The Family Letter Blog

Connecting Generations

Forrest Alva Kingsbury


Over the next few weeks I’ll compile what I know about the five sons of Wayland Briggs Kingsbury who were born in Iowa between 1883 and 1903.  The first four were born to Wayland and his first wife, Flora Bush, who died in 1900. Wayland remarried Annie Walker and they had one son together – Clark Kingsbury.

The oldest son, Forrest Alva Kingsbury was born on August 8, 1883 in Oelwein, Iowa and died on August 22, 1972. His obituary from the Redlands Daily Facts has a good account of his education, which included a Masters in Psychology and Philosophy from Yale University. I wish the picture quality were better because I would love to know what he looked like. From his draft registration for World War I, he is described as tall with brown hair and brown eyes.

Forrest Kingsbury.obit.1972

Forrest married Cornelia Hasselman, of Pella Iowa in 1911. They never had children. By 1920, they were living in Chicago, which is where he got his PhD in Psychology. He joined the faculty of the University of Chicago and taught there until he retired in 1948. Here’s an interesting clipping I found that suggests Forrest was a very practical academician. This appeared in the Reading, PA newspaper in July 1923.


After retiring from University of Chicago in 1948, Forrest and Cornelia moved to Redlands, California. He was a visiting professor of Psychology at Redlands University for four years. In a nod to the Kingsbury family’s New England roots, he and Cornelia were the first people to move into “Plymouth Village” retirement community in Redlands.

Cornelia, who was born on August 5, 1887, survived Forrest by almost eight years, dying when she was 93 years old on August 15, 1980.

Here is Joseph B Kingsbury’s account of traveling with his brother Clark and sister-in-law Allie to attend Forrest’s funeral.

On August 23, I had a telephone call from Redlands telling of Forrest’s death. I had been prepared for the news by a letter from Cornelia a few days before. A call from Clark and Allie said that if I could come down to El Paso, we could drive to Redlands for the funeral so I caught a plane here and flew via Chicago and San Antonio to El Paso. The next morning we left in Allie’s Cadillac and drove 740 miles via Tucson, Phoenix and Blythe, CA reaching Redlands before dark. We called at Plymouth Village and were told that Cornelia had gone to bed, but she was not asleep, and we talked to her a few minutes before going to our motel. The funeral Saturday morning was simple and in good taste. The room was full of people from the village, the university and the church; and the remarks by the Baptist minister were thoughtful and moving.  We rode with Cornelia to the mausoleum where there was a short service, and then to the village for lunch. In the afternoon we had a good visit with Cornelia, and she rode with us over to San Bernardino to look for some Mrs. Sees candy.

We drove back to El Paso on Sunday, detouring through Palm Springs and Sun City Arizona to see how the rich people retire. I suppose we were driving through hot country, but Allie’s car was cool and comfortable and both of them are excellent drivers. Next day, Clark took me on a sight seeing trip – across the river to Juarez, a walk through his plant, north along the mountain range and across close to a 6000 ft peak, to Las Cruces, New Mexico with lunch at La Posta, a famous old restaurant where I had my first Mexican food. In the evening we had dinner with friends of  Clark and Allie at the Lancers Club. Next day I caught a plane at 7:45, reached Chicago at 10:15 and was home before 4 pm.

The loss of my oldest brother makes me feel a little more alone, and more grateful for my one remaining brother, my in-laws, nieces and nephews and of course my sons and their families. I was glad to get better acquainted with Clark and Allie, and to see their beautiful home in El Paso.

Shortly after returning from Forrest’s funeral, JBK made another visit to Clark and Allie and joined them on a 10 day driving tour through the south, visiting for his first time, the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

JBK’s diary from his first year at George Washington University (1911) recounts a trip he made that December to New York City where he met his brother Forrest, who must have been at Yale at that time. JBK was also listed as living with Forrest and Cornelia in the 1920 census for Chicago, which is where JBK got his PhD in Political Science.

LincolnsTomb.24Mar1924I’ll close with a tidbit about JBK’s travels with his oldest brother Forrest. This was from an Illinois newspaper on March 28, 1924 – a date that has no particular significance that I can determine. This would have been when JBK was teaching at Washington University in St. Louis and Forrest was teaching at the University of Chicago. Springfield, Illinois, where Lincoln’s Tomb is located, is about a two hour drive northeast of St. Louis and about a three hour drive southwest of Chicago.





Author: kakingsbury

I finally took the leap and started a blog in mid-March 2014. I currently maintain three blogs "All Things Kalen" "The Family Letter Blog" and "Trovando Famiglia." Trovando Famiglia is about my husband's family, particularly the original four Giorgio brothers who immigrated to western Pennsylvania from San Vito Chietino, Italy in the late 1800s. The Giorgio boys and their descendants have been the focus of my genealogical research over the past two years. The blog allows me to share family stories and photographs. Thanks for checking me out!

2 thoughts on “Forrest Alva Kingsbury

  1. Thank you Kalen,

    I have a picture in my iPhone of the 5 Kingsbury Brothers taken when they were young. I’ll send you a copy. Once again I am taken with how well your grandfather, Joe could write a narrative passage. Wonderfully adept at weaving detail and conciseness together.

    Great stuff!

    Best, Chris



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