Boys in Suits

I scanned through my family photos looking for old sepia photos. The challenge for this Saturday was a picture of two boys dressed up in suits. Finally, I found the one I was thinking of. There was my grandfather, Clarence McGhee, sitting stiffly in the elaborately-carved photography studio chair. Next to him stood his friend Edwin Hatton.

They are in their teens, maybe 13 or 15. I’m not sure what the occasion was, as the McGhee family had few studio photos from their early days. Anyway, it makes a good match for the Sepia Saturday Photo Challenge.

I didn’t have many to choose from, as most photos of boys in our family albums show them in casual or working attire like overalls or jeans.

I have a later picture of Edwin Hatton that was inscribed to my grandparents in 1918. I wonder if it is their wedding picture. It was taken at the Scott Studio in Independence, Kansas.

Browsing the census records on Ancestry, I see he was an oil field worker in 1920, a carpenter, and odd jobs in 1930. Born 1899, married at age 20 to Blanche Mahaffey, children Eugene and Bernard.

Edwin and Blanche Hatton. Inscribed to Clarence and Ruth (Vining) McGhee, September 29, 1918.

Edwin and Blanche Hatton – Inscribed to Clarence and Ruth McGhee, September 29, 1918.

Edwin Hatton’s WWI draft record says his nearest relative was an uncle, Anthony Landrey of Tyro. He worked for the Prairie Pipe Line Co. The registration was Sept. 12, 1918, so if Sept. 29 is their marriage date, then the war precipitated some quick weddings, it seems.

The photo below shows Clarence and Ruth McGhee’s wedding picture. They married on July 14, 1917. Clarence had enlisted earlier in April. I wonder if these are both studio photos where a generic church backdrop was used. Clarence and Ruth were married in the church rectory.


Gail Martin’s parents on their wedding day.

7 thoughts on “Boys in Suits

  1. Great photos. I especially like the one of Edwin and Blanche Hatton. The picture is so clear and even though it is in sepia, you can see how light the color of his eyes were.


  2. Nice to see the early photo of Clarence and Edwin as teens, then the later photos of them as they embark on adult life. You can see their evolution etched on their faces.


  3. A book was a common prop in early photographs of individuals borrowing from the old traditions of painting and sculpture. It was a symbol of the academic or scholar. Or if a bible, it showed piety and faith. But I’ve never seen a photo of a couple sharing a magazine carefully positioned to show two potraits. My guess is they are either pictures of ancestors or church leaders.


  4. Good selections for this week’s prompt match. My favorite is of Clarence and Ruth McGhee. They look so young and wondering what to expect of their life to come together.


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