Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Workday Wednesday - Photographers - Unknown Mt. Vernon, IL Girl 1886

I have been sadly missing from this blog for sometime now, but life just seems to get in the way - there are only so many hours in the day and days in the week!  I recently posted this cabinet card from 1886 on my other blog, ForgottenFacesandLongAgoPlaces, of an unknown young woman who had her picture taken by well-known Mt. Vernon photographer James Hitchcock.  Although this girl is most likely no relation to me I decided to re-post to this blog.  Who knows, perhaps someone will recognize her and we can solve the mystery of her identity!

When I saw this cabinet card come up for sale on eBay, I knew I had to have it. This beautiful young woman with the winsome look on her face had her photo taken by Mr. & Mrs. Jas. Hitchcock of Mt. Vernon, Ills, my hometown. I am fascinated with the photography of Major James Hitchcock who lived and worked in Jefferson County, Il from about 1870 until his death in 1916. I have collected a few of his photographs, but this is by far my favorite to date.

When I received this photo in the mail I was excited to see that there was handwriting on the back and thought that the subject was identified. Upon closer examination, sadly it appears that the words say, "got home from Bonnie (or Rome) this AM Aug 30th 1886." Such a disappointment, but at least it helps to date the photograph.

Major James Hitchcock was a well-known Mt. Vernon citizen, coming to the city in 1870 from Indiana after the Civil War. He was born in Gibson County, Indiana in December 1843 to John William and Margaret (Brasher) Hitchcock. In 1862 he enlisted in the 71st Indiana Infantry, Company E, and transferred to the 6th Indiana Cavalry in February 1863. In 1864 in a disastrous attempt to release prisoners held at the notorious Andersonville, GA prisoner of war camp, he and 2,000 others were captured by Confederate troops and was himself held as a P.O.W. for nine months. He was taken from Andersonville to "somewhere in Florida" along with other prisoners where they were able to make their escape along the way.

In May of 1868 in Richland County, IL he married Annie E. Gardner and by 1870 they were living in Jefferson County, IL with a one year old daughter Barbara (Ruby). A son Ray was born in 1873 and a daughter Ethel in 1879. For many years he and his wife operated an extremely successful photography studio at 219 South Tenth Street in Mt. Vernon, IL (Jefferson County). He was well respected for his craft and his photos documented most of the history of Jefferson County and the surrounding areas between 1870 - 1910. His wife died in 1912 and Hitchcock was reported to be grief-stricken. He died four years later on 2 Jan 1916 and he and his family are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Mt. Vernon.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July! - Early 1900's Celebration on Mt. Vernon, IL Town Square

Mt. Vernon, IL town square prob 1904 - 1910

This real photo postcard depicts the Mt. Vernon, IL town square in the early 1900's, most likely between 1904 and 1910. It appears to be celebration of some sort, there are what appear to be women of the Salvation Army or a similar organization standing in line in the front of the card.  There are numerous other people milling about including at least one child carrying the American Flag.  I am not certain as to the exact location on the square, but I believe the courthouse to be to the right.  

I am basing my dating of this card on several things.  First of all it is unfortunate that the card was not postmarked and mailed, but the Azo Card Company used different stamp box marks during different time periods.  This stamp box (see picture below) has four diamonds in the corners all pointing upwards which means this card could have been produced between 1904 and 1918.   Secondly, there are horse and buggies in this picture and no motor cars which were being made during this time frame.  I am sure there were people in Mt. Vernon who had motor cars as early as 1904, however not everyone could have afforded them and would still be using a horse and buggy.  Third, the other women in the photograph are wearing  shirtwaist type dresses which are more in line with the 1900 - 1910 era.  Since I know that the card was not made before 1904, I can only assume that the earliest this could have been taken was 1904 and possibly a few years after that.

It is still a wonderful piece of Mt. Vernon history and hopefully more information will be found to determine it's date and purpose.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sepia Saturday #124 - Mt. Vernon, IL Car Manufacturing Co - Car Shops

This postcard shows six (unidentified) workers from the Mt. Vernon, IL Car Manufacturing Co or better known as the "Car Shops."  It's not a miniature train like the one in Sepia Saturday's theme this week, but I thought it would be a great entry anyway.  The car shops manufactured train cars in Mt. Vernon starting in 1890 and lasting for sixty-four years. The first president of the shops was David O. Settlemire; his son-in-law Walter C. Arthurs was his secretary-treasurer.  During its heyday around 1912, 50 cars a day were rolled out.  My own great-grandfather, Joseph W. Wade was for a time a Foreman/Manager at the car shops around 1912- 1928 and was quite prosperous.

Unfortunately, this postcard was not mailed so there is no postmark date.  However, by using the symbol in the upper right hand corner on the back side of the postcard "Cyko" I was able to determine this card was made between 1906 and 1915.

