I just returned from the hometown of my wife and kids and I thought I’d share an interesting story from this small town in the rugged Ozarks of northwest Arkansas. Several years ago, I worked on a project with the Genealogical Department of the Boone County Library, where I needed to scan hundreds of old photographs of the area and its inhabitants, dating back to the 1800s. I restored a few of these images to bring this story back to life.
Above is William J. Myers, the bank president in Harrison, who gunned down the notorious bank robber, horse thief, and silent film actor, Henry Starr, on February 18, 1921.
During his thirty-two years in crime, Henry Starr robbed more banks than the James-Younger Gang and the Doolin-Dalton Gang put together. “The Cherokee Badman” netted over $60,000 from more than twenty-one bank robberies.
He started robbing banks on horseback in 1893. After going to prison in 1915 in Arizona, Starr published his autobiography, THRILLING EVENTS: LIFE OF HENRY STARR. Upon his release on parole, Starr even portrayed himself in the silent film, A DEBTOR TO THE LAW (1919). Starr was also the first bank robber in the United States to use an automobile for getaways. He ended up robbing his last with an automobile when he met his fate in Harrison, Arkansas.
Myers shot Starr with a .38 caliber Winchester rifle, 1873 model, during a robbery attempt. It was a gutshot, and Starr died from his wound three days later.
Historical photos are rare treasures. I can bring them back to life. Check out my portfolio: PHOTO RESTORATIONS.
Today’s restoration features this passport photo of my Great-Grandma Papagni taken in the late 1970s. She was on her way to visit Italy, her homeland. Born in 1899, Angelina immigrated to California in 1919 – to meet her betrothed husband, Mauro. For decades they lived their lives and raised their children on a farm in the Central Valley.
When I was in kindergarten at Homan Elementary in Fresno, Grandma lived in a house on Brown Ave. just a few blocks away. I would get done with Mrs. Ford’s class at 11 AM and walk the few blocks to Grandma’s. Over the next couple hours, I would sit at the kitchen table as Grandma sliced fresh tomato and some homemade bread, then she’d scramble a couple eggs in olive oil. She’d sit with me at the table as I’d eat and we’d talk. She spoke in broken English, heavy with accent, slipping in and out of Italian. She would laugh at my stories and I’d laugh at hers and then she’d pinch my cheek real hard and call me her “chickadee.” Us great-grandkids were all her little chickadees. I’ll always cherish those mornings with Grandma Papagni.
If you have an old photo of a loved one you’d like to have restored, I’m running a promotion on photorestoration – $35 per image – check out my portfolio and contact me for more info:
Take a trip back in time to Panama in 1979 with Papa Tollie Sutterfield and AIM. After that, get a brief glimpse of Christmas back in Northwest Arkansas. These are Papa Tollie’s restored Super 8mm films.