Saturday, September 25, 2010

Helia Justine Reini (1907-1925)

Helia Reini c.1917, Seattle, WA
Courtesy Viola Petersen 
My entry for Sepia Saturday #42 is this photo of my grandmother Aune's beloved sister Helia Justine Reini. She was born Jan 29, 1907. I am guessing that she is about ten in this photo, so that would make it c.1917. The photographer's imprint says, "Aiko Studio, Seattle, Wash".  The Library of Congress has photos from this studio dated 1911 and I found others online from 1912 to 1918. My family has always remarked that Helia looked a bit Asian in this photo and, coincidentally, every single photo I found online from Aiko Studios was of Japanese Americans (which Helia was not, although she likely did have Saami ancestry).
My grandmother used to tell a story of how one day Helia took it upon herself to get dressed up, carefully curling her hair, and went down to the local photographer to get her picture taken. I wonder if this is that day. They were a very poor immigrant Finnish family, so I wonder how she got the money together for the photo. (She probably even made this dress for herself since she was a talented seamstress from a young age.)
[Update - Aiko Studios operated in Seattle at 613 1/2 Jackson from 1911-1925. Helia and her family were living at 108 Broadway in January 1918 according to her father's naturalization application. This is less than 1/2 mile away! Judging from this new information, it very well may be the photo taken the day of the story above. The family had moved away by September 1918.]
Helia was said to have possessed psychic ability. From what I am told (surprisingly, by family members who don't believe in such things), before she could read, Helia would pretend to read the newspaper to her parents, making up news stories about neighbors and local events. Strangely, on several occasions the events she described were reported to occur AFTER she "read" them. I have no way of knowing if this is true, but she does look like an "old soul" in this photo.
She did extremely well in school, making straight A's, sewed beautiful clothes for her family and played a large part in raising her four younger siblings. From all accounts, she was a very talented, kind and well loved girl.
Tragically, Helia passed away at the age of 18 on Oct 10, 1925. Her death certificate lists the cause of death as "diabetic coma". At this time she was the wife of George G Hawke. Her family was understandably brokenhearted to lose this very special girl. Aune thought so highly of her sister Helia that she spoke of her with deep love and in the most glowing of terms, almost on a daily basis, for the rest of her long life (96 years). Because of this, I grew up feeling like I knew her, so I am pleased to be able to share this memory of her with you.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dressed up like cowboys c.1910

"Cliff Purdy and Uncle Lou" 

The back of this photo that I inherited from my Great Aunt Gladys (by way of my Aunt Yvonne) says, "Cliff Purdy and Uncle Lou". Cliff (on the right) was Gladys' and my great grandmother Blanche's brother. His real name was Jonathan Clifford Purdy, but everyone always called him Cliff. He was born on April 17, 1892 in Minnesota to Jonathan Edward Purdy and Jennie Cole Purdy. Jennie was raised by her Cole grandparents and grew up with her uncle Lewis Fredrick Cole. I believe that Lewis is the "Uncle Lou" in the photo (on the left). He was extremely close to Jennie and it has been said that he considered her his sister rather than his niece. Since Cliff's father died shortly after his birth and Lewis never had any children of his own, it is not hard to imagine that Cliff may have also enjoyed a close relationship with his (great) uncle. Lewis was born on June 4, 1855 in New York -the last child of Asa Cole and Mary Eastman. He lived in many different places during his life, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Washington.

Since this Real Photo postcard has AZO and four triangles pointing up where the stamp is to be placed, it must be from between 1904-1918. Only in the 1910 Federal Census were both Lewis and Cliff living in Washington State, so that timeframe fits nicely. There is no photographer stamp, so I have nothing else substantial to go on to place an exact date for this photo. I did find other "fake cowboy" photos from 1910 and, in one, the men were even wearing fuzzy pants just like Cliff is wearing here. In 1910 Cliff would have been 18 and Lewis would have been 55, which looks about right, so I will tentatively date the photo then.

I wonder if they were at a fair or just went to a studio to have their photo taken for fun. Cliff (like his mother)obviously enjoyed having his picture taken since I have inherited so many of him, including a number of other Real Photo postcards. It is funny to me that they pretended to be cowboys. Lewis had, no doubt, experienced many real adventure while moving West along the frontier, yet he apparently still enjoyed a good game of dress-up (or, maybe, he just wanted to please his favorite nephew)!

Happy Sepia Saturday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Family and their Cars #12: c.1927 Model T

Roy Proctor and the family Ford

This may be the same car as #7. If so, it is 1923.
Update: Footnote Maven pointed out that the hood ornament is different than #7, so this is a different car. This family sure had a lot of cars! Thank you FM!

Thanks to Norie and her husband, I have tentatively placed this as a 1927 Ford Model T. Thank you!

My Family and their Cars #11: c.1921

Jack and Fred Moore with Jennie Cole Kint Purdy Phelps in background

Fred is my grandfather and Jennie is my great great grandmother. The boys were born in 1908 and 1909, so that should help to date this photo. Any ideas?

Norie and her eagle-eyed husband pointed out that the license plate says 21 and that this may be a 1921 Packard. Thanks for the great tips!

