Sepia Saturday – A girl and a Bicycle

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

It has been a really long time since I participated in Sepia Saturday! The first photo to come to mind is one I posted a long time ago for another Sepia Saturday prompt. An unknown girl with an unknown dog. They are still unknown to me.

Mystery Girl and Dog

But it doesn’t seem right to simply post this photo again, so let’s see if I can go another round with the general theme.

When my mom’s brother, Albert (Al) Hoskins was approaching a milestone birthday, his wife sent out a request for memories. Mom included a story about a bicycle.

I apologize for riding off on your bicycle when you would come in after deli­vering your paper route. I guess I thought a chance to ride a bicycle (when it wasn’t in use and without permission) was a very special treat for me.  I must have reasoned that if I to had ask I wouldn’t have been given permission.

After all those years, I guess Mom still felt guilty about making off with her brother’s bike. It sounds like it may have happened more than once, which makes me think Al didn’t blow up at her or get her into big trouble with their mother.

Here’s a photo of Mom with two of her brothers. Older brother Al on the left and younger brother Roy in the middle. I’m not sure how old Mom was when she made off with Al’s bicycle, but I would guess within a couple of years of this photo.

I recently had some old family films digitized and found a couple of clips of Mom riding bicycles. I haven’t mastered clipping and saving the moving pictures and uploading here, but I captured a still from one of them.

There’s Mom, breaking the rules again! Riding a bike in her Sunday clothes.

The kickstand is down in this still, but the film shows that she did, in fact, ride that bike across the yard in her heels and Sunday dress. I have no idea why. A little later in the movie, she had changed her clothes and took a spin down the street with my sister – pictured here. Maybe Kim had a new bike and Mom was encouraging her to ride. Or maybe Mom just felt that old urge to take off on a bike.

And just to bring things full circle, here is a shot of me with my bike in Great Bend, Kansas … in a Halloween mask? I have no clue about that costume.

Hop on your bicycle (or someone else’s) and ride over to Sepia Saturday to check out some other takes on the theme.

A Day in Appanoose County

2016 Trip to Iowa Day 3

I was going along pretty well here, writing about my recent trip to Iowa. Then came the maddening, frustrating realization that I experienced a major technical failure on this particular day of my trip. It was my own un-techy fault. Unprepared. Ill equipped. Lacking knowledge. So I stopped writing mid-trip. Really, I am so bummed out about it. Nevertheless, it was a lovely day! Here goes …

2016-iowa-mystic-water-tower-copyWhen I was in Iowa four years ago, my Uncle Roy wanted to take me to Mystic, the town where he and my mom and their siblings were born and spent their early years. I ran out of time during that visit, so I made sure to reserve a day for a trip to Mystic this time.

Mystic, and the rest of Appanoose County, experienced a boom during the late 1800s and early 1900s because of coal mining in the area. Later, the mines ran out and many of the towns are now a mere shadow of what they once were. For today, we’ll just focus on the trip and I’ll hope to write more about Mystic and the lives of my family there another day.

map-of-appanoose-travelsThankfully, I had swapped out the two-door hatchback for a four-door sedan so that Uncle Roy, Aunt Joan and I could travel in relative comfort. I picked them up at their RV in Ottumwa Park and we were on our way mid morning. I was so thankful to have Uncle Roy as my navigator and tour guide.

The first stop on our trip was Elgin Cemetery in Mystic, where members of my Hoskins side of the family are buried. My great-grandmother’s stone was easy to find.

Sarah Elizabeth Hoskins nee Bryan

Sarah Elizabeth Hoskins nee Bryan

sarah-elizabeth-bryan-hoskinsSARAH
ELIZABETH
HOSKINS
JAN 27, 1864
JAN 7, 1939

Prepare to meet
me in Heaven

Sarah Elizabeth Hoskins, nee Bryan was my maternal grandfather’s mother.

Her daughters were buried nearby.

Edna Hoskins Martin and John

Edna Hoskins Martin and John

Ethel Hoskins Bland, Mark and Barbara

Ethel Hoskins Bland, Mark and Barbara

Morlan?

Morlan?

But where was her husband?

We looked and looked for Thomas Franklin Hoskins, but he was nowhere to be found. His death certificate confirms that he should be here, but we could not find even an indentation or tiny mark where an unmarked grave might be. Just to the left of Sarah Hoskins’ marker was a small metal marker. It is difficult to read, but I think the name is Morlan and other Morlans are nearby.

stickler-adaThere are a lot of Sticklers and Milburns buried in Elgin Cemetery – both family lines that married into my family tree, so I took pictures of their markers as well. There were a lot of old stones that were impossible, or nearly impossible, to read. Someone had taken black paint to preserve the names on the old Stickler markers. I know this is frowned upon, but I do understand the motivation. The names on those stones were not long for this world.

 

Taking pictures of grave markers always seems to be a challenge for me. Here is one of my photo fails. Like my big yellow bag?
wife-of-wm-e

I found this short video someone took at Elgin Cemetery. It doesn’t show the part of the cemetery where our family is buried, but gives a view of the landscape.

I’m just going to stop here and write about the rest of my day in Appanoose County in another post ’cause I’m still bummed about what happened next.

P.S. You can enlarge small photos by clicking on them.

To Do List:
Find the location of great-grandfather’s grave in Elgin Cemetery. Thomas Franklin Hoskins.

Related posts:
Flying Solo – Day 1 of this trip
Bonaparte Retreat – Day 2 of this trip
Puzzling Penmanship – includes pictures of Thomas F. Hoskins home and children
Sisters, But Not – Edna Hoskins

Mystery Baby – Who was Eric Dewell?

I’m diligently scanning and rescanning photographs originally in the possession of my grandmother Eveline Coates Hoskins – the ones sent by her relatives in England. I have not yet been able to determine how this beautiful baby fits into our family tree.
Unknown - Dewell, Eric copyYou know you want a closer look at those curls  … and that expression …
Unknown - Dewell, Eric cropand those toes …
Unknown - Dewell, Eric toesBut who is this precious one? The back of the photograph provides a name and a date.

Unknown - Dewell, Eric back signature

Hmm … I’m thinking the baby didn’t sign this.

I haven’t run across any Dewells in the family tree. No Erics either – in the event Dewell is a middle name.

As I was placing the photograph back into its page protector, I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before (and there has been ample opportunity for noticing). The date and handwriting match the date and handwriting on the back of another photograph.
Dawson (Cherry), Ida back signature and date I know who Cousin Ida is. Ida Dawson is the daughter of Nellie (Mary Ellen) Coates Dawson and Robert Dawson. Ida was my grandmother’s first cousin.

Dawson (Cherry), Ida copy But who is Eric Dewell and what was his relationship to Ida? I’ll keep looking, but I’m sending this out and hoping someone can give me a little help. I’d like to claim this little one as one of ours.