Tag Archives: Old Photos

1912 Glimpse of Life: Everett Earl Brown of Clinton, Kennebec, Maine

Recently, I purchased a vintage postcard online and got a second freebie with it:

Cony High School, Augusta, Kennebec, Maine 1912

Although this postcard isn’t of any interest to me, there was an inscribed message on the back and was mailed  to Mr. Everett E. Brown, Clinton, Maine.

Since the postmark indicated a 16 July 1912 mailing, it seemed reasonable that I might be able to identify Everett E. Brown and return this card to a descendant.

I telephoned D—
and she was away
so come down
alone Wed. night
and we will go down and see her.
From. Mabel

While I doubt that “D—” will ever be identified or why Everett and Mabel were making that mysterious Wednesday evening visit to see her, but locating Everett was simple. It also appears that Mabel was his girl and they married just a couple of months after this postcard was mailed.

Everett Earl Brown was born 21 June 1889, the son of Otis C. Brown (1853-1929) and Gertrude McNally (1861-1942). He was the second of three children born in this family.

The family spent most of its life in the Benton and Clinton towns of Kennebec County, Maine.

Children of Otis and Gertrude:

  1. Nettie Estella, born November 1878; died 1946; married Archibald M. Kent, 25 November 1903, Clinton, Kennebec, Maine. They were the parents of one son and one daughter.
  2. Everett Earl, born 21 June 1888; died 1947; married Mabel Gladies Witham, 10 September 1912, Benton, Kennebec, Maine. She was the daughter of William Witham and Jennie Jones.
  3. Verna Pearl, born 20 June 1895; died 1931, Cambridge, Massachusetts, but is buried in Clinton, Kennebec, Maine; married Spurgeon David Manson, probably in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they lived in 1930. It appears they had no children.

As mentioned, Everett and Mabel married about two months after the postcard was mailed, on 10 September 1912. They were the parents of one son, Stanley Earl Brown, bor 10 July 1913, Benton, Kennebec, Maine. He died 10 February 1978, Marion, Marion, Ohio.

Unfortunately, by 1920, Everett and Mabel had not only divorced, but Mabel had married (2) Frank Gerry and they were the parents of a two year old and a newborn, living in Thorndike, Waldo, Maine.

Stanley was living with his father and grandfather in Clinton.

Everett never remarried.

Mabel lived a long life, as she was born 1 March 1895 and passed away on 24 November 1897. Eventually, Stanley had four half siblings – Frank, Alvin, Aubrey and Leland Gerry.

Stanley married Simone Marie Rioux and they were the parents of three children, all still living.

Stanley died in 1978 and Simone in 2011.

This postcard has been returned home to one of Everett’s great grandchildren.





Meet Miss Ada Christena Kansgen (1883-1966), Educator

I met Ada Christena Kansgen in a Show Low, Arizona antique store – that is, I met her 1922 photograph, which I purchased. I figured with a rare surname like KANSGEN, it wouldn’t be difficult to find her in historical records and I was right!

Ada Christena Kansgen was born in 1883 in Ogle County, Illinois, the first of many children born to Frank and Anna May Pratt Kansgen, who had married on 16 February 1882 in Ogle County. Both of Frank’s parents were German immigrants. However, Anna’s parents, Edward and Sophia, were both born in Massachusetts.

Her paternal grandfather, Adolph Kansgen, was born in Germany in December 1823 and lived with the family in 1900 in Montrose, Colorado. He immigrated in 1848 and indicated that he was a naturalized citizen in the 1900 census. Mary Anna Koerfer, wife of Adolph, wasn’t in the home in 1900, but she is buried at Cedar Cemetery. Mary was living with her unmarried son, William, in 1910 in Riverside, Montrose, Colorado. She was born 11 November 1830 and died 22 October 1920.

Also in the household were Adolph’s son and daughter-in-law and eight grandchildren. I’ve added further biographical information about Ada’s family members. All are buried at Cedar Cemetery in Montrose except for Stanley and Emolyn, who are buried at Rose Hill, also in Montrose, Lawrence’s wife, Sadie, who is buried in Glendale, California and Myrtle and Arthur, who are buried in Delta County, Colorado:

Kansgen, Frank H., born August 1859, Illinois; died 1951
Kansgen, Anna M., born November 1859, Illinois; died 1919
Kansgen, Ada C., born March 1883, Illinois; died March 1966; did not marry.
Kansgen, Carrie G., born March 1885, Illinois; died 1962; married Sanford Louis Miller (1884-1939).
Kansgen, Mabel Louisa, born February 1887, Illinois; died 1949; married Claude McClure Long, 3 September 1907, Montrose County, Colorado.
Kansgen, Wilber W., born April 1891, Nebraska; died 1956; married Rectha Mae Wilson (1890-1944), 18 January 1921, Montrose, Colorado.
Kansgen, Lawrence Elmer, born July 1893, Nebraska; died 1937; married Sara (Sadie) M. Miles, 5 December 1916, Montrose County, Colorado. she died 16 August 1959 and is buried at Forest Lawn, Glendale, Los Angeles, California.
Kansgen, Stanley Harold, born  December 1894, Nebraska; died 31 December 1984; married Emolyn Mikkelson (14 April 1906-16 May 1989), 26 June 1928, Garfield County, Colorado.
Kansgen, Myrtle Olive, born September 1896, Nebraska; died 5 July 1943, Delta County, Colorado; married Arthur Vanburen Berry (17 March 1894-24 December 1947), 10 December 1920, Montrose County, Colorado.
Kansgen, Gurtrude M., born 27 November 1897, Nebraska; died 7 May 1988, probably El Paso County, Colorado; married Howard D. Selden. Place of burial for this couple is unknown.

