I know most of the people in the pictures, but so far as I know, there is nobody left who cares about them.
Many of the people in the pictures were born in the late 1800s, and with the booming interest in genealogy, somebody has to want a picture of his great grandparents.
I just haven't run into the right people.
There was a neighbor family of Thomason's within shouting distance of my grandparents, and my father eventually bought the old Thomason place that sat in a cove near a spring that still runs.
It was never good farm land, but they scratched out a living for a few years, and it was an old place when they bought it, so there is no telling who built the house and barn.
Uncle Guy Phillips showed me the site, pointed where the barn stood, walked to a spot where the front door of the modest house would have been and told me that a baby was buried in the front yard along with Mr. Thomason's little finger.
The finger was injured in an accident at the blacksmith shop, and rather than watch it rot off, he amputated it himself. My, what a story.
I haven't seen the old place in years, and it is now owned by a neighbor. There is nothing at all there except weathered terraces and a cedar tree that stood by the front door.
But, while the people are long gone, and there is nothing left of the farm, I have pictures of some of those Thomason folks.
Edward Thomason was 10-years-old when the commercial photo was taken before a backdrop of bamboo. I know nothing of Edward afterward.
There were two daughters. Mattie married Thomas W. Underhill, and Minnie married a Crane. Both couples took off for the west.
On the way to Arizona, the Underhills stopped in Kansas City for a portrait taken by a Mr. Johnson in his studio on Grand Ave.
The picture, taken in cold weather, shows a well-dressed and prosperous looking couple, with Mattie Thomason in a floor-length wood skirt and jacket with dark leather gloves. She is standing beside her seated husband.
There are pictures of the couple's children while they lived in Polomas, Ariz., near Yuma. Annie was born in 1900, Albert in 1902, John in 1905.
A few candid photographs show a “Dr. Underhill” with some native American children in Arizona and a line of large, mule-drawn wagons. Thomas was a drayman.
The photographs stopped about 1908, and a search of Yuma County graves revealed that Mattie Thomason Underhill died in July of 1909.
Thomas remarried and had several other children with Stella, but he died in 1949.
A life begun in a small house on a poor farm near Dog River left many questions. The only one that interests me is who would want all these photographs.
Someone out there has to be interested in his/her family history. Who is it?
Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at email@example.com.