Monday, August 31, 2009

Grandma Barney and Little Cousins

Here is a sweet picture of Ray, his Grandma Barney, and six other little kids - five that I know are his cousins. The little girl standing next to him and the two little ones in light colored clothing are brother and sisters--Louise, Bill and Marybelle. They are the children of his father's sister--the older baby in an earlier baby picture I posted. There was also one more little brother who was born later. Ray was very close to this family, especially after his father died. He and his mother used to spend Christmas with them, I know.

The three little boys in overalls I am pretty sure are Ray's Uncle Art's sons - Gene, Glen and Kenny. Not absolutely positive about the oldest one but it is most likely true. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, August 28, 2009

One of my Favorite Old Pictures

This sweet old picture was posted in my other blog sometime ago, but I thought it belongs here, also. I just love this photo of these five pretty young women - my mother being the pretty girl on the far right. Their hats are wonderful and what beautiful outfits. How I wish I knew where they were going or where they had been. Was it a Sunday outing in Glen Oak Park? That seemed to be such a popular place back in the early 1900's in Peoria. Anyway, enjoy these lovely ladies! (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Lady After My Own Heart

I don't know who this lady is, but I think she and I have common interests. She has made a multitude of lovely pillows and it is very obvious that she is very proud of her work. I found her on the internet and thought maybe she would be a nice addition to my blog under the label----
Unknown but Such Fun.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Sionilli - Post 2

My mom's family must have had so much fun at their cottage, the Sionilli, in Rome, Illinois. Here are my grandparents and an unknown guest on the left posing in the river with an innertube. How are those for swimsuits?

Most of the Pearces posing by the porch. Harry, Dan, Nan, Leah and Maggie. I am pretty sure looking out through the screen is Ed. It's pretty hard to imagine being in skirts and long pants in the summer, but that is how things were back then. I am sure my grandmother never ever wore a pair of slacks - unless it was for some sort of costume. My mom always wore "housedresses", and lots of times aprons. My memory of aprons is more connected to my grandmother, though. I have a faint recollection of her sewing aprons, but that is all the sewing I can recall by any of the women I was close to. No knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery, etc. Where did I get that gene?
Here's my granddad with a couple of pets. I remember Mom talking about them but I certainly don't remember the names. Looks like something is written under the photo and it looks like "Rupert" - maybe that was the doggie's name. (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Hub Ballroom

Earlier this summer I was reading the Peoria paper on line and I saw an article that the Hub Ballroom had burned to the ground. In it were these pictures which brought back lots and lots of memories for me.

Back in the mid to late 1940's after I had graduated from high school, the "Hub" was the place everyone wanted to go. In a little town east of Chillicothe called Edelstein, Bert Potter built a building for the sale of farm implements. He evidently threw a square dance to celebrate the opening.
It lead to the Hub bec0ming a ballroom in this very small town in Illinois that hosted a band every Saturday night - many of the big bands, some from Chicago and one from Peoria. Benny Goodman and Harry James were examples of the nationally known bands who played there. From Chicago, there was the fellow in the picture below - Lawrence Welk - and Tiny Hill among others that played at the Trianon and Aragon. Freddie Stevens was from Peoria and he had a wonderful band.
Fresh out of high school and right after the end of the war, a group of us girls would go to the Hub and dance with each other or whoever was available. Those were the jitterbug days. Later, when Ray and I started dating, this was our Saturday night destination. Dancing at the Hub was such fun.
I look at these pictures and I think I can see people that I knew back then but it probably is just that I want to see someone familiar. In the top one, the fellow in the white shirt looks just like a classmate of mine. Fond memories!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Second Half of the Preceding Post

(This was going to be a part of the proceeding post but I messed up and it's too hard trying to add or manipulate items once they are down)

I have my baby book - thought you might enjoy seeing pages from it. It's not very big or very thick.

The hospital bill for both mom and baby for 12 days. Can you imagine? My Aunt Nelle sent me this a long time ago when she was going through things. I was so happy to get it. These are nice keepsakes to have. (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Birthday Party Long Ago

It is my 81st birthday and I cannot believe I am that old. However, I am, and I feel so blessed that I have had such good health and such a loving family and a wonderful life. Here is a picture of a party that must have been when I was three years old. The little girl with her hands by her mouth is me. Looks like I am back to wearing my hair the same way now! Two of my aunts are in this picture - in the front holding her baby, Hap (Harry Arthur Pearce) is my Aunt Henrietta, Uncle Ed's wife. She was so cute and had the most fun giggle. And the last lady in the second row is my dear Aunt Leah and I don't know who she is holding. Right behind me a woman that looks familiar but I cannot c0me up with her name is holding a tiny baby and I think that could be my baby sister, Joanne. She was born on April 2 and we were almost three years apart. So that is an educated guess. The little boy next to me is a neighbor of my grandparents. He lived with his grandmother, aunt and I think his father. Don't know what the setup was but I always played with Newell when I was visiting. His grandmother had a really funny voice and my grandmother always referred to her as "Squeak". Not to her face, of course. It did fit her perfectly.

