Ellis Album

Black Ellis Album #1, Page 9

BEA1, page 9


This album page features my great-grandparents.  My great-grandmother, Blanche Octavia Huband, is the album creator.  The first photo includes her and her future husband (and my great-grandfather), Claude Albert Ellis, and a friend noted only as Hazel.  It was taken 24 July 1915 in Ogden Canyon.

The 24th of July is a holiday here in Utah.  It celebrates the day the first pioneer company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on 24 July 1847.  I wonder if they went on a picnic in the canyon to celebrate?


BEA1, img 19, Claude, Blanche, Hazel, Ogden Canyon, 24 July 1915
l-r: Hazel, Claude Albert Ellis, Blanche Octavia Huband, 24 July 1915, Ogden Canyon


There are a few details in this photo that stand out to me.

First, Grandma Blanche appears to be wearing a bracelet that my sister now has.  That bracelet has Blanche’s name inscribed in the center.  I wondered if it was a gift from Claude and asked their daughter Claudia about the bracelet.  She recognized the bracelet but did not remember its history.

Second, Claude is holding a camera.  But is Blanche also sporting a camera in a camera case?  It could be a folding autographic Brownie.  It would be about the right size.  A general search of handbags and purses for 1919 does not bring up purse styles with a long strap.  Now I am wondering if they both enjoyed taking photos.

Here is a crop of the photo:


BEA1, img 19, Claude, Blanche, Hazel, Ogden Canyon, 24 July 1915, crop
l-r: Hazel, Claude Albert Ellis, Blanche Octavia Huband, 24 July 1915, Ogden Canyon


Here is a recent photo of the bracelet:


Bracelet that belonged to Blanche Octavia Huband, then her daughter Mary Margaret Ellis, and now my youngest sister who is living.


The second photo on this page features Grandma Blanche with Hazel and was taken in July 1915.  Is it the same Hazel?  It is difficult to tell with the very different angles of her head and the difference in lighting.  What do you think?


BEA1, img 20, Blanche, Hazel, July 1915
l-r: Blanche Octavia Huband, Hazel, July 1915


Hazel is likely Hazel Berrett.  In her undated autobiography, Blanche wrote this:

“Then in 1914 I met Claude A. Ellis who had just returned from a mission to the Eastern States, and I thought he surpassed all the others with his refined manners and his blonde wavy hair.  We were real friendly with Hazel Berrett and William Gibson who returned with Claude from the same Mission.  We had all our dates together and went in a little rubber tired buggy with a black horse.”1

There is a Hazel Margaret Berrett in the Family Tree on FamilySearch who was married to a John William Gibson and is the right age and lived in the right place to be the Hazel mentioned in Blanche’s autobiography.  I found a photo that included this couple in a different album created by Grandma Blanche.  I have messaged a likely descendant to help clarify if these photos are of that same Hazel.  Hopefully, I get a response!

All handwritten notes on this album page appear to have been written by Blanche, with the exception of  the names above the first photo, those were written by Blanche’s daughter Margaret.


I wonder what photo was removed from this album page?!



This post is part of a series sharing this wonderful old family photo album.  You can learn more about the album here.  A digital version of this photo album can be viewed on Flickr here.



ps — I have been quite busy with lots of good things.  Everyone at my house is still healthy.  Hopefully, we can stay that way.  The daily number of new COVID 19 cases in Utah is trending in the wrong direction.  I hope you are all healthy, happy, and safe!  xoxo