday" Ashlock.

Joseph Benton Ashlock
Born: 20 August 1853, Greene, Illinois
Died: 26 February 1863

Richard Ashlock
Born: 11 November 1816, Anderson County, Tennessee
Died: November 1900, Illinois
Father: Michael Spessard

Paternal great (4x) grandparents

***No information***

Maternal great great grandparents

ELIZABETH ANN WEAVER (Martin)
Born: 20 November 1825, Kentucky(?)
Died: 1894, McKinney, Collin County, Texas
Buried: ***?***

MEREDITH "MERRIDAY" ASHLOCK
Born: 19 October 1811, Anderson County, Tennessee
Died: 12 December 1896, McKinney, Collin County, Texas
Buried: Pilgrim Church Cemetery, McKinney, Collin County, Texas

Married

7 November 1853, McKinney, Collin County, Texas.
Lineage child = Madora Lenora Ashlock

Children

Isabella Florentine Ashlock
Born: 7 November 1854, McKinney, Collin County, Texas, died young

Madora Lenora Ashlock
Born: 20 April 1856, McKinney, Collin County, Texas
Brautigan's maternal great-grandmother. See below.

John Garland Ashlock
Born: 29 May 1858, McKinney, Collin County, Texas

Margaret Bush Ashlock
Born: 28 May 1860, Collin County, Texas
Died: 6 July 1936, McKinney, Collin County, Texas

Bettie Ann Martin Ashlock
Born: 22 March 1863, McKinney, Collin County, Texas
Died: 19 April 1928, Greene County, Illinois
Married: January 1883, William Cornelius Hoagland, Greene County, Illinois
1880 U. S. Census notes her living in Kane County, Greene, Illinois with her step-brother, William Lee Ashlock (see below). Her age was noted as 17 years.

Mary Luella Ashlock
Born: 3 January 1865, Collin County, Texas
Died: 05 July 1949, Electra, Texas
Married: Columbus Calloway Whellis

Notes for Meredith Ashlock and Elizabeth Ann Martin (Weaver)

Meredith Ashlock and Elizabeth Ann Martin (Weaver) arrived in Collin County, Texas, 19 October 1845 and bought land near McKinney in April 1850.

This was the second marriage for Elizabeth Ann Weaver (Martin) and Meredith Ashlock.

Background for Meredith "Merriday" Ashlock
1828: Meredith, 17, brother Richard, 12, sister Sally, traveled by wagon train from Tennessee to Illinois where free land was available to veterans of the War of 1812 and their children. Meredith secured land in Greene County, Illinois.

Marriage(1): 24 or 26 July 1833, Greene County, Illinois
to Sarah Elzina Earthenhouse
Born: 1813, Kentucky
Died: 8 May 1851 or 1853, Collin County, Texas
Children
Isabella Ashlock
Born: 18 August 1834, Greene County, Illinois, died young

Francis Marion Ashlock
Born: 22 February 1836, Greene County, Illinois
Died: June 1855, Collin County, Texas

Moses Lemon Ashlock
Born: 17 May 1838, Greene County, Illinois, died young

Elizabeth S. Ashlock
Born: 7 July 1840, Greene County, Illinois
Died: Collin County, Texas

Jessie Ashlock
Born: 25 June 1841, Greene County, Illinois, died young

Meredith Sylvanus (Jack) Ashlock
Born: 17 May 1842, Greene County, Illinois
Married Rebecca Fryer

Eady Christenar Ashlock
Born: 19 December 1843, Greene County, Illinois, died young

Elzina Ashlock
Born: 18 July 1845, Illinois, or Missouri(?)
Died: 1917, Wise, Texas

Sarah Jane Ashlock
Born: 20 January 1848, Collin County, Texas

Suvannah Ashlock
Born: 5 January 1851, Collin County, Texas

Paternal great (2x) grandparents

Ann Mahoney and Richard Kingston were Brautigan's paternal great-great grandparents. Their child, George Kingston, was Brautigan's paternal great grandparent.

ANN MAHONEY
Born: ***No information***, Ireland(?)
Died: ***No information***

RICHARD KINGSTON
Born: ***No information***, Ireland(?)
Died: ***No information***

Married

***No information***

Children

George Henry Kingston
Born: 16 February 1839, County Cork, Ireland
Died: 11 December 1912, Winlock, Lewis County, Washington

Maternal great grandparents

Madora (Dora) Lenora Ashlock (Ashlock) and William Lee Ashlock were Brautigan's maternal great grandparents. William Lee Ashlock, was the son of Jesse Ashlock, Madora's father's brother, and hence, her first cousin. The Ashlocks returned to Greene County, Illinois, where William's family lived on land made available for settlement to veterans of the War of 1812. William was employed by the Pinkerton National Detective Agency and is noted as "John Ashlock" on his daughter's, Elizabeth "Bessie" Cordelia Ashlock, Death Certificate. Elizabeth "Bessie" Cordelia Ashlock, was Brautigan's grandmother.

MADORA LENORA ASHLOCK (Ashlock)
Born: 20 April 1856, McKinney, Collin County, Texas
Died: 16 July 1931, Tacoma, Washington

WILLIAM LEE ASHLOCK
Born: 28 May 1850, Greene County, Illinois
Died: Post 1921(?), Madison, Illinois(?)
Father: Jesse Ashlock (brother to Meredith "Merriday" Ashlock)
Born: 20 August 1813, Anderson County, Tennessee
Died: 10 December 1853
Mother: Nancy Broyles
Born: 24 July 1820
Married: 7 April 1840, Greene County, Illinois

Married

9 January 1873, McKinney, Collin County, Texas
Separated/divorced: 1 June 1907, following, allegedly, knowledge of William's philandering while pursuing investigations for the Pinkerton Agency.

Children

William Lee Ashlock
Died at birth

Docia Ashlock (Brown)
Born: 20 November 1873, Texas
Died: ***?***
Married: 15 August 1894
William L. Brown; lived in Alton, Illinois

Florence Ashlock

Mirtin (Myrtle) ("Mertie") Ashlock (Oglesbee)
Born: January 1880, Illinois
Died: ***?***
Note: 1920 U. S. Census reports her living Spokane, Washington; Listed in 1921 Spokane City Directory; Mother's obituary reports her in Spokane, 1931; Sister's obituary reports her in Spokane in 1950

Jesse Ashlock

Edith Ashlock (Courtwright) (of Illinois)
Born: ***
Died: ***July 1930?***

Mabel Ashlock (Fuller)
Born: ***, Illinois
Died: ***?***
Married: Louis E. Fuller (St. Louis, Missouri)

Elizabeth "Bessie" Cordelia Ashlock (Keho) (Dixon)
Born: 30 September 1881, St. Louis, Missouri
Died: 19 April 1950, St. Helens, Oregon
Brautigan's maternal grandmother.

William Lee Ashlock, Jr.
Born: 1884
Died: 19 January 1966

MADORA LENORA ASHLOCK and WILLIAM LEE ASHLOCK

1880
U. S. Census, Illinois, Greene County, Kane Townships notes William Ashlock, age 30; Eudora Ashlock, age 24; their children Dora, age 6; Florence, age 4; "Mertie," age 6 months; and step-sister Bettie Ashlock, age 17 as residents of Greene County, Kane Precinct, Illnois. Father for William, Eudora, and "Bettie" Ashlock (Bettie Ann Martin Ashlock, see above), all noted as from Tennessee; Mother for all three from Kentucky.

