Two pretty young woman pose for their portrait in this scalloped cabinet card produced by the Hall studio in Hoopeston, Illinois. The women do not seem very enthusiastic about having their photograph taken. Each of the subjects have baskets of flowers on their laps and are wearing fingerless gloves. The woman seated on the right in the image is holding what appears to be an umbrella. Both of these ladies have very thin waists. They are probably wearing corsets. Perhaps those corsets are a little too tight and that would explain the pained expressions they display in the photograph. The photographer, Ervin S. Hall, appears in the 1880 US census. Hall was 25 years old and married (1877) to Violetta Hall (age 27). Hall’s parents were born in Maine but he and his wife were Illinois natives. The couple lived in Hoopeston and Hall worked as a photographer. The 1900 US census found Hall and his wife living in Grant, Illinois with their two children, Ellis (age 17) and Ethel (age 15). Ervin was still working as a photographer. The 1910 US census lists Hall and his wife living in Urbana, Illinois and Ervin still employed as a photographer. The 1920 US census reveals that the couple was living in Kissimmee, Florida and Ervin was working as a hardware salesman. The 1930 US census indicates that Ervin was retired and he and his wife remained in Kissimmee. Research uncovers the story of Hoopeston, Illinois. The town was created in 1871 and named for Thomas Hoopes who had offered his land to be the site of the crossing of two railroads. The business and manufacturing that developed in Hoopeston centered around agriculture. The Illinois Canning Company (1875) and the Hoppeston Canning Company (1878) were established there. Greer College (1890) was also established in Hoopeston.
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