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Old Photos Bring Two Families Together Years Later

Family photos are bringing together people living miles apart after a Magazine business owner finds several old photos.

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Krystle Sherrell
MAGAZINE, ARKANSAS — Family photos are bringing together people living miles apart after a Magazine business owner finds several old photos.

"They're just beautiful people," said Aimee Littleton, business owner and Magazine resident.

As Littleton began cleaning out the old Assembly of God Church, she came across something special.

"There were just boxes and boxes of stuff," Littleton said. "Back in the corner, there was a Christmas box that looked like an apple box."

Inside that box were photos of a woman and her husband.

"I remember picking up this picture and I just kept staring at her and staring at her," Littleton said.

At the very bottom of the box was a newspaper article from 1977.

"I realized that the news clipping went with the pictures and it was the same woman," Littleton said.

The woman was Elizabeth McGill, the first African American social worker in Fort Smith, but also the mother of state representative and Fort Smith mayoral candidate, George McGill.

"Just to know someone else has photos, I'm very interested in seeing," McGill said.

McGill recalls his mom as a woman who was giving, loved her family and always knew how to help others.

"A lot of flashbacks thinking about my mom and what she meant to this city and community," McGill said. "All the wonderful things she did and the commitment she made to this city."

But more than 50 miles away, Littleton could also see all those qualities from just a few photos.

"She looked at these people in their hearts," Littleton said. "She didn't look at them or their skin color. She wanted to help whoever needed help."

One of the biggest things that stood out to Littleton from the newspaper clipping will forever be shared.

"At the very end it says, 'After I'm in my grave, there's nothing I can say, but to let my work speak for me. I hope I've helped somebody,'" Littleton said.

Littleton plans to meet McGill in the morning to give him the family photos and said she is most excited to see his face when she hands him the pictures.

Littleton plans to make copies of the photos to serve as inspiration not only for herself, but so she can continue sharing the story of Elizabeth McGill.

Neither Littleton or McGill know how the photos ended up in Magazine, but McGill said his mom is from a small town called Grey Rock, not too far from Magazine.

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