The dapper gentleman featured in this photograph is identified on the reverse of the cabinet card as William J Grant. Mr. Grant is quite dapper in appearance but it is a bit incongruous that he is standing next to a stack of bales of hay. The photographer’s last name is Tice and his studio was located in Janesville, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin and Minnesota Gazetteer (1865) includes an advertisement for J. A Tice of Janesville.  The subject of this photograph, William J. Grant, was born in 1848 in the state of New York. The 1870 US census finds the 22 year old Grant working on the family farm. He lived with his parents, William and Ann Grant  (both born in Ireland) and his three sisters Mary (age 28), Elizabeth (age 24) and Euphemia (age 20).  The 1880 census reveals that Grant was married but lived without his wife in a boarding house. He worked as a teamster. The 1900 census lists Grant as single and still living in a boarding house. He was employed as a drayman. Drayman? What is a drayman? A drayman is a driver of a dray. Does that help? It didn’t help me, so here is the rest of the story. A dray is a low and flat-bed wagon without sides. The wagon is usually pulled by horses or mules to transport goods.

Published in: on November 12, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. Yes indeed, Mr. William Grant is a very dapper gentleman. His suit looks new and extremely tailored. I noticed that he is wearing a wide band on his left pinky. He does not strike me as a laborer, at least from this photo. That said, don’t we all try and look good for a professional photo?

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