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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TOWER, George and family

GEORGE TOWER and family

UPDATE - the Tower Family has been claimed by a relative and is going home!
Identification on photo: Grandpa Tower (my father), mother, Fred, Cyrus, Jenny, Peter, Porter, and Sarah E. Thompson
Photo taken: unknown location but probably near Buffalo NY, circa 1879
Purchased: Bulldogger Antiques, Lake Worth, FL

There is also note in pencil on the back of the photo indicating that the photo was originally purchased in Bayshore, Long Island, NY 1977.

This is the Tower family of Porter Township, Niagara County, New York, which is a farming community north of Buffalo.  The Tower family was one of the original pioneer families in this area.

The father is George Tower (1836-1924) and the mother is Elizabeth Peet (1838-15 Dec 1879). She died in December 1879, which explains why she is missing from the 1880 Census.

1880 Census > New York > Niagara > Porter
TOWER, George D., 43, born in NY of Massachusetts & Vermont parents, farmer
TOWER, Frederick, 17, NY (1863-1940)
TOWER, Sarah Elizabeth, 15, (b. 1864)
TOWER, Cyrus Peet, 13 (born 1866)
TOWER, Jenny Lind, 11 (born 1868)
TOWER, Peter, 9, (born 1870)
TOWER, Porter, 9, (born 1870)

Peter and Porter are twins. There was also an earlier son named Frank Tower who only lived to age four (1861-1865).

George's parents were Peter Tower (1791-1882) and Olive Baldwin (1803-1886).

Elizabeth's parents were Cyrus Peet (1808-1887) and Sally Vanderlyn (1808-1887).

Sunday, February 18, 2018

OSTERHOUT, Jennie Mae (Keefer)


Identification on photo: Jennie Mae Keefer Osterhout, wife of Harry J.
Photo taken: W.H. Pirce Studio, 459 State St., Schenectady, NY, circa 1910
Purchased: Aug 2017 Madison-Bouckville Antiques Week

Based on the fashion worn by the subject, I place this photo around 1910. The subject appears to be around 16 years old, so a working birth year of 1894 will get me started.

As luck would have it, the 1910 Census has a Jennie M. Keefer, born about 1894, living in Schenectady NY with her family.

1910 Census > NY > Schenectady > Glenville
KEEFER, Charles, head, 40, born in NY of NY parents, general farming and dairy
KEEFER, Agnes, wife, 35, married 17y, 7 children 6 living, born in England
KEEFER, Jennie M., daughter, 16, born in NY
KEEFER, Beatrice, daughter, 15, born in NY
KEEFER, William A., son, 14, born in NY
KEEFER, Agnes S., daughter, 12, born in NY
KEEFER, Lurena E., daughter, 10, born in NY
KEEFER, Margaret E., daughter, 1y8m, born in NY
KEEFER, William, brother, 35, born in NY, general farming and dairy

Subsequent research shows Jennie's parents are Charles Thomas Keefer (b.1870) and Agnes Middleton (b.1875). She married Harry John Osterhout (1894-1975) and had two sons; Leslie H. Osterhout (1915-2003) and Walter W. Osterhout (1919-2013).

1912 Schenectady City Directory - Jennie Keefer appears, and is described as "employed at Maqua Co., boards at 955 Strong." The Maqua Company was a book-printing and binding company.

1913, June 4 - Jennie M. Keefer marries Harry J. Osterhout in Schenectady. Harry is a son of Halsey J. Osterhout (1868-1911) and Bertha Walsh (1874-1940).

1920 Census > NY > Schenectady > Schenectady > 1006 Strong Street
OSTERHOUT, Harry, head, 26, born in Cobleskill NY, parents also from Cobleskill, employed at Electrical Works
OSTERHOUT, Jennie, wife, 26, born in Glenville NY
OSTERHOUT, Leslie, son, 4, born in Schenectady NY
OSTERHOUT, Walter, son 10mo., born in Schenectady NY

1972, Sept 5 - death of Jennie Osterhout, burial at Park View Cemetery, Schenectady (according to her memorial page at )

1975, Nov 16 - death of Harry Osterhout, burial at Park View Cemetery, Schenectady (according to his memorial page at )

