Two Friends

bl HUNT Charlotte DAMON Nellie

I picked up this circa 1915 photograph in Holland, Michigan.  Miss Charlotte Hunt and Miss Nellie Damon lived just a few doors apart on Pequot Street in New London, Connecticut. Charlotte, born on New Year’s Day 1901, was about one year older than Nellie.  If we speculate that the author of the writing on the reverse identified the girls left to right as they appear in the photo this would mean that Charlotte is on the left.

About 1925 Charlotte and Nellie both took husbands.  Charlotte wed Carl Allen, an electrician, and Nellie married Ernest J. Murphy, a machinist.

Charlotte and Carl had four sons; David, Donald, Richard, and Robert.  It’s not often that I’ve come across a married woman, especially with small children, listed on a census as working outside the home.  This is why I found it interesting that in 1940 when Charlotte’s youngest son was four years old she was working as a school teacher.

I was immediately excited that Charlotte had broken free of the expectations society placed on mothers to stay at home.  Then I realized that I don’t know if she was teaching because she enjoyed it or if she was working due to financial hardships.  Let’s hope it was the former.

It seems that Nellie and Ernest had a rocky relationship.  After five years of marriage, the couple lived apart for a few years but reconciled about 1931 before splitting for good in 1934.  Nellie worked various office jobs, including stenographer and bookkeeper, but eventually settled into a career as a social worker.  She took another shot at love in 1945 and married Wellesley Hanney, owner of Hanney Chevrolet.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Nellie found marital bliss with her second husband.

Charlotte lived to be 82 years old.  I wasn’t able to find a burial or cremation record for her or her husband.  Nellie passed in 1976 and is buried beside Wellesley in Waterford.

bl HUNT Charlotte DAMON Nellie BACK

Census records
New London City Directory
Connecticut death records
Find a Grave

6 thoughts on “Two Friends

  1. I so enjoy your blog and everyone of your postings 🙂 Aren’t their dress just wonderful? I wonder if they are in some sort of sorority or woman’s group? The hint of those big bows in the back of the hair are great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really appreciate knowing there are people who enjoy my posts! Thank you! I wondered too about their similar dress and thought maybe a church or school function. I think they were about 14 in the photo, but I’m not the best with ages. haha!


  2. I thought they looked about 16 or 17. Love the bows, too!

    I’m working on a photo I found locally that was taken probably around WWI in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. It shows a woman working at an Oliver typewriter. What strikes me as odd is that she’s wearing a wedding ring set. As you say, in those days it was rare to find a married woman with a job outside the home. That’s one reason I think it could be a wartime picture (a shortage of available men and single women for the available jobs). I think it is also possible she might be working for a family business. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

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