It does show my grandfather’s joy of life.
Thomas LeRoy Duncan, 1889-1983.
The photo itself is 2″ x 1 3/4″ – taped to the embossed paper frame.
I’m guessing it date from about 1875. I have another photo of her that I’ll add below. It’s on paper and she looks older in it.
This might have been taken in the 1880s. The hat is the same one that she wears in an 1882 family portrait.
It seems that Mrs. Emma Duncan and her sister Erista Osborne entertained some soldiers in their home in Racine, Wisconsin in 1918. One of those soldiers wrote to them after seeing some photographs of the time. David Earl Burk was stationed in Caldwell, New Jersey when he wrote. He described the camp and the construction they had to do.
I found a WWI draft registration for a man with the same name – and I think the same signature, so I’ve included that. David Earl Burk was born 21 January 1895 in Indiana. He is 23 when he writes to Emma and Erista.
David Earl Burk is not related to me in any way, so this is another letter that needs to find its rightful home.
Mary Ann Sanderson Oakland died 17 December 1939.
More detailed stories of the life of Mary Ann Oakland are posted here.
In 1926 John Tannehill Bressler sailed on the S. S. Belgenland from the United States to Egypt with a few stops in between. From Nice France he sent a postcard to his 10 year old grandson, George Claycomb. I find it an interesting choice of cards – one featuring women in the gymnasium on board the ship. Young George probably loved it.
March 9 – 1926
I have not had a letter from you but will write a card just the same. Love to you all.
From Camp Douglas near Chicago, Illinois, Albert Washburn wrote a letter to Emma Osborne, who must have been a friend because he addresses her as ‘Em’ – rather casual for the day. And the letter was written sometime between October 1861 when he joined the 55th Illinois Infantry Regiment, Company G, and 15 January 1862 when he died of diphtheria. He was just shy of his 20th birthday.
I’ve built this story from clues in the letter. Known: It was written by A. Washburn to Em and mentions Erista (and kept with other letters to Emma and Erista Osborne). Known: he’s in a company with a Capt. J. Clay. Known: In the 55th Illinois Infantry, Co. G, there is an Albert Washburn and a Capt. Joseph Clay.
The Em he’s writing to is Emma Osborne, who in 1866 will marry Thomas C. Duncan of Chicago. Erista is her younger sister. I put Erista’s name in the title of this post erroneously – it should have been Emma.
Albert Washburn’s grave can be seen here.
Tuesday, January 2, 1912
Snow thawed a little today. Rode up town after the mail this p.m.
January 16, 1912
The snow is partly off the ground now so stock can graze a little. Covered the ground 28 days.
These are the ledger entries for January through February which includes the sale of the remaining property in Texas.
They set up household on a rented farm in Marengo, Illinois where their first child, John Bressler Claycomb, was born, April 12, 1913. They later moved to Electric Park Corners in Sycamore, Illinois. Their son, Frank Erwin Claycomb, was born in his grandfather’s (Frank Erwin Claycomb) house in Sycamore on February 2, 1915. The family then moved to Ruth’s hometown of Wayne, Nebraska. George Edward Claycomb was born there December 4, 1916; Barbara Claycomb was born December 12, 1918 and Richard Townsend Claycomb was born October 19, 1922.
Amos Townsend Claycomb died in Wayne, December 29, 1958, age 72.
Ruth Bressler Claycomb died in Wayne also, October 29, 1972, age 86.
Both are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Wayne, Nebraska.
Just a thought: Grandpa Claycomb rarely wrote more than 2 or 3 lines, but he wrote each day about the everyday things. He rarely told us how he felt or what his goals were, but we still learn a lot about his life. I’ve had many people tell me how lucky I am to have my Grandfather’s diaries. And I am lucky. Wouldn’t most people want to have this glimpse into their grandparent’s life? And yet, do we record the everyday things in our lives – maybe just 2 or 3 lines a day? Yet, wouldn’t our grandchildren love to have that record of our lives? Please consider keeping some form of diary. It is a wonderful gift – in the keeping and in the sharing.
Lucia Marie Benfield and William G. Sturdivant announce their marriage on 23 October 1916 in Wilmette, Illinois.
This is another example of a family document going down the ‘wrong’ branch of the family tree. My grandfather’s third wife saved many family heirlooms that had come to her from our Duncan family. She gave a box of things to my cousin and he generously gave me a box of papers. Most of them are from the family of my great-grandfather’s brother’s wife (Emma Osborne Duncan) – some of her cousins. Well, this is too distant a relative for us to keep these papers. They need to go home.
And I don’t know the connection of the Benfields and Sturdivants – maybe just friends of Emma’s family. Someone out there must know these folks! Please contact me.
There will be more posts with these ‘lost’ documents and letters.
On the back of this postcard Dad wrote “The front part of this hospital was Great Grandma Townsend’s Sycamore home – given to Sycamore for a hospital. Located on Somonauk St.”
Great Grandma Townsend is Eleanor Pierce Townsend, wife of Amos Townsend. Eleanor was born in 1839 in Neversink, New York. All of her five children were born in DeKalb county, Illinois. She died there 20 December 1904.
On the 2nd the railroad paid damages for the fire started by a train in October. Most of the month is busy selling off animals and supplies.
Friday, December 1, 1911
Drove home this p.m.
Tuesday, December 5, 1911
Finished threshing maize today getting a total of ___ bushels off of about 65 acres. [number not filled in]
Wednesday, December 6, 1911
Hauled some grain to Wil- this a.m. and helped Paine thresh after dinner.
Friday, December 8, 1911
Cloudy and misty this p.m. Helped Baldwin haul and stack feed this p.m. with Norman.
Sunday, December 10, 1911
Rode pony over to Bush- this a.m. and staid at Harker’s for dinner.
Monday, December 11, 1911
Arthur harrowed the plow plowing till noon and then double disced a small piece we did not get plowed.
Monday, December 18, 1911
Drizzling all day. Too wet to drill.
Tuesday, December 19, 1911
Hard now last night and all day with north wind.
Sunday, December 24, 1911
In Am- all day. Came out home tonight.
Monday, December 25, 1911
Rode up after the mail this a.m. and staid home the rest of the day. Misty all day.
Tuesday, December 26, 1911
Had to pull all the sucker rod of the wind-mill this a.m. and put in new leathers. The upper joint of the rod was also broken.
Thursday, December 28, 1911
Rode up after the mail this a.m. Norman killed his hogs today.
Sunday, December 31, 1911
Rode over to Harker’s this p.m. and staid there a few hours.