Thursday, April 9, 2009

Smile for the Camera--George Ethelbert VanGilder

The word prompt for the 12th Edition of Smile For The Camera is A Noble Life. Show us a photograph of an ancestor, relative, or friend that is the embodiment of A Noble Life. A life that is worthy of those who came before and those who follow after. A Life filled with small but courageous acts; filled with love and honor. A simple life, an ordinary life, A Noble Life. Bring them to the carnival and share with us how you've honored them.



My paternal great grandfather, George Ethelbert VanGilder complete with a coat, tie, pocket watch and hat. He certainly looks noble, doesn’t he! This cabinet card photograph was taken in Morgantown, West Virginia.

George, son of John Oliphant VanGilder and Mary Louise Hill was born on January 27, 1861 in Morgantown, West Virginia1. He died at age 43 on May 24, 1904 at his home in Morgantown, West Virginia2. He left his wife,
Jessie Pool VanGilder and four little daughters.

He was a dedicated public servant throughout his, all too short, life. Public school teacher3, secretary of the Morgantown school board4, enumerator of the 1900 West Virginia Federal Census in Morgantown5, and elected town official6, were several of his civic activities. There is a cross street,
George & VanGilder Streets, in
Morgantown named in his honor.

I think a line from his obituary says it all….”He was possessed of a kindly, quiet disposition that made friends of all with whom he came in contact.”7


Notes

1. "Morgantown Weekly Post," Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia, May 24, 1904, page 7.

2. “Morgantown Weekly Post,” page 7.

3. George Ethelbert VanGilder, George Ethelbert VanGilder Autograph Album, Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia, 1888-1887.

4. Samuel T. Willey, History of Monongalia County, West Virginia, From Its First Settlements to the Present Time, Preston Publishing Company, Kingwood, West Virginia, 1883, 657.

5. 1900 West Virginia Federal Census, Morgantown, Morgan District, Seneca, Monongalia County, ED 83, Sheet 15A.

6. Earl L. Core, The Monongalia Story A Bicentennial History: IV Industrialization, (McClain Printing Company, Parsons, West Virginia, 1982), Chapter 122: 1898, page 227.

7. “Morgantown Weekly Post,” page 7.

2 comments:

  1. Well you certainly come from some good stock. What a nice tribute.
    I was just reading about putting the sources on a genealogy post and the debate is raging. I always source my genealogy work but I only think of the blog site as a story. Hmmm. How do you make the numbers for the source citing small and up 1/2 a line?
    I seem to learn something new everyday since I have been blogging.

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  2. What a wonderful tribute to your great-grandfather. Thanks for sharing him with us. He was obviously a hard worker and as a teacher deserves this honor.

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