Younger son Walter lived to age 94, passing away in 2013. I have found the obituary, but since it lists living relatives, I will not post it here. However, I will use that information to try to contact some of Walter's children or grandchildren who may be interested in the photograph of Walter's mother.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

WILEY, Samuel


Identification on photo: Uncle Samuel Wiley, husband of Mary Wynkoop
Photo taken: Genelli Studio, 923 Olive Street, St. Louis MO, circa 1890
Purchased: March 2017 at Wildwood Antiques Mall, Wildwood FL

1850 Census > Maryland > Queen Anne's Dist. 1
WILEY, John T., 33 male, farmer born in PA
WILEY, Rebecca E., 33 female, born in MD
WILEY, Samuel T., 10 male, born in Delaware
WILEY, Lydia A., 8 female, Delaware
WILEY, William T., 6 male, Delaware
WILEY, Mary E., 4 female, Delaware
WILEY, Rebecca, 3 female, Maryland
WILEY, Benjamin, 11mo male, Maryland
WILEY, Lydia, 50 female, Pennsylvania

1864, Sep 7 - Samuel Wiley marries Mary Wynkoop (Wyncoop) in Macoupin County Illinois. That county sits 1 mile west of Litchfield Illinois where the couple later lived.

1880 Census > Illinois > Montgomery > Litchfield
WILEY, Samuel, 40, head, cooper, born in MD of MD parents
WILEY, Mary, 37, wife, keeping house, born in IL of VA and MD parents
WILEY, Virginia, 15, daughter, attends school, born in IL
WILEY, Charles, 13, son, attends school, born in IL
WILEY, Viola, 11, daughter, attends school, born in IL
WILEY, Nora, 7, daughter, born in IL

Litchfield is about 55 miles North-East of St. Louis MO.

Daughter Viola was married 09 Nov 1887 at her parents home 4019 Bellfontaine Road in St. Louis. She married W.S. Smith.

1900 Census > Missouri > St Louis County > St Louis > N. 11th Street
WILEY, Samuel T., head, Jan 1840, 60, born in Delaware of Delaware parents, carpenter
WILEY, Mary, wife, March 1843, 57, born in Illinois of VA and MD parents

Samuel T. Wiley's page at Findagrave says he was born 21 Jan 1840 in Wilmington DE. Died 7 July 1923 in Philadelphia PA, and is buried at Northwood Cemetery in Philadelphia next to his wife. But the 1880 Census says he was born in Maryland. The 1900 Census has him born in Delaware. I think the confusion lies in the fact that his family moved from Delaware to Maryland when Samuel was still young.

(I see a strong possibility that his wife Mary Wynkoop is a sister of George W. Wynkoop, born in Illinois 1849 to Virginia and Maryland parents. Both photos were found in the same booth at the same antique mall. See post directly below this one.)

Mary C. Wiley died 31 May 1931 in Philadelphia PA at age 88. Her death Certificate states that her husband was Samuel T. Wiley. She was born in Illinois to parents Joseph Wynkoop, who was born in Virginia, and Rosanna Pipper, born in Illinois. Informant was her daughter Viola M. Williams.

(NOTE - the 1850 Census for Buckeye Illinois has the Wynkoop family of Mary Wynkoop (8), her parents John & Rosanna Wynkoop, several siblings including 2yo brother Washington Wynkoop.)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

WYNKOOP, George W.

Identification on photo: GEORGE WYNKOOP
Photo taken: Shroder Portraits, 308 River Street, Troy NY, circa 1890
Purchased: March 2017 at Wildwood Antiques Mall, Wildwood FL

This is George W. Wynkoop, born Nov. 1849 in Illinois (I am not yet able to find the names of his parents). Most of his life was lived in Troy NY.

Married to Catherine Halse.

He was in the iron and nickel industry.

By the age of 25 he is already in Troy and enumerated on the 1875 State Census. His occupation simply says "brass" but I take that to mean that he works in a metals factory. A few homes away is the Halse family including 18 yr old Kathy Halse, daughter of store manager John Halse.

February 27, 1880 - this story (at right) appeared in the New York Times covering an assault upon George Wynkoop and his business partners at the nickel-plating works by striking workers.

