Yesterday, I posted some pictures of Jordena Greens' suitcases and a little of what I found out about her travels. But who was Jordena, and how did she afford this lifestyle of luxury travel to Europe, Africa and the Orient?
I thought there might be a hint in her maiden name. Jordena was born Jordena Flood on December 20, 1911. I immediately thought of the wealthy Flood family, the family that owned these two mansions in San Francisco.
But then I saw that Jordena was born in Globe, Arizona, an old mining town that currently has a population of under 8,000. That seemed strange until I was reminded that the Flood family made their fortune in mining. Still, wouldn't the society wives of rich influential men stay at home in the city rather than roughing it in a dusty mining town? Wouldn't they prefer to give birth to their children in a city hospital with all the amenities?
Whatever the case, I could not find a definitive link between Jordena and the James. L. Flood of the white mansion above. James L. married twice and had two children, James and Mary Emma (born in 1900 and 1908.)
Here's where it gets interesting. Jordena could have been born into an unrelated Flood family, but it would have to be a Flood family with a fair amount of money to afford her lavish lifestyle. The most interesting tidbit of information comes from the 1920 US census, which shows Jordena (age 9) living in Los Angeles with her mother Jennie Kaleb, her stepfather John Kaleb, and her brother, Richard. A. Flood, age 10. John Kaleb's occupation is listed as 'house painter.' Hmm. Just imagine how many houses John Kaleb would have had to paint to finance his stepdaughter's travels.
Here's one possibility, although it is pure speculation. Jordena's mother Jennie was a waitress or a secretary working in Globe, Arizona. Perhaps James L. Flood was there and took a shine to her. She bore two of his children, but they certainly couldn't get married, because he was already married. And besides that, she probably was not a society girl. Although James L. Flood had mentioned another illegitimate daughter to his wife, a child who actually lived with them, it is unlikely that he would want to mention the existence of two more.
The illegitimate daughter who lived with the Flood family, Constance May, filed a paternity suit after James L. Flood's death to gain her share of the inheritance. I don't think Jordena did anything like that, but she may have had a trust fund set up in her name, perhaps one that she could access once she reached the age of 21. We may never know, but the money had to come from somewhere.
All this from a set of luggage! If she hadn't left an address label on the case, and a tag inside, I would never have guessed what the initials J.F.G. stood for.
The story isn't quite over. Come back tomorrow to find out about Jordena's marriage.