Thursday, December 20, 2012

Vintage Christmas Greetings

This undated Christmas card was among the items belonging to Marion Louise Moran.  I don't know if it was sent to Louise or if she was the recipient.  Someone has written "lougie" on the inside, was that a nickname for Louise?

The interior has some cute artwork.  Originally there were three ribbons that at one time would've been the belt of the dresses and tied in bows.  One of the ribbons is missing. At first I thought it might have been based on the Three Little Maids Are We but down in the corner it says "Five Little Bills".  Some research did result in finding a children's book written in 1910 called The Dream Adventures of Little Bill.  Perhaps that was the inspiration for this piece.

Toy Boats and Easter Pictures ca. 1915

Here are two photographs of James Henderson Moran IV.  He was born April 7, 1913, the oldest child of James H. Moran III and Virginia Shumate.   In this photograph he almost looks like a cupie doll to me and he's holding a toy boat.  

The next photograph was taken in Memphis Tennessee at Milloy Photography Studio.  He's holding a small Easter Basket and wearing a Little Lord Fauntleroy style suit that was popular at the time.  He's also wearing white hosiery underneath those short pants and I just love the button up shoes.  The only thing that seems missing is the straw hat.
The photograph was annotated:  I came to bring you Easter joy and brought my basket to help gather eggs.  With kisses From James.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mason Harrell Ezzell ca 1915

It's always wonderful to come across a picture that has been annotated but sometimes that presents more questions than it answers.  We have a baby picture and on the back is written "Mason Harrell Ezzell 3 months and 4 days old".  I thought for sure it would be easy to figure out who this baby was and where he belonged on the family tree but I'm a bit stymied.

My best guess is that he is the son of Robert Andrew Ezzell Sr. and Susan Harrell.  Robert's father was Mason Ezzell.  I had assumed that the baby's name was a combination of his grandfather and his mother's maiden name creating Mason Harrell Ezzell.  The photographers mark is Dyersburg Tennessee and it looks like it says "Darnell" for the studio.  Robert and Susan were married in Dyersburg in 1900 and were living in Dyersburg up into the 1920's. Which seems like a good indicator that I have the right Ezzells. However, I can't find where they had a son by that name.  There is a Thomas Mason Ezzell and a James Harrell Ezzell but that's as close as it gets.

So I began looking at the other Ezzell's who might have had a baby around the same time period but that didn't work out either.  My best hope is that some day an Ezzell descendant will do a web search and come across this page and hopefully be able to clear up the mystery about Mason Harrell Ezzell.

I keep coming back to speculation.  If it is a son of Robert and Susan perhaps it's a case of changing their mind on the name.  Perhaps this could be Thomas Mason or James Harrell.  Perhaps it could be a child they had that died young and doesn't appear in any records that I've been able to find.  Whatever the case may be, he was a cute little thing.

Of course the other connection to the Moran family is not just via the Ezzell name.  The Moran's have their own Harrells: Charles Harrell Moran and Nathan Harrell Moran, my husbands great uncle and his father.

Monday, December 17, 2012

1929 Dresden High School Football Team

We can thank James H. Moran IV for hanging onto this photograph and I'm really appreciative that he annotated the back with the names of the folks in the picture!  By the way, he's in the front row, third from the left.

Front Row, left to right: **please note that there are six people in the front row, James only listed five names!)

Second Row, left to right:

Third Row, left to right:
Press CALVERT, Snooks SMITH, Jim STRAWBRIDGE, Prof. W.W. CHURM, Norman HALE, "Cotton" DEASON, "Shiek" FERGUSON

This is a closeup of the 1929 football being held by Delbert Palmer.

The letter sweater is being worn by Clyde STRAWBRIDGE.

Here's the backside of the picture with the annotations.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Children of Frances McLean (Mackey) Shumate

The inscription says Frances McLean Thomas, Age four months and three weeks however this cute little baby is also known as Marion Frances THOMAS.  She was the daughter of James Vernon THOMAS and his first wife Frances McLean (Mackey) SHUMATE, 1887 -1965.  Mackey was born in Tennessee and died in California.  At this time the location of where she is buried is unknown. She was the daughter of Quincy SHUMATE and Louise Elizabeth McLean.  Mackey was a shortened version of her middle name, McLean.

Frances McLean Thomas aka
Marion Frances Thomas
Her daughter Frances was born in 1913 and died in 1972.   We think that in all likelihood the divorce was acrimonious and perhaps Mackey was even painted as being an unfit mother since her daughter remained in the custody of her ex-husband, James Vernon THOMAS.  It's also very likely that her name was originally Frances McLean Thomas just as it's written above but after the divorce which occurred before 1919 as that's when he remarried,  was changed to Marion Frances Thomas. Of course this is all just speculation on our part and we could be wrong.  Frances married Collin Lyle DURHAM.  She is our second cousin, once removed.

Mackey and James were married in 1909.  After the divorce he married Rebecca SPICER and they had three children James Thomas Jr, Robert Spicer and Elizabeth Ann.

Thomas Ogilvie MacPherson III,
half brother of
Frances McLean THOMAS

Mackey's second husband was Thomas Ogilvie MACPHERSON II.  They lived in California and had one child, Thomas Ogilvie MACPHERSON III.   His father was listed as an "inmate" at the Patton State Hospital for the Insane in the 1940 Census.  His father died in Riverside California on March 2, 1982.  Sadly, I discovered today that Thomas the third died at the age of 23 from head injuries sustained in an automobile accident.  He had enlisted in the Air Force  Jan. 12, 1951.  He re-enlisted on February 9, 1952 and was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. He died on July 1, 1952.  He was a 2nd Lieutenant..  Interestingly enough on the South Carolina Death Certificate for Thomas the third it indicates that his father was deceased when in actuality he was very much alive and would survive his son and wife.  We speculate that back in the fifties the stigma of mental illness was probably so great that he would not have been a suitable candidate for the military, particularly since he was an officer.  So it seems probable that he and his mother had lied about his father being dead.