Monday, November 28, 2011

My Dad Would Have Voted For Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney
     My Dad was a true blue, full fledged, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Democrat, but if he was still alive I think he would vote for Mitt Romney.
     It isn't because Mitt Romney is a Mormon. When Dorothy and I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my Dad took me aside and told me to "unjoin." Twenty years later Dad and Mom also joined the Church, but still, he always said that religion is not a reason to vote for or against any one.
     He didn't think race was either.
     When my grandma, Alta Bockhouse, was selling her house she was concerned that some Black people were looking at it, and she called him.
Tom Stark, My Dad
     I was there and was listening when he said into the phone, "When I was going down for the third time in Freshwater Pond, that big Black guy pulled me up. If a Black guy is good enough to save my life, he's good enough to live next to me."
    So my dad wasn't prejudiced against religion or race, at least after he talked to the Missionaries and finally understood what the Church was all about.

    It was his car!

    He would vote for Mitt Romney because of his car.
     In 1956 Dad bought a brand new red and white Plymouth with push button drive, power steering and power breaks. I thought it was great. To change gears you pushed a button on the left side of the steering column. I didn't have my drivers license yet, but I had my learners permit, so I got to drive it quite a bit. Dad even let me take Dorothy, my future wife, on a date. Jim Vega was a little older and had his license, so he went along as the licensed driver. I'm not sure who his date was.

Me and my 41 Chevy, 1957
    Dorothy lived six miles outside of Eureka past Elk River School on a little road with a covered bridge, Berta Road. After crossing the bridge you drove down a one lane dirt and gravel road to her house.
    We picked her up and drove back down the one lane road back to where it met Berta Road. I had a 1941 Chevrolet coupe with a standard transmission and a clutch, but this Plymouth was automatic, and with power breaks, the only automatic I had ever driven, and I had never driven much with power breaks.
     Since I had driven my Chevy on my Examiner newspaper route quite a bit, I naturally didn't think about not using my left foot on the clutch before I pushed on the break. 
Dorothy 1957
     We were only going about seven miles per hour, but when I hit the "clutch" the power breaks slammed the car to a stop instantly, and Dorothy who was sitting between Jim and I, flew up and hit the rear view mirror in the middle of the windshield with her head. She broke the mirror and still has the scar today, 55 years later.

     I never liked that Plymouth again.

     My Dad didn't like it either, but for different reasons.

     He kept hearing a clunking when he turned a corner a certain way. He would tell me about it, and I could hear it too. It came from the right side of the car and made a thump, thump when you turned left some kind of special way. Finally he took it in to the Plymouth dealer and they figured out what it was, ...after checking the suspension and springs and what ever else you normally check. A mechanic thought the sound was coming from the door, no one else thought that.  So the mechanic took off the inside door panel and found a Coke bottle hanging from a string.   
    My dad was then angry at Chrysler and unions and even at the dealer, but that wasn't all.
1956 Plymouth
    One morning my mom was going to let me drive the Plymouth on the paper route. She went along because I still only had my driver's permit.  I don't know why she kept doing that, because I was a parent of teen agers for 20 years, and I'm not sure I would get up at five  a.m. and take my kid on his paper route and have to sit there while he drove and threw the papers out the windows, but she did.
      The Plymouth wouldn't start. We took the Chevy, but when Dad found out, he was angry again at the Dealer, at Chrysler and for some reason at the Unions too. Dad always belonged to a union, for most of his life, the Teamsters.
     He took the Plymouth to the garage, mumbling about a brand new car being frozen up, just like an old clunker. A few days later he came home more angry than ever. They had to take the engine apart, and the mechanic showed my Dad what was wrong.

     It was eggshells. 

