Marcella's Secret Dreams and Stories book

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Marcella's Family

James Harvey Newman and Eliza Robinson
Emory D. and Olivine Newman Williams

MARCELLA'S MEMOIR BEGINS, "Where is the beginning when you start to write the story of your life?" She naturally begins with stories about her and her parents and grandparents and the kind of upbringing and education she and her brother had. These photos add to those included in the book.

Mary Melissa Olivine ("Ollie" for short) married Emory D. Williams on June 26, 1904. She was 21; he was 22.

Marcella's grandparents, James and Eliza Newman, Olivine, and her sister, Lizzie Newman Davis. This photo was taken in 1924.

This photo (probably taken sometime in the mid-twenties), shows Ollie's other sister, Rachel Newman Koenig, and her family. Names are unknown and unimportant, but this one shows the size of her family and mode of dress. (I like how the family dog wormed its way into this picture.)

Marcella's brother Raymond was born in 1909; she was born in 1914. She said this photo was taken when she was "goin' on five."

Marcella's parents and all her relatives were financially poor, but they all put great stock in family photos and somehow managed to find the money to buy cameras for snapshots and occasionally have formal photographs taken.

The chair suggests that this photo was taken in the same studio but at different times. Perhaps Ollie took this one of Raymond at five, and then wanted one of Marcella at the same age. (Her first child, Violet Irene, was born in 1907 and ill from birth. She lived only three years.)

James H. Newman and Eliza Robinson Newman (arms around Marcella); Lizzie Newman Davis, and Marcella's brother, Raymond.

Back row: Warren Davis, Emory and Ollie Williams, Grace and Charles Newman (Marcella's Uncle Charlie and Aunt Grace, first mentioned in the 1925 memoir notes.)

This family photo was taken around 1920. Emory was a "monthly man" who found work every year on a different farm. Ollie spent most of her life cleaning up one old farmhouse after another until they finally leased a farm outside of Donovan, Illinois.

Emory and Raymond, standing in their wheat field in 1925 (the year the harvest photos below were taken).

This 1925 photo from Marcella's collection shows her and other family members during the wheat threshing operation shown at right. Emory is standing next to the horse named "Old Bill."

The threshing was done with the help of a steam-powered tractor, versions of which can be seen today at old-time festivals.

This is a copy of a tintype made around 1900. James Robinson (1818-1893, fourth from left) married Rachel Clark, and one of their children was Marcella's beloved grandmother, Eliza, whom she was named after. In her memoir, she talks about all the things she learned from her grandparents. This picture illustrates how farmers helped one another with planting, and how important horses were to farmers in those days.

This, too, is a copy of a tintype showing Emory Williams and some fellow workers working in a coal mine sometime before he married Ollie.


Date of this photo is unknown, but when compared to the photo below, one can see how the couple aged. Ollie never cut her hair. In her old age, it came nearly to the floor when she bent over to brush it. She always wore it wound up in a roll tucked up with long hairpins.

Here's Marcella at age eleven, with "Old Spot," who she described as a black-and-white mongrel, one of two dogs she had as a child. The other was "Little Toots," who was part Pekinese.

This was Marcella's 1928 high school class picture. She had to quit school after completing her junior year in 1931, a decision that dramatically changed the course of her life as had envisioned it as a sixteen-year-old girl—a story told in the book.

Marcella at age 18 in 1932 when she was courting Bill. (Her love letters from him are featured in chapter 4 of the book.)

Everyone sat on their porch steps in the "old days," perhaps because they couldn't afford outdoor furniture for the porch.

Emory and Ollie on their farm near Donovan, Illinois sometime in the fifties. Their beloved dog, Frisky, had a long life with them.

IF YOU'VE EVER THOUGHT ABOUT writing a memoir, Marcella's Secret Dreams and Stories will give you information and inspiration on how to do that. Think about the life story that only YOU can tell, and then write it—not only for yourself, but for family members and friends who will surely see your writing as a great legacy of love.

Bill and Marcella Schaumburg, continued next page ->

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