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dee_burris: (Default)
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 09:03 am
Not horse drawn conveyances this Saturday, but the automated kind.

Walter Nathan Brandon, Sr., Ruth Balding Brandon (my grand aunt) and Walter's son, Walter Nathan Brandon, Jr. Photo circa 1932/35.
 photo 110crop.jpg


The tour bus "at Glen Cove on Pike's Peak" Co. My grand aunt Marion "Murnie" Balding seated back seat, closest to camera. Photo taken 12 Aug 1929.
 photo MurnieAug1929.jpg


The Williams Grocer Co., owned by my great grandfather, Jo Desha Williams, made home deliveries. Photo taken before the business went belly-up prior to 1920.
 photo WillamsGrocerwagon.jpg

This is a Sepia Saturday post. Head over there for other old photos and postcards.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 10:22 am
I have occasionally mentioned frequently whined about my great grandmother Maxie Leah Meek's failure to label so many of the wonderful photos in her photo album.

As I initially paged through it after my mother's death in 2004, I wondered why we had so many photos of Teddy Roosevelt in our album. I can imagine that my Williams great grandparents were supportive of their President, but still, it was a mystery to me.

 photo JoDeshaWilliamsandgrandchild.jpg

 photo a227b534-d092-4d30-a0c1-6a27ad7ce86f.jpg

 photo TeddyRooseveltfromWilliamsalbumdk.jpg


And lo and behold...one of them was labeled, like this one in the Williams family photo album.

It was that last one. It said Desha on the back of it.

That was Maxie's husband, Jo Desha Williams.

Here's a photo of the real Teddy Roosevelt.

 photo TeddyRoosevelt.jpg


As far as I know, I have no kinship to the Roosevelts.

But I believe my great grandfather was a dead ringer for one of them...
This is a Sepia Saturday post.

Head over there to look at more wonderful old photos and postcards.
dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, November 21st, 2013 10:03 am
My mother and father married on 19 May 1956.

These photos were taken in the home of my maternal grandparents, Joe Duffie Williams and Doris Geneva Balding.

.

.

 photo Mom.jpg
Judith Ann Williams, 1937-2004

 photo cuttingusethis.jpg

 photo cake.jpg

 photo MomandDad.jpg


I cropped this one. It shows a happy young couple, envisioning a wonderful life together.
 photo BillandJudyclose.jpg


Sadly, that wonderful life did not materialize in the 23 years of their marriage, although there certainly were happy moments.

That, however, as well as my complex relationship with my parents - both highly complex people - is a subject for future posts.
dee_burris: (Default)
Monday, December 24th, 2012 10:02 am
Photobucket
Jo Desha and Maxie Leah Williams family, Christmas Day 1900
photo by McLeod, the Wild West photographer


Every time I see this one, I just dissolve into gales of laughter.

Can't you just imagine the dinner table discussion a couple of weeks before the holiday?

"Honey, what shall we do this year for Christmas? After all, it's the first Christmas of the new century."

Oh, I don't know. . .hey, why don't we get that McLeod guy to take a picture? We could dress up and go sit outside on some rocks."

"Marvelous idea, darling! And we could put Paul and Cedric on a couple of asses. They've been acting like asses for a few days now. It would serve them right. . ."


The back of the photo has an extensive ad for "McLeod, the Wild West Photographer. . . the man who made Happy Hollow famous the world over."
I don't know how you celebrate this holiday season in your home. However you do it, do it with gusto. Laugh and love and enjoy.

You could do it in Williams family style. Dress up in all your finery and go sit on some rocks. Take a photo. Take lots of photos.

From me and the petting zoo at the cottage, happy holidays.
This is a recycled post for Sepia Saturday 199.

Head over there for other great old images.
dee_burris: (Default)
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 07:23 pm
Love. This.

It's a 1905 ad - I wish I knew the exact date - for my family's Williams Grocer Co. in Russellville, Pope Co., AR.

And if you're not keeping up, you haven't realized that both my parents' families of origin came from Pope County...

But, I digress.

1905 Williams Grocer Co Ad
Photobucket

Isn't it a hoot?

Still in the Lead! it proclaims.

And at the end, this cutie...

When Hungry C Us

And here I thought chat-ese and text language was a new-fangled thing...
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, March 11th, 2012 08:41 am
Josiah H Shinn Dies in Washington
Former Arkansan Had produced Many Historical Volumes

(From the Gazette's Correspondent)
Washington, Sept. 3 - Josiah H Shinn, aged 68, an employee at the capitol and known throughout the country as a writer of history, died yesterday at his home, 624 Rock Creek Church road.

