Tag: <span>powis</span>

Sepia Saturday 301


Still catching up on Sepia Saturday posts now that I’m shedding vacation-brain and am settling back into the swing of things.  This edition featured a photo of children all looking to the left, so I’m just going with the general theme of children.  Since Sepia Saturday is officially going themeless, I thought it might be a good chance to take some identified photos and publish the genealogy data I have for those individuals since it may help someone else down the line.  In the above photo, Doroth Powis is seated on the right, and the back of the photo reads, “Dorothy + a couple neighbors.”  Dorothy, also called Dot, was the daughter of Harry Oscar Frederick “Fritz” Powis and Laura Johnson.  She was born 27 December 1926 in Beccaria, PA and died 12 October 2013 in Tonawanda, NY.  There are dozens of photos of her as a baby,  so my great-grandmother Olga must’ve adored her quite a bit.  Fritz and Laura divorced in 1936, and Dorothy shows up on th 1940 census living with her mother in Beccaria, PA where Laura was working as a seamstress.  Laura married Clair J Harber in 1942 and lived to the old age of 101, passing away 25 Jun 2006.

Dorothy married Samuel Berger and adopted two girls, living the last 58 years of her life in Tonawanda, New York.  I never had the chance to meet her, but seeing her smiling face in all the photos from my great grandmother’s collection makes me feel like I knew her a little better than the average stranger.  Dorothy is my 1st cousin 2x removed, so she would’ve been a direct first cousin to my grandfather.  As for the other kids in the photo, I have no clue who they were, but probably lived somewhere in Beccaria, PA.


Sepia Saturday 300


I’m catching up on Sepia Saturday after having been on vacation, so bear with me!  No theme this week which means it’s time to celebrate with something completely different! Usually the prompts for Sepia Saturday are informal, candid style photos, so I’m going with a more posed, formal photo with a very exact date this time.  The handwriting is pretty clear, but the back of the photo reads

Eula F. Patrick’s Birthday Party
July 10th 1891
8 years old

Eula F Patrick was born Eula Frances Patrick on 10 July 1883.  I haven’t been able to find out much about her mother – the only record I could find in my haste was a census from 1910 that says her mother was born in Massachusetts.  Her father was John C Patrick (6 Jul 1848 – 25 Dec 1918) who was a travelling photographer with a base in Coalport, Pennsylvania, but he lived primarily in South Carolina.  My family definitely utilized his photographic services over the years, and he apparently shared a photo of Eula’s 10th birthday with my great-great grandmother.  John was also from England which may be why my great-great grandparents, also from England, patronized his services over other local photographers.  Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find out much else about the Patrick Family.  Eula married Julius Sinclair Burch, and John’s death certificate lists his mother’s surname as Hardesty.

In the photo above, I have no idea which child is Eula!  The majority seem to be girls with one boy sitting in the front.  In the back, there’s a child with a shaved head, but it’ shard to tell if the child is a boy or a girl based on clothing alone.  I don’t think any of my great grandmother’s siblings are in the photo.  My great great grandmother Jessie Battin married Alfred Powis on 19 Feb 1891, so it’s possible they became fast friends after having gotten to know eachother when John Patrick took their wedding photo.  Now that I look at the two photos together, the background is the exact same background between the wedding photo and the birthday photo, so it’s possible Jessie and Alfred attended the party as adult guests!  I can’t find any hard evidence to support that, but it would make sense given that they have a photo of the children at the party.

And with that wrapping up a birthday photo, I wish a very happy 300th birthday of sorts to Sepia Saturday!  300 prompts old and still going.

Sepia Saturday 295: Bridges, Fog, Buses

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Another Sepia Saturday, and we’re inching closer and closer to the big 300!  In case it’s not clear, the two men in the picture above are sitting on a bridge which fits me into the theme this week.  On the left is Harry Oscar Frederick “Fritz” Powis (1903-1972).  On the right is Alfred Herbert “Herb” Powis (1892-1926).  This is one in a series of three photos taken at the same place with different configurations of people, obviously marking the occasion of Herb returning from  the Army after  World War I.  From a date on one of the other photos, these were taken March 1, 1919.  Herb married Junua Goldie Patchin on 25 April 1918 in a quiet, small ceremony just before leaving for war.  The local newspaper reported, “The young couple slipped quietly away and it came as a gerat surprise to their many friends and relatives.”  From Herb’s obituary, we learn, “He entered the Army in June of 1918 and he was a Private in Headquarters Co., 162nd Infantry.  He was active service in France for nine months and was honorably discharged from the Army May 1919.”  I haven’t been able to find out much about his time in the Army, but the obituary points to an illness that he brought back during his time abroad.  His death certificate indicates he died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis at age 33.  I can’t imagine his family thought much of the Army after his service abroad is what killed him slowly and painfully.  Below are the other two photos in the set.  And now?  Now we cross the bridge and look forward to the next Sepia Saturday!

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Sepia Saturday 288: Shops, Butchers, Pigs

A challenge this week indeed!  The prompt image for Sepia Saturday (shown below) featured a butcher shop and I knew right off the bat that I had absolutely nothing like it.  Luckily, we get a preview a few weeks in advance and I managed to remember the photo above.  Picutred is a man who I believe is Waldo Orvis “Jack” Powis (1905-1981), brother to my great grandmother Olga Powis.  He’s standing with a dead bear who was probably hunted in Pennsylvania.  Jack didn’t live in PA at the time, but he may have been out visiting his family in central Pennsylvania and posed with the bear for a photo.  It’s not often that a person can safely get within any distance of a bear like that, so I’m sure it was quite the novelty!  It’s not a butcher shop, but I have to imagine that the hunters used the bear meat for food since the presumed area where it was shot wasn’t in great shape economically (and still isn’t).  There’s no date or inscription on the photo, but I’d guess it was taken  to be somewhere between 1950 to 1960.

