Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

George Wales Wilcox: A Photo and a Question

A snapshot from the Alice Wilcox Collection is identified as Mr. and Mrs. Rake, Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox, and Miss F. Smith in Rialto, California, dated 20 October 1915. George Wales Wilcox, in the middle, died January 18, 1916, only three months after this photograph was taken.

Alice saved the newspaper clipping of his obituary. It's not dated or sourced, but doubtless appeared in the Rockford Morning Star on January 19, 1916.
Alice also kept the paper below, which appears to be the minister's text for George's funeral.

I found a transcript of George's last will and testament online:

There was an unidentified portrait in the Alice Wilcox Collection. (Well, there are a lot of unidentified photos in the AWC, but we're only going to look at one right now!) The actual image measures 3.75" x 5.25" and is mounted on a backing card almost 7" x 11". The card is stamped with the name of the photographer, Gibson Sykes Fowler of Chicago. The earliest reference that I could find to this photographer was 1906. According to George's obituary, he'd been living in California for four years, so I would date the photo below to sometime between 1906 and 1911. Comparing it with the identified snapshot at the top of this post, and because it seems possible to me that Alice would have had a portrait of her grandfather, I was inclined at first to identify this portrait as George Wales Wilcox. But on second thought, George would have been 72 in 1906, and even if the photographer was a master at touch-ups, I don't think this man appears to be 72 years old.

Gibson Sykes Fowler is said to have been still in business in the 1920s. If this photo was taken that late, it could be Howard Pettis Wilcox, George's son, who was born in 1877. Howard's WWI draft registration indicates that he had brown hair and blue eyes, but there is no identified photo of him to compare this one with, and I haven't found any evidence so far that Howard ever lived in Chicago. So it's possible this man is from Alice's mother's side of the family, perhaps a Williamson or a Williams. Any assistance from someone who recognizes this handsome man would be most appreciated. Please use my Contact form to open up a discussion with me.

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Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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