Please check out the other great stories at Sepia Saturday this week.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Fern Bruce Warren Williams, Mt. Vernon, IL

Fern Bruce 1920's
Mt. Vernon Register News 28 Jun 1958

My great-grandmother, Charlotta Ruth Banks Wade Berry's half sister, Fern Bruce.  Fern was the daughter of Sarah Eva Talley and Frank Z. Bruce.  She was born 6 Jul 1900 in Mt. Vernon, IL and died 28 Jun 1958 also in Mt. Vernon.  She is buried at Oakwood Cemetery.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Travel Tuesday - Valentine Sentiment from L & N Train Station, Mt. Vernon, IL - 100 Yrs Ago Today

L & N Train Station, Mt. Vernon, IL ca 1910
Although not a Valentine's Day card, I thought this postcard of the L & N Train Depot in Mt. Vernon, Illinois sent on February 14, 1912 was very fitting for today's post.  The postcard appears to have been sent by John Barlett Jr. to his wife, Mrs. Jno. Bartlett, Jr. at 1028 W. Thorman (?) St. in Springfield, MO.  Evidently, for whatever reason he was staying in Mt. Vernon and sent this very loving message to his wife:

2/14/12:  My own darling, Rec'd your loving letter today and was more than pleased to hear from my lover. As I do not intend to come back up town tonight I bought some postals to mail instead of a letter.  Will write a long letter tomorrow night.  Am sorry indeed to hear that Eugenie is not so well.  As ever your own, John.

There is a numeral 2 circled on the back as well as  a "#2" on the front which possibly indicates this was the second of two postcards mailed.  This postcard for some reason was postmarked Feb 14, 1912 on the back and Feb, 15, 2012 on the front.  It sounds like John loved and missed his wife very much. Very romantic even though it was not a Valentine,  wish I knew what the first postcard said.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Those Places Thursday - 1954 Fort Lauderdale on Andrews Avenue

Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 1940's - 1950's

My Smith relatives (grandparents, great-grandparents, grand aunts and uncles) began moving to Fort Lauderdale, Florida from Mt. Vernon, Illinois in the 1950's.  This postcard depicts Andrews Avenue which was once a popular destination for shoppers and visitors in Fort Lauderdale.   This card which was postmarked 1954 gives a good feeling for the times.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Workday Wednesday - Mildred's Beauty Salon 1941

Ad from the Mt. Vernon (Illinois) Register News (1941) for my grand aunt Mildred Wade Smith's (1917 - 1995) beauty shop.  If you look closely under "Operators" you will see her name as well as my grandmother's Doris Smith, her sister. Doris and Mildred Wade, sisters, were married to two brothers, Diamond (my grandfather) and Claude Smith. They lived in Mt. Vernon for most of their lives until they moved to Fort Lauderdale, FL in the 1950-60's where Aunt Millie opened another salon, the Curl & Swirl.

Millie and Doris - Ft. Lauderdale 1954

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Those Places Thursday - Jordan Street - Mt. Vernon, IL

A postcard depicting Jordan Street East from 8th Street in Mt. Vernon, IL circa 1910.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Cecil Bruce Jackson Stewart - Mt. Vernon, IL

Cecil Bruce Jackson Stewart
Born:  18 Mar 1894 Jefferson Co, IL
Died:  23 Jan 1921 Mt. Vernon, Jefferson Co, IL
Mother:  Anna Osborn
Father:  Frank Z. Bruce

She was my great-great grandmother Sarah Eva Talley Bruce's step-daughter.   Such a short sad life, she died at the age of twenty-six of double pneumonia.  When she was only nineteen years old her first husband Will Jackson died in 1913 in an accident in the railroad yards in Chester, IL leaving her with one son Ray who was born the same year.  On 17 Sep 1918 she married Charles Robert Stewart of Mt. Vernon, a widower with four children.  She had one child with Charles Stewart, a son Charles Edwin Stewart born in 1920.  She had one full sister Opal Bruce Ward and four half-sisters, Fern, Wade, Nina and Edna Bruce.  She is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Mt. Vernon.

Cecil Bruce abt age 10  ca 1905
Mt Vernon Register News 24 Jan 1921

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Those Places Thursday - Porter & Bonds Drugs - Mt. Vernon, IL

Another postcard depicting Porter & Bond Drugs in Mt. Vernon, IL on the corner of South Union and Broadway (tenth & Broadway today, see Tom Puckett's book).  I don't remember this drugstore, but I do recognize this building. The first picture is the postcard I purchased and I'm guessing this picture was taken either in the 1930's or 1940's. I'm  not an expert on old cars so any help nailing down the time I would appreciate.

The second picture is a drawing from the June 24, 1893 issue of the Mt. Vernon Daily Register. According to the corresponding article, "Dr. S. S. Porter, of St. Louis, and Rufus J. Bond, are the proprietors of the drug store at the southwest corner of the square.  This firm carries an immense stock of drugs, paints, oils, glass, wall paper and patent medicines.  The resident manager, Mr. Bond, is one of our solid, substantial citizens and is in for everything that will improve Mt. Vernon."

