These photographs have been submitted by family researcher, Bruce Gillett.


"I am related to the KINSLEY's and STRUNK's of Monona County. I have a number of photos of people who went back and forth to Steuben County, Indiana, in the first decade or two of the 20th Century. In 1910 my grandfather, Leroy Mingus, son of Margaret Lydia Kinsley Mingus (sister toWilliam Henry and James Kinsley), came to Onawa to visit his Uncle William Henry 'Hem' Kinsley. He was 22 years old at the time. While he was there visiting, he seems to have caught the attention of a young woman with the initials M.R.O., who we have guessed was Margaret Ruth Orr. I had help with the research on this from Jake Harding, who lives in Monona County. I find the postcards quite charming and want to share them with the Monona Co. IAGenWeb pages. My sister, Barb Horning is keeper of the family photos and is responsible for the preservation and excellent scanning job." ~Bruce Gillett, Maine.



~Anyone who can help with identification of the young ladies in the photographs is much appreciated.


"Here is the young man who got all the attention, my grandfather Leroy Mingus (1888-1968.) I would imagine this picture was taken in the summer of 1910."

"My brother-in-law remarked that Leroy seemed to enjoy his visit to Onawa because of frequent visits to the Orr house."

~By Bruce Gillett

To: Leroy Mingus, Onawa, Iowa

From a friend, M.R.O.

~Note from Bruce Gillett: The writer is believed to be Miss Margaret Ruth Orr.

Could this be the author/writer of these postcards sent to Leroy?

To: Mr. Leroy Mingus, % Henry Kingsley, Onawa, Iowa

"Will give you something to drive the rats away when you go home and keep away the chicken hawks from catching chickens. Goodbye. Ans. soon. Your Friend."


To: Mr. Leroy Mingus, Ray, Ind.

"I have been working awful hard today done a big washing and got to iron this afternoon. Ruth went to Blencoe Saturday and is going to stay a week with her aunt. Mrs. Strunk and the two kids went over to Happy Hollow Saturday then Mr. Strunk & boys went Sunday morning. Just a week tomorrow since you went back home. Seems longer than that to me. Goodbye. From Margaret."

To: Mr. Roy Mingus, Ray, Ind.

"I am sending a fine picture of us girls."

"We are not going to Lyons, Nebr., this week for we are going to can some peaches, so when you come out here again we will have enough to eat. ha. ha. I know you will like them. When you write you send it to Onawa, for I will let you know when I go so you can write to me. Ans. soon. Goodbye. From your friend, Margaret"

Postmarked Onawa, Iowa, JUL 14, 1910

To: Mr. Roy Mingus, Ray, Ind.

"Will drop you this card as I told you I would. Ruth & I were to an ice cream social last night. I miss you when I went over to Mr. Strunk's. Ans. soon. Your friend, Margaret"

This is a portrait of the William Henry Kinsley family.  William was born on 15 May 1858 in New London, Ohio.  He married Emma Maria Seitzinger (b. 22 Mar 1862) on 26 Jan 1879 in Fremont, Indiana.  They family moved to Monona County around 1882-1883 and lived in Whiting and Onawa.  The girls in the back row are Levisa and Ora.  By her father is Levina and the boy is Arthur.  Ora died shortly after this picture was taken.  Another daughter Margaret was born in 1894. 

Family photo contributed by Coke Helmstetter

Photograph of Margaret Kinsley, daughter of Wm. & Emma Kinsley, of Monona County

These are the five children of James Hilarian and Catharine Brooks Kinsley.  The picture was taken when William and James went back to Indiana for a reunion with their three sisters Ida and Catherine, standing, and Lydia between William (left) and James.  Both William and James lived in Monona County.  William and James along with their wives are buried in the Whiting Cemetery. 

Photo contributed by Coke Helmstetter

The gentleman on the left is this photo is Charlie O'Neil, a close friend of the Kinsley family.  Next is Arthur William Kinsley, born 13 Sep 1887.  Arthur was the custodian at the Onawa school and while getting ready for the start of the school year, he was washing windows on the second story when the rope with the seat broke and he fell, sustaining severe injuries.  He died in a Sioux City hospital two weeks later on 5 Sep 1938 and is buried in the Onawa Cemetery.  Next to Arthur is his mother Emma who died 16 Jan 1934 and is buried in the Whiting Cemetery.  Next is Bessie (Butcher), Arthur's wife.  Beside Bessie is William Kinsley (Emma's husband, Arthur's father) and his sister Ida Strunk

Group picture contributed by Coke Helmstetter

Strunk Kids taken in 1919

Margaret, Bernice Mingus, and Frances

"Margaret and Frances were Frank Strunk's daughters (of Onawa.) He was first married to Levina Kinsley, one of William Henry Kinsley's daughters. But the girls in this picture are from his second marriage to Myrtle Jones."

