“Howdy, Y’All”

Betty Lou just a swingin’

How can you not like this photo?  Right?  Such a cheerful little photo.  I think I may have posted this photo before with another one as a comment on a blog post.  I thought it was time for it to have a blog post of its own.  Being that we are right in the middle of a coronavirus lock-down, I thought something a bit cheery was in order.  That “middle” definer in that last sentence might be a bit optimistic as well.  We shall see.

If you don’t already know, this is a photo of my dear sweet Mama.  Funny how that phrase reminds me of something so particular.  When I was in college, I went home one weekend.  Part of that weekend included washing my clothes.  I’m pretty sure that she was the one doing the washing!  The next week I put on a shirt and noticed something in the pocket.  I fished out a stick of gum that had a note attached that read, “From your dear sweet Mama!”  That’s my mom, a sweet one for sure.  I saved that little note, though I haven’t seen it in a while.  If I ever find it again, I’ll have to add it to this post.

So as I was saying, this is Betty Lou Bucklin Landry.  She was born in Hathaway, Louisiana, on May 20, 1933, with Dr. Fletcher from Elton in attendance.  At the time that this photo was taken, she was around 17 years old.  She was either a junior or senior in high school at Hathaway High.  Go Hornets!  She’s sitting on a swing in the china ball tree next to the old ice box.  Her dad Fred Bucklin had a plant nursery back then and you can see part of that in the background.  Just a quiet day in little old Hathaway in the early 50s.

When I first started writing this post, it looked like she was saying a big hello.  Now it looks like she is saying, “See you later!”

Addie May WIth a Son and a Cow

Roy Bucklin with his mother Addie May Hine Bucklin discussing cows.

For some reason I always seem to like photos of cows.  I also like paintings of cows.  So when I come across a photo of an ancestor with a cow, you know I’m gonna like it.  I’ve already posted a photo of my paternal great grandfather with a cow.  That’s because Grampa Max (Patureau) was a veterinarian.  Now it’s time to share a photo of my maternal great grandmother with a bovine companion (or two).

Addie May was her name, and cattle was her game.  Grandma Addie was born in Noblesville, Indiana, on Sept. 23, 1876.  Her parents were George and Sue Stanbrough Hine.  In the 1880 Census, George is identified as a farmer in Marion Township in Boone County, Indiana.  So little Addie grew up on a farm, which probably had at least a cow or two.

Farm journals of Louis Bucklin

The family moved to Louisiana in 1894 where George continued his farming on a homestead in the China community.  Addie met and married (in 1898) Louis Bucklin, whose family had been homesteading in the area since 1884.  Louis kept a journal that talked about all of the goings on at the farm.   He started them in 1893 and continued writing until his death in 1927.

Addie continued the farm and raised cattle with her sons Roy and Herbert.  I don’t really know that much about it, but I have seen newspaper articles that mentioned them showing their cattle and winning prizes at the Jeff Davis Parish Fair as well as regional showings.  I can’t find any of those articles right now, but I promise you there are several.  I know that Roy’s daughters Jeannette and Doris also got in on the act and made a name for themselves.

Van, Bob, and Betty Bucklin Landry visiting the old Bucklin farm truck of Addie Hine Bucklin in 2015. (Thanks to cousin Joseph for the photo.)

Addie died in 1960 a month after I was born.  Her sons Herbert and Roy took over the farm, as well as the truck that Addie used to drive to take care of her farming business.  That truck has long since retired, yet it is still around.  It is used as part of a stage in a cool barn in the Hathaway area.  I went to visit it with my mom and dad back in 2015 for one last nostalgic outing with them.

Nostalgic indeed.

Three Years an Orphan

That’s right.  I’ve been an orphan for three years now.  But don’t feel sorry for me.  I had parents for quite a while.  They died three years ago after 64 years of marriage.  I got to spend 56 of those years with them.  That’s a lot of time to have both of your parents.  And I had the best!

Betty and Bob taking it easy in 1970 in the den at 758 Lucy Street in Jennings, Louisiana.

