Maplewood History: My Own Family Story – Part Five – The Reunions


As most of the followers of this space are aware, I began posting about my own family history earlier this year before our 40 South News website crashed. We are back up and running again.  The long hot summer, my favorite time of the year, is over.  I’ve no more excuses so here we go again.

To refresh your memory or just give you an idea of what has happened so far, my maternal grandfather, Lowell Hobart Jackson and his future wife, Ora Marguerite Layman both lived on farms when they met.  The Jackson’s farm was in Missouri and the Layman’s was just across the Arkansas border near Lafe.

I guess that the lure of the city was very strong for my grandfather or maybe for both of them.  Apparently, from the photographic evidence anyhow, they wasted no time in moving to St. Louis soon after they married on January 16, 1920.  My mother, Dolores Jane Jackson, was born on November 20, 1921. Most of our early photographs of her were taken in the yard of their home at 7329 Elm in Wellston but the ones in this post were not.

Towards the end of her life, my Mother discovered a pile of old negatives that had never been printed.  I went through some of them with her but there still are quite a few that I know little to nothing about.  What is obvious is that she and her parents made three, maybe four, trips to be reunited with their families on their farms.

A trip of that distance in those days was quite an undertaking.  I imagine that they traveled on trains but they may have driven their own car on at least one of those trips.

Since this is Part Five, in case you missed them or would like to review them, I’ll attach the links to the earlier posts at the end of this one.

This is my mother’s handwriting on this image.  Her mother, Ora Layman is on the left. her favorite aunt, Bunah, is seated on the grass in the light colored outfit.  Her sister, Katie, is next to her in the dark one.  Her Aunt Verna is in the middle in the rear. Her father, Lowell Jackson, is on the right.  Bob must be the dog.

This may be a very early photo of my mother in my grandmother Ora’s arms, standing on the very far right but I’m not sure.

On the left are Katie and Harry holding Ida. Ora is in the black dress holding my mother, Dolores Jane Jackson. Judging by the size of my mother, I would imagine that the year is 1922. Aunt Verna is on the right.

A whole mess of Laymans. L to R: Aunt Katie. My grandmother, Ora. Standing in front of her is my mother who would be three years old in December.  In the middle, Grandpa Layman, who Mama loved.  Aunt Verna and Aunt Bunah, who she also loved, on the far right.

I believe this barn is on the Layman’s farm.  Mama said that the Laymans were more prosperous than the Jacksons.

A closeup.

My great grandpa, James Allen Layman, holding my mother.  Her cousin, Ida, is standing next to them.  This image was probably made in 1922.

Orah Marguerite Jackson nee Layman milking a cow thought to be on the family farm outside of Lafe, Ark. This is written on the photo. I have seen my grandmother’s name spelled with and without the H.  I think without is the most common.

Also, probably from the 1924 reunion, my mother is on the left.  She’s with her cousins, Harry and Ida Layman.

Mama is on the left in this image.

From the same batch of negatives, this image is obviously a little younger than the others. I’m bad at this but I’ll guess that she’s 5 or 6 in this photo.  1927 or 1928.

This undated image is of the Jackson family.  I’m guessing the location is their farm.  My grandfather, Lowell Hobart, is on the right.

My mother is on the right.  She is seen here with her grandfather, John Lee Jackson, and all of his grandchildren except Dickie.  The date on this one is 1932.  Mom was about 10.

This image is dated 1931.  It shows John Lee Jackson with his second wife and two of their children.

I’ve nothing to add. At the moment, I’m drawing a blank on Aunt Lucille’s connection to the rest of the family.

My mother is on the left.  She always went by Jane. Marie is her father Lowell’s half-sister by his father’s second wife. it’s confusing.

We have a photographic record of my mother at three, maybe four, of these family events.  How did they get there?  Well, they drove their own car, an Essex, to at least one of them.

This image was made in the early 1930s. The car was a 1924 Essex.  Mama said she remembered that the car had eisinglass curtains that could be put up if it rained.  If the water came out of the sky, they were prepared.

But if the water was on the ground, maybe not!  You can bet that not every stream crossing had a bridge in those days.

Look closely at the aftermarket luggage rack that attached to the running board.

I realized I have had it in my garage probably since my grandfather passed in the early 1980s.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  I’ve been trying to get it out for some time now.  I know I promised to link to my four other posts about my family but I’m tired.  I’ll add those in a day or so.

We are having many beautiful fall days.  I hope you get time to enjoy them.

Doug Houser    October 23, 2023








  1. How different and how close in time life was back then. It took so much effort just to hook up a horse team for farm work or to travel. They had little to no electric, no air conditioners, no pre prepared food, no tv, no computers, world travel meant long steamship journeys, primitive medicines, etc., etc.. In the photo of the horse team at the barn entrance it appears that the barn was still being constructed as the roof in the rear is missing. Going through images of the past can be an emotional ordeal as well as requiring a detective’s brain in trying to figure out where, who and what is shown. I went through several large boxes of photos after my mom passed. Three years later, multiple letters and phone calls and a few hundred dollars for copying and sending away materials a photographic genealogy was assembled————-WHEW!!!

  2. Loved the photos, Doug, especially the grandfather with 12 grandchildren, but not Dickie. And the car in the river. How amazing that you have that apparatus in your garage. You are fortunate to have so many images of your mother and her family.

    • Thank you, Margaret. I agree. We are very lucky to have so many historic family photos. I had no recollection of where that luggage contraption came from. Just recently I realized that we had a photograph of it on my grandparents car!

  3. Love the pictures Doug. Great family memories. Reminds me that I still have a lot of photos to review and remember, and time is going by pretty quickly. Going through old stuff when you are 87 becomes harder each year. But I sit a dream a lot – so many memories. Thanks so much for all you do. It is very important and appreciated. Take care of you!!

    • You are very welcome, Nancy. Thank you for all you have contributed to this space. The Fennell family has a fascinating past as well. It’s always good to hear from you.


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