A MICHIGAN COWBOY : ANNE ARBOR : GHOSTS : CABINET CARD

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)

PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG FAMILY IN MIFFLINBURG, PENNSYLVANIA

Young parents pose with their two children at the James Haus studio in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania. Dad is wearing a three piece suit with a bow tie. Mom is wearing a dress with many buttons and a collar pin. Both Dad and Mom are wearing very serious expressions like so many photographer subjects did during the cabinet card era. Dad has a bushy mustache and Mom has wavy or curly hair. She holds her baby securely on her lap. The older child is making sure he is standing close to his father and has his hand resting lightly on father’s leg. The photographer of this portrait is James Haus. He appears in both the 1870 and 1880 US census as a photographer. He was born in 1842 and married to Mary Haus. The 1880 census indicates that the couple had two children. Haus served as a private in the civil war and he served as a musician. Part of his service was with the Fifth Pennsylvania Infantry. This cabinet card portrait is in very good condition (see scans). Note the butterfly design on the reverse of the photograph. 

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Published in: on April 11, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PROFILE PORTRAIT OF A PROPER PRETTY WOMAN IN LOGANSPORT, INDIANA

This post cabinet card era portrait features a profile view of a pretty woman. She looks quite proper in her fashionable clothing and with her hair gathered atop her head. She is wearing flowers as well as a lace-like necklace hanging down the front of her dress. I can’t decide it’s purpose but perhaps it is to hold a pocket watch. In fact, I believe I may see a timepiece peeking out from the top of her skirt. This image comes from the A. N. Donaldson studio in Logansport, Indiana. He did a terrific job with the soft backlighting seen in this photograph. Research revealed some biographical information about the photographer Albert Newton Donaldson (1841-1906). He settled in Logansport in 1867. Earlier, he had participated in the civil war. In 1861 he entered the service as a private and after some time left the service as a corporal. He served in Indiana’s 10th Infantry (Company H). One source reports that Donaldson deserted from his unit on 6/15/1862 at Corinth, Mississippi. A second source never mentions the desertion. The 1880 US census revealed that he was married in 1865 to Susan E Donaldson. The 1880 census, as well as the 1900 census, listed his occupation as being a photographer. This vintage photograph is in very good condition (see scans).

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PORTRAIT OF A PLEASANT YOUNG WOMAN IN CHAMBERSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA

A young woman poses for her portrait at the Bishop studio in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The woman appears pleasant and quite relaxed. Unlike most cabinet card subjects, she is actually displaying a bit of a smile. The photographer, Henry Bishop, is mentioned in some accounts of the Confederate incursion into Pennsylvania during the civil war. According to Historical Reminiscences of the War  (1884), published by the Kittochtinny Historical Society, it seems that Bishop met southern General A. P. Hill in the street near his studio. They had a conversation in which General Hill asked Bishop about some of the people he had known in the area while Hill was stationed at nearby Carlisle Barracks before the war. Hill told Bishop that General Lee was on his way to town to meet with him. While he was telling Bishop that Lee was coming, Lee’s approach was seen in the distance. Bishop hurried back to his studio to prepare to  capture a picture of General Lee. He opened the studio’s windows and pointed the camera lens out the window. Unfortunately for Bishop, Lee and Hill’s meeting on the street was a brief one, and he was unable to capture the historic scene. This cabinet card portrait is in good condition (see scans).

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A PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN FROM MT. VERNON, OHIO

This cabinet card portrait features a pretty young woman posing for a photograph at the Crowell Gallery in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Her hair is wrapped in a bun and she is wearing a lace scarf and a pin. The photographer of this photo portrait is Fred S. Crowell. The Cabinet Card Gallery (CCG) has at least two other photographs by Mr Crowell. Based on the photographs in the CCG collection, he was a talented photographer. His name can  be found in the 1880 census. He was born in 1844 and lived with his wife Ella, and their three children. Other research reveals that there was a Fred Crowell from the Mount Vernon area who enlisted in the 142nd Regiment of the Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. He served only during 1864. Crowell trained as a photographer under Anna Payne, and worked in the profession in Norwalk, Sandusky, and Cleveland, Ohio. He then opened his own studio in Fredericktown in 1866. In 1869, he moved to Mount Vernon where he established a photography studio that was in business until at least 1889. This cabinet card photo is in good condition (see scans)

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A TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES A YOUNG LADY’S EMOTIONS (CARTE DE VISITE)

