One of my RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) is to purchase inexpensive vintage photos in which the people are identified and then track down a descendant and return them to family.
Not long ago, I found family photos of Beatrice Kemp and a young playmate, Mary Silvers, on eBay for very little money. I couldn’t pass them up because not only were the photos from the 1880s and the children labeled, I think Beatrice herself more than fully labeled the pictures in the 1950s.
T Beatrice Kemp
Mary Silvers was visiting her uncle A.L. Deacon in Lebanon, Boone County, Indiana about 1887. A.L. Deacon was Alfred L. Deacon, born c1859, was Beatrice’s maternal uncle. Since she didn’t describe Mary Silvers as her blood cousin, it is possible that Alfred was called uncle because his wife was a blood relative of one of Mary Silver’s parents.
The third photo in this trio is of George Mull Wallace, born 7 September 1892; died 2 June 1957. Mull Wallace married Florence Aileen Nipp (1894-1960) and they had one son, John Mull Wallace, born 10 August 1915; died 9 June 1944. John married Maxine F. Hinchman on 20 May 1938, probably in Rush County, Indiana. They apparently had two daughters, but I have not been able to pick up their trail as both were born after 1940.
George “Mull” Wallace
Beatrice Kemp kept all of these photos throughout her lifetime, so those of Mary Silvers and Mull Wallace were obviously important to her.
Here is part of Beatrice Kemp’s life story, which seems to have been full of turmoil:
Beatrice Kemp was born on 23 September 1883 in Indiana and died on 26 December 1967 in Amarillo, Texas. She is buried with her husband, Herbert Bee Martin (1870-1954) at Memorial Park Cemetery in Amarillo, Texas.
Herbert and Beatrice married on 1 May 1903 and the inscription on the back of one of these photos says they celebrated their Golden Anniversary on 1 May 1953.
Beatrice was the daughter of Frank Henry Kemp and Stella Naoma Deacon, according to her death certificate. Her son Edward A. Martin was the informant.
Her father, Francis, or Frank as he was called, is a hard man to keep track of, as he reported in the census that he was an odd jobs laborer. The family moved often.
Francis Henry Kemp was born c1860 in Indiana, the son of Samuel and Ellen Kemp. He married Stella Naoma Deacon on 18 September 1881, the date on their marriage license. She was born c1861, the daughter of John C. and Catherine Deacon.
After her marriage, the only document where I’ve found Stella with Frank and Beatrice is the 1885 state census of Liberal, Montgomery, Kansas:
Kemp Family, 1885, Kansas
Stella was gone, presumably dead, by the 1900 census. Her parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1888 and there is a newspaper clipping about the celebration. Two of John’s daughters had died by then, one in infancy and the other at age 22.
Portion of 1888 Newspaper Article on 50th Anniversary of
John and Catherine Deacon
That would fit with Stella’s birth year of about 1861 and Beatrice’s birth year of 1883. However, the Kansas census proves Stella was living in 1885. She may have died giving birth to a second child.
By the 1900 census, Frank is back in Indiana, living with (2) Maggie, born c1876, and reported as his wife. However, oddly, the number of years married is not filled in for them although all other married couples on the same page have years recorded. However, there is a marriage record for them in Jennings County, Indiana, indicating that they married on 24 March 1894. She is called Livina on that record.
Frank and Maggie were heads of household with two sons, Samuel S., born c1897, Indiana, and Frank, born c1899, Indiana. Indiana birth records show Samuel, born 4 November 1896, Francis, born 16 October 1898, Robert M., born 11 August 1900 and a daughter (Eva), born 3 March 1902, all in Bartholomew County, Indiana.
Maggie died on 6 February 1903 and is buried in Jennings County, Indiana.
Frank married (3) Blanche Rigglee in Covington, Kenton, Kentucky on 27 May 1905. Blanche was born in 1879, Kentucky and died in 1949 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Frank Henry Kemp is last found in the 1930 census, living in Jennings County, Indiana with Blanche.
I’ve found lots of details out about Beatrice’s parents, Francis (Frank) and Stella (Deacon) Kemp. Have you noticed anything odd yet? Well, Beatrice didn’t marry Herbert Martin until 1903, but I can find no trace of her in the 1900 census. She wasn’t living with her father, stepmother and half-siblings.
She wrote on the back of one of the photographs that she lived near Parsons, Kansas until 1890 (Parsons is in Labette County, which borders Montgomery County), then in Indiana until 1893, California until 1896 and in Denver, Colorado until 1903 when she moved to Amarillo, Texas.
There is no Beatrice Kemp to be found in Denver in 1900, but there is one Beatrice DEACON, living with her aunt, Ida Deacon, milliner. her birth date is given as September 1884 (the census was taken on 4 June 1900). The age is close enough that I believe this is Beatrice Kemp. Mystery solved.
Beatrice married Herbert Bee Martin on 1 May 1903 in Denver, Colorado. They went on to have two children:
- Nida M, born c1904, Texas; died 1969; married Roy L. Adams (1892-1966), 25 August 1930, Summit County, Ohio.
- Edward A. (Buddy), born 13 May 1907; died 23 September 1976; married Mary M. Williams, c1936.
Happily, both Nida and Edward have descendants and these wonderful photos that belonged to Beatrice Kemp Martin have gone home to her great granddaughter. I love happy endings. 🙂