Tag Archives: Pearl Lillian Brasher

Brasher Mystery Photo: Summertime in Early OK

It’s been a while since I shuffled through some of the family photos which have unknown subjects.

Today’s photo is one of my more unusual ones because of both the setting and the subjects.

First, the setting – This is a somewhat primitive farmhouse, built up off the ground. The house looks to be quite small, too, but it has a nice porch.

Second, the subjects – My husband’s grandmother, Pearl Lillian Brasher, is the young girl with the hat sitting by the baby carriage, second from the right. It’s one of the only pictures I have of a group of female adults and children.

Who Are They?

It’s hard to tell exactly how old Pearl is here, but she definitely looks to be at least 12 but not as old as 16. That would date this photo to c1912-1914, as she was born in 1898.

I know a lot about her life story. She was born in Hopkins County, Texas to Joseph Henry Brasher and Minnie Mae Williams, who divorced when Pearl was a little girl.

Minnie remained in Texas, but lived in the Hill Country when she married (2) Charles Horne. This definitely isn’t her house, which was in a much more established looking area.

Pearl lived with her mother when she was small, but by her teen years, she lived with her father, stepmother and half siblings in Noble, Oklahoma. This definitely could be a house in Noble.

The other possibility is that Pearl was visiting her maternal grandfather, John Christopher Williams, who lived back in Hopkins County, Texas.

John C. Williams Farm

Pearl’s grandfather’s house was definitely in the same style as in my unknown picture, but his porch and house, in general, were bigger.

Here is a photo of the Williams clan:

Pearl and Minnie, left and second left, standing

None of the women or children look anything like any of the women and children in the unknown picture.

Therefore, my two choices seem to be (1) visiting neighbors in Hopkins County, Texas or, more likely, visiting in Noble, Oklahoma because I don’t see Minnie in the unknown photo.

What do you think? If you have family who lived in Noble, Oklahoma during its early days of statehood and you recognize any of these ladies or children, please leave a comment.

Pearl Lillian Brasher (1898-1989)

While reviewing my ancestor sketches, I realized that although I’ve written a number of times about Dave’s grandmother, Pearl Lillian Brasher, I have neglected to write her life story in one post, so here it is.

Pearl Lillian Brasher was born on 9 February 1898 in Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County, Texas, the first and only child of Joseph Henry Brasher and Minnie Mae Williams. Joe’s and Minnie’s marriage didn’t last long, perhaps partly because she was a young sixteen years old when they married.

Where Pearl’s parents divorced is unknown, but the disintegration of her family led to a number of moves in young Pearl’s life, as she lived at times with one parent or the other.

Her father married (2) Della M. Benton on 24 February 1904 in Springer, Carter County, Oklahoma, where he was working in the post office. Soon after, Joe was appointed postmaster in Noble, Cleveland County, Oklahoma.

The earliest photos I have of Pearl are three school pictures taken in Hobart, Oklahoma in grades 1, 2 and 3.

Pearl, second row from top, second from left

Pearl, second row from top, fourth from left

Pearl, front row, third from left

If Pearl was in first grade, then the top picture was taken about 1905. I don’t have any records indicating that Minnie, her mom, ever lived in Oklahoma, but second husband Charlie Horne was a salesman and they moved often. It is certainly possible that they lived in Oklahoma for a while. It’s also possible that Joe Brasher worked in a post office in Hobart at some point.

By 1910, Pearl was living in Plainview, Hale County, Texas with her mother, stepfather Charlie Horne and her baby half-brother, Aulton Horne.

Pearl’s father was orphaned at a young age, but he had two brothers, Andrew and Marcellus. Her maternal grandfather, John Christopher Williams,  lived in Dike, Texas, just northwest of Sulphur Springs, where Pearl had been born. Through the years, she visited with relatives from both sides of the family.

Andrew Brasher with niece Pearl

John Williams, seated with Pearl to his left and Minnie behind Pearl

As Pearl began high school, the Horne family was living in Floydada, Floyd County, Texas, just a short drive along the 70 highway, which connected it with Plainview, her previous home.

However, she didn’t graduate from Floydada High School. At some point during those four years, Pearl moved to Noble, Oklahoma to live with her father, stepmother and half siblings. She graduated from Noble High School in 1916.

