My parents, Frank and Harriet Claycomb, moved to Hollywood California in 1939 – in time for their first born child to have that glamorous birthplace. I think this was an exciting time in my parents’ lives. They were in their early 20s and Hollywood star power was at a peak. The Wizard of Oz was released that year and Gone With the Wind in 1940. Mom said she often saw big stars at local stores. It was almost a small town atmosphere.
Dad was a salesman for Anaconda and often entertained customers at night clubs. These are souvenir photos from two of those evenings.
Folder for Florentine Gardens.
(about 1942) L-R: __, Sally Chamberlain, Frank Claycomb, Harriet Claycomb, __, Blair Chamberlain, __, __.
On the reverse of the Florentine Gardens folder, it states one can write for additional copies from Hollywood Nite Club Photos – $1.00 each plus 10 cents for mailing.
February 1940. L-R: Frank Claycomb, Cele Snow, W. E. Sprackling, Harriet Claycomb, Herbert Hawks, Win Snow, Mrs. Hawks, E. A. Casey, Mrs. W. E. Sprackling.
I like reading obituaries for their information and often for their wording. How many ways can you say someone has died? This was not meant to be an obituary, it was just in the local news column, but the wording is not what we would use today.
“The aged wife of Mr. Thomas Duncan who has been with her son, Dr. Duncan at LaMoille, had a stroke of apoplexy recently, but the Gazette reports her as improving. Dr. F. Duncan, formerly of this city, is one of her sons.
Since writing the above we learn that the old lady died.”
Mrs. Duncan is Eliza Cation Duncan. She died 9 Dec 1890. LaMoille is in Illinois and was the home of Dr. James C. Duncan.
My grandmother, Ruth Bressler Claycomb, was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Fraternity (yes, although we would now call it a sorority) in 1909 at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Michael Gallagher, son of John and Martha Gallagher, was the second husband of Cassie Ann Rosenberry, my great great grandmother. Her first husband was Orson Patchen (Patchin) with whom she had two children, Edgar and Nettie. Nettie (Annette MaryJane Patchen) was my great grandmother. Orson Patchen died in the Civil War. Cassie then married Michael Gallagher. They had no children. Michael also died in the war and Cassie applied for his widow’s pension. These are some of the forms from that file.
Civil War pension files can have wonderful information in them. In this one, it lists parents’ names, verifies the marriage, and indicates no children. The best tip I learned about getting the file was to request the entire file to be copied. Otherwise someone is going to choose which pages you get. Disclaimer: I got these files many years ago, so the procedure might have changed.
As Michael’s widow, she did get a pension of $8.00 per month.
These are the proofs offered in her claim.
This page has great information on it – parents, dates, marriage!
And more info here.
My favorite part is seeing her signature on the sheet above.
Sounds like a law firm, but it’s just more photos from these families. Previous photos here.
Samuel English, father of Lyman and Frank English. Frank is seated and his brother is standing.
Mamie English and Allen Smith
Allen & Mamie Smith with their sons, Myron English and Harold Allen
Belle English and John Byington.
Front: Harriet Byington and Eliza Duncan English. Back: Belle English and John Byington.
Eliza Duncan is the daughter of our immigrant ancestors, Eliza Cation and Thomas Duncan. She married Dr. Frank English. They had two daughters, Mamie and Belle. Mamie married Allen Newcomb Smith (two sons: Myron English and Harold Allen). Belle married John Edward Byington (no children). Myron provided these photos. Part of his story is here. The family lived in the Dixon, Illinois area.
Eliza Duncan English
Dr. Frank English
Frank, Eliza, Mamie, and Belle English.
Mamie and Belle English
Mamie and Belle English
Thomas Duncan was our Duncan immigrant ancestor. More of his story is here. This is his obituary from The Palmyra Enterprise (Wisconsin). My favorite part is the mention of being the head of the Duncan family in the US and how this is now transferred to his brother William.
These are notes Mom kept from a talk with her father, Thomas LeRoy Duncan, on December 7, 1981.
It was 1907 and 08 that I was in California. It was on the Lucky Baldwin Ranch. Dr. Cooke was President of Northern Illinois (University). His son came out to the observatory.
(You liked it out there, didn’t you?)
Oh yes, I always thought we’d move there someday. After that I went to work for the Steel Company. I was 19. We lived across the street. There was a church on the corner. That was at 4th and Locust. Mr. Payton taught me all the departments and the billing and payroll. We lived across from the forestation and I spent lots of time there. They had two fire wagons – horse-drawn. They kept them inside and the men slept upstairs. There was a pole down. One day I slid down with one hand and hit the big rubber platform below. Just that minute Mr. Murray walked in the door. He was the fire chief. He said, “Don’t you ever do that again” and I didn’t.
(This photo is of T. L. Duncan (r) and his half-brother Clifford (l) sorting oranges in Alhambra in 1909. Lucky Baldwin owned most of what is now Alhambra and Temple City, including the Santa Anita racetrack area. This photo might be from the ranch.)
The rewards of blogging continue. I wrote my first post about Thomas Duncan, author of Gus the Great, over six years ago. Then about 2014 Robert Barron contacted me – he had read “The Sky and Tomorrow” and never forgot it. Read his story here. Last year a reader who liked circuses wrote to me about “Gus the Great” – a fine circus novel. Recently I heard from Mike, a man in the UK who just found my blog. He told me he bought another Duncan book, “Virgo Descending,” in the 1960s and had just re-read it. Still found it to be powerful.
I had not read Virgo Descending so I ordered a collectible copy online. It was nice to see Duncan’s inscription to a woman at 20th Century Fox. I like seeing someone’s handwriting and signature.
The story’s main characters are Pete McCabe, a writer, and Solveig Skovgaard, an ambitious young woman. Part of it takes place in Santa Fe, New Mexico – I like that. In the author’s notes he specifically says he is not McCabe. But I have to think some of his attitudes show through. If so, I think I would like to have know Thomas Duncan. In this story, he writes about literary integrity and romantic integrity. His male, female, white, and brown characters are well developed, not stereotypes.
I can imagine a gathering of Thomas Duncan with Robert to discuss “The Sky and Tomorrow” and the circus historian to discuss “Gus the Great” and Mike to talk with him about “Virgo Descending.” And I get to be there too. Want to join us?