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.

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I guess, 1890 was the date of her christening, because of the gown: it appears to me like a typical christening robe, as I know them from Germany; one of her grandmothers has in fact an German surname: on ancestry.com,there is something more to find, especially about her parents and siblings; so if you look there, you will find out, she was born in 1889 (her parents were probably living in Stark County, Illinois).

  2. We have a copy of a cabinet photo with the same Farley signature on the bottom. We are trying to determine it’s date. A. Farley must have been the photographer because the family lived in or near Tampico, Illinols. It is a portrait of a young man . Background is plain. The family name is Maynard. Are there any records from this photographer?

    • Thanks for providing more evidence that the photographer of this image is “A. Farley”. I will try to find more information about this photographer and list it as another reply to your comment

  3. Hello: I have been researching a scan of a Farley cabinet photo purporting to depict my ancestors. The signature portion matches this one. However, those ancestors of mine only lived between Maryland and Ohio, never as far west as Illinois.

    So they are not my ancestors, or else maybe this Farley has been mislocated, or perhaps he started out further east. I’m hoping to get clues that one of these conclusions is the right one.

    Assuming it was my ancestors, I would date the picture between 1870 and 1890. The artwork is very similar but not identical.

    • Good luck with your search for details about your ancestors. The pursuit of information requires real detective work. Enjoy the search.

      • How convinced are you this Farley was in Illinois? Do you know any antiquarians that know this type of arcana?

      • I do not have my notes in front of me but I can tell you my research usually involves a review of census data as well as business directories and journals of the day. I think its pretty safe that likely most of the data I found was based on these type of sources.

      • I have also stumbled across some Flickr content that supports this Farley mainly operated within Illinois: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/farleyphotographer It’s looking bad for the theory that it is my ancestors!

      • Thank you for sharing the link. It is looking more and more like Farley was a traveling photographer in Illinois. It is not unusual to go down a dead end in our genealogical searches. It comes with the territory. Good luck with your search.

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