The Winchester Sisters
I absolutely adore this carte de visite. The worried look on the little girls’ faces explains why they cling to each other. So sweet, sisterly love. Protective love. It appears that protective love continued throughout their lives. Read on.
I had a little trouble identifying them at first. To me the back read May Morton Winchester and Lois or Lorie Walker Winchester. It turns out May was often called Mary in records and her sister was Louise Walker Winchester. Both were born in Eastport, Maine to Andrew Morton Winchester and Louise Loud, Mary born 26 November 1869 and Louise born 30 August 1871.
It appears that the two sisters lived together all of their lives. Mary was the oldest of the three children who survived to adulthood, followed by Louise and Walter (there was a 4th child who died young). The family lived in Eastport, Maine in 1870, but by 1880 the family had moved 245 miles south to Portland, Maine. About 1892, Mary married J.Wesley Benner and she and her husband continued to live with her parents (and her sister Louise and brother Walter). By 1900 the family had once again moved south, this time to Boston. Note that by this time 26 year old son Walter, had become a dentist and 30 year old Mary was a healer/practitioner in the Christian Science Church, 28 year old Louise had no profession. The three children and Mary’s spouse continued to live with her parents, Andrew and Louise. By 1910, the children’s mother had died and Louise, age 38, and Walter, age 35, were both unmarried. Louise (a late bloomer) had now become a bookkeeper in a dentist office (perhaps her brother’s office?) Mary had been married for 18 years but had no children. By 1920, Mary was a widow, working as a librarian in a reading room (Christian Scientist). By 1930 the three siblings were still living together in the same house, their father Andrew had passed away. It appears that neither Louise nor Walter had ever married. And Mary had no children.
I am hoping that a cousin comes forward who would like to have the photograph.