Talk about hittin' the motherload. Today I was digging through the big box of photos I got from my parents' house -- the photos from my dad's side of the family. An only child, he passed away four years ago, but thankfully some of these pictures had been written on by his mother, so I have a decent idea who everyone is in most of them. I found a stockpile of early photos from my grandmother's childhood and from her parents' lives as well, several dating back to the later 1800's. And in that pile I found eight handwritten pages written by my great-grandfather regarding "The End of the Dalton Gang at Coffeyville, Kansas, October 5, 1892".
Seriously?! How cool is that? A personal tale about an up-close and dangerous experience with the infamous outlaws, Grat, Bob and Emmett Dalton and Bill and Jess Powers in good ol' Indian Territory. Get this -- when I looked at the article on Wikipedia about the Dalton Gang, that exact day was written about on the website. It's a little bit hard to read the writing on these pages, but from what I skimmed already I found out my grandfather was about 14 years old when the big shootout happened and was in a nearby town, but I guess he became interested in it as an adult and found a "full blood Indian" who was there to share the tale with him and then he wrote it all down.
So be on the lookout for a post from me in the near future when I type out the contents of the letter. He even signed his name at the end of the letter with his address and his Cherokee roll number and card number. Now that's the real Wild, Wild West, for ya'!
Anyway, on to the vintage photos for today. In the spirit of James Orville Stewart (my great-grandfather), here are some photos of him and his family. The majority of the photos were taken in Indian Territory. As always, click on them for a closer look...
This one was sometime around the turn of the century, I'm guessing. He was the 4th one in from the left.
This one, I am guessing, was sometime in the 1910's or early 1920's. James and his family -- his wife, Maud (or Maude, I'm not sure if it was with or without an "e" at the end), and my grandmother and children. My grandmother is the one on the left.
I'm not sure who all is in the picture here, but again, this was probably in the 1910's or 1920's, more than likely above the family farm. Seems like there were lots of family pictures taken at this particular rock outcropping. My grandmother is at the top, and I believe James is the man sitting down in the very front. Or else it's just a whole bunch of people I don't know. Haha.
My best guess for this one would be the 1940's or 1950's. I like how James looks in these two. And who doesn't love photobooths? Er, at least I'm assuming this was from a photobooth...
This one's probably a turn of the century one again, a picture of James on his farm. And I have no idea which one is James.
One more family picture up in the rocks -- my grandmother is on the left. She seems to be on the left a lot. Maybe that's where they always made her stand?