Saturday, December 31, 2005

Smiley Burnette

Here is my Dad with Smiley Burnette (1911 - 1967). I'm not sure what year - Dad might remember the date and event. Burnette appeared in dozens of films - mostly westerns, usualy as comic relief. He also made recordings and appeared on television's "Petticoat Junction and "Green Acres" as the Cannonball's conductor Charley Pratt.
If you want to learn more about Gene Autry's sidekick - you might thy any of these links:

I have had a lot of luck with family history research on You'd be surprised how many people are also researchnig your ancestors I am getting ready to renew my membership. It is a great place to view census records online, too. These are invaluable research tools. When I was a teen, I would ride my bike to the Mormon Genealogy library in Mesa, AZ. from our home in Scottsdale jsut to look at census records. That was over an hour's ride. It's nice to be able today to access all those records online.

Harve and May Bunnell 1886

Here is the earliest picture I have of Harve and May Bunnell, taken shortly after their marriage in 1886. Harve and May, whose house is shown in an earlier post, lived just north of that house from the time they married, until 1898 - when the second house was built. When they moved into the new house, May moved a rose bush down to the new house. Many years later, my grandmother, Edith Smith, took a start from that bush and it bloomed for many years. Before Granddad and Grandma moved, I took a couple of starts off Grandma's and I have gotten rose blooms every year from it. It is the most fragerant rose I have ever smelled - not at all like the new roses. May Bunnell would be proud to know that her roses are still blooming over 100 years after she planted them.
The second picture was taken at the Bunnell home on the occasion of Harve and May's 50th wedding anniversery in 1939. May died in 1939 and Harve in 1943.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Shelton Reunion 2004

Here are three pictures from the Shelton Reunion, June 2004.

John and Margaret Block

This is a photo taken about 1900 - 1910 of John and Margaret Block. They had both been born in Switzerland, John in 1841 and Margaret in 1849. When she was just a girl, Margaret's brother accidently blinded her in one eye with an arrow. her father had to take her across the snow to the doctor's on a sled.
John and Margaret were both previouly married and widowed. Margaret died on her 75th birthday, May 20, 1924. John died two years later. Grandma Smith remembers John and his two sisters sitting in chairs onthe front lawn speaking to each other in German. She also recalled once that he could yodel and had tried to teach her.

The Block Home

This is the hmoe of John and Margaret (Schluneggar) Block taken between 1905 - 1915. It was just east of the Blue Mound Road, near where Darwin and Weta Forth lived. John and Margaret are seated near the cetner of the porch in rockers. George is to his father's right and Willie is between his father and mother. Ben Block, is just behind his mother. There are three girls on the porch, most liekly the three block sisters, but I cannot yet tell you which is which. Ther other older couple may be Margaret's brother Alfred Schluneggar and hiswife, but I can't be sure of this just yet. Will post more about this picture at a later time, so keep checking.
John Blocked lived here until his wife's death in 1924. Shortly after that he moved in wioth his son George and family and remained there until his own death in 1926. They are buried in the Cisne Cemetery .
Jan 12 - I blew up the section of the picture with people in it and perhaps made it easier to see by adjusting the lighting and focus. Also used a cooler lens. can anyone name the people? There are three children, I assume the three oldest gfrandkids - Ben's probably.

Isaac & Edith

Grandma Smith gave me these two pictures some time back. They were taken in the mid 1970s at their home near Rinard. Granddad and Grandma were married in 1939. They first lived with Granddad's Granddad Bunnell, Harvey, who had just become a widower. The following year they moved to the Rinard corner on the Blue Mound road and lived there til jsut after the birth of their twins. Then, in 1942 they moved down the Blue Mound to just south of the jog. Isaac's Great Grandfather Senneca Bunnell had owned the farm 80 years prior and I believe that many of the bunnell children (Harvey'sbrothers and sisters) were born there. In 1959, Granddad built a new house adn he and Grandma lived there until 2003, when they moved to Flora, due to Granddad's declining health.

Fire Wood

This picture is from about 1920. It is Harold, Owen and Ralph (then about five) Smith. Harold is chopping firewood, while his brothers help. Must have been something keepnig those old farmhouses warm in those days with just wood buring stoves.

Fred Smith 1969

This is a picture of my Great granddad, Fred Smith (1884 - 1972) taken in 1969. AFter the death of his wife in 1967, Fred stayed with his children. This photograph was taken at my grandparent's house.

Wayne & Elaine

My mother and her brother are twins. At birth, Dr. Phillips didn't think that Wayne would live - the baby's was nearly blue. Thankfully he did.
As a child. Mom had a peculiar habit of tilting her head to one side when she was photographed.

Grandma and Grandpa Shelton

Not sure of the date or occasion on this photo. Probably mid 1950s. Perhaps Uncle Raymond can shed some light on that as I think it came from his collection. Grandpa doesn't look too excited about having to wear that tie, though. He'd probably have prefered his bib-overalls, I guess.

