Please see Acknowledgments listed below due to space.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Charles and Merle Claypoole Family Farm circa 1910

One of three photos of the farm currently owned by Mervin Claypool and previously owned by Merle Claypoole, Charles Claypoole, Thomas H. Kerr, Peter Kerr Jr., and Peter Kerr Sr. in Worthinton, PA.  The farm is currently located at the intersection of Claypoole Road and US Rt. 422.

These Photos were taken in 1910 or 1911 and a copy of one was mailed to Charles Claypoole a little over a year later by the family of Peter Kerr.  The photo they sent was one of the ubiquitous photo post cards of the era, by T. H. Kerr who had taken the photos.  The text reads:
On reverse side find a picture of your teams, etc / Those crabs made dandy jelly and lots of it. [crab-apples] / Yours T. H. Kerr - The card is post marked, August 3rd, 1911.

Charles Claypoole purchased the farm in 1902 from the Kerr's and Charles later sold it to his son Merle in stages beginning in 1946.  The farm was then sold after Merle and Alice's death (in 1985 & 1989 respectively) to their second cousin Merv Claypoole and Ray Claypoole Jr. in 1991.

The Kerr's moved to Pittsburgh after selling the farm in Worthington and returned to photograph the farm in 1910 as a keepsake.  These photos were unknown to our family until an elderly gentleman approached my mother at the Armstrong County Folk Festival in 1985 where she was doing free blood pressure readings for the VNA of Armstrong County.  An elderly man approached her and introduced himself as Thomas Kerr, he had taken some photos of her family's farm and he thought she might like to have copies.  They have been a treasured possession ever since.

The photos give a very good sense of the 19th century life style of Armstrong County's farmers and record the appearnce of the farm from about 1870 to 1914-23.  In the period of the mid 1910's to early 1920's Charles Claypoole expended large amounts of money to remodel, revamp, and rebuild the farm in a more up to date style.  I will include more information with other photos, the boy driving the team is believed to be Clark Claypoole.

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This will be far too brief to begin with, so please forgive me if I ommitt anyone or anything, but there are really too many, but I wanted to thank those who were first or foremost in the process that lead to the creation of this blog.

First my Mother, Fay Anne, who opened my eyes to the richness of our family history, and my father James who ensured that I could proceed down this path.

My grandparents Merle and Alice who personified the good old ways.

My Aunts: Judy, Shirley and Nancy for helping and sharing at all times.

My great Aunts and Uncles, especially Dorothy, Vern, and Beatty without whom so much information would have been lost.

The congregation of Franklin Union Baptist, who opened their attics, minds, and hearts to me.

To Evelyn Claypoole Bracken without whom we could hardly proceed into the past at all (or perhaps receded?!).

To the many cousins who share so often so much.

And most recently and most especially to Barry Chapman of Tasmania, Australia and Kathie Young, who have together resolved something that had truly begun to puzzle me, and whose excellant research is summarized on the Claypoole Family website. And to my sister Erin, who helped stoke the fires of memory.

I will add and update specific thanks and acknowledgments in the places where they are most appropriate. Especially for contributions to original research. I hope to properly credit all researchers original work, and/or to thank those who have allowed me to see and share historical sources whether they are stories, documents, or artifacts.

Also I hope to properly list and acknowledge any secondary sources of information, so that others may check, rethink, verify, and explore the threads of this story.

Please alert me to any omissions, mistakes, broken internet links, or errors of any kind. You may do so in the comments sections or at a new email address I hope to create just for this website.