Friday’s Faces from the Past: Curmudgeon Day

Benjamin Family, McMurray Family, Lee Family, Helbling Family (Click for Family Tree)

W. C. Fields (above) was a curmudgeon, and on the anniversary of his birth on 29 February 1880, we celebrate all the curmudgeons we know and love- or try to love.

What is a curmudgeon, you may ask? Generally described as a complaining, crotchety, critical old man, in the interest of equal rights we will include women as possibilities too. “Snarling contempt” is a good phrase that can describe the opinions, attitudes, and writings of curmudgeons. The very best curmudgeons, however, will add a bit of humor or dry wit to their scathing words, and give us an insight into the human condition; sometimes they even make a career out of it.

W. C. Fields is famous for many a curmudgeonly phrase, some from his movies, and some said on his own while in character (he was said to personally be a kind man). Many other quotes have been attributed to him but may not be really his words. Here are a few of his most famous:

 “I never vote for anybody, I always vote against.”
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.
If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.”
And the quote that sums up his character:
I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.

Title page of the First Folio, 1623. Copper engraving of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout. Public domain, via Wikipedia.
Title page of the First Folio, 1623. Copper engraving of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout. Public domain, via Wikipedia.

The characters of William Shakespeare issued their share of curmudgeonly insults to each other long before- and now after- W. C. Fields:

There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.” (from Henry V)

Thine face is not worth sunburning.” (from Henry V)

Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage.” (from As You Like It)

You are as a candle, the better burnt out.(from Henry IV, Part 1)

Nowadays, we may have to extend the definition of ‘curmudgeon’ to include cartoons (Lucy always complaining and nagging Charlie Brown), puppets (Oscar the Grouch), and even internet memes (Grumpy Cat). And when you put two together you get…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDUyazvnLkc

Isn’t the internet wonderful??

We all know some curmudgeons, and likely have a few in the family, though it is doubtful that any of our dear readers would fit into that category.  We won’t name (many) names, but we do have a few ancestors who are long gone that we could possibly honor as Curmudgeons on this very special day.

OK, OK, it’s not really that special a day, as any true curmudgeon would proclaim.

Samuel J. Lee in His Drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri, possibly 1940s or 1950s?
Samuel J. Lee in His Drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri, possibly 1940s or 1950s?

Samuel J. Lee (1879-1964) ran a drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri. As the neighborhood changed and got quite a bit rougher, it is understandable that he might have turned a bit curmudgeonly. Only apparently Sam sort of was that way even before. A nephew who worked for him said that it did not take much to get Sam upset. He actually had a peephole in the wall of the drugstore- something common to many stores so that an owner could truly ‘keep an eye’ on things. The nephew stated, however, that Sam would monitor his work performance through the peephole, to make sure he did not dish out too much ice cream to a customer at the soda fountain, or even worse, sample the ice cream himself.

Sam was a quiet man, according to another family member. He didn’t talk much, and in the evenings would just go sit in the sunroom of the house on Alamo, read his paper and smoke a cigar. So maybe he was more a quiet man, and people just took that silence as curmudgeonly?

Gerard William "G.W." Helbling in his garden in St. Louis, Missouri. Date unknown, likely 1920s.
Gerard William “G.W.” Helbling in his garden in St. Louis, Missouri. Date unknown, likely 1920s.

Gerard William “G. W.” Helbling (1882-1971) did not have the benefit of much formal education, but he was a brilliant man. That brilliance could drive some people crazy, though, like one of his daughters. She said he always had a criticism for a movie, an article, or whatever. He would explain how it could not really happen, why it wasn’t true, the facts that were missing, or how it was biased. He was most likely right, as he was a prodigious reader and knowledgeable about a whole lot of things. He would often guess what would happen next, and spoil the plot line.

He could be a very loving man, however, and the love he showed for his dear wife, Anna May (Beerbower) Helbling, was the kind of love women (ok, men too) dream about.

So maybe we can’t officially call him a curmudgeon? Maybe just a part-time curmudgeon, who was usually right.

Hannah Melissa Benjamin with her great-grandson, Edward A. McMurray, Jr., about 1926.
Hannah Melissa Benjamin with her great-grandson, Edward A. McMurray, Jr., about 1926.

We don’t really know enough about Hannah Melissa “Malissa” (Benjamin) McMurray (1854-1932) to officially proclaim her a curmudgeon. We don’t know that she was a complainer- her life was filled with work on the farm until her mid-fifties, and raising five children. She must have been a special woman to have endured it all, and some complaints, if any, should be excused.

