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Friday, August 5, 2011

A Picture Can Lead to One Thousand Words

Lillie Mae Walkup 1904
A few days ago, one of our Twitter followers asked if we could track down people.  Why, of course we can! Well, we can sure try. The young lady in question is a Miss L. M. Walkup from Florida. After seeing her in a class graduation picture--the only female to graduate from the Atlanta College of Pharmacy in 1904--our patron's curiosity was peaked. Mine was, too. How much is it possible to learn about someone from 100 years ago? Someone, that is, to whom my patron and I have no connection and therefore no way to gain any useful family anecdotes? Peruse the following and watch a snapshot form, all from census, military, and death records.

Miss L. M. Walkup's father was Henry C. Walkup. He was born in December of 1842. When he was 17, in May of 1861, he enlisted in Company B of the North Carolina 26th Infantry Regiment. Mr. Henry would've seen action in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and most horrifically, Pennsylvania. After seeing the atrocities of war at Gettysburg, Private Walkup was mustered out in December of 1863 due to an injury.

In the 1870 census, Henry is living in Sharon, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina with his wife Nannie, their five month old son, Robert, and their servant, Nancy Johnson. Henry has already become Dr. Walkup. (I suppose he was busy studying between 1863 and 1870.)

By 1880, Henry and Nannie have moved to Pineville in Mecklenburg County. Robert is no longer with the family (poor baby), but there are three other little boys and a girl all under the age of ten. Luckily, Henry's mother Dorcas and unmarried sister Julia are living with them. One hopes they helped Nannie with the children!

Little Miss Lillie Mae Walkup first appears with her twin sister Rosa L. on the Florida State Census in 1885. They are three years old and the youngest in a still growing family then consisting of their father the physician, their mother, and their sister and four brothers. The family lived in the small community of McIntosh, located south of Gainesville on Orange Lake. The family moved to there from North Carolina between 1880 and 1882.

At some point between 1888 and 1893, Mrs. Nannie T. Walkup went to her great reward. Her husband, Dr. Henry C. Walkup, remarried in 1893 to a woman named Ida H. (With absolutely no reason other than the fact that I like the name, I have decided "H" stands for "Hortense." What do you think?)

By the 1900 U.S. Census, sixteen-year-olds Lillie Mae and her twin Rosa were the oldest children in the household. Their younger siblings, Adam and Mary, went to school with them. Their father Henry worked as a druggist and physician and their step-mother Ida took care of the family. Miss Lillie Mae attended Atlanta College Pharmacy for two years and graduated in 1904. She was the class secretary and treasurer. After this, she returned to her family in McIntosh, Florida. Unfortunately, this was the last time I ran across her twin sister. (She has become my new obsession; I wonder what happened to her.)


By 1910, Lillie Mae's father Henry is presumably deceased. Her step-mother is living off her "own income" but several of her step-children are living with her. Lillie is a practicing druggist and her brother Adam is a physician. (Chips off the old block!) John and Samuel are merchants at a general store. Mary lives with them, too, but is unemployed.


By 1920, brother Samuel has left home, married, and started his own family. (They still live in McIntosh, though.) John is married and living in North Carolina; he runs a shoe store. Lillie and Adam are still practicing in their respective chosen fields and Mary is training to be a nurse. These three youngest "children" still live at home with Momma. According to draft registration cards, Samuel had blue eyes, black hair, and was of medium build and height. I wonder if they all had the same coloring.


By 1930, John has moved back to McIntosh with his wife Lucy. They have four children. Samuel still lives there with his wife Elizabeth and their four children. Adam was married in 1921 to a woman from Kentucky named Edna. He works as a physician on the railroad and also does some private practice. The couple lives in St. Augustine, St. John's County, Florida and has no children. Adam is also listed as a WWI veteran. (Samuel and John did not serve. I suppose they were too old and/or had too many children.)

The two unmarried sisters, Mary and Lillie Mae have moved to (guess where) St. Augustine, Florida!  Mary is an RN on private duty and Lillie Mae is a pharmacist at a retail drug store. They share a home on the same street as their brother. Step-Momma Walkup passed away in 1922 in St. John's County. It seems as if she must have moved there to be with her step-children.

Beyond 1930

Lillie Mae and Mary live together until at least 1934, according to city directories. By 1945, Lillie Mae has moved to Daytona Beach in Volusia County and lives alone. She passed away in 1952, when she was about 69 years old.

I agree with our patron--Lillie Mae Walkup was a fascinating individual. In 1910, less than 25% of women were "gainfully employed." Females only made up about 5% of the professional work force in Florida then. More than 85% of those professional women in 1910 were musicians, music teachers, school teachers, and trained nurses. In that day and age, she decided to enter a profession that was nearly absent of women. She was obviously very close to her family. I wonder how much her father's experiences in the Civil War influenced his children's career goals. She must have enjoyed her profession, too. She was a pharmacist for at least thirty years. That's some serious dedication!

I hope you enjoyed learning what you can discover in easily accessible historical documents. Remember, the Mississippi Library Commission offers free access to Ancestry Library Edition in the building. Another great goodie? Once you have applied for and received your MLC library card, you are eligible to receive access to our subscription to Heritage Quest for free!

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