With the captions for the photo of the Bancroft women, my take on the family group photo would appear to be mistaken, though possibly not.

The photo appears to be taken on the same day given the identical dresses.  Perhaps the caption was written later, as the caption labels Lilla as Mrs. Lilla Bancroft Pratt.  If this is the 1897 photo of Lura’s wedding, Lilla was just married to Howard the previous year.  The other reason I place the photo in 1897 is that Sylvia died in 1898.

But if correct, the caption would  then identify Lilla in the family photo as in the first row seated on the left.  That would make sense, as she is holding a Maid of Honor bouquet in her lap.

The bride, Lura, seated on the right in the family photo, would be correct.

If the caption is correct, Mary would be third from left in the family photo, standing in the back row, Anna in black at center, and Leila Bancroft (Eben’s wife) would be standing third from right in back row.

Which still leaves a question about the family photo–which man is Howard? Is Howard the man seated second from left, or is he the man standing in back fourth from left?  The man is back looks more like he is 28, which would have been Howard’s age in 1897, than the man who is seated  looks like he is 49, which would have been Eben’s age.

Could it be that the person who wrote the caption was not correct, especially if the caption may have been written later–after Howard’s death in 1919, when Lilla had married Frank Pratt?

The issue is the description of Lilla’s dress in the Herald article which matches the dress of the woman standing third from left in the back, and seated on the right of the Bancroft women’s photo (below) –this as opposed to the fur trimmed shoulders of the dress of the woman labeled as Lilla–she looks older and more matronly.

Perhaps the original print of the family photo is captioned with the men’s names.  Does anyone know where the original photo is kept?

Another note:  The Herald article of the year before mentions that Lura was maid of honor for Lilla, both carried roses, and that Walter Winsor and Joseph Bancroft 2nd were ushers.  Also, the article mentions “two little nephews of the bride, Masters Bancroft Winsor and Allen Winsor, acted as train-bearers.  The children in the family photo are most likely Mary’s.

Let me know what you think.


The email shown above was sent by Bob Smith. Bob, a retired teacher at Woonstock (Connecticut) Academy, was looking into the story behind Howard Bracken. At Woodstock Academy there was a library named for Bracken, but nothing was known about him there until Bob started looking into the story. Bracken had grown up in Woodstock and had been a student at the Acacemy. After his death, his widow Lilla had the library built and named in his honor.

Based on the names on the back of a copy of the picture at the top of this page, found at the Little Red Shop Museum, the man at the back of that picture was Walter Winsor, husband of Mary Bancroft. Here’s a paragraph about him from the Fairhaven, Mass Office of Tourism site.

Walter P. Winsor (1846-1911)

A banker, Winsor became cashier  of the First National Bank of New Bedford in 1874 and was elected its president in 1899. In 1879, he purchased the former Nathan Church house at the northeast corner of Center and Green streets. The landscaping and Winsor’s greenhouses, operated by horticulturalist Peter Murray, were well known. Murray developed a variety of carnation he named the “Winsor Pink,” which was selected by Queen Mary of England as her coronation flower in 1911. Winsor headed the Fairhaven Library Association and later was treasurer of the Millicent Library. A close friend of Henry H. Rogers, Winsor often oversaw Rogers’ local business dealings. He was also a director of the Union Street Railway and Wamsutta Mills. He served as a selectman from 1896 until his death in 1911. The son of Capt. Alexander Winsor and Sarah Pellington Allen, he married Mary Gertrude Bancroft.

Also from the Fairhaven Office of Tourism site:

Bancroft Winsor (1889-1939) & Beatrice Winsor (1893-1975)

The grandson of Capt. Alexander Winsor and the son of Walter P. Winsor, Bancroft Winsor gained recognition in horticultural circles for raising gladiolas on acreage in Rochester and selling the bulbs nationwide. Specimens of his gladiola plants won many awards at flower shows. Today his legacy is due  to starting a 35-acre apple orchard in Acushnet, which he named after his grandfather’s famous ship Flying Cloud. After his death, Bancroft’s wife Beatrice (Dunham) Winsor ran the Flying Cloud Orchard into the 1970s and was known locally as “The Apple Lady.” Today the Flying Cloud Orchard is still in business under different ownership.


The Joseph and Sylvia Bancroft Family

Joseph Bancroft          Sylvia Bancroft

Lilla Bancroft                Lura Bancroft

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