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 also accept donations of pre-1927 images to be reunited. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Allen B. Mills & Mary M. Wiedman, Creston, IA, 1903

This wedding portrait, had it not already been dated, displays many clues that tell us it was taken in the early 1900s.  The bride's dress is an early Edwardian example, with its lace and ruffles, close-fitting neckline, high collar, and loosely draped bodice.  The new Mrs. Mills wears a bow in her hair that has been pulled up high, but not too loosely.  

The image was taken by Caleb D. Agnew (1871-1953) in Creston, Iowa.  If you are interested in learning more about this photographer, there is a website devoted to his work, and to the history of Creston.

The reverse of the photograph reads, "Allen B. Mills & Mary M. Wiedman's Wedding Picture, 1903"

While I did not find a marriage record for the couple, I did find them in the US Federal Census for 1910, 1920 & 1930.  The couple lived near Douglas, Union County, Iowa, where the family farmed.  While the census says Douglas, Iowa, I believe the family lived closer to Cromwell, Iowa.  I have a few postcards sent by Mary Mills that have a return address of Cromwell, IA.

Allen B. Mills (b. 1871) appears to be the son of Albert and Margaret Mills.  In 1880, Allen's family lived in Houston, Smith County, Kansas, but by the 1885 Iowa Census, they have settled in Spaulding, Union County, Iowa.  I've found information in various online family trees that indicate Mary Wiedman (b. 1879) may be Mary Magdalene Wiedmann, daughter of Jacob Wiedmann and Mary Magdalena Rose, but I haven't verified this information.  A marriage record often provides parentage of the bride and groom and one could probably be found through the county, or on microfilm via the LDS library.

The couple had a daughter, Lola, born 1908.   I have a number of photos of Lola as a young girl, found with the wedding portrait.  Several of these were taken at the Agnew Studio.


  1. Douglas, Union County, Iowa is only 5 miles from Cromwell. There is another Douglas just northeast of Des Moines that is 90 miles away.

    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=20269331 shows Mary's grave. Her middle initial is (was) "M."

  2. Great shot - isn't it funny how wedding photos have gone from being formal affairs to now being spontaneous moments captured in time.