Shenandoah County Library Archives

Shenandoah County Library Digital Archives

Timbers Family


Dublin Core


Timbers Family


Timbers, Sarah Evelyn Bibbs (1875-1938)
Butler, Fannie Hughes Timbers (1893-1984)
Timbers, William (1895-1979)
Timbers, Jett "Elmer" (1897-1944)
African Americans - Virginia - Shenandoah County


Photograph of Sarah Evelyn (Bibbs) Timbers (seated left) with her three children: Fannie Timbers Butler (seated right), and standing (l to r) William and Jett "Elmer" Timbers.

Sarah Evelyn Bibbs was born to Carter and Louisa Bibbs, one of eleven children, in Zenda, near Linville in Rockingham County. The year of her birth varies by record, but the civil registration of the event was dated 1871. She married William B. Timbers (1848-1905) in 1893. He was a much older man and by 1900, she had 4 children -- Anita, Fannie, William and Jett Elmer -- and lived on Water Street in Woodstock where her husband was a waiter in a hotel. Her husband’s grown son from his first marriage, Harper, also lived with them.

Sarah remained in Woodstock the rest of her life. After her husband died, she worked as a laundress in a home for a time. In the early 1920’s, she went to work for the family of J.J. Sperry where she worked for 17 years until her death.

Sarah was a member of the Mt. Zion Methodist Church. During a service, she suffered a stroke and fell from the pulpit hitting her head on the altar railing. Unconscious, she was carried from the church to Dr. Fravel’s hospital and then to the home of her daughter, Mrs. Fannie Butler, where she died almost a week later.

Fannie Hughes Timbers married Lucien P. Butler (1900-1963) in June 1921, in Woodstock. The person who performed their marriage ceremony was W.H. Polk, a well-known African American minister in Woodstock. Lucien was the son of W.O. and Alice Butler of Strasburg. He had worked as a bell boy at the fashionable Loch Lynn Hotel in Mt. Lake Park, Garret County, Maryland, when he registered for the WWI draft. When he married, his occupation was “cook”.

By 1930, the couple lived at 239 E. High Street in Woodstock in a home they owned. Lucien worked as a cook at Massanutten Military Academy and they had two young daughters: Fannie Timbers and Esterlean Rawes Butler. Fannie’s half-brother, Harper Timbers, lived next door with his large family.

In his later years, Lucien worked at Wender’s Department Store in Woodstock before suffering a fatal heart attack. Fannie stayed in her home on High Street and lived another 21 years until she, too, reached the end of her life.

William "Wee" Butler never married and spent his career working as a hotel waiter. In 1950, he worked and lived at The Homestead Hotel, a resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. He lived a long life and when he died, his residence was on High Street in Woodstock, the same street where his sister, Fannie, had raised her family.

Jett "Elmer" Timbers did not stay in Woodstock. When he registered for the WWI draft in 1918, he lived in Washington D.C. and worked at "Camp Humphreys", now known as Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. Later that year, he married Saffena Beatrice Lacy (1898-1992) in Allegheny County, Virginia, where his occupation was “waiter”. While his wife appeared living back with her parents in Botetourt County in the 1920 and 1930 censuses, old phone books from 1922 and 1925 mention Elmer Timbers as being a “Barber” living on 7th Street, N.W. Washington D.C. The couple had two children, Sarah and Charles. By the time Elmer registered for the WWII draft in 1942, he was listed as self-employed in Boyce, Virginia. He died shortly after.


Morrison Studio


Morrison Studio Collection - Shenandoah County Historical Society


Shenandoah County Library


Labelled "Oct 1917" on box of plates.


Biographical information was compiled from public records.
One of the subjects, Fannie Timbers, was identified by Francis Corley, a cousin of the subject.




Fannie (Timbers) Butler appears in Morrison photos 000608, 000783, 0005717, 007811, 011948, 012916, 016333 and 022677.
Sarah (Bibbs) Timbers also appears in Morrison Studio Image 5084

Jett "Elmer" Timbers appears in Morrison Photos 000917 and 005717.
William "Wee" Timbers appears in Morrison Studio Collection images 000917, 005717, 012506, and 012507.



Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Glass Negative


Morrison Studio, “Timbers Family,” Shenandoah County Library Archives, accessed April 20, 2024,


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