During my trip to Texas (see below), Mom and Mel and I spent several days going through old photos. Most were from Mom’s high school, college and early married years. There were pictures of my parents being goofy. There were pictures of family and friends we didn’t know. There were pictures of places we couldn’t identify. But among the hundreds of pictures there were some jewels. My grand dad in his baseball uniform and even a team photo, Clyde’s family, an early picture of my dad’s brothers (I’ll share all those later). But the best was a family photo of the Cornelius family.
I know we haven’t reached the Corneliuses in our genealogical review but I’m going to insert this anyway because it’s a remarkable photograph. If you’ve been following the Watts story (again, you can find this in earlier posts…see the sidebar), Paul Watts married Luteen Pearson. Luteen’s parents were Thomas Pearson and Lizzie Cornelius. Lizzie’s parents were Enoch Cornelius and Matilda Murphree. All of those folks are in this picture.
First, here’s a key that Donna made to identify who’s in the picture:
Here’s who we think we know: 1) Mary Virginia Watts, 5) Thomas Gerald, 6) Paul Leon (Buzzie),(8) Enoch Cornelius, 9) Matilda Murphree Cornelius, 10) Edna Neace Cornelius, 12) Vandiver Cornelius, 15) Alan Hodges, 16) Evelyn Pearson, 17) Lizzie Cornelius, 18) Joel Cornelius, 19) Henry Cornelius, 20) Angie Cotter Cornelius, 26) Luteen Pearson Watts, 27) Bunnie, 28) Paul Watts.
So this would be our Great great grand father and his family, taken in 1922 at their place outside Hobart, Oklahoma. I don’t think Kiowa County has changed all that much in the interim.
This is a pretty typical family portrait of the era. The patriarch (or matriarch) is seated in the middle. The eldest son is seated with his family in the same row as the father (or mother). The other children are arranged around the father. Enoch’s other kids are directly behind him. Vandiver’s kids would be directly behind him. And our grandparents and mom are off to the side. I think those behind Vandiver (21-25) are Ramona and her husband Robert McElroy (not sure of the kid) and Bernice and her husband Donald Clark.
Here’s how we dated the photo…Mom was born in 1921, Edna (Vandiver’s wife) dies sometime in ’22, and Lizzie has Alan in ’23. As a note, Matilda dies in ’25, 81 years old…and Enoch dies in ’27, also at 81.
Let me know in the comments if you have guesses about the others in the photo or a different idea about date or ones I’ve identified.