Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past: Agnes Verna Guokas, circa 1910

This is my great aunt Agnes "Aggie" Verna Guokas Payne (1905-1974) on a donkey, probably around 1910, and probably near the Guokas family home at 1717 Shearn in Houston, Texas.

Aggie was born October 11, 1905, perhaps at 1314 Railroad in Houston, which was the Guokas family address through 1907.  She is the fourth child born to my great-grandmother, Elizabeth (Elžbieta) Banevich (Benevičiūtė, 1875–1929).

In the 1920-21 Morrison & Fourmy Houston City Directory, on page 686, 15-year-old Aggie is listed as a student at Massey Business College. By 1925, Aggie is married.  In the 1925 Houston city directory, she and her husband, Milton Clyde "Jack" Payne (1904-1991) are rooming at 2215 Shearn, also owned by Aggie's father, my great-grandfather Charles Peter Guokas Sr. (1863-1939).

By 1929, Aggie and Jack are living in their own home at 2215 Quenby in Houston, where they will live for at least the next 13 years.  In the 1929 city directory, Aggie is a stenographer for J. C. Leonard, a bond and mortgage company, and she continues in this job through at least 1935.

In 1937, Aggie and Jack's only child, daughter Laura Lee, is born.  Also at this time, they own a piece of property out near Alief, Texas, where they keep a horse

Aggie and Jack are in the 1951 Houston city directory living at 105 N. Haywood Dr., but sometime between then and 1958, they were divorced.  My mother thinks this happened before my parents married in 1954, as she remembers Aggie hosting a shower for her.  The 1958 Houston city directory shows Jack still living on Haywood, while Aggie has a separate listing at 3103 Roe Dr.  She is office manager for Continental Trailways Bus System.  An article in the Daily Court Review from February, 19, 1953, shows Aggie obtained this piece of property (Lot 38, Block 3, Roe subdivision) via a deed of trust on January 30, 1953, so perhaps the divorce occurred around then.

My mother says Laura Lee was interested in competitive swimming, so sometime in the late 1950s (apparently after 1958), Aggie and Laura Lee moved to California.  Aggie lived the rest of her life in San Pedro, and died there on July 28, 1974.  According to my mother, she is buried in Houston.  She had a double plot at a cemetery and her brother Roy Lee Guokas (1917-1959) is also buried there.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

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