He was born in Russellville, Ark., March 29, 1849. He wrote for the Arkansas Gazette and Southern School Journal. He established the first chautauquas in Arkansas.

Among his books and pamphlets were, "The South in Public Education," "Illustrated Arkansas," "History of American People," "Education in Arkansas," "Russia at the World's Fair," "English and Russian."

He was registrar for the Arkansas S A R from 1892 to 1894. He was a member of the American Institute in 1894, and an honorary member of the Pennsylvania and West Virginia historical societies. His history on "Education in Arkansas" was published by the government.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mildred C Shinn, and a son, Joe L Shinn. The body was sent to Russellville tonight.

Published on Tuesday, 4 Sep 1917, in the Arkansas Gazette
Mrs. J H Shinn Dies at Home in Washington, D C
Mrs. Minnie C Shinn, aged 78, widow of Josiah H Shinn, formerly of Little Rock, died at her home in Washington, D C early Thursday. The late Mr. Shinn was superintendent of public instruction in Arkansas from 1890 to 1894. He and Mrs. Shinn moved to Washington about 1902 when he accepted a government position.

He was the author of many historical works. He was a native of Russellville, Pope county, and met Mrs. Shinn at her home in Kentucky after he studied law in Cincinnati, O.

Their home was at Russellville and Magnolia, where he was the principal of schools in those cities and they moved to Little Rock when he was appointed to a position in the state Department of Education before his election as superintendent.

Mrs. Shinn was born at Bridgeport, Ky. Mr. Shinn died in 1917. Their son made his home with his mother until his death two years ago. Mrs. Shinn visited in Little Rock last spring. She is survived by one brother, J D Williams, 2310 Ringo street. Funeral arrangements will be announced by P H Ruebel & Co.

Published on Wednesday, 17 Feb 1932, in the Arkansas Gazette

Mrs. J H Shinn
Funeral services for Mrs. Minnie C Shinn, widow of Josiah H Shinn, who died at her home in Washington, D C, Tuesday, will be held at 10:30 Saturday morning at the chapel of P H Ruebel & Co. The body will arrive in Little Rock early today. Funeral services will be in charge of the Rev. J H Fuller. Pallbearers will be: Active - C H Williams, P M Williams, J D Williams, Jr., and Vernon Shinn, of Little Rock, and Eugene Shinn of Russellville, all nephews of Mrs. Shinn; honorary - Henry Martin, G DeMatt Henderson, Tom Howland, Clio Harper, H A Bowman, S J Beauchamp, Arthur E Lee, Martin Critz and D R Fones. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park.
Published on Saturday, 20 Feb 1932, in the Arkansas Gazette
Photobucket
Josiah Shinn, wife Minnie, and son Joseph R L.
Photo circa 1886.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 06:47 pm
The video below is not old. It's the contents of the video that represents the treasures.

One of my Williams cousins and his wife traveled to Franklin County, KY last summer to photograph the graves of his great grandmother (who was my great-great grandmother), Catherine (Mueller) Williams. He videotaped all the graves in the Williams' family plot and included some wonderful bonus material.

The family plot is in Frankfort Cemetery.

Click here to view the video.
My thanks and gratitude go to cousin Cedric, who generously shared the video with me...
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, February 5th, 2012 08:38 am
A Bright Little Spirit Called

It is not often such a sad and unpleasant duty falls to the average newspaperman as confronts the writer of these lines, announcing the death of Little Miss Catherine Leah Williams, the pretty, vivacious and beloved daughter of Mr and Mrs JD Williams, which took place at their home Thursday December 8th, 1904, as the result of croup. To the bereaved father, mother and brothers, of whose life she was the pride and joy; to her little playmates and friends to whom she was so true our heart's sympathy is full to overflowing. Catherine will not pass this way again, her sweet voice is stilled; the busy little hands are folded, but she was of this life so sweet a part that her memory will remain.

The funeral service took place from the Christian church at 3 o'clock pm, Elder C C Cline of Little Rock and Dr Geo. W Harkey of this city officiating. The church had been most beautifully decorated with evergreens and potted plants, while the floral offerings were far more expressive of the tenderness felt for the departed one, her father, mother and brothers than we have words to portray. The attendance was limited only by the capacity of the house to accommodate those seeking admission. Followed by a long procession those precious remains were borne to the city cemetery and laid in the silent tomb, mid the glorious loveliness of a December day.


This lock of hair was attached with a straight pin to the page in the Bible where the obituary was glued.

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Katherine Leah Williams
dee_burris: (Default)
Monday, November 14th, 2011 03:24 pm
In the back of my mind, I knew they were there.

