Monday, March 1, 2010

Inside the Hat Store

Last week I posted a picture showing the outside of my ggg-grandmother's millinery shop.  Today's picture is of the inside, as well as a family portrait.  The photograph is not labeled so there was some investigative work to do before I could name the people.  The "investigative team" was made up of my mom, her sister, and myself.  We aren't professionals, but I think we hit the correct identifications.  Having the twins in the picture was a huge help!  My mother also recognized her grandfather, Louis, as a child which helped a lot, too!

There is no date on the photograph, but the twins, Edith and Ethel, standing in their plaid dresses, helps to give an approximate year when it was taken.  Their birth year was 1890, and I think they look about three.  

That's their brother, Louis, standing to the left.  He must have been about five or six years old.  His grandmother, Catherine Thill Becker, is seated next to him while her son, Nicholas, Jr. is standing behind her.  I'm not absolutely sure, but it is logical that the lady next to Nicholas, Jr. is his wife, Anna Beyersdoerfer Becker.  She and Nicholas were my great great grandparents and the parents of Louis and the twins. 

The older gentleman sitting next to the twins is most likely Nicholas Becker, Sr., husband of Catherine.  We do not know for sure who the lady standing in the right corner behind him is, but I have my guesses.  I think she might be Anna's sister, Flora.  In the 1900 census, Flora is listed as a milliner.  She and Anna were very close right up to their deaths, having died only months apart.

The store seems quite small and crowded.  In later years, it would become a living area for the Becker family once the store, at that location, was closed.  Looking at all the cases and mirrors, I can just imagine the ladies of Ripley coming in to pick out the ribbons and other notions to adorn their hats.  

I'd like to thank my cousin, Nick Renneker, and his sister, Patsy, for sending me the pictures of the hat store.  We share Nicholas and Anna as their great, and my great-great, grandparents, yet only came to "find" one another last year through   It truly pays to share your family history through genealogy sites such as Ancestry, Footnote, Genealogybank, etc.  You never know who and what will come your way!   

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