Posted by: marthabernie | July 29, 2015

Matilda Anna Laura McMenus Forkner/Faulkner Tweddell

002aThis is a photo taken in the late 40’s of my great aunt, Matilda Anna Laura McMenus Forkner/Faulkner Tweddell.  She was born in 1868 and was named for her father’s three youngest sisters, Matilda, Hanna and Laura McMenus.  In 1886 she was married to Lon Forkner and they farmed for 20 years near Conway, Missouri with their family.  In 1906, for reasons that are still partly unclear, they moved to Stevensville, Montana and changed the family name from Forkner to Faulkner.  Annie worked as a housekeeper, nurse, nanny, cook, harvest wagon cook, you name it, she did it.  In 1918 she divorced Lon and worked at a variety of other jobs, becoming a licensed chiropractor and even owning a restaurant at one point.  In 1923 she married Walter Tweddell of Los Angeles, California and they lived happily ever after until he died in 1940.  After that, Aunt Annie stayed on in the little craftsman house in what is now Highland Park, California, and her daughter Ednah came to live with her.  Aunt Annie always loved having her photograph taken and she circulated the ones she liked best to all the family.  These two photos were taken on two different days, I think; two different dresses and jewelry but she looks happy.  She is sitting on a stool of some sort (three legged) rather than a chair and that is Princess at her feet.  They had many Boston Bull Terriers, all female, all named Princess, and I think this was number two or three of five.  She loved gardening in California after having lived through Missouri and Montana winters where everything froze.  Note all the potted plants.   These two little snapshots were found years ago in a little leather fold over wallet of sorts, made for snapshots, so I think they were two of her favorites.002b


  1. Waltzing Matilda! What a great story; in the second photo, she looks so similar to my granny that it made me blink my eyes and shake my head. Great.


  2. Love the stories of your deceased family. It’s a window into a different time. This woman was certainly her own person. She did things that for the times were pretty gutsy for a woman!


    • The most gutsy thing she did was divorce her husband in 1918. Some people were scandalized, but I think she got tired of always being the one who had to earn a living for the family. Story goes that first husband, Lon, had a drinking problem. When she married Uncle Walter in 1923, she never had to work another day outside the home ever again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brave woman. You have to admire that.


  3. I love her smile in the second photo! 🙂


    • Yes, she had a smile for everyone my mother always said, but in so many of the earlier photos, she looks very stern as was the fashion at the time!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Super photos


    • Thanks!


      • The Ballymaloe cook book arrived today – I am dying to open it, but have a friend from UK staying, so would be rude…..


      • Take it to bed with you tonight! LOL!


      • It’s going to be my treat when my guests leave………


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