Marie, Lucy and Willa Miller, Bonaparte, Iowa

Old photo on cardboard frame, circa 1899 – 1900. Photographer:  Fahr’s Art Studio, Bonaparte, Iowa.

Price:  $30.00            Size including frame:  6 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/4″

The back contains writing in pencil and print in pen – showing two different name orders for this beautiful trio of young ladies. But we can see that the oldest child is on our right, and the “baby” is in the middle (picture the photographer’s thought process). And, in looking at the 1900 Federal Census, along with the birth records for two of the girls, we can confirm that left to right, these are:  “Marie, Lucy and Willia.” They are the daughters of Robert Hayes Miller and Bess (Cleave) Miller.

Willia Hayes Miller, or Willa Hayes Miller, as she’s named on a delayed birth certificate, was born December 24, 1892 in Bonaparte, Iowa.

Marie Margaret Miller was born January 5, 1895, in Iowa (likely Bonaparte). She was the second oldest of the girls, per their ages on 1900 Federal Census. (The exact date was found in the SSN Index record.)

The youngest daughter, Lucy Belle Miller was born December 11, 1897, Bonaparte, Iowa.

The girls had two younger brothers, twins, Rex Logan Miller and Roger Cleave Miller, born March 22, 1902.

Sources:  State Historical Society of Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa; Title: Iowa Birth Records, 1888-1904. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. Iowa, U.S., Births and Christenings Index, 1800-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

SSN Death Index, 1935 – 2014. Issue State: District of Columbia; Issue Date: Before 1951.

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/63840321/robert_hayes-miller: accessed April 9, 2024), memorial page for Robert Hayes Miller (28 Dec 1866–5 Nov 1919), Find a Grave Memorial ID 63840321, citing Vale Cemetery, Bonaparte, Van Buren County, Iowa, USA; Maintained by Jane Cockayne Weaver (contributor 48493052). (Note that some of the information for this family on Find A Grave is incorrect).

National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Wwii Draft Registration Cards For Iowa, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 341. (Ancestry.com).

A Happy Easter To Maybell Morgan

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Publisher:  Whitney Made, Worcester, Massachusetts. Made in U.S.A.

Price:  $4.00

Easter, 1927

A Happy Easter

“Songs and flowers and skies of blue

They all come with Easter and

my wish comes too

For Easter gladness”

A cute card to Maybell Morgan from Rosemary:  Three rosy-cheeked children, (their look may remind you of illustrations from England) and an adorable quacking duck, are on a hilltop with daffodils. Appearing from the other side of the hill is a cozy cottage and the silhouette of some trees.

A Leap Year Suggestion

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher unknown. Series or number 887. Made in the U. S. A. Circa mid-1910’s. 

Price:  $12.00

Cute children from a bygone era (we’re thinking 1790’s – 1810’s). A court ball gown for the girl, the boy in tailcoat and trousers with heel straps. Of course, not historically accurate – the artist just tying in the ball attire idea with the gent wanting to “get the ball rolling”.

A Leap Year Suggestion….

“Wonder why you don’t start somethin’

This is leap year don’t you see

If you start the ball a-rollin’

You’ll get lots of help from me.”

Today is “leap day” in leap year of 2024. The next will be in 2028. They arrive every four years, with some exceptions. The estimated date for this card comes from an estimate of 1916 on another card of the same design, currently online.

Source:  Leap year. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_year (accessed February 29, 2024).

A Valentine’s Lament

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Circa 1910s. Publisher:  Whitney Made, Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Price:  $7.00

“O, Why Isn’t She Always Here”

A dejected-looking boy and his dog are missing their Valentine. (Sob!) A cute card, and another in our Alice Ellison Collection, this one from Louise to Henrietta.

Clark’s O. N. T. Black Spool Cotton Trade Card

Trade card for Clark’s O.N.T. Spool Cotton. Lithograph, M & K Company. Circa  1880’s – 1890’s.

Price:  12.00                Size:  About 2 and 3/4 x 4 and 1/4″

“Across the line from pole to pole the children’s clothes depend upon it.”

A gorgeous design for this one and clever. It’s a windy day. (Those clothes will dry pretty quick!) Actually, it looks like a storm’s coming in – maybe a further illustration of the point – strong thread, strong enough to make a clothesline 😉 and withstand the storm. If the back had no wording and you were just looking at the shape, would it make you think of a spool of thread? Maybe so.

