Christmas 1900

christmas 1900 DeKalb

 

This photo is labeled Christmas 1900 DeKalb.  That’s DeKalb, Illinois.  Update:  My brother sent me a copy of this with the names.  Great Christmas present!  Although I’m not sure the names line up correctly.
L-R:  Clifford Duncan, E. J. Farmer (father of Mabel Farmer Duncan), T. C. Duncan, Hazel Wiswall, Howard Duncan, Mrs. Elva Patchen Wiswall, Nettie Duncan, Mr. Elna Wiswall, Mr. William Patchen (Elva’s father), Vera Wiswall, Mabel Farmer Duncan, Ed Duncan, Dr. J. C. Duncan.  Duncan residence, 4th St., DeKalb, Illinois.
Things I know:  Hazel and Vera Wiswall would be young women at this time.

Memories from Postcards

lax pc 1

Nothing like an old postcard to trigger memories.  In 1956 Mom and I flew from San Diego to Chicago, by way of Los Angeles on United Airlines.  We were going to the DeKalb, Illinois Centennial celebration in Mom’s hometown.

It was my first plane ride.  I was given a tour of the plane including the cockpit by the stewardess (no male flight attendants then).  And I was given a small silver pin with wings.  We had a wonderful hot meal – all this in the cheap seats.  Although they probably weren’t very cheap.

1956 pc trip to dekalb

1910 Illinois School Postcard

1910 pc school

 

This postcard was sent by my great-grandmother, Mary Ann Sanderson Oakland, to Mrs. Andrew Richolson.  They lived in the Lee / Stewart area of Illinois, so perhaps the school pictured is in that area, maybe even DeKalb.  With luck, someone familiar with the area will let me know!

1910 pc school rev signature

 

Lee 5-20-10  Dear Friend, If the weather is nice, we will go home with you from Sunday school next Sunday.  With Love, Your Friend, Mrs. Oakland.

Duncan & Patchen – Part 3 Nettie

Nettie Patchen Duncan was widowed in 1901 at the age of 42.  Her sons, Howard, 19, James Edgar, 16, and Thomas (Roy), 14, shared her home in DeKalb, Illinois that year.

Part One of the Duncan – Patchen story is here, Part Two is here.

In 1904 Howard married Margaret Crosby.  In 1907 James married Florence Zollar.  So by the 1910 Federal Census Nettie is living with only Roy.  About the same time, in April 1910 her son Howard died, leaving a wife and daughter.

Roy married Albie Oakland in June 1911 leaving Nettie on her own.  She has many years of life left.

duncan family

Duncans: L-R back: Albie, Harriet, Thomas, Florence Zoller, James Edgar, Helen Mercer, Nettie.
Front: Mary, Helen, and Dorothy Duncan. About 1916

After these bare bones of dates, I don’t have a lot of documentation for Nettie, but I know she was an important person in my mother’s life.  Mom had a large family around her – both grandmothers and lots of extended family.  When Mom’s mother (Nettie’s daughter-in-law) died in 1927, Nettie had a big part in raising the girls.

nettie roy girls abt 1928

Duncans, L-R: Harriet, Nettie, Barbara, Helen, Thomas (Roy). About 1928, after Albie had died.

In the 1930 Federal Census, she is living with her son Roy and his three daughters.  From Mom’s stories, Nettie lived with them until Roy remarried in 1932.

3 girls nettie florence 2

Barbara, Helen, Nettie, Harriet, and Florence (Huckins). This was probably taken about 1932 when Florence married Roy.

back florence lillian mercer front had nettie jdc tdc helen joliet 1

Standing: Florence Duncan, Lillian Mercer.
Sitting: Harriet Duncan Claycomb, Nettie Duncan, Jean Claycomb, Tom Claycomb, and Helen Duncan. Taken about 1944.

6 Nettie 40sNettie was a nurse.  I don’t know of her formal training, but as a doctor’s wife in the late 19th century she was certainly exposed to the profession.  She was also possibly a nurses’ supervisor at a local hospital.  My memory is a little shaky on this.

Nettie died 11 January 1949 at the age of 90 years in Rockford, Illinois.  Her stone has her birth year wrong – she was born in 1858 (and was in the 1860 census).

jc duncan stone det

Duncan Oakland Wiswall reunion 1948a

I am the small girl just to the right of my sister and brother in their lovely striped outfits. Nettie is the tall white haired lady behind me.

