Monday, February 29, 2016

1926: Cousin Bessie gets Shot

This clipping from a 1926 Chicago-area newspaper is a combination wedding description and accident report involving George Potter's sister Alice Potter Cowlin's daughter Bessie.  The Cowlin's were clearly more prosperous than George, but accidents do happen.  Everyone lived long and stayed married.

(the article continues; the gap here
is a scanning artifact)

Bessie Cowlin in 1923

Dwight Lou Cowlin (1875-1955)
baby Jean Class, Alice's baby, (1928-2015)
Alice Cowlin (1883-1969)
Alice Cowlin Class (1906-1978 )
Bessie Cowlin Tagge (1904-1998)
Des Plaines, Illinois in 1930?

Des Plaines, Ill 1931.  Notice the toboggan run on the right.

1926: Quay, Oklahoma garden

Marjorie, oil field house. ca 1926
These photographs of Marjorie Potter (1923-2010) were probably taken early in the summer of 1926.

 The oil field house has a small garden growing with a castor bean plant and morning glories climbing their strings.

 Marjorie seems to have had a haircut gone somewhat wrong.

Marjorie, oil field house, 1926

Sunday, February 28, 2016

1926: Quay, Oklahoma Visitors

That the date of this photograph might be determined from the old car is not beyond consideration, but I have not found a good reference to identify its model year.  The spare tire cover reads "Downers Grove Hudson-Essex Sales-Service" and Downers Grove is a Chicago suburb near May's house back then.  Essex started making enclosed sedans in 1922, and this is probably a 1925-1926 model.

Most likely, George's sisters May Brown and Alice Cowlin had driven down from Chicago with some help from brother-in-law Lou Cowlin, while sister Dora Bremercamp and her husband Walter had come over from Tulsa for a visit.  Dora is not in the picture and is, perhaps, the photographer.

Baby Marjorie (b. 1923) is not in the picture and is, perhaps, napping.

The details of the oil-field house porch are interesting.  Note the birdcage hanging from a rafter towards the rear and the wringer washing machine.

George Potter's Relatives visiting Quay, Oklahoma
May Olivia Potter Brown (1872-1951) seated next to car
Back Row, L to R, Walter Bremercamp (1897-1972)
George Potter (1875-1943)
Alice Potter Cowlin (1883-1969) and Lou Cowlin (1875-1955)
Gladys Potter (1888-1967)
kids are Florence, Elaine, David, Mary (behind David) and Dorothy.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

1925:Ozark Trail

Since the Potters had a farm in Arkansas, what better way to get there from Quay, Oklahoma than a car-camping road trip?  Most of these are marked 1925, but there could have been several trips over the years, combined in the old photo album.

Car camping 1925

David in tent, 1925
David, Dorothy Elaine
Florence, Mary, baby Marjorie

Getting the car out of a creek..

Roadside Picnic,  Dorothy, Gladys, David

On the Ozark Trail, 1925 and 90 years later
Near Noel, Missouri
right, credit:

The farm house may have been getting some repairs, although not done with much evident haste.  The pictures are too faded and blurry to identify the people.

Farm Scene, 1925
Farm Scene, 1925

Farm Scene, 1925
Farm Scene, 1925

Farm Scene with  cows, 1925

Small Kids are Florence and Marjorie,
others are too blurry; one extra boy?

Friday, February 26, 2016

1924: The Berryville, AR farm

In July, 1924, George and Gladys Potter purchased a farm in Berryville, Arkansas.  The image below is a copy of the warranty deed on the property.  The Potters continued to work and reside in Quay, Oklahoma until sometime in 1930.   The farm seems to have been a combination investment and fall-back plan and vacation spot until the Depression hit. The photos I have are, after 1924, a mix of Quay and Berryville images, all mixed together, although it is not generally too hard to tell a farm from an oil field.