1880 Census > NY > Rensselaer > Troy > Spring Street
WYNKOOP< George, 30, works in Nickel-plating, born in IL of VA and MD parents
WYNKOOP, Kate, 23, wife, keeping house
WYNKOOP, Ebby, 2, daughter
WYNKOOP, Emma, 10mo. Sept 1879, daughter

(NOTE - The Wynkoops live right next door to the Halse family, which are the immediate family of wife Catherine Halse-Wynkoop. Her 21-yr-old brother Theodore works in the iron foundry.)

The 1890 City Directory for Troy shows that he works at "Hoyt & Wynkoop Foundry" on Spring Street, and resides on Pawling Avenue.

1900 Census > NY > Rensselaer > Troy > Pawling Ave.
WYNKOOP, George, head, 50, born Nov 1849, superintendant at foundry
WYNKOOP, Catherine M., wife, 42, born Jan 1858, married 23 yrs, 4 children, 4 living
WYNKOOP, Eva R., daughter, 22, born Mar 1878
WYNKOOP, Emma F., daughter, 19, born Aug 1880
WYNKOOP, Florence Linden, daughter, 19, born Apr 1881 (this can't be right)
WYNKOOP, Dorothy A., daughter, 1, born Dec 1898

1910 Census > NY > Rensselaer > Troy > 229 Pawling Ave.
WYNKOOP, George, head, 61, born in Illinois of VA & PA parents, foreman in foundry
WYNKOOP, Catherine M., wife, 53, married 33 yrs, 4 children, 4 living
WYNKOOP, Emma, daughter, 29 single
WYNKOOP, Florence, daughter, 27 single, stenographer at hotel
WYNKOOP, Dorothy A., daughter, 11

1920 Census > NY > Rensselaer > Troy
WYNKOOP, George, head, 71, born in Illinois of Virginia parents, foreman in iron foundry
WYNKOOP, Catherine M., wife, 64, born in NY of NY parents

George Wynkoop died on 17 Jan 1921 in Troy.

After his death, Catherine moved to Alexandria Virginia and lived with two of her daughters there.

When Catherine died 4 June 1941 in Alexandria, her obit lists her surviving 4 daughters:
Evelyn (Mrs. Karl F. Robinson, New York)
Emma (Mrs. Lee C. Lansing, Alexandria, VA)
Florence (Mrs. Harold Plews of San Diego)
Dorothy Wynkoop (Alexandria, VA)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

BEARDSLEE, Donald Ralph

BEARDSLEE, Donald Ralph

Identification on photo: Donald Ralph Beardslee, aged 1 yr 7 mo, Nov 11, 1905
Photo taken: Cortwright's Art Gallery, Owego NY, Nov 11, 1905
Purchased: Aug 2017 Madison-Bouckville Antiques Week

Donald was born 30 April 1904 in Pennsylvania, and appears on the 1910 Census for Warren, PA (which is about 15 miles south of Owego NY).  At some point in his childhood, his family moved to Owego, Tioga County, New York.

1910 Census > Pennsylvania > Bradford Co. > Warren
BEARDSLEE, Randolph L., head, 74, born in PA of PA parents, farmer
BEARDSLEE, Estella Graves, wife, 70, married 49 yrs, 3 children, 3 living, born in PA
BEARDSLEE, Ralph W., son, 36, born in PA, farmer
BEARDSLEE, Nellie, daughter-in-law, 38, married 12 yrs, 2 children, 2 living, born in PA
BEARDSLEE, Russell S., grandson, 8, born in PA
BEARDSLEE, Donald, grandson, 5, born in PA

Parents: Ralph Wells Beardslee (1873-1968) and Nellie Russell (1871-1914)
Siblings: Dr. Russell S. Beardslee (1902-1957)

Mother Nellie died in 1914, and by the time of the 1920 Census, father Ralph was remarried to Florence.

1930 Census, NY > Tioga > Owego > 143 Temple Street
BEARDSLEE, Ralph W., head, 57, traveling salesman for fertilizer company
BEARDSLEE, Florence, wife, 58
BEARDSLEE, Russell S., son, 28 single, veterinarian at Vet hospital
BEARDSLEE, Donald R., son, 25 single, aviator

Spouse: Catherine R (1907- 17 June 1985)
Daughters: Dale and Barbara

A Binghamton news article of 1936 mentions him as the manager of the Endicott airport.

