Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Opal Taylor, Gadsden, Alabama 1945

Sept. 9, 1945
Opal Taylor
Mouth open as usual

I picked this little snapshot from a drawer of many at an antique shop in Savannah, GA. The writing on the back is what caught my attention. "Mouth open as usual" sounds like the teasing of a friend- maybe she was known for being chatty? Or maybe Opal wrote this and she's poking a little fun at herself.

Opal Sue Taylor was born in Alabama in May 1922. She was one of Rev. Joseph Bradley and Mary Taylor's seven children. The first of the Taylor children, Malcolm Leon, died at five months. He was followed by Ruby, Opal, Daliah, James Preston, Bernice Louise, and Ralph. 

Opal married William T. Raley in December 1946. 

Opal's life was cut tragically short when she died in November 1947 at just 25. She was laid to rest in Black Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Etowah County, Alabama.

I wish I knew more about Opal than just these basic facts. What were her hobbies, her interests? Where did she go to school? Who were her friends?

If there is anyone who can tell us more about Opal, let us know in the comments!

Donnie Humphrey, Mineola, Texas 1910s

Donnie Humphrey
Age 4 Year
Mineola Tex.

This is a portrait of four-year-old Donnie Humphrey of Mineola, Texas. She looks pale and has large bags under her eyes— it makes me wonder if she had been recently ill. 

She was born Thenia Caldonia Humphrey (Donnie, or sometimes Thenie, for short) in 1911 to parents George and Hannah. In the 1920 census, George is listed as a laborer in a box factory. There were several Humphrey children, a few of whom did not survive to adulthood. 

In August 1928, when she was just 17, Donnie married Herbert Elbert Tatum. Four months later, Herbert died after a bout of influenza. Donnie was now not only a widow before her 18th birthday, but she was also pregnant. Her son, Herbert, was born in July 1929. 

In the 1930 census, Donnie is living with her parents and 14-year-old sister, Georgia. Both Donnie and her father are working in the box factory. 

Donnie married Alvin D. Swann of Smithville, Arkansas, in December 1930. The couple had two daughters together, Joan and Cora Colleen.

Alvin passed in 1965 at age 63. Donnie passed in Little Rock, Arkanas in 1976. She was 64.

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

Monday, January 1, 2024

Jessie Park Barlow and Charles A. Park, Friend, Nebraska 1900s

Jessie Park (Barlow) 
Charles A. Park

According to the writing on the back, this cabinet card is a portrait of Jessie Park and her brother, Charles. They were two of Rufus and Martha Park's five children, which included Harvey, Charles, Susanna, Jessie, and Clyde. 

Charles Andrew Park was born in Illinois in August 1873. He became a missionary and later a minister for the First Christian Church. He married Lilly May Liebendorfer in 1899 and the two had four children: Dorothy, Charles, Stephen, and Genevieve. 

Jessie Margaret Park was born in either Kansas or Illinois on February 3rd, 1878. In 1907, at age 28, she married Moses Thorpe Barlow in Alexandria, Nebraska. The ceremony was conducted in the family home by her brother Charles. Moses was an officer in the army who had been living in the Philippines for the past eight years. For a period after their marriage, the couple lived together in the Phillippines. Their son, Erle, was born there in 1908. Upon their return to the United States, they settled in Baltimore, Maryland, where they would live for the rest of their lives.

Moses passed in 1934 at age 55. Jessie passed away in 1956 at the age of 77. They are buried together in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. 

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