This original carte de visite features a wonderful portrait of a young woman. The photographer, J. E. James adeptly captured a photo of the woman as she appeared deep in thought or worry. I think she looks sad. She is wearing a crossed ribbon with a large pin just under her lace collar. Does the ribbon indicate that she is in mourning or is it just an accessory. Note the young lady’s cute curls. The photographer of this cdv image is no stranger to me. I have another carte de visite by Mr.James. This second cdv is also one of  high quality in regard to reflecting the photographer’s talent for recording emotion via photography. What do we know about Mr James?  The J. E. James studio was located in Galena, Illinois. James Edward James (1842-1878) was born in Liverpool, England. After immigrating to the United States he served in the 96th Illinois Infantry (Company A) during the civil war. He entered the service as a Private but was discharged as a Commissary Sergeant. He died while still a young man and left his wife Kitty to raise their four children and operate his photographic studio.  (SOLD)                                                                                               

PRETTY AND ELEGANT YOUNG WOMAN IN ROCKLAND, MAINE

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A pretty and elegant looking young woman poses for her portrait at the Singhi studio in Rockland, Maine. She is beautifully dressed and wearing a watch chain emanating from a watch in her dress pocket. She appears very business-like. The photographer was named John F. Singhi (1834-1906). He was a native of Maine but his father was born in Italy. Mr. Singhi was a participant in the Civil War. He entered the Union Army as a Private in the 4th Infantry Regiment of Maine. He was mustered in in April, 1861 and mustered out in July,, 1864. He was promoted to Corporal in 1862. Upon entry into the army, he was listed as a leader of the company band and Fife Major. The fourth regiment was assembled in Rockland. In all, 144o men served in the regiment during the war and 170 of them died in or from battle. Forty men died in Confederate prisons and 137 soldiers died from disease. The Fourth Regiment participated in many major battles including The First Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.  After the service, he worked as a photographer. He was listed in Rockland city directories as a photographer from 1877 through 1897. In addition to soldiering, music and photography; John Singhi liked to get married. He especially liked marrying younger women. The 1870 US census revealed that John lived with a woman named Frances who was presumably his wife. In 1872 he married Hannah C. Bartlett.  John and Hannah were reported in the 1880 census. John was 46 while his wife was 31. In 1898, John married Caroline Look who was 17 years his junior. In 1901, John married Georgie Dow, a woman who was 13 years younger than him. In 1906, John Singhi died at age 72. His death certificate listed his cause of death to be “Shock (Paralysis)”. From that description, one imagines he died from a stroke. Perhaps cavorting with his numerous younger wives was deleterious to his health.   (SOLD)

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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WOMAN ADVERTISING “NELSON SEEDS” IN MASON CITY, ILLINOIS

NELSON_0001I surrender. Who the heck is “Nelson”? The young woman in this photograph seems to be obsessed with “Nelson”. She is wearing Nelson’s name on her skirt and it appears on her fan.  Is she a Willie Nelson groupie? A second mystery in this image is the abundance of feathers. There are feathers on the floor, pinned to her blouse and decorating her hat. Take note of the daisy chain that the woman is wearing at and below her collar. This mysterious photograph is by T. H. Eulass whose studio was located in Mason City, Illinois. Mr. Eulass knows who “Nelson” is, but he’s not talking. Perhaps “Nelson” was a political candidate or the name of a local company. Thomas H. Eulass (1841-1903) was an Ohio native. Eulass participated in the America’s civil war as a member of the 146th Ohio Infantry. He entered the unit as a private and mustered out as a corporal. He appears in both the 1880 and 1900 US census as a photographer. He was married to Kate Eulass. He is buried in the Mason City Cemetery. This cabinet card portrait is in good condition (see scans).  The thin scrape on the bottom left corner of the reverse of the card does not cause any fragility or softness to the cabinet card. ADDENDUM: A helpful visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery, has identified this photograph as being an advertisement for the “Nelson Seed Company”. Other theories can be seen in the comment section.  SOLD

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GENTLEMAN WITH MUTTON CHOPS POSING WITH HIS WIFE IN LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS (CIVIL WAR VETERAN PHOTOGRAPHER)

This cabinet card features a well dressed couple posing for their portrait at the Hayden studio in Lowell, Massachusetts. The gentleman has wonderful mutton chops with a connecting mustache. The photographer of this photograph is Marshall M. Hayden (1847-1928). He operated a studio in Lowell between 1867 and 1900, according to one Massachusetts historical site. However, my preliminary research found that he actually is listed as a photographer in the 1880 through 1920 US census. Interestingly, he was also listed in the 1926 Lowell business directory as a photographer (he was 79 years old). Earlier in his career he worked as a bread deliveryman (1870 US Census). Hayden was a veteran of the Civil War. He served in Company H of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry. He served nine months in 1862 and 1863. He was a private and a musician.   (SOLD)