Here's a chubby, healthy, happy baby. Don't know how old I was when this was taken. Anyway, I have made it to 81 - wow!
(Click to enlarge)

Carol and Ray's Family

I think it's time to do a post on our family - Carol and Ray. Here we are in one of those "dime store" photos that you took yourself when you sat in the little booth. This was taken not too long after we were married on September 4, 1949 - sixty years ago! Ray and I had an actual 48 years of marriage before he passed away in 1997. How blessed to have had him for so long even though I wish it could have been longer. We have two children, Sherry and Bill. Here is a proud daddy with 2 1/2 year old Sherry and newborn Billy Ray.

Our kiddies at 5 and 2 1/2. Sherry is wearing a little nylon dress that I made for her. I used to make quite a few dresses for her and they show up in many of the old pictures. I have a picture of Hannah, our youngest granddaughter, wearing one of the dresses I made for Sherry one Christmas. I will post that one day. More to come later on.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When Ray's Parents were Young

When I was working on the family history book several years ago, Ray's cousin Henry loaned me this picture of his mother, Ethel, the older child, and Ray's dad, Harry, the little one. Is it not just one of the most precious pictures? There is some sort of a fur throw that Harry is sitting on. The dresses are so pretty. I think this is an adorable picture and such pretty little babes.
Next is a school picture and I don't know what year it was taken. I am almost certain it is Chillicothe Elementary School probably between 1915 and 1920. Ray's mother, Clemie is the little girl third from the end in the second row. She was not very big in comparison to some of the others so it's hard for me to tell what grade she would have been in. Looks like most of the kids would be around the same age so I don't think it is an all school picture.
I isolated and enlarged her picture and it is below. She looks maybe 10 or 11? Just a guess on my part.
(Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

E. A. Lawson General Merchandise

In an earlier post, I showed a picture of the little village of Rome, Illinois, and in it was E. A. Lawson's General Merchandise which was the only store in town at that time - not many houses, either. Some years later, in the 1930's, Lawson's Grocery was still there, and here is a picture of the interior and of Elmer himself, and Lizzie, his wife. In the background are "Junior" and Edna Lawson, two of the couple's four children. The little fellow in front is my brother, Bud - now how he got in the picture is a puzzlement but there the little bugger is. Note the cans on the shelves. This was no "supermarket" where you picked things for yourself. The grocer was informed what you wanted and he would get it, place it on the counter, write it on the bill and eventually add it up, take the money and bag your groceries. You can see the meat counter at the back of the store. How about those 5 cent candy bars sitting on the glass case. A fellow can be seen leaning on the meat counter in the back and am not sure who he is, but I think Bud said something about it may have been a Rome resident named Walt Hedrick. I love this picture!!
It is probably from about 65 years ago. (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Flashlights 1924

Here is another picture that I cannot recall every having seen. This, too, was one sent by my brother, Bud, recently. As you can see, it is called "Flashlights 1924" and the only thing I can figure out is that it was taken with a flash of some kind. This appears to be a family gathering although I don't recognize all of the people in the photo. I would wager that it was a get together because my Aunt Nelle (who was probably taking the picture), Uncle Lambert and cousins, Ken and Bob, were back in Peoria from California for a visit. Of course, my mom, Nan, is the woman standing in the back row, then an unknown fellow, followed by my Uncle Lambert. Next is my Uncle Ham and then one more unknown man. My dad, Charlie, with his arms folded is next. The remaining men I don't recognize. The second lady seated is my grandmother, Maggie, holding Ken, my cousin. The first lady who I think is holding Bob, my cousin, may be Uncle Ham's wife, Aunt Della, and the last woman in the row is my Aunt Leah. The other two women and three children I do not know. The clothing styles were starting to change-- dresses were shorter and there is just a completely different look at this time. I am thinking maybe the people I don't know here might be some of Lambert's family who lived in another town near Peoria. (This is a note to myself - I just had a thought as to who two more of the people are. The man with the big smile standing between my uncle and my father most likely is my grandmother's brother, Bob Carroll, and the lady in the lightest dress seated next to my Aunt Leah is most likely Rose, his wife. One or more of the children could belong to them.) (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Embroidered in 1843

Here is a real treasure - a sampler that was done by my husband's great grandmother, Mary Anne Wiley Rusk, when she was ten years old. It is dated 1843. It would be possible for you to read it by enlarging the photo but it would be much easier if I just type it. If you don't care to read it, just skip past it. I read in a book on old samplers that they were usually sad and this one is no exception.
The poem reads

My age is now half a score
And I perhaps may see no more
Remember death to all is nigh
Youth as well as aged may die

Alsas, I am an orphan left
Now of parents I am bereft
Now then O Lord I look to thee
Each of thy orphan's help to be

We once were six in family
In death's cold bed thou hast laid three
Lord teach us to improve each day
Ere thou dost call the rest away
Yea in thy love remember me

Mary Anne Wiley 1843

Also embroidered at the bottom were the birthdates of her parents, their wedding day and Mary Anne's birthday. I thought it was so sweet that if she ran out of room as she was crossstitching a word she just carried the next letter over to the line below.