O.N.T. stands for Our New Thread. See Sources below.

At the bottom right the print reads, “Copyright Secured”  and at the bottom left is the lithographer name of M & K Co.

Major & Knapp

M & K was the very successful New York City lithography firm of Major & Knapp. The company began life as Sarony & Major, headed by lithographer, artist, draftsman (and later photographer), Napoleon Sarony. Major was James Major and then brother, Henry B. Major. The name then changed to Sarony, Major & Knapp (sometimes called Sarony & Co.) and then when Sarony left the firm in 1858, it became Major & Knapp, the full name of which seems to have been The Major & Knapp Engraving, Manufacturing and Lithographic Company, but we often see them as the Major & Knapp Co. and Major, Knapp & Co. And here it’s unclear whether that last was an actual name change or just sometimes reported incorrectly. Major were brothers Henry Broughman Major and Richard Major and Knapp was Joseph F. Knapp.

Sources:  Clark O.N.T. Thread. historyatyourfingertips.education. (accessed December 19, 2023).

Coats Group. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coats_Group (accessed December 19, 2023).

Napoleon Sarony. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_Sarony (accessed December 19, 2023).

Spooner, Ken. (2010). “The Knapps Lived Here.” Elm & McKinley Books, New York. Google.com books.

“Sarony, Major & Knapp:  New York City Lithographers.” https://ahpcs.org/publisher/sarony-major-knapp/ (accessed December 16, 2023).

The National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Internal Revenue Assessment Lists for New York and New Jersey, 1862-1866; Series: M603; Roll: 56; Description: District 4; Monthly and Special Lists; June-Dec 1865; Record Group: 58, Records of the Internal Revenue Service, 1791 – 2006.

Clara Louise McDonough and Her Sister, St. Louis, Missouri

Oval photo, circa 1865, St. Louis, Missouri. Photographer unknown.

Price including wooden frame (not shown):  $40.00

Size of photo:  About 6 and 3/4 x 4 and 3/4″

Two beautiful young girls, Civil War Era…..

This photo was an unusual find at a Goodwill store in Salinas, California. In tracing the lineage of the girl on our left, we believe we’ve possibly uncovered the identity of the unnamed sister on the right, and believe them to be the daughters of James McDonough, former Chief of Police for the city of St. Louis, Missouri. See Find A Grave’s entry for him below, in Sources.

Displayed in a wooden oval frame and behind glass, the photo surely must of hung on someone’s wall for a number of years. It appears to be a copy, albeit an older one, and is held in place by small diamond shaped metal tabs, which are called points. The back of the photo has no writing but does have a bit of an aged look to it, as does the cardboard backing which, as shown above, gives the name of the girl on our left, Clara Louise McDonough. One look at the photo and we immediately think Civil War time-frame due to the dress and hairstyles for the girls, and this agrees with the family member’s estimate written on the back as “186?”.

Frances “Fanny” McDonough…..

Though the sister’s name in the photo is not given, a death record was found for a Frances McDonough, single, age 32, who died in St. Louis, Missouri, May 31, 1890. This record fits with the 1860 Federal Census for St. Louis which shows a Fanny McDonough, age two, daughter of James and Mary Jane McDonough. Other children in the household are Mary C., James R. and Clara K. McDonough, age three months. Unfortunately, the 1860 census did not contain the question of occupation for the head of household.

James R. McDonough on the above-mentioned 1860 census record is significant in supporting Frances “Fanny” as the sister in our photo:  In former St. Louis’ Chief of Police, James McDonough’s obituary, a surviving son is listed, James R. McDonough (a Sergeant for twelve years on the force at the time of his father’s death). Also listed is surviving married daughter, Mrs. E. J. Peckham, who we know to be Clara Louise (McDonough) Peckham. Clara K. McDonough on this 1860 census is believed to be Clara Louise:

Clara Louise…..