(Click for larger image)
In 1937 he moved to the New York City area.

Died 30 Sep 1945 under mysterious circumstances.

The 1968 obituary for Ralph W. Beardslee mentions his two granddaughters Dale and Barbara Beardslee, who both still apparently have their maiden names.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

HEMMENS, Herbert Rawling

Utica, NY, 1894

Identification on photo: Herbert R. Hemmens, Xmas 1894
Photo taken: Harris & Greene Studio, Rowlands Building, 230 Genesee St., Utica NY, 1894
Purchased: August 2017 Madison-Bouckville Antiques Week

He appears to be about 8 to 10 years old, so likely born around 1884 or 1886.

His parents' names are not found, but by 1900 he was living with his grandparents and aunts.

His name appears in the 1906 Yearbook for Hamilton College, Clinton, NY (about 20 miles southwest of Utica.

A family tree in has Herbert Rawling Hemmens, born 29 March 1884, living in Utica during the 1900 Census.

1900 Census > New York > Oneida Co. > Utica > 4 William Street
HEMMENS, James, head, Oct 1829, 70, born in England, imm. 1850, bookkeeper
HEMMENS, Elizabeth, wife, Nov 1839, 68, 12 children, 5 living, born in England, imm. 1850, married 48yrs
HEMMENS, E. Louise, daughter, Dec 1859, 40, single, born in NY
HEMMENS, Grace E., daughter, Nov 1868, 31, single, born in NY, teacher
HEMMENS, Effie, daughter, Nov 1870, 29, single, born in NY, teacher
HEMMENS, Herbert R., grandson, Mar 1884, 16, born in NY, at school

Grandfather, James Hemmens was co-owner of Sherwood & Hemmens, a tobacco and cigar-making factory.

Around 1904 or 1905, Herbert married Mable Canfield, daughter of William Walker Canfield, who was editor of the Utica Observer-Dispatch newspaper.

1910 Census > New York > Oneida Co. > Utica > 110 Miller Street
HEMMENS, Herbert R., head, 26, married 5 yrs, born in NY of NY parents, clerk at Mercantile
HEMMENS, Mable H., wife, 27, 1 child, 1 living, born in NY of NY parents
HEMMENS, Marie M., daughter, 4, born in NY

1920 Census > New York > Oneida Co. > Utica > 1529 Howard Ave.
HEMMENS, Herbert R., head, 35, credit manager at Utica Trust & Deposit Bank
HEMMENS, Mable H., wife, 36
HEMMENS, Marie M., daughter, 14

1925, June 24, Marie Hemmens marries Raymond Weeks Jewell, also of Utica.

Going back in time a bit, the 1880 Census was enumerated before Herbert was born, but might prove useful in finding his father's name.

1880 Census > New York > Oneida Co. > Utica > 4 William Street
HEMMENS, James, 48, manufactures cigars, born in England
HEMMENS, Elizabeth, 46, wife, keeping house, born in England
HEMMENS, Herbert, 26, son, clerk in store, born in NY
HEMMENS, Thomas R, 23, son, works in tobacco factory, born in NY
HEMMENS, Emma L., 20, daughter, at home, born in NY
HEMMENS, Alice P., 17, daughter, at school, born in NY
HEMMENS, Henry J., 15, son, at school, born in NY
HEMMENS, Grace E., 11, daughter, at school, born in NY
HEMMENS, Effie, 9, daughter, at school, born in NY
HERBERT, Phebe, 70, mother-in-law, wd, born in England

1888 Utica City Directory shows that among James' sons, only Thomas R. Hemmens is living at his own home. The other sons are still living at 4 William Street in their father's house. This would tend to indicate Thomas was married and raising his own family.

Thomas R. Hemmens died 27 Sept 1895. This is looking more and more like Herbert's father. I wonder what the "R" stands for.

