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Appleman Family Photo Album

Don Appleman
Christmas, 2002

Contact sheet A web site on the Internet, Rootsweb.com, houses genealogical information, along with software and instructions for researching one’s family tree. They also have a series of several hundred e-mailing lists, one for each surname that people sign up for.

When I visited the web site, I noticed that they had an “Appleman family” mailing list, so I signed up for it. Not many messages were exchanged on this list, and most of them were about Applemans of German derivation who lived in Pennsylvania in the 1800’s.

However, on October 30 of this year, the following post arrived –

I work for a museum in Washington, Missouri. We were given a victorian style photo album full of Appleman family photos years ago. We do not know who donated it. All we know is that it apparantly has no connection with Washington, MO, therefore we would like to find a good home for it. Nearly all the photos are identified. Many were taken in eastern Kansas, some in St. Louis, MO. A sampling of Appleman names included: Minnie, Milo, Wilbur, Mildred, John R., Catherine, Charles, Rollin or Robbin, Roy, Anna, Edith, Ada, Ellsworth, Cora, and others. There are other surnames also. If this means something to you, let me know. The first legitimate family member who claims it may have it. Our museum would appreciate a donation for this item as we survive only on donations. It is a beautiful album, the photos are in great condition overall.

MH, Washington Missouri Historical Society

Right away I sent a response to MH via e-mail. Additionally, since I knew his e-mail address, I was able to track down the web site of the Washington, Missouri Historical Society, which listed a phone number. I called him the next day, and we had a very positive conversation in which he agreed that we were likely the correct Applemans to go with the album.

During our conversation he related to me that the album had been donated to the museum, but it was no longer clear who had given it. For the past ~10 years, the album sat on a nightstand next to a bed in a Victorian bedroom suite that was an exhibit in the museum. They were re-decorating that bedroom, and on examination determined that the album didn’t relate to the history of Washington, Missouri so they wanted to purge it from the collection to make room. This led to the e-mail, above.

A couple of Saturday’s later, in mid-November, 2002 I piled into the car with 3 of my daughters, Sheena, Heather, and Brittany, and we drove to Washington to meet MH and retrieve the album. The girls enjoyed the museum, and we were all amazed by the photo album, which is beautiful in its own right, and in which the photos were beautifully preserved.

The album was presented to my father, Herbert Appleman, son of Milo Donaldson Appleman Senior, and brother of Ellsworth, Catherine, Mildred, Wilbur, Milo Jr., John, and Ruth on Christmas Eve, 2002. The entire family with the exceptions of John, Ruth, and my father Herbert, are represented in the album, as well as many of their forebears.

Images from this album are available here.


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