Mystery Photo

What cemetery is this?

Things that I found to be interesting: Axe, shovel, pitchfork, pick-axe, ladies bonnet, young men holding hands. Is that a gun?

This is one of my favorite photos, although I really do not think it was taken at Pond Springs Cemetery.  If it WAS taken at Pond Springs, it is undoubtedly at the funeral of Thomas Jefferson NELSON’s daughter Savannah, who died in childbirth with twins in 1896.  The tombstones in the photo do not exist at Pond Springs, however in the background on the right, is POSSIBLY Louis Houghton’s tall spire.

Nelson Thomas. Lived in Williamson Co 1900, died 1904B.

Due to my Photoshop efforts, this file is HUGE.  You can trust that I only enlarged, sharpened, and darkened.  But A LOT.  I touched no facial features or ANY details.

Here’s what I think, L to R:  Some of this “fits” as being Savannah, some of it is still unsolved.

1  Unknown “half man”

2  Behind him is an unknown (elderly?) woman, possibly Savannah’s mother (Elizabeth Ann ODANIEL NELSON) or mother-in-law (Rachel HAYS WALDEN)

3  The two ladies (in large white bonnets) might be Savannah’s sisters (Louisa or Susan) or sisters-in-law (Mary Jane, Martha, Sarah, Helen, Frances, Julia, or Ellen)

4  In front of the two ladies in large white bonnets are two children:  the little could could be Savannah’s daughter Minnie May WALDEN (1889-1979, if this were August of 1896 she would be 6 years old), the little boy could be Newton Howard WALDEN (1885-1955, he would be 10 in August of 1896);

5  Another (elderly?) woman, possibly Savannah’s mother (Elizabeth Ann ODANIEL NELSON) or mother-in-law (Rachel HAYS WALDEN)

6  The group of nine men:  All unknown; if this is Pond Springs, these are undoubtedly WALDENS.

7  Man holding child:  This could be Savannah’s husband (William David WALDEN, 1859-1939) and youngest child Laura Clementine WALDEN (1891-1986; if this were August of 1896 she would be 4 years old).  The picture is too degraded to compare with known photos of William David WALDEN.

8  Man with Beard:  Identified as Savannah’s brother Thomas Jefferson Nelson Jr. (1859-1936) by descendant Kim.

9  Almost in the center of this photo, bearded, wearing a vest and holding a pitchfork, is Savannah’s father, Thomas Jefferson NELSON (1827-1904), definitely ID’d by descendant Kim by his unusual stance which was evident in many photos.

10  Two young men behind, leaning on grave fence:  Unknown.  The stone and fence are not in the Walden section of Pond Springs cemetery, and this is the one thing that holds me back from “calling” this photo as being the Walden section of Pond Springs cemetery, August of 1896.

11  I would guess that the next man, standing, dark beard and mustache, would be one of Thomas Jefferson NELSON’s sons (John or Alfred), but the three young men holding hands are not the same age as their sons.  Unsolved mystery at this time.

12  Seated, not wearing a coat, holding an axe, is Savannah’s brother DeKalb NELSON (1857-1932), definitely ID’d by descendant Kim.

13  My guess is one of Thomas Jefferson NELSON’s sons (John or Alfred) is sitting next to Dekalb.  Both had a son born 1891/1892.  Unsolved mystery at this time.

So, looking at this photo, L to R, are “the ladies”, then the WALDEN men.  On the right are the NELSON men.  In the middle is the WALDEN that married a NELSON.

Thomas Jefferson NELSON (1827-1904) and his wife Elizabeth Ann O’DANIEL NELSON (1827-1908) are buried in Pond Springs Cemetery.

I’d especially like to know the identity of the ladies.

Please contact this blog if you can identify anyone, and/or assist with the location.

– Suzanne

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Published on June 20, 2016 at 10:15 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Theh Nelson’s are my ancestors, but I’m not exactly sure how. It will be interesting to research, and get back with you!


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