Dapple Gray with Unknown Rider
This photograph was found between pieces of sheet music, collected by my grandfather, Donald C. Minor, in the first half of the 20th century. It appears to be a poor copy of either a Carte De Visite or an early Cabinet card. The hat, sideburns and shirt will likely provide clues for dating. At this point, however, I am only able to surmise that this portrait is of a Minor, proudly showing off a favorite horse.
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/
Donald Minor, putting his best foot forward for photographer T.W. Rogers of Carmichaels, Pennsylvania
Donald was the youngest of the youngest, born in 1902 to a family of Minors that spread through the hills of Greene County, Pennsylvania. The dark-haired toddler had a teenage sister, Helen, and cousins all busy with their high school work or farm chores or wedding plans. His father, Robert, was the youngest by ten years, and his elder siblings, John Pierson, Olfred and Sarah, all had nearly grown children by the time Donald came along. Baby of the baby of the family, Don was a cherished, doted upon child.
Snow fell last night, just for a little while. As branches stepped out into the morning sky, I donned my clumpy boots. Flakes still lay in fluffy mounds where they had fallen, and in the early light I accepted the day’s invitation to enjoy winter’s bounty.