Friday, June 5, 2015

A Shawver Photo Album

There is a photograph album in our family coffers that include some photographs taken in 1930 back in West Virginia.  My great great grandfather, George Christian “Chris” Shawver, went back to West Virginia to visit family and some of the old places of his childhood.


Chris Shawver hadn’t been back to West Virginia since before 1890 when he moved west to Iowa.  I am sure if I went back home after being away for forty years, there would be a multitude of changes.  It would be bittersweet to go back – mostly for the people who are no longer there.  His parents had both died in 1900 (George William Shawver b. 15 Nov 1824 d. 9 Mar 1900 & Elizabeth Matilda Legg b. 16 May 1830 d. 12 Feb 1900)  Most of his siblings had either died or moved away.


  • Robert Thomas Shawver b. 6 Nov 1849 d. 22 May 1907 m. Annetta T. Morrison
  •  Melcena E Shawver b. 1 Apr 1851 d. 22 Dec 1903 m. William H. O’Dell Jr
  •  Paul Harvey Shawver b. 14 Mar 1853 d. 2 Mar 1917 m. Mary Copeland King m. Mary Francis Fulcher
  • John Morrison Shawver b. 14 Mar 155 d. 25 Nov 1938 m. Elizabeth Medora Boley
  • Alvin Shawver b. abt 1855 d. aft 1870
  •  Henry William D Shawver b. 6 Dec 1857 d. bef 1900 m Margaret Ellen Stowers
  •  Daniel L Shawver b. 6 Mar 1859 d. 20 Oct 1861
  •  Melvina Jane O L Shawver b. 25 Feb 1861 d. 20 Nov 1865
  •  Ruth Elizabeth Shawver b. 5 Aug 1864 d. 17 Aug 1922 m. Mahlen Albert Mills m. Pleasant G Prater
  • George Christian Shawver  (See below for story) b. 6 Aug 1867 d. 13 Apr 1931
  • Felix L A Shawver b. 10 May 1869 d. 19 Oct 1889
  • Christina Signora Janet Lilly Shawver b. 10 Aug 1871 d. 11 Jul 1945 m. William Martin Rogers

The only one still alive and living in West Virginia was brother, John Morrison Shawver.  There are a few photographs of John A Shawver’s children (This was labeled by my great grandmother) and a unfortunately distant picture of Chris Shawver with his brother which I imagine is somewhere close to the home place.



One thing that this photo album prompted me to do was try to find out who some of these families were.  Considering that these photos were taken during the depression and in what is probably a very poor part of the country, it is like looking into the past. 




I can remember when my great grandparents used to visit with one of their siblings.  They dragged them around to just about every family who lived nearby….which usually included our house.  I have no idea how many places they would visit before they were finally able to take a break.  I suspect that this trip must have been a similar experience for Chris Shawver.  There are photos taken with the O’Dells,  Hanson's, Witt's, and the Shawver family…







and there are sad pictures of gravestones – of his parents and brothers. 




Sometimes going back isn’t the wonderful experience that we wish it could be!