    He complained and swore and said all kinds of bad things about unions after that. Some angry worker had put an egg into the engine before the car left the plant. That's what Dad thought anyway. And the same one or another had tied that Coke bottle to the string and put it inside the door. Dad demanded his money back and got most of it, and gave them back the car.
This is the Rambler with our daughter Theresa, who's now 53.
    He went over to 7th and G Streets in Eureka to  Robbie McRae's American Motors and bought a brand new Nash Rambler Station Wagon. He loved that car and praised it over and over. It didn't break down, got better gas mileage than any car he had before.... except the little second hand Nash Metropolitan he bought for a  work car that he also never had any problem with.
   A few years later, Dorothy borrowed, that Rambler and a drunk driver went through a stop sign on 14th and J Streets in Eureka and totaled the car. Jeanette, who was one, fell on the floor, and Robby who was about nine, hit his mouth on the padded dash board, but no one was seriously hurt. Dad praised that Rambler for keeping his family safe. He bought another AMC then for the last car of his life, an American Motors Rebel, and then he talked my Grandma B into buying a 1970 AMC Hornet. We still have it, sitting outside under a shade structure with a flat tire and over 400 thousand miles. It still runs.

George
    Dad learned that George Romney was the president of American Motors and became a fan. Dad would have voted for him in the Primary election and was mad at the government and California and the Unions because they wouldn't let him vote in the primary because he was a registered Democrat.
    When George Romney said he had been brainwashed by Nixon's Republican Administration about Vietnam, dad agreed, and wanted to vote for George (Dad called him that) for President, but never got the chance because Romney lost the nomination.
Mitt
      When my Dad was loyal, he was fiercely loyal, like to FDR, and to American Motors, so Dad would vote for Mitt Romney now because  he looks a lot like George, and has the same last name, and .......  over the years Dad became a lot more conservative in his views. He believed everyone should work for what they get.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Buffalo Mine near Palmer Alaska

.......................All this says on the back is :"10-52 - Buffalo Mine" Standing in the back, first from left  is James R Stephens. .. In the front kneeling second from right  "Fred "
Jim Stephens :"My first camp washing
 of mine clothes." (Possibly at Jonesville?)
    The following quote is from a court case involving the Buffalo Mine:

"During World War II the United States Army seized Buffalo's coal mine near Palmer, Alaska and commenced making substantial physical changes in the property for the purpose of increasing production. Before the project was finished, the war ended and the army returned the property to Buffalo, but in an inoperable condition. Buffalo lacked money to complete the work and was unable to borrow it. All activity ceased and the mine became flooded."


"Fred & Marge, Buffalo Mine"
"Fred 1952"




   Buell A Nesbett and some other investors formed a company and planned on restoring the mine. They borrowed money and immediately began construction, repairing and refurbishing the mine using the borrowed money, but they had miscalculated and didn't have enough. They tried to borrow more, but the lending company refused. The company went under and could not pay its debts.


There was nothing written on the back, but this is Edna.
"Marge, Buffalo Mine, Near Palmer, AK"













   I think that the Stephens were working for the Buffalo mine during the time it was trying to reconstruct the mine, and then were laid off when It stopped construction. My evidence for the layoff is from the caption on the last picture, below.

  These pictures may have been taken on an excursion the women took up to the Buffalo Mine to see the men. It appears that the men were working, while the women were having fun.


 Jim Stephens: "Ben Hamsrick and myself, Buffalo Mine 10-52."
"Marge at Buffalo Mine, 1953"
Edna Poore (Stephens) 1953
 



The two pictures of Marge and Edna in the ore cart are a match, so I have dated the second one of Edna the same as the one of Marge which was dated on the back. Edna's picture had nothing written on the back. If they had a date I typed it under the picture.

"Edna Poore, Jim (the cook) Betty McDonald" Has Kodak date Nov 10, 1952


Has Kodak date, Oct 8, 1952









   These two color photos were not developed on the same date, but close. They appear to me to be pictures of the mine, but possibly the Jonesville mine. So I am assuming that Edna worked at one of the mines, and that she met Jim while working there.

"At foot of Bailey Hill, Palmer"

   These two black and white photos (above and below) appear to me to be at the same place.  The one below, of Jim and the 1951 mercury, were taken down the road of the one above.

