Monday, September 17, 2012


I am sitting in my mother-in-law's kitchen this morning.  We had identified everyone in the below photo several years ago.  However, I wanted to take a few minutes to ask her if she remembered anything more about any of these people.  The photo was taken in the coal fields of WV during the heyday of that area of our state.
 This photo was taken at a Harris reunion that was held at Coney Island in Welch, WV 7 September, 1930.  Below is a scan and list that identifies all of the people in the photo.  The patriarch and wife in this photo are Samuel Sterling Harris and wife Frances Louise (Lou) Woodson.  Everyone else (except  for one gal who was a date and never married into the family) are children or grandchildren or in-laws of the four children of Samuel Sterling and his first wife or of Samuel Sterling and Lou.

Oh, I almost forgot Everett!  Everett is hiding in the tree behind the can just barely see him just behind #41 and #42.  His head is barely on either side of the tree branch.  I would never have known his being in the photo if my Mother-in-law had not shown me.

Here are Sue's stories:

Samuel Sterling Harris was her grandpa.  Sue remembered that when she got old enough to know him, he was retired and sat on the porch all day long....finally he was bedfast and grandma Lou waited on him six years in bed.  He complained the whole time.  He died 11 Feb 1934 in Davey, WV (McDowell County).

Frances Louise Woodson Harris was wife of Samuel Sterling (often called S.S.)....Sue said that she was a saint. She raised the four children of S.S. and his first wife.  She was only about 16 when the first wife died.  She had come into the house to help out when his first wife got sick.   And then she and her husband had

Uncle Pitt was the oldest son of the first marriage and he was married to Isabelle....Sue called her Aunt Toad.

Louise Harris McCoy was partly raised by Lou after her mother died.  Louise was back and forth between the home of Grandma Lou and Louise's father's home.

Audrey Anna Harris was the daughter of Uncle Howard.  Her father is right behind her in the photo.

Uncle Pete never married and lived at Davey and took care of grandma and grandpa until he died.  He died in Davey.  He worked at Twin Branch in the coal mine.  He was son of Lou and SS.

? Wolfe was married to Uncle Pitt's daughter. Lenora.  They lived in Portsmouth, Ohio.  He was a traveling salesman.  Sue calle him Wolfey.

Pete Harris.....Lou called him Paul.  He lived in Davey.  When grandma and grandpa died, Aunt Edna moved into the old home place and took care of Pete.  He never married.

Earl Shufflebarger was the son of Aunt Molly.  Sue does not remember her having a husband.  Aunt Molly lived in Princeton for a while.  She moved to Norfolk.  She and  Aunt Sis (Nora) were close as they were full sisters.  The two of them are standing together in the photo.

John Harris was the youngest of the four children born to Samuel Sterling Harris and his first wife, E.M. Harris.  Lou did not raise him as he moved in with his mother's people.  Later he "came home"...but he was not raised by Lou.

Uncle John's wife was Aunt Ada.  Sue was named after her.  Sue visited Aunt Ada in McComas WV after she was married.  Sue took her mother to visit and they would have lunch and visit and drive back home.  Aunt Ada told Sue to pick out somethings that she wanted and Sue chose the following which are still in her household.

Elaine Hogan was Aunt Edna's daughter.  Aunt Edna came back and moved in with her parents.  She had divorced her husband early and was married a second time but never even lived with him.  So she moved in with her parents.  Aunt Edna worked in Welch in Bell's Department store.  She would take the bus to work from Davey.  The store was a dime store that was locally owned.

James (Jim Harris) sitting beside Elaine was the son of Uncle Pitt and Aunt Toad.   he had the exact same name as Sue's brother, James Warren Harris.  There other son was Randolph Harris.  He was at VPI when WWII broke out.  He and another man were sent out on a mission and were never heard from again.

Mary and Martha Walker were the twins that Sue always talked about  Their mother was Bertha Harris Walker and father Pearl Walker .  Sue is standing between the two twins.

Bob Hogan was Aunt Edna's son.

Gene Harris was the youngest son of Stella and Uncle Howard.  Stella is holding Gene in the photo. I have written it as Jean....

Ollie Mae Harris Tolbart Barnett kept in touch with Sue for many years.

Frances Walker was the last child of Aunt Bertha and Pearl Walker.

The lady who is labelled date never married into the family.

Much to my disappointment, she has very few photos of any of her family.  Sue explained that when her grandmother, Frances Louise Woodson Harris (Lou) died, Aunt Edna came down and took it over (Edna Hogan).  She was the second girl in the family.  Aunt Bertha was the oldest daughter.  Aunt Edna actually lived in the house for a long time and took care of Pete.  Then Pete owned the house....he was the youngest child of Lou ....Finally Pete sold the house to Aunt Edna's son, Jake....and eventually Jake sold it to Bob (also a son of Aunt Edna). This basically left the house totally empty.  Sue remembered that there would have been photos, but it is a mystery if they were thrown out or if any of the descendents of these people might have some.

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