1910
U. S. Census, Illinois, notes Dora Ashlock, age 54, as a patient at the Jacksonville State Hospital, Jacksonville, Illinois. Place of birth noted as [McKinney, Collin County] Texas. Marital status noted as "Widowed."

1913
St. Louis City Directory notes Dora Ashlock, "wid[ow] of Wm [William]" as a resident at 2730 Washington Avenue.

1916(?)
Moved, to Tacoma, Washington, with her daughter, Bessie Ashlock (Keho) (Dixon) and her family. Lived at 813 East 65th Street, Tacoma.

1921
An article in the Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) notes that Madora "Dora" Ashlock and William Ashlock separated on 1 June 1907. The article, entitled "Waits Long Time for Divorce" reads, "Instead of observing fifty years of married life a couple years hence William Ashlock of Madison will in a few days be telling the circuit court something about his domestic troubles and ask a divorce decree against Mrs. Dora Ashlock. He charges her with desertion but waited fourteen before instituting the proceedings. According to papers on file they were married at McKinney, Tex., on January 9, 1973. The date of seperation [sic] is given as Jun 1, 1907."
("Waits Long Time for Divorce." Edwardsville Intelligencer, 5 October 1921.)

1926-1927
Tacoma City Directory notes "Dora" Ashlock (widow of William) living at 813 East 65th Street

Obituary for Madora (Dora) Lenora Ashlock

Dora Ashlock
Mrs. Dora Ashlock, 74, died Thursday at her home, 813 East 65th Street. She had been a resident of Tacoma for seven years. She leaves daughters, Mrs. Bessie Dixon, Tacoma; Mrs. Myrtle Oglsbee, Spokane; Mrs. Docia Brown, and Mrs. Edith Courtwright, Ills.; Mrs. Mabel Fuller, St. Louis, Mo.; sons, Lee of Madison, Ills. and Jesse, of Arkansas, and eight grandchildren. The body is at the Mellinger mortuary.
(The News Tribune [Tacoma], 17 July 1931)

Paternal great grandparents

Hanora Hayes and George Henry Kingston were Brautigan's paternal great grandparents. Their child, Rebecca Lilian Kingston, was Brautigan's paternal grandparent. Both Honora Hayes and George Henry Kingston immigrated to California sometime in the late 1880s.

HANORA HAYES
Born: May 1855, Ireland
Died: 19 October, Chehalis, Lewis County, Washington
Buried: St. Urban Catholic Cemetery, Lewis County, Winlock, Washington, Row A, Plot 9
St. Urban Catholic Cemetery was established in 1890 from land donated by Gottlieb Waller

GEORGE HENRY KINGSTON
Born: 16 February 1839, Ireland
Died: 11 December 1912, Winlock, Lewis County, Washington
Buried: St. Urban Catholic Cemetery, Lewis County, Winlock, Washington, Row A, Plot 8
St. Urban Catholic Cemetery was established in 1890 from land donated by Gottlieb Waller
Father: Richard Kingston
Mother: Ann Mahoney

Married

1875(?), based on 1900 U. S. Census noting them married for 25 years.

Children

Annie Kingston
Born: 1870?, California?
Died: Prior to 1880?

William Kingston

Daniel Kingston

Rebecca Lilian Kingston (Brautigan) (Morisette)
Born: March 1887, California
Died: 16 June 1957, Tacoma, Washington

Maternal grandparents

Elizabeth "Bessie" Cordelia Ashlock (Kehoe) (Dixon) and Michael Joseph Kehoe were Brautigan's maternal grandparents. Kehoe died. Their child, Lulu Mary Kehoe, was Brautigan's mother.

ELIZABETH "BESSIE" CORDELIA ASHLOCK (Kehoe) (Dixon)
Born: 30 September 1881, St. Louis (Woodville?), Missouri
Died: 19 April 1950, Portland, Oregon, Good Samaritan Hospital, age 68
Buried: ***No information***

MICHAEL JOSEPH KEHOE
Born: 1 May 1847, Montreal, Canada
Died: 11 July 1911, Marine Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
Buried: ***No information***

Father: John Kehoe
Place of Birth: Ireland

Married

9 April 1908, St. Charles County, Missouri
Settled in St. Louis, Missouri
Divorced: ***No information***

Children

Eveline Elaine Kehoe (Fjetland)
Born: 29 January ***1909/1910***?, St. Louis, Missouri
Died: 31 January 1998, Tacoma, Washington
Marriage(1): ***1938?***
Jacob "Big Jack" Anton Fjetland
Born: 1908 Tacoma, Washington
Died: 7 March 1963, Tacoma, Washington
Buried: ***No information***
Children
James K. Fjetland
Raymond A. Fjetland
Robert J. Fjetland

Lulu Mary Kehoe
Born: 7 April 1911, St. Louis, Missouri
Died: 24 September 2005, Eugene, Oregon
Brautigan's mother

Obituary for Eveline Elaine Kehoe (Fjetland)

Grandma Ricky passed away in her ninetieth year, leaving a legacy of love and values to her friends and children. Born in St. Louis, MO, she grew up in Tacoma and married Jacob Fjetland, who preceded her in death. They raised 3 children: Jim (wife Patricia) of Burien, Ray (wife Peggy) of Puyallup, Jacqueline Grant of Lake Forest, CA, and stepson Robert (wife C-C) of San Jose, CA; grandchildren, Brita Powloski of Puyallup, Sonya Fjetland of Puyallup, Christian Wiener of Seattle, Jason Fjetland of Federal Way; 1 great-granddaughter, Jamie; sister Mary Lou Folston of Eugene, OR. Her many adopted children included Donna Gibson and Helmut Heim. Memorial Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, 1998 in the Mt. View Valley Chapel. Arrangements by Mountain View Funeral Home. 584-0252.
(The News Tribune [Tacoma], 3 February 1998, p. B4.)

Obituary for Jacob Anton Fjetland

Native of City Stricken at 55
Jacob Anton (Jack) Fjetland, 55, of 1841 E. Sherman St., a native Tacoman, died Thursday in a local hospital. He had spent all his life here and was a salesman for the Klizer and Blair Co. Mr. Fjetland was a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Surviving are his wife, Eveline; three sons James K. and Raymond A., both of Tacoma, and Robert J. of California; two sisters, Miss Jacqueline Ann Fjetland of Tacoma and Mrs. Jack Schultz of Spokane; a brother, Clarence M. of Tacoma; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Knute Fjetland of Seattle; and three grandchildren. Services will be announced by Mountain View Funeral Home.
(The News Tribune [Tacoma], 9 March 1963, p. 2.)

ELIZABETH "BESSIE" CORDELIA ASHLOCK (Kehoe) and Michael Joseph Keho

***1910?***
St. Louis City Directory notes Micheal Kehoe living at 8214 N[orth] B[road]way. His occupation is listed as car[penter]. No listings following this date.

1910
Detroit, Michigan City Directory notes Michael and Bessie Kehoe living at 586 Champlain. Bessie's occupation noted as stenographer with National Vaudette Film Company.

1911
Detroit, Michigan City Directory notes Michael and Bessie Kehoe living at 326 Crane Avenue. Bessie's occupation noted as stenographer with Cadillac Film Company. Michael's occupation noted as packer.

