This is the likely scenario. The boys parents, at the photographers suggestion, said, “Go stand over there and pretend that you are pulling your sister in the wagon”. The boy followed his parents suggestion, but, he wasn’t too happy about it. He certainly wasn’t going to smile for the photographer. This day at the photographer’s gallery was certainly not the fun he had hoped it would be. In contrast, little sister was interested in her surroundings and she sits in the wagon taking it all in. Examination of the wagon reveals that she appears to have a pillow behind her and that there may be a toy , perhaps a spinning top, directly in front of her. The photographer of this image is Kate Adele Aplington (1859-?). Her studio was in Council Grove, Kansas. Kate Aplington was an author and an artist. She was a professional photographer between 1886 and 1900. She held office in the state suffrage association and gave lectures about suffrage issues. A photography journal indicates that she sold her photography gallery to Emma Harvey (1900). In 1901 she donated a small set of photogravures which became the nucleus of a state art study collection which was basically a travelling art gallery. It became known as the “Aplington Art Gallery”. The purpose of the traveling exhibit was to cultivate the appreciation of art in Kansas. Aplington wrote the lectures accompanying the exhibit. In 1912, she published a novel about the pioneering times. Aplington was a truely accomplished woman. As an aside, it is interesting to note that Council Grove is named after an agreement between European Americans and the Osage Nation that allowed settler’s wagon trains to pass through the area on their way out west. Council Grove was one of the last stops on the Santa Fe Trail heading southwest.
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