Saturday, May 25, 2013
They are all gone now. Everyone in every picture has passed away. They all had relationships with others. Most werefamily, friends and spouses that they related too. The all met strangers along the way that they communicated with in life. The stories of each one face has its generational story and all of these are in the 1800's.
Sisters who grew up and became close friends. Married and also had large families and lived within the same area all of their lives. Both lost their maiden name of Ries and became a part of their husbands family tree name.
A husband and wife who posed for the photographer. I wonder why they have one turned to look the other direction. Was that to make the woman look like a beauty gazing off in the other direction. Movie stars would gaze to the side to show their best features but formal couple photography seemed to do that many times.
A family bunch leaving from a get together. You needed a hat to keep warm and a good sturdy coat. The faces of each have had different walks in life but they were all walking with family very close by them. I used photos from my past blogs but cropped out all of the things that distract us from the faces of people. It is amazing to see the spirit of people showing through regardless of time and there present situations in life.
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Saturday, April 20, 2013
This is an odd photo of an odd family and I am related to them all. There are no names written on the photo but I have Great grandmother identified right away. She is the oldest woman in the photo who is pointing to the camera for some reason. I suppose she is directing the crowd to look that way.
When you enlarge this photo you find it to be below amateurish. The one boy has his head tilted and face in shadow while his mother and sister are hidden behind him. The chair may have been intended for Great Grandma but that plan must not have worked out for them as she seems to be holding an unruly girl.
Great Grandmother Carrie Maxson Brown Driver is the older woman. She was first married to my Great Grandfather Charles Brown. They had two boys and one of them was my Grandfather Leroy Brown. When Leroy was three years old, his dad died Carrie's husband.
Carrie Maxson Brown remarried Thomas Jefferson Driver a few years later and they lived in Iowa. They had five children which made them half Great Uncles and Aunts of mine. The two daughters were Ida and Florence and the three sons were Glen, William and Jesse. Most of them lived in the southern Iowa towns of Lorimor, Murray, and Osceola.
Back to the photo above, Carrie Driver then is shown above with her second set of family. The two daughters and their husbands are in the photo and one stray son is standing behind her. The odd thing about the family is that the daughters both married and had many children and the threes sons all remained bachelors their entire lives. The Driver name in this family instance did not pass on as the daughters all had taken their husband's name. I wonder if Thomas Driver is taking the photo or if one of the other two sons that are not in the photo.
Aunt Ida who is one of the women in the photo lived close to downtown of Osceola and my mother kept track of her and all of the cousins. She and her husband are buried in the Murray cemetery. My Great Grandmother Carrie and her husband Thomas Jefferson Driver are buried in a small country cemetery north of Osceola.
As an interesting footnote, both my Grandmother and Great Grandmother were with the name of Brown until they both lost their husbands. As a youngster, I could never figure out why they called the older one Grandma Driver and my grandma that I knew Grandma Brooks. The great great had married my Great Great grandfather and the Grandma Brooks had been married to my Grandfather Brown. I would never been around to know one of them and the grandfather died when my my mom was 18 years old. I may have been slow but my parents were not too good about explaining things. I actually think before computers my mother really didn't have most of the information correctly in her mind and I am a lot more clear with it with research on the web.
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Saturday, March 30, 2013
This is the latest in fashion when you live on the farm on the prairie. It is probably the 1940's or later. Wearing a hat is required just because everyone must wear a hat. It probably was cold outside as they had their coats on and two out of three have them closed to keep warm. The young man has a different style of hat than what one would wear on the farm. It almost reminds me of a beret. The bib overalls were a common sight and I am really surprised that the dad isn't wearing them. Farmers rarely wore belted pants when I was growing up. My dad wore belted pants only when there was a wedding, funeral, or a big family reunion.
Back porches on farmhouses were also essential as a buffer zone. It was needed as a place to remove the boots or shoes. Also it was the first barrier to stop insects from coming into the house. Flys would be the number one intruder. To the right of the group is the outside door that goes to the basement. It is a fancier style on this house as a lot of them had outside stairs dug into the ground that went down to the basement and not a door at the top of the stair going into the basement.
Both of the photos I am sharing today are unknown relatives. The little girl could be the same in both pictures because the hat and the stockings seem to be the same. The bottom photo is a springtime shot as the lambs are young and the grass looks like it is high enough for the lambs to enjoy. My mom always complained about the stockings that she wore that were like these in the picture. She said they were impossible to actually keep them up and yet they were expected to do so. Gravity can be a bad thing when it comes to stockings.
As in both photos it seems to be the smart thing to do to have your subjects stand outside in the sunlight. It does cause problems though with the pesky shadows and also the squinting of the eyes. Photography was an unstudied skill so all those photos that turned out darker than necessary because there wasn't enough light merited everyone to seek the sun.
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Saturday, March 9, 2013
Feeling a little rebellious today I will share a grayed photo, in color, which has no liking to a sepia shot. It is a few years old and I think water is in the shot. It is Lake Superior.
