I discovered an old family photo recently. It’s a photo of the Mrs. Grace Wilson’s Frankfort High School Spanish class; West Frankfort, Illinois. It was the Class of 1935.
The photo is in remarkably good condition, especially considering it is almost 80 years old.
As an artifact of my family’s history this photo is doubly good. The young man in the white shirt seated farthest to the left in the second row is my uncle, Leo Murray (1918 – 1964) , He was my mother’s brother.
Over Leo’s shoulder in the bib overalls, standing second from the left end in the third row is Walter Stahowski (1918 – 2003). As a friend, Wally had occasion to meet Leo’s siblings, including my mother. At the time this photo was taken my mother would have been almost 7 years old. Later in life my mother would marry Wally. He became her second husband when they married shortly after her 69th birthday. He was 79 at the time.
Another reason this photo is a particularly good find for genealogical purposes is, not only is the photo in good condition, but the reverse side lists the name of all those pictured. Even after all these years the writing is quite clear and, even more rare, legible.
One of the things that is terrific about old photos is one can appreciate the ebb in popularity of names. Given the time and place, I was not surprised to see names like ‘Viola’, ‘Hattie’, and ‘Nadine’. I was more surprised to see an ‘Altazurah’. The name ‘Dimple’ is intriguing. Not only is it an uncommon name but I find my self pondering the pros & cons of why it is singular and not plural. Most interesting of all, seated on Mrs Wilson’s left is someone only known as ‘Mafalda’; just like ‘Cher’ or ‘Madonna’. She was clearly a person ahead of her time.
I plan to search Ancestry.com to see whether any of the folks pictured are included in family trees in that site. If I locate any, I will forward the photo to the tree owners. It was a school photo so some may already have it but for others it might be a pleasant surprise.