Friday, February 9, 2018

LYONS, Jane Jennie

Jennie Lyons, Oct. 27, 1886

Identification on photo: Jennie Lyons, Oct.27th, 1886
Photo taken: T.M. Swem Studio, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1886
Purchased: Feb 2018 at the Palm Beach County Fairgrounds Antique Show

This is Jane "Jennie" Lyons, born Dec 1865, to Irish immigrant parents James Lyons (1829-1913) and Catherine Doyle (1829-1900). She had siblings Mary, James, Anna and Thomas. She and Mary were born in Wisconsin, and her younger siblings were born in Minnesota.

1880 Census > Minnesota > Scott Co. > Spring Lake
LYONS, James, head, 50, born in Ireland, Farmer
LYONS, Catherine, wife, 50, born in Ireland, keeping house
LYONS, Mary A., daughter, 19, born in Wisc., teaching school
LYONS, Jane, daughter, 15, born in Wisc., at school
LYONS, James, son, 13, born in Minn., at school
LYONS, Anna L., daughter, 11, born in Minn., at school

Jennie Lyons Murphy, June 1892
In June 1890, she married Dennis Murphy (1859-1943) and over the course of the next 14 years, produced seven daughters.

Identification on photo: Jennie Lyons Murphy, June 1892
Photo taken: A.E. Woollett, Farmington, Minnesota, 1892
Purchased: Feb 2018 at the Palm Beach County Fairgrounds Antique Show

1900 Census Minnesota > Scott Co. > Spring Lake
MURPHY, Dennis, head, Nov 1860, 39, born in Ireland, imm. 1883, farmer
MURPHY, Jennie, wife, Dec 1865, 34, born in Wisc of Irish parents
MURPHY, Katie, daughter, Jul 1893, 7, born in MN
MURPHY, Alice, daughter, Feb 1898, 3, born in MN
MURPHY, Annie, daughter, Apr 1900, 3mo., born in MN

Jennie died in 1946 at age 82 at Prior Lake, Minnesota. She is buried at Saint Peters Cemetery in Credit River, Scott County, Minnesota next to her husband, and near her parents.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

MAGNER, Catherine and Anna

Identification on photo: CATHERINE MAGNER, Mrs. Dr. White, Belle Plain
Photo taken: Ribble Studio, St. Peter, Minn., 1888
Purchased: Feb 2018 at the Palm Beach County Fairgrounds Antique Show

born 1867
died 1935, Belle Plaine, Scott Co. Minnesota

1870 Census > Minnesota > Nicollet Co. > Oshawa
MAGNER, John, 40, farmer, born in Ireland
MAGNER, Mary, 37, keeping house, born in Ireland
MAGNER, Nellie, 12, born in Minnesota
MAGNER, Mary, 11, Minnesota
MAGNER, James L, 9, Minnesota
MAGNER, John D, 7, Minnesota
MAGNER, Agnes, 4, Minnesota
MAGNER, Catherine, 3, Minnesota
MAGNER, Annie, 3, Minnesota
MAGNER, Matthew, 1, Minnesota
MAGNER, William, 3mo., Minnesota

Identification on photo: ANNA MAGNER, later S?? St. Joseph, taken 1888
Photo taken: Ribble Studio, St. Peter, Minn., 1888
Purchased: Feb 2018 at the Palm Beach County Fairgrounds Antique Show

Also at the same booth was found this photograph of Anna Magner, twin sister of Catherine.

1900 Census > Minnesota > Nocollet Co. > Oshawa
MAGNER, John, 69, June 1830, imm. 1850, farmer, born in Ireland
MAGNER, Mary, 68, Sept 1831, imm. 1850, born in Ireland
MAGNER, Mary, 40, June 1859, Minnesota, works as a servant
MAGNER, Anna, 33, Apr 1867, Minnesota, schoolteacher
MAGNER, Adelaide, 28, May 1872, Minnesota
MAGNER, Francis (Frank), 24, Sept 1875, Minnesota, farmer

By 1900, Catherine is married to Dr. James B. White (1864-1924). They were married on February 11, 1896. So I checked the 1900 census records for James and Catherine White.

