Friday, January 18, 2019

Mary Madzin Pidich, Scranton, Pennsylvania 1910's

Mary Madzin was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on June 26th, 1900. She was the 2nd child of Helen Yanochko and Michael Madzin, both Czech immigrants. When Mary was born her family was living in a house with other Czech immigrants, many of whom were day laborers like her father. She had one older sister, Helen, and 2 younger brothers, John and George. As a teenager, Mary worked as a weaver in a silk mill. Her brother John worked as well, in a button mill.

There's nothing in this photograph that explains who all of these kids are or what group they're a part of, but I have a guess. The Madzins were Roman Catholic and were a part of St. Mary's Greek Catholic Church.  According to the Scranton Republican newspaper, Mary's brother George was a member of the St. Mary's Choral Club. I think it's very likely that Mary was too and is photographed here with the club on the steps of the church. In fact, I think that may be one of her brothers sitting to her left with his hand around her arm.

In 1922, Mary married a coal miner named Nicholas Pidich. According to his WWI registration card, Nicholas was tall and slender with brown eyes and dark hair. They had two daughters, Minerva (born 1923) and Evelyn (born 1925). Soon after her mother's death in 1938, Mary's father Michael moved in with them. In 1940, Nicholas is working as a laborer in a machine shop while Mary stayed at home with their daughters, who were now teenagers. Mary's husband and both brothers all served in WWII. Sadly, her brother George died while serving on December 25th, 1943. He was buried in his hometown of Scranton.

Minerva worked as a nurse before marrying Frank Sempa, a reporter for the Scrantonian Tribune. Evelyn was a secretary until she married Thomas Evanko, who served in the Navy.

Mary Madzin Pidich died in 1999, just shy of her 99th birthday.

If you know who this may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Elizabeth Havens, Marion, Indiana 1890s

"Aunt Beth Havens"

Elizabeth Barley was born October 3rd, 1843 in Bedford, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Mary Stuckey and David Barley, a farmer, and was one of 8 children. Her father died in 1854 when she was only 11. After his death, her uncle Daniel became her guardian and much of the family's land was sold, including their home, described in the newspaper as a "good log house, cased with brick."

From Pennsylvania, Elizabeth moved to Grant, Indiana, where in 1866 she married Samuel B. Havens. Samuel served in the 34th Regiment, Indiana Infantry of the Union army during the Civil War and had been mustered out earlier that year. After the war, he worked as a plasterer. Elizabeth and Samuel had 8 children: Van Rancelier,  Carolyn Effie, Clyde, Gertrude, Margaret Mary, Laura, Charles, and Grover Cleveland.

In 1899, the same year her son Van was married, Elizabeth's daughter Effie died. It was the beginning of a difficult period in Elizabeth's life. In April 1901, she lost her son Clyde to tuberculosis. Later that month, she lost her daughter Laura. She was 20 years old and unmarried when she died in childbirth. During this time, Samuel's health had begun to decline. He suffered from chronic rheumatism, pain from an injury in his left hip, and scurvy, which resulted in the loss of his teeth. He had also lost his left eye and had limited vision in his right. Elizabeth decided to admit him to a home for disabled soldiers in 1904. He died of tuberculosis there in 1907.

In her old age, Elizabeth was cared for by two of her sons, Charles and Grover. Grover worked in a motor factory to help support them.  Elizabeth passed away in 1932, at age 88. Though she faced many hardships in her life, she must have been remembered fondly as "Aunt Beth" by her nieces and nephews.

If you know who this may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Nettie Follett, Oberlin, Ohio 1870's

Henrietta Jeanette "Nettie" Follett was born in Licking County, Ohio in 1848 to dairy farmers Katharine Vansickle and Eliphalet Follett. She had 3 older brothers- Dwight, Lewis, and Howard- and 3 younger siblings- twins Fanny and Frank, and Will. Nettie was 13 when the Civil War began. All 3 of her older brothers enlisted with the Union army as soon as they could. Her oldest brother Dwight joined the 22nd Regiment, Ohio Infantry in September 1861, though tragically he died in a St. Louis Military Hospital in 1862. Lewis and Howard both survived the war.
Source: A History of Cleveland, Ohio 
by Samuel Peter Orth, 1910

The Follets believed in a good education for their children, not only for their sons but for their daughters as well. Nettie, along with Frank, Fanny, and Will, attended Oberlin College. Oberlin was the first co-educational college in the United States, admitting its first female students in 1837. Nettie attended Oberlin between 1865 and 1870 in the "Ladies' Department," where she would have earned an education equal to her brothers'. At Oberlin, Nettie met Carlos M. Stone, a law student. They were married in 1872.

