Mystery Monday: Tressa Cullen and Eidlh Cullen

Tressa and Eidlh Cullen, 5 November 1937, Chicago, Illinois
Tressa and Eidlh Cullen, 5 November 1937, Chicago, Illinois


This photo was found in with the treasures of the Lee family. ( See “Family Trees” drop down menu or for pedigree and names, plus articles pertaining to this family.)

The back of this photo of Tressa Cullen and Eidlh Cullen states “Friends of Grandma Aiken, Nov. 5, 1937, Chicago.”

‘Grandma Aiken’ would most probably have been  Dora J. (Russell) Aiken, married to William H. Aiken, since the images were in the possession of Gene and Vada (Kovich) Lee; they may have noted the information about the picture. Dora lived in the household of her daughter, Dorothy “Dottie” (Aiken) Lee, with Dottie’s husband Samuel Lee and their son, Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee. Gene’s first wife Ruth Nadine (Alexander) Lee lived in the household too after their marriage in 1929, as did their son, Robert Eugene “Bob” Lee, born in 1932. Dora was listed in the 1920 and 1930 US Federal Censuses as a widow (she and her husband had separated between the 1910 census and 1917) and living with her daughter and her family.

Interestingly, Dora Aiken, who was born in 1864, died in 1935, two years before this picture was taken. Perhaps the family kept in touch with the Cullens even after Dora’s death? Or maybe the year is wrong.

Any information about these sweet ladies would be appreciated. Are  they sisters or mother and daughter? A quick search on did not turn up any information.


Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Lee Family photo collection.


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4 thoughts on “Mystery Monday: Tressa Cullen and Eidlh Cullen”

  1. Gene and Ruth were friends of my mother and father, Henrietta and Walter Reuter. I have reprinted photos of Ruth and Gene and Henrietta when they were in Colorado in 1940.

    1. Hi Jeff- How exciting to hear from you! We also have photos from their time in Colorado- would be great to compare. You could tell us some of the ‘mystery people’ we have wondered about for so long.

      1. I remember that Gene and Bob would bring fireworks to the home of Mildred and Pete Peterson in Affton, MO on July 4th. in the fifty’s. The Petersons were good friends of our family. I can also remember Gene inviting us out on a yacht owned by a drug company and we motored up the Mississippi for a while. That was around 1960 when I was 16. The negatives from the Colorado trip that I have printed were stashed in old envelopes that Henrietta kept. I don’t know what happened to the original prints. She died in 2011 at the age of 97. I found the negatives and printed them in my darkroom along with other photos that look to be from that same time. They show Henrietta’s mother Hilda Molin and stepfather Algot Molin and his 1939 Dodge. There is also a photo of a sign post in Victor,CO. with directions to Florence, Divide, and Cripple Creek. I have scanned a print of Gene, Henrietta and Ruth and a 1940 Pontiac with 1940 Missouri plates and would like to post it.

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