Tait and Lingenfelters Photo Album – Sepia Saturday

I tend to work on pictures weekly, and sometimes I get lucky and can go along with a theme of the week, other times once I see the theme at Sepia Saturday I go back into other photos not featured yet but that I know will fit perfectly with the theme. After I did my last weeks entry, I got to work on a photo album, I have several albums, but have yet to do a really good entry showcasing an actual album, well let me take that back, I did some of the fellas trip a few weeks back. So my theme is the 100 Theme, These photos arent exactly 100 yrs old, but they are pretty close! The first photo in the album is dated 1915. I would like you all to meet the Tait and Lingenfelters.

There are no names on the couple at the start of the album, the caption is “July 1915”. My guess is that its John and Florence (Lingenfelter) Tait. The photos following have captions centering around the Tait Children (Barbara and Norma are named) with various grandparents. I love this photo that says “Norma and 7 Grandparents” what an amazing photo to have and to have all of those grandparents together all at one time in one photo is such an amazing piece of family history!

While searching Google for any info on Norma, I surprisingly found an ebay auction that has already ended and sold but it was for Norma’s Baby Book! The seller took many photos and on one of them it shows Norma’s newspaper birth announcement! Here is what it says

“Born July 8, 1916. Norma Kathryn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs.Tait, was born at the M.D. Tait home Saturday afternoon. While she dont know it yet, and at this stage of lifes game would no doubt be quite unaffected by it, the little youngster has nine grand-parents and great grand-parents living-being as follows; Ms. M.M. Bondurant, Mrs. M.E. Lingenfelter, Mr. and Mrs J.V. Lingenfelter, Mr. and Mrs. John Tait Sr., Mrs. M.J. Eichler, and Mr. and Mrs. M.D. Tait”

Also listed in the ebay listing are oodles of photos of the Grandparents, Norma, her baby feet imprints, lock of hair, her first party, The Silver Anniversary of her Grandparents, a stitched piece of cloth, her first card, all wonderfully documented and placed in this album that was sold. I did make contact with the woman who purchased it who is trying to find relatives also.

From what I can recall, Im trying to find info or Norma’s Obituary, but I believe neither of the girls, Norma or Barbara had children of their own, Barbara had step children. So I know the family line may have come to a halt there, but perhaps the Lingenfelter side is out there with some interest. I would think it was Florence Tait who did all of these albums and took such great detail and kept wonderful momentos with the albums. So its nice to know two of us out there intercepted and saved them.

To take a look at the Baby Book (as long as the ebay link is still valid) you can go here to see..


Now back to the album I have.

There are pages that are bare along the way in the album, either stripped out by family or picked out before I came along, I found this album in an Antique shop in Scottsdale, Az. I also see that Barbara Tait died in Mesa, Az not far from where I found the album. Her obituary…

January 16, 1922 – September 30, 2010
Barbara Tait Schwarzenbach
Mesa, Arizona

Barbara Tait Schwarzenbach passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 30, 2010 at the Joan and Diana Hospice Home in Kingman, Arizona.

Barbara was born January 16, 1922 in Des Moines, Iowa the daughter of Dr. John and Florence (Lingenfelter) Tait.

Barbara attended schools in Des Moines and graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1940 and Drake University in 1944. She was a member of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, P.E.O. Sisterhood and Daughters of the American Revolution. She taught ART in the Public Schools in Iowa, California and Des Plaines, Illinois for several years.

Barbara married Jean W. Schwarzenbach in June 1971. They enjoyed traveling which included many trips abroad. Later they retired to Leisure World in Mesa, Arizona.

Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Jean; parents, Dr. John and Florence Tait; sister, Norma Tait and her grandparents.


The album is the usual family photos, neighbor photos, home photos, some travel, Swimming in Spicer, Minn, fishing in Hayward, Wisconsin, Norborne, Missouri Tornado Damage of May 1, 1930, and then a series of empty pages with photos removed, then near the end are 2 larger photos. One labeled “Oct 6, 1929 Vienna Austria” and the other a group on a ship posing on deck looking up at a photographer shooting the photo above them all and that reads “December 21, 1929 Homeward Bound”.

My mother helps me out with all of her research skills and sites she belongs to and found a fabulous newspaper article, and I dont have a copy of it, and it was hard to read online and some of the wording was super faint as it was a scanned image of a 1940s newspaper article. As I read the article I was thrilled! Do you know how exciting it is to read something that is shown in an album you have been working on, it makes the pictures come to life, gives you the context and more back story to these people. So please enjoy the newspaper story, I inserted the 2 photo album photos in the appropriate sections.

Newspaper Ames Daily Tribune, Ames, Iowa November 27,1940

Miss Norma Tait, senior at Iowa State and assistant teacher at Ames High School, discloses among her fondest memories a four month’s stay in Austria during 1929 while her father, Dr. John H. Tait of Des Moines, with taking post-graduate work at the University of Vienna.

