For the Fans

Tontitown Grapers baseball team, Tontitown, Arkansas, circa 1945.

Tontitown Grapers baseball team at Mantegani Park in Tontitown, circa 1945. From left: Abe Pianalto, Virgil Verucchi Jr., Williard Moon, Paul Pianalto, Bill Fiori, Guy Bariola. Veronica Keith Collection (S-2006-44-5)

A couple years ago I went to my first-ever minor league professional baseball game. It immediately began a love affair that I thought might wane, but it really has not. I went to my first major league game last summer and loved every moment of it. Sadly, this year I have been watching replays of previous games and following players on Twitter and Instagram. We will not discuss the teams (nor sports, nor players) I follow because I understand just how passionate people are about their favorites, but the experience reminds me of an article I read as an undergrad about baseball magic and the incredibly dedicated and detailed rituals players and fans engage in to ensure a win. Next time you watch a basketball player take a free-throw or a pitcher set up, watch for their routine. You won’t be able to unsee it once you find it.

A while back, museum outreach coordinator Susan Young proposed that Aaron Loehndorf (arguably the biggest baseball fan among the museum staff) and I come up with an “Shiloh Sandwiched-In” program on a local sports topic. Before we agreed to the idea, we wanted to be sure enough material was available to put a program together. Of course there was. Our research focused on the most common form of baseball magic—mascots. Ultimately the Sandwiched-In talk was sidelined and the research went into files on my external hard drive. But the topic stayed in the back of my mind for a long time. If I came across a new team while I was working on something else, I made a note or took a picture with my phone and added the information to my spreadsheet. And then it just sat there. Until now.

Tontitown Grapers baseball team, Tontitown, Arkansas, circa 1945.

Tontitown Grapers baseball team at Mantegani Park in Tontitown, circa 1945. From left: Abe Pianalto, Virgil Verucchi Jr., Williard Moon, Paul Pianalto, Bill Fiori, Guy Bariola. Veronica Keith Collection (S-2006-44-5)

A couple years ago I went to my first-ever minor league professional baseball game. It immediately began a love affair that I thought might wane, but it really has not. I went to my first major league game last summer and loved every moment of it. Sadly, this year I have been watching replays of previous games and following players on Twitter and Instagram. We will not discuss the teams (nor sports, nor players) I follow because I understand just how passionate people are about their favorites, but the experience reminds me of an article I read as an undergrad about baseball magic and the incredibly dedicated and detailed rituals players and fans engage in to ensure a win. Next time you watch a basketball player take a free-throw or a pitcher set up, watch for their routine. You won’t be able to unsee it once you find it.

A while back, museum outreach coordinator Susan Young proposed that Aaron Loehndorf (arguably the biggest baseball fan among the museum staff) and I come up with an “Shiloh Sandwiched-In” program on a local sports topic. Before we agreed to the idea, we wanted to be sure enough material was available to put a program together. Of course there was. Our research focused on the most common form of baseball magic—mascots. Ultimately the Sandwiched-In talk was sidelined and the research went into files on my external hard drive. But the topic stayed in the back of my mind for a long time. If I came across a new team while I was working on something else, I made a note or took a picture with my phone and added the information to my spreadsheet. And then it just sat there. Until now.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word mascot as “a person or thing that is supposed to bring good luck; (now) esp. something carried or displayed for this purpose. Also: a thing (often an animal or personified character) used by an organization, esp. a sports team, as a symbol or for good luck; an emblem.” The origin of the word is French and first appeared in 1867 in an operetta by Edmond Audran. (This operetta was first performed in 1880, if you would like to know.)

Mascots have evolved in many ways. Early mascots for baseball, for example, were young boys who sat with the team. Now they can be Mudhens, Celery Stalks, or Gus the Pioneer (Gentry Public Schools, Benton County.) Mascots provide entertainment and encourage engagement with the crowds. They dance, they interact directly with fans, and often have a ritual of their own  their team scores. Mascots have even been controversial, most recently with teams using Native American nomenclature. And what if your team has the same mascot as another? Ahem, Fayetteville and Springdale: both towns have used the Bulldog as their mascot for decades. This sparked a friendly rivalry and newspaper accounts differentiated by calling them by the team color (purple for Fayetteville, red for Springdale) rather than Bulldogs when they published a retelling of games between the two teams.

Siloam Springs (Arkansas) football team, 1928.