During her first years in Noble, Pearl met Earl Marcus Stufflebean:

No one in the family seems to know how they met, but I can venture a guess. Earl worked at the Stufflebean General Store, owned by his father:

It is more than likely that Pearl shopped in that store and that is how they met.

The summer of 1916 was a busy one for young Pearl. She graduated from high school and then married Earl on 10 August 1916.

Ten months later, Earl and Pearl welcomed son, Edward Earl Stufflebean, born 6 June 1917.

Pearl and Ed, c1918

Their family was completed three years later when daughter Wanda Lucille was born on 16 April 1920. Unlike the many moves that Pearl made growing up, Earl and Pearl raised their family in one home in Norman, Cleveland, Oklahoma.

Stufflebean Home in Norman

The family made it through good times and bad – the Great Depression was a very difficult time in Oklahoma – but the children grew up in a happy home.

Life improved with the end of the Depression and war years. However, in January 1946, Ed received an urgent letter from his mother, telling him that his father had had a stroke during the night.

Earl passed away on 11 January 1946 and was buried at the IOOF Cemetery in Norman, Oklahoma.

Ed had married and moved to California by that time. His sister, Wanda, was also married, but she settled in Norman, near her parents.

With Earl gone, Pearl spent several years as a widow before marrying Claude Rupard Etter on 15 January 1949, in Norman, but they had no children together.

Claude died in February 1964 and was buried in the IOOF Cemetery next to his first wife, Nellie, who had predeceased him in 1944.

Pearl married a third time to Andrew Hatfield, but the family doesn’t have a date or place. It likely happened in Cleveland County, Oklahoma. Andy predeceased Pearl in 1985 and is also buried next to his first wife at Willow View Cemetery in Cleveland County, Oklahoma.

Pearl was an active senior who was mentioned in a couple of newspaper clippings. The first is my favorite:

The Norman Transcript, 12 December 1975

Fred Brier, assistant manager at C.R. Anthony’s downtown store, surveys the damage this morning after an over-eager shopper put her car in the wrong gear and went through the front display window with her automobile. Mrs. Pearl Hatfield, 1122 Fay Avenue, said she’d been driving since “Model T days and never got a ticket. Now look what I’ve done!” No one was injured – just surprised – and Mrs. Hatfield added, “It sure was a queer feeling when I landed in that window.” (Transcript Photo by Steve Sisney)

Here is a much more mellow Pearl at the senior center:

Easter 1971

Members of the Norman Senior Citizens’ Center (from Left) Mrs. Eddie Lee Whitey, Mrs. Charlie Miller, Mrs. Katie Scott (in back), Mrs. Barney Loeffelholz and Mrs. M.A. Hatfield colored eggs Monday afternoon in preparation for an Easter egg hunt at 2 p.m. Saturday in Reaves Park. Members of the Norman Teen Center also helped dye the 48 dozen eggs which will be used in the activity for all children in the Norman area. The event is being cosponsored by the Norman Parks and Recreation Department and the Norman Fire Department (Transcript photo).

For whatever reason, Pearl never seemed to be much into traveling anywhere except to visit family. Perhaps all her childhood moves were enough for her. The only trips I know of her taking happened every other year when she and other relatives drove to California to visit son Ed’s family. In the summer of the opposite year, Ed and family made the car trip back to Oklahoma.

In the summer of 1989, Ed and wife Ruby made their last visit back to visit Pearl, who was in declining health.

Pearl passed away on 18 December 1989 and was buried next to Earl at the IOOF Cemetery in Norman, Oklahoma.

Pearl lived a long life, surviving Earl by almost forty-four years. She left a number of descendants.



Throwback Thursday: Christmas 1956, Norman, Oklahoma

Christmas 1956, Norman, Oklahoma

For the most part, the Stufflebean relatives took turns each summer, visiting in California and Oklahoma. One year, the California contingent headed east and the opposite year, the Oklahoma family went west. Rarely did they get together at Christmas, so 1956 was an exception.

Dave’s Uncle Jess must have been the photographer since he is the only family member not in the picture. Sadly, only the four youngest children are still here today.

From left to right – Mother Ruby, my husband Dave, his brother, Phillip, father Ed, sister Pat, cousin Ronnie, cousin Mark (being held), Aunt Wanda, step-grandfather Claude and grandmother Pearl.

One exciting moment along the way on the trip for the family was checking out the snow –

In the Snow, 1956

Southern Californians don’t experience much of the white stuff!