Friday, July 23, 2021

Linnie Lawson and Her Sister, Stephenville, Texas 1900s

"Aunt Lennie Lawson + her sister."

This is a photo of Linnie King Lawson and one of her sisters, probably Mahala King Walker. Since they're not labeled, it's hard to tell which sister is which. Any guesses?

Linnie Esther King was born in Mississippi in June 1882 to parents Allen and Rebecca King. She was one of 7 children, including her older sister, Mahala, younger brothers Thomas, Allen, Fernandes, and Andrew, and a little sister named Ursula. The family lived together on their family farm in Stephenville, Texas. Mahala, also sometimes called Ollie, was 4 years Linnie's senior. I believe that by the time this photo was taken sometime in the early 1900s, both sisters would already have been married.

In December 1901, 18-year-old Linnie married Winfield Scott Lawson. The couple lived in Thurber, Texas, and raised 3 children there: Mayme, Doy, and David. 

Mahala married William U. Walker in June 1907. They lived in nearby Stephenville and had 7 children, one of whom was named Linnie after her sister.

Linnie's husband Winfield, who worked as a truck driver, was drafted into the military in 1918 at the start of WWI. His draft registration card describes him as "stout" with brown hair and brown eyes. Their son Doy worked in the oil fields as a young man, while David assisted his father in his trucking business.  Both sons went on to serve in WWII. After her husband passed away in 1937, Linnie lived with her daughter, Mayme, Mayme’s husband, Maynard, and their 3 children. Linnie Lawson passed away in 1949 at age 67.

Mahala’s husband, William, worked various jobs to support his family. In 1910, he is listed as an artist, specifically a landscape painter. Mahala meanwhile is working at a feed store. In 1920, William is a miller at a flour mill. In 1930, his occupation is listed as “laborer” in the crude oil industry. In 1940, at age 66, William is a farmer. He passed away at home in Stephenville in 1954. Mahala lived another 20 years before passing away in 1974 at age 97.

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

Friday, July 2, 2021

Ernest Haywood Miller, Texas, 1910s

Ernest Haywood Miller was born in Louisiana in August 1892 to parents Hubbard and Priscilla Miller. In 1900, Ernest and his 4 siblings, Octavia, Ruth, Clemmie, and Seabourn, are living with their parents on a farm in the small town of Muddy Fork, Arkansas. By 1910, the family had relocated to Silver Valley, Texas, where 17-year-old Ernest is working with his father on the farm. The family also gained three new members, Emma, Norah, and Onnie. 

In April 1917, the United States joined World War I, and in June of that year, Ernest registered for the draft. Just a few months later, in August, he married Lola Jane Brush, in Shackleford, Texas. They were only together a brief time before Ernest was shipped out to France with the 121st Infantry, 31st Division. They arrived in October, where the unit was broken up to serve as replacement groups for other units and sent directly to the front.

While Ernest fought overseas, Lola remained at home in Texas, pregnant with their first child. The baby was born sometime early in 1918 amidst the rapidly worsening Flu Epidemic overtaking the country. According to information left by a family member on Lola's Find A Grave page, Lola was nursing others ill with the flu in Cove, Arkansas when she herself became infected. Her sister, Minnie, cared for Lola until her death on November 8th, 1918. Her baby passed soon after. It is difficult to imagine what Ernest must have gone through, learning that his wife and child had died while he was so far from home. 

Ernest returned to Texas in May 1919 and settled in Henrietta. It was here that he met Flora Wilson, the daughter of a local farmer. They married in 1923 when Ernest was 31 and Flora was 17. They moved in with the Wilsons and lived on their farm in Wichita, Texas. Ernest was unable to work due to a disability he possibly gained during the war and his father-in-law may have helped support the couple. They had 2 sons, Ernest Haywood, Jr. (born 1927) and William (born 1928), and a daughter, Wanda (born 1930). Both Ernest Jr. and William would go on to serve in World War II. 

Ernest Haywood Miller passed away in 1959 at the age of 66 and was buried in Wichita County Cemetery in Wichita Falls, Texas. 

