Louise Fountaine Withers
512 Main Street, Greensboro, AL, USA
Louise “Weese” Fountaine Withers was born on May 18, 1897, in Demopolis, AL, and spent the majority of her life in Greensboro as a school teacher. Upon her sister’s death, never having married herself, she moved in with her brother-in-law to raise his three children, one of whom was my grandmother, Virginia Saft. Weese received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University in 1919, an enormous accomplishment for a woman in her time, and was involved in Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, the Dramatic Club, Latin Club, and French Circle, holding leadership roles in many of these organizations. In Greensboro, she was a prominent member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and is still remembered by former students in the town.
Robert Jake Carter
Contributed by his Great Grandson Blaine Carter
Robert Jake Carter, born on August 29, 1929, in Brantley, Alabama, was a man who created a life for himself and his family that could rival any Great Depression era story. To tell of Jake achievements in just one congregation of stories would only scratch the surface of what he accomplished for himself and his family. Something that is a common occurrence throughout his life is hard work and perseverance. It was demonstrated in his education experience, home life, relationships and the memories that still live in the walls of the house that now holds the Carter name.
Elizabeth Ann Burke
DeWitt, Clinton County, IA, USA
Contributed by Elizabeth Burke’s great-great-grandaughter.
Elizabeth Ann Burke (née Hanrahan) was born on July 18th, 1867 in a small town called Petersville, Iowa. She went by the nicknames Lizzie and Eliza and married William Martin Burke on February 9th, 1891. By 1915 they had 10 living children and lived in Clinton County, Iowa (Mary Ellen “Nellie,” John, Martin, Raymond “Chubby,” Ida, William, Elizabeth “Dolly,” Thomas, Steve, and Mary). Elizabeth was extremely involved with her local church and her husband worked as a farmer. She spent her days hosting meetings for her church’s guild and working as a midwife. Lizzie was respected and loved by many in her community and had a large family to show it. In her free time, she could be crafty and she loved to compete, which is something she passed down to her descendants. A woman of God, Elizabeth Ann Burke lived her life as an example for all those aronund her.
Houston H. Feaster
63 Silverwood Street, Mobile, AL, USA
Houston Howard Feaster was born on June 29th, 1920 in Frisco City, Alabama. He grew up in Mobile, Alabama and attended SpringHill College, playing end on the football team. Before graduation, Houston enlisted in the army and went on to officers school. After graduation, he served in the Pacific. Houston Feaster was married on November 22, 1943 to Marie Donaghey. They went on to have six children. Houston was known as a loving husband and father by his family, his time serving as Director at the State Docks in Mobile, and his associations with infamous Alabama Governor George Wallace.
Oliver Hood “Happy” May
1766 Dauphin Street, Mobile, AL, USA
Oliver Hood May was born on August 8, 1904 to Ernest Walter May and Della May. In the 1920’s, he married Norma Evans Israel. Together, they had one daughter named Shirley. They later divorced, and by the second World War, he married his longest wife and the mother of his three other children, Marjorie Broadus. Happy owned the successful plumbing wholesaler May Supply Company and was involved in Mobile city politics and philanthropy. He passed on May 7, 1986.
Ava Louise McLarty Parker
161 Lipscomb Street, Mobile, AL, USA
Ava Louise McLarty Parker was born in Mobile, Alabama on October 18, 1925. As a middle child of four siblings, Ava lived in her family’s house that also served as a local grocery store. She helped her hard-working, single mother run the family business. When she was sixteen, she married Charlie Litton Parker who was also a Mobile resident. They lived together in Saraland, Alabama where they raised their four children and were happily married for over fifty years. Ava passed away when she was 68 years old after battling with dementia. She left a legacy of prioritizing faith, family, and food.
