OSAGE --- A 100-year-old photograph found in the attic led to a family reunion and a discovery of unexpected ties.
The photograph, probably taken in about 1910, shows a stoic woman named Myrtle Moss. She lived in a log cabin on River Road between Osage and Mitchell for about 30 years beginning in the 1930s and was known for her work as an artist.
The photo originally was discovered by the Kloberdanz family, which bought the property and Moss estate in 1962.
Monte Kloberdanz, who now lives there, said the photograph has been around for a long time but he was never sure who the woman was.
His brother, the late Murray Kloberdanz, thought the photo was interesting, and the large framed portrait hung on the wall for many years.
"I would always walk by the portrait and say, 'Hi, Alice,' because it looked like an old classmate of mine from Osage High School named Alice Laughlin," Monte said.
"Even though I was joking, Murray would get mad at me and say, 'That's not Alice. It's Myrtle Moss' --- but neither one of us knew if it was her for sure."
They discovered recently, both brothers were right. The photograph indeed shows Moss --- and she looks somewhat like Alice Laughlin because Moss was her great-aunt.
The mystery was solved when Alice and her brother, Jim Laughlin, both graduates of Osage High School, visited Kloberdanz. Their goal was to look some of Moss' original artwork, and they confirmed the identity of the woman in the portrait.
"Ironically, I had brought the old photo out from where it was being stored along with some paintings, and then a few days later I got a call out of the blue from Jim Laughlin, who asked me of I had any artwork from Myrtle Moss," Kloberdanz said.
"He explained to me that Myrtle was his great-aunt and he was collecting some of her work. I had no idea. I was quite surprised."
Kloberdanz invited the Laughlins to his cabin to present the portrait to them. Jim Laughlin lives in California, and Alice Laughlin is in Washington, D.C.
"Seeing the photo from that time period was incredible," Alice said.
She enjoyed the adventure.
"It's great to be able to connect with an ancestor like this," Alice said. "My father told me that she not only painted and made her own wine but that she was a heck of a shot with a rifle."