RENSALEAR COUPLE_0005A fashionable couple poses for their portrait at the Sharp studio in Rensselaer, Indiana. It is possible that this image is a wedding portrait. Joseph A. Sharp (1846-1903) was born in Frankfurt, Kentucky. He married Martha (Mattie) Stively (1849-1936) in 1874. Sharp’s obituary appears in the Semi Weekly Rensselaer Republican. The article states that Sharp began his photography career at age 21 while living in Ballfontaine, Ohio. He later lived in Kenton, Ohio and moved to Rensselaer in 1877. He worked about a year as a travelling photographer but the rest of his career he operated a studio in Rensselaer. The obituary asserts that one of the reasons he chose photography as a career was because at a young age he developed a hip disease which left him lame and unable to pursue a more active occupation. Sharp is buried in the Weston Cemetery in Rensselaer. Look below to see a photographic portrait of Joseph Sharp as well as an image of the tombstone he and his wife share.



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