Vannoy Family Portrait, circa 1914: Paul, Ivan, Janet. Photographer A.C. “Al” Eckerman in Centerville, Iowa
I have scanned a number of family photographs from the early 1900s recently. I paused over this one, and returned to gaze upon this scene, time after time. The baby of the trio, Paul, appears to have pulled the book, hard, his way, so that he can see what Ivan and Janet are smiling about. Click on the photograph, to the attachment, and take some time to enlarge this group shot. The children are not reading a book aloud, to keep Paul still. They are looking at a photograph of three children. I imagine Paul, clambering up on the table while yelling, “Let me see! Let me see!” When at last he sits still, photograph in hand, little Paul shrieks with delight. “That’s ME!”
Then, in that moment of still recognition, Al Eckerman captured his subjects in this beautiful portrait.
Bedie Harrington Vannoy holding baby Paul, as yet unnamed at the time this photograph was taken in 1911.
Bedie Harrington Vannoy was the daughter of Sarah Minor Harrington McClure. Born in Greene County, Pennsylvania around 1880, Beatrice “Bedie” married John Vannoy in the early part of the 20th century and moved with him to Iowa, where he was a minister. Bedie kept close touch with her family back home, writing frequently, particularly to Donald Minor, her cousin, born in 1902.
As she had children, Bedie would write postcards to Donald and her grandfather, Francis Marion, who lived with Donald and his parents, Robert and May Minor. This photograph was one such card, and reads:
“Dear Grandpa, We are all well and enjoying a cool wave very much for it has been so awfle (sic) dry and hot here. This is our new baby. He has no name yet but weighs 16 lbs. He is awfle (sic) good and we think him fine. Janet and Ivon have grown so much this summer. I hope you are well and enjoying life every day. I often think of you. Lovingly your Granddaughter Bedie
If you are a descendant of John and Bedie Vannoy and would like copies of the family portraits within my family archives, please contact me!
dkaysdays at gmail dot com
Dear Cousin Donald, You ought to come and see our little baby. He is just fine. we have not named him yet. Mabey (sic) you can send him a name. How is “Great-Grandpa? We are all fine. Papa brought me football from Chicago. I wish I had a nice yard like you have to play in. It has just poured down all day so Janet and I have been in the house all day, and it is raining hard this evening. When are you all coming to see us? Mama said Helo (sic) to your Mama and wants to know how your papa is. Lovingly your cousin. Ivan Vannoy
In 1911, Donald Minor’s cousin, Bedie Harrington Vannoy, had her third child out in Iowa. The little boy was eventually named Paul, and returned with siblings Ivan and Janet to visit their grandmother, Sarah Minor Harrington McClure, and their great-grandpa, Francis Marion Minor, with whom Donald lived while his father convalesced from migraines in health resorts like the Markleton Sanitorium.
The Tama, Iowa photographer, C. W. Wright, printed the photograph of this six-year-old on postcard stock, and the note accompanied other mail delivered to Ceylon Lane, Garard’s Fort, Pennsylvania.
*Photograph restored using PicMonkey: http://www.picmonkey.com/