1900 Census > Minnesota > LeSeus Co. > Montgomery
WHITE, Dr. James B. head, 36, Aug 1863, born in NY of Scottish & Irish parents, physician
WHITE, Catherine, wife, 33, Apr 1867, born in MN of Irish parents
WHITE, Robert M., son, 2, Dec 1897, born in MN
WHITE, Francis John, son, 4mo., Jan 1900, born in MN
BRADSHAW, Sarah, servant, 11, Apr 1889, born in MN

Their younger sister Adelaide became a celebrated artist. This story on her appeared in the Minneapolis Journal, 09 Sep 1906.

(Click for larger image)

Father John Magner died at age 76 in January 1907. He, his wife, and several of their children are buried a Calvary Cemetery, Saint Peter, Minnesota.

(Click for larger image)
Catherine Magner-White died in 1935. Her obituary appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on July 28, 1935.

Brother James L. Magner, died Feb 14, 1935, according to this article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. This obit gives some good family information, including the fact one of his surviving sisters is a nun in Canada, and is known by the name "Sister Mary of St Joseph" but she is not his actual sister Mary, as she is mentioned earlier as a surviving relative. I believe "Sister Mary" is actually Anna, and looking again at the inscription on the back of her photo, I believe it now to say "later Sister St. Joseph". (see back of photo). The reference to Dr. E. Magner is eldest sister Ellen "Nellie" Magner who was a Minnesota Osteopath.



Identification on photo: Spring City, PA, Anna M. Marshall (??)
Photo taken: Acme Photo Studio, Spring City, PA circa 1910
Purchased: Feb 2018 at the Palm Beach County Fairgrounds Antique Show

The back of this photo bears the following inscription: Spring City PA. Anna M. Marshall. Then below the name is written two question marks. I think the question marks might signify the writer's lack of confidence in the time period of the photo more so than the identity of the subject.

I am presently searching for a more recent photo of Anna Marshall to compare against this one. Until then, I am proceeding as though this is Anna Maud Marshall.

Anna Maud Marshall was born 9 Sep 1893 in Haverford, Pennsylvania to parents Frank Carl Marshall (1870-1951) and Mary Bessex Humphreys (1872-1958). She had a sister named Gladys Marshall (1897-1972) who married Charles Sower and they had a son also named Charles Sower.  I see no evidence that Anna ever married.

1900 Census > Pennsylvania > Montgomery Co. > Lower Merion > Bryn Mawr Avenue
MARSHALL, Frank C., head, Aug 1870, born in PA of PA parents, Real Estate Dpty? for RR Co.
MARSHALL, Mary E., wife, Apr 1872, married 7 yrs, 2 children both living, born in PA of English & PA parents
MARSHALL, Anna, daughter, Sept 1893, born in PA
MARSHALL, Gladys W., daughter, Dec 1897, born in PA
WITAKER, Ledora, servant, Nov 1884, born in PA

1910 Census > PA > Montgomery Co. > Upper Providence Twnshp
MARSHALL, Frank C., head, 40, born in PA of PA parents, Clerk at Bank
MARSHALL, Mary R., wife, 38, married 17 yrs, 2 children both living
MARSHALL, Anna M., daughter, 17, born in PA
MARSHALL, Gladys H., daughter, 12, born in PA
THOMAS, Carrie, servant, 15, born in PA

1920 Census > PA > Chester Co. > Phoenixville Twnshp
MARSHALL, Frank C., head, 49, Bank President
MARSHALL, Mary R., wife, 47
MARSHALL, Anna M., daughter, 26, bookkeeper at Trust Co.
MARSHALL, Gladys H., daughter, 21, technician at Hospital

1930 Census > PA > Chester Co. > Phoenixville Twnshp
MARSHALL, Frank C., head, 59, Treasurer at Trust Co.
MARSHALL, Mary R., wife, 57
MARSHALL, Anna M., daughter, 36, clerk at Trust Co.

