Sepia Saturday – Arise All Women (and Men) Who Have Hearts!

I have a couple of four generation photographs to share for Mother’s Day.

Abbie, Doris, Kathy, Dorinda, Eveline

Four Generations; Me as a Baby

I’m the baby in the arms of my great-grandmother, Dorinda Webber nee Strange. My grandmother, Abbie Smith nee Webber is on the left; my mom is in back; and my grandmother Eveline Hoskins nee Coates is on the right.

I was born in mid-October in Iowa, so it seems unusual that everyone is in short sleeves. The older ladies look a little dressed up, especially my great-grandmother, who is wearing a hat. Abbie’s apron indicates that the picture was taken at her home and that she hosted a meal. I bet I was the guest of honor!

Everyone looks happy – well Abbie may be concerned about a roast in the oven. Or maybe the sun is shining just a bit in her eyes.

New life. A new mother. So much loving ahead. So many possibilities.

This next picture was taken several years later. It features Eveline on the left; mom in the back; and I am sharing a chair with my great-grandmother Mary Coates nee Harris.

Mary Coates, Eveline, Doris, Kathy copy

Four Generations

My parents were divorced by this time and my mother and I lived with her parents – and so did my great-grandmother. Lots of love and hugs readily available for this young girl.

Whenever I look at this photograph, I get a little sad….. but not for a reason you would assume. It makes me sad because I had a better picture taken at the same time in the same pose. My grandmother’s eyes were open…. we all just looked a little better.

And I lost it! How could I have been so careless?

I took it to church with me to share at a women’s Bible study and I must have dropped it on my way to the car. I lost another picture at the same time of my grandmother Abbie. I didn’t have a “second” of that one.

I can’t remember the exact reason I took the pictures with me, but it had something to do with people (or women) who had had an impact on your life.

scan0071

Me, Mom and Kay

My grandmothers – as attested to in the name of this blog – had a profound influence on my life. As did my mother, of course. And my great-grandmothers. How lucky I was to be embraced by love every day – and to always be in the care and protection of my mother and grandmothers.

Mother’s Day did not begin as a day to buy cards and send flowers and take your mother out to brunch. Or to share pictures of them on Facebook. Or on your blog.

The roots of Mother’s Day in the United States began as a call to peace in 1870. And later as one daughter’s remembrance of her mother who worked for that call to peace.

The women in my family, as I knew them, were nurturers and peacemakers – or peacekeepers. Their care and concern extended beyond their immediate families. I knew them to be women who had hearts.

And so I’ll end with this link to ‘From the Bosom of the Devastated Earth,’ a History of Mother’s Day for Peace by Matthew Albracht, published in The Huffington Post 05/07/2013.

And this excerpt from Julia Ward Howe’s “Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World” also called the “Mother’s Day Proclamation”, written in 1870 in the aftermath of the U. S. Civil War  and the Franco-Prussian War.

“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!… We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”

May we all have hearts that are tender and reject violence in its many forms in honor of those who nurtured us.

You can read the full text here:

Mothers Day Proclamation copy

Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division

Sepia Sat May 11, 2013And, although I did not stick with the theme this week, this is my contribution to Sepia Saturday. Please pay other participants a visit.

Sepia Saturday – Webber’s Mystery Parade No. 1

Sepia Sat 13 April 2013Sepia 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.

Today’s prompt photo is entitled “Palmer’s Mystery Hike No. 2″. My contribution is a photograph from my grandmother’s (Abbie Webber) photo album. It features people walking in a parade wearing hats – and it is a mystery to me and my cousins.

Webber.Myron David.parade

My great-grandfather, Myron David Webber, is the man who turned to face the photographer and there is an X by his legs. M. D. Webber was a school teacher early in his life and served as a pastor in several churches. He also learned the trade of plastering and earned, or supplemented, his income as a plasterer for many years.

Our best guess is that this picture was taken in Iowa City, Iowa, where M. D. Webber lived from 1926 until his death in 1959. My cousin thinks it looks like it could be on Iowa Avenue near downtown. Google doesn’t provide a street view of Iowa City at this time, so I couldn’t go panning up and down the modern street to see if any buildings look like those in the picture.

Although none of us are aware of Great-grandfather belonging to a union, I’m guessing that this is the local chapter of a plasterer’s union he belonged to – and maybe this was part of a Labor Day parade.

There is another photograph from the same page of the album that looks like it was taken the same day based on Great-grandfather’s clothing.

Webber.Myron David and Strange.Dorinda Rebecca

The woman in the picture is M. D. Webber’s wife and my great-grandmother, Dorinda Rebecca Strange.

I once posted “Strange in a Strange Uniform“. Here we have “Strange in a Strange Hat”.
Strange.Dorinda Rebecca in funny hat copy

Looks like a homemade hat for whatever the occasion or celebration.

Date? I’m guessing 1930s?

Now join the parade, hit the trails, or take a leisurely stroll to see what others have prepared for Sepia Saturday today.

Sepia Saturday – Christmas Weddings

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.

I’m glad that Sepia Saturday is “come-as-you-can” during the holidays as there are a couple of Christmas Day wedding anniversaries I had hoped to recognize but missed the day.

First is the 115th anniversary of the marriage of my paternal great-grandparents on Christmas Day 1897.

Wedding of Myron David Webber to Dorinda Rebecca Strange

Myron David Webber and Dorinda Rebecca Strange were married in the home of her parents, John Sylvester Strange and Susan Nancy Hendrickson, in Lincoln, Kansas. Unfortunately I don’t know who stood with them in the photo.

Myron and Dorinda had a large family of nine children – some of whom I have introduced previously:
John Norman
Abbie Elizabeth (my grandmother – she’s mentioned numerous times here!)
Aaron Ferrel
Geraldine Hattie
Fred Myron
Norrine Belle
Lottie Susan
Dora Ersel
Woodrow Wilson

M. D. and Dorinda celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at First Baptist Church in Iowa City, Iowa in 1947.

Aaron, Margaret, M. D., Dorinda, and Fred Webber

In my grandmother’s photo album I found a picture of some flowers sent for the celebration and of a “wedding cake” – which I assume was also a part of the anniversary festivities.

             

Fifty-five years after the marriage of her parents, Woodye (Woodrow Wilson Webber) married the love of her life, Orville Kessler, on Christmas Day 1952.

Woodye had two children from a previous marriage and she and Orville had three more, but all were Orville’s children. The adoptions took place when the older girls were no longer girls, but quite grown up – a joyous occasion! I don’t have a picture of their wedding, but their daughter Wilda supplied me with these pictures from Woodye and Orville’s 55th wedding anniversary.

Wilda said in her email: “The bells in the 2nd photo are from our grandparents 50th anniversary and if my memory is correct were hung for Mother and Dad’s wedding, Dorinda’s and mine.”

And to bring this full circle, I’ll end with a poem written by Woodye’s and Orville’s daughter, Wilda. The poem evokes a memory of her grandfather, Myron David Webber, on a Christmas morning.

Gift

Rising early,
Grandfather stoked the ashes
of yesterday’s fire,
added fresh coal,
our first gift
on Christmas morning.

by Wilda Morris
From Secret Place (Nov. 1998 – Jan. 1999).
Used with the author’s permission.

If you would like to see more holiday stories from sepia images, visit Sepia Saturday.