TWO PORTRAITS OF MADGE WYLLIE: A BEAUTIFUL LITTLE GIRL IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

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The top vintage photographic portrait features an absolutely beautiful little girl with a charming smile. The second photo provides a closeup view of the child. She has long loose curls and a pretty matching dress and hat. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph identifies the young girl as Madge Wyllie and the date of the photograph as 1902.  It was very difficult to uncover information about Miss Wyllie until I stumbled across a wedding announcement in the Chicago Tribune (9/11/02) pertaining to her sister. It was reported that “Miss Madge Wyllie was flower girl and wore a gown of white point d’espirit over silk” at her sister Edith’s wedding. It is interesting to note that Madge was flower girl the same year she sat for this photograph. The article also reported that Madge’s father was H. D. Wyllie. Learning her father’s name opened genealogical doors wide enough to garner more helpful information. H. D. Wyllie was actually Hubert D. Wyllie who was an English born engineer living in Chicago with his wife and many children (at least seven). One of these children was Margery Rose Wyllie, otherwise known as Madge. Madge was born in 1890 so she was about twelve years old when she posed for this photograph. The 1910 census found her living with her family of origin in Chicago and unemployed. She married Walter Crossett Barber. She died in 1983 and is buried in Naperville Cemetery in Naperville, Illinois. This photograph was taken by the J. Edgar Waters studio in Chicago, Illinois. About a year after I originally posted this photograph, I came into possession of another Water’s photograph of this same young lady (see the third, fourth, and fifth image above). Amazingly enough, the two photographs found each other and are now exhibited together in the Cabinet Card Gallery. The newly found vintage photograph features an attractive young woman taking a bow for the camera. She is beautifully dressed and her hair is well coiffed. She is wearing two necklaces, a feather in her hair, and is holding an open fan. Note the handkerchief on the floor. She seems well poised and may be an actress. This photograph was taken by J. Edgar Waters at his studio in Chicago Illinois. Once again, the reverse of the image is inscribed with the name “Madge Wyllie” and dated “1902”. Madge is a brunette in one photograph and a blonde in the other photograph. I believe that she is wearing a blonde wig in the second image. It is interesting to note that she is wearing the same shoes in both photographs. Waters was an excellent photographer. To learn more about the photographer and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Waters”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on November 23, 2015 at 5:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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