Siloam Springs football team, 1928. Front row, from left: Chester Gilliland, Roy Wolfe, “Tiny” Ward, Zeke Cecil Camp, Vaul Smith, Cal Dean Gunter Jr., Peter “Taz” Paul LaFallette. Back row, from left: Paul “Dayo” Guthrie, Ralph “Slick” Henry, Lee “Athletic” Elrod, Cecil “Beardie” Elrod. Siloam Springs Museum Collection (S-83-297-69)

Farmington girls basketball team, Farmington (Washington County), Arkansas, 1937.

Farmington girls basketball team, Farmington (Washington County), Arkansas, 1937. Washington County Historical Society Collection (P-456)

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word mascot as “a person or thing that is supposed to bring good luck; (now) esp. something carried or displayed for this purpose. Also: a thing (often an animal or personified character) used by an organization, esp. a sports team, as a symbol or for good luck; an emblem.” The origin of the word is French and first appeared in 1867 in an operetta by Edmond Audran. (This operetta was first performed in 1880, if you would like to know.)

Bentonville, Arkansas, baseball team, circa 1912.

Bentonville baseball team, circa 1912. The team was part of a regional African-American league ranging from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Joplin, Missouri. Back, from left: Thad Wayne, Marion “Sonny” Finney, and Lloyd Trout. Front, from left: Yates Claypool, Virge Black, and John Barker. Elizabeth Robertson Collection (S-95-7-42)

Mascots have evolved in many ways. Early mascots for baseball, for example, were young boys who sat with the team. Now they can be Mudhens, Celery Stalks, or Gus the Pioneer (Gentry Public Schools, Benton County.) Mascots provide entertainment and encourage engagement with the crowds. They dance, they interact directly with fans, and often have a ritual of their own  their team scores. Mascots have even been controversial, most recently with teams using Native American nomenclature. And what if your team has the same mascot as another? Ahem, Fayetteville and Springdale: both towns have used the Bulldog as their mascot for decades. This sparked a friendly rivalry and newspaper accounts differentiated by calling them by the team color (purple for Fayetteville, red for Springdale) rather than Bulldogs when they published a retelling of games between the two teams.

It is not just the mascot that evolved, but the sports and organizations themselves. Over the years, we’ve had our school teams of course, but we also had town teams that would sometimes take on the school team. On July 30, 1937, the Fayetteville Daily Democrat reported on the local WPA baseball league: Greenland beat Tontitown, and Springdale was scheduled to play Fayetteville the following day. We also had professional teams that might play for a season or two and then disappear. These pro teams were funded by local businessmen. And one of the most important changes to sports was desegregation of teams and leagues.

Lest you think I refer to baseball mascots only, I would like to report that on July 14, 1967, the Springdale News recounted a football game between the local police department (the Fuzz) and the fire department (the Hose Jockeys).

Some sports played on the local level were obscure, or so I thought. Does anyone know what shinskinner hockey is? I found this mentioned in one article from 1929. When I did some initial Google-searching I came up with the Bruins. These guys are hockey players today, but once upon a time, there was a soccer team called the Bruins. But in this instance? Basketball, boys and girls. Shinskinner hockey referred to basketball.

Below is the data I have collected thus far, with a lot of help from Aaron. I hope you enjoy exploring the variety of mascots Northwest Arkansas has seen over the years!

COUNTY

SCHOOL

MASCOT

Benton

Bentonville 

Tigers

Benton

Decatur

Bulldogs

Benton

Gentry

Pioneers; was Gorillas (football)

Benton

Gentry (may be club team)

All-Stars (baseball)

Benton

Gentry 

Longhorns (basketball)

Benton

Gravette 

Lions

Benton

Gravette (town team)

Blues (baseball)

Benton

Ozark Adventist Academy

Skeeter the Skyhawk

Benton

Pea Ridge

Blackhawks

Benton

Rogers Heritage High

War Eagles

Benton

Rogers High

Mounties, was Mountaineers

Benton

School of the Arts

Penguins

Benton

Siloam Springs

Panthers, was Travelers (baseball)

Benton

Siloam Springs

Bear Cats (town baseball team)

Benton

Siloam Springs

Jays (town baseball team)

