S: Nelson Sears 1905-1978
BC: All paintings are privately owned. Permission was received to reprint the paintings and newspaper articles within this book. Thank you to the following contributors: Mary Louise Sears Merrell Jodie Sears Moore and Homer Moore Nancy Sears Wilson and Jamie Wilson Amy Merrell Bartlett and Tom Bartlett Sandy Merrell Runyon Cummins Tim and Sue Merrell Becky Merrell Lomasney and Pat Lomasney Mark and Marilyn Merrell Melissa Merrell Wolford and Ken Wolford Mary Ellen Merrell Gerteisen and Matt Gerteisen Tyree and Stella Moore Gina Moore Owens and Doyle Owens Amanda Wilson Schuster and Larry Schuster Laura Wilson Ortiz and Nelson Ortiz Stephanie Merrell Baassler and Brett Baassler Tracey Bartlett Landowski and Tony Landowski Day and Carter Mortuary, Inc. Bedford, In Hillcrest Christian Church, Bedford, In Bedford Times-Mail The Lawrence County Historical & Genealogical Society *** Fall 2011 | front cover: "Nelson's Pastels": photo by Emily Faith Wolford, edited by Melissa Wolford August 2011 | "Self Portrait" hangs at the Lawrence Co. Museum
1: Forward A few years ago our family was in Bedford headed out to my Aunt Jodie (Myra Joan Sears Moore) and Uncle Homerâ€™'s cabin on Kenray Lake for a family reunion. Jodie rode with me and we spent the trip in nice conversation. She told me a story about a woman who came knocking at her door. The woman said she had inheritedâ€ one of Grandpa's paintings (Nelson Sears) and she wanted to know if Jodie would be interested in buying it back from her. Jodie asked the woman, â€œ"How much did (the relative) pay for it?â€" because a lot of times, the price was on the back. She told her an amount around $25 so Jodie asked how much she wanted for it now. She said an exorbitant price and Jodie laughed and said â€œ"No thanks, I have enough of my own", and went on about her way. This story made me think about how great it would be if everyone had access to all, or at least many, of the paintings he had done over the years. When Mom (Mary Sears Merrell) moved in with my sister Mary Ellen earlier this summer, the idea struck me again and I decided that â€œit was a good time to get this going. So in the process of taking photos of the paintings she owned, I began to ask other people for copies of theirs and it went from there. With the help of Internet (a wonderful invention I'm sure Grandpa would have loved!), I received over 150 paintings from various relatives and friends. Also with the help of my cousin Tyree (Jodieâ€™'s son) I was able to obtain the paintings from a museum, a mortuary and a church in Bedford. Acknowledgement was given on the back of this book for the donations and help of each individual and/or company who either contributed or gave permission to others to take photos, scans, prints etc. Thank you to everyone and I hope you enjoy the book! I know Granny and Grandpa would be happy to know that people can pass the book on to their children and grandchildren, so that they can know his work and it enjoy it as well. Melissa Merrell Wolford (Granddaughter of Nelson Sears) September, 2011
2: Nelson Sears at 17. | Mary Dilly (his wife) at 17. | Nelson Sears, age 2 | born: September 2, 1905 married: Mary Dilly, September 18, 1926 children: Mary Louise 1927 John David 1936 Myra Joan 1930 Nancy Jean 1945 died: October 5, 1978 | Nelson Sears and his sister Mildred
3: Nelson and Mary 1976 | His Family: back row: David, Mary, Nelson front row: Mary, Jodie & Nancy
6: The Spring Mill Connection Descendants of Thomas Hamer : 1 Thomas Hamer 1730 - 1806 b: December 31, 1730 in England +Eleanor Lyons 1750 - 1826 b: May 15, 1750 2 Thomas Hamer 1766 - 1829 b: September 24, 1766 Northumberland Co, PN +Hannah McNeal 1770 - 1811 b: August 17, 1770 in Lancaster County, PN 3 Thomas L. Hamer 1801 - 1856 b: March 07, 1801 in Geneva, Ontario County, NY +Hannah Fitzpatrick 1808 - 1892 b: March 04, 1808 in Clermont County, Ohio 4 Hugh Hamer 1829 - 1861 b: July 18, 1829 in Lawrence County , Indiana +Ann Maria Dalton 1831 - 1874 b: May 16, 1831 in Lawrence County , Indiana 5 Almyra Hamer 1854 - 1948 b: August 10, 1854 in Lawrence County, Indiana +Albert Lucas 1838 - 1913 b: May 22, 1838 in Ohio 6 Katherine A. Lucas 1886 - 1963 b: July 14, 1886 in Lawrence County, Indiana +Doyle Dilley 1885 - 1918 b: 1885 in Indiana 7 Mary Constance Dilley 1907 - 2003 b: February 25, 1907 in Law. Co, In +Nelson C. Sears 1905 - 1978 b: September 02, 1905 in Indiana
7: background watermark "Spring Mill" photo taken by Sandra Ann Merrell Cummins
11: h i s w o r k s
13: f a c e s
16: This painting was found in 2011 when the owner removed the backing from another painting to have it photographed for this book and re-framed. | This painting was found in 2011 in an old folder full of blank paper that belonged to Granny (Mary Sears) .
20: Both of these paintings were done as gifts for grandchildren.
21: pl a c e s
22: "This four panel historical painting was created by Nelson Sears for his friend Wayne Robbins in 1976 . Robbins was the founder of Convacare Services and the paintings were to decorate the long upstairs hallway in the company's new office. Sears went to great effort to detail the intricate original upper facades on the buildings. The Wayne Robbins family has donated these historically significant paintings to the Lawrence County Museum for the enjoyment of future generations. The paintings currently hang in the Museum's meeting room." -www.lawrencecountyhistory.org
26: see previous two pages
31: wide open spaces
40: Nelson took hundreds of pictures like these to use as models for his flower paintings.
41: v a s e s
58: These two pages of photos (except the flamingos) were found in old scrapbooks and these are scans of those photos, so they are not the best quality pictures. The flamingos were also entered into the 500 Festival Art Exhibit mentioned earlier in this book.
60: Over 3 decades later, we discovered the Hillcrest Christian Church still cherishes this beautiful mural. Tyree Moore took the photo for this book.
61: "One of the things I respected the most was he was constantly and forever a gentleman"
62: Nelson and his wife Mary are buried at the Hamer Cemetery in Spring Mill State Park, In