EQUESTRIAN_0005This cabinet card features a dandy gentleman holding what appears to be a riding crop in his gloved hands. Is he dressed for riding? Is that a horse shoe pin that he is wearing    near the bottom of his vest? Note his pocketwatch and chain. The reverse of the photograph is inscribed by the subject. He wrote “Ever your friend, George L. Stringer”. The reverse of the cabinet card also reveals the name of the photographer. A stamp identifies the portraitist as being A. W. Adams whose studio was located on Water Street in Decorah, Iowa. Research revealed some information about George Lincoln Stringer (1862-1932). The 1880 US census indicates that he was born in Iowa but that his parents were Canadian born. In 1880, he was living in Decorah with his parents. His occupation was hard to decipher but it looked a lot like blacksmith. The 1900 census found him still living in Decorah and married (1884) to Mary Alice Kennedy. The couple had a 15 year-old son named Vernon. Once again his occupation was nearly illegible but it seemed to read “traveling salesman”. George Stringer died in 1932 and is buried in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah.  The town of Decorah was settled in 1849 and in its early history had a large number of Norwegian settlers. The Norwegian influence remains there today. The Decorah Posten was the largest Norwegian newspaper in the United States until it shut down in 1972. The town was named after Waukon Decorah, a Winnebago tribal leader, who was a US ally in the Black Hawk War of 1832. The photographer of this cabinet card, Asa W. Adams (1842-1915) operated a photo studio in Decorah between 1863 and 1884. Before moving to Decorah, Adams ran a a studio in McGregor, Iowa (1863). Early during his operations in Decorah he had a partnership with S. R. Shear in the Adams & Shear Gallery. In 1866 he married Emma J. Fuller and the couple had four children. Adams sold his studio to O. E. Borlaug. He next conducted his photography business in Waterloo, Iowa (1884-after 1900). Adams died in 1915 and is buried in Decorah.