But asking a descendant to identify the above picture was interesting. There was no name, and the informant was the young great-grandson pictured with Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray above. At first he did not recognize her through the fading lenses and memories of the 70+ years that had passed since that picture was taken. Then he looked up, in a somewhat taken aback fashion, when asked if it could be Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray. (Possibilities had been narrowed time-wise.) “Yes,” he replied. “She was VERY stern.” He was one who always gave people the benefit of the doubt, but apparently she curbed the enthusiasm of a toddler quite significantly, and he remembered it deeply when asked so many years later. He wouldn’t elaborate on whether that sternness was due to her complaining or just silently expecting him to toe the line; so maybe she was a pseudo-curmudgeon.

Headstone of Jonathan Benjamin (1738-1841) in Old Colony Burial Ground, Granville, Licking County, Ohio, with permission of photographer.
Headstone of Jonathan Benjamin (1738-1841) in Old Colony Burial Ground, Granville, Licking County, Ohio, with kind permission of photographer.

Jonathan Benjamin (1739-1841) was the third-great grandfather of Malissa (Benjamin) McMurray. Maybe Malissa got some of his ‘stern’ DNA.

The 1881 tome (816 pages!) compiled by N. N. Hill, Jr. called “History of Licking County, O., Its Past and PresentContaining a Condensed, Comprehensive History of Ohio, Including an Outline History of the Northwest, a Complete History of Licking County … a History of Its Soldiers in the Late War … Biographies and Histories of Pioneer Families, [and it goes on…]” tells Jonathan’s story the best:

Jonathan Benjamin was in some respects an extraordinary man. He was a person of rather coarse features, but of strong muscular powers, with a still stronger will. He was very determined in all his undertakings, and of an unforgiving temperament. Having passed through the French and Indian wars, and through the war of the Revolution, and having suffered much and long by Indian depredations, both in the loss of friends and property, the finer feelings of his nature had become blunted to such an extent that he seemed to have lost most of his sympathy for his fellow man. Still he was a man of religious habits, and of good morals, but was generally considered to be a man that was naturally morose and unsociable, and was not known through life to have expressed his forgiveness of the Indian race…. Mrs. Benjamin possessed social qualities that in great measure compensated for lack of them in her husband.”

Jonathan had lived through Indian wars in New York (and/or New Jersey), Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, as well as in Licking and Fairfield Counties, Ohio. He witnessed his family members killed or carried off in Indian raids, and he had fought in military battles from at least the age of fourteen. He lived to be 102 years, 10 months, and 12 days old, and his demeanor never mellowed. His curmudgeonly attitude was likely fueled by the sorrows and hardships he had experienced in his long life. We can put on our psychiatrist hats and say maybe he was covering up the pain. Or maybe he was a quintessential curmudgeon?

It is hard to actually know if these folks were truly curmudgeons or not, as we only have a part of the story. They all had hard lives, so I do apologize to them if they were not curmudgeonly just for the sake of curmudgeon-ness.

So, who will you honor today on “Curmudgeon Day”??

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. W. C. Fields image via Warehouse 13 Wiki at http://warehouse13.wikia.com/wiki/File:W-C-Fields.jpg. CC-BY-SA license.
  2. Shakespearean insults from http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/resources/shakespeare-insults/
  3. The “remainder biscuit after voyage” refers to the saltwater-soaked, then dried out, wormy biscuits that are all that is left for sailors and travelers to eat at the end of a very long voyage on board ship.
  4. Jon Winokur wrote The Portable Curmudgeon and a variety of sequels which are just delightful if you enjoy this genre of humor and quotations.
  5.  Previous posts about Sam Lee include:
    http://heritageramblings.net/2014/10/05/sundays-obituary-samuel-j-lee/
    http://heritageramblings.net/2013/12/13/five-family-photos-for-friday-samuel-j-lee-of-st-louis-missouri/
    http://heritageramblings.net/2013/12/19/those-places-thursday-samuel-j-lee-and-son-pharmacy-st-louis-missouri/
    http://heritageramblings.net/2014/10/02/those-places-thursday-aiken-family-homes/
    http://heritageramblings.net/2014/07/02/wordless-wednesday-lee-family-clock/
  6. History of Licking County, O., Its Past and PresentContaining a Condensed, Comprehensive History of Ohio, Including an Outline History of the Northwest, a Complete History of Licking County … a History of Its Soldiers in the Late War … Biographies and Histories of Pioneer Families, Etc., compiled by N. N. Hill, A. A. Graham & Co., 1881 may be found at  https://books.google.com/books?id=_Xw8AAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false. Jonathan Benjamin bio on p. 602.
  7. Jonathan Benjamin obituary: “A Veteran”in  Hazzards US Commercial Statistical Register, Vol. 5, 1841/2, page 335, public domain. Heath Trust- http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044097928162;view=1up;seq=353

