Category Archives: Photographs

Elgin Belvidere ST. RR Wreck and Strike Elgin ILL 7-28-1908

I found this old postcard among Mom’s things. According to Wikipedia, “The Elgin and Belvidere Electric Company was a 36-mile (58 km) interurban line that connected Belvidere, Illinois and Elgin, Illinois.”

Wikipedia briefly mentions the strike, saying “[Bion J.] Arnold [the owner] himself was heavily involved in the line’s construction and management, and at one point operated the cars himself during a strike.”

I cannot find anything else about the wreck and strike on the Internet.

Two Men from the 1800s

I’ve been meaning to write a post about this photo I found among my mother’s things. It is so faded that it is difficult to see the men, but it looks like it may have been taken around the Civil War years, based on the clothes and hair styles, but I am absolutely no expert on Civil War era fashion.

I assume they are ancestors of mine — possibly Tylers, although I don’t know what makes me think that. I suppose they could be McCornacks.

The photographer, J. M. Adams is mentioned on this blog post and a Facebook member of a group about Elgin History posted two of the photographer’s studio.

Two men -- original scan
Two men — original scan
Photo with "color restoration" enabled in scan
Photo with “color restoration” enabled in scan
Back of photo: J. M. Adams Photographer, Elgin, Ill, First door East of the Bridge. Duplicates of this Picture can be had at any time.
Back of photo

Such a happy family photo

No one looks at all pleased to be in this photo, except maybe Grandma Patrick and Aunt Norma. Everyone else is either looking shifty-eyed at someone else or into the camera, not smiling.

This was also my graduation party that I shared with my cousin Jim and his girlfriend. Of course, as with all important events [1], the party took place in our garage.

My dad’s family: Aunt Norma, Aunt Corrine, Aunt Alvera, Aunt Leila and Dad behind Grandma Patrick on her 80th birthday
Notes:
  1. including my wedding reception []

Photos of people I don’t know #4 — Grade 2, 1911, Columbia School (Elgin, Illinois)

I don’t know any of these children. I thought that possibly my Uncle Don was among the group, but he was born in 1910, so it could not have been his 2nd grade class, although he may or may not have attended Columbia Grade School in Elgin.

I will post this on the You Know You’re from Elgin if… Facebook group. Maybe someone’s grand or great grandparent is in the photo.

Class photo of about 30 children

A tale of two images

Within the course of less than 12 hours I received two surprise images through the Internet.

The first one arrived via twitter and was an illustration to go along with a blog entry from a couple of days ago. The artist is an old Internet buddy I have followed since my Sidekick days. What a treat! I’ve added it to the Owl-Focals entry. Now I think I understand my story better.

owlfocals
Dona reading with her owl-focals. Image by Mike Popovic

The second was from a stranger via a comment on this blog:

Dad’s photo. Before and after it was Photoshopped.

Hi Dona…..I was searching Google for some old photos in need of restoration to hone my Photoshop skills. I came across the one of your father and thought it a perfect candidate. Not only was it in desperate shape, but he seemed to embody the mettle of a generation unlike we will ever see again.
Needless to say, I wanted to share the picture with you and yours. That generation is leaving us all too quickly and it was an honor for me to get this sailor ready for inspection. I hope you enjoy the picture as much as I enjoyed restoring it.

Thanks!

Gary

It most certainly looks better. However, the Photoshopping took away the twinkle in Dad’s eye and the smart-ass grin that is just about ready to appear on his face. I know that look — he’s about to tell an off-color joke. When I remember my dad it’s the twinkle and the grin I remember most.

My grandfather’s elusive father

Albert Green
Albert Green

I’ve known my maternal grandfather’s lineage from his mother’s side for a very long time. It made such a huge impact on me that I vowed to be married in the church that our ancestors built near Elgin and loved to tell people that the creek that flows on the West side of Elgin is named after the Tyler branch of my family.

I knew very little about my grandfather’s father, however except that he divorced his wife and was out of the picture early in my grandfather’s life. Apparently, he knew his mother’s second husband, Frank Harris, as a father.

Yesterday, however, I discovered more than I’d ever hoped about that great grandfather’s family.

Harold, Hildur, Amanda, Albert

His name was Albert Green and was the son of Swedish immigrants. His father, Emil Green married Amanda Johnson on March 19, 1887, in Cook County, Illinois. His occupation is listed as a carpenter. He was 22 and she was 24. Emil and Amanda had two other children besides Albert. Their first child, a girl named Hildur was born on November 19, 1888, and they lived at 6005 May Street in the Englewood part of Chicago when she was born, according to her birth certificate. Albert was their second child, born on February 25, 1891. Their third child, Harold, was born April 2, 1898. Emil died of Typhoid fever on June 17, 1899, and is buried at Oakwood Cemetery. Amanda died in Elgin on August 8, 1934, and is buried at Bluff City Cemetery in Elgin.

Albert married Jessie May Tyler on May 5th, 1909. My grandfather, Walter Tyler Green was born January 31, 1910. And according to the census of 1910, both Albert and Jessie lived with her parents (and brother and his wife) at the house on Highland Avenue (615 West) in Elgin.

Albert died on October 19, 1921, in South Elgin, Illinois. The family story is that he was struck by a train on the railroad tracks in South Elgin, but the death record does not tell the cause of death. He was a roofer. He is buried at Bluff City Cemetery.

Jessie married Frank Harris, a German who arrived in the United States in 1900, by the 1930 census because he is listed as being the son-in-law of Jessie’s father with whom he, Jessie and my grandfather lived.

I cannot find a record of Jessie’s or Frank’s death, but according to John McCornack, Jessie died in 1949 and Frank died in 1958. According to family legend Jessie was struck by a car while crossing the street and Frank hanged himself out of grief over Jessie’s death. However, 9 years is a long time to grieve and then commit suicide. Something doesn’t seem right.

Happy Easter from our family

We have a few traditions on the holidays — Christmas we go to Illinois and spend Christmas Eve with Dean’s family and Christmas Day with mine. Thanksgiving we often see a movie while the Turkey cooks. On Easter we go to church after a family Easter egg & Easter basket hunt.

On Easter we also often take a photograph of the four of us all decked out in our Easter outfits.

So, today we went to church and came home to take a photograph with my new camera. I’d seen the self-timer a couple of times, but never used it to take a timed photo except accidentally. Clare thought she knew what to do. Dean set up the camera on a tripod in front of the house and focused on the front stoop. Joe happily posed for him.

Setting up the auto shot -- Joe in the doorway
Joe in the doorway

Then Clare went out to help Dean set up the shot. She focused on him and took his photograph.

Setting up the auto shot
Dean looking stern

Thinking it was all set, Dean called Andrew and me to join the family photo but no one knew what to do for sure. We tried a couple of times and stood on the stoop all wearing our best “say cheese” smiles but nothing happened. We felt a little foolish, especially when cars drove by. Clare suggested we take 4 photographs and Photoshop them together.

So I thought I’dgive it a  try. I did figure it out but was not fast enough to get in the photograph. And then couldn’t reproduce what I’d done the first time.

Dona Tries
The Three Ones and the back of Dona's head.

So Andrew thought he’d give it a try.

Andrew Tries
What happened to Andrew?

Finally Clare decides to try again. After pushing several buttons we noticed the light was flashing. She ran up to the stoop and got in the photograph just in time.

Final Easter Family Photo
Follmann & Patrick Family Foto Easter 2009

We’ve since read the manual — so next year we’ll be all set.