Here is Mary Anne and her husband William A. Rusk. They had ten children, one being Samuel who was Ray's maternal grandfather. This sampler is absolutely wonderful and such a treasure.
(Click pictures to enlarge)

Ray's Parents

There are not very many pictures of my late husband's family. Ray was an only child, but both of his parents came from large families so he had lots of cousins (lots of them were his age) and many aunts and uncles. Above is a picture of Clemie and Harry, his mom and dad. Harry died when Ray was only twelve years old and his mom was just 32. She didn't remarry until she was in her 50's.
Here is Clemie with her 8th grade diploma and the scarf she wore at graduation. That diploma is in a bin in my basement and I think the scarf is there, also. Thanks to her, there are many lovely keepsakes from the early days. She gave me a bundle of baby clothes that he wore, baby shoes, etc., things that would have been lost. I so appreciate the old sentimental things and wish I had some from my childhood.

Clemie with her older sister, Leatha. They lost their mother very early - and before that, as I understand it, she was not a well woman. Leatha was mainly responsible for raising Clemie, who was the youngest in the family. I believe there was nine years difference in their ages. Leatha had two boys, one older and one younger than Ray. I am sure Ray felt like she was his second mother and would talk about her baking bread and her ham and beans, which he loved so much.

This is his father as a young boy. He died in the VA hospital in Dwight, Illinois. Harry was quite a bit older than Clemie. Very few pictures of him but I will post more later. I have a really sweet picture of him and his sister, Ethel, when they were very small - Harry was a baby - which is in the book that I put together. I had borrowed the original from Ray's cousin but will scan the picture from the book. More to come on Clemie and Harry later. (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Street Sweepers

What is going on here? A tub of leaves, bucket and broom being used to scrub the sidewalk and my mom with some implement - maybe she was raking the leaves. I am certain this is not in front of their home because there is no concrete wall there. I don't recognize the two ladies wearing the dustcaps. A horse and buggy head down the street. My goodness, I will never know what they were doing that day long, long ago. (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Pearce Girls Hamming It Up

My mother, Nan, what is she doing? Dressed in trousers and smokin' - my, my.
and here she is - is she drinkin' and smokin', too?
Aunt Leah is getting in on the act, also. I cannot tell if that's Mom with her or not.
And what is this? Looks like fun whatever it is. Love the chandelier!

Here are Nan and Leah looking mighty happy in their outfits. I think the Pearce girls were fond of hamming it up - maybe some of these pictures were taken on Halloween. The first three were taken at the cottage. I love the wallpaper and potted plant in the last picture. (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another Family--Ray's Family

It's time to add another family to this blog--that of my late husband, Ray, with whom I shared 48 years of marriage. This year it would have been 60 years. There are quite a few pictures of his family on both sides, and I have decided to put both sets of grandparents and his parents in one group and label it "Ray's Family".
This is Ray as a little guy. He was a little "towhead" as they called little kids with really light blond hair. I would guess he was three or four in this picture.
Here is his "Grandma Barney", his paternal grandmother. He may be the baby on her lap and the other two would be cousins.

And this is "Grandpa Barney", and a friend, and it is evident that he farmed.

His maternal grandparents, Frank and Julia. I am not sure what he did for a living. I think this is a great portrait. What a wonderful rocking chair he is sitting in. Julia's outfit is beautiful and I think she is holding a fan. More to come on this new addition. (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Getting Around in Cars

Here are several pictures that were probably taken when going out for a drive. I thought that you would enjoy seeing the cars along with the people enjoying the day. Here is my mother's sister, Nelle, with her husband (eventually, anyway) and her friend Ruth.
Ruth, my mother's brother, Harry, and Nelle. What a great camera Nelle is holding. I think she is one of the Pearces responsible for lots of pictures.

This appears to be an entirely different outing. Written on the border of the picture is "Lacon Ills" which is a town across the river and about ten miles north of Chillicothe, where the Sionilli, the Pearce family's cottage, was located. I can only identify Aunt Nelle's friend, Ruth, in this photoThis was taken in Sparland, Ills, as noted on the border. Sparland is across the river from Lacon and there was a ferry that took you across. I think I mentioned that in a previous post. Nelle is in the shadows in the back seat and her friend Ruth is next to her. Some car! Harry (Ham), my mom's brother, shows up on the left here as does Ruth. The others I don't know.

I thought you would like to see this picture. Here is a car that has a rumble seat. The pretty woman, I am almost positive, is the daughter of my grandmother's sister, Ann Monch. I love the way she is dressed. This was most likely taken in California. Pretty nice car, wouldn't you say?
(Click pictures to enlarge)