Saturday, August 26, 2017

Returning a 1900 Portrait to her Family

Two weeks ago I received an envelope from a Facebook friend and genealogist that contained  several portraits that were unidentified, but taken by photographers in the town where I currently reside. She thought perhaps I could find resources locally who could help identify those in the portraits, with the end goal of reuniting them with their individual descendants.
I finally had time this past week to share these portraits with Nancy Masimer, Curator of Collections and Exhibits at our local Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center, 612 Royal Gorge Boulevard, P.O. Box 1460, Cañon City, Colorado  81215-1460. Nancy made available to me their listing of photographers in Canon City about the time these portraits were taken.
Only one portrait had any identifying information on the back.Minnie Polly (2)D R Drenkel1 back of Minnie Polly
Since Nancy and I each thought it said Mr. K. L. Polly, Coal Creek, Colo, I searched this morning for that individual in the 1900 census on In 1900 I found Kelso L. and Minnie F. Polly living at 499 Main St, Canon City, CO. Coal Creek is a small town just a few miles SE of Canon City. Incidentally, the residence at 499 Main would have been just one block north of our Royal Gorge Regional Museum, referenced above!
In the 1910 Census for Denver, Denver, Colorado, I found Minnie Polly living as a sister-in-law in the household of William H. and Agnes Nevin. Also in the household was mother-in-law Nancy C. Rogers. That told me that Agnes and Minnie were probably daughters of Nancy C. Rogers, therefore giving me a maiden name for Minnie Polly.
My next search was on, where I found a public member tree titled “Nathan Washburn Rogers Family Descendants” that included Minnie Frances Rogers Polly Loveless as a member. The tree contact is Norma Rogers Benner, whom I also found on Facebook. I’ve contacted Norma through the Ancestry Message Board and through Facebook Messenger. 
As it turns out, her family will get together for a Reunion over Labor Day weekend, just ONE WEEK AWAY. I'll mail this portrait to her tomorrow so she can share it at her reunion. I'll include a print-out of this post so they'll all know how I got the portrait and how I found the family to send it to. Norma and I each agree this was good timing, but then God's timing is perfect!

Update Sept 1, 2017:

The portrait of Minnie and a copy of this blog post arrived at her family in time to be on display at the family reunion (by Norma Rogers Benner). 


Claire V Brisson-Banks said...

I am always amazed and grateful at how much He is in the 'details' of our lives.

Sheri Fenley said...

Well done you! You never cease to amaze me Becky!

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Great detective work, Becky! I love a happy ending. I hope you will consider adding your post to this month's Genealogy Blog Party: Lost & Found at

Linda Stufflebean said...

Isn't it an absolutely terrific feeling to make contact with a descendant and be able to surprise them with a priceless find? Sometimes, I've only been able to find a local historical society, but they are just as excited to receive a piece of their early history. Great job sleuthing!

Marian B. Wood said...

Happy ending to this mystery! So glad the photos made their way home, thanks to your sleuthing.

Miles Meyer said...

Great job Becky. It's always a great feeling when you can return these old photos to their families.

genealogylizgauffreau said...

It must be so gratifying to be able to reunite Minnie with her family!