A Bit Of Family History, Found

I was probably one of the last people in my city to join Facebook, approximately five years ago. I soon found there was a lot of what Hunter S. Thompson would have called fear and loathing on the site, but I refined my friends list and groups to focus primarily on actual people I knew, people I didn’t know but who were gearheads, Italian restaurants, and various and sundry Cadillac, Lincoln and Broughamesque car groups. As a result I avoid about 98.3% of the typical FB angst, and it has worked pretty well.

At any rate, sometimes things come out of left field. Early this year I was contacted by a lady in Arkansas, Lisa Harding Jepko. What she had to say was pretty interesting:

Hi, this sounds crazy, but as a hobby, I buy old pictures from auctions and estates. Then I try research the families in the pictures. I believe I have one of your great great grandfather…”

I forwarded the photos she attached to my Uncle Dave, who emailed back:

“From I believe Arthur Klockau or possibly William Klockau…Both Arthur and William were my Grandfather Walter’s brothers.”

As you may recall, William Klockau, my great-great grandfather, and his son Walter John, my great-grandfather, ran a garage in downtown Rock Island, IL

Walter John Klockau II, my great-grandfather.

A little bit later, they also sold new Ford and Jeffrey motor cars. You can read the whole history of that from this post I wrote back in 2017.

New Jeffrey cars. The garage building still stands today, but is all but unrecognizable except for the window placement.

Lisa was kind enough to offer to send me the photos, and they arrived safe and sound. It’s really something to see photos of family who were gone long before I came on the scene, so to speak. Later, Lisa messaged me again, with more info:

“Ahh finally found the where we bought the picture from! (It was a) Mr. Ward, sounded like such a fascinating gentleman. I wonder if Mr. Ward’s name sounds familiar to your family…that’s the next mystery is how in the world did the picture it end up here with his stuff.”

There could be a connection, I went through grade school with a Neil Ward, and his family were members of our church too, back in the ’80s. His dad had an old car back then too, a navy blue ’64 Galaxie 500 sedan; I remember it well. Of course, Ward is a rather common last name. Haven’t seen any of them in years, but it would be interesting to find out if they had any relatives in Arkansas.

Image: Google Maps

Oh, and here is the house at the address on the postcard today. That’s got to be the same house that was there 101 years ago.

But at any rate, it was a thrill to talk to Lisa, and get these photographs. I thank her sincerely!

4 Replies to “A Bit Of Family History, Found”

  1. stingray65

    Very cool story – nice to see Facebook is useful for something besides censorship of half the political spectrum (guess which half). Since the pictures show your family in uniform – do you know anything about their military service?

  2. One Leg at a Time

    Great Story. When I was growing up, my grandparents’ and great grandparents’ homes were full of black and white framed photos (and numerous photo albums). I wonder what happened to those photos – if they will end up being purchased by someone like Lisa.

    I love how you remember Neil Ward’s family car from elementary school. I have a friend who remembers people in our childhood neighborhood that way: “you know – the guy on Bowdin Drive with the bronze ’77 Malibu…”

  3. Tom Klockau

    Well, the Galaxie was his dad’s ‘fun car.’ I don’t remember what their regular car was, though years later his mom had an Accord coupe.


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