Possibly, Clara K. on the 1860 census, died very young and the parents had another daughter that they named Clara Louise. However, it seems more likely that there was one Clara and the parents changed the middle name for her in infancy, or that it had just been recorded incorrectly on the census. To support this, the children’s mother, Mary Jane (Waters) McDonough died November 5, 1861 of consumption (not childbirth) and Clara Louise’s 1900 census record shows she was born in April, which matches Clara K.’s age of three months on the 1860. Note:  Years of birth on Clara’s census records vary (which is not unusual) and the 1900 Federal census was the only one that recorded the month the person was born in (the month being most often correct). The 1870 census, which would certainly be helpful, has never been found.

Clara Louise McDonough married Edward J. Peckham on June 21, 1886 in Coles County, Illinois. Their record of marriage shows she was born in Missouri, about 1862, and her parents were James McDonough and Jane Waters. Edward was born in England, about 1851, and his parents were Henry Peckham and Elizabeth Brode. If Clara is about five years old in this photo, then the approximate date the original was taken would be about 1867.

By 1910, Edward and Clara Peckham have a daughter, Clarissa E., born in Kansas, about 1888. The family are living in Cheyenne, Wyoming. By 1920 Clara is widowed and living with daughter, Clarissa; son-in-law, Charles Lawrence; and granddaughter Charlotte. Charlotte, who married Robert George Fergusson, died in 2013, in Pebble Beach, Monterey County, California. (See the last entry in Sources below.) It’s likely then, that our photo, in its wooden frame, came from her estate.

______________________________________________________________________

Sources:  “Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KFKX-MHC : accessed 18 January 2015), Edward J. Peckham and Clara Louisa Mcdonough, 21 Jun 1886; citing Coles, Illinois, United States, county offices, Illinois; FHL microfilm 1,301,518.

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7387314/james-mcdonough: accessed 06 February 2024), memorial page for James McDonough (16 Mar 1816–21 Mar 1892), Find a Grave Memorial ID 7387314, citing Bellefontaine Cemetery, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA; Maintained by Tim (contributor 46772461).

Year: 1860; Census Place: St Louis Ward 5, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: M653_651; Page: 193; Image: 197; Family History Library Film: 803651. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Saint Louis, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: 733; Family History Film: 1254733; Page: 174B; Enumeration District: 335; Image: 0710. (Ancestry.com).

“A Big Chief.” The St. Joseph Weekly Gazette (St. Joseph, Missouri) March 24, 1892. Thursday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Perth Amboy Ward 1, Middlesex, New Jersey; Roll: 984; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0048; FHL microfilm: 1240984. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Cheyenne Ward 3, Laramie, Wyoming; Roll: T624_1746; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0084; FHL microfilm: 1375759

“United States Census, 1940,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K943-2WQ : accessed 18 January 2015), Clara Peckham in household of Charles Lawrence, Carmel-by-the Sea, Monterey Judicial Township, Monterey, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 27-25, sheet 3B, family 110, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 268.

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/124188417/charlotte_elizabeth-fergusson: accessed February 7, 2024), memorial page for Charlotte Elizabeth Lawrence Fergusson (–), Find a Grave Memorial ID 124188417, citing United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, Orange County, New York, USA; Maintained by SLGMSD (contributor 46825959).

W. & J. Leonard Trade Card, Salem, Mass.

Trade card for W. & J. Leonard, Salem, Massachusetts. Circa 1885 – 1890.

Price:  $12.00                Size:  4 and 1/4 x 2 and 3/4″

W. & J. Leonard, Boots, Shoes & Rubbers. Successors to Buswell & Leonard. 196 Essex St., Salem, Mass.

Two little Pagliacci-type figures, along with their dog, are out on the street begging for a living. Pagliaccio in Italian is “clown”.

The former Buswell & Leonard was Ebenezer “Eben” Buswell and William Leonard. Successors, W. & J. Leonard were brothers, William and Captain James Leonard, the firm being run under this name from 1885 to 1890.

