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The Snowville Seven: 1940

The Snowville Seven: 1940

August 1940. "Mormon farm family. Snowville, Utah." Medium format acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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We're Younger Than We Look

Going by the ages of the children, and the usual practice of marrying quite young in that era, the parents are probably not much older than early 30s. A hard, yet contented life, no doubt.
The children have classic good looks, most would be in their 90s now - wonder how many still alive?

Faces Full of Character

And kindness, too. I don't see any evidence of poverty, as reflected in their socks and shoes. They're merely practicing thrift: "Use it up, wear it out", etc. The kids all have chores, either inside or outside of the house. The family looks happy and contented. Looking at their photo in their immaculate house, I rather envy them.

Good character outclasses a Hollywood nose every time.

I know I misspelled Mormon

in my previous comment. Maybe I'll have a chance to correct it!

[Not to mention "misspelled." - Dave]


Temple Garments

It looks like you can barely make out the temple garments that the wife is wearing under her dress. She and her husband probably had a celestial marriage in the nearest Mormon Temple which would require them to undergo the endowment ceremony. After that they are required to wear their temple garments at all times. I first saw them when I was in the army. There was a soldier from the almost entirely Mormon town of Fredonia in Arizona that wore them and sort of explained what they were when other soldiers asked.


Are those bloomers peeking out from under Mother's dress?

The Story in the Shoes

Their footwear tells the story of the photo shoot. The farmer and his son clearly work outdoors, and so does the mother, oftentimes. The little girl on Daddy's lap followed them outside. They came indoors for the photos. The two sisters on the left stayed in the house, cleaning and minding the baby. Elementary.

There she is

The little girl from Pride of Plates, who was putting away dishes in the grubby kitchen! She's still wearing those awful socks and so is her sister. Maybe that's all they had. She's very cute (though she has her mother's nose.) She also seems to be the one with the most personality. All the other children look a little subdued.

I wonder if any of them are yet living.

[Not after they read this! - Dave]

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