Photo Friday – Whittier (née Simpson, née Orne), Whittingham, Willett, & Williams

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 99

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week, for Photo Friday, I identify the people in five more envelopes from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The envelopes contain the names who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is vital to 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.


Doris Willett, Student Nurse, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Doris Willett, Me Eye & Ear Infirmary #472.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Doris Willett, Student Nurse, circa 1936

    The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Doris Willett as a student nurse at 79 Bramhall (Maine Eye & Ear Infirmary).

  • The 1942 Nashua, New Hampshire, City Directory lists Doris Willett as a student nurse living at 15 Kehoe ave. The 1940 City directory indicates that Doris lived at the same address as Melvin and Gladys Willett.
  • The 1940 Census reports 19-year-old Doris Willette as a trained nurse at the Nashua Memorial Hospital and Nurses Home.

I believe this photo is of Doris Willett, daughter of Melvin and Gladys (Stone) Willett, about 1936 when she attended nursing school.

Alternate Individuals.

The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Doris M Willett, the wife of Ralph J Willett. The 1940 Census indicates that Ralph and Doris M Willette lived in the same house as they did in 1935 and had a six-year-old, Ralph (Jr.). Because the envelope clearly says “Miss” and that Ralph and Doris lived at 23 Hemlock in 1935, and their son was born about 1934, I do not believe this is the correct Doris Willett.

The 1937 Meadville, Pennsylvania, City Directory lists Doris J Willetts as a student nurse living at 895 Park Ave.

Decision

Ancestry has 12 public trees that refer to Doris Gertrude Willett. Family Search has profile L1MM-9SG for Doris. I have uploaded a photo of Doris to her Family Search Memories.

Hope Williams, Student Nurse, circa 1936.

This negative envelope says, “Miss Hope Williams, Me. Gen. Hospital #865.”

Why I believe this to be the individual:

  • Hope Williams, Student Nurse, circa 1936

    The 1937 and 1938 Portland City Directories list Hope Williams as a student nurse at 22 Arsenal (Maine General Hospital).

  • The 1939 Portland City Directory lists Hope Williams as a nurse at 807 Congress.
  • In 1939, Hope Williams of Searsport, ME, married Edward B Duff of Portland, Maine.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Edward and Hope living on West Street. Hope was 23 and had three years of College. Both lived in Portland in 1935.
  • Hope’s 2008 Obituary indicates she was “a distinguished registered nurse.”

I am confident this photo is of Hope Ann Williams, born 12 September 1916 in Milo, Maine, and who married Edward B Duff in 1939.

Ancestry has eight public trees that refer to Hope Ann Williams. Family Search has profile G974-NCD for Hope. I have uploaded a photo of Hope to her Family Search Memories.

Confirmed to be Hope Williams by a niece. 

“Baby” Williams, unidentified.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Williams – Nov 1943.”

About this photo:

  • “Baby” Williams, unidentified

    This photo was initially a reprint request. It isn’t clear if the date, November 1943, is the date the photo was taken or if it is the date the image was submitted for reprints.

  • Additionally, there are so many “Mrs. Williams” that it will be impossible to determine which Mrs. Williams this is without an address or first name.

Marion Whittier (Née Simpson) & daughter Beverly (born Orne) circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. C. P. Whittier, 20 Grand St. #520.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Marion Whittier (Née Simpson) & daughter Beverly (born Orne) circa 1935

    The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Carroll P and Marion () Whittier living at 20 Grand. Carroll is a baker.

  • The 1940 US Census lists Carroll, Marin & Beverly, his 11-year-old daughter, still living at 20 Grand.
  • Hope F Hotham of Portland and Carroll P. Whittier married on 3 September 1921. Hope was 23 years old and was born in Blaine, Maine. Her parents were John F and Marjorie (Tompkins) Hotham, both living in Blaine, ME, in 1921. Hope then married Byron O Ireland in 1933, making her Mrs. Ireland before this photo was taken.
  • I have found no evidence that Hope and Carroll had any children.
  • Carroll Whittier and Marion Simpson married on 22 November 1932, several years after Beverly was born. She would have been “Mrs. Whittier” when this photo was taken, about 1935. Further research found that Marion Simpson was married in 1927 to Reginald Orne. She and Reginald had a daughter, Beverly Orne.
  • This photo was taken about 1935 when Beverly was about six years old. Her stepmother Marion Simpson (Whittier), would have been about 27 years old. Mother and daughter, both surname Orne, appear to be living with Marion’s father, Benjamin Simpson, in Falmouth, Maine, during the 1930 Census.

