Charlie Nelson, the sitter in this photograph, was a butcher, which is why I decided to add this small cabinet photo to my collection. I’m not a fan of eating meat so you would think that a photo of a butcher would be the last thing I’d be excited to find. It’s my memories of growing up with my grandfather, who was a meat cutter, that’s left me with a sentimental interest in the profession. Thanks to Erica of the Forgotteninthemitten Etsy shop for making it available.
As a sixteen-year-old young man in 1900, Charlie lived with his parents in Nevada, Missouri and worked as a drayman, delivering beer for a brewery. I believe it was about this time that this photograph was taken. Soon after his marriage in 1907 to Miss Maggie Lindsay and the birth of his son, Charles Lester, ten months later, he relocated to Sacramento County, California where he held various jobs, including working as a helper and machinist for the railroad and as a butcher at Claus & Krauss.
After twenty-some years of marriage, Charlie and Maggie split. Over the next thirty years, Charlie relocated multiple times, living in Nevada and Kansas City, Missouri; Garland County, Arkansas; Hillsborough County, Florida; and Grady County, Oklahoma. He married at least twice more, to Nann V. Williams and then Hilldread Marzeline Ownes. It appears the one constant in Charlie’s life was his work as a meat cutter.
California railroad employment records
Kansas, county marriage records
WWI draft registrations