Neola History Book

I doubt that this will be of interest to the Edwards line—more relevant to the other side of my family, the Durhams—but thought I’d include it just in case.

The collection of pages about Neola history is boiund as two-hole notebook, with a green cover, and a title: Neola: 1887-1987.  The cover has a  drawing of a grain elevator and a train, labeled The Sandbur Flyer.

The inside title page: YORK Township—Neola. Compiled and edited by Jane Helmer, Lu Helen Zink, Sue McCarty, and many others. 1986. The information herein presented is from the Kansas State Historical Society, Stafford County records, newspapers, diaries, family papers and personal interviews.

There is information about
* how Neola (in Stafford Co.) was started
* Neola cemetery and graves listed (including civil war veterans buried there)
* Neola school with teachers listed
* Gossard Ranch
* some Neola families’ trip to Oregon by wagon train.

The Family Albums sections is where families with a Neola connection have written about themselves, past and present. Members of the Durham family added material, as did the Nelsons (my Dad’s mother was Maude Nelson). And of course, Mom and Dad are buried in Neola Cemetery.

It’s interesting generally, but I’m guessing it’s not that relevant in terms of the Edwards. There are no Edwards material in the family album section, as far as I can tell. Given that it’s a well documented collection, it’s possible that a copy was placed somewhere, such as the genealogy room at the Hutchinson KS library. However, if anyone wants to know anything specific, I’m happy to look through it in more detail.


Photo of the Little Girl


photo little girl
After sending the hard-to-see antique photograph of the little girl, I touched it up in Photoshop to get a better idea of what she looked like.

In the early days of family photography, people knew who was in the photo, so they didn’t write full names on the back and often didn’t include a date. Many family historians probably curse their ancestors for being so short-sighted about naming and dating photos!

At first, I wondered if the child was a boy because in western society, from the 1600s up into the early 20th century, it was usual to put a young boy in dresses until they were toilet trained. (Source: Wikipedia)

But in the photo, I can now see a ring and bracelet being worn, so assume it is a girl.

If you have an idea of who she is, please let me know. The photo was in my mother’s Edwards box, but that may mean nothing.

Looking at her, I was reminded how long people had to sit or stand still as the chemicals worked to make the photograph. You can imagine how hard that would be for a baby or small child.

A funny article I came across recently was about hidden mothers. Here are two examples below. The mothers helped keep the children calm while getting photographed, but were not in the photograph themselves. Instead they were covered with a sheet, shawl, etc. Spooky!

Hidden mother in unsettling Victorian photograph of children

Mother and baby portraitold photopold

Wheat Harvest in the Old Days

Two old photos in my mother’s box of Edwards material. The first is quite an old photograph.The scanned image here is hard to see, mainly because the glass covering the photo needs a good clean. Will try to do that later. The photo is off a child in a dark dress, with a light-colored belt , and a dark hat. And like most subjects in old photos—no smile.

The three other photos, in sepia, are also old ones, of my grandfather, ‘Bub’ Edwards, harvesting wheat. My mother cut them out and glued them on a board—it looks like something that perhaps once had a therometer attached. I’ve sharpened the photos in PhotoShop so they look much better than the originals.

Bub Edwards harvest plus old photo

3 More Christmas cards

Three more old Christmas cards from the Edwards.

  1. Greetings The Edwards, with silhouette profiles of the family. On the back, my mother wrote: Edwards  Baltimore  Nelson, Cornelia, Tony, Patty 
  2. Season’s Greetings, with a snow scene and a farm. My mother added, 1938 Nelson & family. Interestingly, the scene itself has in the lower left-hand corner ‘By Patty Edwards’.
  3. Nelson Edwards and family sends Christmas Greetings and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year. 

    I assume that the photos are Nelson with the camera he used for his profesional work, Cornelia with a gun (very ‘Bonnie’ in terms of Bonnie & Clyde!), the baby Patty, and son Tony with a sled.


Edwards 3 Christmas cards.jpg

Spoon set Pearle Vernon Edwards

After the death of my material grandmother, Pearle Vernon Edwards, I inherited her silverware set. The small wooden chest contains three different patterns. There is a set of cutlery for 8, and another set for four. The most interesting set, in terms of family, is six spoons, embellished at the handle by a capital E. I assume that’s for Edwards. There is also a sugar spoon and butter knife in the same design, but with no E on the handle.

Because I also have the silverware set that belonged to my mother, I’m thinking about getting rid of my grandmother’s set. Modern cutlery is more robust and requires less care, plus my mother’s set is more complete.

I find that I use these old silverware sets only a couple of times a year, usually for a birthday or Christmas.

I’m going through a declutter phase. At this stage in my life, I’m considering my possessions in terms of what I really love versus what I’ve kept around through habit. I’ve already thrown out clothes and kitchenware that I no longer use. It’s a hard choice, though, to get rid of something that connects with family history.



eEdwards spoonsPearle Edwards spoon set  BASE

Edwards Two-Farm Auction Notice 1968

Bus&AE Edwards auction 1968

This 1968 news clipping, from the Hutchinson News, gives details of two auctions:
* Andrew Enoch Edwards, my maternal grandfather
* G.F. ‘Bus’ Edwards, his son

An auctioneer and her assistants scan the crow...

An auctioneer and her assistants scan the crowd for bidders. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading the details reminded me of how much stuff needs to be got rid of when a farm is being sold. When I was back in Hutchinson a couple of years ago, arranging my own auction, I took Tony, my Australian husband, to a farm auction outside of town. Home auctions are rare in Australia, and seeing one ahead of time would help him understand what was going on.

What surprised him:
* How much stuff was sold, from major, valuable things like farm machinery, to boxes of junk.
* Seeing Amish men looking through the farm stuff. I guess he thought they never left their own community.
* Food and drink for sale
* The huge number of people who arrived for the auction, even if they didn’t sign up as bidders.

Before the auction started, I told him to keep his hands in his pockets so the auctioneers didn’t think he was buying anything!

1950 Housefire: Fred Edwards family


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The follow news clipping is dated Thursday, April 27, 1950. I assume it’s from the Turon KS newspaper, given that the article is about  a house fire close to Turon.

The fire destroyed the family home of Fred, my mother’s brother. The article suggests arson because three other local fires occurred in three weeks. A ‘community shower’ was attended by more than 300 people, resulting in the family getting gifts of ‘household goods and clothing and a substantial amount of money’.

Edwards house fire02