Old Photographs Hint at Forgotten Stories

Posted on: Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

A woman from Minnesota sent a number of older photographs and tintypes to the library.  They had been given to her by a man from Madison County, but the subjects were not her ancestors and she thought the library might like to have them for our collection, which we did.  Investigating the lives of the people pictured has been interesting and a little emotional.

The most arresting of these images is of an infant that looks to be about 4 months old dressed in a long white dress and lying on some sort of fur.  According to the accompanying information, she was Ruby Louise Scott, the daughter of S. Edward Scott and Effie Hoppes Scott, and she  died when she was a little over 9 months old. 

That such a beautiful child should have died at such a young age, as so many children did a century ago, is sad.  It is made even sadder by the fact that the 1910 Census shows that the parents, who had married in the first part of 1908, were no longer living together. By 1920 they are listed as divorced.  It appears they had no other children and that neither of them remarried.

Another photograph is marked with the name Derilus Sigler.  The Sigler name shows up early in the history of Madison County. Jacob Sigler and his family came from Virginia around 1828 and settled in the Frankton area. His son William was the father of Viana Sigler Scott, who was the wife of Amos Hiram Scott and the mother of S. Edward Scott, little Ruby’s father.

We haven’t been able to discover the relationship of Deralis, even with variations of spellings, to Viana and the other Sigler’s.  The 1880 census lists him as 26 years old and a farmer in Lafayette Township, married to Lydia J., age 22.  They weren’t married long however.  She died on January 2, 1881 and is buried with a large and ornate tombstone in the Sigler Cemetery near Frankton. Perhaps Derilus meant to be buried next to his bride.  If so, it doesn’t appear to have happened. When he died in 1915 the informant on his death record did not know when he was born, the name of his wife, or who his parents were.  They must have known, or suspected, he was from Frankton because that is where he was buried, but the records don’t mention the Sigler Cemetery.  We haven’t been able to determine where he was or what he was doing between 1880 and 1910.

If any of the Siglers, Hoppes, Richwines, Pruetts, or anyone else knows anything about any of these and people we would love to hear from you.

And if anyone has old family pictures they would like to share with us we would love to hear from you as well. 

comments powered by Disqus