Friday’s Faces from the Past: A Mystery (Partially) Solved!

I put up a post back in December about these strange people with my great-grandfather. The woman with him is named as Grandma Wilson, which didn’t make any sense because his grandmothers never had that last name.

Well, I emailed my great-aunt, and asked why her dad was there with these strange people. I got a sad story in response. According to my aunt, her grandpa Gard (my 2x great-grandfather) fell apart after his wife, Fanny, died from influenza in 1919 and he turned to alcohol. He just couldn’t take care of Glenn, my great-grandpa, and the Wilson’s took him in. I’m not sure if they took in all three boys or just Glenn but I’d imagine they took in all three boys.

Later, Gard got worse with drinking, especially after Jack, the youngest boy died in a car accident. Glenn kept trying to get Gard work and he would visit Glenn now and then for a hot meal. My grandpa told me he didn’t know that man was his grandpa at the time so I imagine Gard was sent home with food but not invited to stay.

Gard didn’t meet a good end and although his death was never investigated, the family believes his drowning was because of unpaid debts.

Anyway, so this kind woman and her family took the boys in after their mother died. My great-grandpa was such a loving, goofy, friendly guy that I have a hard time imagining such a painful past for him. From the picture I posted in December, it seems like he was well taken care of by these kind people.

I still have more to investigate – like how long did they stay there? Did all three boys stayed? And what happened to them afterwards? Such is the way with this research! You find one answer and get lots more questions :)


304 Wilson's

Categories: Discovery, Photo, WITHERELL+ | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Friday’s Faces from the Past: A Mystery (Partially) Solved!

  1. My grandparents were foster parents for many years. It would be interesting to figure out who any of those girls were. Only one became “part of the family.” It seems like that would be a hard type of situation to track down, as there wouldn’t necessarily be records for it.

    • NikiMarie

      I agree! I figured I’d find out what I can with records since I know their names at least. Maybe I could get led to someone who knew of the situation and can give me stories or whatnot – that would be the best case scenario anyway :)

  2. I love this post! We were a foster family for a while and LOVED our foster children. How wonderful that the Wilson’s took Glenn in. I’m glad you got some answers.

    • NikiMarie

      I love that! It made me feel good that someone cared for him when his dad couldn’t :)

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