Picture Perfect Saturday #14 ~ Three Willard Sisters

I am currently working on my Family Genealogy Group page for Facebook. In doing so I realized I have a tremendous amount of photos. I decided to feature one a week. No, not everyone is “perfect” however, they are to me!

This week I am showcasing 3 of my 1st cousins. Bessie Marie (Left), Celesta Elvira (Middle) and Ida Mae (Right) Willard. The photo was taken about 1915 in Hodge, Lafayette County, Missouri. For some reason this photo makes me smile. I love the way the 2 older girls seem very relaxed even though they had to pose for the photo. Bessie has a look on her face like she just got caught doing something wrong! The baby just looks like she couldn’t care less. The matching dresses and the hair styles of the older girls add a lot to the photo.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Picture Perfect Saturday #9 ~ Davis Hamilton Willard

Picture Perfect logoI am currently working on my Family Genealogy Group page for Facebook. In doing so, I realized I have a tremendous amount of photos. I decided to feature one a week. No, not everyone is “perfect” however, they are to me!

 

Davis Willard with his grandpa's gun

This week I am showcasing my first cousin, Davis Hamilton Willard. This photo says a lot about the place and times that some of my ancestors lived. It definitely was a different way of living. This was taken in Dover, Lafayette County, Missouri in 1919. Davis is about 4 years old, and he is holding his Grandpa’s rifle. During this time frame, Dover was just a tiny town and people would still hunt for their food in the surrounding areas. I love the baggy rolled up pants, the oversized hat, and the fact that the gun is taller than he is.

Davis grew up to join the Army and served his country proudly After he retired from the military he became a Fire Chief in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Freaky Friday’s ~ A Strange Turn of Affairs ~ # 5

 

ff imageI am related to the Willard family in Missouri in two ways. First, my paternal Great Aunt, Ida May Hayes married John Henry Willard in 1905. Secondly, my paternal Aunt, Ellie Belle Hughes married Mitchell Lee Willard in 1927. John Henry and Mitchell Lee were half brothers. No, this is not the freaky part of this story even though it does make my Aunt a niece and a sister-in-law to Ida May! Sit back, get comfortable with your favorite beverage and follow along with this freaky tale.

John Daniel Willard was the father of these two half-brothers. On January 5, 1869, mental Hosp this onehe married Evanda Decker and over the next 14 years, they had 4 sons. After the birth of her first son, Evanda began to exhibit some odd behavior. She constantly talked to herself, acting very erratic and she would wander off leaving her small children alone in the house. Her condition worsened after her fourth son was born, so John Daniel felt he had no option but to have her committed. In 1883 he had her admitted to the State Mental Hospital in Fulton, Missouri. They never got divorced.

This did not stop John from finding a new wife. On March 16, 1884, he married Willard Noble MLMiss Rosa Noble in Adair, MO. He was 36 years old and she was under the age of 18. Her father had to give permission for them to marry.  Not much is known about this marriage. What we do know is that Rosa moved into John’s house and took care of his 4 sons. All of a sudden, there are no more records of Rosa. No divorce papers, no other marriage licenses, and no death certificate. One day she is there and the next day she is gone!

Willard Pinkerton MLEnter Miss Sarah Jane Pinkerton. On December 26, 1886, John and Sarah get married and they moved the family to the mining community of Willard, MO which is just north of Springfield. A little less than 9 months later they welcomed their first child, a little girl. They went on to have a total of 6 children, 2 girls, and 4 boys. On January 25, 1914, at the age of 66, John died of liver cancer.

In the 27 years since he had Evanda committed, he never went to visit her. He never divorced any of his wives and he never revealed what happened to Rosa. This was indeed a very mysterious man. It is unknown if Rosa and Sarah knew that John had never divorced Evanda, therefore they were never really married to the man. Now that’s Freaky!!!

Evanda Willard died in the State Mental Hospital on November 15, 1925, at the age of 77.

Shirley2

The Willard Family Picture:

Back row L-R

William Albert Willard, Charles Andrew Willard, George Earnest Willard, and John Henry Willard

Front row L-R

Sarah Jane (Pinkerton), John Daniel Willard, Jim H. Willard (on lap), Mitchell Lee Willard, Benjamin Harrison Willard, and Joseph Andrew Willard.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.