It just took being inspired to find the little plaster of Paris Santas my son decorated the first year I toughed it out as a single mother to find them.

Oh, I found the Santas, all right...and remembered how one rainy fall day I got him to sit with me at the kitchen table, spread some newspaper out, and use our little brushes and acrylic paints to make them our own.

It started us on a homemade ornament tradition. Each year, we added the ornaments he made at school to the tree.

Now, he wanted those little Santas for his own daughters.

I didn't find them in the shed.

But as I was fighting off spiders startled from slumber, and opening one huge Rubbermaid container after another, I found something just as precious.

More ancient family memorabilia...
I packed the stuff well. No cooties, and the envelopes were all still intact, photos separated by family surname.

Not even the spiders outran me as I hustled my finds back from the shed to the cottage.

And I have been going through this stuff for hours ever since.
I have three of the keepsake books given to families by funeral homes.

I had forgotten about the one for my great grandfather, Jo Desha Williams. And I didn't recall the telegrams.

Maxie followed the directions in the book to the letter.

First his obit...

Photobucket

Arkansas Gazette, Sunday, Dec. 24, 1950
Jo Desha Williams, Salesman, Dies
Jo Desha Williams, aged 84, 2310 Ringo Street, died at his home Saturday. Mr. Williams was a traveling salesman for the U O Colson Co. of Paris, Ill. He was a member of the First Christian Church, a charter member of the Sons of the American Revolution, a member of the United Commercial Travelers, the WOW and the Modern WOW. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Maxine Meek Williams of Little Rock; three sons, C H Williams of Texarkana, and P M and J D Williams, Jr., both of Little Rock; and five grandchildren. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Griffin-Leggett.

Then, there was the genealogy page, in my great grandmother's handwriting.
Photobucket

And the telegrams of condolence...(Cousins, if you want scans of them not in collage form, let me know and I will send them along...)
Photobucket

According to this little book, my great-grandfather was buried at 3 p.m. the day after Christmas. The clergyman who conducted the service was Lauren West.

The irony of my find as I was looking for holiday decorations does not escape me.

I don't believe in coincidence.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, September 18th, 2011 01:49 pm
Posted for the Monday meme on a rainy Sunday that just cries out for a scanfest...
In the interest of complete honesty and full disclosure, I probably shouldn't say unlabeled.

Because when I picked this one up to scan and flipped it over, there was pencil writing on the back.

~Eureka~ She labeled one!

Photobucket


Yep, she wrote on the back of it...for sure.

This is all of the class. Aren't they cute?
Yes, Granny, they are very cute.

Precious.

Adorable, in fact.

Anyone feel free to give me another superlative for photos of kids...seriously, jump right in.

But which one or ones of those precious lasses is *ours*? And what was her name?

My guess is one or both of the ones with the big honking hair bows.

Williamses seemed to go in for big honking hair bows and splashy bow ties...
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, July 30th, 2011 02:03 pm
I finally took my camera and went in search of four homes where my Baldings, Chapins, and Williamses lived in Little Rock.

The first one - the address listed on the World War I draft registration card of my great grandfather, Victor Claude Balding - was at 223 Rice Street. He signed his draft registration card on 12 Sep 1918.

The house is still there - although I'm sure it looks a bit different today than it did 93 years ago.

Photobucket
Next, I went in search of the houses at 213 and 217 Dennison.

They are next door to each other.

My maternal grandparents, Joe Duffie Williams and Doris Geneva Balding, lived at 213. I found them at that address in city directories from 1940 to 1949.

Photobucket

A whole bunch of people lived at 217 for many years - including my grandother's parents and siblings, as well as her maternal grandmother, Eada Belle (Parrish) Chapin after the death of Fred Chapin right after Christmas in 1938.

According to Polk's Little Rock/North Little Rock City Directories, Fred and Eada lived at 913 North Valmar, and Eada was listed at that address in the 1939 City Directory. (I'll have to make another photo journaling trip to see if that one is still standing.)

But by 1940, Eada made her home with her daughter, Hattie Belle and son-in-law, Victor, at 217 Dennison.

Photobucket

In 1940, the house at 217 Dennison must have been full to overflowing, with Victor and Hattie Balding, Hattie's mother, Eada Chapin, and adult children, Ellington (Linky), daughter Marion (Murney), Marvin and Vera. All the children were employed except Linky, who was the youngest.
Across town, my grandfather's parents, Jo Desha Williams and Maxie Leah Meek, lived at 2310 South Ringo Street.