 

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Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Labor Day: Celebrating the Labors of Our Ancestors

First Labor Day Parade in the US, 5 Sep 1882 in New York City. Via Wikimedia.
First Labor Day Parade in the US, 5 Sep 1882 in New York City. Via Wikimedia. (Click to enlarge.)

 

Labor Day officially became a federal holiday in the United States in 1894. “The Gilded Age” included the rise of big business, like the railroads and oil companies, but laborers fought- sometimes literally- for their rights in the workplace. Grover Cleveland signed the law to honor the work and contributions, both economic and for society, of the American laborer. Celebrated on the first Monday in September, ironically the holiday was a concession to appease the American worker after the government tried to break up a railroad strike but failed.

The Labor Day weekend is a good time to think about our ancestors and the work they did to help move our country and their own family forward.

Jefferson Springsteen was a mail carrier through the wilds of early Indiana, traveling for miles on horseback through spring freshets (full or flooding streams from snow melt), forest, and Indian villages. Samuel T. Beerbower, who would be a some-number-great uncle depending on your generation, was the Postmaster in Marion, Ohio, for many years. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Edward B. Payne, circa 1874. Image courtesy of Second Congregational Church, Wakeman, Ohio.
Edward B. Payne, Pastor, circa 1874. Image courtesy of Second Congregational Church, Wakeman, Ohio.

Bad weather, gloom of night, ocean crossings in the mid 1800s, and the threat of disease or injury did not stay our minister, deacon, and missionary ancestors from their appointed rounds either- especially since the felt they were appointed by a higher power. We have quite a number of very spiritual men in the family. Henry Horn became a Methodist circuit rider after coming to America as a Hessian soldier, being captured by George Washington’s troops in Trenton, NJ, then taking an Oath of Allegiance to the United States, and serving in the Revolutionary Army. The family migrated from Virginia to the wilds of western Pennsylvania sometime between 1782 and 1786. A story is told of how he was riding home from a church meeting in the snow. The drifts piled up to the body of the horse, and they could barely proceed on, but Henry did, and was able to preach another day. He founded a church Pleasantville, Bedford Co., Pennsylvania that still stands, and has a congregation, even today. Edward B. Payne and his father, Joseph H. Payne, Kingsley A. Burnell and his brother Thomas Scott Burnell were all ministers, some with formal schooling, some without. Edward B. Payne gave up a lucrative pastorate because he thought the church members were wealthy and educated enough that they did not need him. He moved to a poor church in an industrial town, where he was needed much more, however, he may have acquired his tuberculosis there. He also risked his life, and that of his family, by sheltering a woman from the domestic violence of her husband, and he testified on her behalf.

Abraham Green was one of the best tailors in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1900s, and many in the Broida family, such as John Broida and his son Phillip Broida, plus Phillip’s daughter Gertrude Broida Cooper, worked in the fine clothing industry.

Edgar Springsteen worked for the railroad, and was often gone from the family. Eleazer John “E.J.” Beerbower worked for the railroads making upholstered cars- he had been a buggy finisher previously, both highly skilled jobs.

Sheet music cover for "Bless Your Ever Loving Little Heart," from "The Slim Princess."
Sheet music cover for “Bless Your Ever Loving Little Heart,” from “The Slim Princess.” (Click to enlarge.)

The theater called a number of our collateral kin (not direct lines, but siblings to one of our ancestors): Max Broida was in vaudeville, and known in films as “Buster Brodie.” Elsie Janis, born Elsie Beerbower, was a comedienne, singer, child star in vaudeville, “Sweetheart of the A.E.F” as she entertained the troops overseas in World War I, and then she went on to write for films. Max Broida also did a stint in the circus, as did Jefferson Springsteen, who ran away from home as “a very small boy” to join the circus (per his obituary).

Collateral Lee family from Irthlingborough, England, included shoemakers, as that was the specialty of the town. They brought those skills to Illinois, and some of those tools have been handed down in the family- strange, unknown tools in an inherited tool chest turned out to be over 100 years old!

