Monday, February 03, 2014

Those Columbia girls (and boys) revisited

With snowmageddon in the forecast again, I'm trying to think of other things --- like uniting many of my "Columbia girls" photos in one blog post. I've used all of these before, but they're widely scattered in posts dating back several years and I thought it might be fun to see them together.

Columbia is a little town in Marion County, just north of the Lucas-Marion County line not far east of Highway 14 between Chariton and Knoxville. My great-grandparents, Joseph and Chloe (Boswell/Prentiss) Brown, moved there during the spring of 1871, a few months after their marriage.

Great-grandfather was 60 at the time; great-grandmother, 37. He had been married twice previously and had a grown family; she had been widowed during 1865 and had four daughters who moved to Columbia, too. Their mutual son, also Joseph, was born at Columbia during September of 1871 and my grandmother, Jessie, during January of 1875, when her father was 64.

The photo at the top here would have been taken during the 1890s in front of the Brown home in Columbia. Grandmother is at left and her friend, Cora Bingaman, at right. I have no idea what the occasion was, but the photographer was my great-uncle, Alpheus E. Love, who had married Jessie's half-sister, Laura Prentiss. Most of the photos here were taken by Uncle Al.

The second photo in this set includes Grandmother (right), her sister-in-law, Anna (Stone) Brown --- married to Joseph Brown Jr. --- and Anna's sister, Della Stone.

The Brown place at Columbia was not large. There's only one crossroads in town now --- and most likely then as well. Joseph and Chloe purchased 40 acres in the northeast corner of that intersection to farm. As years passed, the May store and a variety of houses were built on lots carved out of that 40 acres.

The Brown home, orchard, garden, stable, etc., were located on a smaller tract across the road south, in the southeast corner of the Columbia crossroad. Commercial lots were carved eventually out of the northwest corner of this property and, after my grandmother sold what she still owned in Columbia to the Caruthers family after her marriage to my grandfather, William Ambrose Miller, the old Brown home was taken down and a larger home (still standing) constructed to the east.

This more formal portrait of Columbia girls probably dates from about 1890. The subjects are (seated from left) Rachel May, Mag Askren and Adda McCorkle; and (standing from left) Ola Maddy, Lula Flanagan, Eunice Caldwell and Grandmother Jessie. This probably was a school- or church-related group, since the subjects obviously went to a good deal of trouble to prepare for it, but I have no idea what it might have been.

This group of Columbia girls is the most artistically posed among those I have. My grandfather added the identifications after Grandmother's death, so the names of some are unknown to me and Granddad didn't have too firm a grip on the spellings of others. Grandmother Jessie is in the middle. Right-click and enlarge to see of you recognize anyone else.

It's hard to tell what the subjects were up to in this more whimsical photo --- cleaning berries, snapping green beans, who knows? The subjects are (from left) Adda McCorkle, A.B. Askren, Della Stone, Grandmother Jessie and Grace Russell. The three women on the right are wearing dresses made of identical fabric. Not sure what that was all about either. A.B. was somewhat outnumbered, but looks rather dashing in his straw hat.

This is a Columbia musical group, probably directed by Uncle Al --- one of southern Iowa's old-time "music men" --- but sadly the subjects are not identified. I do recognize my great-aunt, Emma Prentiss, holding the mandolin, but that's it. For some reason, perhaps because she was not especially musical, Grandmother did not throw herself in front of the camera here.

Although only three of the young people in this photo definitely are from Columbia, I'm including it just because I like it so much. It was taken at Superior, Nebraska, where part of the vast Columbia McCorkle clan had resettled, including Grandmother's brother-in-law and sister, Sam and Olive (Prentiss) McCorkle. The subjects are (seated from left) Earl Buck, Grandmother Jessie and her nephew, Byron Love. Somehow, Al and Laura (Prentiss) Love produced a crop of absolutely gorgeous children, including Byron. Standing in the rear are Kate and Bud Chaney and Ada McCorkle, Grandmother's niece.

Remember that Grandmother's oldest siblings were 40 years her senior, so she had many nieces and nephews who were older than she was and others of similar age.

And finally, a little more seasonally, here's a photo of Grandmother (left) and her niece, Ida (Brown) Rodgers, in full winter gear. I'm feeling a little warmer already. And how about those hats?

1 comment:

Brenda said...

What photographic treasures!

Stay warm.