Ivy May Kingdon

William Kingdon and Vadner Gessner were married on August 29, 1891 at Quilcene, Jefferson County, Washington. In 1893 they traveled to Edmonds where William worked with O.C. Sorensen in logging operations before moving away for a short period of time, returning to Edmonds in 1898.

Ivy May Kingdon was delivered by Dr. Chase at Edmonds on December 6, 1900. She was the fourth child born to Mr. & Mrs. William Kingdon and preceded by William Carl in 1892 at Quilcene, Esther Amy in 1894 at Richmond Beach and Dewey Albert in 1898 at Edmonds. She would be followed by Frederick Dorr in 1902 and Anna Florence in 1904, both born at Edmonds. At the time of her birth, the family home was a two-story house on what would later be Hebe Way (running east to west between 5th & 6th North and north to south between Bell & Edmonds Street). The family’s neighbors were the Heberlein’s and the Luce’s. Across from the Kingdon family home was their barn which included 5 horses, a cow, pigs and chickens along with the Free Methodist Parsonage and the Chase family residence.

Kingdon family at the football field on Bell Street between 6th Ave N & 7th Ave N, c. 1908 Back Row: Esther Kingdon, William Kingdon, Francis Ransom, Frank Kingdon, Carl Kingdon, Eugene Amidon holding daughter Lenore.  Front Row: Ivy May Kingdon, Marie Amidon, Amy Kingdon, Anna Kingdon, Vadner Kingdon, Fred Kingdon, Aunt Lucy Ransom, Dorr Kingdon, Aunt Sadie Amidon.

In 1901, Ivy’s father joined his brother-in-law, John Charles Farrell, in the grocery business. The business was located on the east side of First Street (now Sunset Ave) until 1903, when William bought out John’s stock and moved into the Schumacher Building – which stands today and is the site of Chanterelle. During the same time, the Kingdon family rented the family home on Hebe Way to Frank Carpenter and moved into the upstairs above the Edmonds Grocery. In 1906 the block building to the east was finished and William Kingdon moved his General Merchandise business into that building, where he would stay until his death on March 1, 1911.

Ivy’s first friends were next-door neighbor Fred Heberlein (1900-1975) and Ira Couch, who lived in “the little house on the northeast corner of 6th & Main Street” – today the building still stands and is home to Infinity Mortgage. Other friends included Norma Evans, who’s father was a photographer in Edmonds; Bessie Oake, who lived on 4th Street (Ave) and who’s father was the constable; and Marjorie Hall, who was Ivy’s best friend.

Ivy began first grade in September 1907 at Edmonds Grade School, and would continue at Edmonds until her father’s death in 1911 when she was sent to stay with family in Seattle. She returned to Edmonds to finish the fifth grade under Miss Reynolds, whom she considered to be the “best teacher there ever was.” Soon a

Interior of Kingdon General Merchandise, ca. 1908 William and Vadner Kingdon.

After Ivy entered sixth grade, her brother Dorr became ill. Ivy and him were sent to Moro, Oregon to stay with their aunt and uncle, Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Amidon, on their wheat farm. They came back to Snohomish County, and Ivy finished eighth grade in 1915 at Everett.

In 1919, Ivy married Stanley Specht and had three children: Jimmie, Fred and Stanley. The family returned to Edmonds in 1936. After her husband died in 1951, she remarried Carl Hoff and they resided at 6th & Bell Street. Ivy passed away on December 18, 1999, shortly after her 99th birthday – her lifetime almost filled the entire 21st century.

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