Category Archives: Photographs

Shotgun Wedding in Six or Eight scenes

These photos were in a little yellow photo booklet. There is no date but the developer was “Rockford Photo Service”. It looks like it was a play. Based on the woman with the bobby socks and oxfords in the last photo, these were probably taken in the 1950s.

At first I suspected it was the Moose since my grandparents we active members there, but I zoomed in on the top center of the last photo and it looks like it is a 5-pointed star. I am pretty sure they were not Wiccans.

Wikipedia suggests that the Order of the Eastern Star, a Masonic group open to both women and men, uses a pentagram as a symbol.

I’ll never know what was going on here, but it is fun looking at the photos.

Older couple standing in front of a table containing a silver pine tree and a box. A woman in a fancy hat looks on.
Perhaps this is the bride’s family. Or perhaps they have nothing to do with the wedding. However the woman in the back is wearing a fancy hat, so it might be part of the wedding. I love the old-fashioned phone in the back.
Two women set up a chafing dish at a banquet table on which sits silver candlesticks, silver coffee pots and a flower arrangement. Behind them is a group of people watching a band consisting of at least a saxophonist, a drummer and and pianist.
Again, this might not be part of the shotgun wedding. It looks very fancy.
A woman sprinkles petals (?) on the floor while another stands holding a tray draped with a cloth. Several people watch from around the room.
This is definitely part of the wedding. The room seems like it might even be a reception hall in a church. The woman spreading petals is probably playing the part of the flower girl and the other woman, perhaps is the ring-bearer.
The wedding couple at the altar with their witnesses. Behind them is a man holding a shotgun to the back of the groom (played by a woman with black curly hair).
Here’s where the shotgun comes into the wedding. Apparently the man with the gun and corncob pipe is the father of the bride. He seems to be dressed as a “hillbilly”.
The wedding party from the front. It includes the ring bearer, best man, groom, bride (who is facing her maid of honor) and the flower girl. The pastor, in black, stands at the altar, reading from a piece of paper. Behind the groom is the father of the bride with is pipe.
The bride and groom exchange vows.
Same group from the previous photo, this time the bride is looking at the best man.
The vows continue.
Close up of the bride and groom, best man, father of the bride, and maid of honor. The ring bearer seems to be eating a hot dog or something. Possibly blowing a whistle. The bride and groom are tied at the wrists with a white ribbon.
This might be the symbolic marriage knot. The maid of honor is very smiley.
The entire wedding party posing for a photo with the pastor in front.
The wedding party’s official photo. I’m wondering if the woman on the left — the ring bearer — is my grandmother Green. I don’t remember her wearing glasses, although it does look like her face.
Now that I think about it, my grandmother would have been in her mid-forties at the time women were wearing bobby socks and black and white oxfords as the woman in the audience behind the wedding party is wearing.


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
  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.

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.



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.