We found big brother Arthur Knapp, posing with his baby brother Peter—alias Jackson Harlowe Knapp—in an abandoned family photo from 1899. The photo, after an unexplained hundred and twenty year journey, surfaced in an antique store in Sonora, California—pretty much a seven hundred twenty mile trip from where the picture was taken in Kelso, Washington.
As we learned yesterday, Arthur and Peter, er, Jackson were sons of George and Lena Overacker Knapp. Arthur was the couple's second-born child and oldest son, born in Washington state in 1893. It was Arthur who, in 1910, garnered two entries in the census records—one in the Portland, Oregon, household of his parents, and another along with his father as laborers in a railroad construction camp about one hundred miles on the other side of Mount Hood. Granted, they could have left home for work the day after the April 18 enumeration in town, and arrived at the Lyle Gap work camp before the head count there on April 25. But there is more to that story, I suspect.
Curiously, when Arthur registered for the draft in either 1917 or 1918—the date is nearly illegible on the digitized copy of his registration (though we do learn from elsewhere that he enlisted on July 28, 1917)—he reported being married, although Washington state records show the actual date of the marriage he claimed as his first was August 22, 1920. Interestingly, that same draft registration card indicated that his mother and a sister were solely dependent on him for their support.
By 1930, Arthur and his bride, the former Philena Malone, were settled in Wahkiakum County—same county where his brother
The story, after that point, gets murky. I can find neither Arthur nor Philena in the 1940 census. While there is a Mrs. Philena M. Knapp listed in the voter registration records of Los Angeles, California, as early as 1934, of course, that could be a case of mistaken identities—although, c'mon, how many Philenas do you know?! The tale may be told to us in shadow form when we find Philena's Social Security record showing she received her identification number in the state of Florida—where her father-in-law had moved—and realize that Philena's burial and Arthur's were not in the same cemetery.
Which brings us to another point: just where did Arthur's father, George Knapp, go? While Arthur and his brother Jackson remained in the Pacific Northwest, what became of George Knapp, himself? While he is not in any of the Knapp family photos I found in that Sonora antique shop, we may as well get some closure to this family's saga, by visiting the rest of the story in tomorrow's post.
Above: Close up of six year old Arthur Knapp, from a photo with his baby brother Peter (Jackson Knapp) taken in 1899 in Kelso, Washington; photo currently in possession of owner until returned to a direct descendant of the Knapp family.