I am reminded of the musical "Music Man" when I viewed this photo. In the musical, everyone on the street breaks out to singing about the Wells Fargo wagon that will be comin' down the street and what it might be delivering to them when it finally arrives. The boat in this scene is a large cargo ship that has come from some far country to the harbor in Duluth, Minnesota. The crowds gather during the warmer weather and wait for the large ships. The ships come in to enter a waterway canal to go into the protected harbor. The vessels are so big that when you see it as a speck on the horizon you can plan on a forty five minute wait or more before it comes into the harbor. Large crowds gather by the time it finally arrives. One can stand along the waterway and watch it go by as I am sure it has done for over a hundred years. They are a couple of football fields long.
It is a gray day along the Maine coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Somewhere out there is Newfoundland. It may be further north than here but it is out there,
Water on a gray day reflecting the sky in my fish pond. The two bricks are there to keep the waterpump weighted down and also for birds to land in order to get drinks of water.
A brighter day is this view on the shore of Lake Superior. The deepest lake I believe in the world. Miles deep and very cold. It does empty into our Mississippi river when the people who control the water are generous. South of here is the city of Duluth, Minnesota which has a long history of trappers and hunters in their early years and now a shipping center for coal and iron ore.
Water in the Des Moines botanical center that has many large koi gracefully swimming up and down an artificial river or pond.
Jordan Pond is on the island of Mt. Dessert. Acadia National park may sound familiar to you as being the location of the pond. The area has an interesting history of a man named Jordan who brought in famous authors and artists to stay with him at his lodge next to the pond. That was in the early 1900's. Noteworthy people did stay there for the summer but I am not able to give any specific names at this time.
The peninsula like land form in the Bar Harbor area is filled with winding roads and swamp or pond areas all along the way. In the background is a heron, great blue maybe, standing as still as a stick, waiting to slam its beak into water to catch fish. Our kids live near the area and the Atlantic is near by as you travel up and down and around the winding roads.
I promise to behave next week and find sepia, older looking photos. I have enjoyed sharing those things that I have found under this theme of "water."
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Friday, February 22, 2013
The past few years I have been exploring two old albums that my dad had rescued from a house that he was tearing down. The albums are of relatives of the family that had lived there. but the family that lived there is a mystery itself. The house had been abandoned 16-20 years maybe even longer.
The photos are of ancestors I believe of the family. I did disccover items that told me those who lived in the house were related to the Websters that owned the funeral home in Osceola, Iowa. The wife could have been a sister or a daughter from the Webster family. But actual names that I have found on photographs do not help me out much. We all know that the family tree extends forever. The albums could be from in-laws a couple of generations back. The questions I still have are unanswered so the two albums are still full of unknowns.
The couple are dressed in garments that remind me of my grandparents wedding photo. It has to be in the late 1800s.
They are all wonderful photos and the clothing of the day does give me a little bit of an indication of the time period. I am not very good at dating them like some of my blog friends are but I am certain we are in the middle of the 1800's for sure and then on into the early turn of the 1900's. When I think about it the albums are old so when you see older people in the photos that makes them at least a half generation older than the others in the books.
The backgrounds of the unknowns are sometimes fancy murals and they pose their people on fancy furniture. I have other photos of this guy who is standing in uniform for a lodge picture.
Moving away from the album collection I have another one of my unknowns. This group shot of my father's company that he was place in when he was in the Washington D.C. area. My father is in the photo but look at all the other families that are represented in the photo. My dad did eventually get sent over seas and he did return as a survival of the Battle of the Bulge.
A point of interest to me was the mascot dog that was in the photo. The guy either is petting the German shepherd or he is protecting his eyes for the camera flash. Unknowns who are ranked higher than my father were all sitting in the front center. Most all of these men would be in their upper 80's and 90's if there are still alive.
I found this mystery photo among my mom's photos and all is unknown to me. I did see that there is an outhouse in the background so it must be a school photo. My mom could of been the teacher at this school but I don't really think so. She taught in 1937- 40. I can't believe that the photo from that era would be that aged and yellowed from that time.
The students are all lined up showing the population to be very much farm children and their ages really don't seem to be too spread out for kindergarten through eighth grade. One guy in the middle looks older as if he is standing on his knees. I wonder if my mom and her two brothers are in the photo, which would have been in the 1920-30s, but I just don't know.
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I looked into my past posts and found that I started Sepia Saturday on February6, 2010. I have been busy the past year and haven't blog regularly, but it still has been my pleasure to be included in such a creative and knowledgeable group. I would never have thought that I would be involved for three years. Thanks to all my blogger friends for such a great ride. I will try not to slide behind so much in the future.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
This photo of John and Iva Horton reminds me of Grant Woods' painting of American Gothic. All that is needed is the pitchfork that John could be holding. Iva actually was taller than John by a half a foot. When I found this article from the paper, I thought I would have found a load of valuable information about them. Then I realized that I had no dates for a reference point and it is written with minimal information. The date of the event that includes the year is on the paper's page, which I don't have. The place of the event is in Osceola, as I know that as it came from the Osceola, Iowa paper. The article doesn't say much at all and the children are not mentioned in the article.
