Nelson Edwards, Cinematographer: Part 2

001 JakeEd03Serendipity is one of the pleasures that can happen when you blog.

Earlier, I wrote about Nelson Edwards’ cinematography career, but only the first part of it was available to read online.

So what a pleasant surprise when the two authors—Cooper C. Graham and Ron van Dopperen—not only got in touch but also sent me the whole issue.

Fascinating, well researched, and well written, their article summarizes Nelson’s professional career in photography and newsreels.


I finished my earlier post at the year 1912, when Nelson was working in New York City as a still photographer, part of the media empire headed by wealthy William Randolph Hearst.

After experimenting with the newly invented moving picture camera, and undertook his first major assignment in 1914, getting news films of the Mexican revolution, including capturing Pancho Villa–on film, of course.

He filmed Thomas Edison on the inventor’s 68th birthday, sailed to Europe near the start of WW1, on a ship provided by car manufacturer, Henry Ford, and photographed a new building in NYC while hanging 500 feet off the ground.

It wasn’t all pleasant. While covering a strike at Standard Oil in New Jersey, he was shot at and had bricks thrown at him, before escaping a mob of strikers by sheltering in a doorway. In the 1930s, in Maryland, he was in the dangerous situation of photographing a mob after an African-American man had been lynched.

Just before WW1 started, Nelson traveled throughout Europe and to Turkey, and later, he photographed actual trench battles on the Western Front. His material was shown in American theaters.  After the US declared war, Nelson and his four brothers joined the army.  One, Corporal Hobart D. Edwards, was killed in France, in 1918. After the six-day battle at Meuse-Argonne, only 27 survivors remained of Hobart’s 227-man company. Nelson named his son, born in 1920, Robert Hobart Edwards.

Discharged in 1919, Nelson returned home to his old job, and he married Cornelia Fisk.

Nelson pioneered aerial photography, starting in 1911, and this work included footage of the Navy’s 1919 transatlantic flight. He became the New York bureau manager and head cameraman for the new company, Fox News, covering human interest items, disasters, political events, and art. After moving to Baltimore, he joined another photographer, with clients that included businesses and government departments. In 1930, he was a freelancer for Paramount News. In 1935, he covered Lindbergh’s flight from Paris. As one of the White House photographers, he covered inaugurations and the activities of presidents, including Roosevelt and Truman.

Tragedy struck again during WWII. His son Robert had trained as a combat photographer and was supposed to organize the military photographers there. Instead, he volunteered to fly missions and was killed while over the English Channel. The article includes a photo of Robert with his newsreel camera.

Three of Nelson’s brothers also went into the ‘newsreel business’–E.K. ‘Chuck’ Edwards (Denver), Roy Donald Edwards (New York), and Curry Edwards (Denver). The article includes a photo of the four brothers, around 1948. Nelson also helped his son-in-law, David Wiegman, become a professional newsreel photographer.

Nelson died at home, in Maryland, in 1954, aged 66.

Source:  Cooper C. Graham and Ron van Dopperen . Nelson Edwards and the Newsreels:  An American life.  Film History: An international journal. vol. 24, no. 3, 2012, pp 260-280.


Birth Certificate Gasper Edwards


Birth Cert Gasper Edwards 001

Not sure how easy this scanned item is to read. It’s the photocopy of a 1865 birth certificate for Gasper Edwards,  in Mason County, West Virginia.

Birth date:  October 28, 1865.
Born at:  (Just has an asterisk. Maybe that means he was born at home.)
Father:  Ransaler Edwards (First time I’ve seen it spelled this way).
Mother:  Louisa Edwards
Sex:  Male
Color:  White
Birth Record No. EFG at page 199.

This copy is dated September 1, 1977. I assume my mother sent a letter to the county clerk of Mason county, L. W. Getty, to get this photocopy. It is signed by the Deputy (deputy clerk?), Rolen Stewart.

Andrew Enoch Edwards 1879-1960 (revised)

I was in sixth grade, I think, and playing at a friend’s house when my parents and brother Hal came by in the car and said we were going to the farm. I was talking about this and that, and then Hal said, ‘Pop died.’ I guess at that age, I didn’t understand that he was dying, even when we visited at the farmhouse and he was in a bed set up in the dining room.

(The three photos below are of a wheat harvest, the men out in the field with their horses and wagons.  My mother cut out the photos and put them on a board, so I assume that at least one of the workers was her father. I’ve increased the contrast to make them easier to see.)

