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”.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love the picture of Adrian Manley, but wonder if you might have a picture of Elizabeth Watson. Half 6th cousin once removed when he married Renew Elizabeth Manley.

    • Unfortunately I do not have any photographs of Adrian Manley’s relatives. I collect individual images and generally do not acquire family albums or collections. Do not give up your search for the image of Elizabeth Watson.Keep searching online and don’t forget to visit genealogical sites. Many people post photographs of their ancestors on such sites. Good luck.


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