Totally unexpected, rare artifacts from the farm of James Compton Sutton, Sr. for your viewing pleasure!
A little over a year ago I made two related posts, the first of which was titled, Rarer Than Rare. The subject was not only an astonishing photograph of James Compton Sutton, unseen by anyone in our town for probably over 100 years, but also an assortment of Sutton family and community related, images, documents and artifacts. I consider these two posts to be so amazing that I want you to take another look at them. You don’t have to read the whole thing but just so you appreciate what you are about to see.
This stuff is scarce, scarcer than scarce. Yet, here we are… able to view a few more important artifacts from the history of our town! And we never would have seen any of this were it not for the generosity of Ms. Laura Varilek. Thank you, Ma’am.
A little over three years ago I made a post titled, “The Thrill Is Not Gone.” (Apologies to BB King). The subject was a collection of images and artifacts from a Sutton descendant, Dan Shelton. Amongst them was only the second image I had ever seen of James Sutton, Sr. and his wife, Ann L. Wells. This knocked my socks off. It truly did. I just don’t expect to find things this rare.
Then, as I mentioned above, a little over a year ago, contact was made with another descendant of the Sutton family, Laura Varilek. Once again, I was blown away by the artifacts that she and her branch of the family have preserved. Included with them was this absolutely fabulous image of Sutton, Sr., the third known.
These three images of James, Sr. make a nice lead in to the most recent images that Ms. Varilek has generously shared. She is a great-great granddaughter of Sarah Wilgus Sutton Humphreys Harrison and a great-granddaughter of her daughter, Sarah S. Harrison Holmes. The next images are of a sterling silver hairbrush that belonged to one of those Sarah’s.
Ms. Varilek says that along with the hairbrush she found these other items at her parents home. Some have labels identifying them as having come from the farm of James C. Sutton.
These next three images go together so keep that in mind. I could have connected them with Photoshop but it might have reduced the size since it would have made a long horizontal image.
It will be hard to top that one. A branding iron once owned by the premier pioneer settler of our community! Holy smokes! It’s his initials. Followers of this site ought to know that James Sutton was, by trade, a blacksmith! He may have made this iron! Seriously, he could have but I doubt it. I suspect that by the time he was wealthy enough to be fielding these race horses, he most likely had someone else doing the iron work but you never know.
Thanks again to Laura Varilek for these amazing images. We truly appreciate your taking the time to photograph these items and sending us the images. If you would like to find a new home for these items, might I suggest the Missouri Historical Society that operates the History Museum in Forest Park. I’d be happy to connect you with someone there.
If you can, send something to help the poor folks in Ukraine.
Doug Houser April 11, 2022