Children of Grandparents George E and Lyda May (Kelly) Morlan

Atha Arthela Morlan -- George Erwin Morlan

Atha & Erwin Morlan with their father            Atha and Erwin Morlan


George Erwin Morlan    

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Erwin and
Mary Morlan
Shorty & Erwin Morlan
Born:   February 14, 1909, in Ft. Madison, Iowa
Died:   November 28, 1982, in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, at age 73
Married(1):   Anna Nadine Roberts in September of 1936. Anna was born August 18, 1920, in Kansas City,
      Missouri, the daughter of George and Anna (Kenney) Gore. Erwin and Anna were divorced in April of 1946.
      Anna would later marry Pat Giunta -- she died February 23, 2007, in Kansas City, Missouri, at age 86.
Children: 2
      George Edward Morlan -- born July 3, 1938, in Kansas City, Missouri
      Robert Louis Morlan -- born March 1, 1941, in Kansas City, Missouri.
Married(2):   Mary Elizabeth (Anderson) Redding on April 20, 1946, at Olathe, Kansas. Mary was born in
      Amity, Missouri, on September 29, 1904. She was called "Shorty" by her family and friends
      -- she died on March 18, 1998, at the John Knox Care Center in Lee's Summit, Missouri, at age 93.

Erwin Morlan George Erwin Morlan was the first child and son of George Emmett and Lyda May (Kelly) Morlan. At the time of his birth, his father was 28 years old; his mother was 6 years younger, 22 years old. His father was a car repairman for the Santa Fe Railroad.

Throughout his life he was called by his second name, Erwin.

Erwin Morlan The young Morlan family traveled a great deal in Erwin's early childhood. First, in the dead of winter of 1913, to homestead between Sykes and Bell Tower, Montana, the extreme southeast part of the state. While there he started school with his cousins, Madeline and Marcella Morlan, daughters of Fred and Sylvia Morlan, his father's brother and sister-in-law.

About 1917 they returned to the midwest to live on a 40-acre farm his parents had purchased in Mountain View, Missouri, (south central Missouri). Around 1920 they moved to Drumwright, Oklahoma, where his father had gone to work as a carpenter in the oil fields. Erwin started high school while in Drumwright.

Because of his mother's ill health, they left Oklahoma about 1924 to go to Kansas City, Missouri. Erwin was only 15 years old at the time but drove the family car, a model-T Ford, all the way.

While in Kansas City, he completed his high school education, graduating from Manual Training High School in 1926. While in high school he became interested in the military and was a member of the R.O.T.C. and then the National Guard. He spent a great deal of his spare time at the Military Country Club near Lee's Summit, Missouri.

After graduation Erwin went to work for Emery, Bird, Thayer -- a dry goods store in Kansas City, Missouri. From there he went to work for a dry cleaners at 33rd and Indiana. The dry cleaners were operated by Sam Goldstein. The cleaning business proved to be to his liking so about 1931 Erwin and his parents, George and Lydia Morlan, purchased a dry cleaning shop at 4602 Prospect in Kansas City, Missouri. Erwin was about 23 years old at the time. During this time he bought a new 1931 Chevrolet roadster with a rumble seat.

Erwin met Anna Nadine Roberts at his parent's farm outside of Independence, Missouri. Her parents owned the property next to the Morlan farm. Erwin was 27 years old at the time.

After their marriage in 1936, the Erwin Morlan's started their own dry cleaning business at 29th and Euclid. From there they went to a cleaning shop in Mission, Kansas, across from the Dickinson Theater.

Erwin Morlan During World War II Erwin enlisted in the army; most of his service was in the Philippines where he operated a laundry for the hospital there. He was 37 years old when he was discharged from the service.

While Erwin was in the service, his wife, Anna, gave up the cleaning business and went to work in a defense plant. After his discharge from the army, in April of 1946, Erwin and Anna were divorced with Erwin having custody of the two boys.

Erwin then married "Shorty" -- Mary Elizabeth (Anderson) Redding in Olathe, Kansas. Their home was at 4523 South Benton, the home that initially was owned by his parents when they operated their cleaning shop on Prospect.

Erwin stayed with the cleaning business, opening up Niagara Cleaners about 78th and Troost. About 1951 they built a new plant and home at 80th and Troost. They had at first rented out their home on South Benton, eventually selling it and purchasing property at Lake Lotawana.

In the late 1960's they retired from the cleaning business and moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, where Erwin worked for Big Smith Manufacturers.

Erwin & Shorty Morlan Around 1975 he completely retired and bought property at Crystal Lake in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. They bought a motor home and spent most of their retirement years traveling.

Erwin and Mary celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in April of 1981.

George Erwin Morlan died at age 73 -- on November 28, 1982, in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. His funeral service was held on December 1, 1982, at the Oak Christian Church near Amity, Missouri. He was buried in the Memorial Park Cemetery at St. Joseph, Missouri.

Mary Elizabeth (Anderson) Morlan died at age 93 -- on March 18, 1998, at the John Knox Care Center in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Her funeral service was also at the Oak Christian Church near Amity with burial in the Memorial Park Cemetery at St. Joseph, Missouri.


Atha Arthela Morlan
Born:   October 4, 1914, between Sykes and Belltower, Montana
Died:   July 20, 1994, in Kansas City, Kansas, at age 79
Married:   Ira Elijah Gillett on March 11, 1933, in Olathe, Kansas - Ira was born July 24, 1910, in
      Fort Dodge, Iowa, the first child of George Erron and Sana Elmira (Shedden) Gillett
Children: 4

Atha Morlan Atha Arthela Morlan was born in southeast Montana, the daughter of George E. and Lyda M. (Kelly) Morlan. She was born in a sod house where the Morlans were homesteading. They had traveled to Montana from Fort Madison, Iowa, in the dead of winter of 1913. George Morlan was 34 years old at the time and Lyda was 28 years old.

The young Morlan family traveled a great deal in Atha's early childhood. From Montana they traveled to Mountain View, Missouri, in 1917 (located in south central Missouri), then to Drumwright, Oklahoma, in 1920 (northeast Oklahoma) and finally to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1924.

Atha went to Central Junior and Senior High Schools in Kansas City where she excelled in journalism, home economics and swimming. She was second page editor of the school's newspaper and the yearbook's girls athletic editor. She was a member of the National Honor Society. Atha graduated in May of 1932.                      Atha Morlan              Atha Morlan              Atha Morlan

Bessie Maxwell Walter Cronkite family w/Bessie's mother

While growing up in Kansas City her best friend in both Central Junior and Senior High Schools was Mary Elizabeth (Bessie) Maxwell, daughter of Arthur Maxwell. She would later become Mrs. Walter Cronkite of CBS television fame.

As a teenager Atha worked for her parents in their dry cleaning business. The Morlan family lived in the back of their dry cleaning shop. She continued to work in the dry cleaning business all her working life.

Atha learned to sew as a youth and used those skills all her life in making clothes for herself, family, friends and at times sewed to obtain extra money. Among her major projects were quilts for her children and a white robe for her minister.

Atha retired from the cleaning business in 1979 after working in the industry for 49 years -- 33 years at Crother Cleaners in Kansas City, Kansas.

Atha married Ira Elijah Gillett on March 11, 1933, in Olathe, Kansas. Ira was born on July 24, 1910, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the son of George E. and Sana E. (Shedden) Gillett. At the time Atha was 18 years old and Ira was 22 years old.

Atha Gillett was my mother

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