Kate Pottgen Harris was a sister to my 3rd great-grandmother, Louisa Pottgen Thornton. Her obituary was published in the Alton Evening Telegraph on 23 Feb 1882.

This is such a sad story.  She was only sick for a few hours before she died.  They sent a telegraph to her husband, but he didn’t make it in time to see her again.
2014-12-28_0001DEATH OF MRS. LOUIS HARRIS – Mrs. Kate Poettgen Harris, a native of this city, wife of Mr. Louis Harris, died shortly after 12 o’clock yesterday, at the family residence on Tenth street, after an illness lasting but a few hours, at the age of thirty-five years and six months. Her husband, who was working at the break on the Jacksonville division of the C. & A. railway, near Riverdale, was notified by telegraph, but failed to get home in time to see his wife alive, although kindly furnished an engine for the trip by Roadmaster Huskinson. Mrs. Harris, besides her husband, left three small children, with many relatives and friends to mourn her sudden death. The funeral will take place from the Cumberland Presbyterian church at 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon.

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This was published in the 24 Jun 1938 issue of the Alton Evening Telegraph (Alton, IL). She sounds like she was pretty lively and youthful for being 88 years old.
2014-12-27_0021Widow Observes 88th Birthday
Mrs. Johanna Thornton, widow of Philip Thornton, founder of the oldest grocery in Alton, Wednesday celebrated her eighty-eighth birhtday. She makes her home at the residence connected with the old-time store, at Sixteenth and Belle streets, with Miss Mollie Thornton who has conducted the Thornton grocery since the death more than a year ago of M.M. Thornton.
Unlike many women, Mrs. Thornton, who was born in 1850, has a sence of pride in her advanced age. She has hosts of friends, not only in Alton, but throughout this part of the state, and to intimates is known affectionately as “Grandma Thornton”.
Mrs. Thornton retains a youthful spirit and cheery outlook on life, and enjoys good health. Often she calls a taxi and goes to the movies or out to dinner, and her company is a source of enjoyment to young people. She has a remarkable memory, especially of early times and the Civil War period here. Her recollections include the movements of Union army troop trains on the C. & A. past the old Thornton homestead, and of events at time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, at which time she was 15 years old.
A lifelong member of hte Old Cathedral parish, she seldom misses a Sunday attending church. She has many friends who often call on her to talk over old-time incidents.

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This is a picture of Vernon Weeks, my husband’s great uncle.  It looks like he has a favorite pet in his arms.:)


  • Elizabeth Woods - January 19, 2015 - 4:18 pm

    Jennifer, look closely at the house in the picture. It was our farm house! There’s the metal “climbing gate over the path to the back door. The huge tree in the picture was hit by lightening then by a strong ice storm, so Dad and my brothers took it down.
    The wooden swing bar and upright attached to the tree was used for swings which we kids would make. The tree right behind Uncle Vernon never did very well so Dad cut it down.
    The car in the drive next to the path to the porch was our car.

    Uncle Vernon was hugging Uncle Glenn’s goat. The goat was nice to him, but hateful to everyone else! The goat would wait until someone left the house, got too far from “safety” and would lower its horns and run full tilt to try to butt the unlucky person down.
    I don’t remember why we were keeping the goat for Uncle Glenn, but finally Dad got so disgusted with it he got rid of it by giving it to someone who wanted a male goat. We all breathed a sign of relief!!!

    The new addition to the back of the house had not been added on yet. I noticed the paint was peeling on the house. The cellar doors were the old wooden ones. It was a hot, dry, summer day when the picture was taken. Mom W.ReplyCancel

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Nellie and Lucy Jones were the granddaughters of Bridget Thornton Powers, a sister to my 3rd great-grandfather, James Patrick Thornton. They never married.

It looks like they were members (and one of them president) of a travel club in Alton, Illinois.  This article was published in the 16 May 1929 issue of the Alton Evening Telegraph.

After reading this, I am curious as to whether they actually went on trips together, or if they just read about places to go.

The magazine articles they read sound interesting.  I can’t help but wonder what “The Aristocracy of Vegetables” is about.:)
2014-12-28_0016Travel Club With Misses Jones

Misses Nellie Jones and Lucy Jones were hostesses last night to the Travel Club, entertaining at her home on Royal street. The meeting was the last for the 1928-1929 seasons but in June the club members will have a dinner party. the committee’s plans for the dinner will be announced later. The party will be enjoyed in three weeks. Miss Nellie Jones is president of the club.

The reading of magazine articles has interested members of the club this season. Last night Mrs. M.A. Souers, Mrs. Clydde Auten and Mrs. P.W. Jacoby read articles on “The Aristocracy of Vegetables” “Department Store Sales” and “Women as Buyers”. In the last named article the club learned that 85 per cent of the buying in America is done by the women.

After the program refreshments were served and a social hour was enjoyed.


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