   The one on the right has "Hillside cabins. Unprepossing view, isn't it?" written on the back, then the caption was written  that I typed under the picture.
"Herman stays next door to me. The neighbor's kid sneaked into the picture. 51 Mercury."

   I liked the 51 Mercury in this one, so I formatted it larger. It is actually the same size as the one of the cabins above, which is about the actual size of all of these black and white photo's.

Kodak date: Week of Dec 20, 1954
   Notice the siding on the cabins. It is like a roofing material, but actually looks like bricks. It came in rolls like rolled roofing. It could be nailed around a building to act as both siding and insulation. In Cutten, in Humboldt County California where I saw this material as a boy, sometimes there was nothing on the walls except this asphalt rolled siding. It also had small brown rocks embeded into it like roofing.


    The picture on the right of Jim and Edna has the following on the back typed by Jim Stephens which identifies the lay off time:


   "Winter of the first three months we were married, and    every day a holiday, as at the time I had just been laid off."

Just after the layoff Edna and James were married.

   I think the pictures tell that story, even dating the layoff and closing of the construction. It seems to fit with the dates of the court cases, which always are delayed.  At present I have little more information about the mine nor the Stephens except what is in the captions of the pictures.

   The Stephens lived the rest of their lives in Palmer, Alaska.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Jonesville Mine, Sutton, Alaska

James Stephens: "The top bunkhouse wherein I dwell. An X denotes my room."
   I went back to work today (15 August, 2011). I'm only teaching two periods now, partially retired, but it felt good to be back teaching. I used to go back to the bakery and work in the summers. It used to feel good to be back. I think about the bakery where I worked on and off from 1958 until 1982, twenty-four years. I even dream about it occasionally. The place where a man spends so much of his life is important to him.

"The bldg. to the right, in full view" Blacksmith Shop. Jonesville."
   I have had trouble figuring out why I should post or write about these mine pictures, but that is the reason. They were important to Jim Stephens. We have hundreds of the Stephens' pictures, and nothing is written on the backs of most of them, but the mine pictures....... they are almost all written on and explained.
"A few Shacks of the original camp. Young married people live in them."

   There are two sets of pictures, the Buffalo Mine in the early 1950's, and the Jonesville mine in the 1940's. I think he worked at first at the Jonesville mine, and it appears that Edna also worked for one of those two mine companies, probably the Buffalo Mine, and even Jim Stephens' father, James Andrew Stephens worked at one of the mines. I have said that I think the Stephens were a coal mining family, from Wales, so there may be more of the family that worked in the Alaska mines. This is a discovery story, so we will see what is discovered as I write.

   Evan Jones started the Jonesville mine at Sutton, Alaska, sometime in the 1920's and it continued operating until about 1967. It's my guess that Jim Stephens went to work for the Jonesville mine when he was released from the army,  in about 1946. The pictures in this earliest time period appear to explain to someone about the mine. It is possible that he sent them to Edna, explaining on the back what each building was. There are also some colored pictures that may have been Edna's, or may have been given to the family. They will go in the next post about the Buffalo mine. These have little written on the back, but appear to me to be mine pictures also.
"Super's house."  All these pictues also have "Jonesville" written on them.

    There was a serious disaster at the Jonesville Mine in 1937 that killed 14 miners. It would deter a young man from wanting to work there today, but to a soldier just returning from the much more serious disasters and death of World War II, it probably seemed like little risk. Probably just having a job was great. People in those days did not have any income, little if any government unemployment and little government welfare. When the war was over soldiers were sent home with no more pay and had to figure out how to deal with life on their own.
"Entrance to the mine. Jonesville."

"Looking down into Timber yard. Jonesville."
   James Roland Stephens enlisted in the army 22 Dec 1942 in Vigo, Indiana. His enlistment papers say he was 25, single with dependents (that's another mystery which I just now discovered) as a private in the Warrant Officers branch of the army, and that he had experience as a bookkeeper and cashier.  When the war was over he had probably already investigated different areas in Alaska on leaves and decided what he wanted to do. He may have already met Edna whose name at that time was Edna Poore.

