A Happy Story About Joe Bucklin
Kat and the Hat
That’s right. Today I’m writing a happy story about Joe Bucklin. Joe was the brother of my great grandfather Louis Charles Bucklin. Two of Louis’s sons were Fred and Roy Bucklin. Fred had a daughter named Betty Lou, who was born on May 20th. Roy had a daughter named Jeannette, who was also born on May 20th. My mom was Betty Lou and she was several years older than Jeannette, who was the mother of Kristi.
Kristi is the reason for this happy story of Joe Bucklin. She has a friend – a friend named Kat – and Kat had a hat. It wasn’t just any old hat. Well, it was an old hat. It was a very old hat. And Kat had the hat, but she didn’t remember how she came across the hat. The hat was interesting, because it had a name in the hat that reminded Kat of Kristi. She knew that Kristi’s mother was a Bucklin. Likewise, the name in the hat of the friend whose name was Kat was that.
What am I doing? This story’s getting twisty, so let’s get back to Kristi. Kristi heard from Kat about the hat. She was wondering if she knew her history to possibly solve this mystery. She wondered if Kristi knew who J. C. Bucklin was and if she had ever seen the hat. Kristi didn’t have a clue, so she asked the son of Betty Lou.
I recognized the name and the hat immediately. I was so excited to see it. Of course it was Joseph C. Bucklin! He always looked so dapper in that old hat. Of course, it wasn’t an old hat when Joe wore it. It was probably very stylish. He and his brother Edd had a clothing store in downtown Jennings, Louisiana, in the early 1900s called Bucklin Bros. One of the things that he sold in the store was Stetson hats. You can see that listed in this article from 1912 in the Jennings newspaper.
I was excited to find this photo of the interior of Bucklin Bros. store from over 100 years ago. I had seen a version of it previously and all it showed was a big blob of black. This is much better. There are lots of shelves and display cases for those Bucklin brothers to display their merchandise. Uncle Joe and Uncle Edd had it going on for a while there. And to think that a piece of that history has survived until now.
I wish I knew the story of the hat. And how Kat found the hat. Joe moved from Jennings a few years later with his third wife. She had been a milliner. How about that? She sold women’s hats. They moved to Florida in 1915. I found another newspaper article that published a letter he wrote that said he had settled in his new home on January 11th of that year. I wonder how that hat made its way back to the Jennings area? It wasn’t a family member that had possession of it all those years.
It was a woman named Kat that had the hat. As a matter of fact, I’ve told you that. You also know that it belonged to Joe, an uncle of mine, to Lou he was Bro. But now that hat has a new place to be: Kristi is posting a package for me!
I’ve previously written two sad stories about Joe Bucklin. There are lots of tragedies in his life and those stories are not as lighthearted as this one is.