I have to admit, I'm not one to identify a woman by her husband's first name (for example, "Mrs. John Smith.") Even so, I do appreciate it when vintage photos are identified this way, provided the woman's given name is mentioned as well. It helps tremendously with the research. I am fascinated by our subject's hairstyle, piled high with a ribbon at the very top. I would date this photograph around 1900-1905, perhaps earlier. This photo was inscribed: "Lee Pease, Mrs. Ed. Pease." The portrait was taken by Danish-born photographer, Niels B. Andersen who opened his studio in Redwood Falls, Minnesota in 1884 and remained in business there for three decades. (For an excellent biographical article on N.B. Andersen, written by Troy Krause for the Redwood Falls Gazette, click here)
"Lee" is actually "Lelah" Pease. She can be found in the 1895 Minnesota State Census for Kintire, Redwood County, Minnesota, along with her husband, Edward A, 32; daughter Zoa, 8; and son, Ward, 4. Two of Edwards siblings are also living with the family. Lelah is 30 years old.
In the next few censuses, the family is residing in Redwood Falls, Redwood County, Minnesota. They have two other children: Thelma, born 1896, and Edward, born 1902. In the 1900 census, Edward A. Pease's mother, Mary A. Pease is living with them; she was born January 1933 in New York State.
I thought I'd try to trace Zoa because of her uncommon name, to see if I could find mention of her mother's maiden name. In the 1910 Census for Redmond, I found (Mary) Zoa with her husband Raymond P. Tenney and son, George R. Tenney, age 1. I then found Zoa's death record in the Minnesota Death Index, 1908-2002 which shows she died in Ramsay Co., MN in 1974. Her mother's maiden name is listed as "Ward."
I had tried previously to find Ed and Lelah Pease's marriage in Minnesota Marriages, 1849-1950 index, and didn't have any luck. But when I search by Lelah's maiden name, I found out why I couldn't find it earlier. Edward's last name was spelled "Peace" in the record. They were married in Zumbrota, Goodhue County, Minnesota on November 20, 1884.
For those researching in Redwood County, Minnesota, I found two history books, which provide excellent background information on the area:
1) Redwood: The Story of a County by Wayne E. Webb
2) History of Redwood County by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge
The Redwood Falls Public Library has a helpful list of local resources, so be sure to check it out if you have roots there.