My grandfather, Clarence McGhee, stands tall with his younger siblings in this photo. In looking for photos of men in hats, this one caught my attention. Fortunately, my mother had neatly labeled the back of the postcard. Clarence would have been 15 or 16 in this picture. The littlest one, Elmer, would just have been a year old. Two more children were born after this date.
The McGhee children in Tyro, KS in 1911 Back (L to R) – Clarence, Jesse, Roy Front (L to R) – Bertha, Lealon, Loren, Elmer
I hadn’t examined the details of the photo before. My guess would be that it’s Sunday and they are ready to walk the few blocks to church. Several of the boys have a pin on their lapel which might be a Sunday School pin. Bertha has a flower pinned on her dress, so maybe it isn’t merely a Sunday. Maybe it is a special occasion such as the wedding of someone the family knew.
Three of the boys are old enough for long pants, but two are still in knickers. Jesse looks like he’s still growing into his jacket, but Roy’s coat has sleeves that are too short for him. Lealon and Loren have the loose ties popularized by the Little Lord Fauntleroy book but were spared the wide lace collar and the fancy cap. Elmer is still young enough to be in a dress.
No one looks very enthused about the photo session but perhaps they were inhibited by admonitions not to move. Unfortunately, the two youngest boys did move and so are preserved forever in blurred form.
Bertha has her hair in braids that are coiled or pinned up with bows for the occasion.
The Sepia Saturday Inspiration Photo
You can see what the other bloggers wrote for this week’s Sepia Saturday blog challenge.
My mother had a glass chain that her father, Clarence McGhee, made while working at the glass factory in Tyro, Kansas. The workers made glass chimneys for oil lamps back in the early part of the 1900s. At the end of the day, when some molten glass was left, they made whimsies for themselves.
Each of the daughters (Melba, Gail, and C.J.) received a section of the chain and kept it as a family treasure. By now, the chain is over 100 years old.
The workers at the Tyro Glass Plant about 1910. Clarence McGhee is the young man standing on the pallet.
Here’s another photo of the glass plant workers.
Photo courtesy of my cousin, Bob Harlan
What made me think of these pictures was an inspiration photo from the Sepia Saturday Blog Challenge. Their picture of workers and a chain is quite different. To see what other bloggers wrote about the challenge, just click on the link.
For further history of the glass factory, here’s an earlier article, The Tyro Glass Plant Moves to Sand Springs.
As you know, I try to match the topic each Saturday with the challenge photo on the Sepia Saturday blog. This week just about defeated me. The photo showed train tracks and a trestle with houses on steep hillsides. How would I find anything like that in our family photo albums?
I settled on a vintage photo of my grandmother’s brother, Lester Vining. It was taken in Taney County, Missouri. That location may sound familiar to some, as it is where Branson, Missouri is. Long before the area became a tourist destination, the people in the Ozarks made a living as best they could.
This sentence from Settlers in the Ozarks explains what Luther is doing. It was a hard way to make a living with a crosscut saw, an ax, and a team of horses.
The first sustained boom to the area’s economy resulted from the harvesting of local timber when the nation’s expanding rail system created demand for a seemingly endless supply of cross ties.
I’m guessing that the photo is around 1912 as I have a companion photo of Luther with his horses. The photo is from Melba McGhee Harlan’s collection (Luther was her uncle). Note that Luther has the same hat on in both photos. He would have been 23-years-old in 1912.
Here’s the Sepia Saturday photo that set the theme for my family story. It’s interesting to see what other bloggers post on the theme.
To learn more about Luther Vining’s life, visit our family history blog, Then And Now.
Karori Electric Tramway Postcard (Via Flickr Commons) Sepia Saturday 532