Monday, October 29, 2012

A Victorian Snowball Fight

From the Whitworth College Collection
Judging by the clothing and the hairstyles, this sepia-toned photograph is likely from the late 1800s, somewhere on the Whitworth Campus.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dolls and Dollies in the Roaring Twenties

This one is from our family collection.  In the photo is my Aunt Louise on the left and my Aunt Doris, clutching the doll, on the right.  We are unclear who the "Flapper" is smiling for the camera from the front seat of the car, although we suspect it was my grandmother's baby sister, Hazel.  

Note the Kewpie doll adorning the radiator cap. 

Doris was the same age as my mother -- they were best friends -- so a best guess is that this photo is circa 1925 or 1926.  The location is most likely the driveway of the family dairy farm at Johnston's Station, Lincoln County, MS.

What I love about this photo? The impish smiles. We suspect this photo was taken by my grandmother who bought a Kodak Brownie camera for a princely sum of $2-3 when her children were young and used it often.  We as a family are blessed to have so many family photos from 85 years ago and beyond.  The shutter bug gene is evident throughout our family tree.

A special thank you to my Uncle Larry, who inherited his mother's love of photography, for sharing this and other family pictures.  

For more information on the invention of the snapshot, and from which I snagged the above advert, please see this informative link maintained by Chuck Baker.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Way Over Town, by the Water Tower

John Holly Williams Collection, LLF Library
This photo has that Kodak Brownie "snapshot" quality to it.  I suspect the father took this photo while his family posed in front of their home.  The bare tree limbs suggest fall or winter, as does the mother's cape and the bundling up of the two youngest.

No names, dates, location, although the water tower could prove to be a major clue. Any comments, suggestions, welcomed here or on my Facebook page.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Families, Farms, Fences, and Fidos ...

All photos from John Holly Williams "Old School" Collection, LLF Library

These three are from the library's "Unidentified Groups, 1850-1920." Names, locations, etc. are unavailable.

Of note: According to a caption in the Bicentennial edition of the Daily Leader, these rather tall fences were not decorative, but served to keep livestock out of the family's yard.

The house in the first picture reminds me of the little ante-bellum home that sits across from Brookhaven Elementary.  That house was built in 1832, if we dare to use the similarity in style to approximate this home's construction period.

The largest home -- in the third photograph -- appears to be a frame "dog trot" house, which typically consisted of two cabins connected by a porch and a center hall breezeway. They were popular pioneer homes and the earliest ones were constructed of logs.  The area south and west of Brookhaven was dotted with these old dog trots when I was a kid, but sadly, many of them have been lost to rot and termites. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Spot of Tea with Momma

From the Lincoln, Lawrence, Franklin Library's John Holly Williams collection, Unidentified groups, 1850 to 1920.  
As with so many others, little is known about this photo as to who, when, and where.

I'm going out on a limb here and suggest that this is a mother posing with her four young sons, all of whom are decked out in "Sunday Best" suits and ties.  They are seated at a small table adorned with an "open work" tablecloth, china cups and saucers, a silver teapot and a creamer and sugar bowl and what appears to be a large candy dish.  

I detect faint smiles on at least of three of the faces, Momma included, which seemingly bucks a trend of folks not smiling for the camera way back when. 

Behind them is a paneled screen adorned with Oriental designs. Based on the woman's "Gibson Girl" hairstyle and her dress, I suspect this photo was taken in the early 1900s but before World War I broke out, when the Gibson Girl look -- made popular by Life Magazine's publication of John Dana Gibson's illustrations of the idealized "modern" woman -- and its requisite corsets, fell out of favor. 

As always, comments welcomed here and/or on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hey, What Was THAT?

From the John Holly Williams Collection

Yet another fun family photograph with no names, no date, no location.  I simply love the looks on their faces.  It's almost as if a noise or an unexpected sight from behind the photographer grabbed their attention, and the photographer opened the shutter at just the right time.

Notice the youngest child's left foot is blurry, a good indication of slower emulsion films from back in the day.  The haircuts are also adorable and makes me believe this photo is from the 1920s, when "bobbing" hair was all the rage. 

Mr. Williams was often asked by customers to make copies of older photographs and this one is surely one of those.  

