photograph showcase

Photograph Showcase: Joseph & Petrina Skeen Family

SKEEN, Joseph and Jane Zina Petrina family, abt 1923
Back, l-r:  Zina Electa Skeen, Joseph Maurice Skeen, Naomi Skeen, Melba Trina Skeen; front, l-r:  Mae Skeen, Jane Zina Petrina Folkman, Evan Folkman Skeen, Joseph Skeen, Elda Skeen.


I love this beautiful family portrait of the Joseph and Petrina Skeen family.  Joseph and Petrina are my 2nd great-grandparents.  Their daughter, Naomi, is my great-grandmother.  She is on the back row, second from the right.  This photo is a good representation of both her beauty and her very reserved nature.  I love it!

I have two copies of this photo.  The one seen above appears to be an original that has been glued to an album page created by my Grandma.  She handwrote a label beneath with everyone’s names (seen below).  The other copy is a photo of a photo that was printed in April 1983 (also seen below).  The handwriting on the back is unknown to me.  it also lists names but no date.

This photo was most likely taken in early 1923 for a few reasons:

  • First, the oldest child, Zina Electa Skeen is seen on the back row at left.  Zina died 6 October 1925.  That means the photo was taken before that date.
  • The youngest child, Evan Folkman Skeen, was born 23 March 1918.  Evan appears to be about five or six years old in this photo.  That tightens up our date range to about 1923 through September 1925.
  • The oldest living son, Joseph Maurice Skeen seen on the back row, center, served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the British Mission.  He left to serve his mission on 14 July 1923 and returned home on 18 November 1925, after Zina’s death.  That tightens up the possible date of the photo to about 1923, prior to 14 July that year.


What a treasure this photo is!  I’ve previously mentioned that Joseph and Petrina lost two of their children too soon, Zina at age 25, and Lamont (not pictured here) just before his eleventh birthday.  This is likely the last family photo taken prior to Zina’s death.  It is the third image I have been able to find of Zina.  It is a privilege to help preserve her story through these precious photos.


Original scan of this photo with my Grandma’s handwritten caption:

SKEEN, Joseph and Jane Zina Petrina family, abt 1923, original unedited scan


Photo back from the April 1983 printing of a photo of this photo:





Happy Thursday, I hope you will help preserve the story of a loved one through scanning and sharing a photo today!!  xoxo