I’ve typed in and combined material from the official obituary in the Turon Press, notes that could be from my mother, and the death notice from the paper.

As usual, the fragment of the Turon Press page that the notice and obituary was in gives an interesting sense of Turon doings in 1960:

  • Mr and Mrs Elmer Bliss are the proud parents of a baby girl, Dee Ann.  St Paul’s baptized three children: Dennis Krecklow, Rodney Green, and Jolene Trimpes. The congregation was saddened by the sudden death of former member Lester Seyfert. The Christian Church is sponsoring a Pancake Feed at the Turon Legion, beginning at 5.00a.m.
  • The Nautilus Club met at the home of Mrs Frances Sailer, with 14 members present.
  • Fairfield South School news:  The Falcons wind up their football season and will check in for basketball equipment. Coach Andrews hinted that he may pare the squad down to twenty candidates or less, and those who show the most desire and determination to play will have first chance. Lettermen returning include Jim Devine, Glenn Reiser, Stanley Ely, Paul Jordan, Jim Nickels, Danny Zink, David Railsback, Gary Montford, and Nolan Zink. Others who have been getting into condition or have been playing football include Don Elstrun, Mike Woodson, David Froman, Richard Elstun, Lannie Sprout, Lonnie Hook, Jerry Geesling, Dennis Miller, Leon Montford, and Merlin Fluke. Guidance director, Leo Frazier, administered a group of tests to all the students in school, the first of several to be given during the year. The first chilly weather caused the schoolhouse boiler to be fired for the first time. Temperatures in the building dropped sharply and custodian Chet Heitschmidt met the challenge with warm radiators. Juniors from Fairfield North and South will meet with a representative of the Balfour Co. to select their class rings. Both schools use identical rings.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Raph Zink and family have moved back to their farm house. Mr. and Mrs Vernon Barr and son of Great Bend spent the weekend in Turon with Mr. and Mrs. O.R. Barr. Two Mitchell familes of Tonkawa, Okla., spent the weekend with Mrs. Alice Mitchell. Mr & Mrs J.D. Jennings and Kevin Childs were evening supper guests of Mrs. James Jennings and sons at Sylvia.
  • Ad:  Democratic Rally Monday October 31, Legion Hall, 7.30pm, Arlington, Kansas.
  • Ad: Raines Packing House/Market  Dealer in Fresh & Cured Meats. Let Us Do Your Custom Killing & Curing. Wholesale and Retail. Open late evening–until noon on Sundays.
  • The newspaper is published every Thursday by Arthur J. Allen, Editor and Publisher. Subscription rates: 1 year $2.50, 6 months $1.50 for Reno, Pratt, Kingman counties. All other Kansas counties, $3.00 and $1.75. Outside Kansas:  $3.50 and $2.00. No subscriptions taken for less than six months.
  • More than thirty members of he Turon Chamber of Commerce met in the old C. of C. rooms above the Turon State Bank. As has been the custom for many years, Turon will have Santa Claus Day for the town’s youngsters and community. Cliff Foulk is the chairman for the treats committee and the appearance of Santa. Hap Brown is chairman of the street lighting committee, which will be placed early in November. The group voted to move the band stand from the front of the street entrance on the Commerce lots to the rear, and arrrange for seating during band concerts. President Holmes will appoint a four-member committee to make a trip to Colorado to consult a manufacturer relative to the possibility of locating an industry in Turon. Promoting a celebration in Turon in 1961 was discussed in length. The present quarters over the Turon State Bank will be retained for regular meetings of the Chamber. Refreshments of crullers and coffee were servved.


Source:  Turon Press, October 27, 1960

Andrew Enoch Edwards, 81, an early day farmer of Grove Township north of Turon, died in his home at 4.30 p.m. Saturday after seven years’ illness.

He was born March 29. 1879 in Point Pleasant, West Va., came with his parents to this community in a covered wagon. He was a member of the Glendale UB Church.

Survivors are the widow, Pearl; two sons, G.F. of Sylvia, and Fred of Hutchinson; three daughters, Mrs. Lloyd Allison and Mrs. Malvin Durham, both of Hutchinson, and Mrs. Earl Welch of Turon; a brother, R.H. of Balboa Island, Calif.; ten grandchildren and two great grandchildren.


NOTES + Obituary Combined

Andrew Enoch Edwards, son of Renssllear and Louisa Edwards, was born at Point Pleasant, West Virginia, on March 29, 1879. He departed this life Oct. 22, 1960 at the age of 81 years, 6 months and 23 days, after a lengthy illness.

