Following his incarceration at the Youth House in New York City, young HARVEY Oswald and the Marguerite Oswald impostor relocated to Stanley, ND, where they briefly resided during July/August of 1953. While HARVEY Oswald and his caretaker/"mother" were residing in North Dakota, LEE Oswald and his tall, nice-looking mother were still living in New York City. During that summer Marguerite was employed by Lady Orva Hosiery. LEE Oswald entered the 9th grade and had a good attendance record at PS #44 throughout the fall semester of 1953.
Soon after the assassination, in December 1963, Mrs. Alma Cole wrote a letter to then-President Lyndon Johnson that was intercepted and read by the Secret Service. In her handwritten note, Mrs. Cole explained that her son knew Lee Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1953 when they had played together in the small town of Stanley. Mrs. Cole added that even back then, Oswald was reading communist literature. She noted that the owner of the Stanley Cafe had a child who was even more familiar with Oswald.
A transcription of the handwritten original is shown below:
Dec 11, 1963
President Lyndon B. Johnson
I don’t know how to write to you, and I don’t know if I should or shouldn’t.
My son knew Lee Harvey Oswald when he was at Stanley, North Dakota. I do not recall what year, but it was before Lee Harvey Oswald enlisted in the Marines. The boy read communist books then. He told my son He had a calling to kill a President. My son told me, he asked him. How he would know which one? Lee Harvey Oswald said he didn’t know, but the time and place would be layed before him.
There are others at Stanley who knew Oswald.
If you would check, I believe what I have wrote will check out. Another woman who knew of Oswald and his mother, was Mrs. Francis Jelesed. She had the Stanley Café, (she’s Mrs. Harry Merbach now.) Her son, I believe, knew Lee Harvey Oswald better than mine did. Francis and I just thought Oswald a bragging boy. Now we know different. We told our sons to have nothing to do with him (I’m sorry, I don’t remember the year.)
This letter is wrote to you in hopes of helping. If it does all I want is A Thank You.
Mrs. Alma Cole
Rt 3 Box 1H
After receiving Mrs. Cole's letter from the Secret Service, the FBI located and interviewed her son, William Henry Timmer (Mrs. Cole had divorced and remarried when William was young). In a 7-page FBI report Timmer, who was two years younger than LHO (Timmer was born 5/14/1941), indicated that he meet Oswald in the City Park in Stanley, North Dakota in the summer of 1953. Oswald introduced himself to Timmer as 'Harv' or "HARVEY Oswald." This is the first known occasion where where the young, Russian-speaking youth, who often spouted Communist propaganda while growing up as a teenager, identified himself as "HARVEY." The second occasion would occur six months later, in January 1954, in Myra DaRouse's homeroom class at Beauregard Jr. High School in New Orleans.
HARVEY Oswald spent a lot of time with Timmer during the next two months of the summer of 1953. They went swimming at the reservoir, rode their bicycles at the city park, and visited the small library. HARVEY told Timmer that he had been all over the country. Timmer was impressed by this kid "from the big city" who talked of gang fights in New York City and of making weapons with razor blades stuck in potatoes. HARVEY carried a pamphlet in his back pocket and on one occasion showed it to Timmer and remarked, "I'll bet you've never seen anything like this". It was a pamphlet on Marxism. Where would young Oswald get such a pamphlet? From his father and his uncle in New York City, who were, according to the woman who spoke with Mrs. Tippit, "Hungarians and spent all of their time on Communist activities."
While young William Henry Timmer and Oswald were riding their bicycles, Timmer's mother, Alma Cole, saw Marguerite Oswald (the impostor) in a dress shop that was owned by her cousin, Francis Jelesed. Francis, who also saw Mrs. Oswald at the Jelesed’s restaurant, described her as loud and said that she wanted everyone to know that she was from Texas. She described Mrs. Oswald as having grey hair, glasses, and no more than 5’3” tall. Alma Cole remembered that Mrs. Oswald wanted people to call her son “Lee Harvey” rather than just “Lee.” Mrs. Cole recalled that her son William was with Oswald when he (Oswald) stole a book, written by Karl Marx, from a small library in a room of the Memorial Building in Stanley. The book was Das Kapital, which (HARVEY) Oswald showed to Palmer McBride several years later in New Orleans. Following his "defection" to the Soviet Union in 1959, HARVEY Oswald told the story of his discovering Das Kapital to UPI news reporter Aileen Mosby.