My Family and their Cars #10: c.1937 Packard

Cliff Purdy (brother of my ggrandmother Blanche) and his BIL George Roberts

Gladys Phelps Roberts, sister of Cliff and Blanche Purdy (my ggrandmother)

My Family and their Cars #9: Late 1920s Packard

Cliff and Martha (Block) Purdy

Cliff was the brother of my great grandmother Blanche Purdy Moore. This is probably somewhere in or around Seattle. Notice the old Coke sign behind the car.

Thanks again to Norie and her hubby for the hints!

My Family and their Cars #8: c.1910 Packard?

Willard Calvin Moore, my great grandfather
Any ideas on the year?

My Family and their Cars #7: 1923

Daniel, Cleo, Ray and Millie Proctor, 1923

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Family and their Cars #6: Built by hand, 1920s

Built by Everett Proctor, my grandfather (standing in the back)

My Family and their Cars #5: 1950s

Aune (Reini) Proctor, my grandmother

My Family and their Cars #4: c.1930

Jean and Aune (Reini) Proctor, my aunt and grandmother

My Family and their Cars #3: 1920s?

Everett Proctor, my grandfather
So, how about this one?

My Family and their Cars #2: 1920s

Daniel and Millie (Travis) Proctor, my great grandparents
Does anyone know the year of this car?

Ray Proctor (my great uncle)

My Family and their Cars #1: c.1916-1920

Fred (my grandfather), Willard (my great grandfather) and Jack Moore

This started as a "Wordless Wednesday" post, but has evolved into a whole series of my ancestors with their cars. I don't know much about old cars, so I am asking for help identifying the model years for all of these cars #1-#12. Thanks for any input.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lawrence Scott Hewitt c.1875

Lawrence Scott Hewitt b. 26 July 1872 
This is probably the oldest photo that I own. It was in a box of family photos that my mother had saved. On the back it said, "Zorrie's brother." After a lot of research, I was able to learn quite a bit about it's subject and his family.

Lawrence Scott Hewitt was the son of William Martin Hewitt (1825-1918) and Selinda Scott (1847-after 1920). He had a sister named Zora Edith Hewitt (1869-1963). William was the brother of my great great grandmother Mary Ann Hewitt Proctor (1827-1892), so Lawrence was my great grandfather Daniel Proctor's first cousin. 

My great aunt Cleo Proctor Cavanaugh wrote in 1990, "Great Uncle (William) Hewitt was at our house many times and my Aunt Sallie (Proctor Fargo) took me to their beautful home on Cascade Ave in the Mt. Baker area in Seattle. He had built and owned the first street railways in Minneapolis, Minnesota and operated them for many years. Uncle Charley (Charles Campbell Proctor) and our dad (Daniel Hewitt Proctor) both ran street cars there for him when they were young. Uncle Hewitt was a millionaire which meant something in those days."

There are some mistakes in the above description, but it did give me a starting point. The Hewitt family was, indeed, quite illustrious.  William was born in Gallatin, Illinois and moved to Scott County, Iowa sometime between 1850 and 1860. He started as a clerk in a store in 1860 and was the Superintendent of the Street Railway by 1870.  By 1880, he was the Superintendent of the Centre City Railway in Milwaukee and by 1892 he was the Superintendent of the Stillwater Street Railway in Stillwater, Minnesota. I have not been able to determine if he "owned" any of these railways, but from my research, I have confirmed that he was definitely involved in building and running them.

William married Selinda Scott and had two children - Zora (who married into the Staples family of Stillwater, Minnesota) and Lawrence. Sometime before 1900, the Hewitt family moved to Seattle, Washington. Lawrence lived there and worked as an electrician and car dealer. He married during that time, but divorced soon after. It appears he did not have any children. He died sometime after 1920.

The photo of Lawrence was taken by Photographer Phil E Thuemmler,  387 Broadway. He was active in Dubuque, Iowa from 1856-1865 and Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1871-1883. (However, I did not find the Broadway address.) Since the Hewitts moved to Milwaukee sometime between the 1870 and 1880 Federal Censuses, this would fit with the approximate date of 1875.

Although Lawrence is not a direct relative, it was fascinating to learn about his father's career and his sister Zora's life. Fortunately, due to their social standing their were many articles in which they are mentioned. I am very glad that I found this photo, prompting me to look further into this very interesting family. I have never seen a photo of the rest of the family. Considering their wealth, there is no doubt that family photos must have existed at one time. Hopefully, they survived and will eventually surface in the course of my research.

**If you liked this post, please visit Sepia Saturday for more great photos.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Freddie Moore c.1911

Fred Willard Calvin Moore (1908-1997)
This week's "Sepia Saturday" photo is a studio shot of my paternal grandfather Fred Moore. He was born and raised in Washington State, so I assume that is where "Christy Studio" was located. I haven't been able to find any information on it yet. If any of you have heard of it, please comment.
Fred was the first born of Willard Calvin and Blanche (Purdy) Moore. His parents were pretty well-to-do, so I have a lot of photos of him and his younger brother Jack, but this is one of my favorites. I love all the little details like his outfit, his feet (posed?), the little table he is leaning on, the flourish of the studio signature and, most of all, his little face.
Fred claimed that his mother wanted a girl so desperately that she dressed him in girl's clothes for the first few years of his life. However, in this photo, I think he looks very much like a boy in every way.
I am guessing he is about 3 1/2 here, which would make it the latter half of 1911.
What do you think?
(You can see him all grown up here in a recent "Wordless Wednesday" submission.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Brothers

Tony and Sid Moore, Gabriola Island c.1944