Saturday, June 30, 2012

COG: Wading Beauties in the Willamette

Lillie Sizemore Kumm & chums in the Willamette River

When I first saw the theme for the July Carnival of Genealogy, this photograph immediately came to mind. After I hunted it up from my files, I realized they are not wearing swim suits, but I felt it still had the right feel to be considered for this edition of COG. This is one of several photographs that are part of a testament of family ties.

I will start with identifying the family ties: My grandmother, Amy, was the daughter of William Lewis Hardy and his wife Alice Samantha Lovelace. William Lewis Hardy was one of nine children born of Joshua L. Hardy and his wife Martha Sizemore, although three siblings died in infancy and two sisters died in young adulthood. Two of his surviving sisters were Bettie (who married William C. Gross) and Mary (wife of James L. Sadler). Bettie Hardy Gross (born 19 June 1858 in Sinking Fork, Christian County, Kentucky) was my grandmother’s aunt who had the autograph book I mentioned in my Christmas 2011 post.

There are over two dozen postcard photographs and snapshots in this group of photos which include our wading beauties. These were all sent to Bettie by her cousins, Lillie Elnore (Sizemore) Kumm and her sister Nora Helen (Sizemore) Quay. Lillie is the second woman from the left in the photograph. Her sister Nora is probably the third woman shown. The other two are unknown. 

"We are getting ready to go wading in the Willamette"

Lillie and Nora’s father was Winfield Scott Sizemore, the son of Daniel Campbell Sizemore and his wife Sarah Ann Colly. Daniel and Bettie’s mother, Martha, were siblings. Lillie and Nora’s mother was Sarah Ann Johnson, the daughter of John W. Johnson and his wife Hellen T. Hardy. Hellen and Bettie’s father were siblings. Therefore Lillie and Nora’s parents were double first cousins of Bettie’s.

Lillie and Nora’s father died in September of 1892 and their mother remarried William H. Nolen. They had one daughter together, Minnie L. Nolen. By 1915, this family left their hometown in Kentucky and migrated west to Oregon settling in Portland. But these photos show how close the family ties remained then and I am happy to be able to remember those ties here. 

"Putting our shoes and stockings on again"


  1. Oh my, these are fantastic pics!!! I love the dresses and the hats. It reminds us how people used to cool off back in the days before air conditioning. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and for participating in the COG!

  2. I love these photos, they are so different from what we usually see. Thanks for sharing them.

  3. Wow great photos! They even showed a little leg

  4. Glad you guys like these. They are pretty racy, huh? :)