Woman Finds Hidden Treasures In Old Trunk

Jan Gibbs recently found an old trunk at an estate sale. She bought it for her antique store she owns in Henderson. But when she began to clean it out, she discovered more than just dust. Jan found memories and a sort of mystery.

The old trunk, with torn fabric and leather straps, was most likely made in the early 1900's. When Jan Gibb's found it she thought it was just a tattered old trunk.

"We had an estate sale where we had bought a lump sum of all the things together and this was in those things," says Jan.

It sat in the back of the store not really noticed, until one day. "We opened it up and we looked in there and there was some crunchy leaves in the bottom. We pulled the leaves off the top of it and we saw all these things. There were photographs and receipts and letters. Letters that dated back to 1918 and 1917. A receipt looked like to a maybe a pharmacy. It had a lot of the prices from back then," says Jan.

Items bought from the old store included soap for 10 cents, toothpaste for 25 cents and whole bottle of aspirin for only a quarter. But perhaps the most precious of this peek into the past were two old photos. One of a little girl from the first years of the 20th century. Another, of men operating an old mule-drawn syrup mill.

"Back then pictures were really, you didn't get pictures made a whole lot. When you did, you probably hung on to them."

Jan was unable to trace the names on the receipts to any area families. Some of the names on the receipts are Joe W. and Mary Montag as well as R.H. Freeman. Most of the receipts were for businesses in Rusk county. If you think these items may belong to your family you can call Jan at 903-657-7422.

Amy Tatum, reporting. atatum@kltv.com