Web Blurb- Hubert Edgar Poe
Clifty, KY, USA
Contributed by his great-granddaughter Savanna Lauren~Mae Briscoe
Photo Caption: Hubert Edgar Poe, U.S. Navy, Great Lakes, Illinois 1942 (Photo Credit: family photo collection)
Hubert Edgar Poe was born on October 7, 1917, in Clifty, Kentucky, United States. Clifty, previously known as “Lickskillet,” is an unincorporated community located inside of Todd County, Kentucky. Clifty is centered at the intersection of Kentucky Route(s) 107, 181, and 890. When Hubert was approximately 12 years old, he most likely read or shopped from the Sears catalog. He married Esther Mae Rice on December 31, 1937, at the Church on East Market St. in Louisville, Kentucky. Esther was only 18 years old and Hubert was 20 years old when they got married. On February 12, 1942, Hubert enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 26 years old. Hubert and Esther had four children and called Louisville, Kentucky, their forever home.
Edgewood, TX, USA
My great-grandfather, William Homer Pickens Sr., was born in Edgewood, Texas on February 1, 1892. In May of 1919, he married Johnnie Belle Gahart, a woman two years younger from nearby town Kemp. They settled in Edgewood where he worked for the town bank and she stayed at home as a housewife. Over the course of their marriage, they had four children: Dorothy Louise, who died at the age of eleven; Mary C., who died at the age of 22; William Homer Pickens Jr., my grandfather; and Wynelle Pickens Knackstadt, who only died about seven years ago in 2013. It has been told in my family that Homer Sr. helped orchestrate the merger of two banks in his area during the Great Depression and then became the vice president of the resulting bank.
Greenburgh, NY, USA
Alfred Bernard Kernell, my great-grandfather, was born between 1900 and 1902 in Manhattan, New York. On most censuses his birth year is listed as 1902, whereas he lists his birthdate as September 22, 1901 on his World War II draft card, and his gravestone lists his birth year as 1900. He grew up in Manhattan and married Dorothy V. Small in July 1929. They had two children, Joan, my grandmother, and John, my great uncle.
“Don” Antero Abata Cartas
Sual, Pangasinan, Philippines
Contributed by his great-granddaughter Tiffany Josephine Sison
“Don” Antero Abata Cartas was born January 3rd, 1914 in Ilocos Notre, Philippines where it once flourished Chinese and Japanese trading for gold. Antero was the youngest son out of four sisters and began working as a farmer since he was a young boy. He furthered his career in Sual, Pangasinan where he not only owned an abundant amount of land where the first rice mill was established, but he was also an active politician who served as intern vice mayor. Eventually, he married Fabiana Caburao and had two sons who passed away in infancy, a daughter who passed on when she was 47, and is survived by his six remaining daughters who assisted him with work on the fields. Mangoes, rice, coconuts, nepa, and wood were grown at his farm, but when he was not working Antero often spent his past time making nepa wine from the second drop of nepa sap for his community.
“Ang isang tao ay may dalawang kamay, isa para sa pagtulong sa kanyang sarili at isa para sa pagtulong sa iba.” -Anonymous
“A person has two hands, one for helping himself and one for helping others.”
Katie Elizabeth Wright
Limestone, AL, USA
Katie Elizabeth Wright is the wife to Willie Ferrell and my great grandmother. She was born in 1899 in Tennessee, but moved to the Athens area where she shared a farm a family with Willie during the great depression. Mother of five, she represents the steadfast mother of the era stubborn in her desire to see her children raised and well cared for in the rural south.
Edward Dean Stetson
Arbuckle, CA, USA
Edward Dean Stetson was born August 30, 1917, in Arbuckle, CA. He lived here on an almond ranch with his family for the entirety of his childhood. Following this, he went to college in Sacramento and would spend the rest of his life there. He went on to become a civil engineer working for the California Department of Water Resources. He was married to his wife Phyllis for 61 years. He had 6 children, 11 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.
Henry Cecil “Buck” Simmons
Vinegar Bend, AL, USA
Henry Cecil “Buck” Simmons was born on August 10th, 1898 in Vinegar Bend, Alabama, a small village in Washington County, Alabama. Vinegar Bend is now only an unincorporated census-designated place, a location that is only recognized on the census because both it’s population and area are too small. He married Beulah Monk Simmons in 1919, when he was 21 and she was 18. Post-depression, they lived together in Prichard, Alabama, a city in Mobile County where they had four kids (Cecil, Marvel, Burton, and Robert). He was a barber most of his life. They eventually moved to Mobile city, where he died on February 10, 1969.
