Velma Cook, lots of info, little proof

For a change of pace I’m going back to the Willaimsville Township High School class of 1934. There we find Velma Cook. A great smile AND coif! Williamsville Township HS was in Williams, Illinois, part of Sangamon county. Only one … Continue reading

Dorothy Mills, truly the baby of the family

Dorothy Mills, 1934, about 18 years old

Dorothy Mills, 1934, about 18 years old

Meet Dorothy Mills, 18 in this photo of the class of 1934 from Williamsville Township High School. Born in 1916, she was the last child of John Mills and Lydia Sparks. The year of her birth her father was almost 60 and her mother over 40. Dorothy’s oldest sibling Flora was born in 1890. Then Bertha, Winifred, Mary, Helen and finally Dorothy. The family lived all their live in Williams, Illinois where John and son Winifred were farmers.

In 1928, when her father died, Dorothy and mother Lydia went to live with Winifred and his wife Cecelia and children. They lived with them at least through the 1930 and 1940 census in Williams. Dorothy’s mother passed away in 1947. John and Lydia, and many other members of the Mills family, are buried in Wolf Creek Cemetery in Sangamon county. I did not find a Dorothy Mills there.

I don’t know what happened to Dorothy. In 1940, she was still single and worked in “domestic work” with 4 years of high school. Did she ever marry and have kids of her own? Hopefully family can fill in the blanks.

Williamsville Township High School, 1934, with handsome Orlando Viola

Orlando Viola, 1934

Orlando Viola, 1934

Orlando Viola was 18 in this class photo from Williamsville Township High School in 1934. He was the son of Nikolas “Nick” Viola and Maria “Mary” Jannesse, both Italian immigrants. Nick and Mary married about 1911 in Illinois. They would have 8 children in all, Orlando was their second born, and first son. From at least 1920 to 1940 the family lived in Fancy Creek, Sangamon county, Illinois; the same county as the high school. Mr. Viola worked as both a coal miner and a road laborer.

In 1940, Orlando still lived at home and was working as a railroad laborer with his high school education. But on February 18, 1942 he decided to join the army. His mother died the same year. Per his army enlistment record Orlando was married at the time. Younger brother Julio would join him in the army.

Orlando’s parents lived out their lives in Sangamon county (near Springfield). They are buried in Calvary Cemetery there; as are many of his siblings. Orlando’s burial location is unknown to me. According to SSDI he died in 1977 while living in Virginia. He may have been the only one of the Viola children to leave Illinois.

I’m still searching for anyone searching for Orlando!