Wall/Desk Display for Uncle Ted’s Memorabilia in Jill Zinner's Home


by Frank Mayfield

Mary Catherine Wilifred “Winnie” Higdon was one of two younger sisters of Uncle Ted. He wrote many letters to Winnie while he was serving in the U.S. Army in World War II. Winnie saved his letters to her. Winnie also saved Uncle Ted’s reinterment flag and his dog tags. Katie, as she was know later in her life, died, and several years later, Cy Zinner, Katie’s husband died as well.  Katie & Cy’s daughter Jill Zinner brought these family heirlooms with her to her house in Louisville, Kentucky, after cleaning out and boxing up personal effects from her parents house when Cy died. 

Ted's memorabilia at Jill's house

My wife Nell and I visited Jill’s house several years later, and Jill and I went through about two dozen boxes of stored materials in her basement looking for the memorabilia in the first image at left, except for the photograph. For this online memorial to Uncle Ted, I scanned and read all 19 letters that Winnie saved, and transcribed them into type, which is a much easier format to read. The I.D. dog tags were already saved in a plastic case by Winnie. The reinterment flag was in relatively good shape, but had some damage due to age and some damage due to insects. The photograph was scanned and sent to me by Robert “Bob” Higdon about a year later (Bob also sent 9 more letters saved by his branch of the family, which I’m currently working on transcribing). I did a little clean up work on the photo image scan and verified that it was Thomas Theodore “Ted” Higdon and his two younger sisters. The display in the photo image at left is a ‘temporary photo display’ set up to photograph these pieces of memorabilia. Jill is currently remodeling her home office, and her plans are to dedicate one wall of the office, with a shelf and a desk, for the display of these family heirlooms. As soon as she finishes, I hope to photograph this second Uncle Ted memorabilia home display.

For more details on each of these family heirlooms, click on the images below.

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