I think of my parents often, especially when the anniversary of their deaths come around.  My mom was Betty Lou Bucklin Landry.  She was born May 20, 1933, and she died January 19, 2017.  My dad was Robert Joseph “Bob” Landry, Jr.  He was born January 31, 1929, and he died January 24, 2017. 

I can’t pass up a Throwback Thursday without having an acknowledgment of the anniversary of their deaths.  So when I was trying to decide what to post, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for.  So I looked through my old photos and this one stood out for some reason.

I started cleaning it up because it had a bit of scratches and dust on it.  As I was doing that, it struck me how calming the photo is (at least to me).  Daddy looks like he is just playing a little pool leisurely in the den while Mamma looks on casually.  It’s not a spectacular day.  Nothing of great importance happened that I can recall.  Nothing tragic happened either.  It was just a day in their life together.

That’s what I really miss about them being gone.  Going for a visit for no reason in particular.  Talking about things of no consequence.  Just spending a little time with them.

That’s what I really miss.

Ain’t It Great in 48!

It’s time for a break from some serious, sad history stories.  Don’t worry!  I’ll get back to it soon.  In the meantime I thought I’d find a fun photo of my mom’s side of the family to share.  My searching led to this photo.  I’ve had it for a while and have always liked it.  It’s a great photo of my mom and some of her friends in Hathaway, Louisiana, in 1948.

My mom Betty Lou Bucklin (the one in the short shorts) with some of her friends in 1948.

And these girls look like they might have had a little bit of attitude!  Not that they’d be unruly or threaten to cut you, but there is a bit of sassiness showing. 

On the left is Lela May Jester.  She is the least sassy looking.  She looks very sweet.  Next is my mom, Betty Lou Bucklin.  She was 15 years old at the time and a sophomore at high school.  Besides being on the basketball team, she was also in band and participated in school plays.  She has a very self-assured look on her face. 

Standing to the right of my mom is her best friend LaVelle Krumnow.  She was the daughter of the minister of the local Methodist church that mom’s family attended.  They were friends all through school and mom talked about her often.   She doesn’t look quite as brash as some of the other girls in the photos.  Next is Claribel Brown.  What’s with those names back then?  Lela May, Betty Lou, LaVelle, and Claribel?  I remember hearing those names when I was a kid and I thought they were a bit country sounding back then.  Though I definitely wouldn’t tease Claribel about it.  She looks like a tough cookie, as my mom would say!

The girl all in black is Carol Bryan (now Theunissen).  When our family first moved to Jennings, she was the mom next door.  I don’t remember her looking as sassy as she does in this photo.   She was in the same class as my mom, which I didn’t realize back then.  I knew they came from the same place, but didn’t know all the connections.  She’s in several photos with my mom.  Of course, none of the other girls have the attitude of Dot Gary on the far right.  She looks kinda tough.  I keep looking really close to see if I can see a carton of cigarettes rolled up in her sleeve!  But all I really notice is that little bow around her neck.  Maybe I’ve read Dorothy all wrong.  I still think they were showing some attitude.

They were teenagers after all!  They were also high school students at Hathaway High.  More specifically, they were part of the Hathaway High Hornets basketball team that had just won state.  So there’s a good reason that they were feeling some confidence.

I guess this is evidence of the comment Mama wrote about how they felt after accomplishing big things in basketball:  “(We) thought we were hot stuff.”

A Phenice Keepsake: Painting by Grandma

I know, I know.  You all must be asking, “Another Phenice post?  When are you going to talk about my group?”  And you’re right!  I wrote about my grandmother three weeks ago and then last week I wrote about her father.  “What’s up with that?”  you must be asking yourself.

What’s up with that is that today is my Grandma Bucklin’s birthday!  Myrtle Sylvia Phenice was born on December 19, 1906, in Hathaway, Louisiana.  She was the third of seven children born to Harry Clifton Phenice and Daisy Keys Phenice.  And reportedly, she was a very pretty little baby.  I may have told you that before, but it bears repeating.  When my mom was a little girl, she won a contest for Gerber’s Cutest Baby.  (Or so I’ve been told.)  My grandmother probably bragged about that for a while.  Yes, my grandmother was known for bragging on occasion.  There are worse things a person can do.

