This is a gallery of photographs focusing upon the Maiden and Durham families that settled in western Nebraska and northeastern Wyoming. While we have no photographs of George Maiden (1811-1891), we do have photos of many of his descendants. We're also including images from the Durham family, which joined the Maiden line with the 1915 marriage of Leota Durham and William J. Maiden. This collection includes a few contemporary gatherings of the family. You can click on any photograph to choose a larger-sized image.
MARTHA MERRITT NORMAN (1835-1901)
This undated photograph shows Martha Merritt Norman seated in front of a photo of her husband, John Norman, who was likely deceased when this was taken.
Born in Indiana to George and Elizabeth (Scott) Merritt, her family moved to Iowa by the time she was a teenager. The 1850 census shows the family living at Fox in Davis County Iowa. At about age 17, in February 1852, she married John Norman in Davis County. Over the next 30 years, John and Martha 10 children, including Alatha (Norman) Durham, who would become mother of Leota (Durham) Maiden. In addition to Fox County, the Normans also lived in Decatur and Page counties. By 1870, their home was in Cherokee County.
John Norman died in 1882, and Martha reportedly married a widower named Thomas Phillips in 1877. At the time of the 1900 census, Martha and Thomas lived in Aurelia, Iowa. Martha died at Meriden, Iowa on 13 August 1901. The cause was "illness related to burns." (Photo courtesy of Doug Henderson)
THIS IS THE "GOOD WITCH BETTY!"
This witch flew in to Sugarland Ridge in Sheridan, Wyoming, on Halloween of 2014. Scary as she may be in this photo by the Sheridan Press, we're convinced that she's "good witch" Betty (Maiden) Jolovich, accompanied by her daughter Jan (Love) Tenold at left and husband Paul Jolovich at right. The young princess in the foreground is unidentified. Witch Betty is holding the new "Stealth 88" broom, which celebrates the number of years she's been bewitching folks.
If you have a strong heart and are not easily frightened, click on the photo and select from the menu a larger version of the image.
Note: Betty Belle Maiden was born in May 1926 and was married to Marlin Love for 56 years, until his death in 2000. She married Paul Jolovich in July 2002.
On Saturday, December 21, 2013, the family of Betty Maiden Love Jolovich gathered for a special holiday reunion. The event took place at The Ranch at Ucross north of Buffalo, Wyoming.
Betty Love Jolovich is seated at center-right, with husband Paul at her side, and all of her Love children and many of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Click on the photo for a closer look!
We have a prize for whomever can first help us correctly identify the names of all the good people in this photograph! It's a copy of the hour-long video story of her life told by Betty!
It was a beautiful and serene winter evening at Ucross, with light snow, good food, lots of laughter ant much love…..an evening we'll not forget.
This undated photograph is from the Lettie Miller picture book. Our memory doesn't contain information about the exact date or circumstances of this photo, but we'd guess it's sometime in the early 1950s. It was definitely taken in the back yard of John & Lettie Miller's home at 450 Ann Street in Chadron, Nebraska.
Lettie Maiden Miller (left) and Betty Maiden Love hold the prize catch of the day -- a good-sized snapping turtle. That may explain why the family dog, Rusty, appears to be tied to the clothesline pole. Old "Ruh-ruh" was almost never -- that we recall -- on a leash or line.
Where did the amphibian come from? Good question -- for which we have no answer.
(Update: At a Love family reunion at The Ranch at Ucross in Wyoming on 12/21/13, Betty told us that the turtle was snared near the old Maiden homestead on White River and transported to the lights of the city of Chadron!)
These are the younger children of Bill and Leota Maiden. Behind (left-to-right) are Dorothy, Henry, and Betty. Jackie, the youngest, is in front.
(Ray Scott collection - undated)
This photo was taken with an old "point and shoot" camera, we're quite certain. But the 3" by 3" image was particularly sharp, and we only recently found it lurking behind a group of rather run-of-the-mill Miller/Maiden family photos from 1977.
While it may not qualify as an "older" photo, it does go back some 35 years, and we were impressed with its quality. Click on the photo and select a larger sized image and you'll see what we mean.
Of course, we think the subject -- Lettie (Maiden) Miller -- was one of the prettiest ladies we ever knew.
What fun uncovering old photos tucked in the backs of envelopes or stuck behind other pictures in the old family photo box!
We visited Merle Wolfskill on her ranch west of Hulett, Wyoming in September 2005.
While we'd been intending to visit her again -- those intentions were for naught. We were saddened to hear of her passing on August 29, 2009 in the Spearfish, SD, Regional Hospital. Merle was a first cousin to Lettie (Maiden) Miller. Although I had never met her before, when I told Merle I was Lettie's younger son, she greeted me with open arms, and we enjoyed a couple of hours of visiting. I found her to be a warm and friendly person.
The photo shown here is a very small image and was used with her on-line obituary
published by the Funeral Home of the Northern Hills.
This is an undated photograph showing Merle (Durham) Wolfskill's mother and father -- Ada and Tom Durham.
Like his parents and sister, Leota, Tom Durham homesteaded in Crook County. He married Ada Bear on June 17, 1917, in Belle Fourche, South Dakota and lived his entire life in Wyoming.
An old car can be seen in the left background of this photograph, probably taken in the vicinity of Hulett, Wyoming. You can click on the photo to see a larger image.
In the picture (left-to-right) are Leota Durham Maiden, Bill Maiden, Ada Bear Durham, and Tom Durham.
Leota and Tom were siblings. She died in 1951; he died in 1966.
These are the children of Tom and Ada (Bear) Durham: Merle and Gale. Gale was killed in action during World War II fighting in France. Merle died in August of 2009, within 10 days of the death of her cousin, Daisy (Durham) McGuire.
This photograph is undated, but it was probably taken in the late 1930s or very early 1940s. I regret that I have no photographs of Daisy McGuire, although I do remember her. She was born and spent most of her life in and around Chadron, Nebraska.