Luella Dean Thomas Photograph Album
An Inventory of the Collection
Luella Dean (Anderson) Thomas was a resident of Austin, Texas in the early 20th century. She was born in 1884 in Dansville, Ohio. She was married to James Vinton Thomas who was a cabinet maker. He was born in Tennessee in 1873. The couple lived at 4303 Avenue G in Austin, Texas. They had a son, Jay Vernon "Jaybird" Thomas, who was born in 1910 in Illinois. Jay was known as a singer and played drums with the Steve Gardner Hokum Kings orchestra and the Swingsters. During World War II he served in England, France, Belgium and Germany. James died in 1938. Luella died in 1975 and is buried in Austin Memorial Park cemetery. Jay died in 1984 and is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.
An album with 207 photographs documents the family and friends of Luella Dean (Anderson) Thomas and life in Austin from 1912 to 1939 (primarily 1921-1939). Extensive handwritten captions appear throughout the album and identify the individuals, locations and dates of the photos. The bulk of the photographs are snapshots and informal portraits of family and friends who lived in Austin and various other locations including Southern California, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Many photos were taken during trips to visit extended family members but some were apparently sent to Luella by relatives. Other subjects depicted in the photos include men fishing; outings to Deep Eddy, Barton Springs, Onion Creek, Bull Creek, and Mount Bonnell; travel scenes in California, Indiana, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico; a cotton farm near Austin, Texas; Grand Chancellor Mr. Fuchs and female students at the Knights of Pythias school in Weatherford, Texas; Pythian sisters; sites in San Antonio, Texas and floods there in 1912 and 1921; the Century of Progress International Exposition World's Fair in Chicago, 1933; Luella and James's home at 4303 Avenue G; homes of other family members; and Luella's son Jay playing in a band at a 'Walkathon' event. The album also includes a few ephemeral items such as newspaper clippings, an invitation, and a program for Steve Gardner and his Hokum Kings orchestra.
Friends and family identified in the photographs include Luella, her husband James and their son Jay; Ned Westlund; Josephine Pintz and Walter Wood; Molly Rosenberg; cousins Carl Jr. and Jane Bostwick as children in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and as adults in Hollywood, California; Frank Porcelli; Virgie, Newt, and Johnny Dillingham; Thomas Coolidge; Mr. and Mrs. Perry Hulwick; Mrs. Will Meredith; Mrs. Lydia Mae Meredith Furhman; uncles Charley and Joe Swart and cousins Ray, Dale and Dorothy Swart of South Bend Indiana; Ethel Jennings; Chas Baughman; Nona and Roy Lipscomb; Richard Allen Swart and Aunt Rose Swart of Los Angeles (Glendale), California; cousin Merl Swart of Kalamazoo, Michigan; cousin Minnie Alford Benton of Harbor, Michigan; Will Thomas and daughter Janet and brother Marion Thomas of Arlington, Washington; Mr. and Mrs. Nathan (Nate) Thomas and daughter Leunette Thomas of Chicago, Illinois; Thomas Garman (son of Dr. and Faye Thomas Garman of Goshen, Indiana); Florence Mae Smith; Mr. and Mrs. Burt J. Smith and daughter Erma Smith Novak of Long Beach, California; cousin Orville Anderson and aunt Mehl Anderson of Johnsville, Ohio; niece Pauline Anderson Lund; father Irwin Anderson; aunt Alva and uncle Arthur Anderson; uncle Will Anderson; brother Grover Anderson.
The album is not in good condition. It has no front cover and the first few pages are detached from the spine. A couple of pages at the beginning of the album were ruined by splatters of paint and those photographs are not visible.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users. Cotton gloves should be worn when handling the album.
Restrictions on Use
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Donor number DO/1992/036 was indicated on the box for the album, although no mention of the album exists in that donor file.
Luella Dean Thomas Photograph Album (AR.2015.022). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: unknown
Donation Date: unknown
Finding aid created and encoded by Nicole Davis/April 2015.
Detailed Description of the Collection