But then my grandmother quit bragging about it when young Betty Lou (my mom) started to brag about it herself.  At some point Grandma must have started to answer with a comeback akin to, “I was known to be pretty baby, too, if I may say so myself!”  I never personally witnessed this exchange between my mother and grandmother, but Mama told me that it was a thing. 

I’m sure they were both very cute babies, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about today.  Otherwise I would be posting photos of them as babies and learn how to set up a poll on Facebook or something.  I wanted to share a keepsake that I have from Grandma.  I have a few keepsakes from her – a key, a puzzle, a carving – but those aren’t very impressive or personal.

Oil painting by Myrtle Sylvia Phenice Bucklin, date unknown

This is much more personal and I rather like it.  My mom gave it to me some time around 2014.   My mom wrote a little blurb on the back of it.  It says, “Mama painted this for Uncle Roy and Aunt Effie.  It was given to me after they died.”  Uncle Roy Bucklin died in 1999.  His wife Effie Hetzel Bucklin died in July of 2001, so she got it some time after that.

So I have no idea when it was painted or how long it was hanging in the home of Uncle Roy and Aunt Effie.  I’m also not familiar with any other paintings by my grandmother.  So if anyone else has any original artwork by her, I would love to see it.  Just a quick little digital photo would be sufficient.

Now I’m really curious to see if anyone is going to share something with us.  This is so much better than a vote for the cutest baby.  But for what it’s worth, I always thought I was a cute baby.

If I may say so myself!

Grandma’s Bright Eyes

I thought I would post something related to Thanksgiving this week.  My childhood memories for Thanksgiving are focused on my mom’s side of the family.  I don’t think we ever celebrated Thanksgiving with the Landry side of my family.  If we did, I’ll need a reminder.  Photos would be helpful.  Since my memories of Thanksgiving were associated with the Bucklin side of the family, I went in search of associated photos.

Fred Bucklin, Jodie Lou Landry, and Myrtle Phenice Bucklin in May of 1954. I think this was at my  great grandmother Addie Bucklin’s house in Hathaway, Louisiana.

This is what I found.  It doesn’t have anything to do with Thanksgiving, but it does have my Bucklin grandparents in it with my oldest sister Jodie.  How could I not choose this photo?  Actually, it chose me.  My grandmother’s eyes literally reached out and grabbed me. 

I spent some time last night cleaning up this scan so I could share it everyone.  Not only is it a great photo of my grandmother, but it is really good of Grandpa and Jodie.  For those of you who may not know, my mom was Betty Lou Bucklin Landry, and she was the daughter of this couple.  Fred D. Bucklin was born Oct. 2, 1907, in Roanoke, Louisiana, and Myrtle Sylvia Bucklin was born Dec. 19, 1906, in Hathaway.

The photo was taken May of 1954, which is seven months after Jodie was born.  Since Jodie was born when my dad was stationed in California with the Air Force, this is likely the first time Grandma and Grandpa got to see little Jodie Lou.  She wasn’t their first grandchild.  Mom’s older sister Sylvia already had two sons.  But Jodie was their first granddaughter.  She was their only granddaughter for less than a year.  Little Toni was already on her way – she’d be born that August.

A few years later our numbers would grow to twenty.  The Thanksgiving get-togethers out at Grandma and Grampa’s in Hathaway were great.  The food was always so good and plentiful – turkey with gravy, dressing, ham, potatoes, and other savory dishes.  But then there was dessert – pecan pie, brownies, toffee bars, and cakes.  The all time best, though, was Grandma’s divinity.   With all of that food, you’d think we’d be too full to move.  But we were kids, and that didn’t stop us.  We ran.  We played tag.  We had satsuma-eating contests.  We played chicken freeze tag.  I wish I could say ‘we’ played with fire out by the old bamboo stand, but somehow I always missed out on that activity.  I may have been too busy playing with the sock monkey.  I guess I can’t really complain.

So ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ to all of my Bucklin cousins!  I still think of you all fondly.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone else, as well.  May it be safe and joyful.

The Sad History Surrounding Joe Bucklin

Joseph C. Bucklin, circa 1909. I remember when I first saw his photo, I thought he looked handsome and prosperous and that this might have led to him having things go his way rather regularly. I learned otherwise.

I’ve already written A Sad Story about Joe Bucklin.  He was my great uncle.  Or was he my great great uncle?  Whichever he was, he was my great grandfather Louis Charles Bucklin’s older brother.  And boy did he have a sad story to tell.  I wrote the first story about it three years ago, then followed up on it a year later with a Surplus Sunday about the Bucklins, the Ausmans, the MacVeys.  The second story talked about Joe Bucklin’s history, but then veered off into some other family history.

This time I want to keep the focus on Joe.  He does seem to be the center of a large number of tragic events in both the Bucklin and Ausman families.  Joe was married to two of the Ausman sisters.  Both of the sisters died, as did young daughters by each of them.  Since I wrote those other two stories, I have collected more and more information about the Bucklin and Ausman families.  I have no relation to the Ausman family, but I was intrigued with all of the misfortune that befell them and our poor Joe.  Recently I’ve gotten some answers to things that I had been wondering about, so now is the time for the story I’ve been planning.

Joe Bucklin was born in Massachusetts in 1861 to James Bucklin and his second wife Mary Ann McGrath Bucklin.  He had an older half-brother and half-sister by his father and his father’s first wife.  He also had an older sister Jennie by James and Mary Ann.  The family moved to Iowa around 1863 and a year later James and Mary Ann had another son named Edd.  In 1866, the family moved to Delaware County in Iowa.  My great grandfather Lou was born there in 1873.  The 1880 Census shows the family still living in Delaware County.

The Ausman family was from Canada.  By 1873 Samuel and his wife Jane had eight children: Phillip, John, Jennie, Evaline, Lambert, Minnie, Aggie, and Ida.  At that point they decided to move to the United States, and they too picked Delaware County in Iowa as their new home.  They had their sixth daughter, little May Ausman, in Iowa.  I’m assuming that the Ausmans and the Bucklins must have met each other at this point. 

If they did meet each other and become friends, that didn’t keep the Ausmans from moving to Nebraska in the late 1870s.  Once they were there, they had their fourth son.  His name was Willie and he was the last of a total of ten children.  Sadly, there was only a two year period when all ten of the siblings were alive at the same time.  In April of 1881 the first of several deaths occurred when 18-year-old Evaline died.  The only connection to Joe Bucklin was that the families probably knew each other at this point.  Joe was almost two years older than her, so they were peers.  The next few deaths become much more personal to Joe.

About five years after the Ausmans move from Delaware County, the Bucklins moved to Jefferson Davis Parish in southern Louisiana.  James, Joe, and Jennie were able to obtain homesteads in 1884.  Lou was still too young, though he and his future wife would be the ones who would care for the farm for many years to come.  Those first few years were a lot of hard work involved with clearing the land and building roads and bridges.  I’m not sure of James’ participation in all of that.  He was likely involved, though for only a few years.  He died in 1890 at the age of 69.  Joe was 29 at the time and I’m sure it hit him hard.

I’m not sure how, where, or when the Ausmans and Bucklins came back together again, but there are clues.  In Samuel Ausman’s obituary it said that he had spent some time farming in Louisiana.  His daughter Jennie got married to Charles Henry McKague in Nebraska in 1882, but by 1892 they were living in southern Louisiana.  The families must have lived close by, because in 1893 Lou Bucklin mentions the McKague name in his journal.  In the letter that May wrote to Lou in 1893, she talks about the cold weather in Iowa and how it is a different cold than in the south.  They had just recently moved to Iowa again, so it could be that they had just moved from the south.  So if Samuel did farm in Louisiana, it had to have been in the early 1890s.

