Friday, April 18, 2014

A to Z April Challenge: P is for Powell


My theme for the A to Z April Challenge is “In-Laws and Out-Laws – Friends of the Family.”  I will be researching friends, colleagues, neighbors - those people who came and went touching my family’s lives in both small and large ways. 


is for Powell.

The Powells were neighbors of my great grandparents Walter and Mary Frances Jollett Davis in Shenandoah, Virginia.  Just how chummy they were is not clear, but they were close enough to exchange cabinet cards. 
Sarah Long Powell with Rosalie and Lacuta 1895
Sarah Powell
Rosalie and Lacuta
about 1895

The 1900 census suggests the Powells lived on Third Street sandwiched between my great-grandparents, my grandaunts and uncles the Colemans, Sullivans and Clifts.  Eugene Powell worked for the railroad and Sarah was home caring for their three daughters Rosalina, Lacuta, and Elsie.  Lacuta and Elsie were roughly the same ages as my grandfather and his brother, so the four likely were in school together as well as neighborhood playmates along with their cousins.

In 1910, the Powells were living in Andover, New Jersey where  Eugene was superintendent of railroad construction.  Sarah claimed 3 of 5 children living, so apparently between 1900 and 1910, they lost two.

By 1920 they were back in Shenandoah.  Rosalie and Elsie were living at home with their parents, both teaching in public school.  Lacuta was married to John Neal Parrott.  The two were renting a house in Washington D.C. where John worked as a conductor for the electric streetcar system.  Lacuta was a clerk for the Internal Revenue Service.
Elsie Powell Judy Wingold
Elsie Powell
June 28, 1898 - Dec. 13, 1992

By 1930 all three girls were gone from the Powell household.  John and Lacuta owned a house in Washington D.C. valued at $8800.  Apparently motormen and government clerks made good money.  Rosalie was married to Ben Merchant, a horse dealer, and living and teaching in Fauquier County.  Elsie had married Frank Judy, a widower with sons ages 19 and 20.  She continued to teach in Page County; Frank was a merchant of general merchandise.   Meanwhile Eugene was driving a delivery truck for a local retail store and Sarah was caring for her father.
Lacuta Powell Parrott
Lacuta Powell Parrott
May 25, 1895 - Jan. 29, 1997

In 1940, at age 70, Eugene was still driving that delivery truck and Sarah was still housekeeping.  Lacuta and John were living in Arlington in a house valued at $12,000.  He was still a car operator for the Transit system and Lacuta was still an income tax clerk for the IRS; interestingly enough, her salary was higher than his by $700.  Over in Fauquier, Rosalie continued to teach but now Ben was out of work.  Poor Elsie was a widow.  Apparently she had no reason to stay in Shenandoah, so Elsie moved to Craig County where she lived in a boarding house with several other public school teachers.  I don’t know when, but sometime later Elsie met and married John Conrad Wingold, a widower. 

Apparently none of the Powell girls had children. 



For more pontificating and other pieces in print, pop over to the A to Z April Challenge.

16 comments:

  1. I am amazed at these old photographs posted here. You must have done a lot of research for these articles.

    Good luck for the rest of the A to Z Challenge.

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    1. Actually it's been like a break from my normal research when I'm trying to find EVERYTHING about someone in my family. Thanks for visiting!

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  2. Wendy, I have just a whole lot of admiration for your research skills. Wow! You have so much patience. I like the posts you are sharing with us, especially the photographs.

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    1. I have a few people for whom there are no photographs, and that disappoints me too. I like using the old photos that have been passed down to me.

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  3. Lovely photographs, they were quite a forward thinking group with the women working and even earning more than the man.

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    1. Yes, that surprised me too, and I wonder how he felt about that. $700 isn't a big difference today, but it was back then. In fact, that was a whole year's salary for some people.

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  4. The photos are lovely photos, and it is amazing that Elsie and Lacuta lived such long lives...Elsie 94 and Lucuta 102. Nice that you have included them in your AtoZ posts...especially since they have no direct descendants...not even nieces or nephews.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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  5. I love the photos and history. I'll be sure to follow so I can see more.

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  6. What a lovely way to showcase your family history and preserve the memories :)

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    1. Thanks. I hope some of these people's descendants stumble upon my blog. That would be pretty cool.

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  7. Oh, that picture of Elsie! How cute is that?!

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    1. I know! That bow. That hand on the hip. I wonder if she was a little spitfire.

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