"View of Mine Bldg's standing from my Bunkhouse. Jonesville."
   Edna had married Flodia V Poore in 1925. I don't know yet what happened to him. He may have been killed in the war, or they may have divorced. I have not yet found a record of him. This information I found on a slip of paper that Grandma Moody, Edna's mother,  had written. It was a type-written list of her children, their birth dates, their spouses and the number of children. Jim Stephens was not on the list, so it was probably written before their marriage.

  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

War In Alaska: The Pieces of the Puzzle Fit Together

   Puzzles sometimes fit together in unexpected places from unexpected sources. We just returned from a trip to our great-grandson's blessing in Provo, Utah, by way of our granddaughter's home near Preston, Idaho, Dorothy's sister's home in Minden, Nevada, and our granddaughter's basketball game in Healdsburg, California. Two thousand three hundred and thirty-eight miles. How does that fit together with Edna and Jim Stephens' Photo Box?



    I didn't think it did, but Edna Augustine's husband, Augie, (Dorothy's sister Edna, in Minden,  Nevada) kept talking to me about Shemya, one of the Aleutian Islands, where Augie spent time during his career in maintenance of U.S. government buildings on that island. Augie showed me a series of books about World War II in Alaska, the only state ever to be occupied by a foreign power.

Japan invaded, captured and held some of those Aleutian Islands and (I think) were preparing to attack the coast of Canada or the US.

The twelve men manning the weather station on Kiska
   The Japanese first bombed Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island, one of the Aleutian Islands, then landed an amphibious assault on Adak, a much smaller and further west island.

   On the 6th of June, 1942, the Japanese landed 500 Marines on Kiska, another of the Aleutian Islands. There were 12 men who were manning an American weather station. Ten were captured by the Japanese.

   On the 7th of June, 1942, the Japanese invaded Attu, another of the Aleutian Islands. Living there were 45 native Aleut Indians, some Blue Fox, and two Americans, Charles Jones and his wife Etta. Etta and the Aleut's were captured, taken to Japan,  and Mr. Jones lost his life.

"Me, with jeep,  Adak, World War II. Jimmy Stephens"
   Also in June, 1942 several places along the coast of North America were attacked by a Japanese submarine, even as far south as Astoria, Oregon.

   On these Aleutian islands  the Japanese had at least 5000 soldiers by November, 1942, displacing around 70 local people, but the invasion so worried the U.S. Government leaders, that they blacked out the news of the invasion to the "lower 48."

"Me on Adak, 1944"
   I had never heard of this invasion until Augie told me about it, and probably most Americans didn't, and don't, know that we were actually occupied by a foreign power. My parents never spoke of it, even though my Uncle Clayton was an "official aircraft spotter" during the war.

   It was not easy to dislodge the Japanese. At least 100 missions were flown against the islands.  While some of the Japanese were evacuated by ship, those on the island of Attu were left to defend themselves.  They finally ended up in a terribly bloody battle where there were 3829 American casualties, and more than 2351 Japanese dead. The U.S. command had earlier realized that they just couldn't take that island first, so they first captured Adak. It was during a raging storm, but after the capture on August 30, 1942, Adak became a U.S. Naval Station.

  There it was........  "Adak!" the word I couldn't figure out on the back of the picture of the "Dapper Guy" in an earlier post, which I will repeat for you. You'll see the front of the picture below on the left.

"Bill Hagan and I. Adak 44-46
   "but this apparent military photo below has writing on the back, so guess what it says: "Bill Hagan and I. ......(??word??) 44-46" That didn't help much."

   That was  the word! James Stephens was stationed on Adak, an island in the Aleutian chain, but I couldn't figure out the word until I had some history. 

Thanks Augie.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How Did She Get In My Posts about the Stephens' Pictures?

