Wedding Wednesday: Taylor-Chapple, 1949

Wedding Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to display and share old wedding photos, wedding invitations, and announcements!

My feature bride and groom today are my parents – John Taylor and Carrie Chapple. If my father was still alive, my parents would have celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary this month/year.

Bridal Party Photo by Willie Crosby

On Sunday the 3rd of April 1949 at 4 PM
John Willie Taylor and Carrie Chapple
Were married!

Their private ceremony was officiated by Rev. Jessie Glover, the Pastor of Canaan Missionary Baptist Church that was located at 2500 Altoona Street at the time. The ceremony and reception occurred in the home of my mom’s sister and brother-in-law — Edward and Ella Louise (Chapple) Marshall who lived at 1708 Chew Street in the Greater Fifth Ward, Houston, Texas community.

Special guests and members of the bridal party in the group photo above were (standing l to r):  Joseph Chapple (Father of the Bride),  the Best man, John Taylor (Groom), Carrie Taylor (Bride), Sue Wesley (Maid of Honor), Faye Short (Soloist), Ethel (Abram) Chapple (Step-Mother of the Bride). Guests not shown were Juanita Boykins (pianist) and Willie Crosby (photographer).

Bridal Dress Photo by Will Crosby

The groom wore a double-breasted black suit, white shirt, black tie and black shoes. The bride’s wedding gown, veil and opera length bridal gloves in white were purchased from Solo Serve, a popular discount retail chain in downtown Houston, for $25.00!!

Wedding Cake Photo by Willie Crosby

Their graduated tier wedding cake with white butter icing topped with a miniature bride and groom was made by her step-mother, Ethel (Abram) Chapple.

If I didn’t know this couple personally, I would have thought their wedding day wasn’t a happy one. Why? No one smiled! There were no smiles on the faces of the bride, the groom, members of the bridal party, or guests in any of these wedding photos! As I got older, I often teased my parents about these pictures. I even asked them, “were you two marrying under duress?! They would simply laugh and shake their heads at me in disbelief, not realizing that I was being serious with them.

Well, despite the solemn looks they had in their wedding photos 67 years ago . . .
they have been all smiles and looking good together ever since!

John & Carrie (Chapple) Taylor

On this Veterans Day 2013

“On this Veterans Day [2013 and beyond], let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.” – Dan Lipinski

Sergeant John Taylor US Army 1945-1947

Click to View – Sergeant John W. Taylor, US Army at!

Special THANKS to my Aunt Frances Taylor Marshall for sending me two military photos she had of my dad in her collection which allowed me to create this great military collage of him for Veterans Day 2013! Family and friends, be sure to check out my discoveries about the military life of my father over the past couple of years by reading some of the related blog post below:

Military Monday: Maybe a Forgotten War, but not a Forgotten Military Life
Military Monday: Servicemen’s Dependents Allowance Act of 1942
Military Monday: Father’s Army Buddies
Military Monday: Military Payment Certificate (MPC)
Military Monday: Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle Badge

If you have Sergeant John W Taylor showing up in your family research, let me hear from you because . . .I’m claiming kin!

Military Monday: Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle Badge

If I tell you that some really cool treasures from my father’s military days just keep showing up all around me, you better believe it! So what did I discover new about him this time? He was awarded the Marksmanship – Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle Badge –  while he was a soldier in the Army from 1945-1947. How do I know this? I am in possession of his badge! Where did this badge come from? From my mom. Where did she get it? Are you ready for this? She found it on a shelf in the garage and thought it looked like something that I would be interested in.

Say what?! On a shelf in the garage?!

Okay folks, how many times did I go rummaging around on the shelves in the garage last year?! LOTS! Why didn’t I ever see this badge?! I don’t have the foggiest idea. But once I picked myself up off the floor after discovering where this badge has been all this time, I am so-o-o-o THRILLED to be able to add it to dad’s memorial flag showcase!

According to Wikipedia,

The United States Army awarded Marksmanship Qualification Badges to military personnel who qualify at three different qualification levels (highest to lowest): Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman. Suspended from the badge are Army Weapon Qualification Clasps that indicate the type of weapon the individual has qualified to use.” [1]

Small Bore Rifle Medal

My father’s Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle badge above is a one inch silver filled metal consisting of a cross pattée (a type of cross seen in early medieval art and on the crowns of monarchs).[2] At the center of the cross is a target and extended at the bottom of the badge is a bar with the inscription “SMALL BORE RIFLE” which he was authorized to display. [3]

My dad a Sharpshooter?! Who knew?!

Well it seems my brothers knew! Even though both of them never saw this badge, they did know dad was a Sharpshooter and talked proudly about his knowledge and expertise with a variety of weapons. Why am I the last one in the family to learn about this? I simply do not know. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the baby of the family– you miss out on all the good stuff — LOL! But I am the first of the siblings to see and have possession of this wonderful treasure!

Have some weaponry Experts, Sharpshooters, or Marksmen in your family tree? Feel free to share!