Lawrenceville, AL, USA
Alonzo Vickers was born on May 3, 1892, in Lawrenceville, Alabama, and passed away in late April of 1980. His parents were slaves and he was born a sharecropper. He would go on to get married, have children, and own his own farm.
St. Louis, MO, USA
My great-uncle George lived here up to World War II. He later went on to fight on the Western front of the war.
504 Center Street, Sioux City, IA, USA
Born in Nebraska in 1910, my great grandmother lived at home with her family until her she turned twenty. In 1930, she moved to Sioux City to begin her life as an adult. In Sioux City Clara worked at the hospital kitchen where she washed dishes for the cafeteria, along with many other various jobs. She lived as a bachelorette until she married Roy Troutman in 1936. Two of her three children were born in the house Clara and her husband owned in Sioux City.
Caldonia Athalee Strahan Clausen
Pearlington, MS, USA
Caldonia Athalee Strahan was born on December 12, 1918, in Hancock, Mississippi. Technically she lived in Pearlington; however, Hurricane Katrina wiped it off the map. After a mysterious event in which the courthouse holding her birth documents was lost to a fire, she changed her name officially to Dona A. Strahan. Later in life, she would relocate to bustling city Mobile, AL, with her husband and live the rest of her life there.
Catherine Margaret Korytoski Miller
119 East Beam Street, Porter, IN, USA
(1911 – 1964)
Contributed by her great-great granddaughter Keely Ellman
Catherine Margaret Korytoski Miller was born somewhere in Illinois in 1911, though most of her life was spent in and around Porter, a small town in Northwest Indiana. The oldest of six children, Kate married Frank Miller, a painter by trade and artist by hobby, in 1934 and moved to another house in Porter on Franklin Street. Due to family financial troubles, though, by 1940, the Millers (Frank, Kate, and three of the four children they would have: Joanne, 4; Nels, 3; Margo, 11/12; Helen, not born until 1943) lived in Porter at 119 Beam Street instead with Kate’s parents, her five siblings including her oldest sister Mary, Mary’s husband Charles Meyne, the two Meyne children, and a paying boarder to make ends meet. Kate kept home with Mary’s help and took care of this hectic household of sixteen until they could afford to live separately around the Porter area, perhaps preparing her for life in the next decade when Frank would be drafted into the Navy.
Burly “BB” Bascum Norris
100 Church St, Andalusia, AL 36420, USA
Burly “BB” Bascum Norris was born in Andalusia, Alabama, on October 11, 1922, and passed away on May 26, 2001. BB held many roles in his life of 79 years. He was a fireman, fire chief, WWII veteran, father, brother, and my great-grandfather. He spent many years of his life at the Andalusia Fire Department in Andalusia, Alabama, where he retired from his duties as Fire Chief in 1982.
Joan Frances Gillespie
1505 South Bailey Street, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Joan Gillespie was born on September 10, 1931 to Frances Jane Gillespie and Leo Gillespie in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She had one younger brother, Richard, born in 1936. On May 28, 1955, she married Angelo Edward Bove, a first generation Italian. They met on a company ski trip at the bank they both worked at. Together they had 7 children: Donna, John, Lisa, Joann, Angela, Christopher, and Angelo Edward. Joan remained in the Philadelphia area until her death in 1994. A devout Irish Catholic, Joan was known for her sewing. She made her own wedding dress and sewed clothes for all 7 of her children.
Britt, IA, USA
Allen Noonan was born in 1916 in Britt, Iowa, where his parents owned a coffee shop and an electronics store. Allen attended Britt high school and won awards in both athletics and the arts. As an adult Allen would move to California and establish multiple businesses as well as the One World Family Commune.