Sarah Palin
   Nope! This is not a political blog. I already have my candidate for President, but I do have a remark or two about the Tea Party in here somewhere.  No,  Sarah Palin is here to show you how small a world we live in. Someday you may just be around the corner from someone famous, like the Stephens family was, or you may even be related to someone famous right now. Sarah Palin was on the city council of Wassila, Alaska while the Stephens were still alive, 13.2 miles from their home.

   If you are reading this, and a member of the Stark/Shoemaker family you already are related to someone famous. You are related to Daniel Boone, both the Presidents Bush, President Abraham Lincoln, John Wayne, President Theodore Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy, John Hancock (first and largest signature on the Declaration of Independence, not the goofy super hero) Lara Bush, Emily Dickenson, Lucille Ball, Emma Hale Smith, (Joseph Smith's wife), somewhere around 17 Civil War Veterans from both sides, also veterans from both sides of the Revolutionary war ..., and that list goes on and on and on.

My Mother, Eunice Moody Stark - My Father, Thomas E Stark
   Speaking about the Revolutionary war...... My father always drank coffee and my mother always drank tea. In my childhood, I thought that women drank tea, and men drank coffee, but after I got deeper into studying the family I discovered that almost all my father's family fought on the side of the American Revolutionary forces and my mother's family were Loyalists. Most of the Loyalists moved to Canada in the middle of the War. The Americans threw all the tea into the bay in the Boston Tea Party and refused to drink it any more (switching to coffee),  placing as much pressure on the British as they could, but the Loyalists refused, moved to Canada, and passed their tea drinking habits down to their children, including my mother. (Grandma Moody, her mother, was from Canada, and always drank tea).  My Mom still had the tea habit 150 years later, and my Dad had the coffee habit. They probably didn't even imagine they were carrying on traditions from the beginning of the United States Colonists' Rebellion.

Statue of a Miner in Daybrook
   The United States has people of all kinds of nationalities and all kinds of occupations. It looks like the Stephens were miners. In fact they came from Drybrook, Gloucestershire, England, which was a coal mining area.

   I told you that there were two sets of pictures in the Stephens' box about mines.  I was looking up those mines, and trying to find them on the map and guess what? Wassila, the town Sarah Palin lives in, is only 13.2 miles from Palmer, Alaska where Edna and Jim Stephens lived, and also close to the mines.

Jim Stephens (I know his handwriting now) wrote this on the back: "Very Good House at Wassila Lake."

 
   In fact there is a picture of a cabin at the edge of Lake Wasilla in this box. I think the Stephens once lived in this house.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Just Who Is The Dapper Guy?

Rufus S Moody - Could this be my Dapper Fellow?
Trying to Identify the guy on Right
   To completely explain how I discovered just who this Dapper Guy on the right (of the left picture) was, might not be possible, but it is fun for me at least. Genealogy and Family History sometimes seem boring to some people, but if you think of it as a mystery, a detective story, it  becomes quite exciting, so I will now relate what I know so far.

1. I didn't know who he was at all. I didn't recognize him.

2. I am working on a box of pictures from Edna Moody Stephens and her Husband Jim Stephens.

3.  I know Edna Moody Stephens' family but not Jim's. I had heard that she was the only one who ever communicated with my great grand father, the father-in-law of my grand mother Moody, Rufus S Moody, so I was hoping that there may be a note, or a picture of this Great Grandpa Moody in this box.

4. There appeared to be nothing from the Moody side, not even the note that I heard that Edna had received from Great Grandpa Moody.  My mother said many years ago that Edna received a letter from Rufus stating that he "Played in the Salvation Army Band in San Francisco." The picture above and the younger one of him at the left, had come to the family through Edna, my mother had said. Edna once wrote to Rufus, and he sent her these pictures. I hoped that in this box there would be something more.  Well, we can see that there is no connection between Rufus Moody and the Dapper Guy, though they both look rather dapper. Rufus was born way too early, probably the 1880's, and my Dapper Guy was in the service, probably in World War II, so the only solution is that my Dapper Guy is from Jim Stephens' family..... not Edna's.