After Kehoe's death, ELIZABETH "BESSIE" CORDELIA ASHLOCK (Kehoe) married Jesse Grant Dixon
Married (2): 1913-1914(?), St. Louis, Missouri
Jesse Grant Dixon
Born: 16 April 1874
Died: 5 October 1935, Tacoma, Washington
Buried: ***no information***

Children

Jesse Woodrow Dixon
Born: 21 July 1914, St. Louis, Missouri
Died: 8 May 1930, Tacoma, Washington, from peritonitis
Buried: Calvary Cemetery

Edward Martin Dixon
Born: 29 September 1916, St. Louis, Missouri
Died: 11 August 1942, Sitka, Alaska
Edward Martin Dixon was Brautigan's "Uncle Edward," subject of "Farewell, Uncle Edward, and All the Uncle Edwards" in June 30th, June 30th. Worked as a civilian engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. He suffered a shrapnel injury to his head during the Japanese attack on Midway Island, 7 December 1941. He recovered in Hawaii and then spent two weeks in San Francisco before joining the Army engineers working on an airbase in Sitka, Alaska. He died there, 11 August 1942, in a construction accident. He was twenty six. Brautigan wrote about attending his Uncle Edward's funeral in Tacoma, Washington, in the poem "1942."

ELIZABETH "BESSIE" CORDELIA ASHLOCK (Kehoe)(Dixon) and Jesse Grant Dixon

1916(?)
Moved, with husband and family from St. Louis, Missouri, to Tacoma, Washington, where they lived at 813 East 65th Street.

1918
Jesse Grant Dixon's World War I registration card (dated 12 September 1918) notes his marriage to Bessie Dixon. Their address is listed as 1111 Pacific Avenue, Room 401, Tacoma, Washington. Jesse's occupation noted as boilermaker, employed by Todd Ship Yard, in Tacoma.

1919
Tacoma City Directory notes Bessie living with Jesse G. Dixon at 813 East 65th Street. Jesse's occupation is noted as "shipmaker."

1920
U. S. Census, Pierce County, Tacoma, Washington, notes Jesse G. Dixon (45), Bessie (32, wife), Lulu (11, child), Jesse (8, child), Edward (5, child), and Eveline (3, child) living in Tacoma, Washington. Jesse G. Dixon's occupation noted as boilermaker working in ship yards.

Tacoma City Directory notes Bessie living with Jesse G. Dixon at 813 East 65th Street. Jesse's occupation is noted as "laborer."

1921
Tacoma City Directory notes Bessie, occupation "cook," living alone at 813 East 65th Street; Bessie worked at Manning's Coffee Shop, on Converse Street, in Tacoma. Here she met Frank Campana, an Italian-American war veteran, divorced Dixon, and began a relationship with Campana that lasted until her death. Together, they opened a restaurant at Pacific Avenue and 25th Street, in Tacoma, where they sold illegal alcohol. They also operated Ruth's Place, another outlet for bootleg booze, above a branch of the Bank of California in downtown Tacoma. She was known as "Moonshine Bess."

1922
Tacoma City Directory notes Jesse G. Dixon, occupation "carpenter," living alone.

1923-1931
Tacoma City Directory notes "Mrs. Bessie Dixon" living at 813 East 65th Street. Her occupation is noted as "cook" or "waitress." No mention of Jesse G. Dixon, although the 1925 listing notes her as "widow of Jesse." The 1931 listing notes the house as owned by Bernard F. Brautigan. In 1923, Bessie asked her mother, Medora (Dora) Lenora Ashlock to move to Tacoma and live with her in the family home.

1932(?)
Moved (with Campana?), following death of Mother (1931), to St. Helens, Oregon, where they opened and operated a restaurant on Strand Street along the Columbia River, called The Boy's Place, until 1949, the year before she died. They lived together on 65th Street. She sent money monthly to her Mother and children in Tacoma, Washington. Note: one obituary, see below, says Bessie moved to St. Helens, Oregon, in 1924, which means she would have lived there 26 years, rather than the 18 claimed by another obituary. A move in 1932, following the death of her Mother, seems more logical.

Obituary for Jesse Woodrow Dixon

Jesse W. Dixon
Jesse W. Dixon, 16, died Thursday afternoon in a local hospital. He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Bessie Dixon, a brother, Edward, and two sisters, Lulu and Eveline, all of the home at 812 East 65th street. The body is at the Cassedy and Allen mortuary, pending funeral announcements.
(The News Tribune [Tacoma], 9 May 1930, p. 17.)

Obituaries for Elizabeth "Bessie" Cordelia Ashlock (Kehoe) (Dixon)

Mrs. Bessie C. Dixon
Mrs. Bessie Cordelia Dixon, 68, died in a Portland hospital Wednesday. She was a a resident of St. Helens, Ore., but was well known in Tacoma where she lived 18 years ago. Mrs. Dixon was survived by two daughters, Mrs. Jack Fjetland of Tacoma and Mrs. Lula Porterfield of Eugene, Ore.; two sisters, Mrs. Myrtle Oglesby of Spokane and Mrs. Lewis Fuller of St. Louis, Mo.; two brothers, Jess Ashlock and Lee Ashlock, both of Illinois, and six grandchildren. Funeral services were held Friday in St. Helens followed by cremation in Portland. The ashes will be brought to the Tacoma Mausoleum by Cassedy and Allen.
(The News Tribune [Tacoma], 20 April 1950.)

Mrs. Bessie Dixon
Mrs. Bessie Dixon, 66, died at St. Helens hospital early Wednesday morning, following an illness of several weeks. She had been a resident of St. Helens since 1924 when she came from Tacoma to work in a Strand St[reet] restaurant, which she did until about a year ago when the business was sold. Funeral services will be held from the Coleman chapel Friday afternoon and conducted by Rev. Roderick Johnson. The body was to be cremated and ashes taken to Tacoma to be placed alongside the grave of a son, Edward Dixon, killed in a construction accident in Alaska several years ago. Deceased is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Lula Porterfield, Eugene, and Mrs. Evelyn Fjetland, Tacoma, and a sister, Mrs. Myrtle Oglesby, Spokane, and Mrs. Louis Fuller, St. Louis, Mo. Mrs. Dixon was a member of the St. Helens Culinary Alliance.
(The St. Helens Chronicle, 20 April 1950, p. 2.)

Obituary for Jesse Grant Dixon

Jesse G. Dixon
Jesse G. Dixon, 61, a resident of Tacoma for 30 years, died Saturday in a local hospital. He lived at ***301 East 28th Street***. Surviving are one son, Edward, and one daughter, Mrs. Lula Brautigan, both of Tacoma; two brothers, Dave of Santa Anna, Calif., and Charles of Topeka, Kan., and one sister, Mrs. Jane Pryor of Kansas City, Kan. Funeral plans will be announced by Cassady and Allen.
(Tacoma Times. 7 October 1935, p. 9.)

Paternal grandparents

Rebecca Lilian Kingston (Brautigan) (Morisette) and Frederic "Fritz" Brautigam were Richard Brautigan's paternal grandparents. Their child, Bernard Frederick Brautigan, was Brautigan's father. Note final 'M" rather than "N" in Fritz's surname. He used "Brautigam," his family used "Brautigan." His obituary used "Brautigan."

