There are those days, where you just know it was meant to be. I had one of those last week. When I was on my way to let my mothers-in-law’s dog out because she was out of town, I saw a sign. It was a sign for an estate/garage sale.
I had passed this house and property many times over the last 10 years and I always wondered about the person who owned it. He has antique tractors in the front pasture and the house is so far back on a long narrow drive that it’s almost impossible to see from the road. And, here was my opportunity to be nosey…or rather, finally squelch my curiosity.
I was not disappointed. The man who has lived there for 30 some years was friendly, hospitable and did have a lot of items for sale. I wandered around for about 30 minutes and most of the items were not my “thing”. But, I found one single box of my “thing”. There were cabinet cards, tintypes, and snapshots.
These all were in that box. Each is stamped Corsicana, Texas by the various photography studios. These include A.L. Richardson, E. Frey, Harper, C.A. Rankin, and Chalmers. Corsicana, Texas is in Navarro County. It’s about 2 hours west of where these were found.
As I was told, these are from a family tree that ended with two siblings — a brother and a sister. Neither one had married nor had any children. The family planted new roots in Henderson in the 1930s. The reason that the family moved was that in the 1930s a new oil field was discovered that included Henderson, Kilgore, and Longview. The family followed the oilfield work from Corsicana- where an oil field was discovered in 1894. The family lived in Henderson in the same home until recent years.
That is where I come into the story. Through many twists of luck and timing, these photographs were there when I was there and now they are here for us all to share in the history and story that they can tell us about this East Texas family.
There is only one with any handwriting on it. I am only able to make out a few words. What I can decipher “Mrs. Katie Richard Corsicana, Texas C.S. Derusha Corsicana, Tx”. There are also some numbers written and stamped on the back.
Further research into who this family was is needed, but I was so excited about this find that I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to share these great images.