"Bernice Mingus (in the photo) was a cousin, the daughter of James Mingus. James was a brother to Leroy Mingus."

Some research has been done on these families featured in the above photographs. The relationships are pieced together by this statement from Bruce Gillett:

Frank Strunk was the son of Ida Kinsley, who was William Henry Kinsley's sister. So Frank's marriage to Levina was to his cousin. He was adopted by Wilson Strunk after Wilson married Ida Kinsley. Wilson married Ida when Frank was 3. Wilson did live in Onawa for a while. The missing 1890 census probably would have shown that. Wilson Strunk's obit says:

The Weekly Democrat
13 March 1919
Father of Frank Strunk Dies
Frank Strunk and wife left on Tuesday evening for Wisconsin where they go to be present at the funeral services of Mr. Strunk’s father who died at his home in that state the first of the week Mr. Strunk will be well remembered here, he having been a resident of Onawa for many years.

Note from Bruce Gillett: "Wisconsin" is wrong. He lived in either Hillsdale county, Michigan or Steuben county, Indiana in 1880, 1900 and 1910; and his death was in Camden, Hillsdale county, Michigan.

Census Research appears below:

William H. Kinsley family:
1900 Census, Monona County, Ashton Twp:

Kinsley, Wm., age 42, born May 1851
Kinsley, Emma, age 38, born Mar 1862
Kinsley, Margaret, dau, age 5, born Aug 1894
Kinsley, Arthur, son, age 12, born Sept. 1887
1910 Census, Monona County, Franklin Twp
Kin(g)sley, William H., age 52
Kingsley, Emma, Wf, age 48
Kingsley, Margaret, dau, age 15
The Thomas Orr family:
1900 Census, Monona County, Lincoln Twp.

Orr, Thomas
Orr, Catherine
Orr, Thomas, son
Orr, Charles, son
Orr, Ray, son
Orr, Robert, son
Orr, Wilson, son
Orr, Kitty, dau, age 10, born Nov. 1889
Orr, Margaret, dau, age 7, born Jul 1892
1910 Census, Monona County, Franklin Twp.
Orr, Thomas
Orr, Kathryn, Wf
Orr, Margaret, dau, age 17

Research below put together for Bruce Gillett, by Jake Harding of Onawa, Iowa

I have a plat map of Monona County from 1914 that shows me where people lived and there were only a few names to pick from, Olson, Ordway, Oliver, Orr, and Otto. By the way, it is for sure an O. because it matches the O in her Onawa.  
I discovered in the Monona County History book under Otto, that they married into the Strunk family, but I couldn't find any Otto named Margaret anywhere, so.... I kept looking.
In the 1905 Iowa Cenus, William Kinsley lived in Ashton township and the next farm in line was the Strunk family, but no Margaret, or Maggie in some cases.
But in 1910, by searching the Margarets of that time period as my last resort, I found a perfect match. I found Margaret Orr, daughter of Thomas and Kathyrn Orr and the lived two doors down in Onawa from Frank and Myrtle Strunk. Their daughters were Viola, Frances, and Margery Strunk and all about 3 years apart. They had a 16 year old servant named Ruth Wray, which might explain the name Ruth in the letter.
Then I looked up in the family tree information and found that her full name was Margaret Ruth Orr, b, Jul 2 1892, she married Pete C. Petterson and he died in Onawa, and then she married Charles A. Kenner and he died in Missouri, and she did as well. They were married in Savannah, Missouri.
Pete and Margaret had one daughter that is listed as Katheryne Petterson born Apr 5, 1913. So if this is correct, the relationship with your grandfather didn't last to much longer after these letters. That is hard to tell.

~Anyone with more knowledge of these people are more than welcome to notify this contributor, Bruce Gillett. Thanks for any assistance!