A TODDLER AND HER BEAUTIFUL AND PROTECTIVE BLACK DOG

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A little girl, likely toddler age, sits on a chair, and looks at the photographer with an expression of dismay. Sitting below the child is a black dog in a protective position. The dog does not seem to be enjoying himself either. The dog has a similar appearance to a Labrador Retriever. Note the unusual and beautiful chair that is occupied by the toddler. Also note the rope on the floor which can be seen in the right side of the image. I wonder if the rope is holding the child in place or the dog in place. The photographer of this photograph is J. P. Eskildsen and his studio was located in Lawler, Iowa. An inscription on the reverse of the photo indicates that the child’s name is Mary Redman. J. Peter Eskildsen was born in Denmark in 1870. He married Emma Schlatter in Lawler (1891). The couple had at least one child. Arthur Eskildsen was born in 1893. J. P. found a path to citizenship in 1895. Research reveals that he may have had additional studios in Iowa besides the one in Lawler (Fredericksburg, Jerico, and Waucoma). Initial investigation found some information about young Mary Redman. She appears in the 1910 US census along with the rest of her family. They Redman’s were living in Stapleton, Iowa. Living in the residence was Mary’s parent’s John W. Redman (born 1860) and Trena M. Redman (born 1867). Also in the home were Mary’s (age 4) siblings; Hazel (age 19), Lee (age 18), Lowman (age 15), and Harold (age 13). The 1920 US census finds the family still living in Stapleton but the household has shrunk to include Mary’s father (worked as a carpenter), sister Hazel (worked as a teacher), and of course Mary (attended school). Mary’s mom likely had passed away and sister Hazel likely took up some parenting duties.

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