The couple soon relocated to Cleveland, where Stone started a private law practice. He later became a common pleas court judge and in 1879 was elected prosecutor of Cuyahoga County. In 1899 he ran for the Republican nomination for Mayorality of Cleveland, though he lost to Bob McKisson. He is described in the History of Strongsville, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, as being an honorable man with a strong sense of character. Nettie is mentioned only briefly in the book, along with their two children, Ruth and Katherine.

Plate 9
Map of Euclid Heights
Source: Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery
Their first daughter, Ruth, was born in 1875. Their second, Katherine, was born in 1883. The Stones had a very comfortable life in Cleveland. In 1900 they were living in Euclid Heights, a fashionable, upper-class neighborhood (which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places). When Carlos Stone died of pneumonia in 1908, he left everything to Nettie. Her daughters were still unmarried and living at home at the time, though Ruth had taken up a job as an editor for a magazine. In fact, Ruth would never marry and instead worked many different jobs, including as a secretary and the manager of an office building, until she retired. In 1920, 68-year-old Nettie was still living in Euclid Heights at 2820 Edgehill Road, along with Ruth, Katherine, Katherine's husband Frank Ray Walker (an important architect in Cleveland), their son Richard, Fannie Writner (Nettie's personal nurse), and John and Elizabeth Fehon (a Hungarian couple who served as the family's butler and maid).

It is likely Nettie died sometime in her 70's, as she does not appear in the 1930 census. Unfortunately, I could not find an exact year.

If you know who this may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Kate Kennard, St. Louis, Missouri 1881

Kate Kennard was born in 1863 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was the daughter of Edmonia Cates and Dr. Thomas Kennard. Dr. Kennard was a prominent physician from Maryland and the Treasurer of the St. Louis Medical Society. He was the son of Dr. Thomas Kennard Sr, also a prominent Maryland physician. Edmonia was the daughter of a lawyer.

Kate had one sibling, an older brother named Bates, who was born in 1862. In 1879, when Kate was 16, her father died of cirrhosis of the liver caused by Hepatitis C. Just a month after the death of her husband, Kate's mother, Edmonia, was admitted to the Missouri State Lunatic Asylum, where she would remain until her death. It is unclear exactly why she was admitted. During this period in history, it was unfortunately common for women to be diagnosed with "hysteria", a type of mental illness that we might diagnose today as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or any number of other conditions. An 1854 document from the Missouri State Lunatic Asylum lists "loss of husband" as a possible cause of insanity.

While Bates stayed in St. Louis, Katie went away to Kennedyville, Kent, Maryland to live with her grandmother, Jane Kennard, her aunts Kate and Virginia, her uncle Frank, and their many servants. In Kent County, the Kennards owned multiple large properties. It's possible that Kate stayed at "Elmwood," or the "Home Farm," which was "especially noticeable for the size and excellence of its residence and outbuildings and the beauty of the size of its lawn, yard, and garden." The house there was a brick building with 15 rooms and had "an unusually large and well-arranged vegetable and flower garden," an apple orchard, and a peach orchard, as well as a large barn. This is all described in an 1883 newspaper advertisement written by Kate's uncle, Henry C. Kennard when the family was trying to sell the properties.

The last few times I can find mention of Kate is in the 1890s, when she is visiting friends in Winfield, Kansas for their weddings. She visits Winfield again in 1915, still unmarried at 53, for another wedding. After this, I'm not sure what happened to Kate Kennard. It's possible she finally married and changed her name, or moved somewhere completely different. Maybe I can find her family one day and they can tell me!

If you know who this is, let us know in the comments!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Theodore Philip Starke, Norfolk, England 1890's

"Faithfully yours
Theodore Philip Starke"

Theodore Philip Starke was born in 1865 in Buxton, Norfolk, England to parents Robert and Frances Sarah Starke. Robert and Frances had 5 children, of which Theodore was the youngest. Robert Starke was a police sergeant and later, a superintendent of police. Frances Starke also worked, making and selling straw bonnets. Theodore's oldest brother, Henry, followed in their father's footsteps and became a police constable. Theodore, however, had different ideas for his future. At age 16, he was already working as a pupil teacher (or student teacher), though I can't find that he ever actually became a teacher. Instead, he seemed to find his calling in reform movements and organizations.

