Photo Friday – Dennett (née Parks), Kunkle, & Wight

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 156
By Don Taylor

Last week’s attempt to organize these into separate articles didn’t work. So, I’m returning to one posting for the week’s photo packages. I analyzed five more envelopes from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i] this week. The envelopes typically contain the name of the person who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. I analyze the pictures and information to identify the individual therein.[ii] Ultimately, my goal is to reunite the photos with family members who may have never seen the image.

Rev. Dr. Edward C. Kunkle, 1941.

The envelope this negative was in says, “Dr. E. Kunkle – Taken by Mr. van Tassell-1941.” The images appear to be of a man in his 60s or 70s.

Photo of Dr. Edward C. Kunkle.
Rev. Dr. Edward C. Kunkle.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1939 & 1941 Biddeford City Directories list Rev. Edward C (Blanche) Kunkle living at Ocean Park; their permanent address is 33 Oneida av Mt Vernon, NY. He is the only Kunkle in the directory.
  • An Edward C Kunkle was residing & working in Portland and had an M.D., D.D.S., & a D.V.M. and belonged to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. His employer was Edward C Kunkle.
  • The Wilkes-Barre Time Leader reported on 17 Oct 1941 that Rev. Dr. Edward C. Kunkle died at his home, 33 Oneida Ave., Mount Vernon. He was 71.

I believe this photo is of Rev. Dr. Edward Charles Kunkle, taken in 1941.

Ancestry has 50 public trees that refer to Rev. Dr. Edward Charles Kunkel (1870-1941). Family Search has profile LJBG-NZ5 for Edward C Kunkle (1870-1941). I uploaded this photo of Rev. Kunkel to his Family Search Memories.

Virginia Parks Dennett – Dec 1941

Photo of Virginia Parks Dennett.
Virginia Parks Dennett

This negative envelope says, “Virginia Parks Dennett – Dec 1941 – OOB-Married Saco Dennett.” The photos in this package include two young women in their late teens or early 20s.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The Old Orchard Beach High School Yearbook for 1940 photo of Virginia Parks is clearly the same young woman as in this photo[iii].
  • Virginia married Harrison A Dennett on 19 July 1941 in Old Orchard Beach.
  • The 1940 US Census lists 18-year-old Virginia living with her parents, Arthur & Bertha Parks. Also in the household is Virginia’s sister, 14-year-old Barbara.
Photo of two young women, one is Virginia Parks Dennett
Unknown woman and Virginia Parks Dennett

I am confident one of the young women in this photo is Virginia L Parks (1921-1946). I believe the other woman is Virginia’s sister, Barbara M Parks (1925-2011); however, I am not confident about this identification. It could just be a close friend.

Virginia Lee Parks is found in 6 Ancestry public trees. Barbara M Parks, daughter of Arthur & Bertha Parks, appears in 4 public trees on Ancestry.

Family Search has profiles G31Z-YYR for Virginia and G31Z-R4J for Barbara. I uploaded a photo of Virginia to her Family Search Memories. I did not upload any photos of Barbara. I’d love to hear from you if you can confirm it is Barbara and not just a friend of Virginia’s.

Leora La Fond (Hart) Wight and Ruth E Wight circa 1925.

Photo of Leora La Fond (Hart) Wright, circa 1925.
Leora La Fond (Hart) Wright

This negative envelope says, “ Ethel Wight – 78” and contains three photos: an elderly woman, that woman holding a young girl (age 7-10), and a backyard with trees. From the pictures I’ve seen, this did not look like Ethel Wight, so her name on the envelope perplexed me.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • I contacted a descendant of Ethel Wight. She was pretty sure she knew who was in the photos but wanted to double-check with some cousins. Shortly afterward, she got back to me to confirm this woman was Leora Hart Wight, Ethel Wight’s mother, and the child was Ruth Wight.
  • Ruth E Wight was born on 28 October 1915 in Old  Orchard Beach. The child looks to me to be about 10 in this photo, so I estimate the photo was taken about 1925.
Photo of Leora La Fond (Hart) Wight holding Ruth E Wight, circa 1925.
Leora La Fond (Hart) Wight holding Ruth E Wight.

This photo is of Leora La Fond (Hart) Wight (1854-1935) taken about 1925. Also in the packet is a photo of Leora holding Ruth E Wight (1915-1980).

Ancestry has 48 public trees that refer to Leora la Fond Hart. Ruth E Wight (later Durant) is found in 28 Ancestry public trees.

Family Search has profile K265-5MD for Leora L. Hart, wife of Eugene Milton Wight. It also has profile GMTL-59T for Ruth Esther Wight. I uploaded one photo of Leora to her Family Search Memories. The photo of Ruth isn’t very clear, so I only include it here.  

“Mrs. Woodward’s Dog – 1945”

I could not identify the person in this fourth photo packet by only the name “Mrs. Woodward.” It is a nice photo of a dog (boxer?). Possibly, someone can identify the buildings in the background. It is probably in the Ocean Park or Kinney Shores area.

Building near beach & an unknown young child.

This negative envelope says, “Saco, Me – Kinney Shores – Porter Hall – 1950.”

I found this photo packet confusing. Kinney Shores is a neighborhood in Saco, Maine. Porter Memorial Hall is a building in nearby Old Orchard Beach. It was built to support the Baptist Conferences held in Old Orchard Beach. The package included two photos. One is of a two-story building near the ocean/beach. The second photo is of a young child (probably about 3 or 4 years old) with no identifying information.

Photo of a young child.

Hopefully, someone can identify the building or possibly the child. If so, please contact me.

Photo of a building near the beach.


I identified three of five individuals in these photo sets. All three have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded their images to their Family Search Memories. Two of the individuals I am not entirely confident about so I only included their photos here. I also included a picture of a dog and a building.

I would love to hear your reaction if any of these photos are of your family member. Especially if this photo is of a loved one for whom you hadn’t seen this photograph before.

Due to software limitations, the images uploaded to Family Search, Dead Fred, and Flickr have higher quality than those linked here.

For all postings of the Ethel Wight Collection, please see here.


[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.

[iii] “Ancestry.Com: U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012”; School Name: Old Orchard Beach High School; Year: 1940

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