REBECCA LILIAN KINGSTON (Brautigan) (Morisette)
Born: March 1887, Oakland, California
Died: 16 June 1957, Tacoma, Washington
Last address: 215 East 55th Street, Tacoma, Washington
Buried: ***Tacoma, Washington(?)***

FREDERIC "FRITZ" BRAUTIGAM
Born: 12 January 1878, Hirschberg, Westfalen, Prussia
Died: 1 July 1910, Chehalis, Washington
Buried: St. Urban Catholic Cemetery, Lewis County, Winlock, Washington
St. Urban Catholic Cemetery was established in 1890 from land donated by Gottlieb Waller.

Married

14 June 1906, Lewis County, Washington
Married by Reverend P. A. Flavin, a Catholic priest. Witnesses were William Darragh and Leabel Darragh.

Children

Agnes M. Brautigan
Born: 1903(?)

Bernard Frederick Brautigan
Born: 29 July 1908, Winlock, Washington

Edward "Eugene" F. Brautigan
Born: 26 July 1910

Rebecca Lilian Kingston (Brautigan) and William Newton Morisette

Following the death of her first husband, Frederic Fritz Brautigam, Rebecca Lilian Kingston (Brautigan) married William Newton Morisette.

William Newton Morisette
Born: 28 November 1882, Depere, Wisconsin
Died: 28 June 1945, Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington (Washington State Death Records)
Father: Charles Morisette
Mother: Adda Ellison

Married(2)

13 October 1911, Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington (Marriage Certificate)
Married by DeWitt M. Evans, Justice of the Peace, Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington. Witnesses were Eolo Wendt and Fred Frederickson (Marriage Certificate)

Children

Eleanor W. Morisette
George E. Morisette
Elah C. Morisette
Mabel A. Morisette
Born: 2 November 1916, Pierce County, Washington

Timeline: Rebecca Lilian Kingston (Brautigan) (Morisette)
1887
March: Born, Oakland, California

1900
Rebecca, age 13, living with father, George Kingston, age 51 and mother, Hanora Kingston, age 45, in Napaville, Lewis County, Washington (U. S. Census)

14 June 1906
Marries first husband, Frederick Fritz Brantigam, Lewis County, Washington

1910
Rebecca Kingston, age 27, living in Prescott, Lewis County, Washington (U. S. Census)

1 July 1910
Rebecca's first husband, Frederic Fritz Brautigam, dies

13 October 1911
Married William Newton Morisette, Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington (Marriage Certificate)

1915-1916
Rebecca and William Newton Morisette living at 402 State, Centralia, Lewis County, Washington. William's occupation noted as "cooper." (R.L. Polk Lewis County Directory 1915-1916)

1917-1918
Rebecca and William Newton Morisette living at 915 Sitka, Chehalis, Lewis County, Washington. William's occupation noted as "cooper." (R.L. Polk Lewis County Directory 1917-1918)

1920: Rebecca Morisette, age 36, and William Morisette, age 37, living in a rented home in Chehalis, Lewis County, Washington, with their children: Eleanor A. Morisette, age 7
George E. Morisette, age 5
Elah C. Morisette, age 3.5
Mabel A. Morisette, age 4.5
Agnes M. Brantigan [sic], age 12
Bernard F. Brantigan [sic], age 11
Eugene F. Brantigan [sic], age 9 (U. S. Census)

1922-1923
Rebecca and William Newton Morisette living at 915 Sitka, Chehalis, Lewis County, Washington (R.L. Polk Lewis Chehalis City Directory 1922-1923)

27 April 1942
William Morisette registers for military service at the State Armory in Tacoma, Washington. Morisette, 59, living at 5202 South Steele, was unemployed (Registration Card)

28 June 1945
Rebecca's second husband, William Newton Morisette, dies, Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington (Washington State Death Records)

16 June 1957
Rebecca Lilian Kingston (Brautigan) (Morisette) dies, Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington

Timeline: Frederic "Fritz" Brautigan

1878, 12 January
Born in Hirschberg, Westfalen, Prussia

1899, 12 September
Enters United States after sailing from Antwerp, Belgium, on the SS Kensington. His name was recorded as "Frederic Brautigam"

1900
U. S. Census reports "Fintz Brautigam," age 22, living in Ellsworth, Pierce County, Wisconsin, as a boarder in the home of Isaac Beasly (44). Other household members included Dorcas Beardsly (44), Daniel H. R. Beardsly (20), May L. Schulte (19), Helen J. Beardsly (17), Myrtle A. Beardsly (16), Johnnie W. Beardsly (7), Frank W. Schulte (25), and Edwin Barnas (18).

1900, 5 November
Naturalized as a United States citizen. His name was recorded in the records of the Pierce County courthouse as "Fritz Brautigan" but he signed himself as "Fritz Brautigam."

8 September 1905
Purchased land in Lewis County, Washington from J. A. Veness and Augusta Veness, husband and wife. Noted as "Fritz Brautigam" in the document. Signed as "Fritz Brautigam."

1906, 14 June
Married Rebecca Kingston, Lewis County, Washington. Marriage certificates records him as "Fritz Brautigan" but he signs as "Fritz Brautigam"

1910
U. S. Census reports "Fritz Brautigam, Rebecca K(ingston, wife), Agnes M (daughter), and Bernard F (son)" in Lewis County, Washington. Fritz Brautigam noted as 32 years of age.

1910, 1 July
Died, Chehalis, Washington
Buried: St. Urban Catholic Cemetery, Lewis County, Winlock, Washington, Row A, Plot 10

Obituary for Rebecca Lilian Kingston (Brautigan) (Morisette)

Rebecca L. Morisette
Rebecca Lilian Morisette, 74, of 215 East 55th St., died yesterday in a local hospital. Born in Oakland, Calif., she came to Tacoma in 1912 from Napavine. She was a member of the Catholic Church. Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Betty Salhinger of Everett; two sons Edward F. Brautigan and George E. Morisette, both of Tacoma; one grandson. Services will be announced by the Mountain View Funeral Home.
(Tacoma News-Tribune, 7 June 1957, p. ***?***.)

Obituary for Frederic "Fritz" Brautigan

Funeral at Winlock
Fritz Brautigan, aged thirty years, whose home was at Winlock, died yesterday in St. Helens hospital in Chehalis. The cause of death was tuberculosis. He leaves a widow. His occupation was that of a carpenter. The funeral will be held Sunday from the Catholic church at Winlock. Burial will be in Winlock cemetery.
(Centralia Daily Chronicle, 2 July 1910, p. 1)

Frederic "Fritz" Brautigam(n) Gravesite

St. Urban Catholic Cemetery, Lewis County, Winlock, Washington
Inscription reads
Fritz Brautigan
Born Jan. 12, 1879
Died July 1, 1910

Obituary for William Newton Morisette

W. N. Morisette
William Newton Morisette, 62, of 1910 South G, died in a local hospital Thursday. He was a retired cook. Depere, Wis. was his birthplace. Survivors are his wife Rebecca; daughter, Mrs. Betty Tangsley of Tacoma; three sons, Lt. Kenneth Morisette, U. S. infantryman overseas, Sgt. Ben Brautigan, stationed in Spokane, and George Morisette of Tacoma; two brothers, Allen of Tacoma and Charles of Richmond, Calif.; two sisters, Mrs. Eola Wendt of Mrs. Eleanor O'Neil, both of Spokane; two grandsons. Mountain View Memorial Park will announce the funeral.
(Tacoma News Tribune, 30 June 1945, p. 18.)

