MARY VANDEVERT HOGAN’S MEMOIRS
Mary Vandevert was the daughter of William Plutarch Vandevert’s brother Charlie. She was born October 13, 1901 and died in 1995. In the 1980’s she wrote a 22,000 word “secret” history of her family and her own life. She eventually gave a copy to Grace Vandevert McNellis who passed it along to this editor. Mary was insistent that most of her family members and particularly her older sister, Ruth, never see the manuscript. One reason for the secrecy appears to be that Mary wandered from the truth when she felt like it and did not want to be contradicted. The first six thousand words of Mary’s manuscript, on the life of her grandfather, Joshua Jackson Vandevert, is so rife with errors that Grace and I, the editor, have decided not to publish it at all. It is hard to know on what points Mary was misinformed and on what points she simply wrote what she thought would make the most interesting story.
The rest of Mary’s manuscript draws more closely on her own life and experience. While she may have continued to depart from the truth, at least she had generally correct information to begin with. We can neither verify nor contradict much of what she says.
Mary certainly tells fascinating stories. The story of two young women riding by themselves from Vandevert Ranch to Cottage Grove in 1917 is particularly captivating. The stories, broken out from Mary’s manuscript and downloadable in Word 97-2003, are as follows:
Charles and Margaret Vandevert (Mary’s Parents - 2,300 words)
Childhood (7,200 words)
Two Young Women Ride to Cottage Grove in 1917 (4,400 words)
Adulthood (1,500 words)