My life overlapped Nettie’s for almost three years.  I have no memory of meeting her, but I just found this photo that has both of us in it.  It’s difficult to express how happy I am to learn that we did meet.  And it amazes me to know that I knew my great-grandmother who was born before the Civil War.

Duncan & Patchen – Part 2 Family Life

jcd and nettie smMy great grandparents, Nettie Patchen and James Cation Duncan married in 1880 in Iowa.  James had a son, Clifford, 4, from his first marriage.

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On 11 December 1881 in Osage, Iowa J.C. and Nettie’s first son, Howard William, was born.  I don’t know where the name Howard comes from.  I think the William part came from J.C.’s brother William who died in the Civil War.  This doesn’t follow traditional Scottish naming patterns.

Standing Mamie English, Clifford Duncan, Eliza Duncan English, Frank English, James Cation Duncan, Nettie Patchen Duncan.  Seated:  Eliza Cation Duncan, Belle English, Thomas Duncan, Howard Duncan.  About 1882.

Standing Mamie English, Clifford Duncan, Eliza Duncan English, Frank English, James Cation Duncan, Nettie Patchen Duncan. Seated: Eliza Cation Duncan, Belle English, Thomas Duncan, Howard Duncan. About 1882.

In one county history it states that J.C. returned in 1882 to Chicago to continue his medical studies.  It was in Chicago that James Edgar (Ed) Duncan was born on 3 December 1885.

Sometime after 1887 J.C. graduated from Chicago Homeopathic College and moved to LaMoille, Illinois in Bureau county.  It was there that their third son, my grandfather, Thomas LeRoy, was born on 22 November 1889.

James, Thomas, and Clifford Duncan

James, Thomas, and Clifford Duncan

On 19 May 1894 Nettie’s mother, Cassie Abbott, died in Osage, Iowa.  Her youngest daughter, Lillian Abbott, came to live with the Duncans.  She was 16 years old.

L-R: J.C. Duncan, Lillian Abbott, Howard or Ed Duncan, Thomas, Nettie, and Clifford Duncan.  About 1900.

L-R: J.C. Duncan, Lillian Abbott, Howard or Ed Duncan, Thomas, Nettie, and Clifford Duncan. About 1900.

In October 1896 the family moved to DeKalb, Illinois.  J.C. re-established his medical practice there.

duncan house maybe abt 1900a

Duncan house about 1900. Not sure which Duncan family this is, but one of ours! I don’t recognize the man in the swing.

The photos I have are labelled “Duncan House 1900.”  The photos are special to me because they are ‘snap-shots’ – not formally posed in a studio.

duncan house interior abt 1900

christmas 1900 DeKalb

Christmas 1900 DeKalb, Illinois. J.C Duncan on the right, close to the camera.

Also in the 1900 census, J.C. and Nettie live with the three younger boys.  Within the year before the 1900 Federal Census (June 1900), James’ son, Clifford, married Mabel Farmer.  In the census, they are listed as living with her parents in DeKalb.

Also in that year, Nettie’s sister, Lillian married Edward Z. Mercer. In the census she is shown as living under her married name with her parents and also living with her husband and his mother at a different address.  Census information can be “interesting” – that is to say inaccurate because the person giving the information may not know the answers to the questions.  And yet, all the blanks are filled in.  Take census information with a grain of salt.

JCD obit

On 6 November 1901 James Cation Duncan, 50, died from Bright’s Disease (commonly described any kidney disease at the time).   He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in DeKalb.

The three boys at home were teenagers.

jc duncan stonePart one of the Duncan – Patchen series can be found here.

Part three is here.

Sanderson & Oakland (Part 3) – Thomas’ Death

 

1913 Thomas Oakland cropOn 23 September 1918 Thomas Lewis Oakland died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage.  Mom said he was at a church supper when he collapsed.  Mom also remembered that because he had no life insurance and had not paid for the home on Somonauk Avenue that her grandmother lost the house and had to return to work at the age of 50.  She worked in a department store, second floor women’s apparel.

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Part One of the Sanderson-Oakland story can be seen here.

Part Two of their story can be seen here.

tlo obit for blog til

Another big shock to the family was the death of the Oakland’s daughter, Albie Duncan in 1927.  During Albie’s illness, Mary took care of her three granddaughters.  She became very close to the girls.  “God’s Minute” was a birthday present to my mother in 1934.

gods minute inscription 1934

In a note to Mom in May 1939 “It passes the time to get away once in a while now that my girlies three have flown away to their own homes.  I sometimes wonder what I had better do now.  But dear I have so much to be thankful for to know you are all  happy.”  Later that month she sent another letter and card to Mom when my sister was born – Mary’s first great grandchild.

mao card & env 1939mao letter 1939My favorite part of this letter is her wondering if Helen has arrived.  Helen is my mother’s sister who helped when all of us were born.  She was a mainstay in our lives.  I think it was a comfort to Mary to know that Helen would be there for my mother.  I know it was a comfort to my mother!