1940 Census > PA > Chester Co. > Phoenixville Twnshp
MARSHALL, Frank C., head, 69, Bank Sect'y & Treasurer
MARSHALL, Mary R., wife, 68
MARSHALL, Anna M., daughter, 46, no occupation listed

Anna died 23 Feb 1988 in Broomall PA at age 95, and is buried at Lower Merion Baptist Church Cemetery in Bryn Mawr, near her parents.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

WEDDE, Lena and Clara

Lena Wedde
Identification on photo: Lena WEDDE / Clara
Photo taken: Keller Studio, 1010 live Street, St. Louis Missouri, circa 1909
Purchased: Feb 2018 at the Palm Beach County Fairgrounds Antique Show

At the Antique Show, I found a booth with probably a hundred old photographs in a large enamel wash-basin. My husband and I spent probably 15 minutes scanning the backs for identification. In the group I was perusing, I came across one labeled "Lena Wedde" and right next to it one labeled "Clara" with no surname.

My standard modus operandi would be to leave Clara behind because she'd be impossible to track down without a surname. But as luck would have it, Clara was right next to Lena in the basin, and I could see that the handwriting was the same on the back of both photos. So I flipped both over to the front side, and saw an immediate similarity between the girls right down to the same hairstyle.

Furthermore, the photos were taken at the same studio in St. Louis. I decided to purchase Clara also, convinced the two were sisters.

The minute I got home, I logged onto and started checking Census records and family trees, and found the Wedde family in St. Louis in 1900. Parents Henry (46) and Margaret (40), with children Lena (17), John (16), Clara (13) and Mary (7). Henry is a carpenter and son John is a machinist at a car company. Lena has no occupation, and the younger sisters are at school.

Ten years later, in 1910, John has left home. The following remain:

1910 Census Missouri > Saint Louis > Ward 23 > 4318 Manchester Ave.
WEDDE, Henry, head, 55, born in MO of German parents, carpenter
WEDDE, Margaret, wife, 50, 4 children born, 4 still living, born in OH of German parents
WEDDE, Lena, daughter, 27, born in Missouri, dressmaker
WEDDE, Clara, daughter, 23, born in Missouri, seamstress at a Wholesale Co.
WEDDE, Mary, daughter, 17, born in Missouri, no occupation

The 1920 Census report is largely unchanged. Henry is a patern-maker in an iron factory. Lena is a dressmaker, Clara is a seamstress, and Mary is a music teacher.

Lena (5 Aug 1882-10 Jan 1963) and Clara (1 July 1886-15 Aug 1958) are daughters of Henry Wedde (1854-1940) and Margarethe Greb (1860-1924).

Lena and Clara never married. After the death of their parents, the sister lived together at 5187 Rosa Street, supporting each other until their own deaths in 1963 and 1958 respectively.

Friday, February 2, 2018

PLAIN, Betty Jo

Identification on photo: Betty Jo Plain
Photo taken: Porter Studio, Indianapolis Indiana, circa 1939
Purchased: Feb 2018 at the Palm Beach County Fairgrounds Antique Show

BETTY JO PLAIN, born 28-July-1921, daughter of Carl Bryant Plain and Jesse Cook of Cicero, Indiana.

The photo appears to have been taken for inclusion a High School yearbook, and the subject appears to be around 17 or 18 years old.

August 21, 1943, she married Vernon Earl Arnold, a military cadet. Eight months later, she was widowed when Vernon was shot down over Germany.

Died 28 June 2013, age 91, Noblesville Indiana. She apparently never remarried as her name at death was still Arnold.

SIMPKINS, Ella (Costello)


Identification on photo: Mrs. James Simpkins (Ella Costello, Prior Lake) Boulder MT
Photo taken: John Berkin, Artistic Photographer, Boulder, Mont., circa 1890.
Purchased: Feb 2018 at the Palm Beach County Fairgrounds Antique Show

This is Ella Gertrude Costello, born 16 Sep 1965 in Minnesota. She was a daughter of Martin Costello and Bridget Bedelia Welch.

Ella married James Simpkins (1861-1922), who ran a saw mill in Boulder MT, and had six children between 1890 and 1900.
  • 1890 - Eleanor - died 1990
  • 1892 - Edward - died 1982
  • 1893 - James - died 1918
  • 1894 - Franklin - died 1895
  • 1898 - Martin - died 1901
  • 1900 - Mabel - died 1989

Ella appears to have died in childbirth of her 6th child, daughter Mabel Marie Simpkins (born 02 Nov 1900). Ella died the following day.

The following insert covered the sad death of Ella Simpkins in the Montana Standard (Butte Montana), 11 Nov 1900: