PORTRAIT OF A MENNONITE COUPLE IN ILLINOIS

mennonite

This cabinet card features a portrait of a young Mennonite couple. Note the couples plain style of dress, the young man’s beard, and the woman’s bonnet.  The reverse of the photograph has an inscription noting that the couple’s name is “Mr. and Mrs. D. T. Wagner”. An additional note on the verso states “return to Ida Buckingham, Oakley, Illinois”. Ida Buckingham (1886-1964) was likely a relative of the pictured couple and possessed the photograph during some period of her life. The photographer of this image is W. H. Farley. He operated photographic studios in Crete, Tampico, and Gibson, Illinois during the 1880’s. To view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Farley”.

 

 

Published in: on February 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (5)  
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YOUNG MOTHER AND HER TWO CHILDREN IN PULLMAN, ILLINOIS (PORTRAIT BY PULLMAN COMPANY PHOTOGRAPHER)

FAMILY FRONT

A young mother and her two children pose for their portrait at the Johnson studio in Pullman, Illinois. It is interesting that the children are not in closer proximity to their mother. The distance may be due to the photographer’s direction or perhaps a more intimate pose was not part of this family’s makeup. Mom seems disconnected from her kids. The child furthest back in the image does have his hand lightly resting on his mom’s shoulder. Mom is wearing a pretty patterned dress and a wonderful hat. She is looking at the camera in an untrusting manner. One must also consider the possibility that the woman in this picture is actually the children’s older sister and not their mother. There is no information available to clarify this family’s constellation. The photographer of  this cabinet card, Thomas S. Johnson,  has an interesting biography which is very much connected to the history of the town of Pullman. Johnson was born in Chicago in 1850.He was raised on a farm in Thornton, Illinois. At the age of fifteen he attended Chicago University. He studied there until 1867. He then studied painting for a short time but in 1869 became a photographer. He married E. I. A. Fortier in 1874. She died in 1877 and he returned to farming. In 1879, while in Thornton, he reentered the field of photography. In 1880 he moved his business to Crete, Illinois and by 1882 established his business in Pullman. In 1881 he married Mary C. Whalen of Indiana. In Pullman, Johnson worked for George Pullman and he was tasked with using his photography skills to document Pullman’s factory, town and workers. Thomas Johnson was the first known photographer hired by Pullman to photograph his town and railcars. A number of photographers besides Johnson worked in the same capacity on a part time basis. Johnson published a book about Pullman; “Picturesque Pullman”. Obviously, Pullman, Illinois was named after George Pullman. The community was located in the south side of Chicago. It was built in the 1880’s by Pullman to provide housing for the employees of his company, “The Pullman Royal Palace Car Company”. The business manufactured railcars. Pullman created behavioral standards that residents of his houses had to meet in order to live in the houses that he rented to them.

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PORTRAIT OF AN ADORABLE BABY FUTURE SCHOOL TEACHER

This cabinet card photograph features a very cute baby wearing a gown and sweater. She has beautiful big eyes According to an inscription on the reverse of the image, the baby is named  Atalie Jean Crum and she was five months and two days old, at the time the photograph was taken. Atalie Crum can be found on both the 1900 and 1910 U.S. census. She was born in 1890 and resided in Penn, Illinois. She lived with her parents, Brooke W. Crum, and Laura V. Crum. Both of her parents were born in Pennsylvania and her father was a farmer. The 1910 census reveals that at age twenty, Atalie was employed as a school teacher. A 1913 publication from the Illinois Office of Public Instruction, states that Atalie taught school in Stark County, Illinois (District 53). At an unknown age, she married Claude Sterling, a local farmer. An obituary in the Peoria Star (1936), reports the death of John Wesley Crandell. He died at the age of 78 in Castleton, Illinois. He was his community’s last surviving civil war veteran. A male quartet sang at the funeral and they were accompanied by a Mrs Atalie Sterling at the piano. This is likely the Atalie Sterling in the photograph. Atalie lived a long life, dying in 1969 at age eighty in Wyoming, Illinois. The photographer of this cabinet card is difficult to identify with any certainty. There was a photographer named W. H. Farley who operated in Crete and Gibson Illinois in the 1880’s. A photographer named A. Farley also had a studio in Illinois. Research uncovered another cabinet card with the same Farley logo as this cabinet card. The card was from a studio located in Tampico, Illinois. Tampico is the likely place that Atalie Crum was photographed.