4 Women

Sarah, Agnes, Maud & Pearl

Today’s photo is a lovely cabinet card found in the Great Tennessee Vacation Haul, and shows four young women. The back of the card identifies them as Sarah, Agnes, Maud and Pearl.  Sarah and Pearl are on the ends, with Agnes & Maud in the middle. I have no knowledge of their relationship. Could they be sisters, cousins, or simply great friends?

The clothing suggest the 1880s trending to the 1890s. Sleeves are puffed but not ballooned. Because they are seated it’s not really possible to guess if these are A-line or bustled skirts.

The photographer was J. E. Kester in Brockwayville, PA, which is located midstate. It was settled in 1822 and named for the Brockway family which first settled in the area. By 1925, the name Brockwayville had been shortened to Brockway. Brockway has always been a small town, with only 1.2 square miles, and in the 1880 census there were 360 people living there. Current population from the 2010 census is 2072.

I found many other photographs online by J. E. Kester, all seeming to be from the 1890s, as well as a Commemorative Biography indicating that Blanche (Luther) Kester, wife of J. E., was living in Brockwayville in 1898.


The Big Four



This photograph dating from the early 20th century is about 4″ wide with the matting. It shows four girls who look like they are about 10-12 years old, and the title “The Big Four” tells me these girls were inseparable. Were they friends, cousins, sisters? The back has their initials, but no other names. I sure do wish I knew them and their story! The photographer’s mark is embossed in the right hand corner, indicating Warren.

Trunk Sisters

A great big THANK YOU to Meri at Meri’s Musings for the following information on the Trunk family.

John Trunk was born in June 1848 in Germany. His wife Mary was born November 1856 in Pennsylvania, so they obviously met and married in PA about 1873 since they’d been married 26 years at the time of the census. By 1900, they had nine children: Lena M. (November 1874) ; Rose W. (Nov 1877); Minnie F. (Dec 1879); Anna C. (June 1882); Frances J. (May 1884); John E. — the eldest son, August 1886; Bedict C. (Benedicta, perhaps, though listed as a son) March 1889; Edward C. (July 1891); and Ruth C. (July 1891).

There are some inconsistencies — Mary and all the children were born in Pennsylvania. Mary’s parents, according to the census taker, were born in Germany. Not out of the question. But all John and Mary’s children are listed as having parents both born in Germany. . . though Mary was born in PA according to the same census and all the children seem to be hers. So perhaps an error. They were living in Barnsville, Belmont County, Ohio in 1900.

The photo above is (L to R) Rose, Ann, Lena & Min Trunk, the four eldest sisters. They have big taste in hats, don’t they!?

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