According to William Henry Perrin*  Rufus J. Bond, was born 11 Nov 1847 in Shiloh Township, a son of Michael Bond, a native of North Carolina who came to this county in 1829.  Rufus was educated in Jefferson County and began clerking in the drug store of Samuel S. Porter at the age of twenty-two.  By 1893 he was a partner with a half-interest in the store.

From the Saturday Herald (Decatur, IL) 25 Feb 1888, Porter & Bond was one of the many buildings in Mt. Vernon that was totally destroyed by the cyclone that hit Mt. Vernon on 20 Feb 1888.

*History of Jefferson County Illinois, 1883, Chicago, Globe Publishing Co.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Travel Tuesday - Visit in Detroit with Wave & Jack Warner

I found this little clip in the Mt. Vernon Register News Column called "As You Were" which goes back in time and prints items from the past.  On 11 July 1952, this item was printed under "25 Years Ago Today" which means this was originally dated 11 July 1927.  The people referred to in this news clip are my great-great-grandmother Sarah Eva Talley (Mrs. Frank Bruce) and her daughter Edna.  They were visiting her daughter Wave Bruce Warner who was married to Detroit Tigers third baseman, Jack Warner.

11 July 1927 Mt. Vernon, IL Register News

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Wave Bruce Warner

My grandmother, Doris Smith's aunt, her mother's half sister, Wave Bruce Warner, she was the daughter of Frank Zopher Bruce and Sarah Eva (Talley) Bruce.  Her husband was Jack Warner, baseball scout from Los Angeles and former Detroit Tigers' 3rd baseman 1925 - 1928.

Wave Bruce Warner 1920's
Wave B. Warner
Mt. Vernon

Wave B. Warner, 89, Mt. Vernon, died 6:44 p.m. May 10, 1991, at Good Samaritan Regional Health Center.  Mrs. Warner was born Feb. 26, 1902, in Jefferson County, a daughter of Frank Z. and Sarah Eva (Talley) Bruce. July 27, 1925, in Los Angeles, she married John R. "Jack" Warner, who died March 13, 1986.

Services will be 2 p.m. Sunday at the chapel at Mt. Vernon Memorial Gardens with J. Howard Kraps officiating. Burial will follow in Mt. Vernon Memorial Gardens.  Friends may call after 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the chapel in Mt. Vernon Memorial Gardens.

Mrs. Warner is survived by several nephews, nieces, great-nephews, and great-nieces.  Mrs. Warner was a member of First Presbyterian Church.  She was preceded in death by her parents and six sisters.  Memorials may be made to the Jefferson County Heart Association and will be accepted by Hughey Funeral Home at any time.  Hughey Funeral Home is in charge of the services.

Source: Mount Vernon Register News
Date:  May 11, 1991

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Those Places Thursday - Broadway - Mt. Vernon, IL

This postcard from my collection circa 1900 - 1910 depicts Broadway, one of the main streets in Mt. Vernon, IL looking East from 10th Street.  The Courthouse would be on the left corner behind the trees and lamppost.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Those Places Thursday - Maid Rite Drive-In - Mt. Vernon, IL

Maid-Rite Drive-In, Mt. Vernon, IL ca 1957
I bought this postcard of the Maid Rite Drive-In in Mt. Vernon, IL where I grew up and I swear I remember this place from my childhood, but can't picture where it is.  According to obituaries in the Mt. Vernon Register News, it was owned and operated by Fred and Rosemarie Lampp for many years.  Rosemarie died in 2005 and Fred in 2008.  I also found this information on another blog site, Jerry's Place,  and according to the poster the restaurant was "out on old Fairfield Road around the next curve was the Maid-Rite Cafe. It would have been next door west to what is now a radio/television supply company. The building was a pre-fab military surplus building made of plywood and had flat steel bracing. I think the old concrete pad is still there where the building used to be. It was a sit down eating place , not a drive-in, that had a full menu and the first place I ever saw them sell the sandwich known as the "Maid-Rite".

The back of the postcard says "Closed Mondays, Specializing in Tendorized Hickory Barbecued Ribs (the Rib that's different--there's meat on it), Barbecued Pork Tenderloin, Beef and Chicken.  Steaks, Chops, Chicken Dinners.  Variety of good Sandwiches.  Phone 501 for Quicker Service on dinners or sandwiches.  Will also furnish Food for Picnics or Parties.  Courteous Service."  The postcard was mailed and is dated December 1957.  There is also a name and return address of 747 Fairfield Road which may be the address of the Maid-Rite.

CORRECTION:  After receiving a comment from a reader who pointed out there was a Maid-Rite Drive-In on 10th Street in Mt. Vernon, I did some more research and found newspaper ads and articles between 1951 and 1957 showing a Maid-Rite Drive-In located at 751 Fairfield Road, Grover C. Cook, Proprietor.  In May of 1957 it appears the contents were placed for sale.  Starting in 1961 I found ads for a Maid-Rite located at 10th and Conger, Fred and Rosemarie Lampp, owners.  So my information above that the Lampps were the owners of this property seems to be incorrect, instead it was Grover C. Cook.  Thanks for commenting!  1/11/12
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