Gleaned from the birthplaces of the children is the fact that sometime between Mabel’s 1887 birth and that of Wilber in 1891, the family spent at least six years living somewhere in Nebraska before they moved to Colorado between 1897 and 1900.

Tenna Kansgen, daughter of Adolph and Mary Anna, and sister of Frank, was born 25 October 1865 and died on 9 February 1882. She is buried at Oak ridge Cemetery in Dannebrog, Howard County, Nebraska, so I suspect that is where Frank, Anna and children also lived.

Ada set out on her teaching career in Montrose, Colorado, where teacher appointments for the upcoming school year were announced in the local newspaper on 22 May 1906.

Montrose Enterprise, 22 May 1906
Source: Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection

Ada apparently moved on to a new teaching position in Boulder, as the Montrose Enterprise published a list of some of the local high school graduates “in times come by” on 16 May 1912. Ada’s name appears on that somewhat lengthy list.

Montrose Enterprise, 16 May 1912
Source: Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection

Ada apparently became a math teacher as the 1923 Colorado School Journal included this talk given by her:

“Weak Points in High School Training as a Preparation
for College Mathematics”
Source: Google

Ada was also a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Education Honor Society. She served as corresponding secretary and president of her chapter. (Note: her name comes up in the search engine, but access to the journals is restricted, so I don’t know to which chapter she belonged.)

Her career progressed to the point where she was a professor and then Dean of Women at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado:

Student, Boulder, 1930
Source: Ancestry

Ada was highly educated with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Colorado, was a graduate student at the Universities of Chicago and Colorado.

Source: Ancestry

She taught in the Division of Astronomy, Geography and Geology:

She was a professor at Western State College in the Division of Natural Science and Mathematics.

Ada also became the Dean of Women at the same college before her retirement.

Ada Christena Kansgen had a notable career as an educator. She died in March 1966 and is buried at Cedar Cemetery with most of her family. How her photo ended up in Show Low, Arizona, I have no clue, but she is going home to family.

Gary Lee’s Birthday Party, 8 Years Old in 1944 – Fun Photo Going Home

Here is another photo discovered in an antique shop in Show Low, Arizona.

The back of the photo is labeled, although no location is mentioned, and I suspected that with three sets of siblings, I could probably find these families. I did! They all lived in Kansas.

In the back row, we have:

Kenneth Mills
Calvin Phillips
Vernon Mills
Bennie Phillips
Gary Phillips

In the front row, we have:

Ronald Howard
Robert Howard

Then written along side those names in the front, with no surnames, we have Gary, Donnie and Gerald. A bit of research found that Gary, the middle child in the front row, was the birthday celebrant, Gary Lee Howard. His birthday was August 27, 1944 and it fell on a Sunday that year, so this picture may well have been taken on that exact day.

After a bit of sleuthing, it turns out that only one of the Mills children is still living and one of the Phillips children is also still living. I haven’t found out who Donnie is and the various Howards appear to be cousins, but all the Howard children have passed away.

Kenneth and Vernon Mills were sons of Warren Hamilton Mills and Susie Ireland. In 1940, they lived in Comanche County, Kansas. The other children all seem to have ties in Sumner County, Kansas, so it’s possible that the Mills family lived in Sumner County by 1944.

The three Phillips boys, Calvin, Bennie and Gary, were sons of Frank William and Ruby Phillips and lived in Pratt County, Kansas in 1940, but later lived in Sumner County. These counties are all along the southern state border in the middle section of Kansas. All these families farmed and seemed to have rented land.

Ronald Eldon and Robert W. Howard were children of Wayne C. and Adenia Howard and lived in Sumner County, Kansas in 1940. Ronald was born 1940 and died 12 January 1989. Robert W. was born 21 May 1936 and died on 20 May 2017.

Their cousins were Gary Lee Howard and Gerald Duane Howard. Sadly, Gerald, the young boy on the far right front row, born 5 November 1940, died at the age of 8 on 24 May 1949.

Gary Lee Howard was born 27 August 1936 and died on 26 May 2007. He married Patricia Boone, who predeceased him.

How this photograph ended up in Show Low is a total mystery. However, this young birthday boy left descendants and this photo commemorating his 8th birthday has gone home to one of them. 🙂