Alice Lydia Gilbert Siddall Stray

Alice Lydia Gilbert Siddall Stray

This photograph of the lovely Alice Lydia Gilbert was in a pile at an antique shop in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore. On the back someone had written her name, “Alice Gilbert Siddall” and there was a stamp from Brown Photo Service, Minneapolis, MN with the date 7 February 1945.

Who was she and how did her photograph get from Minneapolis to Baltimore? My first tools, and were no help to me. I was looking in MN, for one thing, and combinations of what were apparently two last names got me nowhere. But brought up one hit on the name as shown: An item in the Chester County (PA) Law Reporter of 21 May 2015 concerning her estate listed her name as “STRAY, Alice G., a/k/a Alice Gilbert Siddall Stray, late of Exton, Chester County, PA.” We were on our way.

Alice was born in Chester County, PA, in 1915 and lived there all her life until she died in 2015. According to her obituary, available on her memorial page, she had a long career as an elementary school teacher and was deeply involved in the civic life of her community. Alice survived two husbands, John Edward Siddall (1913-1984), whom she married in 1938 and with whom she had two sons, and Carston Sigvald Stray (1906-2003).

She graduated from West Chester State Teachers College in 1936. Her profile in the yearbook, The Serpentine, listed her nickname as “The Mill” (her father was a miller all his life) and her “Feature: Conscientiousness and domesticity.” Here is her photograph in the yearbook:

Alice yearbook head shot 1936

I ran across some society page articles which demonstrated a relationship between her parents and some Flickingers. I blogged about a photograph of Walter Flickinger in November 2015. Both photographs were purchased at the same antique shop, so perhaps they originated from the same estate.

I never was able to discover what she was doing in Minneapolis in 1945. She appears to be dressed in formal attire, so maybe someone was getting married.

Alice Lydia Gilbert Siddall Stray back
Alice Lydia Gilbert Siddall Stray

6 thoughts on “Alice Lydia Gilbert Siddall Stray

    1. Lora Siddall, I am please to make your acquaintance! If you look at my front page you’ll see a note from her niece which I received in April 2020.


  1. Rebecca Hannum Buckley says:

    She was my first grade teacher at Charlestown Elementary in 1958/1959, and probably the teacher who most impacted my life. Amazing woman, full of energy, you would see her striding down the hall in that no-nonsense manner she had, but with a twinkle in her eye. Imagine my amazement when I ran into her in 1987, at the old octagonal school house, Diamond Rock, in Chester County, where she was doing volunteer tours of the schoolhouse. And she remembered who I was!

    Liked by 2 people

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