Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #83 William F. HOLT Family of Brookport, Illinois

While doing these posts I’ve opened several doors in Joe’s brick walls. Joe is my 4th cousin once removed through my 4th great-grandparents Landon S. GOWING and Sally CRISP of Amherst and Nelson County, Virginia.

In the beginning, I was only concentrating on getting the identified photos posted with a little family history. Along the way, I’ve been able to identify some of the unknowns.

Although I’ve learned about old photographs and the fashion of the period, I’m still a beginner and nowhere near possessing the expertise others have when working with vintage photography. This proficiency is lacking when it comes to the photo I am featuring today.

I’ve been avoiding doing this one as it was labeled as an unknown family and I don’t know how to classify it.

wfholtfamilyThe original is 4 1/3 by 5 1/2 inches including a border of about 1/2 an inch. It is unique and not similar in format to any of the other photos in the collection. It has been mounted onto a piece of glass. The image is facing the glass like a photo in a picture frame. The glass is larger than the photo and a green border has been painted on the back side where the glass overlaps the photo. The brush strokes can be seen along the edge of the back of the photo which is gray with very light writing on it.

wfholtfamilybackAt first glance, I did not see there was writing on it, it is that faint. I tried holding it at an angle by a window (natural light), using a lighted magnifier, and taking a picture of it. I was able to make out some letters and two words. W. F. Holt and Brookport.

HOLT is one of the surnames which has been mentioned a few times in this series. Thelma HOLT was the wife (they later divorced) of Samuel Royalty “Roy” LILLIE and the mother of Lynn Vance LILLIE. Thelma’s parents were from Brookport, Massac County, Illinois.

Her parents were William F. HOLT (1871-1934) and Edith S. WYMER (1874-1948). They had a daughter Lula M. HOLT (1895-1963) and a son Leonard Herman HOLT (1897-1947), both born before Thelma whose birthday was 30 June 1901. This fits perfectly with the family group in this picture. A man and a woman, a young girl about 6 or 7 years old, a young boy about 4 years old, and a baby.

While researching this photograph I learned that wicker chairs first appeared in the 1890s as studio props and continued to be used for several decades. In this photograph, the father is sitting on what looks like a wicker chair or stool. His wife is also sitting and holding a baby. The two children are standing.

I suspect the photo was taken in late 1901. The baby on the mother’s lap is wearing what looks like a voluminous christening gown which completely hides her size and makes it difficult to estimate her age.

The young girl, standing behind her parents, wears a center part. Her hair is French braided from the crown to the nape of the neck and then hangs in two regular braids down her back. The mother’s hair is combed back from her face and likely pinned up in a bun at the nape. Both mother and daughter are wearing similar blouses with large collars adorned with a gathered ruffle which reaches to the shoulder seam, perhaps made by the mother from the same pattern. The mother is wearing a dark floor-length skirt. One of her pointed shoe tips is peeking out from under the skirt.

The young boy has a side part like his father and is wearing a darling suit, similar to the sailor suits children were wearing at the time. The large lapels are embroidered as are the cuffs of the jacket and a row of buttons is on both sides. He is wearing knee pants, knee-high socks, and boots laced up above the ankle. Around his neck, he has a floppy bow tie while his father, who is wearing a three-piece suit without leg cuffs, does not have any kind of tie. The lapels of the man’s jacket have shiny inserts. A watch chain hangs from the vest buttons and is likely tucked into the vest pocket hidden by his jacket. A tiny light circular adornment is on the collar of his vest. His white shirt is buttoned up to the pointed collar. The toe caps of his lace up boots are dull, likely from daily use.

I believe the identification on the back fits the William F. HOLT family of Brookport, Illinois, and the fashion fits for late 1901. One question remains. Does this method of mounting a photo on a piece of glass and adding a painted border have a name or could it have been a homemade preservation attempt by a person who formerly owned the photograph?

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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Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #59 Samuel Royalty “Roy” LILLIE 1895-1979

Samuel Royalty “Roy” LILLIE, son of Isaac Spencer “Ike” LILLIE and Florence ROYALTY, was featured in several posts during the week and weekend before Memorial Day. He was one of the lucky ones who did not loose their lives serving their country during a war or while in the military. His nephew Everett Isaac LILLIE (1915-1944) was wounded in France on 6 June 1944 and died two days later.

After World War I Samuel Royalty LILLIE married Thelma HOLT, daughter of William F. HOLT and Edith S. WYMER. They were seen together on the 1920 census in Brooklyn, Massac County, Illinois, and listed as married. No marriage record has been found for them. After the birth of their only child Lynn Vance LILLIE (1920-1993) they went their separate ways. In 1930 Samuel R. LILLIE was divorced and living in Detroit, Michigan, with his son Vance.

