Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #39 The Two Cora B.’s of Pope County, Illinois

I am in a quandary. Although many of these photographs have writing on the back which helps with identification, I’m not sure about the identification giving as both persons are the same gender and age. Does the person on the left have her name written on the left on the back of the photograph or on the right? Are there rules for this and were they followed?

Which Cora is which?

2016-01-21 blog edited smallThis is the dilemma I’m facing with this photograph taken by Riley & Cook of Paducah, Kentucky. I was amazed at how small the original photograph is. The photo is mounted on a 2.75 inch square cardboard frame with the name of the photographer debossed in the lower left corner. Both ladies are wearing matching flower corsages in their hair. The lady on the right has a corsage which looks like a bouquet with the stems pinned on her shoulder and the flowers draping down. I would like to date it at 1898 for reasons seen below.

2corasI believe the lady on the left is identified as Cora B. GOLIGHTLY. Below her name is written “married Mr. COLVIN” which suggests GOLIGHTLY was her maiden name. The lady on the right would be Cora DAVIS. Azotus, written below the names, is the name of the cemetery in which Cora B. GOLIGHTLY’s parents Calvin W. GOLIGHTLY and Sarah K. METCALF are buried. No where have I found it is a town name in Illinois.

2corasbackI thought Cora DAVIS may have been another name for Cora GOLIGHTLY, before or after her marriage to Mr. COLVIN, due to the brace or curly bracket, until I searched Pope County for Cora DAVIS.

Cora B. RUSHING (1881-1964) married Peter DAVIS (1878-1939) and both are buried in IOOF Cemetery, Golconda, Pope County, Illinois. I didn’t find a marriage record for them. On Find A Grave their date of marriage is listed as 19 April 1898 in Pope County. I was able to confirm this date using the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900 on the Illinois State Archives site. Cora was born after the 1880 census and married before the 1900 census which means she was not found on a census with her parents. I have not found any source which lists the names of her parents.

Could this photograph have been taken on her wedding day? Was Cora B. GOLIGHTLY her maid of honor? Both ladies were born in 1881 and lived in Pope County, Illinois, while growing up. Were they best friends or related to each other?

Cora B. GOLIGHTLY (1881-1984) married Charles Owen COLVIN (1872-1943) about 1928 when she was 46 years old and following her widowed father’s death in 1926. I hadn’t been able to locate the couple in the 1930 census until I tried wild cards and found the surname spelled Calvin. On this census Cora was seen as age 48 married at age 46. Her brother Hiram GOLIGHTLY was in the household and helped make the positive identification. Cora and Charles don’t appear to have had children together.

And now dear reader please tell me, which Cora is on the left and which on the right in the photograph?

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
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© 2016 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

11 thoughts on “Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #39 The Two Cora B.’s of Pope County, Illinois”

  1. I don’t know if there are rules for writing on the back. All the photos that are labeled in my family have the names written from left to right according to the order in the photo. Did you look in Kentucky for marriages? If you come across anyone with the surname of Shelby or Reid/Reed/Read from that area in Kentucky/Illinois, let me know. My 4x great grandparents raised a family there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I checked Ancestry and FamilySearch for Kentucky marriages but found none. These were not exhaustive searches as I would do for persons related to me. I didn’t check Missouri where they were living in in 1930.

      I bet Reid/Reed/Read are hard to research.


  2. I agree with Kathy above that it would make sense that they are labeled as they appear on the photo. Very intriguing. Why would the cemetery name be written there? The photo was obviously labeled long after it was taken since Cora Golightly wasn’t married until much after 1898. And her parents didn’t die until much later also. I love these mysteries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Amy. I looked everywhere to find out if Azotus was the name of a place. As for the labeling being done later, I know this is the case on many of them and here it has to be after the Colvin-Golightly marriage. I need to spread out all the photos with the back sides showing so that I can compare the handwriting of the person who labelled them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The few photos I have where multiple people are identified on back are written from left to right in the order they appear in the picture. Thank you for the blogversary good wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stuff on my Mom’s side gets really confusing. FAST! Albert Spencer LILLY’s second wife (m 1904) was Geneva (Hayden) MASON. I struggled and struggled to decipher her Mother’s name on the marriage certificate. I recall another person commiserating. Anyway, her Dad’s name was Calvin Mason and her Mom was Nancy E.(Minnie) Golightly. I refused to chase down this line any further because I suspect it will lead to the River Pirate Mason. Azotus is a location in Pope County, there is a church and graveyard there containing the huge pink stone my Uncle Roy commissioned for Albert Spencer LILLY’s gravesite. The given name Calvin suggests a possible connection. I can’t see clearly now. Geneva was the marrying kind, I have three for sures and one unsubstantiated.


    1. I forgot all about Albert S. Lillie’s 2nd wife Jeneva who was born in 1871. I’ll check into her Mom, maybe this is how the photo came into the Lillie family.
      I thought the cemetery and church got their name from the Bible since I could not find Azotus as a place in Pope County. There is a street in Golconda (I think).
      Cora B. Golightly’s husband’s surname was Colvin and not Calvin but still makes things confusing.
      Thanks for the input Joe!


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