Mary ann oakland formalJust a few months later on 17 December 1939 Mary Ann Sanderson Oakland died in DeKalb, Illinois.  She was 71 years old.  She was survived by one son, five grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

mary ann death article

Thomas LeRoy Duncan

James, Thomas, and Clifford Duncan

James, Thomas, and Clifford Duncan.

My maternal grandfather, Thomas Leroy Duncan (Roy), was born in LaMoille, Bureau county, Illinois on 22 November 1889, the youngest of four boys.  He had a half-brother Clifford, and two full brothers, Howard William and James Edgar (Ed).  His father was James Cation Duncan, a homeopathic doctor in DeKalb, Illinois.  His mother was Annette MaryJane Patchen, who always went by the name Nettie, even on official documents.  She was a nurse/supervisor in the DeKalb area for most of her life.  Roy lived in northern Illinois for his entire life.

abt 1918 formal

He married his high school sweetheart, Albie Irene Oakland, on 21 June 1911 in Sycamore, DeKalb county, Illinois.  They had three daughters, Helen, Harriet, and Barbara.  Mom often told stories about their outings – many picnics, family reunions, and just fun times.

TLD girls AIO bridge abt 1919

Duncan family gathering:  Albie, Harriet, Roy, Florence (Ed's wife), Ed (Roy's brother), Helen Mercer, Nettie Duncan; front: Mary, Helen, Dorothy Duncan.

Duncan family gathering: Albie, Harriet, Roy, Florence (Ed’s wife), Ed (Roy’s brother), Helen Mercer, Nettie Duncan; front: Mary, Helen, Dorothy Duncan. About 1916.

Albie and Roy bowling

The idyllic family life didn’t last long.  Albie died 20 June 1927 in DeKalb, Illinois.  She was 38 years old.  The girls were 14, 12, and 10 when their mother died.  Roy’s mother Nettie, and Albie’s mother, Mary Ann, helped take care of the girls.

This is the family soon after Albie's death.  Roy's mother, Nettie, is helping raise the girls.

This is the family soon after Albie’s death. Roy’s mother, Nettie, is helping raise the girls.

Thomas Leroy Duncan

Thomas Leroy Duncan

On 10 August 1932 Roy married Florence Huckins.

On 10 August 1932 Roy married Florence Huckins.

florence roy dog radio

Florence, Topper, Roy at home.

I like this photo of Roy and Florence in their home – it’s nice to have some photos that aren’t posed.

TLD florence HDC TDC JDC DLC

pc tld to hdc

Florence, Harriet, Roy, Jeanie, Tom,  and Donna (in front).

Florence, Harriet, Roy, Jeanie, Tom, and Donna (in front).  And Polar, the dog.

The Duncans visited us in California often.  Grandpa Duncan was so much fun – I wrote about his positive attitude earlier here.  Florence died on 10 January 1957, long after the girls had married and left home.  But Roy was alone again.

harriet barb jim edith norris helen roy 1957

I think this was taken at the time of Florence’s funeral.
L-R: Harriet, Barbara, Jim (Helen’s son), Edith Norris (Florence’s sister), Helen, and Roy.

Marcella Rice becomes Mrs. Roy Duncan. 1965

Marcella Rice becomes Mrs. Roy Duncan. 1965

The third time around Roy married a younger woman, a little hedge against having to bury another wife.  On 14 April 1962 Roy and Marcella Rice were married in Kings, Illinois.  She adored him and was able to care for him for the rest of his life.

Thomas Leroy Duncan died on 28 October 1983 in Rochelle, Ogle county, Illinois.  He was 93 years old and had lived a full, enthusiastic life.

Grandpa Duncan

Grandpa Duncan

Stray Baby

stray babyThis was not the finest hour for my grandparents (or my mother), but it all ended well.  I love the wording in the clipping – “stray baby.”

The baby was my mother, Harriet Duncan. The town was DeKalb, Illinois.  About 1916.

L-R: Helen Duncan, Albie Irene Oakland Duncan, Harriet Duncan.  1916

L-R: Helen Duncan, Albie Irene Oakland Duncan, Harriet Duncan. 1916