Raymond L. Hoadley
Brooklyn, NY, USA
Contributed by his great granddaughter Claire Tohill
Raymond L. Hoadley was born July 15th 1900 in Earlville, New York. Located about 4 hours north of New York City, Earlville was an extremely small village of 1.1 square miles. At the age of 20, Raymond enrolled in the Wharton School of Business and Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. While there, he was involved in many social and academic societies. He also wrote a daily column for a campus magazine. His love for writing grew, and upon graduation he became a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and the Brooklyn Eagle. While living in Brooklyn in 1930, he married Elizabeth Briggs and they had two children, Douglass and Gail. In 1940 he became the financial editor of the New York Herald Tribune. In his later years, he and his family retired to Fair Lawn, New Jersey until his passing in 1964.
Guy Oscar Blackburn
Fredonia, KS, USA
Contributed by his second cousin, once removed,
Karen Hollingsworth Gardiner
Guy Oscar Blackburn was born in 1910 in Alabama City, Alabama. He ran away and joined the circus in 1926. By 1934, he was a featured aerialist and female impersonator with Seal Bros. Wild Animal Circus, which had its winter quarters in Fredonia, Kansas. Guy last trouped with Dailey Bros. Circus in 1949. He died in 1955 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Mandy “Millie” Brown
103 Pecan St, Hayneville, AL 36040, USA
(1884- ? )
Contributed by her Great-Granddaughter Amber M.C. Craig
Mandy (Millie) Brown was a woman who loved making pies, likely born in Lowndes County, Alabama, in 1884. On January 6th, 1911, Mandy married her first husband, Sidney Bruce, whom soon after she divorced. At the age of 29 Mandy married tenant farmer, Peter Brown. In 1920, Peter and Mandy Brown resided in Hayneville, Alabama, a little town between Mobile and Montgomery, where they began working as sharecroppers. Together Mandy, Peter Brown and their family of four boys and one girl (Ed Brown, Thomas Brown, Peter Brown, Abram Brown and Lucille Brown) lived the rest of their life as farmers, selling pies within their small town as means to make extra income.
Hartington, NE, USA
June Rossiter Stockwell was born in Hartington Nebraska, an agricultural community that was successful even during the Great Depression. In 1945, she married John Stockwell and stayed in Nebraska to start a family and build a home. By 1947, they had their first child, Forest who was the oldest child of twelve children. My Father was the last child (to be) born in the 1960’s. She was an English teacher before she became a stay at home mother (for her children). She was a faithful Catholic woman who devoted all of her time to her family, community, and church. In her last years of life, she moved to Ohio to live with her two daughters, Jane and Mary.
William Kyle Thurmond, Junior
Healdton, OK, USA
Contributed by his granddaughter Kirsten Gearheart
William Kyle Thurmond Jr. was born in “new” Healdton, previously an Indian territory that quickly transformed into a community of oil fields, of Carter County, Oklahoma in December 1930. He was the second and final child of Ethel and William Thurmond—his older sister, Virginia Thurmond, was born in October 1926. One of his favorite pastimes during the Great Depression was going on fishing trips with his father, evidenced by the 1934 snapshot above. William Jr. attended the town’s pubic school until he graduated high school and went onto obtain a college education at Oklahoma State University. He eventually moved to Roanoke, Virginia, married Martha Lou Gearheart, and helped in raising her three boys and their daughter, Monica Thurmond.
William Calvin Jones
836 8th Avenue West, Birmingham, AL, USA
Contributed by his great-granddaughter Regan Hardy
Born in Macon, Georgia on March 29th, 1904, William Calvin Jones Jr. grew up with his parents William Calvin Jones Sr. and Maude Harris in Birmingham. He married Alda Irene Whaley Jones, an Alabama native, in 1928 at the age of 24, and the two lived in Birmingham after their wedding. The couple transplanted to Chicago, moved back to Alabama, and welcomed a daughter to the world all in the span of less than ten years. My great-grandfather, or “Bill,” as my father and his siblings called him, was a prolific pressman for the Birmingham News and a wonderfully quirky patriarch of the Jones family.
Pictures provided by the family collection of Allison Hardy, Bill’s granddaughter.
