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The Dog and the DeSoto: 1952

The Dog and the DeSoto: 1952

"Hubert & Sally, Aug. 1952." In the latest episode of Minnesota Kodachromes, the DeSoto and Dalmatian we saw with Grace are back for an encore. View full size.

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Location found

Hubert looks so proud of his DeSoto, and understandably so. This photo was taken at the corner of Galbraith and Fourth Streets in Blue Earth, Minnesota. The Tuttle's house is gone, but many other houses that can be seen in other photos are still there. The house in this photo can be seen in this Google street view:

Form-fitted license plate

Minnesota snowbanks will do that.

Forgotten Ventilation

That pop-up cowl ventilator just forward of the windshield was the precursor of our now standard car A/C units. The rising air vent has gone the way of the hand cranked windows.

Grace and Hubert Tuttle?

The only couple I could find living anywhere in the region were Grace (b 1913) and Hubert (b 1912) Tuttle, of Blue Earth, Minnesota. Grace's maiden name is a bit murky - I've found it listed as Cartwright, True and Branch depending on the source.

They were wed in 1936 in Iowa, and according to both their marriage record and the 1940 census, Hubert Thomas Tuttle was a barber by trade. He lived next door in 1940 to his parents Abe and Julia (Helland) Tuttle and his brother Floyd and his wife Dorothy. They also had a son, Donald Cartwright (age 9 in 1940), living at home with them.

He was in the Navy reserve and served on the USS Gold Star in 1945.

Grace died in March 1976 in Blue Earth. Hubert remarried in 1977, to a Joyce Isler. Hubert died in 1995, and Joyce in 2008.

I haven't been able to make any links between them and the Bolers, but it could be possible they were family friends, distant cousins, or I could have spent an hour researching the wrong couple entirely.

[You are indeed on the right track. Hubert and Grace are Tuttles; Hubert's birth date is given as May 30, 1913, in the records I've found. Grace Ellanor True Cartwright Tuttle had a son, Donald, from a previous marriage to Thomas Cartwright. She and Hubert married in 1936. Below is a photo she took in 1952 of her parents' grave. - Dave]

"My folks' grave. 30 May 1952."

A Real Stickler

Hubert was pretty particular about his car's appearance. Not only is it waxed and clean as a whistle, but notice he also bent the license plate to form-fit the bumper. Wouldn't want it sticking straight up and protruding, no sir!

Toothy Grin

Not very often does an automobile show more teeth than a nearby dog. But, in fact, many of these toothy De Sotos (1951-'54) lost their grilles to the rod and custom crowd of the period, who loved to transplant them into their Chevys, Fords, and other makes. Today, a set of DeSoto teeth is a prized item among "old school" customizers -- some of whom are of sufficient vintage to need a few teeth themselves!

It's a Six

But they could have had a Hemi V-8 for the first time, denoted on the lower front fender under the model name, all of 276 cubic inches as well as standard and overdrive instead of the power robbing Fluid Drive.

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