Strangers in old photos, photographed with their pets – I love that so much! And guess what, not only is the dog-mom in this photo identified, but also the dog – these are “Grace and “Blossom” August 1935, Black Creek, N.J.” The back of the photo reveals that our dog-mom’s full name was Grace Bowden Winckler.
Grace Bowden was born on September 27th, 1901, in Cleveland, Ohio, to parents William Bowden (1858-1952) and Rebecca née Morgan (1861-1952). Parents William and Rebecca had emigrated to the United States from Wales in 1887, just after their wedding in Llangynwyd, Glamorganshire in Wales, in January the same year. Grace was the youngest of the couple’s six children, all 1st generation Americans. Grace’s father William had been a collier (coal miner or trader) in Wales. In the United States census from 1900 through 1920 he was listed as a stationary engineer (at the Mill) in Cleveland, Ohio. By 1930, he seems to have finally retired.
Looks like Grace got a good education and she was working by 1920, first as a cashier at an insurance company, later as an insurance investigator. In 1928, she was employed as an assistant credit manager at the National Bond and Investment Company in Wymore.
In July 1926, at the age of 24, Grace married Percival Andrew Winckler, a WWI veteran and a credit manager with Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company. Percival, son of Isaac and Ida Winckler, was 7 years older than Grace.
The couple did not have any children, but they did have a fur-baby called Blossom whom you can see in Grace’s embrace in this vacation photo.
In August 1935, the couple took a scenic road trip. They drove about 490 miles East and set up camp on the banks of Black Creek in New Jersey. Black Creek Site in Vernon Township today is one of only three Native American sites in New Jersey listed on the historic registers.
In 1940, the couple was living at 1835 Nela Avenue in East Cleveland, Ohio. Perhaps this was their house in 1940?
Grace passed away in August 1984 at the age of 82 years. Her husband Percival (1894-1965) had died almost 2 decades earlier. Grace was buried at Highland Park Cemetery in Highland Hills, Ohio.
Although Grace and Percival’s only baby was “Blossom”, perhaps the descendants of Grace’s siblings – of George Bowden (1889-1978), William Bowden (1891-1927), Lillian Bowden Feil Pucciani (1894-1969), Bert Bowden (1897-1977) or Arthur Bowden (1899-1977) – might be interested in keeping this photo with the family. Hopefully this blogpost reaches them!