Tag Archives: James L. Foster

Siblings

Gladys and Jim certainly enjoyed posing for the camera. They were the two youngest siblings of their family, born twenty-one months apart. By the 1920s, their oldest sister Lydia Allie (Foster) McCammon had died. An even older half brother—whom they may never have met in person—lived in Arkansas. Jesse was partially raised by their grandparents, James H. and Margaret (Rea) Lawhead, and an uncle Jasper Lawhead. Another brother Glenn moved west at some point. James E. Foster, the father, had long left the family so Gladys and Jim remained to take care of their mother. The siblings possessed strong work ethics and helped to support their mother until Emma died in 1943.

 

[Photographs from the private collection of the author.]

©2018 copyright owned by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/01/30/siblings/

A Funeral

Another three photographs create a grouping in my collection. Since everyone is dressed in black—at least they seem to be in the black & white photographs—I assume the foursome attended a funeral. Again, the time frame appears to be the mid to late 1920s. None of the women are wearing jackets, but the ground is covered by a light layer of snow. The tree limbs are bare. The photographer is unknown (since they never make an appearance). The petite woman standing next to Gladys is believed to be her Aunt Minerva, fraternal twin to Gladys’ mother Emma. Minerva’s dress is old-fashioned compared to Gladys’ stylish frock. The longer skirt hem and squarish collared neckline hearkens back the the World War I years. James (Jim) and Emma stand in the background. He was quite tall; his shoe can be seen on the ground next to Minerva’s feet. While Emma stands on the lower step—her boot just visible behind Gladys’ legs—creating the illusion that mother and son are the same height.

Gladys, Emma, & Jim Foster, with Aunt Minerva (Photograph from the author’s private collection)

I do not know whose funeral generated these photographs—especially since the mood is not particularly somber. Gladys smiles in both pictures. I have not discovered a Foster or Lawhead relative, living in the Terre Haute area, whose death occurred in the late 1920s, who would have prompted such a reunion. Perhaps I will someday…

[Photographs from the author’s private collection.]

©2018 copyright owned Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/01/28/a-funeral/

Sunday in the Park

 

Another group of photographs in my possession likely dates from the spring of 1929. I did not acquire them together, but spread out over a few years. Until I started looking at each photograph closely—sometimes better achieved once a photograph is scanned—I did not realize that they were taken on the same day. Or at the very least, Gladys is wearing the same dress. Because of the quality of the photographs, the different angles, lighting, and her hat, it may be hard to tell that the dress is the same. The feature that stands out the most is the sleeves—a fitted upper sleeve with a gathered, more voluminous lower sleeve controlled into cuffs at the wrists.

In the five photographs, Gladys is captured alone and with both her husband, Roscoe, and her brother, James. My gut feeling tells me that the outing took place in the spring before Gladys and Roscoe married—perhaps an engagement photo shoot. They married on 25 May 1929. Gladys wears a ring on her right hand (the only one clearly visible in any of the photographs). While an engagement ring is traditionally worn today on the left hand prior to marriage in western cultures, that has not always been case. The band appears simple so it may or may not be relevant. Skirt hems rose during the 1920s, and the tight fitting bell-shaped hats, known as cloche hats, remained popular throughout the decade.

It appears that the threesome had fun taking turns with the camera. Unfortunately, it appears that they didn’t find a stranger to take a photo of all three of them together!

©2018 copyright owned Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/01/27/sunday-in-the-park/

Another Photographic Series

 

[Emma (Lawhead) Foster holding her grandson, John Yegerlehner, 28 January 1932, Terre Haute, Indiana, photographs privately held by the author.]

Sometimes we know when photographs are taken. In this case,  my grandmother probably labeled the photographs, as the one of the far right refers to Emma as “Mother.” I do not know the occasion for the photographs, but the photographer (again most likely my grandmother) took several.  We think nothing nowadays of taking picture after to picture to get the correct shot, to make sure everyone is smiling, eyes are open, etc. Not so in the previous centuries. Film cost money, and you didn’t know what you shot until the film was developed.