Benton

Siloam Springs Northside Elementary

Koalas

Benton

Sulphur Springs

Pirates

Boone

Alpena

Leopards

Boone

Bergman

Panthers

Boone

Everton/Bruno-Pyatt

Patriots

Boone

Gaither

Cubs

Boone

Harrison

Golden Goblins

Boone

Lead Hill

Tigers

Boone

Omaha

Eagles

Boone

Valley Springs

Tigers

Carroll

Berryville

Bobcats

Carroll

Eureka Springs

Highlanders

Carroll

Green Forest

Tigers

Madison

Huntsville

Eagles

Madison

Kingston

Yellowjackets

Madison

St. Paul

Hornets

Newton

Deer

Deer

Newton

Jasper

Pirates

Newton

Mount Judea

Eagles

Newton

Western Grove

Warriors

Washington

Elkins

Elks

Washington

Farmington

Cardinals

Washington

Fayetteville

Purple Bulldogs

Washington

Fayetteville

Maulers (junior football, 1929)

Washington

Fayetteville 

Pirates (junior basketball, 1929)

Washington

Fayetteville

Rinkydinks (junior basketball, 1929)

Washington

Fayetteville 

Little Can (junior basketball, 1929) 

Washington

Fayetteville

Caddies (junior basketball, 1929)

Washington 

Fayetteville

Educators; became Angels (town minor league baseball)

Washington

Fayetteville Christian

Eagles

Washington

Greenland

Pirates

Washington

Haas Hall 

Mastiffs

Washington

Har-Ber 

Wildcats

Washington

Lincoln

Wolves

Washington

Prairie Grove

Tigers

Washington

Shiloh Christian

Saints

Washington

Southwest Junior

Cougars

Washington

Springdale

Red Bulldogs

Washington

Springdale Police Dept.

Fuzz (football, 1987)

Washington

Springdale Fire Dept.

Hose Jockeys (football, 1987)

Washington

Tontitown

Grapers

Washington

University High

Cardinals (basketball, 1929)

Washington

West Fork

Tigers

Washington

Winslow

Squirrels

Washington

Winslow

Independents (basketball, 1929)


Rachel Whitaker is the Shiloh Museum’s research specialist.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word mascot as “a person or thing that is supposed to bring good luck; (now) esp. something carried or displayed for this purpose. Also: a thing (often an animal or personified character) used by an organization, esp. a sports team, as a symbol or for good luck; an emblem.” The origin of the word is French and first appeared in 1867 in an operetta by Edmond Audran. (This operetta was first performed in 1880, if you would like to know.)

Bentonville, Arkansas, baseball team, circa 1912.

Bentonville baseball team, circa 1912. The team was part of a regional African-American league ranging from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Joplin, Missouri. Back, from left: Thad Wayne, Marion “Sonny” Finney, and Lloyd Trout. Front, from left: Yates Claypool, Virge Black, and John Barker. Elizabeth Robertson Collection (S-95-7-42)

Mascots have evolved in many ways. Early mascots for baseball, for example, were young boys who sat with the team. Now they can be Mudhens, Celery Stalks, or Gus the Pioneer (Gentry Public Schools, Benton County.) Mascots provide entertainment and encourage engagement with the crowds. They dance, they interact directly with fans, and often have a ritual of their own  their team scores. Mascots have even been controversial, most recently with teams using Native American nomenclature. And what if your team has the same mascot as another? Ahem, Fayetteville and Springdale: both towns have used the Bulldog as their mascot for decades. This sparked a friendly rivalry and newspaper accounts differentiated by calling them by the team color (purple for Fayetteville, red for Springdale) rather than Bulldogs when they published a retelling of games between the two teams.

It is not just the mascot that evolved, but the sports and organizations themselves. Over the years, we’ve had our school teams of course, but we also had town teams that would sometimes take on the school team. On July 30, 1937, the Fayetteville Daily Democrat reported on the local WPA baseball league: Greenland beat Tontitown, and Springdale was scheduled to play Fayetteville the following day. We also had professional teams that might play for a season or two and then disappear. These pro teams were funded by local businessmen. And one of the most important changes to sports was desegregation of teams and leagues.

Lest you think I refer to baseball mascots only, I would like to report that on July 14, 1967, the Springdale News recounted a football game between the local police department (the Fuzz) and the fire department (the Hose Jockeys).

Some sports played on the local level were obscure, or so I thought. Does anyone know what shinskinner hockey is? I found this mentioned in one article from 1929. When I did some initial Google-searching I came up with the Bruins. These guys are hockey players today, but once upon a time, there was a soccer team called the Bruins. But in this instance? Basketball, boys and girls. Shinskinner hockey referred to basketball.

Below is the data I have collected thus far, with a lot of help from Aaron. I hope you enjoy exploring the variety of mascots Northwest Arkansas has seen over the years!

