Ellen Brooks and the Skiles Family - possibly

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Ellen Brooks and the Skiles Family - unlikely

Dear Gerald,
I don't know any of these people, but, not to upset you, but I think you're barking up the wrong tree entirely. First off, those two women are clearly not the same person. Look at the eyes and the eyebrows. And the woman in the group photo looks to be of African or Caribbean descent--see how thick and coarse her hair is, and possibly artificially straightened. Besides which, the postcard having been mailed in 1912, it's likely the photo was taken at that time. You say Harmon & Mary were gone from Nebraska, where the postcard was sent from, by 1912. And by 1912 they'd be too old to be the people in the photo. If you scrutinize the women's clothing, especially the younger woman's, you'll see the style could well be in the blousy waist-and-skirt fashion then in vogue.

I also think both the older pair look to be about the same age, not 15 yrs apart. The woman *isn't so old she can't be the mother of that baby, and the young woman could perhaps be a well-regarded nurse or other family helper. Could "sure death to mice and rats" indicate that the baby is a boy? (I'd usually think it would refer to a cat, but there's no cat there.)

I'd be inclined to look for Nebraska friend or close relatives of Mrs. Mendenhall who had had a baby born in 1912....

Good luck,

Bonnie

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on 9 January 2008 - 2:51pm

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