1920s Couple


Here’s a photo that I wish I knew more about. What I do know is that the solemn couple is Ed and Bessie Bolte. Bessie is my grandmother’s sister, so one of the Vining siblings. The hairstyle and dress make me think this is from the 1920s. Probably it is in Teterville, Kansas, an oil boomtown where my Vining, McGhee, and Bolte relatives gathered during that era.

Men’s clothing don’t seem to change enough to help with dating photos, but Bessie’s short, crimped hairstyle and short dress help me set this in the 1920s.

I’ve delved into Bessie’s life a few times. You can read more about her in these.

Below is the blog challenge photo that reminded me of the photo in our family album.

Sepia Saturday (20 November 2021)

4 thoughts on “1920s Couple

  1. Mike Brubaker

    An excellent match for this weekend. The child half-hidden behind the screen door adds an element of mysterious drama to the photo. I have a large number of musical photos from Kansas in my collection , so I looked up Teterville, KS. Its Wikipedia entry calls it a ghost town, and no buildings remain. Google Map’s street view shows just an empty gravel road. I’m intrigued by places like this, especially because it is close to the setting of one of my favorite books, PrairyErth: A Deep Map (1991) by William Least Heat-Moon. It’s an account of the history and people of Chase County, Kansas.


    • That child peering out the screen door might be my mother. I wish I could see that better.
      Yes, Teterville is gone but there’s a monolith there and adventurous people trek in on the bad road to see that and the views of the Flint Hills.
      I’ve read PrairyErth and given my connections to Greenwood, Lyon, and Chase counties, I found the book very meaningful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathy Morales

    Mike always gets me to look more intently at the photos. I hadn’t noticed this child behind the screen door. Now I see that Ed has a cigarette in one hand and Bessie has something crumpled in hers – maybe a handkerchief? And her Mary Jane shoes. Good match for the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

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