Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #71 Chester Beryl LILLIE 1900-1921

Chester Beryl LILLIE (1900-1921) was the only son of George Wyte LILLIE (1874-1943) and his first wife Mary Belle Stafford (1878-1915). Chester and his family were living in Kalamazoo as early as 1915, the year his mother died. They resided there until about 1918 when they went to live in Chicago. This photograph was likely taken before the move to Chicago. He is the young man on the left. The other two were not identified.

MRIN21945 UNK3malesUNKChesterUNKmaybeGlassRoyaltyLillie Rooney collectionAbout the photography studio

Bradley J. Fuller, the oldest of nine children, was the proprietor of Fuller Studio on 409 North Burdick Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan, from 1916 to 1917. His youngest brother Dana Simon Fuller took over in 1919. Which of the Fuller brothers took this portrait of these young men is not known.

MRIN21945 UNK3malesUNKChesterUNKmaybeGlassRoyaltyLillieback Rooney collectionChester was identified on the back of the photograph. He is the same young man seen in this photograph shared in Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #6 George Wyte LILLIE (1874-1943).

lillieChester was a tuberculosis patient at Fairmont Hospital in Kalamazoo on 12 September 1918 per his WWI draft card. His permanent address was 1504 East 62 St. in Chicago.

In 1920 Chester was enumerated twice on the census. He was in Chicago with his father, step-mother, and his two sisters on a census sheet dated 2 January. Chester was listed as working as a switchman for the railroad, the same occupation as his father George and his cousin Samuel Royalty LILLIE. He was also found in the Oak Forest Institution, Bremen Township, Cook County, Illinois, as a patient on an undated census sheet. The institution was enumerated on 67 sheets, the first few were dated 26 January. Chester may have only been home for the holidays.

On Tuesday, 1 March 1920, Chester died in Chicago. His body was transported to Kalamazoo for burial in Riverside Cemetery where his mother was buried. She also died of tuberculosis. His older sister Pearl Eva LILLIE died four months later and was buried in Riverside Cemetery. I have not found a death record with the cause of her death but suspect she may have also succumbed to tuberculosis.

Getting back to the two young men in the photograph with Chester. They appear to be at least 5 years older than Chester. Could they be friends or relatives? Reese Gentry LILLIE and Samuel Royalty LILLIE would be about the right age but there are no photos of Reese to compare with. Roy’s eyes were darker than the young man on the right although he does resemble Roy due to the way his hair is combed.

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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 ~ #6 George Wyte LILLIE (1874-1943)

Albert Spencer LILLIE and Pernecia Elizabeth GLASS most likely married about 1871 and had their first child in 1872 in Kentucky before moving about 1872-1874 to Pope County, Illinois, where they made their home and welcomed ten more children into the family, one girl and the rest boys. In the collection of old photographs scanned by Joe Rooney there were photos of two of the sons, several daughters-in-law, and even more of grandchildren.

George Wyte LILLIE was Albert and Pernecia’s second born, the first child born in Illinois.

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The year 1895 written on the back of the photo (left) of G. W. LILLIE dates this photo at around the time George, age 21, married(1) Mary Belle STAFFORD (1876 – bef. 1917). They were the parents of three children. Their son Chester Beryl LILLIE (right) was born 11 September 1900 and died 1 March 1921. The photo of Chester with the fish may have been taken in the late 1910s. Can you also see the resemblance of father and son in these photos taken at about the same age?

George W. LILLIE was also married(2) Marie GREEN (1875-1929) in 1917. Almost immediately following her death he married(3) Jeanette (BALL) HILBISH (b. 1885 in England d. after 1943) about 1929 as they are seen together on the 1930 census as married. He did not have children with these wives.

bestwishescathy1

This is a spin-off of my 52 Ancestors: #14 Albert Spencer LILLIE (1848-1913) ~ Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can blog post in which I featured a few photos from a collection of old photographs my 4C1R Joe Rooney shared with me. I asked Joe about using the photos and he kindly wrote, Please use them at your will.  I feel it is keeping it in the family and don’t need credit.  If anything, I appreciate your evaluations, identifications and detective work.  I’m hopeful you and yours enjoy them.  On a blog, in a book, above a cloud.”

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.

Links to previous posts in this series may be found in Old Photographs

Joe Rooney kindly gave me permission to use these photographs on my blog.

Joe ROONEY wrote on 15 February 2015: This collection of photographs was scanned at 300 dpi color by me. The original photos were sent by Sandra Lillie about ten years ago after she found them cleaning out a relative’s garage in Southern Illinois, finding no other takers (suckers). She believes they were a collection by L Vance Lillie. Many of the pictures seemed to be removed from frames or were in albums evidenced by fading characteristics and may have been from other’s collections. I scanned the reverse if there was laboratory advertising or writing. Some of the authors’ identification may be figured out of the handwriting matches. I did not scan the reverse of photos where there was only a three digit number that I believe to be sequence numbers on a roll of film. I didn’t spot any obvious helpful commonalities.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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