Deaths in the family can unearth secrets that have been hiding for decades. After this Reddit user’s grandfather passed away, he and his family were going through the belongings left behind and getting things organized. In the garage, they found a large, old trunk. They had never seen it before nor did they know what was inside.
Very carefully, they decided to examine it. They had no idea what they were going to find, but it was fascinating.
This is the trunk. The only person that knew it existed was his own wife, and the Redditor’s grandmother.
After opening it, one hinge snapped. It was very fragile.
These were the covers of the two top chest compartments.
And this is what the underside of the lid looked like. They weren’t able to determine the origin of the artwork.
Once the top compartments were opened, the family was shocked to find so many letters and documents from the early 1900s.
Then, the bottom of the trunk was filled with even more stuff.
It’s hard to say why he had this weird book from 1911…
With its extremely strange pages.
It seemed like pretty serious stuff.
Lots of illustrations, like the one seen here, were in the book.
Another book, copyright 1900.
It, too, was filled with pictures.
A brief history of the United States from the 1900s.
This booklet was found in an envelope which was sent to a man named JC Malone. Apparently he was the Great Great Grandfather of the person who found the chest.
They then assumed that this was JC’s chest.
Many letters were about farming, as he was a farmer in New Mexico and Oklahoma. However this symbol on the envelope looked familiar…
There were many freemason letters. Lots of them were asking for donations.
This was his official masonry card.
And his notice of his dues.
The postcard pictured here is of the Masonic Temple Building in Chicago, which is no longer standing.
JC also kept this medical brace, a truss.
The truss was a common device back then to help alleviate the pain caused by an inguinal hernia.
This used to house a revolver, there was even a bullet and gun cleaner inside.
This pamphlet for an “elixir” was also in the box, probably to help JC with his stomach issues.
A pro-socialism button was found at the bottom of the box (along with other socialist items).
The card seen here is possible a card for the Farmer-Labor Party. The party lasted from 1918-1936. It was based on socialism.
This certificate is for three shares of “The Oklahoma Leader Co.” $10/share.
Tickets for Trades Day” in Rush Springs, OK, probably a resource for farmers.
Four pairs of spectacles were found in the box, all prescribed by Dr. Haux.
The blue tinted ones could have been sunglasses, or maybe even used to see hidden messages…
The last notable thing found in the box was a lithograph map of Northern Europe from the Centennial School Supply Company.
His grandfather kept this trunk (and kept it a secret) for years. It was a shock for the family to discover that the great-grandfather was a card-carrying freemason. So much can be learned about family history from items found like this; it’s truly fascinating.
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