Born in 1860, in Alabama, Reavis Johnston “R.J.” Terry was named after his father’s mentors. As a young teen, R.J.’s father, John Taliaferro Terry, lost his father and was taken in by his sister’s husband, Colonel Robert Johnston. John became a lawyer, like Johnston, and went into a law partnership with the Honorable Turner Reavis.
Interesting to note, from a research standpoint, I would not have been able to identify this sitter if the person had not penned “Birmingham, Ala.” after the name. I would have been looking in the location of the photographer, E.J. Dunshee, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although R.J. may have lived in Philadelphia at some time during his life, I did not find a record of it.
History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume 4, published 1921
Birmingham, Alabama City Directory
The blushing brothers are George and James Harris. Who’s who is uncertain. They were very close in age, born just two years apart; James on January 10, 1872 and George on March 10, 1874. On George’s WWI draft card, he’s said to have black hair and brown eyes. I wasn’t able to locate a card for James.
Found along with this image was a cabinet card photo of the boys’ younger sister, Nora Belle, born in 1877. At age 18, she married William Mathison and they had 10 children.
The siblings were born and raised in Cheatham County, Tennessee. As adults, they lived in Nashville.
Tennessee death records
WWI draft registration
Recently, I happened upon a tintype of a gentleman posed next to a small, decorative table. Written on the front of the paper sleeve frame is “Mr. John Pease.” I immediately recognized the table as one in a photo already in my collection.
In an earlier post, I featured a carte de visite of Sophia Germann. The photographer, J. F. Rank of Van Wert, Ohio, seated Sophia next to the same unique, stag head table!
In the larger scan below, you can better see that the table detail matches the one in the carte de visite of Sophia. Look at the chain that dangles from the table top, and the etched lines on the legs.
The tintype of Mr. John Pease does not provide the photographer’s identity or location, but, could the table provide the missing link? Continue reading →
I picked up this tintype, housed in a paper frame, in Markle, Indiana. Writing on the back reads “Whitley Co. Ind.”
I find it difficult to date this tintype based on the young man’s fashion. If I had to make a guess, I would say late 1860s to mid 1870s, based on the felt hat and piped edge suit lapels. I welcome anyone with more knowledge about Victorian men’s fashion to provide input.
I found two men named David Aker living in Whitley County, Indiana. One, born in 1812, was a farmer in Whitley County. He would have been in his fifties when the photo was captured, making him too old to be the sitter. Another, born in 1874, would have been too young to be the sitter.
One thing to note is that the latter David Aker was also found in records as Frank David Aker. This raises a good question. Could David have been the sitter’s middle name, and/or a name that he didn’t use consistently, especially on paperwork, like census records? Frank David Aker’s father was George Aker, born about 1839. If my dating of this tintype is correct, George would have been in his early twenties when this photo was taken, and would fit the sitter’s age. However, I find no record of George’s middle name or of him using the name David.
This is another rescued photo that remains a mystery, for now.
This is a tintype that has been hand-colored. It was found in Markle, Indiana. Written on the reverse is “Mrs. Sarah Huff, Artist, Leavensworth (sic), Ind.”
Based on the young woman’s fashion, I loosely date this photo as being taken in the 1870s. This is a curious case, as there were several women named Sarah Huff residing in the Leavenworth, Indiana area during this time.
The first Sarah Huff, married to Mack Huff, was born about 1859, and fits the age of the sitter. However, she resided in Sterling, 17 miles from Leavenworth.
There were also two Sarahs, a mother and daughter, living in Leavenworth. The daughter, 18 years old in 1870, was, of course, a Miss Sarah Huff, not a Mrs. The mother was 40 years old in 1870, so she could not be the sitter. Is it possible the person who penned the writing mistakenly wrote Mrs.? Or is it possible the writing signifies the person who hand-colored the photo, and not the identity of the sitter? That could explain the notation of “Artist.”
This dandy cabinet card was discovered in Goshen, Indiana. The sitter screamed, “Take me home! I’m bold and interesting!”
William Francis Hostetler, born in La Paz, Indiana in 1870, was a hustler, in a good way. He was an enterprising person, determined to succeed, a real go-getter.
Which is why I was surprised to find that William’s death certificate listed his only occupation as a farmer. I’m sure he would have been surprised as well, and disappointed, considering he spent the majority of his adult life as a teacher. In addition, for quite a few years, while also teaching, he sold insurance for the New York Life Insurance Company, and he was self employed, offering penmanship services for individuals and businesses.
This cabinet card has so much going for it! From the lovely studio backdrop, to the girl’s big eyed, faraway stare, to the awkward pose made to show off her dress bustle (and wow, what a bustle!) Bustles reached extreme proportions in the mid 1880s.
The back of the card is just as interesting. The artwork offers a glimpse into the sitter’s view when she approached Hartley’s Studio at 309 W. Madison St. in Chicago, Illinois. And what a clever motto, “Cloudy Days Good as Sunshine.”
The sitter is Martha Miriam Sherlock. Martha was born in 1860 in Illinois. She was a teacher in the 1880s, married George Herzberg when she was 33, had children and died in Texas, aged 84. I can’t say Martha led an uninteresting life, but I can say that I didn’t find anything as interesting as what I discovered when researching Hartley’s Studio. Let’s turn our attention to the photographer, Charles F. Hartley.