"Bill Hagan and I"
5. Now we already knew that, because we have a sample of his handwriting from the back of this picture on the right where he identifies himself as "me." Now I know that whenever I see that handwriting it is the Dapper Guy.

6. And we know the Dapper Guy's father, because in the same handwriting, he identifies "Dad" in three or four pictures.  I just kept looking through the pictures, over and over again and looking at the census records and began to see parts of the family, but still I had not yet put together the entire family.

"Phil, Dad, Marge and Doris"
7. I knew some part of the Dapper Guy's family. The 1901 Wales, England census says Roland Stephens is the father, Caroline, the mother, James L or A Stephens is the oldest brother,  Emma is a daughter, a year younger, Reginald, two years younger.... then Ronald (who the Dapper guy thought were twins), then Frank and and Doris who actually were twins. Then another picture had Phil and Marge with Doris and "Dad."  So I think I have the whole family, but still have to place the Dapper Guy into the family. Then, the Dapper Guy's father must be James A Stephens.

Edna & Jim Stephens
"Ben Hamsrik and myself"
8. So now I can ask the question, "Where does Edna and Jim Stephens fit into this family?" I began comparing pictures that are years apart of  Edna and Jim, and comparing the handwriting on them and other pictures. On the right is a picture of Jim and Edna the way I remember them, but no writing on the back. And no date, though I think it is in the 1970's at a family reunion.

"Edna & I at Little Susitna last Spring"
9. Another question that keeps coming back is about the mine. Who are the people at the mine.

   There are at least two different mines, and the pictures of the mines have the same handwriting........ I haven't told you about the mine yet?,,,,,,, but the  picture on the left is at the mine ........ The handwriting on the back is the same as the Dapper Guy.... This guy doesn't look dapper anymore. He's a mechanic, but the back says, "Ben Hamsrik and myself." I think "myself" is the one on the right because I used my magnifying glass and held it up close to my eye and could see the Dapper Guy's smile behind his hand. Since the handwriting is the same...., that's him!

   Finally I flipped over another picture and there it was. I had now memorized the Dapper Guy's handwriting so I knew it, and the back of the picture said, " Edna & I at Little Susitma last spring." The Dapper Guy is Jim Stephens himself!!! I had seen this picture before and had read the caption on the back, but didn't know the handwriting. I kept tossing it aside. So.......... when you are telling about your pictures, whether on line or in a scrapbook, or just a note on the back.... Don't say, "That's Me."

Monday, July 4, 2011

Edna Moody

Edna Moody Stephens and James Roland Stephens


Edna Moody is my aunt. She is my mother's oldest sister. I have only met her a few times and cannot even say that I knew her. She died in 1999, and a few years later I received a box with her photographs and a few other things.

For the past few days, maybe a week I've been looking at those pictures, trying to figure out who her family members were, and organizing them in our Stark/Shoemaker family tree which you can get to by going to the family website Stark/Shoemaker family website and then clicking on "trees" at the top.

I know all of Edna's brothers and sisters better than I know her. She moved to Alaska soon after she and James Roland Stephens were married, so my mother never took me to her house. Not once.

As a child, I do not have any memories of her. She came to my parents 50th Anniversary in the Redwoods in 1985, and she came to many Moody family reunions, but there were always so many people there that I never talked to her more than to say hello. I have found some pictures of her being at a Moody family reunion at Sequoia Park when I was there, but I was probably running through the forest with my cousins.

I Identify My Dapper Friend's Handwriting


From This Picture I Got His Handwriting
   Trying to explain how you figured out a complex identification, is like trying to explain an advanced algebra problem to fifth graders. You know it can be done, but "How can I break it down into the parts clear enough, and 'Will they sit still and listen while I explain it?" Is the problem I'm having trying to explain how I figured out who this dapper guy is. There was a long process.......   and then suddenly, the answer appeared, and I knew I was right.

