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.
“Aunt Margret Newkirk” is written on the back of this cabinet card that was found in Auburn, Indiana. The sitter is Margaret (nee Warwick). The inscription leads me to believe this photo belonged to Maud Kelley, a foster daughter, who lived in the Newkirk home for some years, and who fondly referred to the sitter as Aunt Margret (a variation of Margaret.)
Margaret Newkirk was a daughter, a wife, and a mother. But, she wasn’t defined by the traditional roles of women in the 19th century. You see, Margaret was a suffragette!
I picked up this cabinet card from The Wurdeman Studio. If you enjoy beautiful antique photographs and other bits and bobbles, you can check them out on Instagram or visit their Etsy shop. Be sure to read the how and why of the shop. Here’s a little teaser… “It all started in Mrs. Wurdeman’s Store when I was five.”
Emma Sager’s life was just getting started when it ended in 1894; at age twenty-five she died of consumption.
Tuberculosis, also known throughout history as consumption, scrofula, TB, and the white plague, was highly contagious and killed many, being especially dangerous to those living in large cities and those who lived in poverty. (I realize that not everyone is interested in reading about disease, but if you would like to learn more about the history of tuberculosis, you will find a link in the sources at the end of this post.)
I also came across the newspaper article on the right, published in 1894, that may be of interest to some.
Emma and her eight siblings grew up on a farm in Gentry county, Missouri with her father, Edward, who immigrated to the US from Germany when he was a young boy, and her mother, Susanna (nee Gearheart). When she was twenty, Emma’s mother died and I imagine much of the responsibilities for the household chores, as well as the care of the younger siblings, may have fallen upon Emma and her older sister, Mary, who was also single. However, four years later, in August of 1892, Emma was one of the teachers in attendance at the teacher’s institute in Stanberry, Missouri. If her obituary is correct, this is about the time she fell ill. Whenever someone dies young, I ponder about their life and Emma is no different: Did she finish school? Fall in love? What hopes and dreams were extinguished too soon?
I acquired this beautiful photograph on etsy, although, I prefer to find photos in shops or at estate sales. However, I was so taken by this image that after watching it languish for over a month, I finally rescued it on my birthday last year. It is a Boudoir card, which is larger than a standard cabinet card, measuring 5 1/4″ x 8 1/2″.
The sitter is Ida Taylor, who lived to be 101 years old! She lived in the Boonville, Indiana home that her father built the year she was born, until her death in 1957.
I came across this cabinet card and having no photographer’s location, combined with the common surname of Hicks, I wasn’t sure I would be able to identify the sitter. However, I thought the middle name of Albin was unique enough to tip the odds in my favor and I brought the photo home.
A quick search revealed an Ida Albin Hicks and a Hugh Hicks buried in the Stilesville cemetery in Hendricks county, Indiana. Another search pulled up a marriage record for Ida M. Albin to Hughey H. Hicks. Tada! The middle name wasn’t a middle name after all, it was a maiden name. A bit more research, making sure the age and dates matched, and I could say with certainty that I had found my gal.
Ida May Albin was born April 22, 1864 on a farm near Cloverdale, Indiana. Her parents, Thornton P. Albin and Mary Layne Albin were married for thirteen years and had four children: Nevada Alice, Lemuel Calvin, Luella Bell and Ida, the youngest. Ida’s mother died March 22, 1866, when Ida was just two years of age. The family resided in Plymouth county, Indiana, where her father made a living farming. In December of 1866 her father remarried Lucy Bourne with whom he had three additional children: Lizzie, Thomas Paul, and Fred. Continue reading →
I recently found this photo among a slew of others in an antique shop in Indiana. It is a carte de visite, often referred to as a CDV. It is a photographic print that is mounted on a stiff card, and the term describes the size of the photo, which is about 2 ½” x 4”. The size made it perfectly suited for people to send by mail and carry with them to hand out to friends and family. Although the girl’s blank stare is what drew my attention to this image, I was happy to find the identifying writing on the back, “Ava B. Hamilton Hudson Indiana (Steuben Co).” Read on to discover more about Ava’s life in Hudson, Indiana!
Miss Ava Blanch Hamilton was born in 1872 in Walkerton, Indiana. She was the daughter of Dr. Frank C. and Katherine Rebecca (nee Reamer) Hamilton. She moved to Hudson, Steuben county, Indiana as a young girl, with her parents and brother, Lloyd Elton Hamilton, where she spent the majority of her life. Her father, a well-known doctor, also owned a Drug Store in Hudson and her brother owned the General Store in Hudson for more than thirty years.