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

Friday, June 4, 2021

Graduating Class of St. Vincent's Academy, Detroit, Michigan 1904


The 8 young women in this photo are the 1904 graduating class of St. Vincent's Academy, a Catholic girls' school in Detroit, Michigan. The academy building was constructed in 1897 as part of the St. Vincent de Paul church complex. Many of these girls are the daughters of Irish immigrants, while some made the journey from Ireland themselves.

Genevieve Stapleton was born on December 22nd, 1884 in Borrisokane, Tipperary, Ireland. Genevieve, or Jenny as she was sometimes called, was the last of Patrick and Mary Stapleton's 10 children. She was just 6 years old when the family immigrated to the United States and settled in Detroit, Michigan. Sadly, her father Patrick passed away in November of that same year.  Genvieve attended St. Vincent's Academy and went on to become a teacher. She continued to teach in Detroit for the rest of her life and lived with her older sister, Anna. She passed away in 1955.

Helen Ryan, born in 1887, was the only child of Denis and Anna Ryan. Her father was a manufacturer of knitted goods. In 1910, Helen married Walter Quinlan at St. Vincent's church in a gown of white lace over silk and a tulle veil adorned with sprays of orange blossoms. The couple settled in Cleveland, Ohio, where they raised 5 daughters. She passed away in 1960 at age 73.

Catherine Monahan, born July 1886, was one of 7 children. Her parents, Patrick and Ellen, both emigrated from Ireland to the United States in their teens and early twenties. Patrick worked as a grocer to support his large family, including his sister-in-law, Mary Moran, who also lived with them. After graduating from St. Vincent's, Catherine became a teacher. In 1915 she married William J. Burns, with whom she had 8 children (a family just as big as the one she grew up in!). At the time of her death in 1983, Catherine had 27 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

Frances Lahey was born in Michigan around 1887 to parents John and Frances. John, like Catherine's father Patrick, worked as a grocer to support his 7 children. He was also the son of Irish immigrants. Like many of her peers, Frances worked as a teacher after graduating from school. In 1913, Frances became a nun and joined the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In 1920, she is teaching at a parochial school in Akron, Ohio, while living in a boarding house with several other teachers (who were likely other nuns teaching at the same school.) By 1930, Frances had returned to Michigan to live and teach at St. Mary's Catholic School in Mt. Clemens. At some point, Frances took the name Sister Florence Louise, which she went by for the remainder of her life. Sister Florence became the head of education at Marygrove College in 1938 and served as dean between 1938 and 1945. She passed away in 1967.

Ann Markey was born in Detroit on March 2nd, 1886 to parents James and Mary Markey. Ann, like nearly all of her classmates, came from a large family. She had 8 siblings- 2 older and 6 younger. Ann's youngest brother, Harold, eventually became the pastor of St. Vincent's. After graduating, Ann taught for a while before marrying Henry J. Brennan in 1913. The wedding was held at - where else?- St. Vincent's church, where Ann walked down the aisle in a gown of white charmeuse, lace, and pearls, with an ivory prayer book in hand. She became the mother of 7 children. Ann enjoyed entertaining and spent her summers at Port Huron, Michigan. She passed away after an illness of several months in 1948 at the age of 62.

Emma Quirk, born in Michigan in February 1880, was the youngest of James and Mary Quirk's 9 children. Emma's father was an Irish immigrant who worked as a laborer and sewer inspector. Unlike her peers, Emma mainly studied music at St. Vincent's. After graduation, she began teaching piano and harmony out of her home studio. I wasn't able to find any record of Emma beyond that point. Her father's 1916 obituary notes that he is survived by 3 daughters, all of whom are nuns in the Good Shepard Order, so it's very likely that Emma became a nun and possibly changed her name, making her difficult to find. 

Margaret Cohen was born in Detroit on November 24, 1884, to parents Michael and Jennie Cohen. Michael, the son of Irish immigrants, worked as a factory foreman. Margaret had one older sister, Frances, who graduated from St. Vincent's in 1901. Both girls went on to become public school teachers and lived at home to care for their parents. Frances passed away in 1939, followed by Margaret in 1943.

Catherine Walsh was born in December 1888 to Irish parents James and Ellen Walsh. She was one of 5 daughters, as well as 3 other siblings who passed when they were young. After her father's sudden death in 1909, Catherine and her older sister, Bessie, worked to help support the family. Bessie found a job as a saleslady, while Catherine worked as a seamstress at a dress shop. In December 1910, Catherine married William Demeck, a machinist at an auto factory. The couple had 2 children, Norman and Mae. In 1932, Catherine filed for divorce from William, listing the reason as "non-support." In 1938 she married Ole Erickson, who she divorced the next year due to "cruelty." I lost track of Catherine after this point, so sadly, I'm not sure where her story ends.

