Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt shows a number of people focusing their attention on one dapper gentleman with hat and cane in hand. His expression is seemingly one of annoyance. But isn’t he well-dressed? Among my old photos is one of my maternal grandfather’s cousin Lee McDonald dressed similarly in light pants and dark sport coat.
|Lee Roy McDaniel or McDonald|
15 Nov 1871 Virginia - 30 Jan 1973 Indiana
The timing of the prompt photo inspired me to go ahead and update Lee’s line in the “Genealogy Do-Over” way, complete with proper citations and all that. Unfortunately, this Do-Over is Not-Done, thanks to absence in census records, conflicting records, and confusing names. In the state of Virginia, the family was known as McDaniel. Lee’s parents were Grattan McDaniel and Melvina Davis, sister of my great-grandfather Walter Davis. In both 1880 and 1900, they were McDaniel. But in 1920 Indiana, they were the McDonalds. Why, I don’t know. And why Indiana, I don’t know. But all the living children had relocated to Indiana as early as 1907, judging by a marriage record for Lee’s brother Thomas.
As adults, three of the McDaniel brothers – er, uh McDonald brothers – were professional painters: Lee, Grover, and Bernard. Lee was employed at the Polk Sanitary Milk Company. (Sanitary? Isn't all milk "sanitary"? I didn't know a company needed to make a point of saying it.)
|The Polk Sanitary Milk Company 1925|
courtesy Indiana Historical Society
I don’t know how a milk company kept a full-time painter busy unless they needed those oversized milk bottles kept clean with fresh paint. The company was a large enterprise, frequently expanding, so there’s that too.
Lee retired from Polk’s in 1956, right about the time the company fell on hard times and closed. No use in crying over - well, you know.
To see how others were inspired by hats and canes and well-dressed folk, please visit Sepia Saturday.
© 2017, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.