Found Photo of the Four Muffly Siblings!

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Wednesday, May 15, 1912: Besse was out this afternoon. We had sort of a sewing bee. Ma worked on my dress and Sis brought several along.

Left to right: Helena (seated), Besse, Jimmie, Ruth (circa 1912)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Yeah! I finally know what Besse looked like. I recently found a picture of all four Muffly children.  I think that it was taken about the same time as the diary. In 1912 Jimmie was 6-years-old, and I think that the boy in the photo looks about six.

This is the first picture that I’ve seen of Grandma’s oldest sister Besse. It’s fun to finally be able to picture what she looked like.

It’s also fun to see what the path toward the barn (or maybe some other farm building) looked like–and how the siblings arranged themselves for a group photo. It’s interesting how Jimmie is clinging to Besse, who was married and not living at home. She must have made a fuss over Jimmie when she visited. In April 1912 Besse had a baby who died shortly after birth. Maybe she transferred some of her maternal feelings to her little brother.

It’s also interesting how Ruth is standing a little separate from the others and has her hand on her hips. It reminds me of the times in the diary when Grandma refers to Ruth as “her highness.”

An aside–My brother helped me locate a small group of pictures (including this one), some old newspaper clippings, and related items that had been found in Grandma’s house after she died.

I’ve really been enjoying the newly found items, and look forward to sharing some more of the pictures and clippings over the next few weeks.

34 Responses

  1. Looking forward to seeing more of your newly found treasures. I can feel your excitement.

  2. What a wonderful photo! It’s always nice to finally put faces to names. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of your blog and your Grandma’s experiences. :)

  3. How wonderfully exciting tom have found this photo. You must be thrilled. Somehow Helena looks as she “should”.

    • They say a picture says a thousand words–but it’s interesting how words can also create an image that can be validated by a picture.

  4. That really is wonderful! So cute to see why your Grandma called Ruth ‘her highness’! What a great photo and treasure!

    • I really enjoy the way Grandma used terms like “her highness” to describe others in the diary. It really brings the personalities and relationships to life.

  5. Looking forward to seeing the newly found items. This is good picture of the four.

  6. How wonderful! It’s exciting to find new photos, especially of people you’ve not seen before. Enjoyed the details about each person.

  7. Ohhh… look-see!!! :-) What a fantastic photo. Please thank your brother, Sheryl.

  8. Kind of takes your breath away, eh? When I found my father’s discharge papers, with his thumbprint on it I cried. This job of ours, to preserve history, is not always easy.

    • You’re right–it did kind of take my breath away when I saw the photo. There are so many dead ends, and it is so awesome when something (which I didn’t even know exactly what it would be) is found.

      It’s not always easy to preserve history, but it is rewarding.

  9. Joy! It’s even exciting for those of us reading over your shoulder to see the faces.

  10. I’m so excited for you to have found this photo and other “goodies.” I can’t wait to see what other treasures you’ll share.

    • I am excited about the things I’ve found. Several of them fit in really well with diary entries over the next several weeks, so they’ll be spaced out.

  11. How wonderful to find “new” old pictures and newspaper clippings! So Jimmie was the poor little guy who suffered through the whooping cough. This picture makes me think of my father, who also had three older sisters – they say he was adored and he says he was smothered. :)

    • Interesting–I thought that Jimmie might have been spoiled since he was so much younger than the girls, but I never thought about whether he might have felt smothered.

  12. What a great family portrait! It wasn’t usual to smile for the camera in those days, but Grandma seems to have one hidden behind her hand.

    • I also think that it seems unusual the way her mouth is covered by her hand. I know that few photos were taken years ago–and you’d think that it would have been carefully posed. Since this is the photo that survived through the years, I assume that it was one of the better ones.

  13. Oh what a find for you Sheryl! I’m so excited for you and can’t wait to see what else you have come across. They say there’s alway a rebel amongst siblings ~ do you suppose that may have been Helena in her family? I’m going to visit the other links you mentioned now… :)

  14. How exciting to have found those pictures! I know you will enjoy mulling over those treasures. I’m enjoying your posts on the diary entries and look forward to seeing the photos.

    • I do enjoy the few additional photos that were found. Today people take so many photos. It seemed like it was so different a hundred years ago. They probably had relatively few photos–and some of those must have been lost over the years.

  15. I can’t read blogs for a couple of days and you find a new bunch of photos! Can’t wait to see the rest of them.

  16. It’s wonderful to have you back! Since I only have a few additional ones, I’ll be spacing them out over the next several weeks when they seem to fit well with a diary entry.

  17. What a wonderful treasure trove you’ve found! Thank you for sharing!

  18. Great picture!! Helena and Bessie look a lot alke — both with those gorgeous eyes.

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