That would explain why the McKagues moved there.  It would also explain how Joe and Aggie got together.  Joe and Aggie were married in December of 1892.  This was just a few months before another tragedy befell the Bucklin family.  Joe’s older sister Jennie died in June of 1893 at the age of 36.  That is such a young age to die, yet his wife and four of her sisters never reached that age.  Evaline had died in 1881 at the age of 18, and the next one to die in the Ausman family was Jennie.

Jane Ausman (in the middle) with daughters Minnie, May, Ida, and Aggie. This was taken around 1897. Two of Jane’s daughters had died previously, and three more would die in the next six years. Such tragedy for the Ausman family. They were left with only one daughter: Minnie. Seeing three of her sisters die in southern Louisiana made her steer clear of the place. She ended up living in Clear Lake, Washington, about the farthest place in the continental United States from Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana. She lived into her sixties.

Jennie was 34 years old when she died around 1896.  She was the mother of six children 13 years old and younger.  When I was finding out more about the Ausman family, I had wondered if there were descendants alive today.  With so many tragedies back then, I didn’t know.  So I did a little exploring with the family and found some descendants.  The most surprising thing I found was for the descendants of Jennie.  I actually graduated from high school with one of her descendants!  You just never know.

Around this same time Joe and Aggie moved from Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Jennings.  They also had their second daughter named Gladys.  (Though Gladys may be the daughter of Ida Ausman MacVey and an unknown father.)  Joe and Aggie’s first daughter Leola was born in 1893.  They had a son named Harold on July 15, 1899, during the few years of calm they had.  But that calm came to an end not long after he was born.

On August 8, 1899, Agnes “Aggie” Ausman Bucklin died at the age of 28.  This third Ausman sister death was definitely the most difficult one by far for our Joe.  It was his wife of only a short seven years!  Yet to make matters worse, their 6-year-old daughter Leola died on December 28, 1899.  The next few months must have been difficult for Joe.  It was so difficult that his mother Mary Ann went to stay with him to help out.  In another tragic twist, his mother ended up getting sick with the flu and she died April 10, 1900.  Poor, poor, Joe.

Willie Ausman, with Ida, May, and Jane Ausman. Circa 1897. This was taken during a short interval between the death of Janet “Jennie” Ausman McKague in late 1895 or early 1896 and the death of Ella “May” Ausman on Sept. 8, 1900. During that time, all three of these Ausman children got married. Willie Ausman got married to Edna O’Neal on October 16, 1899. They were witness at his sister May’s wedding the following day. Edna signed her name as “Mrs. Willie Ausman.” May and Bert did not live to see their first anniversary. Willie and Edna were married for over 45 years. Ida married Joe Bucklin on November 15, 1900.

Meanwhile, May Ausman had gotten married to Bert Lukenbill  on October 17, 1899.  When I tell you that, you may think that I’m leading this story to something more positive and upbeat.  But I’m not.  This is one of the most recent facts that I have discovered.  I knew that May had died before 1910;  I reported that previously.  But I didn’t know the particulars of where, when, and how.  Now I do.

When the Lukenbills got married in late 1899, they decided to move south for health reasons for Bert.  They ruled out southern Louisiana, maybe because two of May’s sisters had already died there.  So they decided to try somewhere new.  As Ausman luck would have it, they decided on Galveston, Texas.  Does anyone know what happened in Galveston in 1900?  I’ll tell you.  There was a huge hurricane that hit the city on September 8.  The city was hit hard and thousands of people died.  The newspapers reported that “everything between M and P streets had been wiped away by the tidal wave…”  Bert and May lived on O street and they were never seen alive again.  May was 25 years old at the time.

Oh, the choices we make!  If May had decided to move to Jennings, Louisiana, where her brother-in-law Joe lived, she may have lived a long time.  Or if she had decided to marry Lou Bucklin instead of dropping him like a hot potato in 1893, she also might have lived a long time.  But if that had happened, I wouldn’t be here writing this terrible tale.  So here I am writing about her untimely death.

Newspaper article from Sept. 18, 1900, about deaths in Galveston, Texas.

