The Kindness of Strangers

Last January I wrote two posts featuring Walter Lee Noblin, a church member in South Carolina in the late 19th/early 20th century – first we read a letter featuring his testimony, then I used his life as a model to illustrate how we can find information about people to turn them from anonymous names on the page to brothers and sisters we care about.

That all just got a little more real, with this photograph of the gravestone of Walter Lee Noblin and his second wife, Stella Blanch Dial and the stone of Omar Reed Noblin, who died in childhood, a son of Walter Lee Noblin and his first wife, Maggie E. Duckett.

Steve Noblin, a man I’ve just met via email, drives by the Zion Hill Baptist Church cemetery on the east side of Spartanburg, South Carolina, on his way to work. Although he knows of no connection between his family and Walter’s, the shared surname caught his eye. For some reason he googled Walter’s name, which brought him to those January posts here on Keepa, and he kindly offered to send a photograph.

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