I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Worthington, MN Photos, Circa 1890-1910 - Pt. 2

I'm curious when someone neglects to identify all the people in a portrait, and opts instead to name one or two people for posterity.  Perhaps the inscriber did not know everyone in the photo.  Or perhaps the owner of the photo is one of the folks featured in portrait and it seemed silly to identify themselves.  Whatever the reason, such omissions mean more detective work for those trying to sort out who is who in a photograph.

In this fourth cabinet card from Worthington, Nobles County, Minnesota, we have two people identified, and the third left nameless.

It was taken at the E.F. Buchan studio in Worthington circa the early 1890's.  "At left - Mr & Mrs. Gene Smith" is written in ink on the reverse.  Who is the woman on the right?  A daughter?  That's a mystery.

I did a quick search in the 1890 & 1900 censuses for a Gene or Eugene Smith in Worthington.  Minnesota had a state census in 1905 as well.  I found two Eugenes in Worthington in 1900.  Neither seem likely to me.  I expanded the search to cover adjacent counties.  There are several possibilities.  Of course Gene could have been using his second name.  Or he could gone by only an initial.   But would that be "E. Smith" or "G. Smith?"  Boy, it sure would have been helpful to have that third person identified. And how wonderful would it have been to have Mrs. Smith's first name.
If any of you über-researchers out there are able uncover  additional clues about this family, I'd love to hear from you. 

The inscription on this next photo (below) is marginally better than the Smith photograph.   We are provided with both a maiden name and a married name.  From the back of the photo "Anna Peterson (Mrs. G. Erickson)," taken at the Buchan Studios in Worthington.  I'm not an expert on costuming, but I am guessing we're still dealing with a 1890s time frame.  Is it just me, or do the younger women in all of the previous Worthington photographs look alike? 

I found an Anna Peterson (b. 1872, Sweden)  living with the Falk family in the 1895 Minnesota State census.   As with the other Worthington photos, it's very difficult to state definitely who she is at this point.


The final photo (right) wasn't taken in Worthington, but it was found with the Worthington photographs and is labelled in the same handwriting as the others, and is therefore, connected in some way.  It is simply inscribed, "Mrs. Chas. Gustafson," and was taken at the LeBurt Company Fine Arts Studio on Nic. Ave in Minneapolis, circa mid-1890s.  I probably don't need to tell you how many Charles Gustafsons there are in Minnesota during this period.  Sigh.  These Scandinavians sure know how to make it hard on a person. 

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