Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mystery Women in Family Photo from Sumner County, Kansas

We have an amazing number of photos of our Peters family. This photo includes both my grandmother, Hazel Peters (1910-1975), who is third from the left, and my great grandmother, Myrtle Mae (Coppenbarger) Peters (1880-1970), who is to the right of her. The youngest girl, located on the far right, is my grandma Hazel's sister, Beulah (1923-2009), who got me interested in genealogy in 1998. We are dating the photo by Beulah's age guessing she is about 8 or 9 years old. 

Peters' Family Photo Collection - Used with Permission
Although my dad's generation knew their Peters cousins, they do not recognize the other four women in this photograph. One of the older women has her arm around Beulah, so it appears they are close and possibly related. This photo could have been taken in Sumner County, where the Peters' family lived, or it could have been taken while visiting these other women. I hope someone is able to identify these "mystery women!"

The full names of the women we do know in this photograph:

  • Evelyn Peters (1906-1981) who married Kenneth W Scott (1904-1979) and Russell E Dudley (1908-1990), about 25 years old
  • Hazel Peters (1910-1975) who married Edward Stewart (1910-1972), about 21 years old
  • Leona Coppenbarger (1889-1994) who married Frank Hutchins (1883-1975), about 48 years old
  • Myrtle Coppenbarger (1880-1970) who married Emil Peters (1877-1955), about 54 years old
  • Beulah Peters (1923-2009) who married Gerald "Jug" Brewer (1920-1998), about 8 years old
As often happens when I blog, I realized something as I typed out this post. I assumed this was a "Peters" family photo. However, the two oldest known women in this photo are actually Coppenbargers! Could the unknown women be Coppenbarger relatives? If so, one possibility would be Myrtle and Leona's sister, Ella, and her three daughters. If so, the women and their ages would be: Ella (Coppenbarger) Waggoner (~58 years old), oldest and tallest unknown woman, Margaret Waggoner (~30 years old), Beatrice Waggoner (~20 years old), and Bertha Waggoner (~17 years old).

UPDATE: October 13, 2016

I shared the mystery photo with a Waggoner relative and she shared some photos of the Waggoner women I suspected might be in the photograph. Unfortunately, they do not look like the right women.

But, we have positively identified the woman on the far left! She is Marie (Peters) Bowker (1919-1990) who was a daughter of Myrtle (Coppenbarger) Peters and a sister of her three other daughters who are in the photograph: Evelyn, Hazel, and Beulah. 


  1. Blogging is so helpful in this regard - makes you really look closely at what you're blogging about. I was going to suggest looking for any and all cousins. Here's hoping you can confirm those other unknowns!

    1. It is a good tip! :) I emailed a granddaughter of one of the Waggoner's and am hoping to hear back from her soon. I'm hoping I was correct and found the right "missing" women!

  2. I agree with Elizabeth. Blogging really makes us think about what we're looking at and talking about. Here, I liked the way you were thinking out loud and realized the photo might be Coppenbarger, not Peters, family members. Let us know what happens!

    1. Marian, I totally agree with you! I think that is one of the BEST things about blogging! It takes a lot of time and effort to sort through your research or your thoughts and write a post. And, in the process, you often discover something new!

      I'll let you know about the photo!


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