Will McMurray and his wife Lynette Payne McMurray owned a grocery store in Newton, Iowa. Ella V. Daniels Roberts sold eggs from her chickens, the butter she made from the cows she milked, and her delicious pies at the McMurray store. Franz Xavier Helbling and some of his brothers and sons were butchers in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, and had their own stores.

Some of our ancestors kept hotels or taverns. Joseph Parsons (a Burnell ancestor) was issued a license to operate an ‘ordinary’ or “house of entertainment” in 1661 in Massachusetts, and Samuel Lenton Lee was listed as “Keeps hotel” and later as a saloon keeper in US Federal censuses. Jefferson Springsteen had a restaurant at the famous Fulton Market in Brooklyn, NY in the late 1840s.

From left: Edgar B. Helbling, (Anna) "May" Helbling, Vi Helbling, and Gerard William Helbling, on Flag Day 1914.
From left: Edgar B. Helbling, (Anna) “May” Helbling, Vi Helbling, and Gerard William Helbling, on Flag Day 1914. Note ‘Undertaker’ sign- yes, it was all done in his home. (Click to enlarge.)

Many of our family had multiple jobs. William Gerard Helbling (AKA Gerard William Helbling or “G.W.”) listed himself as working for a theater company, was an artist, then an undertaker, and finally a sign painter. George H. Alexander was artistic as well- he created paintings but also worked as a lighting designer to pay the bills.

Sometimes health problems forced a job change. Edward B. Payne was a Union soldier, librarian, and then a pastor until he was about 44 when his respiratory problems from tuberculosis forced him to resign the pulpit. For the rest of his life he did a little preaching, lecturing, and writing. He also became an editor for a number of publications including, “The Overland Monthly,” where he handed money over from his own pocket (per family story) to pay the young writer Jack London for his first published story. Edward B. Payne even founded a Utopian colony called Altruria in California! He and his second wife, Ninetta Wiley Eames Payne, later owned and conducted adult ‘summer camps’ that were intellectual as well as healthy physically while camping in the wild and wonderful northern California outdoors.

Other times, health problems- those of other people- are what gave our ancestors jobs:  Edward A. McMurray and his brother Herbert C. McMurray were both physicians, as was John H. O’Brien (a Helbling ancestor), who graduated from medical school in Dublin, Ireland, and came to America in 1832. He settled in western Pennsylvania, still wild and in the midst of a cholera epidemic that was also sweeping the nation; he had his work cut out for him. (It appears he did not get the same respect as other doctors because he was Irish, and this was pre-potato famine.) Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee and his father Samuel J. Lee owned a drugstore in St. Louis, as did Gene’s brother-in-law, Claude Aiken. Edith Roberts McMurray Luck worked as a nurse since she received a degree in biology in 1923.

We have had many soldiers who have helped protect our freedom, and we will honor some of those persons on Veterans Day.

We cannot forget the farmers, but they are too numerous to name them all! Even an urban family often had a large garden to supplement purchased groceries, but those who farmed on a larger scale included George Anthony Roberts, Robert Woodson Daniel, David Huston Hemphill, Amos Thomas, etc., etc. We even have a pecan farmer in the Lee family- William Hanford Aiken, in Waltham County, Mississippi, in the 1930s-40s.

Lynette Payne, December 1909, wearing a purple and lavender silk dress.
Lynette Payne, December 1909, wearing a purple and lavender silk dress. (Click to enlarge.)

We must also, “Remember the ladies” as Abigail Adams entreated her husband John Adams as he helped form our new nation. He/they did not, so 51% of the population-women- were not considered citizens except through their fathers or husbands. Many of these women, such as Lynette Payne McMurray, labored to get women the right to vote, equal pay, etc. (Lynette ‘walked the talk’ too- she was the first woman to ride a bicycle in Newton, Iowa! Not so easy when one thinks about the clothing involved.) Some men, like her father, Edward B. Payne, put their energy into the women’s suffrage movement as well. Many of our ancestors worked for the abolition movement too, including the Payne and Burnell families.

A woman worked beside her husband in many families, although she would get little credit for it. Who cooked the meals and cleaned the rooms for the Lee and Parsons innkeepers? Likely their wives, who also had to keep their own home clean, laundry washed, manage a garden and often livestock- many families kept chickens even if they didn’t have a farm. They raised and educated their many children too, sometimes 13 or more. Oh yes, let’s not forget that women truly ‘labored’ to bring all those children into the world that they had made from scratch. (Building a human from just two cells makes building a barn seem somewhat less impressive, doesn’t it?) Some of them even died from that labor.

