Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Today I’m featuring another piece of the puzzle that is the C. Murray Album. This cabinet card is also by Dewey and Dewey in Manhattan, KS, and is of a lovely woman in an 1890’s dress with puffed sleeves and velvet trim. This is Almeda Jane Reed Streeter, wife if Alfred C Streeter.

This is the notation on the back, and so we might assume the album belonged to one of the children of the Streeter brothers and sisters, although which child is impossible to tell, and again, the album was found in California, not Kansas. Almeda and Alfred did not have any children. Here’s the little bit about Almeda that I could find.

Almeda Jane Reed was born October 15, 1854 to Samuel and Mary Johnson Reed of Shawnee, OH. She was one of two children that I’ve been able to identify at this point. Almeda can be found on the Federal Census records as living in Ohio until 1870. After that time, she was not enumerated again until 1885, when she was the wife of Alfred C. Streeter. Almeda and Alfred were married in 1881. Alfred was a stock raiser, and in about 1888, he passed away.

After that, Almeda disappeared from the census records until 1920, when she is living in Long Beach, CA, with her brother, David Reed, aged 73. Almeda owns the home and lists herself as widowed, so she never remarried after Alfred’s death. She shows up again on the 1930 census, living with a lodger, Emma J. Smith, aged 79. It’s interesting, on the later census records, Almeda provided a variety of locations of her birth (Ohio, Iowa), as well as the birthplace of her parents (to include Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia).

At the age of 88, Almeda passed away in Los Angeles, CA, 1943. I believe this album to have been her’s, since so far she’s the only family member to have lived in California that I can verify. She passed away far from home and far from family, but I hope that she was with people who loved her.

During the course of her life, Almeda saw the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War 1 and part of World War 2; 19 presidents (of which only 3 of them she was eligible to cast a vote); the expansion of US from 31 to 48 states; the introduction of electricity, the telephone, the washing machine, and indoor plumbing as standard in all residences; major immigration due to social issues in Europe, and the Indian Wars, to name a few. We can only hope that her life was as full and interesting as the world around her was.

UPDATE: After trying different spellings of her name, I found that Almeda (AJ, Elmeda, Almed, Elmed, Elfred!) lived in Kansas at least until 1905. She owned a farm and her brother David and two nieces lived with her. Her nieces were Kate and Clora, although I’ve not yet identified their mother. At the time David started living with her in about the 1890s, he was widowed. The search continues.

This is a proud Sepia Saturday submission. Please click over and view the other fine submissions!

11 thoughts on “And another piece of the puzzle

  1. She is beautiful. Do you think the album was hers and then it was passed on to a niece or nephew..one of the Streeter children..or to one of the Reed children..if there were any. I hope all the puzzle pieces come together:)


  2. Tattered and Lost says:

    What stunning eyes!


  3. Vicki Lane says:

    A fine-looking woman! And she looks strong too. Love the star brooch.


  4. Marilyn says:

    She is beautiful and I love her clothes; the brooch is wonderful. Your research is fantastic, I do hope you find more on her.


  5. Joan says:

    How interesting. She is lovely and wonderful dress.


  6. Alan Burnett says:

    It is a wonderful picture – there is such a look of pride and joy there. I love the way you are building a family history on the foundation of these wonderful images.


  7. Great research job! I love learning about people in vintage pictures. And I agree with Vicki – the star brooch is marvelous.


  8. PattyF says:

    What a beautiful photo! She has such captivating eyes. Your discoveries so far are impressive. Good luck with your ongoing search.


  9. Martin H says:

    Almeda has the most beautiful eyes.


  10. WOW ~ such a great story and a beautiful picture. She has amazing eyes!


  11. KittenWithaWhip says:

    She reminded me of you. I think I pointed her out when you first saw the album. I thought that was a good sign.


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