Something for the Oakes folks. This is my grand-aunt, Vera Oakes, and her first husband, Earl Harkness. The photograph appears to be their wedding photo. I remember Vera from my childhood, a diminutive woman whose laugh was a cute little giggle that with a sound at the end like the squeak of a mouse. Vera, born 1893, was the daughter of George H. Oakes and his wife Nettie (Wintersteen) of Adams Co., WI. Earl Harkness apparently died when his and Vera’s only child was still an infant; Vera subsequently married Albert Brubaker and resided in Stillwater, MN. This photo, taken at the Bennett studio in Kilbourn, now Wisconsin Dells, was inscribed on the back to her grandmother Oakes (nee Annie O’Hara).
One of the family items I was able to copy during my summer travels – this is a century-plus old postcard sent by Maggie (Oakes) Covvey of Hawarden, Iowa to her niece, Alta Oakes, daughter of George H. and Nettie (Wintersteen) Oakes of Adams Co., Wisconsin. The text reads “Dear Alta, Guess you think Auntie did not think much of your little box of arbutus. Oakes has taken all my time for over a month. Thought I’d send you a picture of a bridge I cross every time I go to Hawarden. Aunt Maggie”.
Oakes Covvey was Maggie’s youngest son (1909-1986). Maggie’s first husband and father of her children was William Covvey. As a widow, she married Walter Youngkin.
Although Maggie clearly corresponded with (and apparently received presents from) her young niece, contact between the two families must have been lost somewhere in successive generations because I was unaware of Maggie’s existence until I began researching the Oakes line. Don’t know if there are any of Maggie’s descendants or collectors of old Hawarden postcards out there, but thought I’d post it just in case. Thanks to my aunt for her care of the ancestral postcard album.
Nettie Mae Wintersteen, later Mrs. George H. Oakes, had an autograph book in which were a number of little verses along with the signatures of her friends and relatives mostly dated 1890 or 1891. These are a few of my favorites. William F. Shipway was her sister’s brother-in-law; “Nina” has not yet been identified, nor has cousin “Jennie”. Approximately forty years later, “Kilbourn City” was renamed Wisconsin Dells. Although the little book had a velvet-covered exterior, the pages were of a lesser grade paper which have not aged well.