June 1942- Claude Frank Aiken and his wife Mildred Paul in their drugstore.
June 1942- Claude Frank Aiken and his wife Mildred Paul Aiken in their drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri.

Working alongside one’s husband could be frightening due to the dangers of the job. A noise in the Aiken family drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri in 1936 awoke Claude and Mildred Aiken since they lived in the back of the store. Claude look a gun and went into the store while Mildred called the police. Claude fired the gun high to frighten the intruder- Mildred must have been very scared if she was in the back, wondering who had fired the shot and if her husband was still alive. Thankfully he was, and the police were able to arrest the thief, who wanted to steal money to pay a lawyer to defend him in his three previous arrests for armed burglary and assault.

 

We applaud all of our ancestors who worked hard to support their family. Their work helped to make the US the largest economic power in the world, and a place immigrants would come to achieve their ‘American dream.’ We hope our generation, and the next, can labor to keep our country prosperous and strong.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. There are too many folks listed here to add references, but using the search box on the blog page can get you to any of the stories that have been posted about many of these persons. Of course, there is always more to come, so stay tuned!

 

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Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Wishful Wednesday: c1915 Letter to Santa from Gene Lee

Envelope to Santa from Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Lee, possibly c1915.
Envelope to Santa from Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee, possibly c1915-1919. (Click to enlarge.)

Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee was born 06 Sep 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Samuel J. Lee (1879-1964) and Dorothy Adele Aiken (1884-1953).

We are guessing that this letter was written possibly when he was about 8-11, so that would be around 1915-1919. (Kids learned to write later back then than they do now.)

Transcription:

“Gene Lee

1038 Grandview  [return address]

[To:]

North Pole

Mr. santa clau [torn paper]”

Including that return address was vital, so Santa could find his house- no GPS or online directories for Santa back then. ;D

Letter to Santa from Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Lee, possibly c1915.
Letter to Santa from Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee, possibly c1915-1919. (Click to enlarge.)

Transcription:

“Mr. santa clause

I want a hat a coat

a football a tran [train] a some [looks erased]

soldier game some books

a blackboard some games

a little santa clause.”

The request for the ‘soldier game’ may help to put the date around 1918 when World War I was in progress, although little boys always seem to want to play soldiers, whether with toy soldiers or today’s more sophisticated video war games.

Asking for a hat and coat first, necessities of life in the St. Louis winters, shows how tough economic times were at the end of the nineteen teens, and how practical people had to be everyday.

Even for Christmas.

Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Lee, age 12, 1920.
Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee, age 12, 1920. (Click to enlarge.)

 

Happy Holidays to all our family and readers!

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family treasure chest ephemera, in possession of author.

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Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
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Mystery Monday: Maria and Blackie

Maria and Blackie. "Maria/Marcia passed on Feb. 7 (Tues.) 1935. Blackie Nov. 20 - 33" on reverse.
Maria and Blackie. “Maria/Marcia passed on Feb. 7 (Tues.) 1935. Blackie Nov. 20 – 33” on reverse.

Who is Maria?  Does this really say Maria, or is it Marcia? (Don’t know of any ‘Marcia’ in the family.)

This photo was in with Lee-Aiken family papers and photos.

The reverse:

"Marcia passed on feb. 7 (Tues.) 1935. Blackie Nov. 20 - 33" - Reverse.
“Maria/Marcia passed on Feb. 7 (Tues.) 1935. Blackie Nov. 20 – 33” – Reverse.

Here are some other pictures that were in the same group. Vada (Kovich) Lee (second wife of Gene Lee, and she also lived in the Alamo house), had originally said this was Dottie Lee, but then decided it was not. She believed it to be an older version of the sunroom on Alamo, the Lee family household for generations in St. Louis, Missouri. She was unsure as to who it was, as she had not known Gene’s grandparents.

Unknown woman- possibly Maria Louisa Brandenburger?
Unknown woman- possibly same as above? Maria Louisa Brandenburger?

One possibility is that it is Maria Louisa (or Louisa Maria- Germans switched their two names about and were often called by their middle name) (Brandenburger) Lee. Maria was married to Samuel Lenton Lee, and their eldest child was Samuel J. Lee, who owned the home on Alamo. Samuel L died in June of 1932, so Maria would have been a widow after that, and possibly lived with her son or other children, or just made extended stays to St. Louis from their original home in Bunker Hill, Illinois. Maria died 06 May 1934 in Bunker Hill, not the 07 Feb 1935 as noted on the back of the first picture, but memories written on the back of pictures are not always accurate.

