My “decluttering for the holidays” was stymied today by the discovery of scan-able scraps that directly pertain to my previous post. And so, as is often the case with my reorganization efforts, I am at the keyboard rather than behind the vacuum.
The photograph of James A. Corrigan was dated in the upper left corner–1912. During this morning’s work, I found his medical school year book, Jefferson’s The Clinician, among the boxes I was sorting. Inside the black leather cover were a few scraps of paper.
Dead stop. Flip Pal out.
What a hoot!! No letter of “Congratulations! You have been admitted to the class of 1915!” Just a notice of matriculation, number 386, confirming that James Corrigan had satisfactorily completed preparatory classes in 1911. His family certainly counted it as an important document, and carefully preserved the scrap as proof that Jim had been admitted to Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia beginning with the 1911-1912 session.
Another valuable piece of paper was this stationary, remarkable for its header.Being asked to serve as President of the school’s pathology society as a second year student (1912-1913) must have been quite an honor.
The scraps add dimension to the image in front of the flowering shrub. It is more than a photo of a thirty-something Jim Corrigan. It is a snapshot of the Hazleton native’s transition from scholar to doctor and community leader.
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!
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.
This Fairy Princess is actually my grandmother, Anna Florette Sayles Strickland (1901-1981), dressed for her ninth or tenth Halloween celebration, or so I thought as a child. Now I gaze at this photograph in awe of the craftsmanship and wonder who claimed the title of its seamstress? What was on the materials list? Was the character taken from a storybook, and if so, which one? And why was a formal portrait taken of my favorite fairy princess?