"Aunt Bettie and Uncle Phil Stroud"
Philip Stroud was born in Conway, Arkansas on August 17th, 1854. He was the youngest of Lucinda Stroud's 5 children. I couldn't find a record of Philip's father, as I believe he died when Philip was very young. His widowed mother, Lucinda, supported her family by working as a farmer.
In 1880, Philip married Calista Elizabeth Owens, who I believe is the "Aunt Bettie" in this photo. Calista was born in Tennessee in 1857 to G.W. Owens. She married Philip in Arkansas at age 23. The couple settled first in La Crosse, Arkansas, where they lived with Philip's sister Margaret and a niece. Philip was mainly employed as a farmer. In 1892, he was appointed postmaster to the nearby town of Lunenburg.
The Strouds went on to have a total of 6 children, though only 3 would survive to adulthood. Their oldest, Georgia, was born in Arkansas in 1883. Gillum, their only surviving son, arrived in 1888. Meldia was born just a few years later in 1891.
By 1900, the Strouds had relocated to Temple, Texas, where Philip again worked as a farmer. In 1902, Georgia Stroud married J.H. Cooper. In May of the next year, she passed away at just 19 years old. The grave of the Stroud's oldest daughter bears the inscription: "Our darling one hath gone before, To greet us on the blissful shore."
Gillum married Emma Davis in 1904 when they were both 16. The couple had 2 children.
Meldia married James Finis McSpadden in 1910 at age 18. They had 3 children.
In June 1914, Philip and Calista moved to Wayne, Oklahoma. Philip soon fell ill. According to his obituary, "his sickness was of three weeks duration in which time he suffered much from the malady, cancer..." Philip Stroud died on August 16th, 1914 at age 59. His obituary reveals how deeply he was loved and respected by his community. It notes that Philip was, among other things, "an honest man," someone whose "generous nature...tender regards...charitable and sympathetic disposition had won the love and respect of all the good and tender in the community."
Calista lived another 12 years until February 1926, when she fell ill with pneumonia. She passed away at age 69.
If you know who these folks may be, let us know in the comments!