Photobucket

That was the home to which my grandfather, Joe Duffie Williams, took his bride Doris after they married on Halloween in 1926. They were still there when the census was taken in 1930.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 09:11 pm
My maternal grandparents lived for at least 9 years in this tiny little rent house, still standing on Denison Street.

.
.
.


Photobucket
Image from Google Maps



Photobucket
1940 Polk's Little Rock City Directory


They were still there in 1949, which was the year they moved into the home they had saved for many years to build.

For cash.

Their "new" home never had a mortgage on it until it was sold to a new family after my grandmother's death in 1998.
Granddaddy's parents are shown in the left-hand column of the City Directory.

I couldn't find a decent Google Maps image of that address (or the one that I hope is still standing at 217 Denison), so my handy-dandy GPS and I are going to do some driving, cameras in tow.

The house at 217 Denison was a multi-generational home and will have its own entry, whether I can get a photo or not.

**It will be interesting to see how the GPS spells the street name - with one N or two...I find it both ways all over old documents...
dee_burris: (Default)
Friday, April 1st, 2011 08:55 pm
I think my great grandparents, Jo Desha Williams and Maxie Leah Meek, were very proud and very happy with their home in Russellville, AR. They took quite a few photos of it.

The home was on East Main Street, although I do not have a house number.

Photobucket
Thanksgiving Day, 1899


Later, they added to it.
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And again.

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Unfortunately, through a combination of being underinsured after the 1906 Russellville fire, and extending credit to too many folks, after nearly 30 years in business, the Williams Grocer Co. folded.

By 1920, the Williams family sold their beloved home, and moved to Little Rock.


This is a Sepia Saturday post.
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, March 19th, 2011 09:18 pm
.


.


Photobucket
Jo Desha Williams, with his sons Cedric and Paul, Thanksgiving 1899








This is a Sepia Saturday post.
dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, March 17th, 2011 07:45 pm
.





Photobucket


Funeral Notice
The funeral service of
Cathrine Leah,
the beloved 5-year-old daughter
of Mr. and Mrs. J D Williams,
will take place at the Christian
Church at 2 o'clock this after-
noon, services to be conducted by
Eld. C C Cline and Dr G W
Harkey.
Friends of the family invited
to attend.

Russellville, Ark.., December 9, 1904


Photobucket





*I don't know who wrote the text for the card, but from the mis-spelling of her name, I am guessing probably it was someone at church or a family friend.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, March 13th, 2011 08:32 pm
It was probably what I deserved for saving a pile of stuff to go through at night.

At the end of a work day.

The photo album and loose papers I inherited when my grandmother died stayed well-packed in a climate controlled closet in my home for probably a year after her death in 1998 - maybe a little more.

After I saw how the massive stacks of family group sheets, three rings binders and spiral notebooks in which I was keeping typewritten pages documenting my ever-growing ancestral lines were threatening my living space, I figured there had to be another way.

So I found and downloaded family tree software to my computer and off I went.

But I knew the boxes in the closet held the keys to more complete knowledge about Williamses, Meeks, Baldings, and Parrishes, so I went in and pulled them out.

I spent about two weeks categorizing things into piles, and extracting the information from them to input into the database. The Williams family photo album was (and still is) a monstrous undertaking.

I set the yellowed newspaper clippings aside, because they were undated and unattributed. They had been (mostly) very neatly snipped out of the newspapers in which they appeared, and I knew I'd probably have to study each one to match it up with a person, place, or event.

So that pile was last.


The *very* last clipping.

He had to be related. His surname was Williams.

But I had never heard anyone talk about him.

Photobucket


Frankfort KY is in Franklin County, where my Williamses lived for several generations after emigrating there from Virginia, and prior to the move to Arkansas around 1885.

But that name... U V Williams?

Ulysses? Surely I'd have heard if we had a Ulysses...

And the V...all I could think of was Victor, but the Victors in the family were Baldings.

I set it aside.

But I didn't put it away.


It was weeks before my Eureka! moment.

I was looking for Jacob Williams, father of Mildred Carleton Williams after his wife died in 1876. I was having a devil of a time.

But wait...could it be Jacob? He was not the head of the household. What's up with this?

Photobucket

Urban? A doctor and - apparently - a younger brother of Jacob.

What kind of name is Urban?

One that starts with a U...now where have I seen that before?

And that was how I met Urban Valentine Williams, M.D. Google turns up tons of information on him.

I think I'd have gone by "U V" too...
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, March 12th, 2011 03:08 pm
Photobucket
Jo Desha and Maxie Leah Williams family, Christmas Day 1900
photo by McLeod, the Wild West photographer


Every time I see this one, I just dissolve into gales of laughter.