President Street, Charleston, SC, USA
From the time that he was a boy, Joseph Needle, born on December 7, 1896 in Charleston, South Carolina, had a clear picture of the world around him. As the son of a retail storekeeper, he spent the beginning of his life working within the family business, until attending Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. After his schooling finished in 1921, he moved back to his home- town and married Bertha Rephan. The couple had two sons, Harry and Morton, and lived on President Street in downtown Charleston. There, Joseph worked as a Civil Engineer and Cartographer, positions that allowed him to transfer his own picture of the world onto a lucid canvas for others to follow. When he passed away on March 5, 1976, these directions had not only provided a clear path for his family, but his entire city as a whole.
Mary Maude Jago Hayes
Bathurst NSW, Australia
Contributed by her Great-Grandson Michael Christopher Auprince
Mary Maude Jago Hayes was born to Eliza Jago and James Hayes in 1900 in Burwood, a small working class suburb within Sydney, Australia. Mary married Andre Auprince at the age of 22 in 1922, where the couple resided within the suburb of Hurstville, Sydney to be close to her family. Several years after the birth of her two children Ivan (1923) and Jacqueline Auprince (1927), Mary filed for divorce from Andre in 1937 citing desertion. She moved to the country town of Bathurst in 1936 where she met and married William Lyle Dowling in 1940 at the age of 40, after serving as his children’s nanny for several months. She died in 1969 at the age of 69 in Bathurst where she is buried.
Memphis, TN, USA
(May 23, 1914- Oct 18,1993)
Contributed by his great-grandson, Philip Williams Knott.
Philip Williams was the third of five children to John Philip Williams and Harriet Overton Williams on the Overton’s family farm, known as Traveler’s Rest, on Franklin Pike Street, in Nashville, TN. When the Depression hit in 1929 his family sold the farm. Fortunately, his family entered the coal brokerage industry prior to the economic downturn, allowing Philip to attend Vanderbilt University, graduating June 1935. He attempted Columbia law, but after a year he dropped out to become a sales associate at the Continental Can Company (CCC), moving to Memphis, TN. Then in September of 1936, he married Martha Jane Boyd and she gave birth to my grandmother, Phyllis Williams, a year later in November of 1937. Philip continued working for the CCC through the Great Depression before enlisting in the U.S. Army in July 1942, during World War II. He lived to be 79, dying on October 18, 1993.
Photo-credit to Mollie Knott (sister), taken from Phyllis Williams Mostellar’s personal family photo-collection.
Giuseppe Antonio Defilippis
162A Utica Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213, USA
Contributed by his great-granddaughter Allison Drew
Giuseppe Antonio Defilippis was born in Castellonorato, a small village in northern Italy. When he was seven years old his family moved to Marçay to gain French citizenship so they could more easily immigrate to America. In 1905, the fourteen-year-old Giuseppe immigrated to New York city alone to start his new life in America. In 1921 he married fellow Italian, Maria Russo, and they moved into an apartment on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn. By 1938 they had seven children (Libero, 16; Concetta, 14; Avanti, 12; Leone, 10; Tullio, 9; Sylvia, 7; Lillian, 1). Maria and Giuseppe would eventually have one more child, Lorena, in 1947. Giuseppe worked as a bootblack on Wall Street to ensure that each of his children could receive a proper education and a fulfilling life.
Laura Jane Waldrop Gregg
Samantha, AL, USA
(1899 – 1971)
Contributed by her granddaughter Karen Hollingsworth Gardiner
Laura Waldrop Gregg was likely born in New Lexington, a farming community in extreme North Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. In 1921, she married Henry Clay Gregg, thirteen years older, and they moved to an unpainted dogtrot house on Factory Road in Cowden, a rural community between Fayette and Byler Roads. Byler Road is now US 43 and Cowden is present-day Samantha. By 1932, she had three children (Henry Loyal, 11; Virginia Dare, 7; and Miriam Augusta, 3). She and Henry would have one more child, Dorothy Dean, in 1933, and they would remain on their Cowden farm until around 1950, when they moved to Northport. She was a homemaker—known for her good cooking and beautiful quilts.