|Jeanette, Odalie & Luciana|
On the Front Porch Swing
This is a photograph of my great-great-grandmother Odalie Fortier Horst (1857-1920), seated in the middle, and her two younger sisters - Jeanette Fortier Byrnes (1868-1941) on the left and Lucianna "Lucy" Fortier Boulo (1861-1942) on the right. It most likely was taken around 1915-1920, and most probably in Mobile where Lucy and Jeanette lived with their families. Odalie was living in Birmingham the town where she and her husband and children had settled down before the turn of the century. At the time this photograph was taken all three women were widowers - Lucy in 1909, Odalie in 1912 and Jeannette in 1915.
Odalie, Lucy and Jeanette were the last surviving children, of eleven, born to Jacques Omer Fortier (1813-1867) and Augustine Melanie Laperle DeGruy (1822-1872) in New Orleans, Louisiana. After their widowed mother died in 1872, the five youngest children moved to Mobile, Alabama to live with their aunt. All three girls met their future husbands while living in Mobile.
What were these women talking about, moments before the photographer snapped this picture? Were they discussing their children - Odalie had four of five children, Lucy had three of four children and Jeanette had one child? Were they talking about World War I in Europe? Maybe they were discussing the recent death of their only brother Gaston James Fortier, who died in 1917? Or maybe they were just sitting on the front porch swing, getting cooled off from the steaming hot inside of their home. We will never know what was being said but the moment was captured forever for us to enjoy!