If anyone recognizes this family, please leave a comment here or on my Facebook page. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Momma's Blue Eyes

From the LLF John Holly Williams Collection

The library caption has this photo as part of unidentified Family Groups 1850-1920.

I find this one captivating. Note the elder female's bluer than blue eyes; the old gentleman's cape, held together with some type of pin; and what is apparently their daughter or granddaughter adorned in flowers; all in front of what was most likely a family quilt hung as an itinerate photographer's backdrop. 

I cannot say exactly why, but this one is another one of my favorites. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Love, Joan; Love, Sue

From the John Holly Williams Old School Collection

Two majorettes smile for the camera.  Date, location and identities beyond first names are unclear.  Mr. Williams often made copies of photos of customers.  This is apparently one such photograph. 

If anyone recognizes one or both of these lasses, please leave a comment below or one on my Facebook page.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

BHS Band -- 1930

From the John Holly Williams' Old School Collection.  

This photo of the BHS marching band was taken by photographer A.D. Sauer, who had his studios in the rear of the old "Montgomery/Kees" house on Second Street, not far from the high school.  Note the make up of the band is mostly male, with the exception of three young women, two of whom are holding alto and baritone saxophones.

No identities are available, but some of you may just find your parents or grandparents pictured herein.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Not Exactly a Deuce Coupe -- But Still a Classic

From the John Holly Williams Collection at the local library.  Date, location, names unknown.

A group of men, some in suits and ties, and others in shirt sleeves and slacks -- fedoras optional -- gather around a mud-splattered 1935 five-window Ford Coupe.  (We know the model year because 1935 was the last year Ford provided wire wheels.)

We do not know the occasion, nor do we know the exact location, although it does look a lot like the old 777 Sinclair Service Station/Brookhaven Auto Sales building that was featured in a posting here a while back.  

(Feedback on that observation welcome here on comments or my Facebook page.) 
Henry Ford advertised the 1935 Fords as "Greater Beauty, Greater Comfort and Greater Safety."  Rumble seats were optional in this model, which typically offered three-speed on the floor, a flathead V8 and 85 horse power. 

Fans of hot rods and stock car racing know that Ford first offered in 1932, at affordable Ford prices, 8 cylinders and the first V engine, which is storied in the Beach Boys' song, "Little Deuce Coupe" -- deuce referring to the two in the model year. 
If this particular car were available for sale today, depending on condition and customizations, it could be worth anywhere from $15,000 to $70,000, and up.  It would have been one of 820,253 total car production for Ford that model year. Some 33,065 five-window deluxe two-passenger coupes were produced that year.  The original sticker price was $560 and it weighed 2,643 pounds.  

For more on classic cars, please see this link.

Friday, October 19, 2012

How Much Is That Dolly in the Window?

From the John Holly Williams Collection, LLF Library

Okay, feel free to call me out, but I am thinking this is the Christmas display in Shainberg's front window in the mid to late 1950s.  If you look closely at the upper left corner of this photo, there appears to be a mirror image of the Shirley Slipper Shoppe neon sign reflected in the plate glass. The store lighting also lines up with "grand opening" pictures from that era.

Comments welcome here or on my Facebook page. 

UPDATE: AND ... ERRRR! I was WRONG!  This is more likely Woolworth's or Morgan & Lindsey on Cherokee Street.  The sign that is reflected is that of Sharon Shoppe, which was across the street from the two dime stores.  They were side-by-side for many years, until they both burned down in the late '60s, apparently because of a faulty heater in M&L.  Thanks to all who helped with this posting, in particular Larry Morgan and Don Jacobs. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Staircase of Handsome Lads

From the John Holly Williams Old School Collection at the Lincoln, Lawrence, Franklin Library

Yet another unidentified family photo shoot.  Based on the oversized bow-ties of the two young men in the middle of the front row, (and a similar family photo in our own family collection) my best guess is that this photo was taken in the early 1920s.

As always, if anyone out there happens to know who these folks are, please leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yet Another Unidentified Family Portrait

From the John Holly Williams Collection.

No names, no date, no location.  He is holding his hat, she, a book? Intriguing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Burgess Cleaners

From the LLF Library, Don Jackson Collection.
This photo of Burgess Cleaners has no date and no other identifying information, such as address.  I think I recognize the old service station to the far left as that which occupied the southeast corner at Jackson and Monticello streets for many years.  

That, if accurate, would make this location where Gregg Office Machine Supply would later call home.  If I'm wrong, someone please let me know.

On magnification, the man in the dark jacket -- right foot in the delivery van -- looks a whole lot like Enoch Case to me. I am unclear of the identity of the man leaning on the parking meter.

I am hopeful Enoch's friends and/or cousins will see this posting and let us know if that is Enoch in the days before his signature white VW microbus was the dry cleaning delivery van. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Later Gathering of Cars

From the John Holly Williams Collection, LFF Library
Behind these hearses, on the left, is the original structure of what is now Brookhaven Funeral Home at 230 N. Jackson Street. (The building was the home of Judge and Mrs. Hiram Cassidy prior to becoming a funeral home.  It is diagonally across the street from the old King's Daughters Hospital.) The bungalow directly behind the car second from the left is where Rainbow Florist now operates.  No date is given, but cars appears to be from the 1940s.

Earlier on this blog, we posted a similar photograph captioned "A Gathering of Cars."  At the time, it was a puzzler, but thanks to the help of some Brookhavenites, the mystery was solved.  To review that post, click on the embedded link.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Young Beauty Queen ...

The caption from the Lincoln, Lawrence Franklin Library reads:

"Betty Jane Bruesk (sic) -- Little girl in yellow evening dress.  She is holding flowers in her arms and is wearing a corsage.  Customer was Betty Jane B??  Last name is unreadable. It may be Brusk or Burcesk.  Just can't read it.  No date." 

I could be mistaken, but I suspect that this may be a photo of a young Betty Brueck, who went on to become a Water Carnival Queen and who was featured earlier in this blog as a "star" of the B Cowboy movie, Jesse James' Women.  

This link will take you to our earlier post regarding that locally shot movie.

If you recognize this young lady, please leave a comment here or on my FB page.  (Note: To leave a comment on the blog, Blogger requires that you set up a Google account.) 

UPDATE: We have a consensus.  Those who knew her believe this is the late Betty Brueck, the daughter of Sheriff Joe Brueck. For more on Betty, please see the embedded link above. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Who Might They Be?

From the LLF Archives

Another portrait of an unknown family, circa 1900 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Yet Another Unidentified Family Portrait from 100 or More Years Ago...

From the Lincoln, Lawrence, Franklin Library John Holly Williams "Old School" Collection.  

No information on the identities. The date is estimated to be anywhere between 1850 and 1920.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Whitworth College Field Trip to Mexico City

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Brookhaven Fire Department -- 1920

From C.W. Witbeck Collection, MDAH. Unidentified men and a small child.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Getting a Jump on the Christmas Rush ...

Trikes and paint

Two-wheelers and Tools 

Lamps and luggage and Place Settings.

Seasonal display surrounded by gas heaters, wood stoves and cook stoves.
Christmas decorations greet shoppers as they walk in.
Footballs, basketballs, fishing poles, golf clubs and long arms.  Croquet anyone?
All pictures from the C.W. Witbeck Collection at MDAH

A store with something for everyone.  These are interior shots of T.H. Perkins Hardware.  Photos taken on December 2, 1951.

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's 1941 and World War II Is Looming

Fom the C.W. Witbeck collection at MDAH.  

This is looking north on Whitworth. Note the Arlington School buses in front of what is the dollar store today.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Masonic Temple Fire -- Aftermath

All photos in this post from the C.W. Witbeck collection at the MDAH online archives. 
Close up of the date and entryway of the building. 

Train Engine Plates salvaged from the fire ...

The following narrative is from the Brookhaven, MS, Masonic Lodge No. 241 website, with some information redacted for brevity's sake: 

  • "A group of 14 Brookhaven Masons interested in the organization of a Masonic lodge at Brookhaven met on August 16, 1859, at the residence of Ezara J. Knapp for the purpose of organizing a Masonic lodge ... to be called Brookhaven Lodge No. 241.

  • The lodge moved into its first Masonic Temple on December 27, 1862, on the campus of Whitworth College. 

    This lodge was destroyed by fire on the evening of April 14, 1899.

  • The second Masonic Temple corner stone was laid on August 10, 1899, at Cherokee and Jackson streets. This building was used and enjoyed by the Masonic fraternities until it was destroyed by fire on Easter Sunday, March 25, 1951. 