Click to enlarge;
The deed shows where the farm was: in the section marked "8" in the map below for 19N/24W, in the "South half of the South east quarter" of that section and was 78 acres "more or less."  Probably the area north of where Arkansas 21 turns East until it meets  Osage Creek and runs south again.  It is about 3 miles south of Berryville.


The terms of the deal are typical of 1920's real estate, from what I've read; the common mortgage then was 50% down at 6% interest with a balloon payment of the original balance after 5 years.    The Potters may have gotten a slightly better deal in this seller-financed "vendor lien" paper, since the down payment looks more like 33%.

This mortgage, like most of its kind, was a disaster waiting to happen.  At least the first due date on the note was lurking in July rather than in October, 1929.

Here are some of the pictures of the Berryville farm as it appeared in the mid-1920's:

Berryville farm view, mid-1920's
Berryville Farm view, mid-1920's

Osage Creek near Berryville Farm
Elaine, Mary, Dorothy and David

Thursday, February 25, 2016

1924: Quay, Oklahoma, baby Marjorie

Marjorie Potter arrived in December, 1923; she was the last of the Potter siblings to be born.

Marjorie Potter at 4 months old
(April or May 1924)

A less fancy baby picture of Marjorie at 4 months
Background looks like Quay OK.
Elaine, Dorothy, David, Florence, Mary and baby Marjorie
with Ford Model T touring car.

Marjorie, Florence and David on oil field house porch

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

1923: David Potter Growing Up

One of the old album pages has a series of photos of David Potter from ages 1 to 5, with labels in Gladys Potter's handwriting.  I've kept these together here.

David in 1919 in Erie PA

David in 1920 in Quay, Oklahoma

David and Dorothy in 1921 in Quay oil field

David in 1922 in Quay oil field

David and Dorothy in 1922, Quay

David in 1923, Quay, with dangerous-looking metal tricycle.

1923: Somebody's May Birthday?

Everybody got dressed up in May, 1923 for these photos in the Quay, Oklahoma oil fields, but nobody wrote down what the party was about.  I don't find the fancy dresses in any later photos.   Look for the metal tricycle off to the right in the top picture.

Elaine, Dorothy, David and Florence
Dated May 1923
David about 5 years old,
Florence at just shy of two years old.

Dorothy Potter, May 1923
about 7 years old
Elaine Potter, May 1923
about 9 years old

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

1921-1922: Quay, Oklahoma, baby Florence

The first of the children to be born in Oklahoma was Florence, later Florence Pugh (1921-2007).  The best of these pictures includes a good image of Gladys with sleeping baby Florence:
Baby Florence and her Mom
(label in Gladys' hand)
Probably Mary standing, left
and David, right
 There are also baby pictures of Florence with her older siblings.  This may be an interior shot of the house.  There are two calendars in the picture, but neither can be read even with magnification.

Same interior
Mary, Gladys, Elaine
Baby Florence

David, Florence, Dorothy

Florence, 5 months
(November 1921?)

The exterior of the house with some entertainment; George is holding Florence while Dorothy and David get a ride.

Dorothy, David on cow
George holding baby Florence

Baby Florence, falling?

 Florence's proud parents sent around a post-card shot of her first birthday on the porch of the oil field house.  This post-card must have been returned later on by George's sister Dora.

Florence Potter and toy
ca. first birthday
(notes in Mary Potter's hand)
Back of photo of Florence on scoot toy.
Shot processed as post card, sent
by George to his sister Dora's
second husband.

Florence, May 1922
Dorothy (standing)
Perhaps taken in Tulsa during a visit to Aunt Dora?

Florence is still the baby of the family here:

(label in Mary Potter's hand)

Florence, Sept 1922
(label by Mary Potter)

Her little sister Marjorie will arrive in December, 1922. But for now:

Potter family on oil-field house porch
George, Gladys, Dora
Mary, David, Elaine, Florence, Dorothy

Line-up on oil-field house porch, 1922(?)