Of all the photographs in my collection, this is one of the saddest. We see here a vibrant family of six with four lovely children. Mary Ellen (my grandmother) is but a few months old, and her older sister is 11. In the photograph below, less than a decade later, only the mother, Mary Ellen, and Grady remain. Tuberculosis claimed the lives of the rest, as it was to claim mother Nancy Areacy only two years after the latter photograph was taken. The sitting below took place immediately after Nancy, Ellen, and Grady had returned to Alabama from Texas, where they had moved in hopes that the dryer climate would heal Pearl of her lung disease, but where instead she and her father were left buried. Nancy Areacy returned, knowing she was dying, and Grady insisted they have this photograph taken. To my knowledge, it was the last photograph taken of Great-Grandmother.
(Left to right) Mary Ellen Dowdey, Nancy Areacy (Parnell) Dowdey, Grady Dowdey, 18 January 1908. (Closeups below)