Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #72 Ruth Joanna LILLIE 1907-1986

ca-1910ruthjoannalillieThe photograph above was in this frame when I received the collection from my cousin Joe. There were also two smaller, black and white copies. One of them included the photographer’s identification number for reprints. I think this one was a reprint with color added. One of the smaller ones was framed in cardboard and was shared here.

The little girl with the pink cheeks and bows in her pigtails was Ruth Joanna LILLIE. She was the oldest daughter of Florence ROYALTY and Isaac Spencer “Ike” LILLIE, born on 26 April 1907 in New Liberty, Pope County, Illinois. She had three older brothers and a younger sister would be born in 1909.

mrin38268-lillieruthj-rooney-collectionThis photograph was not dated. My guess is it was taken before World War II. There were several photographs of Ruth taken when her nephew Everett Isaac LILLIE was visiting his family while on furlow during the war.

On 22 April 1950, Ruth was photographed with her brother Samuel Royalty LILLIE. Six months later she married for the first time at the age of 43 years to Zach C. SWAN (1888-1965).

Mr. Swan had been married three times. Per the marriage license, his first marriage ended in divorce in 1930, his second marriage ended in 1932 with the death of his wife, and his third marriage ended in divorce on 9 October 1950. Two weeks later Ruth and Zach married on 23 October 1950. They were both residents of Detroit, Michigan, however, they married in Steuben County, Indiana. Further research showed the information given on the marriage license about his first and second marriage were not completely correct.

  1. First marriage: a Michigan divorce was filed by Donna Tillotson Swan on 27 May 1921 and was finalized on 3 November 1921. The alleged cause for divorce was extreme cruelty and non-support. It was not contested.
  2. Second marriage: Leona Dingfelder Swan died 15 January 1933 in Detroit of gunshot wounds to the abdomen, a suicide.

Zach C. Swan died in 1965 at the age of 77 years. When Ruth died in 1986 she was still using her married name, Swan.

Several more photographs of Ruth were in the collection and will be shared next week.

bestwishescathy1

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
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

As a military brat I've lived in Georgia, France, Idaho, West Virginia, Spain, South Carolina, Texas, and Luxembourg. Married 36 years with two grown children. When I’m not doing genealogy, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful countryside in Luxembourg and surrounding countries.

6 thoughts on “Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #72 Ruth Joanna LILLIE 1907-1986”

  1. Zack Swan was interesting. I remember he had index cards about racehorses describing criteria gleaned from the Morningline and other track publications. Several hundred that filled those old library card catalog drawers. He also had a bent index finger he told me that was from an old baseball injury as a catcher. I didn’t recall him being charismatic or a putoff. Aunt Ruth worked night shift for Ford as a keypunch operator and when I was there after highschool looking for a job in Dearborn, she was sound asleep according to her co-workers and they covered for her. She would drive me nuts as she flitted about Michigan, pointing her arthritic finger here and there. My Uncle Reese’s kids did not get along with her at all, it was about the family farm in Brookport, Il where the kids didn’t realize Uncle Reese’s brothers and sisters were co-owners and it was a divisive and bitter experience for myself and my Mom as the principles in the disagreement were trying to sway her position by showering us kids with gifts, candied compliments. I just wanted a cold beer as an 11 year old in Florida before air-conditioning in the late 50’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, they stayed married. He gifted me with a Joe Turnesa sand wedge when I visited one summer. My Dad used to hang with the Turnesa brothers in Ohio as a kid. I have a hazy recollection that his kid from an earlier marriage, Zeke, was in Brookport, Il for a while. I believe he moved away, maybe two decades ago, but that may be where Sandra Lillie found the collection of photographs that I named L Vance Lillie’s.

    Liked by 1 person

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