For many months now, I have wondered if I would ever see a photo of my maternal Great Grandmother, Rosa Emma Slack. According to family members I have talked to, they didn’t know of any. A contributing factor to the lack of photos of the Slack family may be a fire that destroyed a portion of John William and Rosa’s home.
According to Kathryn Ann Whitehead Tilley, of Destin Florida (another new cousin), her mother (Ruth Kathryn Slack Whitehead) recounted some of the details of the fire. As Kathryn recalls:
Mother said John and Ellsworth ran out in only their nightshirts. My mother and father were already married at the time, but Mother lost a fur coat and other clothes stored there in the fire. The fire started from the wood stove [used] for heat. [There was] no electricity yet at that time out in the country just off East Sunshine.
Kathryn also believes the fire destroyed a significant quantity of photos and other personal possessions.
Fortunately, at least one photograph survived the decades and recently came to my attention. Thanks to my new found cousin, Linda Carter Wirz, I can now share an image of Rosa! The photo above is Rose sitting on the porch of her home in Springfield, Missouri in 1935. She was 56 at the time.
Linda also graciously provided a shot of Rosa’s husband John W. Slack (below), taken in 1948 at Aunt Monday’s house in Springfield. I just learned that “Monday” was the nickname of Amanda Jane (Slack) Mauch, John and Rosa’s oldest daughter. By the way, that’s only the third photo of I have ever seen of my great grandfather.
To round out this presentation, I will offer one from my collection that I have had for many years. The photo below shows my Grandfather Ellsworth W. Slack (right) and his next oldest brother John W. Slack Jr. standing on the same porch that Rosa was photographed. Given their ages, this shot was probably snapped sometime in the late 1920’s.
I imagine that porch was where everyone in the family had their pictures taken at one time or another. In fact, later in his life, my grandfather would typically have all his children and grandchildren line up for mandatory family photographs on, you guessed it—front porches. I suppose it’s possible this shows a family tradition in the making!