Reconstructing a Life from a Class Photo: Mildred Hufford

Mildred Hufford, Liberty Union High School, 1923

Mildred Hufford, Liberty Union High School, 1923

This 1923 high school class photo is one of my favorites! The full photo can be seen in this post from 2013. Today’s star is Mildred Hufford. My search for Mildred started as it usually does with a class photo. First, estimate the birthday based on her being a senior the year the picture was taken. That would put Mildred and her peers born around 1905. It helped that having done a few people from this class already, I knew that was a solid birth year. Next, do a search on Ancestry for her name, birth year +/- 1 year (usually, I do 2 years but knew from her classmates it was a likely date,) and the county/state where the high school was located. In this case Liberty Union High School was in Fairfield county (town of Baltimore), Ohio.

Often this can produce many possible results for identity of the photo. That’s why I usually start the the least common name in the group! In this case only one Mildred Hufford of the right age surfaced. The 1920 federal census had 14 year old Mildred with her father, Wesley (56), her mother Mary (39), and a cousin, Mark Buchanan (4) living in Liberty, Fairfield Co, Ohio. All were born and had parents born in Ohio. Mr. Hufford was a farmer. That’s a good match!

Next came the 1930 census. The Hufford family lived in Lancaster, still in Fairfield county. Mildred was now 24 and worked as a stenographer at a Bank. Father Wesley was a garage repairman and mom Mary was a Nurse. Good to have the whole family working at the onset of the depression! Mildred appeared to be an only child. But I’d need to find the 1910 census to find out more.

One 1910 census from Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio looked promising with a 4 year old Mildred, but the parents were William and Leota. No other children were listed. Hmmm. My next step was Find A Grave. There I found Mildred’s parents buried in Lancaster, Fairfield, OH in Forest Rose Cemetery. The headstones read W. Wesley and Mary L. Hufford. The owner of the memorial had full names listed: William Wesley and Mary Leota Buchanan Hufford. So, there was a link to the William and Leota in the 1910 census! And to the young Mark Buchanan living with them in 1920, from Mary’s side of the family.

Where to go from here? Well, to really get to the heart of someone’s bio and confirm facts a obituary is always helpful! Onto There I found the obituary for William Wesley Hufford: name, check. The dates matched those on the headstone: check. He died in 1955 in Lancaster, OH. Among the survivors was one daughter, Mrs. Jud Trimmer of Lancaster…

Back to Find A Grave. Yes, there was a Mildred E. Trimmer (and husband Jud) born in 1905 and buried in 1986 in the same cemetery as her parents. added a birth record for Mildred on September 9, 1905 in Willshire Township,Van Wert, Ohio. But why stop there?

Searching for Mildred or Jud Trimmer in revealed a little more about the smiling 18 year old in the picture above. In the summer of 1973, the couple took the trip of a lifetime and it was all reported in the Lancaster-Eagle Gazette! Traveling 13,522 miles across the US seeing friends and family. What a treasure this find is for family members, who hopefully still have those movies they referenced in the article :)

I’m sure there’s much more to be discovered about Mildred Hufford Trimmer, but I’ll leave that to the family members – with the addition of her lovely high school photo.

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