The picture above is the only known photograph to have survived of these dolls.  It was taken on February 12, 1959 and the quality is not what I would have wished for.  The photo at right is only a blow-up from the photo at left, thus the same poor qualilty of the details.  Much thanks goes to Leroy Pearl for all the work he put in improving the quality of this one photograph that we do have.

Have You Seen These
Missing Porcelain Dolls?

    My grandparents, Otto and Bessie Brashear, resided in Winfield, Kansas, for many years and it was there that they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on February 12, 1959.  Using a copy of their wedding picture for a model, Mrs. Lydia Hill, of Winfield, made two porcelain dolls, each approximately one foot tall, that bore great resemblance to my grandparents as they appeared in their wedding picture.  Mrs. Hill made them in great detail, right down to the style of my grandfather's glasses and the locket my grandmother had pinned to her dress in that wedding photo.  Mrs. Hill presented the dolls to my grandparents as a present for that golden wedding anniversary.
     Bessie Brashear passed away in 1962 and Otto was married to another Winfield resident, Jessie Modean (Martin) Stewart, in 1972.  Otto passed away in 1976 and Jessie survived him.  It is unknown what she did with his personal effects but none of them went to any of his descendants and, to this day, none of those personal items has ever surfaced including the dolls made by Mrs. Hill.
     I have since learned that Jessie was born November 24, 1910, was residing in Sulphur Springs, Texas under the name Jessie Modean Branson as late as 1997, and that she passed away on January 11, 2000 in Hunt County, Texas.

     Although I do not know for certain, I would guess that Jessie would have recognized the value of those dolls and at least not have destroyed them.  It is also my guess that she probably sold them to a doll collector and they might well turn up at a doll show, or in an antique shop somewhere.  We would love to get a chance to try to return these dolls to Otto and Bessie's family.  The family would appreciate any assistance that anyone might be able to provide to that end.
     If you have any information about these dolls, please contact Bob Lawrence.

Otto and Bessie Brashear
Wedding Photograph
February 12, 1909

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Otto and Jessie Brashear
Wedding Photograph
February 11, 1972