Connections to Frederic "Fritz" Brautigam

Ferdinand Brautigam
Uncle to Frederic "Fritz" Brautigam?
Born: 1865, Germany
Died: 8 June 1951, Centralia, Washington
Buried: St. Urban Catholic Cemetery, Lewis County, Winlock, Washington, Row D, Plot 24

Immigrated to the United States before Frederic "Fitz" and settled in Ellswood, Pierce County, Wisconsin.
Married: Elizabeth *** (Brautigam)
Born: ***
Died: 28 May 1920, St. Paul, Minnesota
Buried: St. Urban Catholic Cemetery, Lewis County, Winlock, Washington, Row D, Plot 23

Children

Frank Brautigam (1891-***)

Lawrence Brautigam (1896-***)

Joseph Brautigam (1901-***)
Married Elizabeth *** (Brautigan) who, at age 90, was featured in The Centralia, Washington Daily Chronicle, Thursday, 16 May 1946, p. 12.

Martin H. Brautigam
Born: 1904, Lewis County, Washington(?)
Died: 1965, Winlock, Washington
Buried: St. Urban Catholic Cemetery, Lewis County, Winlock, Washington, Row D, Plot 27

Frances Brautigam (Lee)
Born: 1899, Lewis County, Washington(?)
Died: 26 February 1920, Chehalis, Washington
Buried: St. Urban Catholic Cemetery, Lewis County, Winlock, Washington, Row D, Plot 22

Married

*** Lee

Children

Mary Bell Lee (1916-***)

John Lee
Born: 1917
Died: 1926
Buried: St. Urban Catholic Cemetery, Lewis County, Winlock, Washington, Row D, Plot 21

Henry Brautigan

Brother to Frederic "Fritz" Brautigam(?)
1876(?): Born, Wesphalen, Germany

Prior to 5 October 1899
Traveled from Germany to Liverpool, England.

5 October 1899
Boarded the steamship "Dominion" sailing for Quebec, Canada. Passenger manifest notes "Henry Brautigan," age 23, single laborer, able to read and write. His nationality is stated as German; last residence, Westphalen. His final destination is noted as Ellswood, Pierce County, Wisconsin. He was a Third Class passenger.

15 October 1899
Arrived Quebec, Canada. Entered United States later that year.

1900
U. S. Census notes "Henry Brantigan," age 23, in Salem, Pierce County, Wisconsin, along with "Frederick Brantigan (34), Christopher Brantigan (31), Frank Brantigan (8), Samani Brantigan (4), Francesco Brantigan (1), and Frank Brantigan (23)." Note: As noted above, this same census reports "Fintz [Frederic "Fritz"] Brautigam," age 22, living in Ellsworth, Pierce County, Wisconsin, as a boarder in the home of Isaac Beasly (44).

Brautigan's parents

Lulu Mary Kehoe (Brautigan) (Titland) (Porterfield) (Folson) and Bernard Frederick Brautigan were Brautigan's parents. Lulu Mary was commonly known as Mary Lou. The couple first met in 1924. Lulu Mary worked at her mother's restaurant on 25th Street in Tacoma, Washington. Brautigan, working at a nearby plywood mill, lived in a room above the restaurant where he took all his meals. Richard Brautigan's parents.

LULU MARY KEHOE (Brautigan) (Titland) (Porterfield) (Folston)
Born: 7 April 1911, St. Louis, Missouri
Died: 24 September 2005, Eugene, Oregon
Last address: 97402 Eugene Lane, Eugene, Oregon
Buried: Calvary Cemetary

BERNARD FREDERICK BRAUTIGAN
Born: 29 July 1908, Winlock, Washington
Died: 27 May 1994, Tacoma, Washington
Buried: ***No information***

Married(1)

18 July 1927, Pierce County, Tacoma, Washington
Marriage performed by Frank A. Magill, Justice of the Peace, Tacoma, Pierce Count, Washington. Witnesses to the marriage were Mrs. William Morisette (Rebecca, Bernard's mother) and Eleanor Morisette (Bernard's step-sister) (Certificate of Marriage).

Separated (1) and Divorced (1)

Separated(1): April 1934

Summons and Complaint: 21 October 1938
In papers filed 18 October 1938 with the Pierce County Court, Bernard, plaintiff, alleges that Lulu Brautigan, defendent, abandoned him in Tacoma, Washington in April 1934, "and has ever since said date of abandonment lived

Bernard also alleged that "No children have been born as issue of such union," his marriage with Mary Lou.

Divorce Papers Filed: 25 November 1938
Bernard was granted divorce by order of default based on Mary Lou's failure to respond to the court summons.

Divorced(1): 17 January 1940, Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington

Children

Richard Gary Brautigan
Born: 30 January 1935, Tacoma, Washington
Died: 14 October 1984, Bolinas, California

Richard Brautigan's birth certificate clearly notes Bernard F. Brautigan as his father. But, the divorce papers filed for Lulu Mary Kehoe and Bernard Frederick Brautigan (above) notes "No children have been born as issue of such union." Later, when he enlised in the U. S. Army, 4 May 1942, Bernard noted his marital status as "divorced, without dependents." Following Brautigan's death in 1984, Bernard stated he had no knowledge of a son. Despite these claims, Bernard is generally acknowledged as Brautigan's biological father.

Timeline: Mary Lulu Kehoe and Bernard Frederick Brautigan

1927, 18 July
Married. Their marriage certificate notes Mary Lou's address as 813 East 56th Street, Tacoma, Washington; Bernard's as 314 1/2 East 26th Street, Tacoma, Washington. Both were eighteen.

1928
No listing in Tacoma City Directory

1929
"Ben Brautigan" living with Lulu at 1945 Fawcetta [sic] Avenue (Tacoma City Directory)

1930
"Ben F. Brautigan" living with Lulu at 1945 Fawcet [sic] Avenue, apartment 6B (Tacoma City Directory). (The 1930 U.S. Census Report notes Lulu living in Pierce County, Tacoma, Washington).

1931-1933
"Benj Braugitan" and Bernard Brautigan living with Lulu at 813 E 65th Street (Tacoma City Directory)

1934
"Benj F. Brautigan" living with Lulu at 2830 South L Street (Tacoma City Directory)

1929
Lulu and Ben Brautigan living at 1945 Fawcetta [sic] Avenue

1935, 30 January: Son Richard Gary Brautigan born; no listing in Tacoma City Directory

1936-1937
No listing in Tacoma City Directory

1938
"Mrs. Lulu Brautigan" living at 1346 Fawcette [sic] Avenue (Tacoma City Directory)

1938, 21 October
Summons and Complaint filed by Bernard Frederick Brautigan, seeking divorce on the grounds of abandonment

1938, 25 November
Bernard granted divorce by order of default based on Mary Lou's failure to respond to the court summons. Divorce papers filed.