When Bert and May’s parents heard about the destruction and didn’t hear from their children, they decided that they needed someone to go into the devastation and seek out any information.  So who did they contact?  Why Joe Bucklin of course.  What’s a little more death and tragedy to deal with for him?  He’s used to it.  So he headed to ground zero shortly after disaster struck.  He was unable to find any trace of them.   A month later the Lukenbills received a telegram saying that Bert’s body had been found and buried. 

What a year for Joe.  During that yearlong period his wife died, his daughter died, his mother died, his sister-in-law and brother-in-law died and he was sent to search for any sign of them.  But do you know what else was going on during this period?  He must have been seeing Ida Ausman, because he got married to her on Nov. 15, 1900.  Did they fall in love while grieving over the deaths of family members?  Stranger things have happened.

So Joe and Ida settled in Jennings.  Joe and his brother Edd had a business called “Bucklin Bros.” in downtown Jennings that seemed to be very successful.  Things calmed down…for a short time.  You know where this is leading.  You might be thinking, “If he’s still writing, more tragedy is coming.”  And you’d be correct.

And by telling you that Joe and Ida welcomed a bouncing baby girl in July of 1903, that shouldn’t convince you to let your guard down.  They named their little girl Ida May after her mother and her most recently deceased aunt.  Two months later, on September 5, 1903, Ida Ausman Bucklin died at the age of 30.  Joe must have had the worst case of deja vu ever.  Four years after his first wife died, his second wife (and sister to his first) died.  And like that terrible year in 1899, a few months later it was followed with the death of a daughter.  Little Ida May Bucklin died on December 16, 1903, at just five months old.

Dec. 17, 1903, issue of the Jennings Daily Times Record.

What a painful story to write!  Can you see why I became so intrigued with the Ausman family that intertwines with my Bucklin family?  Every bit of information I would find would bring a new glimpse of some painful event in their lives.  My great grandfather witnessed all of these event and it must have been difficult for him to see his brother going through all of that. 

Joe would go on to get married again two years later.  He did not father any more children.  His brother Edd died in 1911, and after that the Bucklin Bros store eventually closed.  Joe and his wife moved out of state and he died of the flu in 1918 at the age of 57.  His son Harold moved to North Carolina where he died in 1926 at the age of 27.  He was the last in the line of Joseph C. Bucklin.

Mom’s Memories Page 8 – Learning to Sew

When I was a kid, my mom used to make us clothes and such all the time.   I never really gave it much thought at the time.  I thought that’s what all moms did.  She always knew how to make clothes, so that’s what she did.  She made shirts and pants and dresses, as well as pajamas and quilts and furries. 

Page 8 from Mom’s Memories

But she didn’t always know how to sew, now did she?  Fortunately for us, my mom wrote a little blog about how she learned to sew.  Not really.  My mom never even tried to work a computer, much less a calculator.  My favorite memories about her skills with technology was when my brother got a calculator.  He tried to show her how to work it.  He instructed her to type in the first number, then he told her to push the + button.  At that, she exclaimed, “It ate my number!!!”  She gave up after that.  She stuck to pen or pencil and paper for both mathematical problems and writing her stories.

This post is based on the pages she wrote when she realized her memory was beginning to fail.  Now these pages are getting the treatment that they deserve – digital immortality.  I thought page 8 was a good one to go with, since she was such an avid seamstress.

It starts out with talking about how she would sneak to use the sewing machine at first to make doll clothes.  She had to be oh so careful so she wouldn’t break a needle and get in trouble.  Had she broken a needle and didn’t want to get in trouble again?  Or had she just known that breaking a needle would be trouble?    She must have shown some responsibility and promise, because Grandma let little Betty Lou make some sheets when she was around 8 or 9 years old.

Enhanced photo of Betty Lou Bucklin when she was at Hathaway High during the 1946-47 school year. She was around 13 years old in this photo.