COUNTY

SCHOOL

MASCOT

Benton

Bentonville 

Tigers

Benton

Decatur

Bulldogs

Benton

Gentry

Pioneers; was Gorillas (football)

Benton

Gentry (may be club team)

All-Stars (baseball)

Benton

Gentry 

Longhorns (basketball)

Benton

Gravette 

Lions

Benton

Gravette (town team)

Blues (baseball)

Benton

Ozark Adventist Academy

Skeeter the Skyhawk

Benton

Pea Ridge

Blackhawks

Benton

Rogers Heritage High

War Eagles

Benton

Rogers High

Mounties, was Mountaineers

Benton

School of the Arts

Penguins

Benton

Siloam Springs

Panthers, was Travelers (baseball)

Benton

Siloam Springs

Bear Cats (town baseball team)

Benton

Siloam Springs

Jays (town baseball team)

Benton

Siloam Springs Northside Elementary

Koalas

Benton

Sulphur Springs

Pirates

Boone

Alpena

Leopards

Boone

Bergman

Panthers

Boone

Everton/Bruno-Pyatt

Patriots

Boone

Gaither

Cubs

Boone

Harrison

Golden Goblins

Boone

Lead Hill

Tigers

Boone

Omaha

Eagles

Boone

Valley Springs

Tigers

Carroll

Berryville

Bobcats

Carroll

Eureka Springs

Highlanders

Carroll

Green Forest

Tigers

Madison

Huntsville

Eagles

Madison

Kingston

Yellowjackets

Madison

St. Paul

Hornets

Newton

Deer

Deer

Newton

Jasper

Pirates

Newton

Mount Judea

Eagles

Newton

Western Grove

Warriors

Washington

Elkins

Elks

Washington

Farmington

Cardinals

Washington

Fayetteville

Purple Bulldogs

Washington

Fayetteville

Maulers (junior football, 1929)

Washington

Fayetteville 

Pirates (junior basketball, 1929)

Washington

Fayetteville

Rinkydinks (junior basketball, 1929)

Washington

Fayetteville 

Little Can (junior basketball, 1929) 

Washington

Fayetteville

Caddies (junior basketball, 1929)

Washington 

Fayetteville

Educators; became Angels (town minor league baseball)

Washington

Fayetteville Christian

Eagles

Washington

Greenland

Pirates

Washington

Haas Hall 

Mastiffs

Washington

Har-Ber 

Wildcats

Washington

Lincoln

Wolves

Washington

Prairie Grove

Tigers

Washington

Shiloh Christian

Saints

Washington

Southwest Junior

Cougars

Washington

Springdale

Red Bulldogs

Washington

Springdale Police Dept.

Fuzz (football, 1987)

Washington

Springdale Fire Dept.

Hose Jockeys (football, 1987)

Washington

Tontitown

Grapers

Washington

University High

Cardinals (basketball, 1929)

Washington

West Fork

Tigers

Washington

Winslow

Squirrels

Washington

Winslow

Independents (basketball, 1929)


Rachel Whitaker is the Shiloh Museum’s research specialist.

Strange Happenings

Growing up in the south, I came to appreciate the art of embellishing a story. You never outright lie; you simply over-emphasize certain aspects of the truth and leave out the boring and irrelevant bits. As both a librarian and a historian, I have also learned that often the truth is stranger than fiction—no embellishment needed. So when I come across a peculiar image or just something different in our photo collection, I often wonder just what the story behind the image is. Some of them you know had to be a good one. Who were these people? And why were they doing that? Or what is really going on here?

Below you will find some images from our collection that are just fun. A couple of them have me scratching my head a little.


Asa Barlett Coger (right) and an indientified friend. St. Paul (Madison County), circa 1918.

Asa Barlett Coger (right) and an unidentified friend, St. Paul (Madison County), circa 1918. Naomi Coger Miller Collection (S-2000-106-13)

The question here is, what would possess two grown men to climb a tree? You know that when they told this story (if they ever did!) it was likely one of those “you had to be there” moments.