I am confident this photo is of Marion Whittier, née Simpson (born 20 June 1908), and her daughter Beverly (born Orne in 1928 & died Whittier in 1941). The photo was taken at the Ethel Wight Studio in Portland about 1935.

Ancestry has 35 Public trees that refer to Marion Simpson, born on 20 June 1908. Family Search has profile LKGT-39J for Marion I. Simpson. I uploaded the photo of Marion and Beverly to Marion’s Family Search Memories.

Beverly J Orne, born in 1928, appears in two public Ancestry trees. She does not have a Family Search Profiles. However, Beverly J Whittier, born in 1928, died in 1941 and was buried in Riverside Cemetery, Yarmouth, Maine. She is buried near her step-father, Carroll P Whittier, who also died in 1941 in Portland. Her obituary indicates her as Beverly June Whittier. Carroll Whittier’s obituary, who died the previous January of pneumonia, mentions his widow, Marion, but not a daughter.

Marion and Donald Whittingham, circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Louise Willey, 17 Mechanic St. #954.”

Why I believe this to be the children of Louise M Willey.

  • Marion and Donald Whittingham, circa 1935.

    The Ancestry.Com images of the 1936 Directory is missing page 1197, which would include 17 Mechanic Street. The 1935 and 1937 directories do not indicate that the Willeys lived there.

  • However, the 1937 Portland City Directory lists Mrs. Louise M Willey as a waitress living at 477 Cumberland av, Apt 5. The 1940 Census lists Louise Willey, a 33-year-old Maine-born waitress and the mother of a 13-year-old Maine born. Mary L Whittingham. They lived in Bangor in 1935.
  • In the 1930 Census, Donald R Whittingham and Mary L Whittingham were boarders at the home of Lulu V H Faunce in Auburn, Maine. Donald was 4; Mary was 3.
  • Further research indicates that Donald Robert Whittingham, the son of Frederick and Louise (Maloon) Whittingham, was born on 21 March 1925 in Lewiston. His sister, Marion Louise Whittingham, was born on 15 February 1927. Their mother, Louise Marion (Maloon) Whittingham, married Turner A Willey on 10 November 1930.

I am confident this photo of Donald and Marion Whittingham would have been taken about 1935 when Donald was about ten and Marion about 8.

Ancestry has 15 public trees that refer to Donald Robert Whittingham. Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Donald, so I have uploaded his photo to Dead Fred.

Ancestry has 17 public trees that refer to Marion Louise Whittingham. Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Marion, so I have added her name to the image I uploaded to Dead Fred.


Conclusion

    • I identified six of the seven individuals. Three of them have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded their images to their Family Search Memories. One of those photos included mother and daughter.
    • Two did not have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded a photo of them to Dead Fred.
    • One individual was not identifiable due to a lack of information provided.

If any of these photos are of your family member, I would love to hear your reaction. 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 a higher image quality than the images linked here.

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


Endnotes

[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.

Donna in the News – Scenic Theatre – Whittier, CA – 30 June 1924

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). I am always excited when I find a new venue for my grandmother’s exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.

From The Whittier News, (Whittier, California) newspaper dated 30 June 1924.

The Whittier News – 28 June 1924

Rare Beauty?

Advertisement for “Donna Darling & Company” headlining at the Scenic Theatre on 30 June 1924.

“Headlining is that rare beauty of the stage world, Miss Donna Darling, the young lady who recently took the beauty prize at the Hippodrome in New York. The lady is appearing in a charming little song and dance revue called ‘As You Like It’, and it is said that the singer wears a wonderfully exquisite gown, containing some 20,000+ pearls. In her support will be Jack Lewis, a comedian and pianist of note. Miss Darling’s clothes are particularly charming creations. She wears a colonial costume of gold cloth in which she sings some old favorites. The settings for this act are gorgeous and most expensive.”

Because of the newly available online article & advertising, I was able to add another venue for Donna’s “As You Like It” tour.

June 30, 1924 – Whittier, CA – Scenic Theatre – Donna Darling and Company presenting “As You Like It.”

Sources

  • The_Whittier_News_Sat__Jun_28__1924, Page 2, Column 4, “Things Theatrical” via Newspapers.Com.
  • The_Whittier_News_Mon__Jun_30__1924_, Page 15, Column 1, “Scenic Theatre” via Newspapers.Com.