This is my grandmother, Jennie, and her mother, Nellie. There are no dates but I'm guessing around 1915. That would put Jennie at about 12. I've never been good at judging ages.
They lived in southwestern Kansas either in Meade, the county seat, or Fowler a smaller town nearby. Nellie's husband had deserted them a year or so before and so Nellie was left to support her daughter on her own. I asked Jennie once for a few words to describe her mother. I don't know where those notes are but I remember her saying "strong" and "determined."
Nellie was born in Illinois in 1878 and took a wagon train with her parents and other family members to the area southeast of Dodge City, Kansas. There they built dugouts in a place still called Keith Canyon after the family.
This photo was taken in Keith Canyon in 1990. You can see where the dugout collapsed over time. Part of the "house" was dug into the canyon wall and then a partial roof and front were added in wood and stone.
I found this photo either at a local museum or a local history book.
It says it was taken in Keith Canyon.
Being a genealogist is like being a detective. Gathering clues here and there. Talking to people. Comparing evidence. That's what makes it so thrilling.
Do you have a story of finding some interesting things in your family history and being able to fit them together?