In 1891, at age 26, Theodore is living in St. Peter Mancroft at the boarding house of Sarah Hughes. During this time he is working as a secretary for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Also known as the NSPCC, the Society was founded in 1884 to address child abuse and neglect and successfully campaigned for Parliament to pass the first UK law to protect children in 1889. The NSPCC still exists today.

Later that year, in the summer of 1891, Theodore married Sarah Anna Warren. They had 3 children but their daughter, Dorothy May, born in 1896, was the only one to survive past infancy. In 1911 the Starkes are living in Buxton at 10 Queen's Crescent with Mary Ann Warren, Sarah's mother. Theodore was now working as the organizing secretary of a temperance society, the United Kingdom Alliance.

His daughter Dorothy married Ernest H. Clark in 1925. After Theodore died in 1939, his wife Sarah went to live with Dorothy and Ernest on their farm in Shropshire until her death in 1959.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Hazel E. Worsdell, Carthage, Missouri 1900's

The back reads:
"Hazel Worsdell
To Helen Farley
Great Aunt Alice
Clarence Farley's Wife
Helen's Mother"

Hazel E. Worsdell was born in Carthage, Missouri on March 16, 1893. Hazel was the youngest child of Elizabeth and William Worsdell. She had a brother and sister, Ralph and Rebecca, who were both much older than her. Her father William was a preacher from Ohio, the son of English immigrants. The Worsdell family seemed to have relocated often as Rev. Worsdell moved from church to church. In 1905, he was preaching at a church in Byron, Kansas when he suddenly fell ill and returned to his family in Vermont, Illinois. Hazel lost her father a few months later when she was only 12 years old. Her mother, Elizabeth, moved Hazel and her sister Rebecca to the nearby town of Eureka. Here Elizabeth worked as a dressmaker to support herself and her two daughters. Rebecca's health soon began to decline. The family struggled financially and eventually sold their house and most of their belongings before moving to Henry, Illinois. Rebecca died there in 1906.

Hazel, now with just her mother, moved again, this time back to Missouri. In Sedalia, Missouri, Elizabeth and Hazel lived with Elizabeth's sister, Augusta, who was also a dressmaker. As soon as she was out of school, Hazel began working as well. At 17, she was working in the office of a printing company and in 1911, at 18, she was working as a clerk at a Chasnoff's department store. That same year, she married Clarence Newton Farley. According to a newspaper article, the engagement was announced at a party Hazel had with her friends from the department store. Hazel is described in the article as "a pretty and well-liked young lady", while Clarence is described only as being "employed at the Globe Clothing store." They were married on September 17, 1911.

In 1912, the couple moved to a farm in Green Ridge, Missouri, but returned to Sedalia in 1917. Clarence worked as a postal clerk in Sedalia for 34 years (and also apparently raised American chinchilla rabbits as a hobby.) During this time, Hazel and Clarence had four daughters: Grace, Helen, Ethel, and Lillian. Sadly, their youngest daughter Lillian died in 1950 at only 26.
According to the writing on the back, this photo was once gifted to Hazel and Clarence's daughter, Helen, by a "Great Aunt Alice"- an older sister of Hazel's mother. Helen lived with her parents for many years and did not marry until later in life.

Hazel Worsdell Farley passed away in 1969, age 76.

If you know who this may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Granddaughter of Mrs. S.P. Garner, Lincoln, Kansas, 1900's

The message addressed to Mrs. S.P. Garner reads:
"Me age about 18

Hello Grandma
can you guess
who this is?
Wish I was back thair
to help eat those peaches
Mrs. S.P. Garner in 1939,
age 94. She lived to be 99.
and charries.
Goodbye dear Grandma
ans soon."

Mrs. S.P. Garner, this young woman's grandmother, was born Sarah Permelia Spurgeon in West Virginia, 1845. She married William C. Garner, a Civil War veteran who was also born and raised in West Virginia, in 1869. They moved to Lincoln, Kansas where they lived for many years. They had 7 children: Charles, Viola Irene, Harry, Phoebe, Linley Darwin, William, and John, though I don't believe all of them lived to adulthood.

According to the newspaper article on the right, Mrs. Garner had 13 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. The young woman in this photo is one of her many granddaughters, though it is unclear which one as she is not identified.

If you know who this girl or her grandmother may be, let us know in the comments!