The Whitcraft family scrapbook spans six decades and newspaper clippings dominate its content. The material which makes up its early years (circa 1892) consists primarily of excerpts from the local newspapers. The early content contains songs, poems, and literature which later gives way to obituaries, historical commentaries, and family reunions. All are pasted to the pages of an old ledger. The location of many of the articles found within center around Holton, Kansas, but a part of the Whitcraft family resided in Atoka, Oklahoma.
The pages of the scrapbook are large and fragile (late 1800's and 1900's newspapers tend to become increasingly brittle with age). In terms of logistics it will be easier to show small portions of the scrapbook. The Cornelius promotion pictured left, or the Ambrose Bierce "hoax" discussed in an earlier article, are examples. In all honesty, although pages of poems provide insight into the scrabook creator's interests, they would also prove somewhat redundant for our readers. (Poetry lovers fear not, I will try to include the poems that are not under copyright in the blog section of Passed Time).
Either George Eli Whitcraft (June 28, 1872-July 13, 1954) or his wife may have been the original creators of the scrapbook.* The scrapbook was continued after both Mary Catherine and George Eli Whitcraft's deaths for their obituaries are also in the scrapbook. The earliest date written in the scrapbook, 1892, suggests the project began with one of the parents even if a Whitcraft child continued it after their father's death.
The newspaper clippings represent items of interest to at least one of the Whitcraft family members. In this case, the clipping comes not from a newspaper, but perhaps a pamphlet. It announces the promotion of M. R. Cornelius. I have been unable to trace "M. R. Cornelius" or his firm or occupation. Nevertheless, he was important to the person who crafted the scrapbook. In an announcement for a Whitcraft family reunion in 1937, a Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Cornelius and a Mr. and Mrs. Wes Cornelius of Holton, Kansas were mentioned as having attended. Obviously, a connection between the two families exists and hopefully a reader can fill us in.
Until then, check back for more entries of the Whitcraft Scrapbook. Best, Pat
*Errata: Originally, I had written that G.E. Whitcraft was married to Edna Dickerson as per information gathered here. As I was going through the scrapbook trying to get ideas for layouts, I was a little shocked to come across the obituary for G.E. Whitcraft's wife...Mary Catherine Oldweiler. According to her obituary, the couple married on September 1, 1897. After an illness, Mary Catherine Oldweiler Whitcraft died on August 23, 1928. If this is the same G. E. Whitcraft, perhaps he remarried? Furthermore, at a later date (June 2, 2016), I read G.E.'s obituary which clearly states he was married to Edna Dickerson on May 5, 1937. The children listed in both Oldweiler's and G.E. Whitcraft's obituaries are the same, so he must have remarried. Pat
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