An “At Home” In Honor of Chicago Visitors

"At Home Eliza's descendents"
Hosts and guests posed for photograph. My mother, Doris Graham is the first on the far left. Her sister Mary V. is second from the right. Publisher James McCall is right in the middle.
"At Home Eliza's Descendants verso"
Verso of Photograph
From the Detroit Tribune

“This is not the picture of a family reunion, although all in the group, with the exception of one intimate friend, are relatives who stood in the receiving line or assisted otherwise at the “At Home” given Monday evening, December 26 from 6 to 9 o’clock, at the McCall’s residence on Parker avenue, the affair was in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Howard, of Chicago, brother and sister of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. McCall and Mrs Robert F. Johnson, a sister, greeted guests at the door, while Miss Mary Virginia Graham, a cousin, acted as registrar. Mrs. Moses L. Walker, a sister, introduced the guests to the host and hostess, who in turn presented them to others in the receiving line – Dr. and Mrs. Howard, the honorees; Miss Victoria McCall, daughter; Miss Louise McCall, niece, of Chicago; and Miss Mignon Walker, also a niece. Mrs. William Hawthorn, a friend of the family, presided at the punch bowl, assisted by Miss Doris Graham, a cousin of the McCalls; and Miss Margaret McCall, a daughter. At the close of the reception, the principals and assistants stood together and were snapped by the camera. They are left to right: Doris Graham, Mignon Walker, Louise McCall, Victoria McCall, Dr. and Mrs J. E. McCall, Mrs. M. I. Walker, ( not named was Margaret McCall) Mrs R. F. Johnson, Mary Virginia Graham and Mrs. William Blackburn.”

The Detroit Tribune, Detroit, Michigan 31 Dec 1938, Sat  •  Page 5

The Detroit Tribune was published by James E. McCall and his wife, Margaret Walker McCall. He was also a poet and had lost his sight while attending college after having typhoid fever.

The links below take you to more information about various people in the photograph.

Victoria McCall interviews Eleanor Roosevelt in 1945
1940 Census – James and Margaret McCall and Family
James Edward McCall, Poet and Publisher 1880 – 1963
Interview With Mignon Walker Brown & 3 Hats
Otillia McCall Howard
Louise and Ronnie
Mary Virginia Graham – Social Reporter
Doris Graham, High School Senior – 1940
F – FAMILY, MY GRAHAMS in the 1920 Census
My Mother in the News

Click photo for more Sepia Saturday photos!

11 thoughts on “An “At Home” In Honor of Chicago Visitors

  1. How high society they were! All the women had comfortable long dresses! (I remember when that was the dress of choice for fancy dinners and dancing.) What a wonderful gathering! You have a better dressed group of friends and family than mine…to come out on Saturday! Yay Sepia Saturday!

  2. I read the link for more about James McCall. An interesting and influential man indeed! This is a lovely group photo. I love the dress styles from that time.

  3. Your mother’s smile in the photograph is about as sunny and beautiful as a smile can get. What a lovely young woman, and so perfectly poised.

  4. A beautiful group portrait. Such elegance and it’s interesting how the newspaper covered it. A different era indeed. You’re lucky to evidence of the bygone era.

    1. James McCall, the man in the center of the photograph and who was hosting the gathering, was the publisher and editor of the paper that covered it – The Detroit Tribune. Before moving to Detroit from Montgomery, Alabama, he published The Emancipator. Lucky for me because my grandmother was his first cousin and our family was well covered in both papers.

  5. All the women look so elegant and graceful – I do love the fashions from those days. Can’t imagine a world where someone could lose vision because of typhoid, but that was the reality not so long ago. A friend of my father’s had lost his hearing after getting meningitis in childhood.

    Thankful for the vaccines and the advances in current medicine.

  6. A great choice for our Sepia theme this weekend. I read your posts on James McCall. With such a remarkable life, he certainly deserves a place in Wikipedia. The photo captures that festive quality of a special occasion, though my first thought was either an anniversary or wedding party. Except for a choral concert, I can’t think of any recent event I’ve attended where men wore black tie and evening jackets and women dressed in long gowns. Maybe it’s because I don’t get invited to such events. :–(

    1. That was the posh branch of the family. I have never been to a gathering where I had to wear evening wear.

      He was certainly an exceptional man. His wife worked him all the way along.

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