He came to Kansas at an early age, with his mother, four brothers and two sisters. The family settled in the Neola Community, northwest of Turon. His father passed away at Nevada, MO.,  before his birth, while the family were on their way to Kansas by covered wagon.

His early years were spent in Neola community where he grew to manhood, later moving to the present farm six miles north of Turon, where he resided until the time of death.

He was united in marriage to Icea Verneena Koepple, March 29, 1905. To this union was born five children: Charlotte Louise, Glenn Franklin, Fred Renssllear, Ruth Pauline and Virginia Helen. However the family group was broken in 1926 with the death of Mrs. Edwards.

Mr. Edwards was united in marriage to Pearle Ann Vernon July 29, 1929 who came into the home giving all the loving care, patience and undertstanding that a mother could give to this large family.



Mr. Edwards was a leader in the community and county, serving many years as a member of the school board, township board and other offices, and was active in the church as well as a politician. He served several terms as a member of the Reno County Stabilization Committee, until poor health forced him to quit.

He was a good neighbor and was always ready to lend a helping hand to his fellowmen.”Bub” as he was known, held this friendship in high esteem to all the people of the community—many departed and too numerous to mention. He was a kind and loving father, and having a fun-loving disposition, he was always able to entertain his family and friends with ready wit and ability to recall the past.

In this age group, he had the opportunity of breaking the sod with a team of oxen pulling a 14 inch plow—and living to see the same land farmed by modern methods. This era spanned the “horse and buggy” days–from oxen to diesel and supersonic speed. But the period of red barns—mules and horses—the header and threshing machines was the time when a good neighbor was a necessity as they depended upon one another—whether it was sitting up with a neighbor during a flu epidemic or helping with harvest. The men and women in this age group lived a very busy, rugged useful life–they developed the character which meant honesty, trusthworthyness—helpfulness and love.

Due to ill health he has been confined to the home much of the time for the past seven years but he never gave up hope that he would regain his health.

He is survived by the widow—Pearle of the home. By one brother Dr. R.H. Edwards, Balboa Island, Calif. Two sons G.F. (Buss) Edwards of Sylvia, and Fred of Hutchinson. Three daughters:  Mrs. Lloyd Allison and Mrs. Malvin Durham both of Hutchinson and Mrs. Earl Welch of Turon. Ten grandchildren, two great grandchildren, many relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 25, at the Christian Church in Turon with the Reverends C.W. Roll and Garland Bohn officiating. Burial was in Glendale Cemetery. Foulk Funeral Home of Turon had charge of arrangements.


Edwards trip to Baltimore 1941

I’m tired of reading old Edwards obituaries. So I was happy that the next item I grabbed from my Edwards genealogy box was my mother’s diary entries about her trip back east, in 1941.

I thought she was about 16 when she went on this trip, but see now that she was 20. I had also thought she was accompanied by her parents, but it was actually Fat and Henrietta who took her along with them. That made me wonder if and when her father, A.E. Edwards, ever visited his huge number of siblings, or if they ever visited him.

I don’t know most of the people mentioned:  James Gaddis, Price, Cora Jane Lamont Bauman, Pups, Nora & Ed Coffey, Irene Castro.  (Wasn’t there a Jane Bauman who wrote a column in the Hutchinson News?)

Thurs July 17.      Up at 4.00 A.M. Drove 640 Miles to Gaddis at Rushville, Illinois.

Fri July 18.      To McComb to see James Gaddis. Ate dinner at restaurant where he was eating. Stayed in cabin near Ohio Line.

Sat July 19.     Drove through Ohio, corners of Virginia, Penn., Maryland. Ate dinner in Wheeling West Va. Arrived at Nelsons at 9.00 P.M.


English: Baltimore Harbor as seen from World T...

English: Baltimore Harbor as seen from World Trade Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sun July 20.     Took drive through woods west of Nelsons house. Tony’s friend, Linsey, here for lunch. Rained p.m.

Mon July 21.     Tony to Percheon Horse judging at Hagerstown. Nelson took us around city, Ft. McHenry, Green Mountain Cemetery where Wilkes Booth grave is.

Tues July 22.     Lee & Nelson drove us to Washington, Arlington Cemetery, Smithsonian Museum, Parks and White House.