She progressed to making overalls for her younger brother Austin, and by the time she was 13 she was making most of her own clothes.  Lots of those clothes were made from the infamous feed sacks that she picked out from the Farm Supply in Jennings.  (She went along with my Grandpa when he was buying feed.)  I thought I’d post a photo of young Betty Lou from that time. 

But there is more family history to this fascination with fabric.  Her mother was Myrtle Phenice Bucklin and she was a seamstress, too.  Hence the sewing machine in the house.  She herself had learned from her mother as well.  That would have been Daisy Keys Phenice.  Again, Daisy learned from her mother Martha Cook Keys.  Martha was born in England and had a special talent for sewing.  She actually learned her craft in an apprenticeship in London.  After that, in 1860, she went to Paris, France, to gain more knowledge of the field.  This led to her opening up a successful dressmaking shop in London.

Years later Martha got married and had five children, all the while continuing to run the shop.  Daisy was the oldest daughter and she would help out in the shop.  I wonder what tips and techniques that my mom learned from Daisy had been passed down from her own mother who learned them in London or Paris?  It makes me wish (somewhat) I had learned bit more of those skills when I was younger.  The best I do is replace buttons on shirts and pants.  I know just the other day my brother was hemming his daughter’s homecoming dress.  My sisters did learn how to sew, but I’m not sure that it really caught on with them. 

But nowadays everyone just buys their own clothes.  Who has time to make their own?  My mom grew up in the Depression.  It was a different time.  When she talked about making clothes out of feed sacks, it didn’t seem like she was trying to make us feel sorry for her.  (Though sometimes we thought she was: Gunnysack Dresses) She got a lot of satisfaction out of making something nice out of something that could have been discarded.

There’s something to be said about being satisfied with what you have.

Bucklin Burials

Gravesite service of Louis Charles Bucklin in 1927.

I’m not sure when I first saw this first photo.  I must have gotten it from my cousin Joseph a few years ago.  He and his mom Louise (my mom’s first cousin) had been collecting Bucklin family photos for a few years and were sharing them with me.  They were all new to me, so it was exciting to see all of these old family treasures.

This one was not identified, but we assumed it was at the gravesite of my mom’s paternal grandfather Louis Charles Bucklin in 1927.  My mom was born in 1933, so she never knew her paternal grandfather.  (My father’s paternal grandfather died before he was born, too.)  Lou was born April 11, 1873, in Masonville, Iowa.  He died in Elton, Louisiana, on Nov. 19, 1927.  He was buried in nearby Raymond, Louisiana, which was where his father James A. Bucklin was buried in 1890.

You can see Lou’s wife Addie in the front and middle of this photo all dressed in black.  Her husband had died at the age of 54, and she was only 51.  The youngest two children of her eleven living children were only 12 years old.  Though you can’t see her face, her sadness is unmistakable.   That is what made it likely that this photo was from Lou’s burial. 

She was surrounded by her children at the gravesite.  The young man on the left who is looking down is either her son Fred or his identical twin Clarence.  I think the young boy behind him is her youngest son Roy.  Next to him is older son Ralph.  It’s likely that the oldest son Leo is the man standing between Ralph and Addie.  Ruth is the youngest daughter to the right  of Addie.  Behind her (and looking down) is son Herbert, then Robert (I think), Fred/Clarence, and possibly Carl. 

Burial for James A. Bucklin

I went to visit that graveyard in 2015.  It was my last outing I had with my mom and my dad.  The graveyard is called Raymond Cemetery and it is just down the road from the Raymond Methodist Church where the family were members.  It originally was called Fairview Cemetery. 

One of the first graves I noticed was this one that has BUCKLIN written in white that is so easy to ready.  This is the burial place of my great great grandfather James A. Bucklin.  The monument is very nice looking, but it looked like something was missing.  I was informed that there is a pillar that used to sit atop this pedestal.  The pillar would fall over and cause problems for the caretakers when they mowed the property.  So family members placed it in the old garage of a family member. 

Newly acquired photo of James A. Bucklin’s grave.

