We hold a number of letters from Norman from the early 1930s and these letters include reminisces about Norman’s formative years in South Crosland, for instance “I used to meet our George with milk at the Armitage Bridge school, and took it over the road”.
A picture of the area that was sent to him gave him much joy and he discussed it in depth. Despite decades having passed, it’s clear Norman still felt a strong connection to his hometown as he writes “one of you in writing to me related that father just before his death asked to be lifted up in bed that he might take a last look at West Nab. His request doesn’t have to be explained to me, I understand”. It must have been difficult for Norman being so far away from his family, but these letters show us the warmth and connection he still shared with them.
His love of painting comes through again in later letters, and he writes “I have a landscape – Arizona Landscape – that I consider good, that I as a native of the Huddersfield district would like to exhibit” he wanted it to be exhibited in Huddersfield “where it would be taken care of and looked at – if they cared to look at it – by generation after generation”.
It looks like Norman was also a keen photographer, and the photographs included in the collection alongside Norman’s letters are wonderful, bringing Arizona vividly to life. Take a look at the selection below…
Norman passed away on the 23rd September 1938 aged 75 years old in Arizona, having led a full and adventurous life. He was remembered fondly by his family, with his nieces Flo and Elsie remembering how much they all enjoyed reading his letters in their youth.
These blog posts are just the tip of the iceberg, and there’s plenty more to discover in Norman’s letters and photographs. You can find the full catalogue listing here.
Alongside this collection, we also hold records relating to Norman’s niece Alice Chapman (nee Wellox) and her family, primarily relating to the career of Alice’s husband Wilfred Chapman (ref: C657). You can find the full catalogue list here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini-series and if you want to access Norman’s letters and photographs please contact the Wakefield team at email@example.com who will be happy to assist you.
By Dominique Triggs, Wakefield Archive Assistant
4 thoughts on “A Yorkshireman in America Part 3”
Pingback: A Yorkshireman in America Part 1 – Catablogue
Pingback: A Yorkshireman in America Part 2 – Catablogue
Enjoyed reading this,my Gt Gt grandfather left England to work in the Steelyards in. ILLINOIS, he left his family behind, married again in America,despite not being divorced, died in Spearville KANSAS in 1885 age 60
Thank you for sharing. Fascinating stuff.