My Grandmother Mabel Brooks, a widow, married Oscar Brooks, a widower back in the thirties. Iva V. Horton was Oscar Brooks sister. Because of their being brother and sister, my family became close friends to these step relatives, my grandmother's in-laws. I considered John and Iva to be like my grandparents and yet knew that they were step great uncle and aunt.
Clues to the date of the anniversary come from other events in my life in relationship to the couple. I remember going to their 50th anniversary gathering of a few family members and we took a cake for them. It was covered with gold rosettes of frosting and the number 50 was on the top. I was 11 or 12 years old then so I think that it was 1962. That means the photo above was probably in 1972 or near then. I was in college then so I didn't attend the event.
The couple were like the Walton's on the television show as they lived most of their lives on a farm south of Murray, Iowa. It was an 1800's style farm even though it was early 1900's that they were married. They had built their own house while living in a small tool shed. They never threw anything away so that while one visited you could feel like your were visiting a place back in time, a museum. They had four sons with the oldest one George, being killed in WW II. He is buried in France. The other sons are Loren, Harry, and Lowell.
I did find some relevant history about them when searching cemetery sources. . John S. Horton b. 1888 - d. 1977, Iva Horton b. 1892 - d. 1982. Iva was born in Champaign, Illinois. How she ended up in Clarke County Iowa and becoming married to John I just don't know. I visit their graves at the Murray Cemetery every year when I visit my parents graves.
I was fascinated with the couple and as I grew up they treated me like a grandson. The things in my house from this couple are so many. We eat at an oak kitchen table everyday. They ate at it in their kitchen sitting on backless chairs. The table was always covered with a tablecloth so I never knew that it had a stenciled design on its top.
I have antique toys and many tins from their house. I have dishes and stoneware storage containers. I have an oat sprouting cabinet, that sits in our living room, holding my antique toy collection. Many more things are in our house that remind me of John and Iva. I refer to my many items as things from my John and Iva connection.
The stories I have from my experiences of them could be written in a book. I could blog about them for many blogs and maybe sometime I will do that. I was just glad to have found the newspaper clipping from my mom's things and it has spring boarded a lot of great memories.
The oak table became mine while I was in college as the Horton's moved into town during that time. Iva wanted to be sure that I would want it and take care of it. I already had collected a walnut table from my grandmother so she was assured that she wouldn't have to worry about it.
I really have posted a lot of photos about the things that came from my John and Iva connection. I have a lot of things that were given to my mom and dad that I now also have. I enjoy having the items from their past but most of all I cherish the memories that came with them.
I have been working on this blog for awhile and found that I made it way too long. I guess there lives and family that I observed and shared my life with belongs in a full book. In the process of doing this I was doing research on the son that they lost in the war. I found out that he was in the Normandy invasion and is buried there at the Normandy American Cemetery. I think that will be another blog in the future. ( Colleville-sur-Mer, France,Normandy American Cemetery sits on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel, east of St. Laurent-sur-Mer and northwest of Bayeux in Colleville-sur-Mer, 170 miles west of Paris. The cemetery may be reached by car by traveling)
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Friday, November 9, 2012
Instead of looking for photos of people on the phone, I thought I would look for evidence that phones actually existed in our area. Once I thought of the idea then I wondered if I knew the difference between a phone line and a power line. I guess I really don't. This view is looking towards Murray in 1940.
I do remember in rural southern Iowa in the 60's, that our local phone poles were barely 8 to 10 feet high and they had a limited number of two or three wires on them. They leaned a lot as the rains in Iowa would tend to wash away the soil from the base of the pole. I don't think they were buried only three of four feet into the ground. One could see them as you drove down a dirt or gravel road while traveling to town to get groceries.
My parents lived in the back of a filling station that was outside of town. This is in the late 40's and again I don't know if these are power lines or phone lines. I bet they are power lines, I am really off theme with the wrong kind of poles. But poles near a building do tell a story.
This is an old house in Osceola with one power line in view but there is a single pole in the background that probably was the phone line. Today, most of the phone lines in Iowa are buried underground so you can't see them coming into a house.
This is a house that my grandfather built north of Murray, Iowa. From what you can see here, I bet the house had neither electricity or telephone. I am sure it was taken in the 30's or earlier so phones companies didn't exist.
It is the 40's and my dad is standing on a street in Belgium. There is one pole standing in the background. Wires for something went into that house.
So I found another pole. It is my photo of me and my three older brothers. I even remember this pole and it was our telephone pole. It sat next to a large ditch next to our gravel road that went past our front yard. My mom had planted flowers around it and it always seemed unnatural to have it there as the oiled tall poles didn't come from any trees that we grew in Iowa. I am sure they came from a grove of tall pines that grew out west in the mountains or in Minnesota.
I stil don't have a visual of the first phone that I ever saw but we had a crank wooden phone that hung on the wall just on the right side of the window. The wooden box had the black speaker phone projecting out of it with the receiver hanging to the side of the phone.
It was early 50's and I was too short to reach the phone and no child in the house was allowed to touch such a thing.
There was a fuse box on the outside of the house and it was common for the lightning to travel through the lines and the fuse would need to be replaced.
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