Heritage Scrapbook Treasure Found in Box of old Papers

♥♥♥To Some, I guess it is weird.  I know when I showed the envelope, that I found in an old box of my Grandmother’s papers, to my sister, that’s what she said.  “Well I guess, maybe that was an OK thing to do back then.”   (I think she found it rather distasteful and disturbing.)  The envelope was addressed to my Grandmother and postmarked July 7, 1937.  The return address was from a funeral director in La Junta, Colorado.  In the envelope was a lock of hair.  A lock of hair would be a great addition to a heritage scrapbook layout.  I know from newspaper clippings, and other things I have found, that my Grandfather died in La Junta on July 5, 1937.  He was a 30 year old school teacher who spent his summers as a train conductor.    He was stricken with appendicitis while on a train, just a few short years before Penicillin was purified and available for use on humans.  They were able to get him to a hospital and he had surgery on a Friday.  He developed Sepsis and passed away on Monday.  I have great sympathy for what he must have gone through.  I had Sepsis following a c-section, so I know how he felt.

Lloyd Denzil Keigley Obituary

My Dad was 16 months old when his father, my grandfather, passed away.  None of us ever knew him and all we have are black and white pictures.  It was interesting to see the color of his hair.  It is much like mine and quite a bit lighter in color than my Dad’s hair.  All my Dad ever really knew about his father was that he liked trains.  I didn’t realize until the last year of my Dad’s life that his model railroad hobby was an interest he developed because it made him feel close to his father.  It is too bad I never went through the box and found the hair until after my own father had died.  What a treasure the hair would have been to him and is to me.  There was enough of it to divide it into 5 albums for my siblings and myself. I also found the telegram that my Grandmother sent while he was in the hospital asking him if she should come to La Junta to be with him, and his reply:  “Doing fine, too hot, don’t come.”  She was expecting their second child at the time.

Lloyd Denzil Keigley newspaper articles


I feel rewarded for my efforts going through that box of old papers.  I gained insight into my grandparents.  I also found the poem I included on this page.  It was a newspaper clipping that my Grandmother had saved.  I think it might describe how she felt about things.

Have you found any “treasure” in your old boxes?

If you have, I’d like to hear about it.  Leave me a comment. 


Did you miss my previous posts on how to get started rescuing your heirlooms?

Things You Will Need to Organize Your Family History
How to Sort all Those Papers in those Old Boxes of “Stuff”
How to File all those Old Papers and Memorabilia
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