A toddler wearing a long gown poses by an ice cream parlor style chair in the Pfaffle studio in Minonk, Illinois. Henry Pfaffle was a man with many interests and talents. He was a optometrist in Minonk over 60 years.He began working as a printer in 1876 and entered the fields of optometry and photography in 1889. He recorded much of the early history of Minonk. He had photograph car built for him that could be placed on a railroad flat car and taken from town to town. After arriving at a new town, the photograph car would be drawn by horses to desired locations for taking photographs. Pfaffle had an interest in astronomy and constructed telescopes. The first telescope he built was sold to Eureka College. Pfeffle was also very interested in weather. He was an observer and displayer of weather flags for the Federal Weather Bureau. He died in 1952 and interestingly, donated the money from his estate to the city of Minonk for water supply improvements.     (SOLD)

Published in: on April 25, 2013 at 9:56 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. I Bought a photograph today outside of Thorntown, Indiana. It’s of 7 women wearing white gowns, with 3 seated men wearing suits. The bottom says MH Pfaffer Minonk, Illinois. I am interested to learn more if at all possible.

    Thank you

    • I have supplied some biographical information about Mr Pfaffer in the description of Pfaffer’s photo found in this blog. I would be happy to look at your recently purchased Pfaffer photo and see if I can provide you with additional information. If you are interested, send a scanned copy of the photograph to

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