Wednesday, October 17, 2018

1880s Autograph Album of William Chinn Polk (1860-1949), Mainly While in Mobeetie, Texas; with his Later Notes

Autograph album kept by William Chinn Polk (1860-1949), mainly while he was living at Mobeetie, Texas, where he apparently had a drug store at one time and may also have worked for noted cattle dealer Charles Rath, born Carl Gottfried Rath, whose wife Carrie inscribed a page in the album.

William may have been the Billy Polk mentioned in Chapter 21 of The Rath Trail, by Ida Ellen Rath.

The gem sized photograph stamp affixed to the inside front cover presumably shows William Chinn Polk himself.

William was the son and brother of noted architects Willis Webb Polk and Willis Jefferson Polk.  See an incredible sketch, shown farther below, that Willis Jefferson Polk made of the Josephine Hotel at Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The album measures approximately 7" by 4", has detached covers and contains the sentiments of 30 of William's relatives and friends.  William added notes to several of the pages, including one 65 years later.

An alphabetical surname list and an alphabetical list of the inscribers, together with any personal information they offered, appear at the end of this post.

From brief online research, hopefully correct - corrections and additions requested:

William Chinn Polk was born in 1860 in Missouri, the son of architect Willis Webb Polk and his first wife Parthenia Frances (Dye) Polk, who died in 1866.  William had a sister, Sarah, who died young.  Willis Webb Polk then married Endemial Drane and had several more children, three of whom inscribed pages in William's album.

William's younger half brother, Willis Jefferson Polk, inscribed a page at Hots Springs Arkansas, on December 28, 1884, and included a incredible sketch of the Hotel Josephine.

William's younger half sisters Endie and Dasie, or Daisy, also inscribed pages.  Sadly, Endemial Polk, "Endie", died shortly after the era of the album, in 1890.

Sister Dasie, or Daisy (Polk) DeBuyer-Mimeure (1874-1963) went on to have a noted life, especially known for her relief efforts in France during and after World War I.  She received the Medaille de Reconnaissance and was made a Chevalier in the Order of the Legion of Honor.  William added a note 65 years after Dasie's 1884 inscription, to the point that Dasie had visited him at Weston, Missouri, in the Winter of 1949.

About 1891 in Weston, Missouri, after the era of this autograph album, William married Minnie Hillix.  I believe they had one child, a daughter, Ellen Rebecca Polk, who married George H. Calvert and died fairly young in 1934.  William worked as clerk and cashier at a bank in Weston, Missouri.

He died in 1949; Minnie had predeceased him in 1947.  They're buried in the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery at Weston, Missouri.

James Dickerson of Mobeetie, Texas, pasted his photograph to a page inscribed by Retta A. Griffith of DeKalb, Missouri.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Surnames in the Album

? - 2HHalley - 2PPatterson
AndersonJJonesPolk - 4
CCresswellMcKany - 2WWilliams
CDickersonNNations ?Williamson

Inscribers in the Album
  • Dell M. H.; inscribed on July 31, 1886
  • R. D. Allen; inscribed at Mobeetie, Texas, inscribed on December 1, 1887.  Will's note: "My Clerk in my Drug Store at Mobeetie, Texas"
  • Mrs. Francis Anderson of Mobeetie, Texas; inscribed on June 18, 1884
  • Fannie Boynton; inscribed on October 29, 1883
  • H. W. Cresswell; inscribed on May 2, 1883 in Wheeler County, Texas.  Will wrote: "Home in Canadia"
  • James Dickerson of Mobeetie, Texas, who pasted on his gem stamp photograph; shared the page with Rella A. Griffith of DeKalb, Missouri
  • Eva L. Dye; inscribed at Weston, Missouri; Will's cousin
  • Janet Egerton; inscribed at Childress, Texas, on September 26, 1890
  • Blanche Giddings; inscribed at Visalia on January 27, 1890
  • Retta A. Griffith of DeKalb, Missouri; inscribed on June 29, 1883.  Shared the page with James Dickerson of Mobeetie, Texas, who pasted on his gem stamp photograph
  • Anna Halley; inscribed on July 31, 1886.  She signed A. H.; Will wrote her full name.
  • Fannie Halley; inscribed on July 31, 1886
  • Emma Hull of "Hill Side"; inscribed on July 18, 1883
  • Mrs. C. Jones; inscribed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 12, 1889
  • Mrs. Mattie Kimball; inscribed at Mobeetie, Texas, on January 4, 1883
  • Mrs. L. G. McKamy; inscribed at Mobeetie, Texas, on March 22, 1884
  • Willie McKamy
  • Hannah ?, possibly Hannah Nations; inscribed at Mobeetie, Texas, on March 19, 1884
  • Emmie E. Nesper, inscribed on 10.4.85; future wife of Carl Gottfried Rath, "Charles", of Dodge, Kansas.
  • Jno. B. Neville; inscribed at Mobeetie, Texas, on December 9, 1888
  • Cora Newby of Weston, Missouri; inscribed on July 20, 1883
  • H. C. Patterson, V.D.M.; inscribed at Neosho, Missouri, on 11-12-89.  Inscribed the page to "My Dear Brother".  Was Rev. H. C. Patterson a brother-in-law or was he using an honorific?
  • Alice B. Patton; inscribed on May 5, 1884
  • Dasie Polk; inscribed at Hot Springs, Arkansas, on December 28, 1884.  Added note: Dasie visited me here in Weston this Winter 1949, 65 years later".  William's sister, with her stone spelling her name as Daisy De Buyer-Mimeure, a well known person in her own right.
  • Endie Polk ["Polk" was written in a blue ink"], "Your Devoted Sister"; William's half sister Endemial Polk (1872-1890)
  • William C. Polk, "Billie", "Willie", :"Will", album owner; includes a gem sized photo stamp on inside front cover of, presumably, William C. Polk, dated December 29, 1885.  He owned a drug store at Mobeetie, Texas about 1887.
  • Willis J. Polk; inscribed at St. S. on December 28, 1884; he sketched an incredible drawing of the Hotel Josephine at Hot Springs, Arkansas.  William's brother, architect Willis Jefferson Polk.
  • C. R. Rath of Dodge City, Kansas; presumably Caroline R. (Markley) Rath; then wife of Carl Gottfried Rath, "Charles", of Dodge City, Kansas.
  • Newton Williams of Mobeetie, Texas, inscribed on February 6, 1882 [or 1884 or ?]
  • M. P. Williamson of Mobeetie, Texas; inscribed on September 28, 1883

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