Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Two of my great-grandmother's nieces in Atlantic City in 1939

Here are two more selections from the endless Family Photo Sorting. These are full 8-by-10 prints, which makes them a little more persnickety when it comes to long-term storage. They are professional shots that were taken in August 1939 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, by Fred Hess & Son of 166 S. Virginia Avenue.

The subjects are two daughters of Dr. Swithin T. Chandler (1888-1961) and Louise Montgomery Chandler (?-1985?). Swithin was the older brother of my oft-mentioned great-grandmother, Greta Miriam Chandler Adams (1894-1988). So these two girls pictured below are Greta's nieces and contemporaneous (but slightly younger) first cousins of my grandmother, Helen Chandler Adams Ingham (1919-2003).

Here are the pictures from 79 years ago, taken the same month The Wizard of Oz debuted in theaters and as Germany was preparing to lead an invasion of Poland on September 1, starting a war that would result in the deaths of more than 3 percent of the world's population.

Shown above is Swithin and Louise's older daughter, Dorothea Louise Chandler.

Dorothea was married on January 30, 1944, at St. Luke's Church in Germantown, Philadelphia. An article in The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware, states:
Of much interest in Delaware was the wedding yesterday afternoon in St. Luke's Church, Germantown, when Miss Dorothea Louise Chandler, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Swithin Chandler of Mount Airy, Philadelphia, became the bride of Corp. James Phineas Magill II, U.S.A., son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Henderson Magill of Germantown. The Rev. Taggart Steele, Jr., officiated. The bride's family has many local connections. Dr. Chandler gave his daughter in marriage. Miss Helen Montgomery Chandler was maid of honor for her sister. ...
James Phineas Magill II died just over one year after the wedding.

Serving with E Company in the 78th Infantry Division, he was killed in action on February 14, 1945 — Valentine's Day — during fighting near Schwammenauel Dam in Germany (see details here and here). He is buried at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium.

* * *

And here is the younger sister, Helen Montgomery Chandler, the aforementioned maid of honor at Dorothea's 1944 wedding.

I haven't been able to find much information on the later lives of Dorothea and Helen. I know that Dorothea remarried after being widowed and Helen was also married. That information comes from their father's obituary, printed in the November 17, 1961, edition of The Morning News of Wilmington, Delaware. It states, in part:
"Also surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Robert G. Standen of Philadelphia and Mrs. T. Frank Decker of Jenkintown, Pa."
Helen Montgomery Chandler wedded T. Frank Decker around 1951 and they were married for 59 years, until her death in 2010. That's according to his obituary in the March 24, 2012, edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer. They had met as teenagers at Penn Charter. Frank and Helen had three children, and I'm going to see if I can get in touch with one of them and send them the 1939 photo of their mother.

Other Atlantic City posts

1 comment:

  1. Wow, these are fabulous photos. Hope you're able to contact the children!