Sepia Saturday 287: Groups, Students, Unsmiling Faces


Groups of students with unsmiling faces?  This Sepia Saturday was built for me, I’m sure of it!  One of the things my great grandmother Olga (Powis) Kitko saved over the years were her school photos, and we’ll go through a few of them today.  There are still plenty more though, so this hasn’t exhausted my collection in the least.  She was born in 1900, and in the photo above, she appears to be about age 8 or 9  or so  (third girl from the left in the front row, marked with an x on her sleeve).  There’s no date or marking on the back, but it’s a real photo postcard with an AZO stamp box showing three triangles up and one down which Playle’s guide says is 1911.  Pretty exact, though I would have put my guess a year or two prior.  The school here is probably the Blain City school house across the street from where Olga grew up.

Scan2554This one has no identifying information with it whatsoever – nothing on the back at all and it’s even mounted on a heavy cardboard mat with frame.  Best guess on this one is probably 1912 or 1913.  Olga is third in from the left, front row.  It appears to be the same school steps again as well.


This one is labelled on the back, “8th Grade Kids,” in Olga’s shaky handwriting indicative of her later years.  That would make the date of the photo about 1913-1914 or so depending on when it was taken.  Here Olga is on the left in the front row, standing again on the same steps as the prior two photos.



This is Olga’s High School Graduation photo taken about four years after the prior photo to finish out the set.  In the folder with the photo, she included a list of the students, but it appears to be incomplete.  It’s titled, “BTHS Graduates, 1919,” for Beccaria Township High School and lists these students:

  • Back Row: Covert Hegarty, Dean Gates, Dean Wagner, Hazel Mark, Violet Glass (missing 1 student)
  • Middle Row: Ruth Westover, Don McGeehen, Jim Patterson, Ann Nevling, Stella Holingsworth, Ruth Stewart, Mildred Beaber (all accounted for)
  • Front Row: Olga Powis, Blanch Ginter (all accounted for)

Not all the students have unsmiling faces – some have slight grins, but no full toothy smiles.  It still gives me a smile to see Olga’s life documented out in school photos, and I’m glad these are still around to share!



Sepia Saturday 283: Tunnel, Construction, Dates


I’m keeping Sepia Saturday short and sweet this week.  Things this summer have been so incredibly busy, and I’ve been just barely getting these posts up every week – I’m still getting it done, but it’s typically last minute!  Here we have a photo of Earl Powis and his second son standing in front of the entrance to the Blue Mountain Tunnel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  At the time, probably around 1955, it was one of seven tunnels on the turnpike that worked their way under the mountains of Pennsylvania.  The photo looks just about exactly like this postcard and a better history of the turnpike and its tunnels can be found online here.  Not long after these gents took this photo, three of the tunnels were bypassed and closed.  A little later on, this tunnel as well as the remaining tunnels in the system were “twinned” which added a second tunnel and set of roadways making two lanes of travel in each direction.  I know I’ve been through this particular tunnel in recent history, and it’s the eastern-most tunnel on the system.  While it’s not quite as old as the tunnel in the prompt photo, this was the first one I thought of when I saw the image for this week.


Sepia Saturday 273: Bicycles, Long Skirts, Newspaper Cuttings

Hitting one out of three isn’t bad, right?  And I get to post another one of my favorite photos from the trunk.  I’m a little behind the schedule with this post for Sepia Saturday, but better late than never!

Scan10121bPictured above is Earl William Powis Jr. (1922-2010) with a bicycle on August 24, 1930.  A very exact date, and I actually know quite a bit about this photo!  I presume it was taken by his mother, Anna (Plansky) Powis, who at that point, per the 1930 census, was divorced and living in Illinois with “Junior” as he was referred to on the census.  She kept in close contact with my great grandma Olga Powis who was Earl Jr’s aunt, sister to his father, sending along many photos of Earl Jr. over the years.


Anna wrote on the back of the photo (shown at left), “This is not so good of him, but he likes it, said he liked it best even if the bike has a flat rear tire.”  Kids, huh?  The 8 year old Earl was more concerned about the state of the bike than how he looked in the photo!  Olga likely added the identification at the bottom of the photo in pencil.  There are MANY photos of young Earl in my great grandma’s collection so it seems like she and Anna (and Earl) corresponded frequently  over the years even though Olga’s brother later remarried.  Short and sweet again to wrap up another Sepia Saturday Tuesday!



Sepia Saturday 263: Old adverts, horses, carts, strange products

Another non-photo prompt for the theme this week.  I was (again) a little behind getting my act together and getting a post up, but hey, here we are, finally!  Since I’m sticking with family photos for my submissions to Sepia Saturday, I took the horses from the prompt image and came up with mules and photo I’ve been wanting to include sooner or later.



This is Harry Oscar Frederick Powis, aka “Fritz.”  He was my great grandma Olga’s brother and lived from 1903-1972 in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.  Thanks to Olga’s efforts later in life to go through and label photos, we know this was taken 27 May 1920 in Coalport, PA and is of, “Fritz and his friendly mules.”  Her pen traces over an earlier pencil label likely done when she was much younger.  Fritz didn’t live or work on a farm to my knowledge, but the mules may have been used at a coal mine, hauling up loads of coal, similar to the linked photo here.  There were farms in the area of course, but unfortunately the 1920 census taker didn’t enumerate this family in 1920 (same census taker missed a number of houses in the area), so I don’t have a paper record of what he was doing in 1920.  I guess it’s not out of the realm of possibility for those to be farm mules, but I have no family stories or documentation to prove it either way.  Still, it’s a lovely photo and it’s really wonderful to have an exact date to go along with it!