Fast-forward to this summer.  As I’ve told you in previous posts, I was able to scan several old Bucklin family photos from my mom’s cousin Carla.  And even though one of the photos was a photo of a gravesite, I was excited to see it.  I knew immediately that I needed to compare it to the first photo that I posted.  The word “League” looked familiar.

When I only had that first photo, I examined it to see if there were any clues to the location of the grave.  If you look closely on the left of that first photo, you can see the word “League” on that photo as well.  So the photos were taken at the same event. And this new photo identified the event as the burial of Louis Charles Bucklin.

The other interesting thing about this second photo is what you can see on the left of the photo.  You can see that easy-to-read BUCKLIN name on James Bucklin’s grave.  But more importantly, the pillar is sitting atop the pedestal as it was placed 37 years earlier!  I had wondered what it looked like, and now I know.

Louis Bucklin headstone in Raymond Cemetery


Sweet Myrtle With the Bucklins

Myrtle and the gang circa 1927.

Isn’t this the cutest photo?  Such a great casual photo from over 90 years ago.  Not only was it taken before me or my siblings were born, it was taken before either of my parents were born as well.  And the best thing about it is that my maternal grandmother Myrtle Sylvia Phenice is looking so sweet and cute front and center of the photo.  Then again, everyone else in the photo looks like they are having a good time.

I’ve seen and posted other photos taken at this same location, but most of the other ones were decidedly more formal than this one.  Most of those photos were of the Hine family standing in front of this house in the Hathaway/China area of Jefferson Davis Parish in southern Louisiana.  My grandfather was Fred Bucklin and his parents were Louis Bucklin and Addie Hine.  The house in the background was either their house, or the house of Addie’s parents George Hine and Susan Stanbrough.  George had died in 1919 and Grandma Sue was getting pretty elderly.

I estimated this photo to be from around 1927.  This is another photo that I got from my cousin Carla this summer.  Along with the photo I posted of my grandfather with a tennis racket, this photo was a photo that I had never seen before.  It has quickly become one of my favorite photos of Grandma.  Wait, I can’t refer to that cute young girl as Grandma!  I’ll have to call her Myrtle.  I usually don’t want to have the original photos of the ones I scan, but those two were exceptions.  The one of Fred with the tennis racket had a duplicate, so that was an easy call.  This photo was the only copy Carla had, but she was gracious enough to let me have it.  Thanks again, Carla!

The other great thing about it is that everyone in the photo is a family member.  I’m pretty sure that is her husband to be Fred next to her on the right in this photo.  It looks like him and who else would it be?  Sure, he has an identical twin brother Clarence, but it’s more likely to be Fred next to Myrtle.  The rest of the people in the photo are Fred’s siblings.  Let me tell you who is who.

On each end of the group are the twins Ruth and Roy Bucklin.  Ruth and Roy were fraternal twins born in 1915.  They were the youngest of the 12 children born to Lou and Addie.  In case you can’t figure out which one is which, Ruth is the girl on the far left and Roy is the boy on the far right.  Next to Ruth is an older Bucklin brother.  I’m thinking this is Robert, who was born in 1911 and would be about 16 in this photo.  To the right of him is Edna, the next older Bucklin sibling.  She was born in 1909 and she is the main reason we have this photo.  She had an early interest in photography.  She had a camera and took many of the photos of the family that are around today.  (No this is not a selfie!  They didn’t do selfies back then.  But if she had, you would have seen her arm!) 

Continuing on… Like I said, I think the boy to the right of Myrtle was Fred.  They both would have been around 20 years old.  In a couple of years they would be married and starting a family of their own.  The last unidentified boy in the photo is a little more questionable.  But I’m pretty sure this is Fred’s older brother Carl.  He was only a few years older than Fred and somehow developmentally delayed.  From other photos I’ve seen of him, I think it is him.  And again, who else would it be?  The photo shows the younger siblings of Fred.  He doesn’t look like Herbert Bucklin.  I’m open to any corrections or discussions.

Isn’t it great that we have this photo?  I’m sure all of my siblings, niblings, and cousins will really like it.  And with all of the other photos and postcards I scanned, there will be many more to come.

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