Christmas 1969

Ok - One last Christmas picture before the end of the year. This one is from Christmas 1969. The woman is Faye Block (1897 - 1975), my great grandma and I am handing her a present. Behind us is Bob Bozarth. I was at his house this past Christmas for dinner.

Jonathan and Rebecca Conard

I got these pictures from a total stranger in Ohio. She was intested in genealogy and had set up a website (no longer available) from the Conard family. I copied these pics from her website. They are Jonathan and Rebecca (Iredell) Conard - probably taken in the 1860s. Tom Conard (see previous post) was their son.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Tom Conard

This is a photograph, probably taken in the 1870s, of my great-great-great grandfather Tom Conard (1824 - 1903) . He lived in Blue Point. IL (when there was a town there.) Not much is left of Blue Point except a church, but it was a thriving village 100 years ago with a couple of stores, mill, school and even a tavern. Probably a great place to take a metal detector. Tom's house was SE of the Blue Point corner, just due East of the old schoolhouse.
Tom and his wife were Quakers and were descended from Thones Kunders, who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1684 and were among the 13 families that founded German town.

Shelton Barn 1988

Here is the old barn at the Shelton place. I think Bryon told me his father had built it. Dad will have to tell you all sometime about Bryon calling him up one snowy morning a few years back wanting him to fix the roof.
The guy in the picture is my cousion Mark. At the time we shared a room for about three months while I was living at Bill's house. Mark is lots of fun and nice person. I'll never forget - we went to an auction one afternoon and bought two truckloads of furniture! We filled Bill's dining room til we found a place to put it all! Mark and his wife live just north of Mt. Vernon now.

Shelton Farm 1980s

I took this picture in late December of 1981. It is the house where Wayne Shelton lived as a child and his kids grew up. Everything is gone now - even the trees. It is all being farmed over. The first Spring I was in Illinois (2001) I went out to the farm and dug up some of Bertha's (or were they Mag's) Easter flowers. They come up every year now in my yard at Cisne.

Isaac Smith

The old couple you see are Isaac and Emma Smith, my great-great grandparents. Isaac was born in 1832 and fought in the Union army during the Civil War in Company D of the Seventh Reg. of the West Virginia Infantry. He was at Gettysburg and served for three years and eight months. He was a skilled woodsman and at the time of he construction of he B&O Railroad through Wayne County, Isaac had the contract for furnishing ties for a certain part of it. He held the local record for the greatest number of ties hewn from the treein a single day - being able to hew 100 ties a day. Isaac died at the age of 93 years and one day.
I'm not sure who the little girl is on his lap, probably a grand-daughter. The picture behind them is of Archibald and Mary Hanson Smith, both born in Ireland in the 1790s and immigrated to this country as young adults.

Isabelle Fairleigh

The picture to the left of the four ladies was from Bryon Shelton's collection. Aunt Luella now has the original but has no idea who the ladies are. I'm guessing that they are probably sisters because there is a strong resemblance especially the mouths and the shapes of the faces. I'm guessing that the lady seated on the left with her hair parted in the middle is Isabelle Fairleigh - Bertha Shelton's grandmother. the next picture is a picture of Isabelle Fairleigh - perhaps a few years younger. Same mouth and hair, but tell me what you think.

Snakes from Above

Here's a good picture of Dad and Linda. This is before they bought their current house and were renting a place. this picture was taken May 20, 1999. I believe that it was during this trip home that I was mowing the yard and a snake dropped out of a tree and into my lap. I let out a yell and jumped off the mower. Linda came running from the house - I think she thought I must have gotten my let caught in the mower from the way I was yelling! I grabbed a nearby shovel and finshed the snake off. I hate a snake.

Charlie Rogers

Dec 28, 1895 was the birthday of Charlie Rogers. Charlie was a longtmie resident of Denver, Colorado, so when we moved to Denver in 1980, we got to know he and Aunt Pearl. The stories I could post here!
Well, we had Charlie and Pearl out for Easter dinner the first year we were home. My sister and I were back in my room playing a game or somethnig and Charlie came back and found us. He handed each of us a $20 bill and said, "You keep that. Don't tell your Aunt Pearl." We weren't used to being handed $20 bills and slipped them back in his shoes. Grandma Shelton, Charlie's sister, said, "You should have kept it. He wouldn't have given it to you if he didn't want you to have it." Well, Charlie and Pearl came again at Thanksgiving and again he gave me a sawbuck. This time I kept it.
This is the last picture taken of Charlie alive. It was taken at Christmastime 1981. He died Feb 28, 1982.

Come Blow Your Horn

This picture was taken May 20, 1999. I moved to Illinois two years later and got to know Uncle Bryon quite well. He'd come visit me every morning, bright and early. If he didn't feel like coming to the door, he'd just lay on his horn for a spell. If I didn't feel like getting out of bed, I'd just pull the covers over my head til the honking stopped.
I was always welcome for dinner at Bryon's and he and Leona made me dinner at least once a week. I casually mentioned to him once that I had never tasted squirrel before. About a week later, Bryon called up and said, "OK I want you to come over to the house at for dinner - I got you a squirrel." Sure enough he did! I don't know where or how he got it ( it was too early for hunting season). I can't say I'm too eager to have squirrel again as I found it quite greasy, but I really appreciated the effort he must have went to to get it.
I miss hearing that horn.

