Friday, July 10, 2020

Mrs. Henry Dearsman and Daughters, Ohio, 1900's



Writing on the back reads:
"Mrs. Henry Dearsman
Faye
Alice"

Before she was Mrs. Henry Dearsman, she was Ada Lucinda Garrett. Ada was born in Seneca County, Ohio, in 1877 to parents William and Elvira Garrett. She was the second oldest of the Garrett children, with one older sister, Viola, and four younger sisters, Estella, Mabel May, Nellie, and Hazel.
In 1895, 18-year-old Ada married Henry Dearsman, the son of German-born Adolph Dearsman, a respected farmer in Seneca County.

This photo was likely taken in the Dearsman home in Adams Township around 1901. At Ada's shoulder stands her eldest daughter, Faye, born November 22, 1898. In her arms, she holds Alice, born April 9th, 1901. Their third child, Homer, would not arrive until October 1905. Also living with the family at the time was Ada's younger sister, Nellie. 

Henry supported his family as a farmer until April 1924, when he died at the age of 61. A few months later, 24-year-old Faye married Clarence Kreh, a farmer. Clarence and Faye had been together only 8 months when Faye fell ill with pneumonia brought on by measles. She died on March 13th, 1925, at age 26. I can't imagine what a terrible blow this must have been to Ada, especially so soon after the death of her husband. Just days later, 23-year-old Alice married Harold Diehl Meyer in nearby Tiffin, Ohio. Ada's youngest, Homer, married Delphine Le Jeune in 1928. 

That same year, Ada herself decided to marry again. At 51 she married 60-year-old Elmer E. Howey. In the 1930 census, Elmer is working as a carpenter while Ada is working as a chambermaid in a sanitarium. She later worked as a cook at a hospital. Elmer eventually fell into ill-health and was forced to retire. He died of a heart attack in 1942. Ada lived to be 89-years-old, passing away in Green Springs, Ohio in 1966 after an extended illness. Her obituary noted that she was a member of the Green Springs Evangelical United Brethren Church, the Grange, and her local Garden Club. At the time of her death, Ada had two surviving children, eight grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild, as well as five step-children and 14 step-grandchildren. 

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

Friday, July 3, 2020

Helen Sanner, New Jersey, 1940's



Recently, I was contacted on Instagram by Gina, who found photos of a woman named Helen Sanner in her grandmother's photo album and wanted to know more about her. I'm sharing the photos here, along with Helen's story, in the hopes that we can reunite the photos with her family! 


Helen and her brother, Ralph,
 in Kutztown, Pennsylvania

Helen, right, and
Gina's grandmother (also named Helen)

Helen and Helen,
on the beach in Atlantic City

Orpha Helen Sanner was born in Virginia in 1917 to Harry G. Sanner, a retail merchant and farmer, and his wife, Ruth. Ruth passed away in 1927 when Helen was 9. Her father remarried the next year to Clara Budd, a teacher. The family moved to Woodbury, New Jersey, where Helen’s half-brother, Ralph, was born in 1931. In 1940 Helen was 22 and working as a stenographer. Four years later, she married George W. Myers, a toolmaker for the RCA. The couple had two children, George Jr. and Ruth. 

Helen passed away in 1999 at the age of 82.

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

Friday, May 22, 2020

Nancy and Iola Bass, Muskogee, Oklahoma 1910's



The writing on the back reads:
"Wife
Nancy Bass
Iola Bass
Daughter of
Z.H. Bass"


Nancy Jane Skinner was born in Meigs County, Tennessee in 1872 to parents Seaborn and Adaline Skinner. Nancy's father died before she was 7-years-old, leaving her mother to care for five children. In 1880, Nancy's 14-year-old sister Tennessee, her 12-year-old brother Samuel, and her 10-year-old brother Madison all have “farming” listed as their occupation. Nancy and her 5-year-old brother, James, may have been considered too young to work.

In 1900, Nancy is living in Bloomington, Illinois with her brother Samuel and his family. She is 27 and working as a housemaid. Also living in Bloomington at the time is Zephniah H. Bass, a 26-year-old blacksmith living as a boarder. Though they were unmarried and lived separately, Nancy and Zephniah had two daughters together. Their first child, Iola, was born in 1896 in Illinois and their second, Annabel, was born in 1899 in Missouri. The girls went to live with their grandparents, Robert and Millie Bass, along with their uncle Robert, on a farm in Cedar, Missouri. They came back to their parents after Zephniah and Nancy’s marriage in 1901. Zephniah became a successful blacksmith in Bloomington, and in 1903, the Freeman Newspaper noted his partnership with a Mr. Browning, "a wealthy white blacksmith of the city." Their cards read: "Browning & Bass, horseshoeing and plow works, carriage and wagon repairing."

