Maplewood History: Fennell Trove Contains Some Extraordinary Images – Part One

Nancy says, "In the very front sitting is Floyd Alonzo Fennell and my grandmother Kate sitting just to his left. Sam and Jeannette Bland are far right & Mietje is to Sam's left just behind the girls. The others are Carpenter boys and girls. The young fellow in front of Jeannette Bland may be Nessie's son who died very young.

Yep. You read that right.  Another trove of Maplewoodiana has come to light.  This time it is made available by the kindness, generosity and patience (waiting on me) of Nancy Fennell Hawkins.

For many decades Fennell family members lived in Maplewood. Nancy has done her family and us a great favor by producing her 224 page, hardbound book, I Remember When – Memories of Growing Up in Maplewood, Missouri 1936 – 1954. 

And, boy, remember she does.  This book is absolutely loaded with details and anecdotes from the lives of her family and friends. I have just finished reading it.  You can too because she is donating a copy to the Maplewood Public Library. You’ll be able to find it there just as soon as I am through using it for however many blog posts this takes.

Editing this book for my blog is a terrific challenge.  It contains so much of interest that there is just no way I can do it justice by excerpting from it.  Additionally she has provided many documents and photographs as well. Two of her photographs I regard as amongst the very few most important historically of all that I have seen regarding the history of our city.

The best way I can think of to ease into this trove she has sent is to publish an explanatory letter from her.  So here it is.

Hi Doug,

A little family history to help with some of these photographs.

Note: Jeannette Hakes was married to Robert Carpenter in England and they had 6 children, Robert William (Bill), Agnes Jane (Nessie), Percy John and Julian Henry (Juke) (twins),  Kate Evelyn and Jeanette Caroline (Janie) Carpenter. Robert Carpenter died in May 1884 in England. Jeanette married Samuel Bland in 1885 in England.

The Bland/Carpenter families left Sunny Hill, England in 1891 and came to St. Louis.  The family consisted of father, Samuel Bland, mother, Jeanette Caroline Carpenter Bland, Children Robert, Agnes, Percy, Julian (Juke), Kate and Jeanette Carpenter and Mietje Bland.  

The family lived in Maplewood and Webster Groves.  Later Samuel, Jeanette and Mietje moved to Bismarck, Missouri.

Robert William married Daisy Hall.  They had one daughter, Daisy.

Agnes Jane married William Clark.  They had one son, Will, who died at age 5.

Percy John married Amelia Traub.  They had no children.

Julian (Juke) did not marry.  He eventually moved to the farm in Bismarck/Irondale (sic) May mean Ironton.

Jeannette Caroline married Leo Moore. They had no children.

Kate Evelyn married Floyd Alonzo Fennell. They had 5 children, Jane, Floyd, Robert, Kate and Evelyn.

The reason for this information is because several of the married Carpenters built homes in Maplewood and possibly other places for their families. When Evelyn Wolf Callaway was living she drove us around and showed us homes in Maplewood that were built by the Carpenter boys. Unfortunately I didn’t get the addresses.  I am sending several pictures of homes that are not identified so don’t know their location. I miss Ev Callaway so much. She was our neighbor and had so much information about our families early days. Her, Dad, Fred Wolf, was my Uncle Jule Wolf’s brother.

Another interesting fact about the Carpenter/Bland families is that all of the husbands and wives of the Carpenters died young. So they all moved to the country where Mietje lived.  She never married. She looked after all her brothers on the farm until they died. The two girls, Nessie and Janie, also moved to the country. They had a new home built for them just down the lane from the farm.  Unsure who built their new home but I believe my Uncle Jule Wolf played a part in that.

Hope this is not too much information for you.  Just take what you need. And any other questions just let me know.

Nancy Hawkins.

Her book. Be sure and take a look at this. It has way more images than I’ll have room for here.
I don’t know where to start so let’s kick it off with this photo of Jeanette Caroline Bland.  I think this is the Jeanette who first married Robert Carpenter in England.  Then after his death, she married Samuel Bland.  Nancy, please straighten me out if I get this wrong.  The transparent sheet over the image has an interesting spider web design.
Here she is minus the web. I am stunned at how good some of these early photos are.
Nancy says, “In the very front sitting is Floyd Alonzo Fennell and my grandmother Kate just to his left. Sam and Jeannette Bland are far right & Mietje is to Sam’s left just behind the girls. The others are Carpenter boys and girls. The young fellow in front of Jeannette Bland may be Nessie’s son who died very young.”
Identities provided in the next image.
Nancy’s note. Typing is not my strong suit.
Nancy says, “This picture is of the Carpenter girls. Agnes Jane & Edwin Clark. Jeannette Caroline & Leo Moore & Jeannette Caroline Bland.” I suppose the dogs will remain nameless.

Nancy says, “I recognize Floyd Alonzo Fennell, back right, and Sam Bland, middle in hat. The others are the Carpenter brothers and their sisters husbands.”
Can you find Bill?
The back of the previous image. According to Nancy, “The Bill they’re talking about must be one of the younger men. My guess from the photo is he’s the one in the tie. Robert William Carpenter.”
Amelia and Percy Carpenter.
Uncle Julian (Juke) Carpenter.  Yes, it’s Juke.  That’s not a typo.  Julian and Percy were twins.
Three women and a Model T.
Four men, three rifles, one canoe and an axe.