Miss Tait with her parents and grandmother sailed from Montreal in July. They landed in Scotland and traveled through Holland, Belgium and Switzerland before arriving in Vienna.
There are several points of interest that stand out in Miss Tait’s memory of Vienna. She was greatly impressed by the kindness and courtesy shown by the Vienese people to the tourist trade. She found a definite lack of deparment stores, there being only two in the whole city, but the great number of small quaint shops made up for that.
Miss Tait said that even then there was much political unrest and very often one had to be cautious of street fights. On patriotic holidays they would not leave their home, and great metal shutters protected the windows of shops and homes.
Beggars Day, a day set aside by the officials once a week to rid the street of them was a sight very strange to her, “The lower classes are a poorly dressed and very stricken people” she continued.
“We had planned to be in New York by Christmas but it was rumored aboard ship that we would be late because of a 15 foot crack in the side of our ship making it necessary to come back by way of a southern route to avoid storms” said Miss Tait.

How scary! I wouldnt want to be aboard a ship with a 15 foot crack! Just glad it didnt turn into a tragic story of a sinking ship with guests on board!

I also want to thank the comments from readers about the Charabanc. When I read your comments I had no idea what that was. I had to go look it up and see it is the vehicle transporting everyone in the Vienna, Austria Photo. From Wikipedia

Before World War I, motor charabancs were used mainly for day trips, as they were not comfortable enough for longer journeys, and were largely replaced by motor buses in the 1920s.

The charabanc of the 1920s tended to last only a few years. It was normal at the time for the body to be built separately to the motor chassis, and a number were fitted in summer only, a second goods body would be fitted in its place in winter to keep the vehicle occupied.

Charabancs normally were open, with a large canvas folding hood stowed at the rear in case of rain, like a convertible motor car. If rain started, this had to be pulled into position, a very heavy task, and it was considered honorable for the male members of the touring party to assist in getting it into position. The side windows would be of mica.

The charabanc offered little or no protection to the passengers in the event of an overturning accident, along with a high center of gravity when loaded (and particularly if overloaded), which combined with the popularity of excursions to tourist attractions at coastal villages, etc. approached down steep and winding roads led to a number of unfortunate fatal accidents which contributed to their early demise.

John Tait Obituary
John H. Tait, 77, of 714 Fifty-fourth St. He had practiced in Des Moines for 43 yrs before retiring in 1961, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was a past president of the Polk County Medical Society and the Cosmopolitan Club. A horse exhibitor at the Iowa State Fair for 25 yrs, he was a member of that association’s hall of fame.

Florence Tait Obituary

Des Moines Register, Iowa, Oct. 1974

Mr. Florence Lingenfelter Tait, 82, of 714 Fifty-fourth St., the granddaughter of a pioneer central Iowa family. Born in Grant City, Mo. She was the granddaughter of A.C. Bondurant, founder of the town of Bondurant. 2 daughters, Norma Tait of Des Moines, and Mrs. Barbara Schwarzenbach of Park Ridge, Ill. 2 sisters, Mrs. Lela Livingston of Mesa, Az. , and Mrs. Lois Helser of Capistrano Beach, Ca and 2 brothers Fred B. Legenfelter of Rochelle, Ill and Dr. Robert Lingenfelter of Round Roch, Tex.

This photo above had everyones names written on it, and once I checked Census records I had a perfect match…

Lingenfelter in 1900 Grant city, Worth, Missouri Census Records

Father James Valentine
Mother Florence
(her parents- Father: Alexander Conley Bondurant and Mother: Margaret Marilla Brooks)
Daughter Florence E. (who is Florence Tait in first photo of this post)
Son Cleo J.
Son Fred B.
Daughter Lela M.
There is also another son named BEN that is not in the census record

Florence’s Father was Alexander Bondurant, who the town is named after, to get history on the man the town visit this site. I am not sure if both of them are the grandparents in some of the photos but suspect at least Margaret is pictured in the album I have.


There are a couple quotes inside plastic sleeves tucked loosely in the album, one had a quote by N.V. Peale, I slid it out to find a tiny sheet of paper behind it folded in half with pencil writing on it. I transcribed it the best I could, since it was folded for so long the words bled onto the opposite side making it harder to read, I wrote down what parts I could make out as follows…….

“I am not really a person who craves attention. I think speaking out probably would…….

I attain love by being a good daughter to my father and giving love in return. I hug my father and kiss him.


I get support from the Day Hospital by them listening to my problems.


I get acceptance from my family as …. along with what they want me to do and…”

This is my second blog entry to find an old photo of a home and then link it up to a photo of it today. The house below is listed in the album I have

House 747 37th Street, Des Moines, Iowa today on Google Maps, it was built in 1916, I always love finding a home that is still standing and to see with older photos, I just love the old car in the driveway in first snapshot!

There is another home address listed in the ebay auction for Norma’s Baby Book. It says “Our First Real Home, 3312 Highland Ave., Kansas City, Mo” and there are photos of that house front and back in the baby book.