Here’s what I can tell you about Asa Coger, the man on the right. He was born October 8, 1880, to Franklin Monroe and Lucinda Jane Davis Coger.  He died January 16, 1978, and is buried next to his wife, Amanda Ethel Bedingfield Coger, in Hindsville Cemetery (Madison County). He appears on the 1900 census as “H. B. Coger” and his home is in War Eagle, Benton County. He and Ethel married on January 17, 1907, in Madison County. In 1910, they lived in Hilburn township (Madison County) and he was a druggist. Asa Coger’s World War I draft card reveals that he was average height and build, with blue eyes and light-colored hair. In 1920, the Cogers returned to War Eagle. Drug Trade Weekly: A Commercial Publication for Druggists noted that in 1921, “Asa B. Coger, Huntsville, Ark., who has been engaged in the drug business for several years will erect a large drug store at Springdale.” His World War II draft card indicates a 61-year-old man who is self-employed as the owner of Coger Drug Store on Emma Avenue in Springdale.

While I was able to determine who he was and what he accomplished with his life, I still do not know why a man who was already engaged as a pharmacist was hanging upside-down from a tree limb.


Alfred Thomas Smith, Hot Springs, Arkansas, circa 1915.

Alfred Thomas Smith, Hot Springs, Arkansas, circa 1915. P. J. Smith Collection (S-87-259-18)

The alligator wearing your hat says it all, right? Here’s the thing, the photo was taken in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Who was this guy? Why was he in Hot Springs? Our database lists him as Alfred Thomas Smith. Based on another Smith family photo I found on a genealogy website, I believe our Alfred Thomas Smith was born August 20, 1861, and died August 31,1924.  He was married to Florence Eli Fitch (1866-1947). In both the 1880 and 1900 censuses, he lived in Madison County. After his marriage to Florence, they lived in Springdale, Arkansas, and, in the 1910 census, he is listed as a farmer. According to the 1920 census, they lived on Holcomb Street in Springdale and his occupation was still farming.


John Blackford (center) and friends, early 1900s.

John Blackford (center) and friends, early 1900s. Ardella Braswell Vaughan Collection (S-89-57-72)

This one is described in our database as “men on silly donkeys.” The donor of the photo, Ardella Braswell Vaughan, was born in Green Forest, Arkansas, and lived most of her life in Jasper (Newton County), Arkansas.

The only person identified in the photo is John Blackford (middle), who was a friend of Ardella’s. As far as I can tell, Blackford was born September 10, 1881, and died August 20, 1967. He married Lela E. Bishop. They lived in Johnson and Pope counties in the Arkansas River Valley.


Dr. Alonzo Everding Quinn.

Dr. Alonzo Everding Quinn. June Crane Collection (S-89-12-30)

I must admit, I was a little disappointed to discover this gentleman was a doctor. But then I wondered if he brought his own props for the photo shoot. Surely the photographer did not have a human skull just lying around, right? And did the doctor have this photo displayed in his office?

Dr. Alonzo Everding Quinn was born May 21, 1841, and died March 21, 1910. According to his obituary in the Springdale News, he was a physician in Grandview (Carroll County) for nearly twenty years. In 1860, he was living in Ohio and and was employed as a school teacher. In 1870, Quinn, his wife, and his children lived in Kansas and by 1880, he is listed as a physician in Carroll County, Arkansas.  Dr. Quinn died of blood poisoning and left behind a wife and seven children.

This photo of Dr. Quinn is part of a large collection of glass plate negatives donated to the Shiloh Museum by Dr. Quinn’s granddaughter. The negatives were found in the attic of the Quinn home.


Charles Blanchard, Edinburgh, Scotland, April 1934.

Charles Blanchard, Edinburgh, Scotland, April 1934. Charles Blanchard Collection (S-2001-49-1)

Who doesn’t love a kilt? According to information provided by Charles Blanchard (the subject and donor of this photo), he may have indulged a little too much with some friends and they all decided to go to a photo studio and have their photos taken while dressed like Scotsmen. He also noted that they had to stand very still for the camera.

Charles Theodore Blanchard Sr. was born 14 April 14, 1898, and died July 11, 1984. He was a private first class in the U. S. Army and served during World War I from  April 27,1918, to 2 June 2, 1919. On April 17,1921, he married Thelma Mattocks in Carroll County, Arkansas. After their marriage, they returned to his home state of Iowa and that is where they appear on the 1930 census. In 1940, however, they were in Berryville (Carroll County) and he is manager of an auto services shop.

I’m still kinda curious to know why the man was in Scotland in 1934. Was he serving in a military capacity or just on holiday with some friends?

Rachel Whitaker is the Shiloh Museum’s research specialist.


 

A Thorny Thicket

Tintypes recently discovered in the Ada Lee Shook Collection.

