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
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.
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.
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!