Roy, as he was known by the family, took a trip to New Orleans in 1930 where he had his picture taken sitting on a wall, wearing a hat and with his overcoat across his lap.

MRIN21907 LillieSamuelRoyaltyNOLAhatmodel1 Rooney CollectionAnother photo was taken at the same location. He appears to be dressed the same and holding his overcoat across his crossed knees while holding a different hat.

MRIN21907 LillieSamuelRoyaltyNOLAhatmodel2 Rooney CollectionMore 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.

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #47 Thelma HOLT 1901-1984

The daughter-in-law of Isaac Spencer “Ike” LILLIE and Florence ROYALTY, Thelma HOLT (1901-1984) was the wife of Samuel Royalty “Roy” LILLIE (1895-1979). She was a bit partial to pearl necklaces or at least it seems so from the two photographs of her.

Thelma Holt LILLIE 19301930ThelmaHolttiny

Thelma’s parents were William F. HOLT (1871-1938) and Edith S. WYMER (1874-1948).

Thelma and Roy were married before 1920 and had a son Lynn Vance LILLIE (1920-1993). Although  divorced before 1930 Thelma and Roy are buried beside each other in Pell Cemetery, Brookport, Massac County, Illinois. Their son Vance lies on one side of Thelma and Roy on the other.

Thelma Holt LILLIE with friends in late 1950s

ThelmaHoltLilliewithotherstinyFrom left to right: Thelma Farmer, Flora Lemley, Barney Robinett, Thelma Holt Lillie, Goldie Faughn, Ruby Garrett, Harry Faughn, Mabel Gillett.

Is this from a school reunion? Quick searches of the census show Thelma’s friends grew up in Massac County, Illinois, and were all about the same age, born between 1899 and 1902. They do not appear to be related to her although more research would need to be done to prove or disprove this.

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.

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #10 LILLIE Family 1920 Reunion

In 1920 following the end of the World War, or The Great War as the Britons referred to it until the 1940s, Isaac and Florence LILLIE got the family together for a reunion in Pope County, Illinois. Tables were loaded with food for over forty guests.

tableA family group photograph was taken in front of the Isaac S. Lillie home.

reunionThis group photograph did not have any persons identified. While working with the photographs from Joe Rooney’s collection I’ve become familiar with some of the faces in this family. I was able to pick out Isaac and Florence in the very back. Their son Roy and Ike’s brother Tom in the back row. Tom’s wife Florence and Isaac’s brother-in-law Lyon Glass in the middle row. Do you remember Chester with his his big catch of fish? He would be the young man at the far left by the porch swing.

To compare photos I did a screen split and viewed photos side by side, zooming in on persons in the group photo. When I got to the next photograph I made an interesting discovery. Can you tell what it was?

smallgroupTen men and a woman are lined up in front of a bank as seen on the door behind persons #10 and #23. Joe Rooney labeled it “SamRoy3rdleft.” I compared photos of Samuel Royalty “Roy” Lillie, son of Isaac, with this photo and #5 is Roy. But who are the others?

I then noticed everyone in the lineup was also in the family group photo. More importantly, they were ALL wearing the same clothes. Could this photograph have been taken the same day as the reunion? With the exception of Roy, is it a lineup of the sons and daughter of Albert Spencer Lillie and Pernecia Elizabeth Glass?

When I made this discovery I emailed Joe explaining that I believed the lineup to be a photo of the Lillie brothers with their sister, with the exception of Roy. He then sent  another copy of the family group photo with names written in for 27 persons. It was his “working” copy. At one time while researching the family Joe had travelled around visiting the cemeteries and older living relatives. Joe first noticed the family group photo while visiting with his cousin Edna Elizabeth Lillie. He made a sketch and added names of people Edna identified. Then he went to visit Edna’s sister-in-law Marie Losnegard Lillie who was living in a nursing home. She was able to identify a few more people.

Joe agreed with my idea that the lineup was representative of the Lillie siblings. They are lined up from left to right, youngest to oldest. As Roy was a grandson and not of son of Albert and Pernecia we believe that he is standing in for Reuben D. Lillie b. 1891.

Joe wrote about Reuben’s absence, “Marie Losnegard told me that Reuben Lillie had been off to The Great War and decided to stay there and not return to the USA afterwards. I subsequently spoke to Edna Lang (Lillie) and she laughed and said Reuben Lillie robbed banks and went underground. The blacksheep.

Wouldn’t it be great to find out if this story of Reuben being a bank robber is true or false? I found he married in Bexar County, Texas, in 1918. Reuben and his wife were roomers in Nye County, Nevada, in 1920. His wife was identified on the “working” copy (see #18 below) but I wonder if she, a fairly new bride, would go the reunion without her husband. I found no trace of Reuben or his wife in 1930 and 1940. They simply disappeared after 1920.

