My father's parents had 8 children and raised them on a Missouri farm. Hugh and Jeannette (her friends called her Nettie) had a hard life trying to make ends meet during the Great Depression. When Hugh passed, Nettie moved to town and had a small apartment above the Singers store in Mexico, Missouri. Having her own loom which stood six feet high and eight feet long, Nettie made hand hooked rugs to order for the local people. I often look at this photo of Nettie and Hugh as they look so beautifully happy.  They both died before I was born. I realize that we are all connected to our past but I have so many questions. 

Nettie took her own life by hanging from her loom in 1949 . . .

From correspondence from a local neighbor in an attempt to learn more:

"When I was a young girl they lived out by us south of town, between Cedar Grove school and Beaver Dam School. I lived with my aunt and uncle Mr. and Mrs. Carter Crockett. I didn't know Mr. Black but I remember Mrs. Black, later something happened, he might have died, I don't remember, but she had to move to town. She ask my aunt to store that huge old loom for her , so we did up stairs. We were told not to touch, but it was such a big temptation and so awesome that many times I found myself just sitting and pretending I was working all the parts. Mrs. Black missed it very much, almost like a lost child. The rest of the story is very sad."

On a lovelier note, here is a page of many letters written to Nettie from Hugh before they were married, while he was over seas in the service:

"December, 1906

To my only and dearest love, Nettie Glover to whom I endeavor to be my only sweetheart in single life and also in married life to come. It is with much pleasure for me to write these few lines to you as I have been thinking of you since last Sunday night wonder if I would see you the next Sunday to which I haven't missed seeing you for many Sundays passed as it was to my pleasure. Where you and I, my dear, can sorrow break our hearts. I am in distant land, Sleep and die for thee all alone. Night bids me go I cannot stay. With you no longer you and I must be parted. So I must close for this time. From your loving friend. H.F. Black to N. Glover. So goodbye sweetheart. S.W.E.K. Please excuse the writing my dear".

 


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Photography by David Lee Black Studios. All images copyrighted. DavidLeeBlack.com


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