Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One of Two 1880s Autograph Albums of Mary Elizabeth Bechly of Searsboro, Iowa


Above, an image of the cover of one of two autograph albums that belonged to Mary Elizabeth Bechly of Searsboro, Iowa.  See the other album here.

As you can see below, Mary used several spellings of her surname on the two different albums: Bechly, Beckly and Beckley.  Her father was born in Germany, and the original name may actually have been something else.


The album is approximately 5-1/4" x 3-1/4" and contains the sentiments of 53 of Mary's relatives, friends and schoolmates.  An alphabetical surname list and an alphabetical list of the signers, together with any personal information or family relationship they offered, appear at the end of this post.


From online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions welcome!]

Mary Elizabeth Bechly was born May 7, 1868 in Poweshiek County, Iowa, the daughter of Freidrich August Bechly and his first wife Hepzibah Beulah (Dumville) Bechly, who were born in Germany and England, respectively.

Hepzibah died less than a year after Mary's birth.  Freidrich, or Fred, then married Lydia Maria Weesner, some of whose relatives signed pages in the albums.  Mary had a full brother, Frederick William Bechly and, I think, six younger half-siblings.

Mary's mother Hepzibah (Dumville) Bechly had three siblings, brother William and sisters Elizabeth and Jemima.

Elizabeth Dumville married John W. Williams in 1846.  They and their family were living in Washington, D.C., at the time of the 1880 Census.  Son George Thomas Williams signed a page in this album at Grinnell, Iowa, on December 25, 1881.  He also signed a page in the other album.


Hepzibah's other sister, Jemima Dumville, married James Henry Holme.  They and their children were living at Benton, Missouri, at the time of the 1880 Census.  Their son Edward Dumville Holme of Savannah, Missouri, who was apparently not yet a doctor, signed pages in both albums.  From this album:


On February 2, 1907 at Denver, Colorado, Mary Elizabeth Bechly married Joseph Perry Bankson, son of James M. and Mary Jane (Blankinship) Bankson.  They farmed at Clarkston, Washington, and had at least one child, a daughter, born about 1914.  Joseph died in 1955, and Mary in 1956.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Surname list

?     [7]
Ashing     [2]
Baker
Beaderstat
Bechly
Binegar     [5]
Callison
Carns
Carr     [2]
Danforth     [2]
Evans     [3]
Gause
Hayes     [2]
Holme
Huston
Knight
Latham     [2]
Livezey
Mann     [2]
Mitchell
Moderwell     [2]
Morriss/Morrissey
Nowlan     [2]
Powell     [2]
Reece
Sheridan
Sweeney
Taylor
Weesner     [2]
Williams
Wisenberg

