This cabinet card is a wedding portrait of a young unidentified couple. The bride is wearing a dark wedding dress and a long sheer veil. The groom is standing in the background behind the bench his bride is sitting on. The distance between the two removes the intimacy that we tend to see in modern day wedding portraits. The photographer of this image is Miss Carrie B. Clizbe whose studio was located in Elroy, Wisconsin. She is one of a small group of female photographers operating during the cabinet card era. Research revealed very little information about Carrie Clizbe’s career as a photographer. The 1880 US census found Carrie (age 21) living with her parents and four siblings in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Carrie was working as a “tailoress”. Her father had an interesting occupation. He sold patents. The 1900 and 1910 census does not list her as having an occupation. While investigating, I was able to locate a cabinet card produced by the Clizbe Sisters studio in Reedsburg. It is apparent that Carrie was once partners with her sister Martha. A directory of Early Western Photographers reports that Carrie’s studio operated in Elroy circa 1895. The web site for Reedsburg provides a short biography of the man that Carrie Clizbe married on 7/4/1900. Herbert H. Webb and two partners established a department store in Reedsburg called Webb and Schweke. It was known as ‘The Big Store”. Carrie died in 1921 in the city of Chicago. She is buried in Reedsburg.
This cabinet card is a portrait of three sisters with a strong family resemblance. The woman are attractive and nicely dressed. Note that the woman on the right is wearing a necktie, and the sister in the center has ribbons on her collar. The photographer is W. F. Kellogg of River Falls, Wisconsin. The Kellogg studio was established in 1877 by Douglas Wright Kellogg (1840-1913). The studio was built on the southeast corner of Main and Walnut Street. In 1878, Douglas Kellogg sold the studio to to his older brother, Wilbur Fiske Kellogg (1836-1920). Wilbur Kellogg is the photographer who produced the above portrait. Another brother, John D. Kellogg operated a gallery in Red Wing, Minnesota from 1868 until 1899. Douglas Kellogg eventually moved to Reedsburg, Wisconsin and opened a gallery there. All three brothers were born in Danby, New York, and learned photography in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Wilbur was a farmer prior to entering the photography business. In 1900, he was thought to be the oldest photographer in Wisconsin. When he sold the studio, Wilbur and his wife moved to Spokane, Washington. In 1899, he partnered with John R. Boals (1872-1959) to establish a photographic studio which was eventually sold to Stella Thayer (1875-1934).