Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Friday, July 23, 2010

Not my family but historic inhabitants.........


The couple above are Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Jackson.  This card does not state the photo company on the front of the card.  It was found with a pile of loose photos in the house at Osceola. It comes with all the treasures that were in the previous old house where my parents owned the property.


This card is one that I believe is taken of the same couple.  I can't see the resemblance in the woman but it is the same man with the same trimmed beard.  I could be mistaken that they may be brothers but I don't think so.  The woman is in profile in this one so it is hard to be sure if it is the same woman. The Graves Brothers Photographers took this as they are identified on the card. It is dated as January 12, 1887.  I think that the second card is the older picture of the two.

I have a diary that was found in that house in which my father tore down due to it's bad condition.  The diary is written by a woman who does not identify her first name, but she is Mrs. Walter Hill.  Her son's name is Dan and he is in high school. She wrote the complete year out page by page in a book that was intended for note taking for a medical professional and the calendar year is 1917.  She writes of everyday happenings each day, from cooking a rabbit for supper to who visited who on the day. There are a couple of cake recipes included on certain days with notes jotted at the top of the page as to who died or got married that day. She mentions often that she does not feel well and that her husband bakes a cake once in a while, and to their going out to buy monuments for their graves including the prices they paid.

You are wondering where I am going with all of this but I do have a theory.  The woman who  wrote the diary in 1912 seems to validate my idea that the above couple in the photos did not live in the house my dad demolished.   I believe that the man and woman lived in Osceola and were probably related to the diary writer,  either as a brother or a sister to her.  The name of the diary writer is Hill and the man in the photograph is Jackson.

I have two large albums of the family photos from those who lived in the house as well as of their relatives.  I have yet to dig through that but I have noticed that their are sequenced pictures of people getting older. Their are only first names written on some of the cards.

The things that I know that I can eventually do to find out about the diary writer are numerous.  Her son Dan had to graduate from Osceola High School between 1912 and 1914.  I should be able to get that info from the school.  I really do think I could fine the graves of Mr. and Mrs. Hill in the Osceola Cemetery. I could look for the Jackson couple in the cemetery.   Lastly I am sure that once I try I should be able to find something on the different net programs that help you find ancestors. Not my ancestors but of the family group.

Not my relatives, but I have handled a lot of their possessions.  I have large sections of hand sawed paneling from their home.  I have the pictures and I walk where they use to walk in the downstairs cave. I have their canning jars in which Mrs. Hill made applesauce and canned meat. Their are books that showed they belonged to a lodge, leather postcards and their are knick knacks from other countries.  I have this need to know more as it will give me the faces and names and not just people from the past. My albums may have Mr. and Mrs. Hill in them with Dan's picture also but at this point I can't identify them, but I need to know more.

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18 comments:

Christine H. said...

Larry,
I'm so glad you are working to preserve this family's history even though they aren't related to you. Perhaps someday, you'll meet someone who is related to them and will be ever so thankful. In the meantime, their heritage enriches your life too.

Martin H. said...

Keep plugging away Larry. You're bound to turn up more information along the way. This sort of detective work can be so rewarding. Thanks for sharing the story.

Crystal Mary said...

This is so exciting.. I do believe the two men pictured look alike. Yet the women are different. I'd like to suggest that perhaps the men are twins and the women their wives. Photos were hard taken back then so the women had to be important to the men. Go looking in the cemetary. Often grave stones tell stories.
I cannot imagine how people loose such valuable family possessions.

Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful post! I love that the woman kept a day book. How lucky you are to have it! You are a worthy inheritor of their history.

Kat said...

You MUST post the cake recipes! Do you think perhaps the woman in the first picture died and the one in the second is her replacement?

Kat

tony said...

It's A Rather strange Responsibilty to have, being the Guardian of other people's inheritance. A facinating mission!

Meri said...

Hmm. No J.W. Jackson in Osceola County, Iowa in 1880. I'm assuming Osceola is in Osceola County. There was a John R. Jackson with wife Sarah, but they were older than your pictured couple. I didn't find a matching Hill family in Osceola County in either 1900 or 1910. More clues, please!

Pat transplanted to MN said...

You have an amalgamation of leads to their story and eventually any of their descendants; how kind of you to take this interest in thme. Let us know when you complete this journey...

L. D. Burgus said...

Thanks for looking that up about the J W Jackson and Walter Hill. The problem is that Osceola, Iowa is in Clarke County. We do that here in Iowa. We have a Pocahontas County in southern Iowa and a town of Pocahontas in Northern Iowa. Osceola County is in the northeast part of the state I believe. Because we were Indian territory we have so many Indian names including Chief Osceola and Ottumwa, and Oskaloosa. Iowa was a tribe of Indians itself. Thanks again for looking it up.
Larry

Nancy said...

Okay, I think the two women are the same. The woman in the top photograph seems to me to have a "flat" face and strong jaw, which would turn into a profile like the lady in the photo below. Or maybe not....

Isn't it interesting how looking at old photos of people and handling their possessions somehow causes a connection? I hope you'll keep us posted on your search and findings for this family. And I second Kat's request - please share the recipes!

Barbara and Nancy said...

Those people are so lucky that you found them. Now they'll never be forgotten - at least by we Sepia Saturdayers. This is a wonderful detective story. I can see that you could get obsessed with it. I can't wait to hear more.
Barbara

Eric S. said...

Very fun post. I enjoy remolding old houses, and finding the hidden "treasures" in the walls. Usually it's simple newspapers that were used for insulation or other items of similar nature.

To find the pictures, and a diary, fabulous.

John Hayes said...

Amazing mementos you have of that family--the canning jars....great history & detective story rolled into one!

CrazyasaCoolFox said...

I love how crisp these photos are. Thanks for sharing!

Alan Burnett said...

No I am not wondering where you are going with all of this, because wherever you are going is fascinating territory. Wonderful cabinet cards, wonderful post, so full of detail and mystery.

jinksy said...

Inquisitiveness is a wonderful mother of invention ! Good luck with your searching for more stories.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi Larry, You know I love these old photos and all the mystery that they entail..you have lots of info to work on and you live in the area..so I am sure you will find the clues one by one that lead you to this family. What a great adventure! Take good notes as you go..I can't wait to hear the whole story..these old photos are an addiction. I absolutely love the jacket in that first photo..it looks like velvet..and the watch pocket..WOW..great photo!! :)

MidnightStorms said...

I just stumbled upon your blog tonight. I started to look at just one picture and it is several hours later, yet I haven't been able to stop!

I love looking through old pictures and identifying the people and bringing them to life by learning about their lives. This is so cool that you are doing this. I have read some about your own family but now i am reading about the Hill and Jackson family who's cans of applesauce, and knick knacks and pictures you have handled! How fascinating, and how fun! I am really enjoying your blog. Thank you for taking the time to scan all these pictures and to tell the stories for those who no longer can speak.