Posted by: marthabernie | April 29, 2015


This is my Great Aunt, Anna L. Faulkner, taken in 1921 when she worked at the State Training School in Chehalis, Washington.  The school was a combination orphanage and reform school for “incorrigible” boys, and she worked as a cook and teacher of “Domestic Sciences.”  She was born Matilda Anna Laura McMenus (“Annie”) at Phillipsburg, MO in 1868.  The family came from TN to MO in 1840, settling in Laclede County near Phillipsburg.  The name was changed from McManus to McMenus sometime around 1820, most likely due to lack of education and phonetic spelling.  After doing the Ancestry DNA test 18 months ago, it is now certain that the family is connected to Lawrence and Catherine “Cattrell” (McCollin/McCollum) McManus of NC, Lawrence born in Fermanagh, Ireland in 1733.

Annie was named after the three youngest of her father’s sisters, Matilda, Hannah and Laura–it became Matilda Anna Laura.  In 1886 she married Leonidas Olander “Lon” Forkner and they had four children, the youngest little boy dying in 1900.  In 1906 the family moved from Missouri to Stevensville, Montana and changed their name from Forkner to Faulkner, reverting to what was probably the original spelling.  Annie divorced Lon in 1918.  She worked at many jobs, including nursing, housekeeping, cooking for harvest workers in a field cook wagon in the middle of summer, and she trained to be a chiropractor and owned a restaurant.  In 1923 she met Walter Tweddell  (a widower) through a correspondence club for single men and women, and they married November 14, 1923.  She lived in San Francisco with her daughter by then, and he lived in Los Angeles, so their “courtship” was entirely by mail until he went to San Francisco on the train to meet Annie.  They were married two days later and lived happily ever after.  This photo hangs in my kitchen.

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