Summoned by Reaper


Abt. 1867
Written on back – “S J T and Mrs Hass”

These four tintypes have one sitter in common, Sarah Jane (nee Cartwright) Thompson and they offer the unusual opportunity at a glimpse of the sitter throughout different times in her life. I’ve done my best to date each image.  I studied the clothing and hairstyles of the sitters, as well as the props, and even the paper sleeves that house the photos.  If you disagree with any of my dating, please comment and let me know.  I welcome all input and suggestions.

Sarah Jane Cartwright was the daughter of Charles Cartwright.  His trade was that of a carpenter and extensive house builder. He was born and raised in North Carolina and came with his parents to Wayne county, Indiana in 1828, at the age of 17.  There he met and married Miss Nancy Till, in 1832.  The couple had two children, Sarah Jane and John T., when they removed to Iowa, becoming one of the earliest settlers in Johnson county.  There they had eight more children: Jesse Edward Bower, Charles Albert, Mary Etta, Emma Elva and four who died very young.  Charles served as City Alderman (a member of the city council) in Iowa City in 1856, and was a member of the Johnson county Old Settlers’ Association, his signature appearing on the Old Settlers’ Constitution of 1866.   So respected and involved in the community, he was called upon to help prepare the body of Iowa Governor Lucas for burial in 1853.
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Jet & Grace


This cabinet card came from a shop in Indianapolis, Indiana and was given to me by a friend who supports my love of found photos.  The two girls are identified on the back of the photo as Jet & Grace Norton.  The card carries the marking of the W.H. Butler New Gallery photography studio of Clifford, Indiana.

Research uncovered sisters, Jessie Pearl and Grace Edna Norton, daughters of Julian Perry and Phoebe (nee Linke) Norton.  At the time of the photo, taken in approximately 1892, they were their parents only children.  In 1894, their brother, Raymond Louis, was born.

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Gran Nana

blog-kutcher-grandmother-infantabt. 1890

These five cabinet cards were in an antique shop in Auburn, Indiana.  Written on the back of one is “Grand Mother Kutcher,” on another “Gramdns,” and yet another “Gran Nana.”  Four of the photos were taken in Portland, Indiana.  The earliest image of Grandmother Kutcher as an infant has no photography studio markings.  Notice the glass baby bottle with large rubber nipple.  And look at the worn shoe soles.  Were they second hand or was she doing a lot of walking?
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