Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Fan and an Old Photograph

Orel Pearl Williams (1870-1962),
wife of G. A. Britton, was my grandmother.

Pearl Williams, wife of G. A. Britton -- 1928
This photo was made just prior to their 40th wedding anniversary.

I knew the pretty white-haired lady as Grandma Britton; others called her Pearl. I frequently accompanied my father when he went to visit Pearl and George. My first visit was when I was just a baby. They were living then in southeast Missouri, in Ripley County, near the Arkansas line. My very first memories are associated with my second visit there when I was three years old. They are enhanced by a photograph made by my aunt at a family picnic.

Years later when the Brittons returned to the home area of their youth in Henry County, Iowa, it's the living room that I remember. It was overflowing with photographs and memorabilia; the associated stories appealed to me. On one particular visit, Grandma Britton brought out a photograph for my dad and gave me a lovely fragile fan.  Now, both are in my possession. The occasion at which the photo was made was a 4th of July celebration during their courtship. Pearl was prepared for the sun and heat with her parasol and the fan in her lap.

Pearl Williams and G. A. Britton, 4 July 1888

The couple wed on New Year's Day, 1889. When they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, I was one of the many guests. I was much impressed with the elaborate anniversary cake, and to this day have a well-preserved tiny frosting bird that was on my own piece of the cake.

--genieBev (Genealogy Beverly)
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