A PROFESSIONAL LOOKING GENTLEMAN IN BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK

The man in this cabinet card photograph appears to be a professional gentleman. He is wearing an overcoat and a nicely trimmed beard. He is standing next to his derby hat and has a pocket watch. Perhaps the well dressed gentleman is an attorney. Maybe its not a coincidence that the Binghamton, New York based photographer, Singhi, was located on Court Street. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription which identifies the gentleman as “Adelbert Harroun”. Research reveals that Mr. Harroun was not a lawyer but instead, he was an accountant. The 1870 census notes that Thomas Adelbert Harroun (1851-?) was the 19 year-old son of  Thomas Harroun (1824-1907) and Salina King Harroun (1824-1903). His father’s occupation was listed as a “Presiding Elder”  and further research found that he was a Methodist clergyman. His mother was a homemaker. Adelbert lived with his parents and two siblings in Norwich, New York. Sister Flora (age 22) was a music teacher and brother Arthur (age 11) was a student. He married his wife, Mary Winton, in 1888. The couple had two children. The 1900 census finds the 47 year old Harroun living in Dunleith, Illinois. He was living with his wife, Mary, their son N. Winton (age 10), and daughter Anna Augusta (age 9). Harroun was working as a railroad yard clerk. Further investigation revealed that daughter Anna Augusta died in 1904 in Dubuque, Illinois. The 1920 census reports that the 67 year-old Harroun was widowed and living in Waukegan Lake, Illinois with his sister Flora. He was working as an accountant. The 1930 census locates Harroun in Prineville, Oregon and living as a boarder. At 79 years of his age, he was still working (bookkeeper). The photographer of this image is Will G. Singhi. He worked in Binghamton, New York between 1872 and 1886. His albumen print “A Winter Scene” is exhibited in the online “American Museum of Photography”. Singhi had taken a photograph that appeared to capture a snowball in mid flight heading toward a newsboy who was prepared to deflect it. The museum also has on display a funny cartoon self portrait caricature that Singhi used as an advertisement. The Photographic Times and American Photographer (1883) comments on Singhi’s wonderful sense of humor.

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