If you know who any of these girls may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, May 14, 2021

J. Woodward Sutphen, Long Branch, New Jersey 1900s

James Woodward Sutphen was born in Monmouth County, New Jersey in 1884 to John H. Sutphen, an architect, and his wife, Elizabeth. He had one younger sister, Gladys, who joined the family in 1890. As a young man, Woodward worked as a butcher before becoming a chauffeur for a private family.

Outside of work, Woodward's real passion was ice skating. He was an avid speed skater and a member of the Saratoga Skating Club of Brooklyn. A 1907 article in the Daily Record (the local paper of Long Branch, New Jersey) mentions that Woodward, like other local skaters, learned to race on Shrewsbury River. In February 1908, 24-year-old Woodward competed against 60 other skaters in the United States skating championship at Verona Lake. According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, nearly 6,000 people were present for the event. "The weather was chilly," the paper noted, "and the wind that swept down from the hills...was decidedly brisk." Despite the conditions, Woodward came first in both the one-mile and three-mile races and became the United States speedskating champion.

Woodward, far left, practices at Saratoga Park, 1908
In 1915, Woodward married Miss Grace Reilly. Grace was working as a bookkeeper at Jacob Steinbach's Department Store when she met Woodward. According to a wedding announcement in the Daily Record, the wedding came as a surprise to many. After the wedding,  the couple promptly set off for a honeymoon in Canada. The article also notes Woodward's various medals from Montreal, Quebec, Pittsburg, Saranac Lake, Verona Lake, and St. Nicholas Rink. 

Woodward served in the First World War and worked as an inspector for the Army Motor Transport Corps. In September 1919, a victory celebration was held in Long Branch, where he and 35 other men (and one woman) were presented with watch fobs and certificates by the mayor to thank them for their service. That same month, Woodward and Grace's son, Robert, was born. In 1920, the family is living in Manhattan with Grace's mother and siblings. It is possible that Woodward and Grace separated at some point in the years following, as they are living apart by 1925. In 1930, Woodward, now working as a mechanic, is living at home with his parents, sister, and son, Robert. It's unclear when the couple officially divorced, but in 1940, Woodward married Myrtle Gravatt. 

Myrtle and Woodward remained together until his death in 1949 at the age of 65. His obituaries all made sure to note his brief but successful career as a speedskater. 

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

Friday, April 30, 2021

Chancey George Horton, Wichita, Kansas 1904

Chancey George Horton was born in 1903 in Valley Center, Kansas to parents George Arthur, a farmer, and Annie Laurie Horton. He was one of 6 children: Mary Constance, the oldest, was born in 1901, followed by Chancey in 1903, Julia Sibyl in 1905, Myrtle Helene in 1911, Lawrence Calvin in 1914, and finally Bill in 1919. They all grew up together on the family farm in Grant, Kansas.

Chancey lived a short but full life. The Valley Center Index, the local newspaper, reveals the many days he spent visiting friends and attending parties. He was athletic, participating in football, basketball, and other sports. He was a debater and an orator in school, a "representative in reading," and in his senior year, won the scholarship for the Valley Center High School class of 1922. Upon graduating high school, he entered Normal Training with the goal of becoming a teacher. 

His obituary notes that around 1922, Chancey attended a revival held by pastor and composer Rev. William M. Runyan and was converted. He joined the Methodist church and became the president of the Epworth League at Valley Center (a Methodist association for young adults), as well as a Sunday School teacher. After graduating from Normal Training, Chancey found work as a teacher near the town of Jetmore, where he met and became engaged to another teacher, Alta Hendrickson. He went on to teach in Park, Kansas until he grew ill in spring 1924. A note in the Valley Center Index from March of that year mentions that a Mrs. Hammers is teaching in his place as he recovers from an illness. Chancey passed away at home on April 21st, 1924, at the age of 20. 

Alta Hendrickson, his fiancee, never married but continued to teach and eventually became a county superintendent. 