Now do you think you’ve just seen some extraordinary photos?  Well, you have. But they are not the extraordinary photos that I refer to in the title.  Those will probably be in the next post.  I promise you they are rare and precious.

Speaking of rare and precious, I certainly appreciate everyone who reads these posts of mine.  I’m making a joke.  I have no idea how many of you are out there. Editor Miner has only ever mentioned how many clicks one particular post about the explosion got.  I was surprised.  I don’t ask because, truth be told, I don’t want that to become part of the impetus for producing this blog.  I want to publish what I think is interesting and appealing.  I don’t want to wonder why most of you did or did not think the same.  Doesn’t matter.

Much thanks to Nancy Fennell Hawkins for letting me copy all of these images.  They’re fantastic.  The best is yet to come.

Hope you are all enjoying this fall weather.

Doug Houser    October 24, 2019




  1. Interesting article. Thanks! I lived on the corner of Flora and Bartold when I was young and then my parents bought a home on the other side of Maplewood. I remember working at Sefton Can (CCA) with a Floyd Fennel in the early 70’s. I wonder if he was the one who graduated from MRH. Allan Frick

    • You’re welcome, Allan. I moved across the street from there in 1975. I remember the Container Corporation of America sign. I can’t answer your question but I would say it is highly probable.

  2. This arrived by email from reader Pickett. In the 50s into the 60s the Fennell kids, referred to here, lived across the street from my family on the 7300 block of Elm. Floyd, Judy, Dale and Bill were essentially raised by a hard working mom. SO looked up to those kids who were four siblings close in age just as my family kids were…just proportionately about 5 years older. Great young people in the day. I am unaware of their parents names but the kids names resonate with names in your article here!

  3. Doug and Nancy thanks so much for sharing your info and pictures with us. I am struck by a couple of things that I am beginning to try to see how I might become some sort of historian. Most of the pictures are not about large “wow” events like taken on the day of some disaster or a huge house fire. I am not saying the pictures are not interesting, they are and I love looking at them. Many of them seem to be just everyday events. Family gatherings, the new car, a picture in front of the blooming rose bush, I know I have some nice pictures of things that my family has done, things that we have seen around town that I have always thought were just too ordinary for anyone to be interested in. I am wondering if anyone else out there has thought of compiling a book or even sharing more of their pictures for others to see. We are looking at pictures that are 50 and 100 years old. Is anyone compiling or sharing a collection of today’s pictures for the next group of folks to look at in 50 years? I worry that we may be missing some pictures that we need to take now for those in the future to look at

    • You are welcome, Mark. I think the jury is still out on whether or not our digital images will still be around in 100 years. Or even 50. At present I have a very large number of digital images of Maplewood history. When I’m gone I want everything to go to our library. Right now this can be accomplished with a large capacity thumb drive. Then it will be up to the library to leapfrog these images as technology changes. Will they keep up with it? Who knows? I’d hate to think they wouldn’t because I have spent many years accumulating them. As for my personal images, they are almost certainly doomed. Unless my son or grandsons wants to pay a yearly storage fee just as I do.

      • Doug, I know what you are saying about someone else keeping the images going and around. I have experienced it first hand with my parent’s passing. I have been the main person to get the 10 or so photo albums and several boxes of pictures, newspaper clippings and funeral notices of family, friends and sometimes just the clipping that mom or dad thought was important. My other family members don’t seem very interested in them even if a family member is in the picture and really how many pictures of Dad on his tractor or with his prize cow or bull do you need. And we are really guessing that it is the prize cow bull because there is really nothing to indicate that. All I know for sure is that before they get tossed carte blanch I want to look thru them.

        It has made me want to make sure that I put some info on the back of some of my photos because I am still here and my mind is not too far gone and some of the pictures I look at and wonder who is that with me or where was that taken. I cannot imagine my kids knowing some of it. I thought that besides you that there was someone else doing some recording of Maplewood history in the present times.

  4. Wonderful Doug!! You got everything perfect. I have sent your link to several folks I still keep in touch with from my Maplewood days. Thanks again, I really appreciate all you do.

    • Thank you, Nancy Fennell Hawkins, for sharing with all of us your excellent family memorabilia. We’re just getting started. There will be at least one more post shortly. Probably two. I’m happy that you like this.

  5. We lived on Rannells Ave for 13 years when I got out of the Army in 1965. I’ve heard the property across the street from us was owned by the Fennells . There was no apartment bldg there at the time we moved in.
    I also remember a Floyd and Judy(?) Fennell from M-RH. Class of 58.

    • Stay tuned, Don. There will be information on that Fennell property on the NE corner of Rannells and Laclede Station Road. I don’t have any information on the Fennells in the class of ’58 at M-RH. Nancy would probably know if she sees this.

  6. Absolutely love all these old photos and history, even though I have no direct connection with these people or this area.

    • Glad to have you onboard, catmum. It is awfully nice of you to weigh in with such a positive message. What is your area?

      • I live in Crestwood now, since late 2015. I’m a now elderly military brat; moving every few years has been my life, so no place really feels like home. I spent a few years trying to homestead in the very southern Missouri Ozarks in the late ’70s, and my paternal grandmother was born on Dog Creek, Missouri (near Gallatin) in 1890. I still feel a deep connection with her, and her stories of that early life have always resonated with me.

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