But a full history, going back to about 1794, is given in the Boot and Shoe Recorder, July 29, 1908:

“The retirement of William Leonard of Salem, Mass., from the shoe business will, with the closing of his store, bring to an end a business that has been connected with the Driver family for 104 years. It was begun about 1794 by the grandfather of Mrs. Leonard, Stephen Driver, Jr., who with Louis Tucker, as Tucker & Driver, had a shop on Essex street, nearly opposite Cambridge street, in a two-story wooden building, with an attic. Mr. Tucker furnished the capital and Mr. Driver the knowledge of the business. In 1798 the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Tucker retiring, and Mr. Driver continuing the business alone. In 1816, his son, Stephen, 19 years of age, bought his time of his father, and took a shop on Central street, and the firm name became Stephen Driver & Son. In 1822, his eldest son, Thomas, bought out his father’s interest, and the firm name became Stephen & Thomas Driver. The father continued in business alone. In 1836 Ebenezer Buswell and his brother-in-law, George Driver, bought out the retail trade of Stephen Driver, 3d, who then commenced the wholesale trade. The name of the firm was Driver & Buswell, and the store was on Essex street, below Washington street, and where the store of Almy, Bigelow & Washburn, Inc., is now located. George Driver withdrew in 1847 to assist his brother in the wholesale business, and for 13 years Mr. Buswell continued the business alone, or until 1860, when Henry Morton was admitted as a partner. The firm name became Buswell & Morton, and so continued until 1867, when Mr. Morton withdrew, and William Leonard became associated with Mr. Buswell. This firm continued until the death of Mr. Buswell, June 30, 1880. Mr. Leonard, in 1885. took his brother, Capt. James Leonard, in partnership with him, the firm name being W. & J. Leonard. In 1890, James Leonard withdrew, and William Leonard continued the business at the old stand on Essex street until 1897, when the march of progress removed the building, and the business was transferred to its present location on Washington street.”

Sources:  Pagliacci. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagliacci#:~:text=Leoncavallo%20based%20the%20st   ory%20of,brother%20Luigi%20acting%20as%20accomplice. (accessed December 26, 2023).

Henry M. Meek’s Naumkeag Directory for Salem, Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peobody, Essex and Manchester, for 1888 and 1895, pp. 232 and 356. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995. 

Sampson, Davenport & Co.’s Salem Directory for 1879, No. XVIII, p. 42. Google.com.

“Some Short News Notes of the Trade.” Boot and Shoe Recorder, July 29, 1908, p. 115. (Google.com).

Faithful Friends

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. 1908.

Price:  $3.00

Well, if anybody can decipher the surname for our Ed, (intuition, psychic ability, maybe you’ve seen a similar name?) if so, you are utterly amazing. What do you reckon, Ed is maybe four years old? So, born around 1904. Given name obviously likely to be Edward or maybe Edwin or Edgar, middle initial “M” and he’s a Junior. Caton is a surname that comes up pretty frequently, and certainly the first three letters fit, but the rest – ee gads – that handwriting, wow. Cotman or Catman? If only the person that wrote this had given us a location. Still, the photo’s a total charmer….Ed in his white sailor suit, straight hair, short bangs, that steady gaze. His dog “Nig” or “Mig,” looks like some kind of shepherd mix, black with a little white, wearing a heavy collar, just look at those big ears and those dark brown eyes looking at the camera  – a bit of a worried look – he doesn’t trust whatever that weird apparatus is and he’s in protection mode…..It’s fun to pick up our own impressions from photos, but I think one thing we can say for sure – we’re looking at two best friends who took care of each other.

A Mom and Two Daughters

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1918.

Price:  $7.00

No i.d. for this one. Why did I buy it? I like the contrasting fabrics, the plaid and the stripes – all that cotton. Refreshing to see in our day and age of synthetics. The girls’ expressions are so sweet, and there’s the mom’s narrowed (maybe a vision thing) but steady gaze, she’s slouched in the chair (a little unusual but that could have been according to where the photographer wanted her to appear, with the girls standing taller). The mom is wearing wire-rimmed spectacles, a watch and chain and a flat-topped hat. (There seemingly were no end to hat styles.)

One thing of note is the pattern on the younger girl’s dress, (click twice on the card image to enlarge). They’re a little hard to make out but those are (not pinwheels) but swastikas – the original meaning of this ancient symbol represented good luck. For more on that subject see the BBC article link below in “Sources”.

Since old newspaper articles and ads reveal a lot we always like to check them for proof of what was actually going on at the time; pretty enlightening in this case, as they do indeed confirm the swastika as a phenom and the time-frame that it had become popular (again). From Newspapers.com, starting around 1899 with 126 search results for “swastika” in the U.S., ads start appearing for products such as Swastika Stationary. (Bear in mind that many of these are instructional articles and, of course, there are always duplicate articles that appeared in multiple newspapers.) From 1899 through 1905 the results are in the 100 or 200 range. Then in 1906 it jumps to 787 results, and in 1907 it has skyrocketed to 9,875.