1940, 17 January
Divorce officially decreed

Bernard Frederick Brautigan

Married(2): 1946-1947(?)
Ottilia Hauck (Glass) Born: 23 February 1902
Father: George Hauck
Mother: Katherine Southner
Died: 22 February 1976, Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington
Buried: Calvary Cemetery, Tacoma, Washington

Children

Leona Glass (Pezanowski)
Born: **?**
Died: 2000
Married Mike Pezanowski

Helen Glass (Anderson)
Married: Ed Anderson

Edward Glass

Raymond Glass

Obituary for Ottilia Hauck (Glass) (Brautigan)

Mrs. Bernard F. (Otillia) Brautigan, who would have celebrated her 75th birthday yesterday died Sunday. She resided at 715 E. 55th St. She was born in Powell, N.D., and had lived in the area 53 years. Mrs. Brautigan was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Survivors include two sons, Edward and Raymond Glass of Tacoma; two daughters, Mrs. Leona Pezanowski of Tacoma and Mrs. Helen Anderson of Westport; two brothers, John Hauck of Yakima and Edward Hauck of Medicine Hat, Alta,; three sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Miller of Toppenish, Mrs. Molly Wirachowski in Alberta and Mrs. Margaret Wirachowski of Regina, Sask., 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Gaffney Funeral Home is in charge.
(The News Tribune [Tacoma], 24 February 1976, p. ***?***.)

Timeline: Bernard Frederick Brautigan

1910
"Bernard F. Brautigam," age 1, living in Lewis County, Washington (U.S. Census)

1920
Bernard, age 11, living with his mother, Rebecca and step-father, William Morisette, and siblings in Chehalis, Lewis County, Washington (U.S. Census)

1927, 18 July
Married to Lulu Mary Kehoe

1928-1937
Living in Tacoma, Washington. See timeline with Lula Mary Kehoe, above.

1935, 30 January
Son, Richard Gary Brautigan, born

1936: "Bernard F. Brantigan" living at 713 South 17th Street (Tacoma City Directory)

1937
Bernard Brautigan noted but no address (Tacoma City Directory)

1938
Separated from Lulu Mary Kehoe. "Mrs. Lulu Brautigan" living at 1346 Fawcette [sic] Avenue (Tacoma City Directory)

1938, 21 October
Summons and Complaint filed by Bernard Frederick Brautigan, seeking divorce on the grounds of abandonment

1938, 25 November
Bernard granted divorce by order of default based on Mary Lou's failure to respond to the court summons. Divorce papers filed.

1939
"Bernard F. Brautigan" living at 1513 1/2 South Tacoma Avenue (Tacoma City Directory)

1940, 17 January
Divorce from Lulu Mary Kehoe (Brautigan) officially decreed

1940-1941
Bernard / Ben Brautigan living at 1515 South Tacoma Avenue (Tacoma City Directory)

1942, 4 May
Enlisted in U. S. Army, Tacoma, Washington. Marital status noted as "Divorced, without dependents"

1947
"Bernard F. Brautigam" living at 715 East 55th Street (Tacoma City Directory). Bernard owned this property in the Brewerton's Breezy Hill annex to the City of Tacoma.

1948
"Bernard F. Brautigan" living with "Ottillia" at 715 East 55th Street (Tacoma City Directory)

1951
Bernard F. Brautigan living with "Mathida L." at 715 East 55th Street (Tacoma City Directory)

1953-1959
Bernard F. or Ben F. Brautigan living with "Otillia" or "Otilla" at 715 East 55th Street (Tacoma City Directory)

From 1929-1959 Bernard working as a laborer in various plywood factories, millworking, and door manufacturing companies in Tacoma (Tacoma City Directory)

Obituary for Bernard Frederick Brautigan

Bernard F. Brautigan
Bernard F. Brautigan, Jr., [sic] born July 29, 1908 in Winlock, WA, died May 27, 1994. He was a WWII veteran and had worked for Northwest Wood and Ware and Washington Door. Bernard is survived by sister, Betty Salinger, Everett; children, Leona Pezanowski, Helen Anderson, Edward Glass, and Raymond Glass. Rosary will be recited Wed., June 1, 1994, 7 p.m. at the 1002 So. Yakima Ave. Chapel. Private Graveside Services, Thursday. Interment Calvary Cemetary. Arrangements by Gaffney Cassedy Allen & Buckley King.
(The News Tribune [Tacoma], 31 May 1994, p. B4.)

Lulu Mary Kehoe and Arthur Martin Titland

Married(2): No marriage record found; doubtful the couple was ever legally married. They met in 1937 and began living together.
Arthur Martin Titland
Born: 24 November 1901?, Tacoma, Washington
Died: 13 August 1969, Seattle, Washington
Buried: 27 August 1969, Plot T 2714, Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon

Children

Barbara Jo Titland (Fitzhugh)
Born: 1 May 1939, Tacoma, Washington
Note: Birth predates the finalization of Mary Lou's divorce from Bernard Brautigan.
Barbara Jo Titland's birth certificate notes Arthur Martin Titland as father; Lulu Mary Kehoe as mother. Their address noted as 1004 1/2 South 11th, Tacoma, Washington. Arthur Titland was employed as a truck driver; Lulu Kehoe was a housewife. Barbara Jo noted as Lulu Mary's second child (Richard Brautigan was her first).

Timeline: Lula Mary Kehoe (Brautigan) and Arthur Martin Titland

1920
Arthur Titland living with his father, Robert O. Titland, age 56 (born in Norway); mother, Cecelia, age 52; and brother, Russell R., age 11, in Tacoma, Pierce County, Tacoma, Washington (U.S. Census)

1930
Arthur M. Titland, age 29, working as a machinist aboard the SS Tourist, a ship owned and operated by Puget Sound Navigation Company, Seattle, Washington. His address was noted as 915 South Sheridan Ave., Tacoma, Washington (U.S. Census)

1939
Lulu living with Arth M. Titland [sic] at 1004 1/2 South 11th, Apartment 3 (Tacoma City Directory)

1940
17 January; Lula Mary Kehoe (Brautigan) divorced(1) from Bernard F. Brautigan

1940
Lulu living with Arth M. Titland [sic] at 1006 South Yakima, Apartment 1 (Tacoma City Directory)

1941-1942
Lulu living with Arth M. Titland [sic] at 721 Fawcett (Tacoma City Directory). This is the last listing for Lulu Mary Brautigan (Titland) (Porterfield) (Folston) in the Tacoma City Directory.

1943, 17 March
Arthur Martin Titland begins service in U.S. Navy during World War II

Obituary for Arthur Martin Titland

Arthur M. Titland
Services were held in Seattle Saturday for Arthur Martin Titland, 68, a former Tacoma resident who died recently. Mr. Titland was born in Tacoma and had lived all of his life in the Tacoma-Seattle area. He was a former employee of the Foss Launch & Tug Co. Services were under direction of Home Undertaking, Seattle.
(The News Tribune [Tacoma], 18 August 1969, p. 31.)