Wed July 23.     Up early to go on boat S.S. Bay Belle to Seaside in Chesapeake Bay. Took 4 hours and was about 50 miles. Had a picnic on deck. Won 14 bingos.

Thurs July 24.     Tony & Fat to college to see livestock. Cornelia, Henrietta & I shopping in Baltimore, ate chow mein for dinner. Seafood for supper. Tony, Price and I looked up Cora Jane (Lamont) Bauman of Turon.

Fri July 25.     Left Baltimore at 5:00 A.M. for New York. 515 Miles. Saw Pups, Nora & Ed Coffey. Was down Broadway in N.Y. about midnight . . . Tony said it would be bright as day. I stayed with Coffeys at New Rochelle.

Sat July 26.     I came to Pups and we went back to Baltimore. Ate at Peter Poppas restaurant in Baltimore.

Sun July 27.     Cornelia to church. Irene Casto here p.m. Nelson drove us through Green Spring Valley tonight–so cool.

Mon July 28.     Left at 5.24 A.M. for home. Ate lunch on road and supper in Uniontown. Stayed at cabin near Springfield, Ohio. 438 miles.

Tues July 29.     6:00–breakfast near Kingdown. Supper at Big Boy Restaurant. Hot.

Wed July 30.     Ate at camp. Dinner at Olathe. Stormy P.M. Ate a bite at Florence. Stopped at Emporia Sale. Home at 6.00 P.M.

Suddenly Taken By Death 1926: Icea Keopple Edwards

This clipping is the obituary about ‘the sudden passing of Mrs. Icea Edwards’, having been ‘ill for only a short time with the flu and a sudden attack of the heart hastened the end.’


Born March 9, 1887, in Iowa.  Died May 5, 1926, at age 39 years.  Her parents and her moved to Turon KS when she was about 14. In 1905, she married my grandfather, A.E. Edwards. They lived most of their adult lives at ‘the home place, five miles north of Turon.’

Besides being a ‘home-loving wife and mother’, with five children, Icea was an active worker in the Red Cross during the war, as well as in the Ladies’ Aid Society. Both she and her ‘Bub’ liked the Glendale church, and she reorganized its Sunday school, plus gave and her time and talent so ‘the young people . . . might have the advantage of church privileges’.

The funeral service was held at the home, led by her friend, Mrs. E.M. Rowell. Two women sung ‘Face to Face’ and ‘Beautiful Isle of Somewhere’.

Family members include her mother Mrs. C.E. Doan, three sisters (Mrs Iva Gray, Mrs Arta McCaffree, Mrs Maud Divine), three brothers (Leslie, Karl and Ted Keopple), and other relatives and friends. Burial was in the Turon cemetery.


001 Icea obit019

‘A kind and loving relative and faithful friend has gone from our midst. Earth is poorer but Heaven is richer because of her smile.’ Mr. A.E. Edwards & family, and Mrs. C.E. Doan & family also added a Card of Thanks, acknowledging friends’ sympathy, acts of kindness, and flowers.

As usual, I always see what’s on the other side of a newspaper item that has been cut out.

  • KU has a Memorial Union, which includes eating places, bookshop, etc. I never knew anything about its name. A fragment of an article in the paper mentions that the Union will be built in sections, as alumni provide funds. alumni. Included was part of a list of alumni who had died while serving the country, including 34 men who ‘lost their lives in battle’ and two women, one who died in Lawrence and the other in Washington.
  • The Ks highway commission announced that 55 miles of highway would be constructed, along with 21 bridges in May.
  • The KS wheat crop will need 40,000 additional laborers to help local ‘harvest hands’.
  • At Mound City, a turkey buzzard was seen flying with a sheep bell attached to its neck. Townspeople wondered if was the same bird ‘mentioned in dispatches’ from Kentucky, which had been caught and belled a few years earlier.

The Humble Shopping List

Both of my grandmothers lived in the same area, on farms near Turon Ks. They were alike in many ways. They both raised chickens, cooked for five kids and a husband, helped out during harvest, and were the the best grandmas a kid could have.

Mameen (Pearle Edwards) had a big cookie jar that was always filled when I visited. Her dining room wall had a built-in black chalkboard, the bottom of it setting at floor level so it was perfect for us kids.

Both did their chores wearing a smock apron over their dresses. This apron style was one piece, no apron strings. To wear it, you pulled the main opening over your head, like a sweatshirt, then put your arms through the armholes. The apron was about hip-length, and it the fabric at the bottom was turned up to make a long pocket. This big pocket enabled the wearer to comfortably hold anything there—collected eggs from the henhouse, vegetables from the garden, mail.