Signers in the album

?
  • Emma, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, on May 1, 1881
  • Jennie, signed on December 9, 1881
  • Mary, signed at Grinnell, Iowa, on December 27, 1881; Mary's cousin.
  • Loretta, signed on June 7, 1882
  • Siddie, signed on July 22 [no year written]
  • Ethel, signed at Searsboro,Iowa, on December 14, 1883
  • Mary - surname too faint to decipher - of Searsboro, Iowa
A
  • Maggie Ashing, signed on December 21, 1883
  • Lucretia Ashing, signed on December 24, 1883
B
  • Anna Baker; Mary Bechly; both names appear on the page, Mary's at the bottom.  It's possible that Anna was Mary's teacher, or the other way around. "Anna Baker. I like to go to school and I like my teacher too.  Marry Bechly" [sic]
  • Adda Beaderstat, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, on December 9, 1881. Perhaps Ada Beaderstadt.
  • Mary Bechly of Searsboro, Iowa; dated December 25, 1880; presumably she received the album as a Christmas present. She spelled her name in two places on the inside front cover, once as Beckly and again as Bechly. It was likely pronounced "Beckly", but was the family name was Bechly.
  • Lucy Binegar, signed on December 9, 1881
  • Jennie Binnegar of Searsboro, Iowa, signed on December 12, 1883. Records show her as Jennie Binegar.
  • Charlie Bingor, signed on December 12, 1883. Presumably Charles Binegar.
  • Charlie Binegar, signed on December 24, 1883
  • Lucy Binnegar of Searsboro, Iowa, signed on January 4, 1884. On another page in this album, she signed her name as Lucy Binegar.
C
  • J. A. Callison, signed on March 3, 1886
  • Emma Carns, signed on February 28, 1885 at Lynnville, Iowa
  • Loeza Carr, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, on "8-9". She signed her name on another page in this album and in Mary's other album as Loueza Carr.
  • Loueza Carr, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, on December 8, 1883. She signed another page in this album as well.
D
  • Maggie Danforth, signed on December 21, 1883
  • Maggie Danforth, signed on December 21, 1883
E
  • Andrew Evans, signed on December 27, 1883 at Searsboro, Iowa; Mary's schoolmate
  • Clara Evans, signed on December 14, Mary's schoolmate
  • Clara Evans, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, in 1881
G
  • Minnie B. Gause, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, Powshiek County, on June 7, 1882
H
  • Elmer Hayes
  • George K. Hayes, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, on "7-4-1884"; Mary's schoolmate
  • E. D. Holme of Savannah, Missouri. Presumably Dr. Edward Dumville Holme, son of James Henry Holme and Jemima (Dumville) Holme, who was a sister to Mary's mother Hepzibah Beulah (Dumville) Bechly.
  • W. T. Huston, or W. F. Huston, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, on January 11, 1884
K
  • Ida Knight of Searsboro, Iowa, signed on February 2, 1882
L
  • Carrie Latham, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, on December 9, 1881. Presumably the daughter of Joel Elisha Latham and Phoebe Flora (Phillips) Latham. Joel's brother Melville Amos Latham was married to Margaret Emily (Williams) Latham, daughter Elizabeth (Dumville) Williams, a sister to Mary's mother.
  • Cora E. Latham, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, on December 8, 1887. Presumably Cora Emma Latham, daughter of Joel Elisha Latham and Phoebe Flora (Phillips) Latham. Joel's brother Melville Amos Latham was married to Margaret Emily (Williams) Latham, daughter Elizabeth (Dumville) Williams, a sister to Mary's mother
  • Edwin G. Livezey, signed on December 7, 1883
M
  • Dell Mann, signed on March 5, 1886 at Searsboro, Iowa. Presumably Delia Mann, daughter of Franklin and Electa (Willard) Mann. Her younger sister Winnie Mann signed the right facing page.
  • Winnie Mann of Searsboro, Iowa, signed on December 4, 1883; Mary's schoolmate. Winnie's older sister Dell Mann signed the left facing page.
  • Susan Mitchell
  • Teenie Moderwell, signed at Ladora, Iowa, on February 25, 1888. Presumably Christina Moderwell, daughter of Robert and Adella (Arnold) Moderwell.
  • Ada H. Moderwell, signed at Ladora, Iowa, on February 25, 1888
  • Maggie Moderwell, signed at Ladora, Iowa, on February 25, 1888
  • Maggie Morriss or Morrissey, signed on December 6, 1883. Surname runs off the page.
N
  • Katie Nowlan, signed on December 6, 1883
  • Henry Nowlan, signed on December 4, 1883 in Poweshiek County, Iowa
P
  • Nellie Powell; Mary's schoolmate
  • Anna Powell of Searsboro, Iowa, signed on December 9, 1881
R
  • J. W. Reece - name written on a scrap of paper.
S
  • Lizzie Sheridan, signed on December 23, 1883
  • Mary Sweeney, signed on February 9, 1882
T
  • W. D. Taylor, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, on December 13, 1883.
W
  • William Weesner, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, on January 18, 1885. Perhaps William Rufus Weesner, the brother of Mary's father's second wife Lydia Mariah (Weesner) Bechly. Perhaps the Ella Weesner who signed another page was his wife Sarah Ellen (Carns) Weesner.
  • Ella Weesner, signed at Searsboro, Iowa, on January 18, 1885. Perhaps Sarah Ellen (Carns) Weesner, wife of signer William Weesner.
  • George Williams, signed at Grinnell, Iowa, on December 25, 1881; Mary's cousin George Thomas Williams, son of John W. Williams and Elizabeth (Dumville) Williams, sister of Mary's mother Hepzibah Beulah (Dumville) Bechly.
  • Laura Wisenberg; not sure of surname
Searsboro, Iowa


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