This cabinet card photograph features a Michigan cowboy. If he is not a cowboy, he certainly is wearing a cowboy-like hat. This fellow has long hair. It is unusually long hair for the cabinet card era. The photographer of this portrait is Obadiah A. Kelley. He was a photographer in Ann Arbor, Michigan from at least 1862 and 1898. He was located at the 6 Huron Street address from 1886 until 1893. He was born in Vermont. He married Mary Elizabeth Frost in 1842. The couple had three sons. One son enlisted as a private in the First United States Sharp Shooters (Company F) and died of disease at City Point, Virginia in 1864. He served only slightly more than a month before meeting his end. Obadiah’s wife died in 1879. In 1880, he married Amelia Walker. An 1889 article in a local Ann Arbor newspaper, “The Argus” reports Obadiah’s brush with the spiritual world. A resident clairvoyant believed that the spirits were active in her community. To test her conviction, she hired Obadiah to accompany her and a friend to “one of the most romantic parts of the boulevard” and take their photograph. The newspaper reports a strange occurrence upon Obadiah removing the negative from the camera. He was shocked to see twelve figures in the photo, rather than the two figures he expected. The writer posits that Obadiah could never be convinced to take any more pictures on the boulevard again if there were any clairvoyants around. Note the chip in the top left hand corner of this cabinet card. Overall, this photograph is in good condition (see scans). (SOLD)


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I live just a few blocks from where this studio was. I’ll walk by and check out what’s there now

  2. Pretty amazing coincidence. Please let us know what you find.

  3. Great reeading

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