I have one of these aprons. I don’t wear it, but it brings back pleasant memories when I see it hanging up near my kitchen.

001 notebk shoppingOne item that was usually in this apron pocket was a homemade notepad. Farming life in those days was about making do, and it probably seemed extravagant to pay for a ‘bought’ notebook if there was good scrap paper that would otherwise go to waste.

Mameen’s homemade notepad that I discovered in my Edwards family box has two holes at the top, perhaps for a string that was threaded through them to hold the pages together. (It also has a staple). When my grandmothers had something they wanted to remember, such as food items for a shopping trip to Turon, they rummaged in their apron pocket, pulled out a pencil stub, and wrote in a notepad like the one above.  How handy to have writing materials with you throughout the day.

The items in Mameen’s notepad included the following:

Honey, Buttermilk. Oleo. Post Toast. Sanka Coffee. Cascara. [What is Cascara?]Weiners. Meat Roast. Corn starch. Black eye beans. Consomme. Sweet corn. Worchest Sauce.

T. Soap. Colored chalk. Tobacco.  not over 50cents ea., 2 plastic Dolls 7 1/2. B & G Dress. Rubber things for chairs. Trowel at Kress. 1 1/2 yds apron. Spic & Span. scratchers. Income Tax Paper. Locker. Meat for Shile. gopher traps. Gas permit. something for club St Patricks, Green construction paper.  Flash Lite Battery. Feenamint (?). gloves. Cards. Tallies. Rug yarn. Screw and for light. Oil. Lunch Cloth at Drugstore. card table. Beet seed. Cabbage plts. Tomato plts. Bub’s Medicine. Box for sand. Dog food. Fab.

Baby present, Joan Ku?cle?. Carol Sailer. Louis(?) Mekeine (?). Nellie. phone numbers. Friday Club 1.00. Call Dr. Crawford.
Grady 1611 Carey Blv Ph 4254W. Call Grace Chrislip (peas/pears?).

Plus a recipe:  4 1/2 c. flour, 3 tbs BP, 1 1/4 teas Cream Tartar,  2 teas salt, 1 Cup Short, 1 Cup mix. Makes 6 biscuits. Brush top with milk.

Plus a message:  I’ll be back in a minute, Pearle.

And as an example of how things have changed:   I was in a junk/vintage shop recently and saw an old, rusted Sanka coffee can. Price—$40 Aus (so guess that’s about $30 US)!


Four Edwards items

Here are some miscellaneous items re Edward family.  From left to right:

ITEM 1.1.  and ITEM 1.2.

Card of Thanks  (No date but another notice is the V.F.W. Auxiliary serving chicken and noodle dinners on Election Day, Nov. 8, so could have been close to that date. No year given)

We sincerely want to thank all of our friends and neighbors for the food, flowers and kind words of sympathy during the illness and death of our Beloved Husband, Father, and Grandfather. Your kindness will long remain in our hearts. May God bestow his richest blessings on each and every one of you.

The Family of A.E. Edwards

For Sale
Three bedroom home 1 block from main street. Has double garage, chicken and brooder house. Ideal for retired farmer—if there is such a person. See Fred Edwards or call MO 5-8592, Hutchinson.  J 16-23 c

ITEM 2  Edwards-Allison Wedding

Friends of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Allison are extending congratulations and best wishes to them. Theywere married in Hutchinson last Saturday morning, returning to Sylvia that evening and are living in the former N. Housinger house, which they had furnished and ready to start housekeeping.

Mrs. Allison, formerly Miss Charlotte Edwards, is the daughter of Mr. A.E. Edwards and for the past several years has been employed in Hutchinson. The groom is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. S. Allison, and is employed by the State Highway department as road-maintainer on highway No. 61 between Sylvia and Turon.

ITEM 3  Sylvia Hardware Co.  Sales docket to ‘A.E. Edwards by Fred’, on October 29, 1927. for 12 gauge shells. $1.00.

ITEM 4  Public Auction conducted by Reiser Auction Company

The auction was held on the main street of Sylvia August 9, 1965, with items from the estate of Pearl A. Edwards. I don’t know this auction company but assume it was local to Sylvia.
Reading the list of items, I remembered the cream separator at Pop and Mameen’s farm. It was inside, on the back porch by the kitchen.

i44 nes items 4047