Lulu Mary Kehoe and Robert Geoffrey "Tex" Porterfield

Robert Geoffrey "Tex" Porterfield
Born: 9 August 1904, Deadwood, South Dakota
Died: 22 March 1969, Reno, Nevada
Buried: Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery, Reno, Nevada

Married(3)

20 January 1943; Tacoma, Washington. Lutheran ceremony conducted by Pastor Barton W. Smith
Divorced(3): 12 July 1950, Eugene, Oregon

Children

Sandra Jean Porterfield (Stair) (Atkins)
Born: 5 March 1945
Married 1: Hubert Roger Stair
Married 2: Stan Atkins

Timeline: Lula Mary Kehoe (Brautigan) (Titland) and Robert Geoffrey "Tex" Porterfield

1910
Robert Porterfield living with his father, Frank A. Porterfield (Born 1872, Ohio), and his mother, Harriett G. Porterfield (Born 1873, Iowa), in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas. His birthdate is estimated "about 1905" (U.S. Census)

1920
Family still living in Forth Worth, Tarrant County, Texas. Mother's name noted as "Carrie." Porterfiled's birthdate is estimated "about 1905" (U.S. Census)

1943
Lulu Mary Kehoe (Brautigan) (Titland) and Porterfield meet, while both working at Laughlin's Cafe, on Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington. Porterfield was a cook; Lulu Mary, a cashier. They married 20 January 1943, in a Lutheran ceremony conducted by Pastor Barton W. Smith in Tacoma, Washington. Both Brautigan and his sister, Barbara, used Porterfield's surname.

1944
Lulu Mary and Porterfield separated. He traveled to Great Falls, Montana, for a job as a fry cook. She, and her children, remained in Tacoma, Washington, but they all traveled to Montana to see Porterfield on 14 February. After two weeks, Lulu Mary returned to Tacoma, leaving Brautigan and Barbara in a Great Falls, Montana, rooming house with Porterfield, who returned them to Tacoma in the spring. That summer, Lulu Mary moved to Salem, Oregon, without Porterfield.

1945
Robert G. Porterfield, a cook at The Quelle, living with his wife Lulu at 2235 Hazel Avenue, Salem, Oregon (Salem City Directory)

Fall 1945
Mary Lou and children settled in Eugene, Oregon. Porterfield lived with them a short time, before leaving, forever.

Lulu Mary Kehoe and William F. Folston, Jr.

William F. Folston, Jr.
Born: 23 November 1917, Mitchell, Wheeler County, Oregon
Died: 2 December 1976, Eugene, Lane County, Oregon(?)
Last address: 97402 Eugene Lane, Lane County, Eugene, Oregon
Buried: ***?***
Folston's mother: Almira Jane Keyes
Born: ***?***, Oregon (father from New York, mother from Ohio)
Folston's father: William F. Folston
Born: About 1871, Michigan
Died: 18 May 1962, Crook County, Oregon

Married(4)

12 June 1950, Reno, Nevada
Their marriage application stated "Mary Lou Porterfield" as previously married and her husband deceased. All Mary Lou's husbands by previous marriages were still very much alive: Bernard F. Brautigan died in 1994, Robert Geoffrey Porterfield died in 1969, as did Arthur Martin Titland. Note that when she married Folston her divorce from Porterfield was not final; that came a full month later.

Children

William David Folston
Born: 19 December 1950

Timeline: Lula Mary Kehoe (Brautigan) (Titland) (Porterfield) and William F. Folston, Jr.

1920
William Folston, age 2, living in Mitchell County, Wheeler, Oregon. Other household members included father, William Folston, age 49, mother, Almira J. Folston, age 40; Agness E. Folston, age 17; Taleen O. Folston, age 14; James E. Folston, age 12; Laurance Folston, age 9; and Ellen L. Folston, age 7. All children noted as born in Oregon (U.S. Census)

1930
William Folston, age 12, living in Mitchell County, Wheeler, Oregon. Other household members included father, William Folston, age 60; Elizabeth Folston, age 25; James Folston, age 22; Lawrence [sic] Folston, age 20; Ellen Folston, age 17; ; and Ruth Folston, age 9 (U.S. Census)

1941
William F. Folston, Jr. enlisted for military service at Fort Lewis, Washington. He joined the Army Air Corps with the rank of Private. His stated education was four years of high school. He was single, with no dependents.

Obituary for Lula Mary Kehoe (Brautigan) (Titland) (Porterfield) (Folston)

MaryLou Folston
MaryLou Folston of Eugene died Sept. 24 of age-related causes. She was 94. She was born April 7, 1911, in St. Louis to Michael and Bessie Dixson Kehoe. She married William "Bill" Folston Jr. in Reno, Nev., in 1948. He died Dec. 2, 1976. Folston went to high school in Tacoma, where she lived until the early 1940s. She then moved to Salem before moving to Eugene in 1945. A homemaker, Folston enjoyed collecting dolls, unicorns, fairy figurines and stuffed animals. Survivors include a son, William of Eugene; two daughters, Barbara Fitzhugh of Portland and Sandra Atkins of Martinsville, Ill.; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. A son, Richard Brautigan, died previously. No service is planned. Andreason's Cremation and Burial Service of Eugene is in charge of arrangements.
(The Register-Guard [Eugene, Oregon], 18 October 2005, p. D4.)

Richard Brautigan's marriages

Richard Brautigan married twice. His first marriage was to Virginia "Ginny" Dionne Alder. His second was to Akiko Nishizawa Yoshimura. Both marriages ended in separation and divorce.

Married(1)

8 June 1957, Reno, Nevada
VIRGINIA "GINNY" DIONNE ALDER
Born: 11 July 1934, Rexburg, Idaho
Moved to Hawaii, 1975. Currently living in Pahoa, Hawaii.

The ceremony was performed by Reverend Stephen C. Thomas, a Methodist minister. Witnesses were Ace W. Williams and Agnes Thomas. Neither Brautigan or Alder had been married previously. Both were twenty two years of age. Both gave San Francisco as their place of residence.

Father: Grover Cleveland Alder
Born: 1890?
Died: 1960, age 70
Mother: ***?***

Grover Cleveland Alder grew up on a Nebraska farm. He taught school and worked as a car salesman. He joined the U. S. Army at age 27, and during World War I he flew a de Havilland bomber over France. Demobilized at the rank of Captain in 1919, Alder moved to Rexburg, Idaho, where he got involved in banking, the grocery business, and ranching. He prospered until the stock market crash in 1929, which destroyed his various businesses. Alder raised sheep until 1934, when disease wiped out his flocks. With his wife and daughter, Virginia, born that same year, Alder moved to California, where he parked cars in Hollywood, worked as a construction company bookkeeper, and real estate salesman.

Separated(1)

24 December 1962, San Francisco, California

Divorce(1)

27 July 1970, San Francisco, California
Original petition filed: 13 January 1970
Interlocutory judgement issued: 17 February 1970
The divorce petition was served by Valerie Estes—she and Brautigan were involved since June 1968—to Virginia Alder, who lived at this time with Tony Aste and their children at 17410 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, California.

Children

Ianthe Elizabeth Brautigan
Born: 25 March 1960, San Francisco, California
Married: 5 September 1981, Santa Rosa, California
Paul Swenson

Timeline: Virginia "Ginny" Dionne Alder and Richard Gary Brautigan

1958: Richard G. and Virginia D. "Brautigam" [sic] living at 1470 Washington Street. Virginia is noted as working as a secretary at the San Francisco Museum of Art. (Polk City Directory San Francisco)

1959: Richard and Virginia living at 461 Mississippi Street. Brautigan is noted as a "student." (Polk City Directory San Francisco)

1960: Richard G. and Virginia D. living at 575 Pennsylvania Avenue. Brautigan is noted as a "lab tech." (Polk City Directory San Francisco)

1961-1965: No listings for Virgina Alder, or Brautigan in Polk City Directory San Francisco

1966: Richard "Brantigan" [sic] living at 2830 California Street. (Polk City Directory San Francisco)

Virginia "Ginny" Dionne (Alder) Brautigan and Anthony "Tony" Frederic Aste

After separating from Brautigan 24 December 1962, Virginia Alder began a relationship with Anthony "Tony" Frederic Aste.