Other identifying information in the album

1. Neighbors children, Franklin and George Sawyer, who are listed in the 1930 Census for Polk, Iowa. Their family is Franklin L. and Martha W. Sawyer. Children are Franklin L., George W. and Edward S.

2. James Lingenfelter – son of Cleo

3. Photo of children – Georgina Munger, Betty Sinclair, Launita Munger and Jane Sinclair

I am by no means done with this album and I want to spend more time on this blog but wanted to get it up in time for Sepia Saturday this week, so please check back if this particular blog interests you as I will be adding more information as I find it.

Photo albums are one of my favorite things to find, and I have a stack of them accumulated now, most of the others are older then this one, 1800s, and very time consuming to work on. One has to be careful just turning the pages on them. I love albums though, they are a story, they are someones life documented, a piece of history, so please please dont ever strip an old photo album apart! Keep it together! And if you have any in your family, PLEASE put notes of those relatives you do know in the album, because if nobody jots any notations, nobody knows who they are looking at for future generations or should these albums end up lost like so many I find. I often wonder if many of these end up in estate sales after someones death with nobody claiming them or finding them and that is how they end up out there lost. Later to be donated to a charity, sold at an estate sale or auction. Fortunately there are many of us nowadays rescuing and collecting them. But I cant imagine how many get stripped apart or tossed in a trash can.


Filed under Photo Albums

22 responses to “Tait and Lingenfelters Photo Album – Sepia Saturday

  1. This is a tremendous post. I can’t envisage a family with so many grandparents alive a one time. The family history of the Taits that you have dug up is a great piece of research. I was captivated from the first picture to the last.

  2. Great post. You found an impressive amount of information. The boat with the crack sounds much too risky to me.

  3. Outstanding! Your really did your research and brought this family back to life. I’m just sorry that the baby album didn’t end up in your hands too.

  4. Oh what a shame you missed the Baby Album. That was a fascinating item. Interesting the things they thought to put in – like ‘Baby’s first short dress’. A really fascinating post. Good luck with future research on this.

  5. Mrs Marvel

    I agree with you about photo albums. I have more than I can handle now but I still find myself looking….just to look. Then when one captures my interest, heaven forbid someone bids more than me! I hate to lose, lol. You did a great job with what you got. I can’t imagine someone thinking that breaking an album apart would be better than keeping the info together, especially when there are names!

  6. gluepot

    I like the photo of the charabanc and the one of the shipboard scene. And well done for finding that home!

  7. A fabulous post with impressive research. A bit like assembling a jigsaw puzzle that’s missing some pieces. But here we don’t need the boxtop to get a good idea of the picture.

  8. Fantastic bit of research and a delightful read. The photograph of the charabanc makes me wish we still had them. What a delightful way to travel!

  9. Regarding Tait & Lingenfelter. John Henry Tait married Florence Ellen Lingenfelter. John’s parents are Mackie Davies Tait and Lavina Christina Eichler, daughter of George Heinrich Eichler and Mary Jane Oster. Mary Jane Oster is my great-grandmothers niece. How can I get a copy of these photos?

  10. Tony E.

    Very nice find and research you have done. As I was doing family research I happened upon this post. Thanks for sharing. It just happens I am related to Oster and Tait family as well and would love very much to see what else is in Norma and Barbara Taits album. More posts of this families album would certainly be loved.

    • bthomas

      Please contact me at bthomas@fca.org I purchased a diary at an antique mall belonging to Lavina Christina Eichler Tait. Would love to locate family.

    • Rosemarie Mazzocca

      I have in my possession Norma Taits baby book with many family photos,I have been trying to locate family to return this beautiful album to them.I will send it to you if you like,I’m in Canada.i posted about this album in Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness on Facebook .

  11. What a great story, terrific photos, and your research is outstanding. I love the smile on Florence Tait in the first photo. I’m always struck by the “modern” look of people actually smiling in old photos.

  12. Wayne E. Bailie

    I just found this page as I was searching for Lingenfelters near Bondurant. Florence Bondurant Lingenfelter would have been my Great grand aunt, sister to my Great Grandmother Fannie Bondurant (Perdue) Ward. I was born in Bondurant, August 28, 1932.

  13. Hi! What a wonderful piece of history here. I work at the Bondurant Community Library – the town that A.C. Bondurant founded (Florence’s grand-father?) We recently just had a really great binder of historical information and ephemera stolen from our library, so I was doing some research to at least print out some of the information, although much of what was in our binder was irreplaceable. It was really fun to see the photographs of these people that I’ve been researching. I wanted to ask your permission to copy this portion of your blog with photographs to add to our new history binder. I hope that is okay! I (and Bondurant citizens I’m sure) would greatly appreciate it! 🙂

  14. Kathleen Thompson

    Someone on RAOGK Facebook group has the baby book and is looking for it’s family!

  15. Rosemarie Mazzocca

    I’m in possession of Norma Tait’s Baby Book,it is a wonderful album filled with many family photos including a 4th generation photo from 1916.Seeking family to re-unite with this piece of their family history!

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