Can't you just imagine the dinner table discussion a couple of weeks before the holiday?

"Honey, what shall we do this year for Christmas? After all, it's the first Christmas of the new century."

Oh, I don't know. . .hey, why don't we get that McLeod guy to take a picture? We could dress up and go sit outside on some rocks."

"Marvelous idea, darling! And we could put Paul and Cedric on a couple of asses. They've been acting like asses for a few days now. It would serve them right. . ."


The back of the photo has an extensive ad for "McLeod, the Wild West Photographer. . . the man who made Happy Hollow famous the world over."


This is a Sepia Saturday post.
dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, March 10th, 2011 09:57 pm
As a child growing up, there were occasions at my maternal grandparents' house when the talk turned to family members.

If there was discussion of members of the Williams family, it was inevitable to hear Cedric's name.

Cedric was the Williams family's black sheep - a ne'er do-well, an embarassment. He drank too much, couldn't keep a job for long, had toasted two marriages.

Even in death, Cedric just couldn't get it right.


Cedric Hazen Williams was born on 29 Jun 1892 in Russellville, Pope Co., AR to Jo Desha Williams and Maxie Leah Meek. He was the second child of five, and until the birth of his younger brother Paul in 1894, was an only child.

Photobucket
Paul and Cedric Williams, about 1899


He never knew his older sister, Mildred Imogene, as she died on 28 Jan 1890, well over a year before his birth.

I've always mused that Desha Williams must have had some say in his first two children's names. After the death of his own mother in 1876, Desha was raised by his older sister, Mildred (called Minnie) and her husband, Josiah Hazen Shinn. I wonder if he chose those names for his children to honor his sister and brother-in-law.

If Desha and Maxie hoped that Cedric would follow in Josiah Hazen Shinn's footsteps, they were sorely disappointed.


I have to consider the time in which they all lived, and in which the tragic accident befell young Cedric.

A wagon rolled over his head when he was 10 or 11 years old. Imagine the terror of a parent to have such a horrible thing happen to a child.

But the child recovered. The physical wounds healed.

They must all have breathed a sigh of relief, and given thanks.

They just didn't realize that a traumatic brain injury was for life, and things would never be normal again.

And neither would Cedric.


Cedric married for the first time in 1915, and he and his wife had a daughter, Charlotte.

Photobucket
Cedric, Kathleen and Charlotte Williams, 1918


Things did not go well at home, and apparently not at work either, because Cedric asked his younger brother, Joe, for a large sum of money. His brother refused to give the money, and the brothers grew apart.

Cedric married again. He and his second wife had two sons.

But things had not been right since that day long ago when the wagon rolled over his head. The alcohol he consumed to take away the pain wasn't working.

Cedric attempted to take his own life, and failed.


On Thursday morning, 23 Aug 1951, Cedric was alone in Crosbyton, TX, at the Lawson Hotel, where he swallowed sodium cyanide, one of the most rapidly acting of known poisons.

It took the Williams family less than 24 hours to regain enough composure to keep Cedric from embarassing them again.

Photobucket
Arkansas Gazette, 24 Aug 1951


Cedric Hazen Williams, Traveling Salesman, Dies
Prescott, Aug. 23 - Cedric Hazen Williams, aged 59, former traveling salesman for Grunden Martin Manufacturing Company of St. Louis, died unexpectedly of a heart attack Thursday morning at Crosbyton, Tex.

He was a native of Russellville and a lifelong Arkansan, having also lived at Little Rock, Prescott and Texarkana.

Survivors include his mother, Mrs. J D Williams of 2310 Ringo Street, Little Rock; two brothers, J D Williams, Jr. and P M Williams of Little Rock; his wife, Mrs. C H Williams of Prescott; two sons of the home, and a daughter of Oklahoma City.



Sometimes things just aren't as they seem.

See you on the other side, Cedric.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 06:50 pm
Photobucket

Far right: Doris Balding Williams
Far left: Her daughter, Judith Williams Neumann
Standing: Doris' granddaughter
Seated in middle: Doris' great-granddaughter

Photo taken in 1995.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, February 13th, 2011 09:18 pm
They called her Maggie.


Photobucket


She was the next younger sister of Minnie Williams, and lived with her sister and brother-in-law until her marriage to James Webster Wells on 2 Jan 1885, at "the house of J H Shinn" in Russellville, Pope Co., AR.

She and James had five children I have documented.

Maggie Williams Wells died on 19 Jul 1922 in Benton Co., AR. She is buried next to her husband in Bentonville Cemetery, Bentonville, Benton Co., AR.