Wednesday, July 16, 2014

50th Anniversary for J. Lee Kelly and his lovely wife Helen Zeller Kelly

Evening Times (Cumberland, Maryland), October 2, 1963.

So, my new absolutely favorite activity on is to do a "search records" (you can find it right under the picture box on the person page, in the left, top) and then select Newspapers & Publications from the list. I recently posted about my good fortune in finding the fuller story of the house fire at the Joseph Hampton Whetstone (1858 - 1939) family home in 1906 and their quick rebuild in 1907. He was my great grandfather on my mother's mother's side and I heard about the fire from Grandma Williams and then from Mom. So I went looking for newspaper articles about other grandparent and great grandparents. What fun!!

Searching like this is a real treat because I'm not looking for a critical or missing bit of record to solve a problem or puzzle, but filling out what's recorded about the ancestors and building a richer page for each person. It helps me have a deeper understanding of the personalities involved. I'm having fun doing it and hope that it will give others who find what we've added to our Ancestry Member Tree, a better feel for these individuals.

I remembered that Dad's parents were married on September 30, 1913 because the hubby and I were also married on September 30th. When we got married I didn't know that the Kelly grandparents got married on that same date, but only found out later!

We even have some charming wedding portraits taken then. Here's the lovely couple, below. A framed copy of this photo hung in the Kelly home entryway, and I remember it well. Didn't know that it was their wedding portrait until recently when I added up the evidence!

Helen (Zeller) Kelly 1894-1985 and John Lee Kelly 1892 - 1969.
Photo taken in 1913.

They had six children and that was a big family to raise during the Great Depression. They endured through thick and thin, living in the house on Main Street in the little Western Maryland mountain town of Frostburg. Lee worked in the coal mines and later learned the barbering trade from his father-in-law, Gus Zeller who owned a booming barber shop in the main business district. There was a very small one chair barber shop out behind the house where Pop Kelly cut the miner's hair on Saturdays and it's still standing today.

We were living in Ohio in 1963 and I don't remember that we went to Frostburg for the anniversary party, but maybe we did. I was in high school and you know how that goes... all a blur now. I should go back and look at Mom's photo archive to see if there are any photos of the anniversary party.

The only new tid-bit that the article reveals are the names of the attendants or witnesses at the wedding: Mrs. Charles Newman and John Blake. Mrs. Charles Newman was Lee's sister Dora who was two years older than her brother. I checked Mom's Family Tree Maker file and it looks like Dora was still single when Lee and Helen married in 1913. She didn't wed Charles Newman until 1920. I have no idea who the mysterious Mr. Blake is. Guess I'll check the 1910 census for Eckhart, Allegany, Maryland to see if he pops up.

See what fun it is to sift through old newspaper articles?

About 1942.

With one of their grandchildren, my brother playing "got your nose", 1956.

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