Last year I was deep in the process of cataloging the Ada Lee Smith Shook (1928-2009) Collection. Ada Lee’s ancestors were among the first to settle in Northwest Arkansas. I worked up a very basic family tree, found spouses, divorces, deaths of loved ones, births, graduations, lifelong friendships, and all the usual highs and lows found in a lifetime. I became so attached to her and her family, it was sad to watch them age very quickly through the thousands of photographs. In this case, I did not have the luxury of watching it occur in real time, but over the course of a few months.

When I completed this project, glutton for punishment that I am, I accepted the challenge of going through three more collections donated to us by Ada Lee in the years leading up to her death. We found a treasure trove of photos loaned for our History of Washington County (published by the Shiloh Museum in 1989). Many are original photographs and there is also a lovely set of tintypes.

With this batch of photos, I have now been introduced to a whole new branch of Ada Lee’s family tree. But a mystery began with two tintypes slid between mountains of photos in envelopes and boxes.

The tintype on the left was familiar, as we have a copy of the image in our photo collection. It is George Washington Vaughan (1813-1888) with his grandsons. We knew the name of only one grandson in the picture—Albert W. Bevers—who was reported to be the boy on the right. The second tintype, showing four unidentified girls, appears to have been taken on the same day as the Vaughan tintype.

George Washington Vaughan and grandsons

A copied photo of George Washington Vaughan and grandsons from our museum collection—the same image as the newly-discovered tintype. Ada Lee Shook Collection (S-85-323-31)

The rapture of discovery was put on hold while I worked up a more intensive family tree in a tentative hope we could come up with IDs for the girls in the second tintype and perhaps the boys with George Washington Vaughan.

Based upon clothing and an age estimate for Albert W. Bevers, the previously cataloged photo had an estimated age of early 1880s attached to it. Keeping that in mind, we checked the dates for all of George Washington Vaughan’s grandchildren and compared those against the estimated date of the image and the guesstimated age of the children in the images. And let me tell you—when historians do math, it is a hoot!

I located other photos of the families involved (see two below) and we began the process of elimination.

Joseph Bevers and Ada Vaughan Bevers family of Hindsville, Arkansas, circa 1880.

Joseph Bevers and Ada Vaughan Bevers family of Hindsville, Arkansas, circa 1880. From left: Cora, Albert, Amy, Joseph, and Ada holding Ada Estelle. Ada was the daughter of George Washington Vaughan. Ada Lee Shook Collection (S-87-325-14)

Henry Parker and Julia Fitch Parker Family. circa 1890s.

Henry Parker and Julia Fitch Parker Family. circa 1890s. Julia was the granddaughter of George Washington Vaughan. Ruby Vaughan Collection (S-96-1-340)

After studying photos and birthdates of George Washington Vaughan’s grandchildren, we postulated that the children in the tintypes were those of two daughters of George Washington Vaughan—Margarett Louisa Vaughan Fitch (1838-1926) and Ada Ann Isabelle Vaughan Bevers (1851-1943). While there are several grandsons that could possibly be the other two boys in the George Washington Vaughan and Albert Bevers tintype, we think the children came from the Bevers and Fitch families and were not a hodgepodge of children belonging to the siblings of Margarett Vaughan Fitch and Ada Vaughan Bevers.

Granddaughters of George Washington Vaughan

We now believe these are the granddaughters of George Washington Vaughan.

So who do we think the children in the tintypes are?  For the girls, we suggest, front row, L-R:  Cora Bevers Southerland (1874-1902), Ada Estelle Bevers Slaughter (1879-1955). Back row, L-R: Julia Ann Fitch Parker (1868-1946), Amy Elizabeth Bevers Southerland (1872-1907)

George Washington Vaughan and grandsons

George Washington Vaughan and grandsons.

As for the boys, we believe they are, front row, L-R: Lemuel Washington Fitch (b. 1876), George Washington Vaughan, and Albert W. Bevers (1877-1964). Standing in back is William Byron Fitch (1874-1893).  I was able to locate an image of another grandson, Catlett Franklin Fitch (1871-1948), but am almost certain he is not pictured, although it is possible.

I feel sure about the identifications of Albert and Ada, because in the course of cataloging this collection I watched them grow from children into elderly adults. The other children I can only speculate on. Until someone brings in a photo with IDs, we will never know for certain who they are.

Moral of the story: ID your photos early, in detail, and while you still remember. Do not assume that decades later your children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren will know who these people are.

Rachel Whitaker is the Shiloh Museum’s research specialist.