Anthony (Tony) Frederic Aste
Born: 5 August 1943, Salt Lake City(?), Utah
Died: 17 January 1996, San Francisco, California
Aste died of a heart attack, in his car, at 400 China Basin Street, in San Francisco.
Aste's Death Certificate notes his address as 4770 Mission Street #412, San Francisco, California
Death Certificate also notes that Aste "never married." No marriage records have been found.
Buried: ***?***

Father: Fred Herman Aste
Born: ***?***
Mother: Phyllis Elaine Evens
Born: ***?***, South Dakota

Children

Ellen
Born: 19 February 1965, San Francisco, California
Mara S. Born: 22 May 1968, San Francisco, California
Jesse
Born 24 November 1969, Sonoma, California

Timeline: Virginia "Ginny" Dionne Alder Brautigan and Anthony "Tony" Frederic Aste

1962-1965(?): Alder and Aste moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, Aste's home. An undated notation among Brautigan's papers reads:
Ginny Brautigan
815 First Ave.
Salt Lake City, UT

1961-1965: No listings for Virgina Alder (Brautigan) or Anthony Aste in Polk City Directory San Francisco. The first of three children to Alder and Aste, Ellen, is born 19 February 1965, in San Francisco, California.

1966: Anthony Aste and Virginia living at 426 Francisco Street. Virginia is noted as a "student." (Polk City Directory San Francisco)

1967: Anthony Aste and Virginia living at 426 Francisco Street. Virginia is noted as a "student." (Polk City Directory San Francisco)

1968: Second child, Mara S., born 22 May 1968, San Francisco, California.

1969: Third child, Jesse, born 24 November 1969, Sonoma, California.

1970: Virginia Alder (Brautigan) and Aste living at 17140 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, California, in Sonoma County's Valley of the Moon.

1988: Aste living in Bodega Bay, California (Post Office Box 144)

1996: Aste living at 4770 Mission Street #412, San Francisco, California.

Married(2)

1 December 1977, Richmond, California
Akiko Nishizawa Yoshimura
Born: 1944, Sapporo, Japan

Separated(2)

4(?) December 1979, San Francisco, California
Divorced(2): 12 November 1980, San Francsico, California

Divorced(2)

12 November 1980, San Francsico, California
Petition for divorce filed: 10 January 1980
Interlocutory decree entered San Francisco County Superior Court: 30 October 1980

Children

No children.
Akiko remarried and lives in San Francisco as Akiko Sakagami.

1930s-1940s

According to his Birth Certificate, Richard Gary Brautigan was born Wednesday, 30 January 1935, 12:30 AM, Pacific Time, in Tacoma, Washington. An astrology chart, prepared years later by a fan, and dated 4 March 1968 in Brautigan's handwriting, shows the astrological alignments at the time of Brautigans birth.

Brautigan grew up in Tacoma and Eugene, Oregon, during the crushing poverty of The Depression and the end of World War II. As an adult he was mysterious about his family history (see "Family" menu tab, above), often saying he had none. But, in his juvenilia and early published writings, he sometimes imaginatively wove in accounts of his childhood and family relations.

LEARN more about Brautigan's life during these decades.

Close

1950s

By 1956, Brautigan had settled in San Francisco, California. There he sought to establish himself as a writer, was known for handing out his poetry on street corners, and often participated in the Monday night "Blabbermouth Night" readings at The Place, 1546 Grant Avenue, a popular gathering spot for artists and poets opened by painter and abstract photographer Leo Krikorian and Knute Stiles in 1953 and owned and operated by Krikorian until the bar closed in 1960. Blabbermouth Night was an extemporaneous public speaking event where artists, poets, and others could make a statement or entertain in hopes of winning the night's prize: a bottle of champagne. Each speaker mounted the loft above the room, the blabberbox, where a yellow soapbox served as the lectern.

Brautigan's first published "book," a single poem in bound covers, The Return of the Rivers, was published 1957. The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, a poetry collection was published in 1958. Another poetry collection, Lay the Marble Tea, was published in 1959.

LEARN more about Brautigan's life during this decades.

Close

1960s

Although he knew the Beats, and they him, Brautigan always insisted he was not a part of their literary movement. Contemporary literary opinion supports this contention, seeing Brautigan, when his novel Trout Fishing in America catapulted him to international fame in 1967, as the writer best representative of the emerging counterculture. His first novel, A Confederate General from Big Sur, met with no success when first published in 1964. Brautigan published four collections of poetry: The Octopus Frontier (1960), All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (1967), The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster (1968), and Please Plant This Book (1969), as well as another novel, In Watermelon Sugar (1968).

LEARN more about Brautigan's life and works during this decade.

Close

1970s

Brautigan's height of publishling success came during the 1970s. He vowed not to write sequels to Trout Fishing in America, and instead experimented with different literary genres. The Abortion: An Historical Romance (1971), The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western (1974), Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery (1975), Sombrero Fallout: A Japanese Novel (1976), and Dreaming of Babylon: A Detective Novel 1942 (1977) all combined genres as telegraphed in their subtitles. Brautgan also published three collections of poetry, including Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt (1970), Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork (1976), and June 30th, June 30th (1978). Brautigan also published a collection of stories: Revenge of the Lawn (1971).

LEARN more about Brautigan's life and works during this decade.

Close

1980s

General dismissal by literary critics reversed Brautigan's literary success and his popularity waned throughout the 1980s. Brautigan published two novels: The Tokyo-Montana Express (1980) and So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away (1982). He remained popular in Japan, and visited there for extended periods. At the time of his death, in 1984, in Bolinas, California, Brautigan was largely ignored, or worse, negated by critics and pundits who trivialized his contribution to American literature.

LEARN more about Brautigan's life and works during this decade.

Close

Legacy

Brautigan's legacy is muti-faceted. His published work includes ten books of poetry, eleven novels, one collection of short stories, essays and non-fiction writing, four volumes of collected works, and a record album of spoken voice recordings.

Perhaps his best-known works are his novel, Trout Fishing in America (1967), his collection of poetry, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster (1968), and his collection of stories, Revenge of the Lawn (1971).

As an author, Brautigan is remembered for his detached, anonymous first person point of view, his idiosyncratic, autobiographical, quirky, yet easy-to-read prose style and episodic narrative structure full of unconventional but vivid images powered by imagination, strange and detailed observational metaphors, humor, and satire, all presented in a seemingly simplistic, childlike manner.

Readers and critics continue to debate, however, whether Brautigan's style is indeed simplistic. For example, Trout Fishing in America can be said to represent the novel itself being written by Brautigan, a character in the novel, a place, an outdoor sport, a religion, a state of mind, and a symbol of the American pastoral ideal lost to commercialism, environmental degradation, and social decay.

Today, scholars, researchers, writers, readers, artists, musicians, and other creative peoples find inspiration in the works of Richard Brautigan. This interest is international, with his works translated into more than twenty languages.

LEARN more about Brautigan's continuing legacy.

Close