On September 10, 1920, my grandfather Alexander Andrew Gow and grandmother Daisy stepped on United States soil for the first time at Port Huron, Michigan. They had traveled aboard the Grand Truck railroad from Brant to Sarnia, Ontario, on their way to a new life in Los Angeles, California.
My grandfather, in sometimes jumbled and repetitive thoughts, reported this event in his own words. Although I don’t know the reason for the note, I believe it might have had something to do with filing his ‘Declaration of Intent’ to become a United States citizen in 1926. The note was written after their arrival in the United States and may have been a personal account for government reasons.
I’ve transcribed the note as it was written
Page 1 (right). “Port Huron @ 2pm Saturday, September 10th, 1920, under the name Alexander Andrew Thompson-Gow (written in a different hand, in ink, are the words ‘and wife Daisy Hilda’) on the Grand Trunk RR. I had not been absent from the U.S.A since I arrived. I have not used any other name. The full name (indecipherable due to a tear in the page) was Alexander Andrew Thompson-Gow. I was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Dec. 17th 1869. My father was Howard Thompson-Gow. My mother’s maiden name was Harriet Eliza Shott. My last foreign address was Brantford, Canada.
Page 2 (Left) “The place I took the train was Brantford. I bought my ticket at Brantford I paid 8 dollars head tax at Port Huron on Sep- 10, 1920 and was examined at Port Huron. We (crossed out and replaced with I) had no friend to come to. We (crossed out and replaced with I) way (sic) coming to Los Angeles, California. No passengers were known to us. The place in Canada from which I entered the U.S.A was Port Huron, Mich on Sat. September 10th 1920 at 2-pm. The place I bought the ticket was Brantford Canada. I did fill out this form myself.