Matrilineal Monday: Two Little Bundles of Love

Benita Elizabeth (McGinnis) McCormick (1889 – 1984)
Phillip Columbus McCormick (1892 – 1981)
Phillip Eugene “Bud” McCormick (1927 – 2004)
Benita Jane “Janie” (McCormick) Olson (1927 – 2011)

Christmas 1927 brought a very special gift to my great-aunt and great-uncle, Benita and Phil McCormick.  

 

These two little cherubs, “Buddy and Jane,” or Phillip Eugene and Benita Jane 
McCormick, were named after their adoptive parents, Phillip Columbus and Benita 
Elizabeth (McGinnis) McCormick.  Chicago, Illinois, December 1927.


Make that two special gifts.  

Unable to have children of their own, Benita and Phil adopted two infants, a boy and a girl.  Given their adoptive parents’ first names and the respective baptism (middle) names of their uncle Eugene McGinnis and grandmother Mary Jane (Gaffney) McGinnis, Phillip Eugene and Benita Jane were nicknamed  “Buddy” (later “Bud”) and “Janie,” names that stuck with them all their lives.  

 

 
 Adoption announcement card, designed by Benita
(McGinnis) McCormick, whimsically depicts two
young babes in diapers knocking on the door of the
McCormick home.  
Though the blond, blue-eyed babies were referred to as “the twins,” the newest little McCormicks may have been about the same age but in fact were not related by blood to each other at all. Bud was born on February 26, 1927, presumably in Illinois.  Benita Jane, called “Janie,” was born Shirley Ann Althaus on May 20, 1927, in Iowa, to a young German-American farm girl named Bernice Althaus.  

 

Benita designed a whimsical adoption announcement heralding the new additions to the McCormick family. The pen and ink illustration on the card depicts two young babes in diapers, clutching small suitcases.  Standing on a welcome mat, they rap confidently on the front door of their new home.  The “8032” on the door was the street number of the family’s residence at 8032 Vernon Avenue, on Chicago’s South Side. 
 
The idea of Benita and Phil ringing in the New Year by inviting friends and family to join them in welcoming two little cherubs into their world was typical of a couple who enjoyed celebrating life and loved ones.
 
Inside of adoption
announcement and invitation
to meet Buddy and Jane McCormick
on New Year’s Day, 1928.

 

Mr and Mrs. Phillip C. McCormick,

 

8052 Vernon Avenue, announce the 

 

adoption of Benita Jane and Phillip

 

Eugene, December 18, 1927, and request

 

the pleasure of your company on

 

New Year’s Day to meet their

 

son and daughter.

 

From 8:30 p.m. to 12 o’clock    R.S.V.P.

 

 

************

 

Copyright ©  2014  Linda Huesca Tully

 

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