The Orphaned Images Project: Petticoat Junction, anyone?

Scribbled in pencil on the back of this photo:

Luella Devo and me, Jesse and Adelaide Devoe on the silo

With just a few seconds of research, beginning with the fact that two of the women in this photo are likely sisters—Adelaide and Luella—I found a grave marker that indicates Adelaide Delphine DeVoe was born October 15, 1890 and died May 3, 1984. Her younger sister, Luella Adella DeVoe, was born two years later on October 24, 1892 and died April 15, 1957. They are buried in the Parfreyville Cemetery, Section 12, Dayton Township, Waupaca County, Wisconsin.

Adelaide was 93 when she passed away at Bethany Home. She lived in Waupaca for 60 years and worked for 30 years in the laundry at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home (WVH). She had two brothers, Claude and Floyd. I can’t find any indication that she or her sister ever married or had a family.

There is very little information on the link for Luella’s gravestone. I did learn that in 1941 she was the “head laundress” of the WVH-King Laundry. Ed Fosgate was the head laundry man and there were a total of 12 employees in the Laundry. They handled 7,567 pounds per week with 3,300 of this being sheets. There were 641 members.

I did find their father, Charles DeVoe. He was born in Rennessalier County, NY on June 26, 1855. When he was six, he moved with his parents to Fond Du Lac, WI. In 1890 he married Amanda Chapel. They had seven children (one died in infancy). They moved to Janesville and then to Oshkosh.

From the Waushara County Obituaries: Left to mourn his loss are his wife, four sons, Harley, Floyd, Claude and Floyd, and two daughters, Adelade and Luella, all of Oshkosh, and two brothers, Henry and Willard of Etna, Washington. He died July 29, 1922, at the age of 67 years, 1 month and 3 days at the home of his niece, Mr. Ora Wing. He was sick only a few hours.

Research is fun even if these aren’t my family members! It’s like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, made easier by someone’s cursive writing on the back of an old photo.

Double-click on the photo to see more detail. Learn more about The Orphaned Images Project on my site dedicated to this project here.

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The Orphaned Images Project: Class Picture Day

I realize that these young students were probably told to remain motionless while their class photo was taken, but there is not one happy face in the bunch, is there? The writing at the bottom of the photo reads “Estella” (with an arrow pointing to the young girl that is seated fifth from the left), below that reads “Gobbelsville, Indiana.” The name “Berlia” is written with an arrow pointed to the child seated second from right. Berlia sounds like a girl’s name, but girls didn’t wear pants back in those days.

I did a search for “Gobbelsville” and there aren’t any results on Google. There is a town by the name of “Gobelsville,” though—an unincorporated town in Clear Creek Township, Huntington County, Indiana.

Double-click on the photo to see more detail.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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The (Not so) Orphaned Images Project: Grandma Hester’s prayer

I found this handwritten prayer, in my (paternal) grandmother’s handwriting, in a box of old family photos (that obviously are not orphaned). She wrote it on four sheets of her husband’s business invoices. John F. Weathers was a carpenter and my father’s stepfather. They were living in Midland, Texas at the time and it was in the early 1950s. No matter your religious affiliation (or lack thereof), or to whom you send your verbal (or silent) prayers out to, I thought it had enough merit to share with my viewers.

An Anonymous Prayer (Written in the 17th century)

Lord, thy knowest better than I know myself
that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something
on every subject and, on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.
Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy,
With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all.
But, Thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind from the recitals of endless details.
Give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips on my aches and pains.
They are increasing and love of rehearsing them
is becoming sweeter as the time goes by.

I do not ask for Grace enough to enjoy the tales
of other’s pain but, help me endure them with patience.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a
growing humility and a lessening cocksureness
when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet I do not want to be a Saint.
Some of them are so hard to live with.
But a sour person is the works of the Devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in
unexpected places and talents in unexpected people.
And, give me, O Lord, the Grace to tell them so!


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The Orphaned Images Project: Gertrude Kitchen and Olive May, revisited

Last week I received a comment on this post from Charles, a wedding and portrait photographer near Detroit, Michigan. Visit his website here.

“Wow, Gertrude is my wife’s Great Grandmother (Grandma Gerdy) and Leonard would be her son; Olive would be Leonard’s sister.”

We continued our correspondence and he shared some details on “Grandma Gerty” that I’d like to share as an update to this post:

It’s crazy that those photos made their way to VA. I’m in Michigan, about 25 miles north of Detroit. Gertrude lived here with my wife and mother in law in her later years, in this very house, in fact. I just found out yesterday that she also died here… this very house! Right in the next room! How did that fact get by me all these years?

My wife often talks about brushing her Grandma Gerty’s long silver hair for her when she couldn’t do it anymore (she was actually her Great Grandmother). She lived to be 97 years old. Gertrude also lived in Indiana with her sister Mildred, sadly, we don’t know much more than that. The Leonard that was mentioned in the postcard should be her son, but his last name was Duncan, I’m guessing there was a second marriage; I’m on the hunt for more information now.

I have done some research on my own family history but have never gotten very far with my wife’s; last night I typed in “Gertrude Kitchen” and your blog was fourth on the list— the really fun part was my wife’s reaction, I didn’t know who I was looking at—when I read that the postcard was sent to Indiana, I thought it could possibly be someone that my wife might know, but I was very doubtful. I mean, it was just a photo on a blog, out there on the internet. I would be shocked if it was actually someone that my wife knew…..well, I was shocked.

I called her into the office and she walked in behind me and said “that’s my Grandma Gerty!!!!!, that’s my Grandma Gerty!!!!” She read your post and then she was off to the old ceder chest in the living room (it belonged to Gertrude). She came back with a handful of photos, some of Gertrude, one or two of Olive as a toddler and also at age four, and some others of people that were obviously important to Gertrude, but we have no idea who they are.

I will certainly send you photos as soon as I can get them scanned, along with any info I can relate to them.


Originally posted on July 17, 2011
From the writing on the back of the top postcard, I’m surmising the lovely young woman is Gertrude Kitchen (or Kitchens). It is addressed to Miss Ethel Noland, a woman I wrote about in a previous posting on this blog. There was no address or cancelled stamp, so the postcard was never sent.

The second postcard is addressed to Mrs. Frank Wilson, Idaville, Ind., RR No. 19. It was sent June 27, 1913 at 8:00 a.m. from Lima, Ohio. (Postage was just a penny!) The card reads as follows:

Dear ??? and all: How is this for outdoors picture. Why don’t you write. How are you and (Maud?) and Leonard? — Gertrude

The baby is identified as Olive May, 14 mo. old.

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The Orphaned Images Project: Ladies who lunch

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The Orphaned Images Project: Bathing cuties

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The Orphaned Images Project: Gone fishin’

Written around the edges of this photo:

7:30 A.M. In a few minutes he is off with a “fishing only” on a gasoline launch.

Archivist note: Hmmm….

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