Source Citation:

1. Foundation, W. (2013, March 03). Marksmanship Badge (United States). Wikipedia. Retrieved March 03, 2013, from

2. Foundation, W. (2013, February 25). Cross pattée. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 3, 2013, fromée

3. Powers, R. (n.d.). United States Army Badges: Weapons qualification. United States Army Badges: Weapons Qualifications. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from

Sentimental Sunday: The Impact of the NAACP on my Family

The 103rd Annual National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Convention that was hosted in Houston this past week (July 7-12, 2012) brought back some wonderful memories of my family’s strong involvement (particularly my dad)  with the NAACP during the 1950’s through the mid 1980’s. The purpose of this organization and assistance from its Legal Defense Fund were the driving forces behind my dad and others being the leaders of a class action law suit against the discriminatory practices of the labor seniority system at Houston Armco Steel Corporation — John TAYLOR et al., Plaintiffs, Alfred James et Al., Intervenors v. ARMCO STEEL CORPORATION et al., Defendants (1973).

Dad was a member of the NAACP Houston Branch Finance Committee along with Monica Kelley, Walter Brown, Sam Polk, and Sam Davis (see photo below).

NAACP Finance Committee, 1980. (left to right) – John Taylor, Monica Kelley, and Walter Brown

He was a long time active member of the Houston Northeast Branch  (see photo below).

Standing (l to r) – Douglas Anderson, Milligan, Ben Adams, John Taylor, Curtis Williams, and George T. Nelson. Sitting (l to r) – Wilma Bright, Rev. Robert Kirby, and Shirley Jones

While cleaning up the book shelf last week, I came across his pocket-size Constitution and By-Laws handbook . . .

of the

1790 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

Spring 1978

(As amended at the 51st Annual NAACP Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, June 1960)

 An annual fundraiser and black-tie gala hosted by the Houston NAACP since 1967 has been its Freedom Fund Dinner (which I understand originated with our first African American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall). Below is a quick snapshot of my dad’s Freedom Fund Dinner souvenir book from the 13th annual event on 22 February 1980!

Front Cover

Annual Houston NAACP
Freedom Fund Dinner

Theme: Now Is The Time To
Count Our Friends

Friday February 22, 1980 7:30 p.m.

Houston Marriot Hotel
1750 West Loop

This Book Is Dedicated To Mr. George T. Nelson
and Mrs. Christia V. Adair



Fresh Fruit Cocktail
Tossed Green Salad
Sirloin Strip
Baked Potato with Sour Cream
Green Beans Amandine
Rolls and Butter
Apple Pie



Master of Ceremonies: Weldon H. Berry, Esq.


Postal Choir

Junior Life Member:
Elks Antler Guards

Lift Every Voice & Sing                                
Bennie Creswell
Accompanist, Rosemary McGowan

Father Artis

Postal Choir

Marion Jarvis

The Occasion
Billie J. Smith

Honorable Jim McConn
Mayor of Houston

Introduction of Speaker
Dr. Rawls Andrews

Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks
Executive Director, NAACP

Postal Choir

Presentation of Awards              
Honorable Gabriel McDonald
Honorable U.S. District Judge John Peavy, Jr.
District Judge

The Appeal
Helen L. Johnson

Introduction of Special Guests
Allene Alix   



Back Cover

 Lift Every Voice And Sing
National Negro Hymn

James Weldon Johnson                                         R. Rosamond Johnson

Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet,
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered;
Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou Who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou Who hast by Thy might, led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.

Treasure Chest Thursday: My father’s 1937 Kodak Jiffy Camera

Dad at age 18 or 19 holding his Kodak Jiffy camera case

My father loved cameras! He enjoyed posing for pictures just as much as he enjoyed taking them. I believe I’m the one in the family that enjoys cameras as much as he did. Since his death, all of his cameras have been passed on to me. So on my list of things to do this year, I will inspect each one and determine what condition they are in at this time. Well, the day to inspect one of those cameras came this past weekend while I was scanning some old photos of my father to my computer. I came across the photo you see to the right  of him around the age of 18 or 19 posing for a picture while holding a camera case in his hand. That camera case looked very familiar to me. So I pulled out all the stored cameras and there it was — dad’s Kodak Jiffy Camera (series II), 620 roll film camera for eight 6 x 9 cm negatives that was built around 1937!

Kodak Jiffy (series II) camera, 1937

According to the UK website – The Living Image Vintage Camera Museum, “The Jiffy is a budget camera but [offers] a little more control than a box camera. The lens has two position focus with the front element mounted in a screw barrel… The Jiffy cameras all share a common design of catch to keep the back closed; whilst it succeeds at keeping the back tightly closed and is unlikely to open accidentally, it is subject to binding after a few years of inactivity. Consequently many are broken.”

One thing I know for sure is that the common design of  the catch to keep the back of the camera tightly close works like a pro because 75 years later, I cannot get the back of this camera open — LOL!  I will be taking it to a camera shop this summer to get it open and determine if  I will be able to use it, and/or, actually learn to use it. It is in mint condition after all these years. I’m excited to see what this little jewel from 1937 can do!

If you love cameras and have a vintage Kodak like this one, let me hear from you!