poetry and prose about place

Great Grand Aunt Sadie – dressmaker

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As I learn about my family history, I am drawn to the stories of the individuals I encounter.  One of the people important in my great-grandmother Ella’s life was her sister Sadie.  Sadie was born on December 11, 1863 in Pennsylvania, the fifth child of eight children.  She was called after her mother, Sarah Ann (Kresge).  Sadie’s father was Josiah Hawk, a shoemaker who died when Sadie was a little over a year old and Ella was six.  For a little more about Josiah, see


As far as I know, Sadie remained unmarried throughout her life.  This meant that she had to support herself. Few opportunities were available to women in the late 1800s, but Sadie stayed connected to her family and earned her way as a seamstress. The 1910 US Census shows Sadie as a dressmaker living with her mother, a landlady.


Sadie Hawk (1863-1921)


By looking at the US Census for 1870, 1900, 1910, and 1920, as well as the City Directories for Scranton, I can account for Sadie most years.

In the 1870 census, when she was six and a half, she lived with her mother in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  That year, her mother married Joshua Popplewell, a machinist living in Scranton.

I have not located Sadie in the 1880 Census due to the commonness of her name.

From 1888 until her death in 1921, Sadie lived in Scranton.  Her addresses included 330 Lackawanna Avenue (1896 – 1900), 16-18 Williams Building (1905 and 1906), 101 Spruce Street (1907 to 1916), and 116 Mulberry Street (1917 to 1921).  I have looked at these addresses on Street View (Google Earth) and the houses where Sadie lived are all gone, replaced by parking lots and modern businesses.


Sadie made her home with her mother Sallie Popplewell from 1907 until Sallie’s death in 1910 or 1911, and with sister Ella, my great-grandmother, from 1910 to 1921.


Sadie Hawk


Sadie died at 2 PM on March 26, 1921.  In her will, Sadie described Ella (my great-grandmother) as her “beloved sister”.


When I was a teenager, my Aunt Jane told me about Sadie and gave me Sadie’s locket.


Aunt Sadie's locket (front)

Aunt Sadie’s locket (front)


Her initials are beautifully engraved on the back – S A H –  Sarah Ann Hawk …  the sweet-faced woman in the photos above.


Aunt Sadie's locket (back)


Copyright  2014   Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

July 25, 2014 at 6:54 am

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