Davis (3), Derosier, & Dexter
By Don Taylor
This week for Photo Friday, I look at identifying five more negatives from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The names on the envelope are of the individual who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, I try to analyze the photo and information to positively identify the people in the photographs.[ii]
Mary Derosier (1914-1994)
The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Mary Derosier – State St Hospital, Portland #743.”
The 1930 Census indicates a 15-year-old Mary H. Derosier lived in Berlin, Coos County, New Hampshire. She was born in New York and was the daughter of Peter (age 51) and Elizabeth (age 51) Derosier.
Likewise, the 1936 City Directory for Berlin, New Hampshire indicates Mary H. Derosier, a nurse, living at 800 Second Ave, the same address as Peter D.Derosier.
Further research indicates that Mary married Howard C. Plummer, Jr., on 25 April 1938 in Maine. Mary Helen (Derosier) Plummer died on 3 June 1994.
I was not successful in finding Mary Helen (Derosier) Plummer nor her parents in Family Search. However, I did find her identified in 8 trees on Ancestry.
Donald Davis (1907-1972)
The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. Donald Davis – 51 Jackson St, Portland #503.”
The 1940 Census shows Donald W. Davis living at 51 Jackson Street with his mother, Flora E. Davis. Donald was 32 and working as a meat cutter.
The 1930 Census shows Donald W. Davis, a 23-year-old musician, living at 51 Jackson Street with his parents James W. and Flora E. Davis.
Family Search finds him to be ID: LYT1-9JG. I added this photo to his Memories section.
Four children of Hartley A. & Mary T. Davis of Portland, Maine.
The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. H A Davis – 269 Ray St. Portland # 861.”
The 1940 Census shows Hartley and his wife Mary and their four children, Jacqueline, Robert, Sterling, and Caroline living at 269 Ray Street.
There is no doubt this is them, Robert, Caroline, Jacqueline, and Sterling (left to right).
Sterling has a profile on Family Search, LYBT-G8V. I’ve uploaded the photo there.
Child of Max & Evelyn (Stein) Davis – Photo circa 1936
The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Max Davis – 155 Dartmouth St., Portland.” The negative also says “News” and “Mail Proofs c/o Mrs. Jno Stein, 36 Surfside Rd, Lynn, Mass.”
The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Max D. Davis living at the Falmouth Hotel. Page 274 of that directory is not in the Ancestry image set, so the location of Evelyn is unknown.
1937, 1938, and 1939 Portland City Directories list Max D. Davis with his wife, Evelyn S. living at 286 State, Apt. 3.
The 1940 Census has Max with his wife and two daughters, Bernice I. and Joseph A., ages 13 and 8 respectively. Note: although Max is listed at 72 years-old in the 1940 Census, that is in error. He is 32 in the 1930 Census.
Max’s wife’s maiden name was Stein, so sending proofs to her family in Massachusetts makes sense.
The photo appears to be of a boy about 4 or 5 years old. That age fits to be Joseph, assuming he is a boy and not a girl as the 1940 Census suggests.
There is not a profile for Joseph in Family Search. There appear to be 3 family trees on Ancestry which have Max and Evelyn (Stein) Davis. I will contact each of them and let them know when this posts.
Muriel Loretta (Simmons) Curtis Dexter’s children
Barbara, Ruth, & Walter Curtis and Stanley Dexter – c. 1935
The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. C. S. Dexter – 61 Hampshire St. #1070.”
The 1940 Census shows Carroll Dexter and his wife Marril living in Portland with their five children, Barbara (11), Ruth (9), Walter (8), Stanley (4), and Marchia. Marchia was a baby, only two months old, and wouldn’t have been in the photo. Barbara, Ruth, and Walter are all step-children with the surname of Curtis. Stanley was 4 during the 1940 Census. The baby in the photo appears to be under a year (probably 6 to 8 months).
Carroll Stanley Dexter Jr. was born on 26 May 1935 to Carroll Stanley Dexter and Muriel Loretta Simmons. So, I’m certain the baby in the photo is him. Muriel was married before to Walter Stewart Curtis (1895-1961). She had several children with him including Ruth Pendleton Curtis (1930-2006).
On Family Search, Muriel Loretta Simmons is ID GQNB-VQS
I have posted a second copy of the children to my Flickr account.
- Six identifications where I could post to Family Search.
- Two identifications where I could contact other researchers.
If any of these photos are of a family member, I would love to hear your reaction.
[i] The Wight Studio was in Portland, Maine. Many thanks to Ethel Wight’s family for access to and permission to use the collection of their great aunt.
[ii] These images were converted to positives using a lightbox, a Nikon camera, and computer software.