of the woman in the photo in the wreath.
Problem was, neither my Cousin Alice or I could figure
out who the woman was...until we found the following
studio portrait in another pile of old family photos.
Without even seeing at the caption on the back, I knew
instantly she was our gr-gr-grandmother, Mary W. CUPP.
Mary Weaver (nee McClellan) Cupp
b. 29 Nov 1823, Washington Co, Pennsylvania
d. 16 Oct 1903, Chicago Mound, Lyon Co, Kansas.
Marr. 17 Feb 1846, Preston Co, VA (now WV) to
Michael R. CUPP, who predeceased her in 1899.
Enlargement of funeral wreath
The studio portrait that solved the mystery may
or may not be the same one in the photo.
(West) Virginia > Illinois > Kansas
In 1856, Michael, Mary and five young sons left Preston Co VA
and followed most of Mary's siblings to McDonough Co, IL.
Only one brother, Robert Price McClellan, chose not to.
He became a doctor in Uniontown, Fayette Co, PA instead.
Ten years later Michael, Mary and children left Illinois
for the Chicago Mound neighborhood of Lyon Co, Kansas.
By then the family included a sixth son and a daughter;
a second daughter had died in IL when only a week old.
New Years Day 1870, eldest son Wm. Cornwell "Will" Cupp
married Sarah Amanda "Sallie" Denham (the snow-haired
matriarch in 1936 at Morro Bay CA in this PFF post).
Will Cupp would inherit the farm at Chicago Mound that
his parents had homesteaded in 1866. But not until after
Mary had wrenched it from the clutches of his youngest
brother, Jeremiah (Jerry), who'd evicted her from
her own land shortly after Michael Cupp died.
I have a copy of Michael's will in which he left the farm
to Jerry, specifying he was not to get it until Mary died.
But Jerry and 2nd wife Mary (Hummer) Whelan
didn't let a "minor" legal technicality keep them from
taking immediate possession of what was "rightfully his".
After regaining possession of the farm, Mary Sr. made a
new will leaving it to Will, and "the sum of one dollar" to
Jerry, who tucked tail and moved his Mary to Topeka.
If Mary (McClellan) Cupp looks a bit tense
in the studio portrait, now you know why.