Key to descendants of Albert Spencer LILLIE and Pernecia Elizabeth GLASS identified in family group photo as well as persons who may have been present but have not been identified. (click on link to see descendancy list)

keytophotoKey (identified persons in bold print)
1. Isaac Spencer Lillie b. 1872, husband of #2
2. Florence Royalty b. 1868, wife of #1
3. Neele Owens Lillie b. 1898, wife of #6 (UPDATED: 17 Nov 2016)
4. unidentified woman
5. Samuel Royalty Lillie b. 1895, son of #1 and #2
6. Robert Wiley Lillie b. 1895, brother of #1
7. John Calvin “Jack” Lillie b. 1883, brother of #1
8. Jesse Lyon Lillie b. 1893, brother of #1
9. George Wyte Lillie b. 1874, brother of #1
10. Thomas Nathaniel “Tom” Lillie b. 1881, brother of #1, husband of #22
11. Frank Greenberry Lillie b. 1877, brother of #1
12. Albert Preston Lillie b. 1887, brother of #1  OR Reese Gentry Lillie b. 1892, son of #1
13. Edward Bicourt “Ed” Lillie b. 1889, brother of #1
14. Chester Beryl Lillie b. 1900, son of #9
15. identified as Anna ? Lillie (poss. Annie Hester Mosley Lillie b. 1880, wife of #11)
16. unknown woman
17. unknown woman
18. Elizabeth Ruth Breitzka Lillie b. 1893, wife of Reuben Lillie
19. Green Berry Lyon Glass b. 1864, brother of #2
20. Allie D. Obermark Glass b. 1870, wife of #19
21. unknown woman (poss. Marie Green Lillie b. 1875, wife of #9)
22. Florence Sibbie Kaufman Lillie b. 1880, wife of #10
23. Rosa Lee Lillie Jeffords b. 1873, sister of #1
24. unknown woman
25. Jenava “Geneva” Mason Lillie b 1871, stepmother of #1
26. Eugene N. “Blue” Lillie b. 1906, son of #11
27. Eli Burton Lillie b. 1915, son of #11
28. Edgar Jacob Lillie b. 1914, daughter of Reese
29. Effie Florence Lillie b. 1912, daughter of Reese
30. boy (poss. Raymond Egbert “Splitty” Lillie b. 1904, son of #1)
31. Elsie E. Lillie b. 1909, daughter of #11
32. Ruth Joanna Lillie b. 1907, daughter of #1
33. Hazel Vickers Lillie b. 1897, wife of #8
34. identified as Verna Lillie (she was not born until 1927;  may be her mother Jessie Loretta McKellar Lillie b. 1890, wife of #7)
35. Ruby Pernecia Lillie b. 1909, daughter of #1
36. boy
37. girl
38. girl (poss. Elaine Lillie b. 1913, daughter of #11)
39. boy
40. girl (poss. Doris Lillie b. 1916, daughter of #8)
41. Edna Elizabeth Lillie b. 1917, daughter of Reese
42. child (girl or boy?)

Persons, listed oldest to youngest, who may be in the photo but not identified:
Marie Green Lillie b. 1875, wife of #9
Annie Hester Mosley Lillie b. 1880, wife of #11
Albert Preston Lillie b. 1887, brother of #1
Jessie Loretta McKellar Lillie b. 1890, wife of #7
Reese Gentry Lillie b. 1892, son of #1
Myra Stewart Lillie b. 1892, wife of #13
Pearl Eve Lillie b. 1896, daughter of #9
Neele Owens Lillie b. 1898, wife of #6
Thelma Holt Lillie b. 1901, wife of #5
Raymond Egbert “Splitty” Lillie b. 1904, son of #1
Emma Roxey Lillie b. 1906, daughter of #25
Bella P. Lillie b. 1907, daughter of #9
Charles W. Lillie b. 1908, son of #25
William Chester Lillie b. 1911, son of #13
Elaine Lillie b. 1913, daughter of #11
Edith Lillie b. 1913, daughter of #25
Anna Pernecia “Necie” Lillie b. 1913, daughter of of #13
Charles Lillie b. 1914, son of #8
Harlan J. Lillie b. 1914, son of #7
June Rozena Lillie b. 1916, daughter of #7
Edith M. Lillie b. 1916, daughter of of #13
Doris Lillie b. 1916, daughter of #8

No babies or very young infants are in the photograph. There were two children born 1918-1919. James E. Lillie b. May 1919 son of #13 and Florence Alberta Lillie b. Oct 1918 daughter of #7.

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.

© 2015, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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