The Todd Family and a wonderful Sr. year of High School

High school memory books are some of my favorite types of family memorabilia. I’ve blogged about my grandmother’s 1930 book on this blog previously HERE and HERE.

These “memory books” are an amazing glimpse into a special year for most of us, the senior year of high school. You ancestor is probably not married yet, you get to see pictures of BFF’s and old boyfriends/girlfriends, and all the random silliness that goes with high school. That’s not something easily captured by the genealogy programs!

Recently I found a memory book on eBay from a graduate of the 1927 class of Atkinson Nebraska High School. It belonged to Gladis Helene Todd. While researching her story I was completely swept up in a family history. Admittedly, this is not unusual for me, but with six siblings there was a LOT of time spent – and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Gladis/Gladys Todd (the spelling varied throughout the documentation) was the last child and only girl born to John F. Todd and Stella Hill Todd. She was born on February 14, 1910. Her older brothers were Paul (8/24/1894), Frank Lloyd (5/17/1896), Harland/Harlan (2/2/1878), Mark (9/19/1904) and Donald (about 1907). Here’s a wonderful photo of the six siblings, taken likely in late 1910, early 1911. I’m not sure who is who among the older boys, but I’m fairly certain the bottom row L to R is: Mark, Gladys, and Donald.

Todd Siblings

Paul, Lloyd, Harlan, Mark, Donald, Gladys

Gladis was born in Kansas where her parents lived briefly. But all the brothers were born in Nebraska and the family would move back there for good. In 1910 the Todd family lilved in Washington, Washington Co., Kansas where father John was a farmer. The oldest son Paul was 15 and Gladys was 0. In 1920, John and Stella with Donald, Mark, and Gladys were in Sheridan, Holt, Nebraska. Paul, Lloyd, and Harlan had branched out on their own. By 1930, only Gladys was still at home and she and her parents lived in Nebraska City, Otoe Co. where John was said to own his own garden. This is the same county where the Todd’s had lived in 1900, before the three youngest were born. Back then John was a teacher. Otoe county would still be home to the Todd’s in 1940 after all their children had flown the coop. John’s profession was “Gardening.”

It was August 15, 1931 when Gladys married Harold P. Requa Jr. They moved to California and were in San Diego, according to the city directories, at least by 1938. There were some non-high school photos in Gladys’s memory book. Several of these were from June of 1937 in South Pasadena, California. They look to be a family reunion of sorts. I’m not sure which brother is which though! I have more photos to share if there are interested family members. L to R (I think!): Brother, Gladys, Mom, Dad, brother, brother, brother :)


Gladys’s first marriage did not last. I found the obituary of Mr. Requa Jr. with Mary as his wife. Then I found Gladys Requa’s CA marriage to Howard Hiram Hughson in 1952. Although in Howard’s obituary it said they married in 1945, most likely 1952 was the correct date. Gladys had no children that I found with either husband. Howard listed no children in his obituary. They lived in California for the rest of their lives. Brothers Mark, Harlan, and Frank Lloyd also move to CA eventually as did their parents. Paul lived in Nebraska all his life. Donald died younger than the rest. In father John’s obituary from 1948 it is mentioned that he was survived by 4, not 5, sons. But I didn’t find and death information directly on Donald. He doesn’t appear in any census past 1920.

It appears that Gladys T. Hughson died in October of 2002 and her husband Howard died in March of 2006 in Pebble Beach. She lived much longer than her brothers, the last of whom died in1986, due in part to being younger. But even Mark, who was only 5 years her senior, died in 1980.

There is so much great information on the Todd brothers and parents I don’t have time to detail it all here. I’m sure there are family members who’ve done the research. I hope these photos add to their knowledge and appreciation of the family.

I will do more research on the photos of some of Gladys’s friends in another post, but here’s a great photo of Gladys herself from 1927.

Gladys Todd HS pic

Titled “Me”, Gladys Todd 1927, Atkinson Nebraska, High School

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