Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mattie's Album, part 2

Martha (Mattie) Selena Mobley Wheeler was my Great grandmother born in January 1867.  This is her autograph book that she first received signatures in 1889.  She was 22 years old when a cousin wrote in  her book.  She kept the book and had friends and family continue writing verses to her throughout the years. The later days include verses from a son-in-law and a son.


If you mary a man and he is a clipper,
make him acquainted with two of your slipper.

                     Your cousin,

                     Ada Mobley

June 30th 90

When the golden sun is setting,
and your mind for care is free.
When of other friends you are thinking
will you some times think of me.

Your friend,
F. M. Longshore

This was a writing that I almost missed. It was done by her son Elva Wheeler. It is written in pencil and I had to intensify the contrast to see it.

Elva is the second guy on left as is written.

and Santa as there is just one,
I wish sum way or other,
you'd bring along to share
say today a jolly little brother.

Your son Elva.

My grandfather LeRoy Brown married her daughter in 1913 and he wrote in it the next year.

Jan. Sunday 4, 1914
Dear Mother,
When the Golden Sun is setting and sits to shine no more.
God promises in heaven to keep us,
Where trubble shall Be no more.
Your sun,      L. M. Brown

To be honest, I know very little of  my grandfather Brown.  His one son is still living but I really have never heard any discussion of the kind of man that  he was.  The hand  writing is amazing.  He projects himself as a tough looking thin guy in some of  his later photos but still I don't know much.  Everyone was very poor and he was no exception. My mother said that they moved every year, each year, so she was always in a different country school. He did own a barber chair and it was said people would line up at the house for free haircuts on Sundays.  I was told that he dug graves for cemeteries.  He died in 1937. I do know that he came for family in Illinois and the most of his uncle and aunts could not read or write.  So seeing the handwriting he must  have attended country school to learn script.

I do need to return to the book from my Great grandmother. As I kept exploring the album I kept finding earlier dates.  I guess the 1889 us the earliest date.  I had to go back and correct my math on the earlier blog as I just didn't subtract it right.  It has been an interesting find and I bet the cousins in the Lorimor and Winterset area might know of some of the people in the book.  I will be on the hunt for the back of this album as it is missing and who know what I will find next.


Anonymous said...

How lovely that you still have Mattie's autograph book from so long ago :-) Grandpa Brown looks like a kindly man in the photo even though he's not actually smiling! Jo

Kristin said...

I hope you find the rest of the book and stories about more of the people from your cousins!

Crystal Mary said...

Hello Larry, firstly, thank you so much for your kindness during our distress here in Oz..I so appreciate it.
The autograph book was a lovely reminder to keep and treasure of those from our past who perhaps where lost in time to the future.. I even had one and sadly lost. I still remember some of the verses though. They were so special.
You are right. The writing is beautiful. People took pride in their script. I like your grandfather Brown. Looking at the way he held his mouth in the photo I would say he was not a tough man within. In fact I believe he was a very emotional person who was probably taught men don't cry. He certainly felt! In this picture which I tried to enlarge to get a better view, I feel he has a lump in his throat and is containing his emotions until after the photo session??? love to know more on him?? Very deep...This is a very good person.

Christine H. said...

I had to come back and see more of this wonderful album. I love the rhymes and I'm glad you didn't correct the spelling. My favorite rhyme is the first one, although I'm not sure what makes a man a "clipper."
Thanks so much for sharing these; they are an absolute delight.

Alan Burnett said...

It is indeed a wonderful find. The inscriptions say so much about the age and the society they reflect. You could teach a term's social history course based on little more than that book and its contents. Great find Larry.

Nancy said...

I find the old rhymes in autograph books so touching and appealing, often humorous, too. So often people just wanted to be remembered. About the photo of your grandfather - I can just imagine the smile break out after the photo's been taken. Can you contact his living son to learn more about him? When it comes to family history, for me learning about the personalities and attributes of the people is at least as, and maybe more, important than dates and places. Thanks so much for sharing your great-grandmother's album.

Thanks for telling me about your Dr. Armitage. I don't think he is part of my line. As far as I know, my g-grandfather came from England and died in Ohio or a nearby state. He had only two daughters by his first wife (my line), though he remarried and had other children with a second wife. If I learn something that leads me to your part of the U.S., I may ask you more questions. Thanks.

Lisa said...

What a wonderful family keepsake! I love the old verses that folks learned to write in these old autograph albums. I'd rather my children collected these kinds of things than the foolishness that is popular today!

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Pat transplanted to MN said...

This autograph book is sure to keep you entertained and intrigued for ever so many more hours...if your cousins are like so many of mine they seldom respond and are difficult to convince to discuss personalitiies...maybe you will have better luck with these. Such an amazing possession...didn't worry so much about those misspellings if they knew them, they simply did their best with whatever implements they used. Amazing that her son in law even wrote a rhyme.

Marilyn said...

I love autograph books and this one is wonderful in the history it holds of family and friends. The little verses tell a story of the times. Wonderful.

Anonymous said...

My great grandmother was named Mattie and I am named Martha for her. Lovely little book and the rhymes are a delight. My Mattie also collected rhymes and notes from family and friends. Perhaps it was "the thing to do" for young women of that time period. Perhaps we Matties/Marthas are simply tender hearted. :-)

neetzy said...

These are wonderful! What lovely thoughts and sentiments and such an insight into an era! Even when I was in school there was a bit of an art to yearbook signing! I love the faded pages and beautiful handwriting.


i'm really liking this book!!
especially how F.M. LONGSHORE wrote his/her line.
quite special to have such a thing.

CadillaC said...

When the golden sun is setting,
and your mind for care is free.
When of other friends you are thinking
will you some times think of me.

Wonderful :)

Southwest Arkie said...

I am so jealous! Wonderful keepsake!

Far Side of Fifty said...

That autograph book is a treasure! From what I understand they were often given as small Christmas Gifts. They wrote such great poems..they made me smile!:)