Womenfolk I Know

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Ah! Another page of familiar faces. This woman’s stare…I have seen it somewhere. The eyebrows are a horizontal accent to an intense gaze. The mouth is held in a slight frown and she has that Minor Roman nose.  Who does this woman remind me of?

Sarah Priscilla Minor (1858-1925) at about sixteen.
Sarah Priscilla Minor (1858-1925) at about sixteen. Close up from the Minor Family Portrait, author’s collection.

Sarah Minor, that’s who!  My great-grandfather’s sister.

left to right: Owen McClure (1843-1925) , Owen's daughter from first marriage, Anna McClure (1872-xx), daughter of Sarah and Owen, Florence McClure; Sarah's daughter by first marriage, Beatrice Herrington; Sarah Minor Herrington McClure.
left to right: Owen McClure (1843-1925) , Owen’s daughter from first marriage, Anna McClure (1872-xx), daughter of Sarah and Owen, Florence McClure (1889-1968); Sarah’s daughter by first marriage, Beatrice Herrington (1880-1964); Sarah Minor Herrington McClure (1858-1925). Photograph taken by TW Rogers in about 1891.

The story here is of a blended family, thrown together by society’s constraints and family tragedy.  Both Owen and Sarah lost their first spouses and were left with a daughter each to raise alone.  They joined forces to make a stronger family unit, and created one more daughter–Florence.  Or Flossie as I knew her.

Yes!  That little girl grew up and lived down the street from my Minor grandparents in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, though I remember Flossie as an old, very old lady.  Flossie and Arthur Titus were regular visitors during our summer visits, and it pleases me no end to have a photograph that unites my ancestral and my childhood pasts.


Top Hat on the Turkey: A Vintage Postcard for Wordless Wednesday

In keeping with the tradition begun by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, President Theodore Roosevelt issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation in October 1908:

“Once again the season is at hand, when according to the ancient custom of our people, it becomes the duty of the President to appoint a day of prayer and thanksgiving to God.

. . . .Upon material well-being as a foundation must be raised the lofty life of the spirit, if this nation is to properly fulfill its great mission and to accomplish all that we so ardently hope and desire.  The things of the body are good; the thing of the intellect better; but best of all are the things of the soul; for in the nation as in the individual, in the long run it is character that counts. Let us therefore as a people set our faces resolutely against evil, and with broad charity, with kindness and goodwill toward all men, but with unflinching determination to smile down wrong, strive with all the strength that is given us for righteousness in public and in private life.

Now, therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt,  President of the United States, set apart Thursday the 26th day of November next as a day of general thanksgiving and prayer, and on that day I recommend that the people shall cease from their daily work, and in their homes or in their churches, meet devoutly to thank the Almighty for the many and great blessings they have received in the past, and to pray that they may be given strength so to order their lives as to reserve a continuation of these blessings in the future.”

This turkey donned a patriotic top hat and set out to wish six year old Donald C. Minor a Happy Thanksgiving.  Aunt Sarah Minor McClure attached a one cent stamp and sent the German-made card to R.F. D. 1, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania on November 3, 1908.   She signed the back “From Aunt Sarah”; the date 11-24-’08 was added later by another hand.

This card is the first in a series of Thanksgiving Vintage Postcards.