THEO SPARKS: A HANDSOME YOUNG MAN WITH A HANDLEBAR MUSTACHE

An inscription on the reverse of this image indicates that this handsome well dressed young man was named Theo Sparks. He looks quite spiffy with his winged collar shirt, wide tie, and handlebar mustache. The photographer was not identified nor was the location of the photographer’s studio. Despite a paucity of information, research found some biographical information about Mr. Sparks. Theo Sparks (1870-1956) was born in Indiana. The 1880 US census finds him at age 10, living in Linton, Indiana.He lived with his parents, Peter S.  and Mary E. Sparks. His father was a farmer. He  lived with four older siblings, Iris (age 18), Orian (age 17), Ishmel (age 14), and Pascal (age 12). He also lived with three younger siblings, Marco (age 8), Eura (age 6), and Cush (age 2). Also living with the family was Theo’s fraternal uncle, Wesley Sparks. Theo and his siblings had very unusual and interesting names. Peter and Mary Sparks deserve kudos for their creativity in baby naming.The 1900 census finds the 29 year-old Theo Sparks living in Denver, Colorado and newly married to Maud Sparks (age 24). He was working as a motorman. According to the 1910 census, Theo and Maud still lived in Denver and had four sons, Rolland (age 8), Warren (age 5), Glen (age 4), and Jorville (age 3 months). It seems Theo and Maud continued Theo’s parents tradition of giving some of their children unusual names. Theo supported his family with his income from working as a street car motorman. The 1920 through 1940 censuses indicate that Theo and Maud continued to live in Denver with different members of their family being part of their household in each of the censuses.

Published in: on November 25, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (6)  
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GENTLEMAN WITH PINCE NEZ EYEGLASSES IN SOUTH BEND, INDIANA

This cabinet card features a very interesting looking and nicely dressed gentleman. He is wearing a straw hat and  pince nez glasses. He has the appearance of someone well educated. The subject of this portrait has a unique looking beard. To view other distinctive beards, click on the category “Beards (Only the Best). The photograph was produced by the McDonald Studio of South Bend, Indiana. The McDonald studio remains in business today. It is the oldest photography studio in the Michiana area. What is Michiana? Michiana is a region in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan centered on the city of South Bend.. Albert J. McDonald founded the gallery in 1861. He operated the business for 41 years and was succeeded by his son. The Bulletin of Photography (1917) printed  McDonald’s obituary. The article reports that he was born in Rochester, New York in 1841. His family moved to South Bend when he was nine years of age.

Published in: on August 13, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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VIOLINIST LOUIE DUDENHOFER AND HIS UNIDENTIFIED ACCORDION PLAYING SIDEKICK IN FORT WAYNE, INDIANA

This photograph features two musicians posing for their portrait at the Jarrard Studio in Fort Wayne, Indiana. According to an inscription on the reverse of the photograph, the violinist is named “Louie Dudenhofer” and he is the “Brother to Jeanette”. The second musician is unidentified and he is holding his accordion. The photographer, Harry R. Jarrard was born in Indiana in 1852. He is known to have been a photographer from at least 1889 through 1910. He is thought  to have arrived in Fort Wayne in 1886 and in 1888 married Emma Short. His photography business in Fort Wayne occupied several locations during its existence.

Published in: on March 25, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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HANDSOME WHITE HAIRED AND WHITE BEARDED GENTLEMAN IN PLAINWELL, MICHIGAN

This handsome older gentleman with white hair and a white beard, is named Adrian Manley (1826-1906). The U.S. census of 1880 reveals that he was married to Elizabeth Manley and that he was employed as a clerk. He and his wife lived with their son Leny, a twenty nine year-old laborer. The 1900 census finds Mr Manley in his seventies living with his wife and two grandchildren, Wane (age 8), and Sylvia (age 6). Adrian Manley’s death certificate lists his occupation as a farmer which likely indicates that farming was his primary work for most of his life. The photographer who produced this photograph was John Morrison Brigham (1863-1933) whose studio was located in Plainwell, Michigan. Brigham attended Indiana Normal College at Valparaiso, Indiana. He studied photography in Plainwell and owned his first gallery there. In 1898 he moved to Battle Creek, Michigan where he opened a photography studio that became very successful. In 1885, Brigham  married Ida M Potter of Mankato, Minnesota. Photo Beacon (1897) printed a review of some of Brigham’s work and it was not complimentary. The reviewer simply wrote, “lots of dead eyes”.

