Just a few of our fellow Maplewoodians ever hit the big time. Regular followers of this space will recall my series on famous Maplewoodians that wrapped up last July.
Aided by a powerful search engine driven by computers with speeds that were unimaginable just a few years ago, I was able to offer nearly incontrovertible evidence that Pee Wee Russell, the jazz clarinet virtuoso, was the most famous citizen of our fair town. He was followed closely by Paul Christman, a mere football god. Christman lived on Anna. I haven’t figured out Pee Wee’s address yet but I’m still trying.
Why bring this up now while we’re taking a look at the Fennell family trove graciously provided by Nancy Fennell Hawkins? These images of Nancy’s are just as important as the ones of Russell and Christman. Look closely. These are a window into our past. As close to a time machine as you can get. Everything was different. No air conditioning, no TVs, no cell phones, many homes had no phone at all, some homes had no interior plumbing. We can’t possibly know what it was like to live in those days. Maybe that’s where some of the fascination with these artifacts comes in? Thank you, Nancy, for letting us have a look back.
Excerpted from a recent letter of Nancy’s. Wonderful gal that she is, Nancy transcribed that diary of her father’s and included it in her book, I Remember When – Memories of Growing Up in Maplewood, Missouri 1936 – 1954. The book will soon be in the collection of historic material at our library. It’s good. I’ve read it.
Floyd Alonzo Fennell and his wife, Kate (Katherine Carpenter). Nancy’s grandparents. This photograph is in my first book on Maplewood history. The reprint is now titled, The First One Hundred Years, Maplewood MO – Volume One. Available at the Chamber. Is this an attractive couple or what?
The whole family on Dad’s Indian motorcycle. This image is also in my first book.
Nancy kindly includes the children’s names after they married. Her father was Robert W. I’m guessing but I think Jane Fennell Wolf was the grandmother of the long time Maplewood councilman, Fred Wolf who is no longer with us. RIP, Fred. Does anyone know if Evelyn was Helen Schall’s husband’s grandmother?
On the back, “Uncle Bud and Dad.” They may have been going fishing in Deer Creek.
And again. In this image a couple of homes are visible.
On the back of the first photo, “In wagon. Buddy Fennell & Daisy. Standing Jane Fennell Wolf and Robert Fennell. Circa 1911. On the back of the second photo, “Jane, Buddy, Dad – R.W. Fennell (smallest boy), Daisy – in the cart.”
Robert & Floyd (Bud) Fennell. Nifty bent wood chair behind them.
Nothing written on the back of this one.
On the back, “Gramma Kate Fennell, Jane, Buddy, Robert, Kate and Evelyn.
On the back, “Nessie & Will.” Agnes Jane (Nessie) Carpenter was the second child of six born in England to Jeanette Hakes and Robert Carpenter. Her father died in 1884. Her mother married Samuel Bland in 1885. She had two more children by Bland. (Sounds better than saying Bland children.) The blended family left Sunny Hill, England and came to St. Louis in 1891. Agnes Jane married William Clark. They had one son, Will, who died at age 5. The location of the house is unknown.
On the back, “Nessie’s husband, Ed.” Nice ride, Ed. His machine is from the Brass era, named for the generous use of brass fittings, lights and radiators, roughly 1896 – 1916. No clue as to the location of this photo, either.
On the back. “Greenwood – Aunt Nessie’s house.” Pay attention to the gable end with the single window not centered as you would expect.
Here is a close up from the prior image. Interesting trellises. The one on the right of the photo is designed to shade the windows in summer. That’s a good idea.
According to Nancy, “I believe this photo is of Robert & Daisy Carpenter & their daughter, Daisy. And probably at their home he built.” Robert William Carpenter was Nessie’s older brother. This is the same home shown in the two prior photos.
Nothing written on the back of this one. This looks like the home in the prior photos only now it has had an addition. Anybody in Greenwood recognize this one?
On the back, “This is Sam, Jeanette and Mietje Bland. Edgebrook.” Edgebrook was a community just west of Maplewood that no longer exists. It was located exactly where the Porsche, BMW, MiniCooper and Maserati dealers on Hanley are today. Hanley wasn’t extended south of Manchester until the early 70s. Some of the other streets that were there were Gerard, Coleman, Hyatt St., Weisberg Ave., Caroline, Bartold, Martin St., Keran Ave. and Birch Road.
They lived at 3220 something. That’s a good looking puppy.
Nothing written on the back of this one. The guy looks kind of like Nessie’s husband, Ed, don’t you think. I enlarged the dog sign a bit for you.
Nancy has mentioned that some of the Carpenters were carpenters strangely enough. This unidentified home may have been one of their projects.
These images should give you something to think about while I prepare the next installment of the Fennell, Bland, Carpenter family material. The next post will be dynamite as well. There are still very many interesting images to post.
I’ll sign off with this link to one of my earliest posts on 40 South News on Halloween 2013.
Doug Houser October 31, 2019