This photo is unusual as it is on a ticket for admission to see Little Forest Sims, The Blind Musical Wonder. The price of admission is fifty cents. The following article, Four Year Old Blind Musician, was in the Minnesota paper, The Appeal, Saturday, June 3, 1922: “Little Forest Sims, the son of Rev. and Mrs. J. Sims of Cleveland, Ohio, was born blind four years ago, and is a fair rival of “Blind Tom” as a pianist. According to Rev. Sims, he was offered $10,000 a year, with family expenses to enter him on the big time vaudeville circuit.” In addition, under the Afro-American News Notes section of the Sandusky Star Journal, Thursday, February 3, 1921:” . . . the boy prodigy, Forest Sims, a blind boy. . .was born October 16, 1917, in Birmingham, Alabama. To see him and to study him one is convinced he is endowed with unusual power. He plays and imitates birds and most of nature’s sounds. This unusual child will appear in concert at Second Baptist Church, Monday evening, February 7.” Another report in the New York paper, New York Age, July 8, 1933, edition reports another performance at Brook Chapel in Hillburn, New York. While the young performer is not a resident of West Virginia, the ticket is a small indication of the types of entertainment available to the community. The images below are the front and back of ticket.
The photos are of men and juvenile boys are pictured on this set of postcards. The subject of the first postcard is Oril Beard (1904 – 1978). He was born in Randolph County. Homer Carter is pictured in the next postcard. The next two photos are of Paul Hall. There is a military record for a Homer Carter listing Huttonsville, West Virginia as his residence. He was born in 1896 making him a contemporary of my grandmother who was born in Huttonsville. The postcard is addressed to my grandmother. The heart-shaped photo has a one cent stamp attached and was postmarked in 1907. It is addressed to my recently widowed young great-grandmother. Perhaps it is a valentine. The next four photographs are not labeled in any way.
These postcards display individuals posing in groups. Several groups can be identified as families. The first picture is of Dan and Ellen Hall with their children. The second photo is of Maggie Beard (1905-1985) and her grandmother, Margaret Green (1849-1946). Margaret was born Margaret Hall, a slave, in Missouri. The Beard children with cousin, Mattie Green are pictured in the next photo: Lawson (1904-1976); Saylie (1902-1976); Margaret (1905-1985); Oril (1904-1978); and Mattie (1900-1957). The remainder of the postcards have no notations. The pictures of the Hall family and the Women on Brick Wall were photographed at the Ferguson’s Studio in Elkins, West Virginia