FOS1932 James L. Foster with John - Terre Haute, 1932-02-28

James L. Foster, holding his nephew, John Yegerlehner, 28 January 1932, Terre Haute, Indiana, photograph privately held by the author.

If the photographs had not been dated, the automobile provides a great clue, especially to all the old car experts out there. Emma’s dress—although we don’t see much of it since John is in the way—does give some clues as well. Gone is the dropped waist of the 1920s. Seated on the car’s sideboard, the top of Emma’s dress blouses over a waist (left). Soft pleats may also be visible at the hip line (right) as well as a longer skirt. These are clothing characteristics of the 1930s. A great place to look for everyday clothing styles of the 20th century are the Sears catalogues, found at Ancestry.

Sears catalogue, Fall 1931 (Image courtesy of Ancestry.com)

©2018 copyright owned Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/01/22/another-photographic-series/

 

The Town’s Sewers

1965-04-28-gry-p-1Letter transcription:

April 28, 1965

Dear David and Bonnie:

This has been a busy week so far and I have one more day of going to do. Conference at Lafayette tomorrow (Woman’s Society). I am planning to go with Joan Fields, since there are only two of us going from here. I gave a program at Rensselaer for the Presbyterian Woman’s Society today. I used slides from Hong Kong and Bali. Also took along some articles which had been purchased in H.K. The slide projector worked fine—it has been giving us some trouble—until I was almost thru, so since I had been going for an hour, decided to call it enough. We always tell people we do not charge for our programs, but the President gave me a check and said she thought I should have at least that much ($10.00) for my trip. That makes $48.80 we have received besides gifts—pair of gloves, floral arrangement, etc., etc. I think we will take that amount and put it into a new screen—one that is larger than the one we have.

Your stocks are as follows: GM 108 5/8 Sperry 14 Echlin 13 and I am not sure what Bankers is worth now—probably 5 or 6. Those quotes are as of 4-27-65.

Dad had to attend a meeting at the Town Hall for a decision on the new sewer system. I am tired and about ready to go to bed, but thought I had better get this off to you first. Our town is being torn up and the digging machine is in front of the office now and it looks like they are digging deep enough to bury our office and we are hoping it doesn’t slide of its foundation and go down. All the streets in town that are being torn up will, of course, have to be repaved. In some places quicksand has been struck and that always makes much more work because of the fill. Dad had a good idea, he thought it would be a good place to throw all the old junk automobiles around here. We may not have to be torn up out here at the house. They tell us the sewer system that was installed when we built will be sufficient and I that is correct. When I see all those mountains of dirt around town where the digging has been done, I am ready to settle for what we have. Dad will have the answer when he comes home, I hope. That is why he is attending the meeting—it just concerns this part of town.

Dad finally got the chests of drawers remade for Shirley and Best Way is shipping them to Roselle. I called Shirley this evening to tell her that the shipment has been started. It usually takes a week for something to reach them from here. Both of the children had to talk to me. Becky talks so fast I can hardly understand here. Kirk is talking more. I was afraid they would be sick after they were here Easter, but evidently their big day didn’t hurt them. Crazy Foam was a part of their Easter gift and they had a great time playing with it. There were two cans, but Mark wouldn’t let them take any home with them. Becky got rid of one can that day.

Finally I am having something done with our couches. Mr. Schuh is remaking two to look alike and the old one that has been in the living room for years is going to be moved out to the family room. Maybe some day I will chuck it and get a new couch with a decent built in bed. Dad got the unit in our bedroom finished and a desk unit for my office. If I thought you wouldn’t need that old desk in your bedroom some day, I think I would get rid of it. It does come in handy at times. John used it when he spent Easter vacation at home. He had some work to do. He showed me the paper he read at the Linguistics meeting he attended in Chicago several weeks ago. Of course, there wasn’t much about it that meant much to me because it was about the Javanese language.