    This was one of several buildings destroyed during that time period by a juvenile arsonist.

  • On April 15, 1953, the cornerstone of the present temple was laid by Lawrence C. Corbin, Grand Master, with the appropriate ceremonies. On Monday, March 15, 1954, the Lodge had its formal opening with the Reverend Carl L. Oaks, Grand Master, giving the principal address."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Arson! Masonic Fire from Another Photographer's Lens

All photos from the MDAH C.W. Witbeck Collection.  

Previously on this blog, I posted pictures of this same fire by John Holly Williams.

When I stumbled upon these photos, by a WPA photographer who set up camp in town for some seven years, I knew that I had to share, even though by now some folks may think me "obsessed" with this particular event in town history.  

This photographer, C.W. Witbeck, "opened the Witbeck Photo Service in Brookhaven, Mississippi, in 1948 and in 1955 relocated his studio to Hammond, Louisiana. He married Ruby Ardelle Johnson (1917-1997) on March 29, 1963, and died February 22, 1972," according to the MDAH official site.  

Witbeck was best known as a railroad/train photographer, but fortunately for Brookhavenites, he hung around long enough to document a lot of local history in the making.

Sadly, this particular fire was the work of a juvenile arsonist, or "fire bug," who set the historic building on fire the night of Easter Sunday, March 25, 1951.  The three-story building at Cherokee and Jackson was erected in 1899 and was designed by Capt. A.E. Moreton, a Baltimore-born architect and Freemason.

Please stay tuned for Witbeck's aftermath photos in tomorrow's post ...
Here's a Trivia Tangent for you:  The advertisement on the side of the building is for Dr. Tichenor's Antiseptic, which harks back to the Civil War when Confederate Assistant Surgeon and Freemason George H. Tichenor was wounded in battle outside of Memphis. 

When the battlefield Saw Bones recommended amputation of his infected leg, Tichenor, with the help of friends, left the field hospital and he alone saved his limb with his own concoction, an antiseptic that included alcohol, oil of peppermint and arnica.  

After the war, Dr. Tichenor practiced medicine in Canton, MS, and went on to pioneer the use of antiseptic surgery, and, as a result, many lives and limbs were saved with his help. (His loyalty to the South during the war was fierce, apparently.  While Confederate soldiers were treated with his formula, he reportedly refused to use his germ-killing concoction on wounded Union soldiers.) 

While living in Canton, he married the former Margaret Drane of Kentucky, and they had three sons.  

Demand for his amazing germ-killing formula continued, and in 1905, Dr. G. H. Tichenor Antiseptic Co. was founded in New Orleans.  He moved his practice to Baton Rouge, LA, where he lived until his passing at the age of 85. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Night Scene Downtown 1940

From the MDAH Archives, Witbeck Collection, 1940, Downtown Broohaven at NIght

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I Had a Librarian Who Read to Me ...

John Holly Williams Collection, LLF Digital Archives
The caption reads: 

"Mrs. Jewel Campbell is talking to a little girl. No note on the name of the little girl. The date is 5/8/1958.."

(Jewell Campbell was a builder, developer, owner of Dixie Lumber Company, and, once upon a time, Mayor.)

I don't know, but the "little girl" looks awfully familiar ...

UPDATE: The consensus is that this is Sylvia Campbell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jewell (Valarie) Campbell, but the woman is NOT Mrs. Campbell.  Her name is uncertain, but may be a Mrs. Smith who worked for the library during that time period. (Or not.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BHS Class of '42

From the John Holly Williams Collection. This is a copy of a picture of the graduating class of 1942 from Brookhaven High School. 
From the Library notes --
"The names are listed below: 
Back Row (from left to right) Dan Lopeser, Dick Mitchell, Milton Schlesinger, Herman Foster, Gene Allen, Warren Nation, David Maddux, Ben Ed Cain, Ralph Young, Tom Ed Magee, Robert Temple, Charles Moak. 
Second Row : Colon Boseman, Fred Cannon, Walter Denman, Bobby Mantz, James Holloway, Harold Leary, Jerry Pitts, Eugene Richardson, Gene Flowers, Fred Estes, Jene Dempsey. 

Third Row : Jeanne Claire Wall, Lavonne Price, Elaine Schroed, Marjorie McNeil, Grace Castilaw, Pearl Case, Bessie Gorenflo, Bernice Peavey, Thanette Brown, Eloyce Myers, Libby Hill Estes, Virgie Smith. 

