Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Here we have a photo of Uncle Homer Alsworth. The handwriting you see here was one of three hands in the photo album.

Next is a newspaper clipping that I originally thought might be Uncle Homer a few years later as a priest. However on doing research for this post I realized it could possibly be a picture of Bishop Richard Phelan. It was in the album with the following clipping, a photo of another unnamed Bishop of the Pittsburg diocese. I did find that in 1904 Bishop Richard Phelan died and J.F Regis Canevin took his place.

Bishop of the Pittsburg diocese, who was ordained into the priesthood...years ago yesterday. The observance of the event was the most elaborate and impressive of its kind ever held in Pittsburg

The back of this clipping is dated 1904 and shows a procession of priests. Bishop Canevin was the first native son to have such an office in Pittsburg, so it does make sense to me that there would have been a procession of priests photographed for the newspaper. Both clippings were next to a colored clipping of the “old” St. Paul’s Cathedral in Pittsburg at the corner of Grand & Fifth Ave. I can’t remove that item from the album without destroying it, so it will remain where it is. Further back in the album were these two photos.

I can't decide if this is a double exposure or not

Hold still boys

The fellow in the front, third from the left wiggled at the precise moment the camera shutter was closing and so he is terribly blurred. The two boys to his left have their hands folded for prayer while the four to his right have their hands folded in their laps. These of course must be alter boys.  I do wonder if one of these boys is Edward L. Trunk or another family member.

5 thoughts on “Uncle Homer and the Bishops

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    :) According the the 1910 US Census, Homer Alsworth (b. abt 1882) was John E. and Mary(ie?) Trunk’s son-in-law. He married daughter Anna Trunk (b. abt 1883) and was living with the parents-in-law in Clarion, PA.

    In 1905, Homer and Anna had a daughter named Virginia.


  2. IntenseGuy says:

    There is a grainy picture of Bishop Canevin on this website (about the 3d picture from the top) http://www.brooklineconnection.com/history/Facts/Resurrection.html (along with some absolutely beautiful pictures of the insides of a chuch).

    The man of the cloth pictured looks like Bishop Richard Phelan to me too.

    Edward would have been about 13 years old in 1904. Would that make him too old? I don’t know anything about altar boys.


  3. IntenseGuy says:

    If you look carefully at the two men under each arm of the cross being carried by another man – I think you can see both Bishops – Canevin with the glasses on the left, and Phelan with his large-ish pug nose on the right.

    I wonder if one of the men sitting on the bench (pew?) with the straw hats is Homer and/or John E. The one directly in front of who I believe is Bishop Canevin looks very much like man in the middle, waiting at the RR station and in the middle of “A Very Happy Family” where they are standing on a branch.


    1. mrsmarvel says:

      I thought that too, but this is a photograph more like a snapshot, which are pretty rare before the teens and 20s. (Even some of the other photos I have that are clearly “home snapshots” are on firm cardstock or Bristol board.) Bishop Phelan died in 1904, so I think it unlikely that he is in this photo. The other priest you mention does look a lot like some other photos of Canevin that I have seen. In fact the newspaper clipping above of the bearded priest looks nothing like Canavin to me and I really have no clue who he might be. The men in the benches also look like the fellow in the ‘barrel of fun’ photo postcard, and the photo of the two men (one looking to me like a thin Oliver Hardy). They are probably related in some way by the family resemblance.


  4. IntenseGuy says:

    I wonder which of Trunk’s would have labeled the picture “Uncle Homer”. I see you have a couple pictures of “Aunt” Ann(a) –

    J.F. Regis Canevin was installed as coadjutor bishop on February 24, 1903 and became Bishop on December 20, 1904 on the day Bishop Richard Phelan D.D. died.

    “In modern church practice, the appointment of a coadjutor is usually done in cases where a diocesan bishop feels that he will not be able to continue much longer for health reasons or because he is nearing retirement age. In these cases the Pope will sometimes assign a coadjutor in order to give him time to become familiar with the diocese that he will eventually take over.”

    But looking at the picture, I see the men are wearing carnations(?) and it definitely doesn’t appear to be cold outside – Perhaps this is wedding? or Easter? some other “Holy day”? (I don’t think Pittsburg(h) is normally that warm on Easter).

    The bearded man has the city spelled Pittsburg in the caption – so we know this is from 1890 to 1911. Thanks for giving me something to “research” today! I’ve no ideal who he is either LOL!


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