1965-04-28-gry-p-2Last weekend we went to Indianapolis to attend a BlueCross-Blue Shield meeting. On Sunday morning I had planned to go to church with Jim, but he was ill and called up to tell me he wouldn’t be around to get me, so I started to attend the Broadway Methodist and saw two women who had been at the dinner the night before who were headed for a church on the north side and went with them. It was a Church of Christ—and when I was telling Bob Fields about my experience, he said he had heard it called the Acapella Church of Christ, because they have no organ or piano. They evidently do not believe in having a musical instrument in their church, but the song leader used a tuning fork or a pitch pipe, or something—and both Bob and I agreed that was a musical instrument. I think the next time I will just quietly go get a taxi and go to Broadway. You would have a hard time leading the singing, I am afraid, the way that song leader did Sunday (unless of course, your singing voice has changed).

Love Mother

P.S. Mrs. Floyd (Louise) Hoover passed away Sun. a.m. She has had a long history of health problems, but her death was caused by chicken-pox and pneumonia.

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/02/02/the-towns-sewers/

The Minister’s Raise

1965-04-07-gry-p-1Letter transcription:

April 7, 1965

Dear David and Bonnie:

We have been looking for that letter. At last spring has arrived, and we hope to stay. Two weeks ago the ground was covered with snow, but Dad got the lawnmower ready just in case and after rolling the yard today thinks it will be ready for mowing next Thurs. That is going to make a long summer.

The town is being torn up for the new sewer system and I suppose it will be a year or more before we recover from the torn up streets—that is, get the repairing all taken care of. The digger is at present travelling down North Second Street and from the rate of progress being made, we figure they will either be in front of the Church Easter Sunday or maybe in front of the office. At least the town is catching up with the times a little. We have been giving programs again. We are to go to Indianapolis tomorrow to give a program for Uncle Jim and Aunt Thelma—I think it is their S.S. class. Since Indianapolis is on Eastern Time and we are on Central Time, we will have to leave here by 2:30 to get to Jim’s by 5:30. If I have to go alone, I will spend the night with them, but Dad is planning to go with me. He has surgery scheduled for Friday AM, so we plan to come back Friday night. Of course, we gain an hour coming back.

We received a magazine from Malacca today. It is all about the school and I suppose Bonnie knows what I am referring to. I presume they are not too upset over the situation. We heard the Foundations had to leave Indonesia. John was afraid of that, from all the news he had received from his friends still there. All the news we get about invasion attempts seems to indicate they haven’t been successful. (Indonesia into Malaysia)

For about two weeks I was having a little battle with a flu bug. I finally got over it, but the day we had quarterly conference here (which was held at 2 PM following a carry-in dinner) I came home after church and after a light lunch, went to bed for the rest of the afternoon. Dad had been up all night at the hospital and didn’t feel like going, so we gave in to our feelings and stayed home. The Finance Committee and Pastoral Relations Committee didn’t quite get together before the meeting and have things worked out like it is the custom to do and the minister wasn’t offered a raise and I am told that amounts to asking him not to return. At a Board Meeting this last Monday evening (Dad and I went to the Hospital to give a program for the Nurse Association) the raise was brought up and a vote was taken, 10 for and six against. Joan was in our office and told Dad she wasn’t sure they would be back. She indicated they weren’t sure, so I don’t know where the matter, or rather how it stands at present. Since I am not on any of the committees I had nothing to do with it one way or another. There are a lot of opinions on the matter. One group wants a change and another group thinks we could do a lot worse. I was with a group of women Tuesday and after hearing their tale of woe about the minister they have, I think we could do worse. Well, come June we will know. I have been going to the Presbyterian Church on Thurs. mornings to attend a Lenten series prepared and presented by Rev. Watson. I have been recording the lessons and will have to use at some future time if I need them. In appreciation we are going to have the Watsons come to dinner one evening. I had promised Joan we would have them come some evening for Rock Cornish Hens and Wild Rice, so I think we will have them come the same evening. I used the tapes in my S.S. class and several of my members liked Rev. Watson’s lessons. They seemed to think he was

1965-04-07-gry-p-2[page 2] easy to listen to. Today was the last session and several of the Presbyterian ladies told me they think he is extra special and they know they won’t be able to keep him. I agreed with them. He hasn’t been out of Seminary very long and I imagine after a year or two more here he will be invited to a larger church.

