After writing the post about my great grandmother, Jessie Tyler, I talked to my mother on the phone. She had more information, that I probably knew already, but had forgotten it.
First of all, she identified a couple more photographs on the Old Photographs blog as being her grandmother. Upon careful inspection, I agree with her. She has my grandfather’s nose.
Then my mom assured me that she didn’t dislike her grandmother, and told me that she and her brothers and sisters used to eagerly anticipate the arrival of their grandmother and her husband, Frank Harris each Sunday when they’d come to my grandparent’s house for dinner. She did admit that her mother wasn’t all that pleased that her in-laws came for dinner every Sunday — perhaps it just got old. Mom said that her grandmother would tell them all stories and that she loved that.
Mom also mentioned the divorce — that Jessie divorced her first husband who was my grandfather’s father. Since that was highly unusual back then, I suppose it left a mark on Jessie.
It is impossible for me to know, now, if Jessie was married to my great-grandfather when these photos were taken, or not married at all or perhaps married to Frank Harris.
This all has a tragic ending though. Three tragic endings, actually.
My great grandfather, (
I think his name was Walter Green, just like my grandfather) Albert Green, was killed on the train track in South Elgin. I’m not sure if he was in a car at the time or if he was killed when walking across the track. I used to think he threw himself in front of the train, but it was an accident.
Frank Harris, Jessie’s second husband, did kill himself though. He hanged himself. I don’t know if this was before or after Jesse died though.
Jessie herself did not die an old woman in bed surrounded by her family. She was struck by a car in Elgin.
It surprises me that I didn’t know any of this — or at least didn’t remember any of it or tie it all together. But looking carefully at the photo of Jessie with her son, she does not look like that defiant, teasing woman whose photo I adopted. She looks very sad.
Edited 4.30.09 — Mom corrected me on two things 1) Jessie’s husband Frank committed suicide after Jessie was struck by an automobile and 2) the photo of my grandfather and the woman — the woman is not his mother. Mom doesn’t know who she is, but is sure she is not Jessie.
Edited 4.15.17 — 1) Changed the spelling of Jessie’s name based on her signature in a book she owned and 2) added Albert Green’s name, crossed out speculation about his name being Walter Green.