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.