John is coming home next Thursday for Easter vacation. Mark and Shirley and the children are coming for the day, Easter, that is. Aunt Ruth may come if she doesn’t go to Des Moines. I haven’t heard from Lea, but I told John to call her and invite them to come. We will probably stop at Floyd’s tomorrow for a minute or two and will ask them to come also. Wish you could be here, but I know that isn’t practical, but will expect to see you several times this coming summer.

Dad is finishing the job of separating the chest of drawers he took out of our bedroom. He is fixing it for Shirley to use in her bedroom. She thought it would be better in two small chests than in the one large one.

I have several letters to answer. Had a letter from my little friend in Kyoto today. I had sent her a Christmas card and she thanked me for that and wants us to come back to Kyoto. We plan to go in 1966, and I am sure we will stay at the hotel where she works. We are going to the west coast in Sept. Had a letter from a friend of Dad’s who lives in Reno and he wants us to stop there for a visit with him and his family. Aileen wrote from L.A. that she has made arrangements for a place for us to stay when we visit her. Also had a letter from friends in Hong Kong one day last week. They had been living in a house which belonged to a minister from United Church of Christ (Duane’s church). Seems United minister was away on furlough. He must have returned, because the Bylers said they were in an apt. building and their apt. is on the 17th floor. They also said with a view like that who needs trees, (or for that matter grass).

Love Mother

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/02/01/the-ministers-raise/

Valentines

1965-02-22-gry-p-1Letter transcription:

February 22, 1965

Dear David and Bonnie:

I hope you have been able to figure your tax. Saturday Marge Janssen went with me to Champaign to see Oliver. Dad was to go, but thought he was too busy to get away. I told him he could go and probably not have a call during that time and that is what happened. However, there was one baby case he felt he didn’t want to leave. Dr. Schoonveld is on vacation and he thought he should stay home. John had gotten tickets for us several weeks ago. Show was held in field house, which looks like a mushroom. I suppose Bob and Lea pointed it out to you when you were there last year. Our seats were near the roof, but I took binoculars along and the sound was good, so I got along fine. We drove home after the show and were back here by 1:15 Saturday AM. John Janssen had washed my car and cleaned it out with a sweeper on the inside. I really felt like I was driving a Cadillac. Then on the way home, about 45 minutes before we arrived in Kent we went through a rain storm and there were several trucks passing and my car looks like I had driven through mud. Lea and Bob had us come to their place for dinner, so Marge and I really had a nice evening.

I stopped to see Mrs. M. last Friday. She was so happy about receiving a valentine and let me read your letter. I make it a point to stop and see her at least once a week. We also were happy to receive a valentine. We had sent valentines to Becky and Kirk and they sent us one. Uncle Jim always sends me a valentine and since that is his birthday, I always send him a card.

I am listening to Das Rheingold. John brought me a record by Anna Russell—the same thing you have on tape. I get a chuckle out of it every time I listen to it.

We have had missionary speakers at our church the past two Sundays. Last night we attended a pot-luck dinner and listened to the missionary speak about her work and show slides. She has been in Chile for a number of years. Last week the speaker was from Korea. He was with us from Sunday through Wednesday.

1965-02-22-gry-p-2[page 2] I think Arvella’s sister has gotten permission to take her vacation in Sept., so all is taken care of. She said if Caroline couldn’t take off in Sept., they would do something else. I rather think Ralph will let her off then. I told Arvella either that, or for her to get someone to work for her and she didn’t seem to think much of that idea.

Dad finished the bedroom unit and is working on a unit for my desk. We moved the desk out of your room and he built a wing for the typewriter and adding machine. He still has two drawers to finish before the unit is complete, but I am using it as it.

Love Mother

P.S. Did the visiting D.S. ever call on you? Did I write you about hearing Joan Fields give your address over the phone? She told me it was Dr. Bailey. He was getting the address for the D.S. from South Bend Dist.

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/01/29/valentines/