mid-wife with Drs. Hagen and Larson and we had one child born in each of four places.
On 22 Nov 1995 we celebrated 58 years of marriage. This year (1996) we will have lived in this house for 50 years and love it here very much.
Spurr, Ervin Williard
(Ter/ L. BonneII)
My great-great-grandmother’s brother was Ervin Williard Spurr born April 1865 in Portland, Chautauqua Co., New York, son of Joseph F. Spurr and Mary Jane Goodman, who were married 26 Jan 1853 in Westfield, Chautauqua Co., New York. Census show they lived in Portland Twp., Chautauqua Co. where they had 4 children: Ida M., Emily Janette (better known as Nettie, my great-great-grandmother), Arthur H. (a photographer in Creston, IA) and last, Ervin Willard. With his family also lived his grandparents on his father’s side, Amasa and Hannah Spurr. Hannah died in Portland of typhoid pneumonia on 3 Apr 1861. The family moved sometime between June 1865 and 1870. They are still living in Portland Twp. in the 1865 New York census. By 1870 they have moved to Vinton, Benton Co., IA according to the census.
In the 1880 census Williard’s father Joseph is the constable of Vinton. His father died 24 Jan 1894 and his mother died 10 Jul 1913, both in Vinton.
I find Willard in the 1900 census living with his wife in Decorah, Winneshiek Co., IA where he is a photographer living in a rented house on West Main Street.
He married Nettie M. Stiles in 1886 in Decorah at the home of her parents Mr. & Mrs. John W. Stiles. She was born in Decorah 10 Mar 1865. Nettie’s grandfather, Henry Stiles built the Stiles Hotel on East Water Street in downtown Decorah. Williard and Nettie had 3 children: Harold (Harry) who died 30 May 1899 after a 3 day illness, as reported in the Decorah Republican on Thursday, 6 Apr 1899. Melbourne, their second son was born in Decorah the 22 Dec 1888. Melbourne became a famous photographer in Hollywood, CA, following in his father’s footsteps. He began his studio in Chicago and after 4 years moved on to Minneapolis, then to Waterloo, IA and finally to Hollywood. The Rotary Club of West Hollywood, CA wrote of him in The Rotar on 12 Jan 1950..."Mary Pickford sat for him and he soon became well known. He photographed the original John Barrymore profile that became known throughout the world. He has since photographed generals, Presidents of the United States, motion picture stars, authors and famous people from all walks of life...he achieved top success in the field of portrait photography...Mildred (his wife) is his favorite model, and those of us who know her readily understand why.” Melbourne died 3 Oct 1964 in Hollywood, CA. Their third child was Gladys Celeste who married Elmer H. Ericson on 23 Dec 1914 in Minneapolis. In 1927 they were living in Fargo, ND. They had one daughter named Patsy.
In the Decorah Journal of Saturday, 9 Apr 1887 it states: "TJ. Flemming and E.W. Spurr will open a photograph gallery May 1st on the second floor on the Dr. C.H.
Strong’s building on Water Street, which is now being neatly fitted up for that purpose.” Willard became a noted photographer and won his first award in 1899. Spurr’s Studio, 209 Water Street, ran an advertisement in the Decorah Public Opinion on 14 Nov 1900. Also in the same paper on 6 Jun 1900 was an article stating “E.W. Spurr had arrived home from the state photographers association meeting happy as a clam at carrying off the first prize in the Class A, which was a handsome gold medal. His display was in competition with artists all over Iowa.”
Willard left Decorah about 1904 and moved to Waterloo, IA where he operated a studio for about 15 years. He is listed in the census of 1920 as living on Verdon Street and being a photographer of his own studio. He was living with his wife Anna M., age 38, born in Iowa. After 1920 Williard and Anna moved to Los Angles, CA. (Note: I believe Willard and Nettie must have divorced sometime after 1904. Williard is not mentioned in his daughter’s marriage notice in the Decorah Journal in 1914.)
Nettie Stiles Spurr died Saturday, 8 Jan 1927 in Hollywood, CA. Melbourne and Gladys accompanied their mother’s body home to Decorah when the funeral was held on Tuesday, 18 Jan 1927. She was buried in Phelps Cemetery.
Willard died 13 Mar 1938 in Los Angles. Los Angles Co., CA at the age of 72.
Standring, Christine Ann
Christine Ann Standring was born in Cleveland, OH. She was the daughter of Charles and Catherine Standring. Both her father and mother were
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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021