Zephniah Bass's advertisement in the Muskogee Times, 1907
In 1910, the Bass family is living together in Muskogee, Oklahoma, right next door to Nancy’s brother, Madison, and his family. Zephniah has gone from blacksmithing to quickly become a successful veterinary surgeon and dentist. Nancy became a member of the Francis W. Harper Club, an African-American women’s service club named for writer Francis Ellen Watkins Harper. Nancy often hosted club meetings at the Bass home, where the ladies engaged in literary discussion and shared embroidery and crochet work. Iola and Annabel attended Manual Training High School, or M.T.H.S, the first high school in Muskogee for black students. In 1916, Dr. and Mrs. Z.H. Bass invited the entire M.T.H.S. Senior Class to an evening of whist at their home. Iola graduated in June but returned that fall to teach at the high school. She went on to teach at both the Langston and Douglass elementary schools in Muskogee.

In 1927, the Sedalia Democrat announced the marriage of Iola Mae Bass to George Reynolds of Sedalia, Missouri in Chicago, where the couple continued to live after the wedding. George worked there as a bell boy at a hotel while Iola stayed home to be a "homemaker." George and Iola were married 12 years before they divorced in 1939.  Iola married again in 1942, this time to George Winfred Halliburton, a pharmacist and the owner of the Emporia Drug Company. As far as I can tell, Iola never had children.

It was a little harder to follow her sister Annabel's story, which I lost track of after she appeared in the 1922 Muskogee directory as a dressmaker. I did find an Anna Bell Bass who married a Herman Lampkin in Jackson, Missouri in 1929, though the age given on her marriage records is 24. In 1929, Annabel would have been 30.

Dr. Zephniah H. Bass died in 1940 at age 67. Nancy passed seven years later at age 75. Sadly, Iola only outlived her mother by a few years, passing away in 1952 at the age of 55. Iola and her parents are buried together in Memorial Park Cemetery in Columbia, Missouri.

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

Friday, May 1, 2020

Ruby Davis, Dallas, Texas 1900's



Ruby Dee Davis was born August 1890 in Italy, Texas, to parents Nancy Fleming and Daniel Davis, a farmer from Tennessee. She was their youngest, with four children having come before her: Effie, Mary Lee, William Thomas, and Daisy. Their grandfather, David Fleming, also lived with the family. By 1910, Ruby and her sister Daisy were the only Davis children left living at home.

Though not labeled, I believe this photo is of Ruby
and her older sister Daisy.
1915 was a complicated year for 22-year-old Ruby. She was married that year to Daniel F. Stellman, who worked on a dairy farm with his twin brother, William. The Stellman brothers were born in Kentucky to German immigrants. On his WWI draft registration card, Daniel is described as having brown eyes and black hair- he is also marked as being "physically unfit," though they don't give any further details.  That same year, in March, Ruby's only brother William died at age 36.  The next year, in 1916, Ruby lost her father to tuberculosis.

In 1920, Daniel was working at Bluff View Dairy Farm as a "milker." Daniel and Ruby had no children and lived together at their home on Lemmon Avenue in Dallas. Also living on Lemmon Avenue at the time was a man named Ed Halbert. Ed eventually moved in with the Stellman's as a lodger while working as a clerk in a phonograph store. Ed must have become close with the Stellmans. On his 1941 draft registration card, Ed listed "Miss Ruby Stellman" as someone who would always know his address. This makes sense considering the addresses given for Ed and Ruby are the same- 6919 Lemmon Avenue. Ed has also given his occupation as being self-employed at a dairy. Photos of Ed and his family were found with these photos of Ruby, and I will tell more of his story in a later post.

Daniel Stellman died in 1948 at age 73 after suffering from "Bright's Disease". By this time, Ruby's sister, Daisy, had moved in with them, perhaps to help out as Daniel's health declined. Daisy had never married and Ruby was now widowed. The two moved into a house together at 6634 Forest Park in Dallas. As far as I can tell, they lived together until Daisy's death in 1969.

Ruby Davis Stellman passed away in February 1978 at age 88.

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

Friday, April 17, 2020

Jennie Hoag, Glens Falls, New York 1890s


At some point during her teenage years, Jennie Hoag had her photograph taken as she perched upon a paper moon in Glens Falls, New York, not far from her home in Amsterdam.

Jennie, born Jane E. Hoag, had a difficult start in life. She was born on December 17th, 1884 in Amsterdam, New York to Grace Arabella Fronk and William H. Hoag. William and Grace had been married just over a year when Jennie arrived; William was 36, and Grace was 27. A few days after giving birth to Jennie, Grace began to suffer from puerperal fever. She died on December 29th, 1884, leaving behind William and their newborn daughter. She was buried in Green Hill Cemetery in Amsterdam.