That Handwriting Matched This Handwriting From The Next Picture
        It's easy to see now, and I can hardly believe I had a problem from the beginning. It's kind of like Columbus trying to claim twenty years after his first discovery of America, that he still should receive his ten percent of all the revenue earned from the Americas. No one cared at that point. Columbus was out of favor, so they didn't care about all of his problems trying to cross the "Ocean Sea," and it's even worse for Columbus today. The Indians blame all of their problems on him as if he caused them himself. No one really cares about Columbus except a few of us who still think that God guided him, and it may have been another hundred and fifty years before the Portuguese crawled around the coast of Africa, India, and Melanesia. Even then they would only have been to China, and still would not have discovered America.
1. The writing above is on the back of this.

   The Stephens family pictures are like that to me. I have this deep down feeling that they are important because they represent a family of real people, and if I don't take the time to figure out who they are and who the family is, the information will be lost and may never be  recovered.

   Because I have taught eighth graders since 1967, I have a lot of experience  identifying handwriting. Eighth graders tend to try to cheat, so I often compare handwriting samples. I found this picture on the right  with the same handwriting as the one with the two brothers, so I knew that the writer was the same..... But a new problem surfaced. The writer didn't get the subject right. This guy is not one of the two brothers who died before 1918!

Not Twins - two years apart
   Look for yourself. My writer misidentified the picture above. He must have written the names on them a long time after he got the pictures. Neither of these soldiers is the same man as the one on the above right, so who is this one?

  While I was studying these pictures I was also placing the people in a family tree and searching for a census with all of them in the same family.  I found the 1901 Wales census that had all the names that matched who I've discovered so far, except for one name. This census said James "L" Stephens instead of James "A" Stephens, so I threw it out two or three times. I looked at the actual census as the census taker wrote it, and it was an "L." Finally, I have decided that the census taker just made a mistake, and didn't listen good enough. Or my writer could have mistakenly written an "A" for the "L" on the picture. I'm sure this census is the right Stephens family! 

2. Frank Stephens, Doris's Twin, same as picture above.
   This is the census that also shows that the twins were  Frank and Doris, who I earlier said were both girls. So one of the soldiers was a twin, and the other was Doris. And that's why my Dapper Friend confused them also. He knew he had a soldier who was a twin, so he assumed that they were both males. (I just rechecked and sure enough, Frank is listed as "son," and Doris is listed as "daughter.")

   Back to the pictures. I studied some more of them and this next one says, "Frank Stephens" on the back with the same handwriting as my mysterious dapper gentleman, who I now know has done all this writing on these pictures. And Frank Stephens matches with the 1901 Wales census. He is the one in the picture above on the right who my writer thought was one of the twin "brothers." That means that Frank is also the uncle of the writer in the WWII picture at the top of this page. I compared these two pictures very carefully. I numbered them 1 and 2, so we can see that they are the same man, not one of the other soldiers.

  It is kind of ironic that I'm trying to tell you all about these English Soldiers on the Fourth of July, the day we celebrate breaking away from England. All of these brothers are English, but I can't find any of them on the 1911 census in Wales.

Mauretania
   What I did find was  a ship record of a James A Stephens in 1910,  and right above his name was Roland Stephens, his father, age 41, just like the census. The record even named "James A" as "son," age 19. ..... So that's why I can't find them on the 1911 census in Wales. They immigrated to the United States, and they came on the ship Mauretania.. At least James A Stephens and his son Roland came to America in 1910, maybe they went back, because the older boys went into the English service.

   I'm getting closer and closer to identifying my mysterious Dapper Friend who was a WWII soldier. At least I know his uncles were soldiers in England.

Phil, Dad, Marge, Doris who is Twin of Frank: All Siblings
   At first I thought this next picture would pull it together for me, but it added new mysteries. On the back in my Dapper Friend's handwriting is the following: "Phil, Marge, Dad, Doris." So there is Doris, who we see on the 1901 census, but now we have a "Marge" and a "Phil" who we haven't seen before, not on a census, nor in a picture, yet.

   It looks like, Doris and "Dad" are brother and sister, so I began to theorize that Phil and Marge may also be two missing siblings..... Dad is the Dapper guy's father, James A Stephens.