Sunday, June 26, 2011

Searching for Sina: Sina's Little Book of Pictures - Part 6

From the day that I first decided to post the photos from my grandmother Sina Bellinger Kelly's little book of pictures, I could hardly wait for this page to be shared.

Henrietta Loder Beale and Sina Bellinger Kelly
This page features photographs of Henrietta Loder Beale and my grandmother, Sina Bellinger Kelly. As a young girl, Henrietta was called Etta, and then Etty later in life.

This page represents the only two people in this little picture book who I actually knew. Henrietta and Sina were first cousins. They shared the same grandparents, Daniel C. Landon and Anne Jane McVoy. Henrietta's parents were William Alexander Loder and Margaret Ann Landon. Sina's parents were John William Bellinger and Emma Harriet Landon. Margaret Landon and Emma Landon were sisters.

The cousins were close in age - something I specifically learned while doing my genealogy research. Why? Because the women had a reputation during their lifetimes of lying about their age! Whether it was to shave off a few years or to add a few, I'm not sure. Henrietta was born August 14, 1888 and Sina was born eight months later on April 3, 1889. The cousins grew up in close proximity to one another; Sina in Greenwood, Nebraska and Henrietta in Waverly, Nebraska.

Etty Beale, Patricia Kelly Petersen (Mom), Sina Bellinger Kelly
circa late 1940s.
The cousins were as close as sisters and were lifelong friends. My Mom told the story that since she and her siblings had no aunts on either side of the family, Henrietta said to them, "I'll be your Aunt Etty." And so she was. And she was Aunt Etty to my generation of cousins as well.

Aunt Etty married Ralph Beale of Waverly, Nebraska on August 1, 1907 in Lancaster county, Nebraska. The couple lived in Waverly during the early years of their marriage, then moved to Lincoln, Nebraska. Etty bought and sold real estate, as evidenced by dozens of real estate transactions I've discovered in online newspapers. Ralph was known as "Uncle Hub" - and I still don't know how he got that nickname. To me, they were always Hub and Etty. Hub was in the banking and insurance business. Etty and Hub had no children.

My memories of Aunt Etty

I remember going to visit Hub and Etty in their office in one of the tall business offices in Lincoln (tall by Nebraska standards, that is). I remember that Mom and I stopped by to see them on the day that I got my Hula Hoop, so that tells you about how long ago that was!

I always loved going to visit Aunt Etty and Uncle Hub at their home at 1822 F Street in Lincoln. The house has since been razed and replaced by an apartment building. It was in the heart of the capitol district in Lincoln, just a few blocks from the state capitol building.

Uncle Hub's Scrapbooks

From the time that he was a very young boy, Uncle Hub kept detailed scrapbooks of newspaper clippings of local, national and world events. Every time I would go visit, Hub would get out another of his oversized scrapbooks and we would look through them together, as he would relate stories of his memories. Oh! To have been able to have captured those many colorful stories on tape or video!. Mom told me that Aunt Etty once told her that Hub loved it when I came to visit because I was the only one of the younger generation who took any interest in his scrapbooks and his stories.

After Hub's death, Etty offered the scrapbooks (about 15 in all, as I recall) to the Nebraska State Historical Society, which turned down the donation. Why they didn't want them is beyond me. I thought they were a wonderful glimpse of history. I have no idea what ever became of them.

Holiday dinners

Etty and Hub frequently came to our home for Thanksgiving dinner. My grandfather, Bill Kelly (Sina's husband) was there, too, and I'm sure they talked a lot about the good old days. That was a time when everyone dressed up for such an occasion, the ladies in dresses, stockings and high heels.

Helen "Jerry" Dulin (Mom's sister), Aunt Etty, Mom, Me
on the sidewalk in front of 1822 F St., Lincoln
June 1968

Aunt Etty died on Saturday, December 28, 1968 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The funeral was held on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1968 and my father was to have been a pallbearer. His name is incorrectly shown as Kent Peterson instead of Ken Petersen in the obituary notice, above.

Mom, Dad and I were preparing to leave for the funeral when we received a call from a friend in Greenwood, Nebraska. My grandfather, Bill Kelly, had died that morning. We immediately drove to Greenwood and Mom began making arrangements for his funeral. Our absence from Aunt Etty's funeral was noted by many since we had such a close relationship to her. In a period of just four days, Mom lost the last two members of that generation of her family. We all lost the presence of Aunt Etty and Grandpa Kelly in our daily lives, but not the memories of the people who played important roles in our lives.


  1. This is exactly the kind of story about relationships in families that I enjoy so much. These each need to be written down and shared. To me, this is the most valuable contribution of blogs. These kind of stories are what I look for when I read blogs. P.S. Then tend to feed my creative mind as I write my fiction, short stories and novels, as well. Memories of stories stimulate thinking when writing genealogy, cultural and heritage articles, as well.
    Bill ;-)
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  2. Dr Bill - thank you so much for the wonderful comment. Coming from you makes it extra special!

  3. Heartbreak attack when I read about the scrapbooks. I wonder what happened to them. Did you check the local library? If there is a way to find them, you will. Very nice post Susan.