Two years later, William remarried. His new wife was 32-year-old Helen Catherine Day, who went by Ella. To Jennie, Ella was the only mother she knew. As noted in her obituary, Ella was an active member of the First Baptist Church, as well an ardent supporter of the temperance movement and member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. William, meanwhile, worked as a stove supply salesman.

In October 1907, 23-year-old Jennie married photographer Henry A. Marcellus- or "Ham" as he was often called. Their wedding announcement in the Fulton County Republican described Henry as "a popular and enterprising young man," and Jennie as "well and favorably known in her home city." After the wedding, the couple settled in Johnstown, New York, where Henry operated his photography studio. In an advertisement for the studio in Johnstown's Morning Herald, Henry referred to himself as a "photo craftsman." Jennie and Henry had only one child, a daughter named Grace. She was born on October 28th, 1914. Just days later, Jennie lost her step-mother Ella at age 58.

Sometime after 1930, Henry and Jennie relocated to nearby Gloversville. From their studio apartment, Henry continued to operate his photography business. Jennie, meanwhile, discovered a love of dress-making and decided to start a business of her own, which she called Judy's Alteration Shop. It, too, was operated out of their apartment. Henry's failing eye-sight and a leg injury eventually caused him to give up photography. He decided to take up painting instead, describing his work as "self-expressionism." According to an article on the couple's golden wedding anniversary in 1957,  Jennie was "just as enthused in her husband's work as the artist himself." After years of declining health, Henry died in 1968 at the age of 88.

Jennie Hoag Marcellus lived to be 94. She died at home in Gloversville in 1979.

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

Monday, March 23, 2020

Ethel Webb, Brunswick, Maine 1880s-90s



Ethel Moulton Webb was born in Brunswick, Maine, on October 6th, 1877. Her father, Franklin, worked as a grocer, while her mother Elizabeth stayed home to care for Ethel and her little brothers, Harold and Frank. Also living with the Webbs was Ethel’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia.

An 1893 article from the Portland Daily Press noted Ethel’s “pleasing” piano performance at a teacher's convention held at her high school.
Ethel in the 1899 Smith College yearbook
She was also an exceptional student and the valedictorian of Brunswick High School’s class of 1895. It must have been no surprise when Ethel was accepted to Smith College, a women’s college in Northampton, Massachusetts.
After graduating from Smith in 1899, Ethel returned home to Brunswick to live with her family. It was during this time that she met Ralph Bushnell Stone, a student at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Like Ethel, Ralph was intelligent and studious, especially excelling in math and science. After graduating from Bowdoin in 1902, he went on to receive his Master's degree from Harvard. He then returned to Brunswick to teach.
It was also during this time that Ethel tragically lost her youngest brother, Frank, to heart disease. He died in 1909 at only 26 years old.

Better times came in 1913 when Ethel and Ralph were married. Their first and only child, Franklin, was born in 1915. When Ralph was offered a job as a mathematics professor at Purdue University, the family packed up and headed to West Lafayette, Indiana. Just three years later, Ralph was appointed registrar of the university. Ethel stayed busy in West Lafayette, becoming a member of the Current Topics Club and the Purdue Women's Club, and hosting the other wives of Purdue faculty members at her home on Russell Street, close to campus. After Ethel's mother passed away in 1932, her father joined them in Indiana. He died there two years later after a period of illness.

Ralph served as Purdue's registrar until 1947 when he went back to teaching mathematics. He retired in 1952. In February 1959, Ralph fell ill. He passed away at the age of 76. Ethel passed two years later in 1961. She was 84.

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

Friday, March 6, 2020

William N. Beeman, Jackson, Michigan 1890s-1900s


William Noah Beeman was born in Eaton County, Michigan in 1858. He was the only son of farmer Gilbert Beeman and his wife, Phoebe Wright, both of whom were originally from New York. William grew up in a house of girls. He had three older sisters, Caroline, Mary, and LaVancha, and one younger sister, Stella. In 1880, 21-year-old William was working with his father on their farm in Chester, Michigan. The very next year, William married Hattie Adele Sullivan of Jackson, Michigan.

Hattie was very socially active and seems to have been in every club in Jackson, including a
Chautauqua reading circle, the Home Culture Club, and the Jackson Camera Club. In fact, she won second place in their amateur photography competition in 1899, which makes me wonder if she took this photograph herself! I have a feeling that's William standing proudly in front of his wood and coal business with his dog at his feet. William operated the W.N. Beeman Wood and Coal company in Jackson from the 1890s into the 1900s. Then in 1909, William and Hattie crossed the border into Canada and settled in Calgary-East, Alberta. Here, William became a farmer.

Finally, after years of living in the North, the Beemans were ready for a warmer climate. They permanently moved to Los Angeles, California, where they lived out their later years together. Hattie passed away in 1931 at the age of 71. William lived to be 85. He died in 1943.

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