PORTRAIT OF A LOVELY COUPLE IN FORT WAYNE, INDIANA

This cabinet card is a portrait of a fashionable couple posing in a Fort Wayne, Indiana, photographic studio. Note that both subjects are wearing gloves; the man is wearing black gloves while the woman is wearing white gloves. The photographer is John A. Shoaff (1836-1921). Shoaff was born in Juanita, Pennsylvania and moved with his family to Fort Wayne at the age of twelve. He operated his business in Fort Wayne until his retirement in 1894. He died at the age of 85, in Fort Wayne. To view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Shoaff”.

Published in: on November 9, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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TWO DANDIES IN THE WOODS IN EVANSVILLE, INDIANA

This cabinet card features two well-dressed men posing for their portrait in a studio belonging to J. W. Ecker. The studio was located in Evansville, Indiana and at one time was called the Sunbeam Gallery. . The men in this photograph are wearing identical outfits. Note their striped pants, derby hats and canes. The man on the left is holding a cigar. They are posed in front of a nice backdrop depicting a forest.

Published in: on September 29, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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BIG HEADED MAN WITH A LITTLE BEARD IN SULLIVAN, INDIANA

This cabinet card features a man with a big head and a little beard. This gentleman could not commit himself to growing a full beard so he restricted its growth to his chin area. He even lacks sideburns. To view other interesting images of beards, click on the category “Beards (Only the Best).  The photographer of this image is Charles M. Lutz & Co. The studio was located in Sullivan, Indiana. A Sullivan County directory (1896) reveals some biographical information about C. M. Lutz. He was born in 1842 in Huntingburg, Indiana. He began working as a photographer in 1861. He served in the 27th Indiana Volunteer Infantry during the civil war. He mustered in the unit as private and mustered out with the same rank. Lutz served in Company B of the 27th. Lutz married Sarah South in 1884 and came to Sullivan County in 1887. In 1891, he entered a partnership with photographer, W. F. Devol.

YOUNG DANDY IN WABASH, INDIANA

A young dandy sits for his portrait in the studio of Phillips, in Wabash, Indiana. The well dressed young man sits on a wicker chair with his hat strategically placed on his knee.

Published in: on March 27, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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AMBIVALENT FOX HUNTER AND HIS PET FOX IN KENDALLVILLE, INDIANA

This cabinet card features a fox hunter, posing in his hunting clothing, and his double barreled shotgun. He is also posing with his pet fox and his bounty from his hunt, a dead fox. He is holding the pet fox by a chain. This is a very ambivalent hunter. On one hand, he hunts and kills foxes, and on the other, he keeps a fox as a pet. The hunter appears to have been a very conflicted young man. The photographer of this cabinet card is Frank D. Sullivan of Kendallville, Indiana. The Bulletin of Photography (1922) announced the purchase of Sullivan’s studio to A. D. Conkle, “formerly of Kenton, Ohio. The journal also reported that Sullivan and his wife had moved to Portland Oregon.

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A GIRL AND HER DOG AND HER BIRD IN NEW CASTLE, INDIANA

irA young girl and her dog are accompanied by a bird in this cabinet card portrait by Huddleston of New Castle, Indiana. The dog appears to be a combination of a spaniel and a retriever and the bird looks like a fancy pigeon. Hopefully, a visitor to this site, may be more informed about ornithology, and can correctly identify the species of the bird in this photograph. The photographer is likely Cephas M. Huddleston (1832- ?) who was born in Indiana. The 1860 census lists him as a farmer living in Union, Indiana. By the 1870 census, he is listed as a photographer. Cephas had seven children. The 1900 census indicates that Huddleston was still a photographer and that is studio was in New Castle, Indiana.

Published in: on March 18, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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