Unknown woman, possibly Maria Louisa Brandenburger Lee or Minnie Schoor?
Unknown woman, possibly Maria Louisa Brandenburger Lee or Minnie Schoor?

Could this be the same woman? We don’t know for sure who she is either. It would be great to find someone with these same images!

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Lee Family Treasure Chest, reviewed with Gene and Vada Lee in the 1980s.

 

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Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.



Friday’s Faces from the Past: At 1038 Grand View Place in St. Louis, Missouri

Samuel J. Lee family home at 1038 Grandview, St. Louis, Missouri, October 1922.
Samuel J. Lee family home at 1038 Grandview, St. Louis, Missouri, October 1922.

Details of a house can give one clues to pictures with no names, addresses, or dates. The first picture in this post was positively identified by Gene Lee as being their Grand View home, and he identified his mother and the place in the image below. From there we need to make educated guesses about other images in a photo album that look similar.

Dorothy (Aiken) Lee, probably in front of their home at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri.
Dorothy (Aiken) Lee, probably in front of their home at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. (Known identification of Dorothy.)

Things we know about this house:

1) It has large white rectangular stones along foundation.

05 Aug 1923, outside 1038 Grand View Place. Unknown woman.
05 Aug 1923, outside 1038 Grand View Place. Unknown woman.

2) The house has brick above the foundation, probably a red brick.

3) There are arched bricks over lower windows of the house in the basement.

4) The house has a basement.

5) Lattice surrounds the base of the porch.

April 1918, outside 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Possibly Dora Russell Aiken, who lived with her daughter's family.
April 1918, outside 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Possibly Dora Russell Aiken, who lived with her daughter’s family.

6) A wooden railing with columns surrounds the porch.

7) Height of porch is about 4 feet.

1920, Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Lee at 1038 Grandview, St. Louis, Missouri. He was about 13 in this photo.
1920, Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee at 1038 Grandview, St. Louis, Missouri. He was about 13 in this photo.

8) The front porch has wide steps.

1922- 1038 Grand View Place. Probably Dorothy (Aiken) Lee.
1922- 1038 Grand View Place. Probably Dorothy (Aiken) Lee.

9) It looks like the wild vegetation was cleared back and columns made bigger on the porch- note differences from first image, but others of these images were verified by  Gene Lee (who lived there)- he said they were 1038 Grand View Place.

10) There is a lone tree at the base of the steps.

11) A narrow sidewalk curves around the side of the house.

April 1918, outside 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Possibly Dora Russell Aiken, who lived with her daughter's family.
April 1918, outside 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Possibly Dora Russell Aiken, who lived with her daughter’s family.

11) The house appears to be on a cul-de-sac.

12) Using Google maps and street view, we can see that there is a large two-story building nearby (currently a school and may have been in the 1920s as well), plus a house nearby that has a third story window that is the maximum height for its width in the gable. (This house seems to have been demolished; the freeway is very close by now and the road was terminated.)

Using these clues, there are other images in the Lee photo album that were most probably taken at 1038 Grand View Place. Knowing who lived in the house at certain times can help us narrow the possibilities of the persons in the pictures.

May 30, 1924, Decoration Day probably in front of 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri.
May 30, 1924, Decoration Day probably in front of 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Dorothy (Aiken) Lee on left?

April, 1918. Possibly Dorothy (Aiken) Lee in front of their home at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri.
April, 1918. Possibly Dorothy (Aiken) Lee in front of their home at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Note similar house next door.

scan0339
Possibly Dora J. Russell on left with unknown woman. Probably in front of 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri, in the 1920s.

Possibly Dora J. (Russell) Aiken at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri, 1920s.
Possibly Dora J. (Russell) Aiken at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri, May 1923.

The Lees had moved on to 6704 Alamo by the time of the 1930 US Federal census.

The house is still standing, and is listed on Zillow.com as being 1,444 sq. ft. with one bathroom, built in 1908. It is located near Clayton and Berthold Streets on Grandview Place (now ‘Grand View’ is one word instead of two). Due to Google’s Terms of Service I cannot post an image of the house, but if you click here, it should take you to the image.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Photos from the Lee family treasure chest.

2) GoogleMaps street view of house today: https://www.google.com/maps/@38.6310572,-90.3012714,3a,75y,87.49h,90.75t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sZ8aSXN4kZFkCNUzY4o9ygQ!2e0