Replying to your letter of inquiry
of Jan. 7, here are a few facts pertinent to myself and some of my forebears.
I was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. July 29, 1892. My father was Horatio Warren Powell, who was born Aug. 10, 1865 in West Middlesex. He was the second of seven children born to William S. and Harriet Powell. The others were Harry L., John E., Ralph R., Charles W., Sarah, and Byrdella, all deceased.
Until I was fourteen I used to spend my summers with my paternal grandparents at their home on Main where, as I remember, all their seven children (my uncles & aunts) were born. Next to their home (toward the railroad station) lived my great-uncle Frank and great-aunt Lucy. They had a farm a short distance out of West Middlesex, where I used to ride (bareback!) a genial old mare called Bess. I have no remembrance of the James Powells who moved to Nebraska, but I do remember great-uncle Elija and great-aunt Elizabeth, who married Benjamin Hayward and lived in Mercer, Pa. I am greatly indebted to her for having loaned me $700.00 in 1912, which enabled me to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and launched me in the acting profession.
I have never been back to West Middlesex since 1906 (or '07), but I have very idyllic memories of my boyhood summers there, now fading, I fear, into a more and more distant past.
My wife and I spend most of our time at our Palm Springs home, from which this is written. Professionally I am inactive now, having made my last motion picture "Mr. Roberts", in 1954. However, I may resume picture-making again, should the "Ham" in me begin exuding again.
Please accept my appreciation of your interest in me and mine, and with warmest memories and good wishes for a happy Centennial celebration in West Middlesex, believe me,
|P.S. --- I have no recent studio photos. The enclosed picture of my wife and me was taken this past summer at the Garden of the Gods Club in Colorado Springs, where we go to play golf and for a change of scene and climate during the desert's hot months. W.P.|