This photo was found in a shop in Defiance, Ohio. The name Davie Palmer is scrawled on the back. The photographer was Pinder in Garrett, Indiana.
David Palmer was born in 1875 and lived in Richland township, a small community near Garrett. He worked as a railroad section hand, never married and died, aged 45, of sudden heart trouble.
Find A Grave
World War I Draft Registration
This cabinet card was found in the Pickers Paradise antique mall in Niles, Michigan. Not only was the sitter identified as Mrs. Tillie Gregory, but the date of May 31, 1895 was also noted.
Mathilda, “Tillie”, spent her childhood years in Canada with her German born parents, Charles and Sophia (nee Shatz) Weishan. In 1884, just 15 years old, she married Charles B. Gregory in Ogemaw County, Michigan and had a son, Walter, the following year. It’s unknown how long Charles stuck around, but in 1898 Tillie filed for divorce on the grounds of desertion. At the time, she was working as a domestic to support herself and and her son. Soon after the divorce was granted, she married Alfonso Clark, a mechanic and shoe maker, who was 27 years older than her. However, that union did not last and she married Henry C. Thielecke Jr. in 1906.
Tillie died, aged 45 years, of pernicious anemia, a disease in which the body lacks sufficient vitamin B12 and cannot make healthy red blood cells. It causes fatique, muscle weakness and stomach upset, among other ailments. Some suspect that Jane Austen and Mary Todd Lincoln suffered from pernicious anemia.
Michigan marriage records
Michigan divorce records
“What an Affliction”: Mary Todd Lincoln’s Fatal Pernicious Anemia, by John G. Sotos
Jane Austen’s Last Illness, published in the British Medical Journal, 1964
Not every photo find yields a fascinating, or even a slightly interesting, story. This isn’t to say that the sitters led uneventful lives. It just means that I’ve not had the pleasure of discovering their full history. This is the first in my Snap Shot series, which will showcase those photos from my collection.
Look at the table detail in this carte de visite. The sitter is Mary Sophia (nee Germann) Schmid. The photographer was J.F. Rank & Co. in Van Wert, Ohio. Sophia was born in 1855 and shares my birth date of March 5.
Find A Grave
State of Ohio death certificate
These were some of the first old photos I picked up when I began collecting. The green and dark brown cabinet card mounts are especially attractive and I love how crisp and richly saturated the images have remained after more than 130 years.
All the photos were taken at the same studio, Mast, in Marshall, Michigan, but only the photo of the couple has writing on the reverse. The youngest girl is wearing what appears to be the same, or a very similar, necklace as the woman. While I typically do not buy photos without some attribution, the previous observations, as well as the fact that the girls look to be either sisters or the same person, led me to purchase all of them, as I wanted to keep the photos together.
The notations on the back of the couple’s card have something that I’ve come to relish in a find…a date. I quickly realized that photos with dates, even if they have no name, are a wonderful thing to have in a collection, as you can put the sitters’ fashions, hairstyles, and accessories with that moment in time. There are many wonderful guides that provide tips for dating photos in this manner, and I often refer to my 19th Century Card Photos Kwik Guide by Gary W. Clark when looking for clues, but, having actual examples in my own collection is priceless to me.