Fourth Row : Mary Elizabeth Aldridge, Dorothy Stephens, Lavonne Smith, Ruth Hoffman, Martha Swinney, Muriel Buck, Mary Swinney, Betsy Bee, Gladys Ramsay, Lucille Boyd.

Front Row : Mary Jeanne Wooley, Betty Lewis, Dorothy May, Lillian Rae Tarver, Imogene Martin, Virginia Martin, Evelyn Reed, Ruby Golman, Audrey Smith."
Brookhavenites may not recognize any of the faces, the picture quality is wanting, but they may well recognize many of the above surnames.  

I post this in honor of the upcoming Homecoming event this month.  I hope there are at least a few from this class in attendance -- they would be roughly 86 or 87 years old. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Show and Tell of a Different Sort

The caption from the library reads: "This group is displaying some kind of contraption. The two students are wearing some kind of plastic around the mid-section and the adults are posing for the camera. The only info for this picture is the name 'Tadlock.' The date is 1/18/1950."

Now this is a good three years before I was born, but I suspect this has something to do with the polio epidemic that swept the country in the 1940s and 1950s.  Many victims were confined to the infamous "iron lung" machine, and this resembles a portable device used by victims to help with breathing while outside the machine.

Not sure of the names of any of the people in the picture.  If you recognize anyone, please 
leave a comment here or a message on my Facebook page.

UPDATE:  Jimmie Meese Moomaw (author of Southern Fried Child) says the older gentleman on the right is Red Myers, the town fire chief.  Thanks, Jimmie!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Will the Real Dr. Johnson Please Stand Up?

ca 1876-1886, postcard

Library caption of second photo: Small color picture of Dr. Johnson; on back of frame (removed): "This photo of Dr. Harvey Johnson was the property of Mrs. Jennie Larkin Bishop, one of Whitworth's alumnae. Presented now to the Harvey Johnson Society by her daughter, Mrs. Maude Bishop Williams, one of the student body of Whitworth and a member of Harry (sic) Johnson Society, with best wishes for the Society and in loving memory of her mother. 1922"
Both of these photographs are identified as H.F. Johnson, and are included in the local library's Whitworth College Archives.  

I must be missing something here -- to my eye, the men do not resemble each other and the second photo, based on the style of clothing, implies to me a much earlier era than 1867.  Also, the second reference is to a Harry in the caption, but the handwriting appears to say Harvey.

Contemporary Brookhavenites might be aware that Dr. H. F. Johnson and Katie McGrath Johnson were the paternal grandparents of Phyllis Johnson Spearman, a much beloved high school educator and long-time Spanish teacher who still makes her home in Brookhaven.

The burning question is, if I am not totally off my beam about the differences in appearance, which picture is the correct one of THE Dr. H. F. Johnson? 

According to the library's account of the history of the college: "Dr. Harvey F. Johnson, one of Whitworth College’s most influential presidents, took office in 1867. Born in North Carolina and educated at Emory and Henry in Virginia and Centenary College in Louisiana, Johnson had been a Confederate officer and chaplain. 

"His presidency saw a growth in student population to 200, emergence from serious debt, and expenditure of $45,000 on new buildings. This construction included Calisthenics Hall (auditorium and gymnasium) in 1869, Margaret Hall (dormitory with steam heat and water) in 1878, Johnston Institute in 1884, and renovation of Whitworth Hall to facilitate its use as dining hall, infirmary, faculty offices, and dormitory space.

"Among the faculty during this period was G.R. Eckhard, a graduate of the Berlin Conservatory. One of his piano students, Roberta Bowen, was invited to perform at the 1882 World’s Fair in Chicago. Bowen later chaired the Whitworth Voice Department.

"Johnson died of Yellow Fever in 1886, and Lewis T. Fitzhugh replaced him as president. Fitzhugh’s tenure in office is best remembered for a highly successful music conservatory program led by Professor William Hennings. Whitworth had 27 pianos and 24 rooms for musical instruction. In 1893, Fitzhugh left to found Belhaven College in Jackson."
Information clarifying what I see as a discrepancy in photo likeness is welcomed.  Please reply either here on via my Facebook page, and I will gladly update or correct.