Saturday, July 12, 2014

Family group shots

My cousins Justine and her daughter, Elizabeth, were up from Corydon yesterday to drop off a few vintage photographs for the museum collection --- and I brought this one home to scan because I'd never seen it before.

The version of this photograph that I have, taken at the same time during August of 1924 on the family farm just west of Williamson Pond, includes only the grandchildren of Joseph Cyrus and Mary Elizabeth (Clair) Miller. This photo includes Mary Elizabeth (my great-grandmother) and all of her children, her children's spouses and her grandchildren. Quite a group.

Nobody looks very happy here --- some look downright spooked. That would have had something to do with the photographer's admonition to focus on not moving. Shutter speeds then were not shutter speeds now. Right click on the image and open link in a new window to see the people more clearly.

Mary Elizabeth, seated in the center of the third row, was widowed during 1895 when Great-grandfather, Joseph Cyrus Miller, 42, suffered a heart attack, stroke or seizure and fell backwards into the wagon load of hogs he was taking into Chariton at what now is the first Highway 14 corner south of Williamson. So she had raised their children, and farmed, on her own --- with considerable assistance of course from the older kids.

There are too many people to identify here at the moment, but I can manage it if anyone is especially interested.

This family was a major patron of the various professional photographers who operated in Chariton, and family group shots were taken at regular intervals until 1960, when Don Hixon came out to the annual reunion --- held that year at the Clair Miller farm --- to take the final professional shot of all who had gathered. Here are a few of the others.

This photo of Mary Elizabeth's eight children was taken during 1945. The brothers are (from left) James Clair Miller, William Ambrose Miller (my grandfather) and Jeremiah Miller; the sisters (also from left) Easter (Miller) Brenaman, Adda (Miller) Dachenbach, Emma (Miller) Taylor, Elizabeth (Miller) Mason and Cynthia (Miller) Abrahamson.

This photo of my more immediate family also was taken during 1945 --- during January --- as the family gathered for my grandmother's funeral. I had not yet arrived, but several of my vastly older cousins already had.

The adults in the back row are (from left) Helen (Krutsinger) Miller, Joseph Miller, Kenneth Krutsinger, Owen Miller, Richard Miller, Daniel Myers and Reefa (Miller) Myers (something odd seems to have happened to the hair of both my mother and Aunt Helen). The seated adults are (from left) Mary (Miller) Krutsinger, William Ambrose Miller, Marie (Lindquist) Miller, Verna Brown and Mae (Miller) Gibbany.

Finally, here's a Hixson shot of the surviving Miller siblings, taken during 1960. Standing (from left) are J. Clair Miller, Easter (Miller) Brenaman and Jeremiah Miller; and seated (from left) William Ambrose Miller, Elizabeth (Miller) Mason and Cynthia (Miller) Abrahamson.

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