Bloomingport Friends Sunday School circa 1921 [Genealogy Photo] –
This is one of the most adorable photos I have in my possession. These little children dressed in their Sunday best are just super cute. This Sunday School class picture was taken about 1921. These children attended the Bloomingport Friends Church in Randolph County, Indiana.
You can find a photo of an earlier Sunday School class taught by my great-great-grandma Estella (Sharp) Bales at the same church in Sunday School Class Photo – Bloomingport Friends, Randolph County, Indiana.
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Lora Beeson – Sunday School Teacher
The teacher of this Sunday School class was Lora Beeson.
Elma Engle is the first child in the back row. Then Gula Stanley.
Walter Bales is the last child in the back row. Francis Bales is the center boy in the front row with a pouty look. More about the children later.
I’ve been told Lora Beeson taught the little children at Bloomingport Friends for all the years there were children to teach. She loved children but had no children of her own. Lora’s maiden name was Bales, but she was related to my line only very distantly. Her husband Ray, however, was a cousin to my great-great-grandfather Ozro Bales. Ray Beeson’s mother was Martha (Bales) Beeson who was a sister of Ozro’s father John Henry Bales.
You can find these Bales and Beeson lines in my past Bales Reunion photos.
Ray and Lora Beeson also kept the store at Bloomingport for many years. They lived at the house there with the store, and at the time of their deaths in 1971, the house had never had modern plumbing. I know we live in the sticks out here, but most houses, even in rural Randolph County, Indiana, had indoor bathrooms long before 1971.
Walter & Francis Bales, Elma Engle & Gula Stanley
I hope others will recognize additional children in this photo, but the ones I know are Walter and Francis Bales, Elma Engle, and Gula Stanley. I had some help from a friend with identifying Elma and Gula.
The first girl in this picture is Gula Stanley. The second girl is Elma Engle. Walter Bales is the fifth child in line. His little brother Francis is the eighth child.
Walter and Francis are the baby brothers of my great-grandpa Ralph. I’m still searching for the secret lovechild of Ralph Bales, by the way.
Walter, Francis, and Ralph (along with Royce and Blanche) are children of Ozro Bales and Estella (Sharp) Bales. You’ve met their parents and grandparents in many other posts, so I won’t rehash all that information.
- Ozro Bales Driving a Buggy Fast
- What Ethnicity Was Ozro Bales?
- Could My Ancestor Have Been One of the Mysterious Melungeons?
- Ozro Bales Sells Hogs – Free Online Newspaper Search
- Ozro Bales Kidnapping Bertha Root
- Sunday School Class Photo – Bloomingport Friends, Randolph County Indiana
- This Family Reunion Looks Sharp!
Walter was born in 1914 and Francis in 1916.
Elma Engle was a daughter of Orville Engle and Mariana (Stanley) Engle. Gula Stanley’s father was an Earlham graduate and some sort of travelling minister. Some of his kids (including Gula) lived with their aunt Mariana (Stanley) Engle for several years while he was off evangelizing because their mother was ill. So the cousins Gula Stanley and Elma Engle were more like sisters.
If you recognize any of these other children, please let me know in the comments. I would love to be able to label them as well.
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