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

Friday, April 16, 2021

Amanda Tonn and Carola Harning, Wisconsin, 1906


"My dear Carola,
Why haven’t I had a
line from you. I feel
slighted. How is that dude?
Agnes has been wanting to
write to you every day! She
is so busy with her music.
I presume you have heard
of Katherine’s illness. I do hope she will
recover. She is so sweet. I go to Lake
Pewaukee Wednesday P.M. Shall stay
till Oct. 1st. Isn’t this a B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l
likeness of Yours Sincerely, Manda Tonn"
-Sent September 3rd, 1906

Carola Harning, to whom this postcard is addressed, was born in Wisconsin in 1888 to parents Charles and Adaline. She was the second of three daughters, with older sister Oriel and younger sister Edith. Carola grew up in Menomonee, Wisconsin, where her father ran a farm. By 1910, 21-year-old Carola and 18-year-old Edith are both working on the farm with their father, while Oriel has married and left home. Edith eventually moved to Milwaukee, where she worked as a clerk in a bookstore. Carola stayed home with her parents. Neither she nor Edith ever married. After the deaths of their parents, Edith moved back in with Carola to help her manage the family farm, with help from their cousin, Harvey.
Carola Harning passed away in 1971 at age 83.

So who was Manda Tonn? Were they school friends?  Two other girls are mentioned in this postcard, Agnes and Katherine, which could help in finding Amanda. Here is my best guess:

I believe the Manda in this photo is Amanda Tonn, born in Wisconsin about 1885 to parents August and Julia Tonn. The Tonns had several children, which made research a little confusing. I know of 10, though there may have been more. By 1900, August and Julia were divorced, which can't have been an easy decision with so many children to care for. It seems that some of the younger children went to live with older, married siblings, which was the case of Agnes Tonn, who is living with her older sister, Helena, and her family in the 1900 Census. I might guess that this is the Agnes Amanda mentions who wanted to write to Carola but was busy with her music. Agnes and Carola were the same age, so it makes sense they would be friends.

In the 1905 Wisconsin State Census, Amanda is 20 and working as a servant in the home of Joseph and Martha Gabes. In 1906 she sends her friend Carola this postcard from Milwaukee, mentioning that she plans on visiting Lake Pewaukee, a popular vacation spot of the time that featured an amusement park and hotels. As someone who spent much of her life working, this must have been a special trip.

Amanda appears again in the 1910 Census, now living with her older brother Edward, a streetcar motorman, and his wife Emily. She is about 25 and has gotten a job as an office clerk. Just the year prior in 1909, her younger sister Agnes died of tuberculosis at the age of 21. After this,  Amanda appears only a few times more in Milwaukee city directories over the next few years, working as a cashier, clerk, and secretary among other things, before disappearing after 1921. 

It is possible that Manda married and changed her name, making her more difficult to find in records. I wonder if she and Carola remained friends throughout the years?

If you know who either of these girls may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, March 12, 2021

Paul and Aline Masson, Elkhart, Indiana 1900s


Writing on the back reads:
"Paul, Aline Masson, 2 friends +
Gene Brown"

This lovely photo captures a group of children on a fishing trip down by the river. There is no location on this photo, but I believe it was taken in Elkhart, Indiana. The boy and girl on the left are Paul Homer and Aline Georgia Masson, the only children of Joseph and Edna Masson. Joseph, a baker, immigrated from France around 1890 and married Edna just two years later. Paul was born in 1899, followed by Aline in 1903. Baking was not Joseph's only occupation- in the 1914 Elkhart city directory he is listed as a "vulcanizer," or someone who works with rubber, and in a 1930 directory he is listed as a bookkeeper.  

Paul worked as a baker with his father until he was married in 1923 to Gaynell McDaniel. In the 1930 census, he is working as the manager of a motor supply house. Around this time, Paul and Gaynell daughter, Shonnie, was born. The family moved to Chicago and lived in Illinois until Paul's death in 1970 at age 70. 

Aline married Charles M. Ulery when she was 18. The couple had two children, Kathleen and Joanna. They lived with Aline's parents in Indiana for many years before moving into their own home. The family eventually relocated to Dallas, Texas. Aline passed away there in 1978 at the age of 75.

If you know who any of these folks may be, let us know in the comments!