Rest in Pieces

I beleive this poor fellow washed ashore near Starved Rock. His watch, however, was still running.


This picture was taken Jun 17, 1962. Dad was stationed in Japan and went to see the Great Buddha of Kamakura is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha that is located on the grounds of the Kotokuin Temple. With a height of 13.35 meters, it is the second largest Buddha statue in Japan (the largest is located in the Todaiji Temple in Nara).
The statue was cast in 1252 and originally located inside a large temple hall. However, the temple buildings were washed away by a tsunami tidal wave in the end of the 15th century, and since then the Buddha stands in the open air

Grandma's 90th

This was taken on Grandma's 90th birthday. I guess you all know the three yayhoos with her.

Shelton Farm 1880s

This is a picture that I copied from Aunt Luella. You'll want to click on it to enlarge it as that will make it easier to view. I believe it came from Bryon's collection. It was probably taken sometime in the 1870s or 1880s. It is the old Shelton farm (smae house where Wayne and Bertha lived). Standing outside are William R. and Margaret (Mag) Shelton. Near the porch is one of their sons, but I'm not sure which - yet! Seems to me Bryon told me that they built this house after the old one burned down.
Mag used to cook in a big kettle over an open fire. She smoked a stone pipe and spoke with a thick German accent which Bryon could immitate. William was a member of the Union Army and had been in a prison camp in Texas. The prisoners were fed pumpkins and he was never a very healthy man after he left the army. The Sheltons lost two little girls who died very young. Their names escape me at the moment. One day, several years after the deaths of these children, William called Mag into the bedroom and told her that the little girls had come to him and told him that he would be "called home" the following week. "They were in the flower of youth," he told his wife. William did die shortly after and was buried at the Brown Cemetery. This story came from Uncle Bryon.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Shelton Boys

This picture was taken around 1921 or 22. (Paul looks about 4 or 5, but KAthy and Karen may know better. L to R are Bryon, Hub, Harry, Pirl and Paul Shelton. It was taken on the South side of their house and the woman peering off the edge of the front porch is probably Margaret Shelton, the boys' grandmother. Grandma Shelton remembers Margaret sitting on the front porch a lot. Once when she and her sister emma Jane were walking home from school, Margaret said "Hello little girls!" is her husky German accent and the girls took off running down the road. Grandma and Grandpa Shelton attended the same elementery school. One day, when she was about7 or 8 years old, Leone came home mad and her mother asked her what was wrong. "That ol' Harry Shelton won't stop winking at me!" was the answer.

Summer 2004

This picture was taken Aug, 2004 at a State Park in Indiana. Dad will have to remind me of the name of the Park, although he wasn't too impressed at the $4.00 entry fee - ha! I guess that was about the last time we ate at Two Tony's Resterant in Carmi. It has since burned down. Dad was playing hooky from work for a few weeks because of a shoulder surgery so we had lots of afternoons to do bum around Southern Illinois. Iremember that Grandma commented about the sun hitting the Wabash river in such a way that it looked like thousands of diamonds. Wish it had been!

The Bunnell Home

This house was built by my great- great grandfather in 1898. He paid the carpenter $1 a day. This picture was taken in the 1930s. I lived in the house in 1974. My room is the downstairs window, just to the right of the porch. I remember my first tooth being pulled in that room by my father. You never heard a kid scream so much. the next time I had a tooth pulled, it was by my Uncle Raymond. He was much gentler than Dad had been!
Mom wouldn't allow us to go out on the upper balcony. I guess she was afraid the bannister would break or we would try to jump. That summer Granddad let me raise some pigs which were kept north of the house. I think it was a litter of thirteen. My sister and I used to ride our bikes up and down the road in front of the house. Granddad and Grandma smith had a peach orchard south of the house on a hill and Grandma STILL tells of the time that my sister Shari, who was five, road her bike clear up to the orchard - just to "see what was going on." That was a fun summer.

Grandpa and Grandma Shelton

These are my grandparents, Harry and Leone Shelton. the picture was taken Christmas of 1970. I was five when Grandpa died, but can still remember him slicing pieces of Colby Cheese for me, going fishing with him once and cutting my finger on a weed, his orange ashtray and green easychair, going to the doctor's office with him and a few other faded memories. Grandma is 91 years old now and quite spry. I still enjoy taking her to eat, or for drives through the country. She tells the best stories.

Shari's Family

This is a picture of my sister, Shari and her three kids - Cameron, Cailey and Keegan. I don't get to see them very much - maybe once a year if I am lucky.

Family Picture

This photo is of my mom's family and was taken Apr 5, 2005. We had just buried Granddad Smith and had all gathered back at Blue Point Church in Rinard, IL for lunch. Gotta get those boys some longer ties!