Below, a portion of a long article that appeared in the Washington D.C. Evening Star, September 1907, stating the then-current fad in the U.S. came from across the Atlantic, France actually. Caution:  Don’t take this as gospel – it could certainly be correct but we wouldn’t want to say for sure without extensive research.

There is also the probability that the symbol’s popularity was influenced by author and poet, Rudyard Kipling:  The author had requested previously (year unknown) that his father (an artist) design an emblem for him for book covers. See the images in this link of the elephant, lotus flower and swastika design (and subsequent image, minus the swastika). Kipling, in 1899, filed a lawsuit (which he lost, but that’s another story) against some publishers for copyright infringement (lower left from the Chicago Tribune, April 1899). Later in 1899 we see ads appearing nationwide, like the article on our right from The Los Angeles Times, August 1899:

One last note:  After readily falling down the rabbit hole for most of this post, we don’t want to forget to mention that the end date for our postcard is from Playle.com regarding the AZO stamp box, with all four triangles pointing upward.

Sources:  “How the world loved the swastika – until Hitler stole it.” October 23, 2014. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29644591. (Accessed December 4, 2023).

“Swastikas vs. Corbetts For Today’s Game.” Arizona Daily Star, March 22, 1908. Sunday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

“The Filigree Swastika Latest Form Of The Emblem.”  Albuquerque Journal. June 25, 1906. Monday, p. 4. (Newspapers.com).

“The Latest Out.” The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. (Fort Wayne, Indiana).December 3, 1899. Sunday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).

Search results for “swastika” from years 1898 – 1907. (Newspapers.com).

Watkins, Jake E. “Swastika, World’s Oldest Symbol Is Latest Fad. Modern Use Of This Ancient Good-Luck Sign.” Evening Star. (Washington, D. C.). September 7, 1907. Saturday, p. 21. (Newspapers.com).

“Tells of Kipling Books.” Chicago Tribune. April 28, 1899. Friday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

“Books.” The Los Angeles Times. August 24, 1899. Thursday, p. 9. (Newspapers.com).

“Kipling Loses His Suit Against The Putnams.” The Publishers’ Weekly. No. 1616. January 17, 1903, pp. 80-81. (Google.com).

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes. A – B.” playle.com. (accessed December 7, 2023).

Julia Ann Johnson Peck – Bindon

Family Photo mounted on cardboard. Circa 1880’s.

Price:  $20.00               Size including matting:  About 7 and 7/8 x 5 and 3/4″

Note:  There is some “foxing” (the dark marks most noticeable on the right-hand side matting – an indication of mold/mildew from prior storage). This photo can always be used digitally or be reproduced by a photography studio. If purchasing, please store appropriately.

A lovely family…….but a mystery for identity

From the description on the back one assumes Johnson is Julia Ann’s maiden name, she married a Peck, and they lived in Bindon. However, the only Bindon for location shows up in Somerset, England, and no records were found there. So, other than Bindon being a street name or some type of remote possibility like the family called the home the Bindon house, or something like that, the next logical scenario is that Bindon was Julia’s second marriage.

So, we found a Julia Ann Johnson, born May 2, 1837 in Michigan, who married John T. Peck. He died in May 1872, and she married John N. Bindon, September 5, 1877. Julia Ann died September December 29, 1893. But, looking at the ages and genders and number of children on the 1870 and 1880 census records – they don’t seem to fit the photo, though of course, we’ve not been told which one of the group is Julia. Well then, it’s always possible that this is a different family, flying under the radar on records.

As for the date of the photo, fashion experts can, no doubt, narrow down the year this was taken, but we’ll settle for circa 1880’s – just to avoid the hours of searching to try to pinpoint then when-in-vogue dates for details like the striped and plaid accents, braid, and pleats on the dresses, the fit of the sack suits for the gentlemen, the older man’s beard without mustache.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Groveland, Oakland, Michigan; Roll: 598; Page: 108C; Enumeration District: 253. (Ancestry.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100739570/julia-ann-peck: accessed 26 November 2023), memorial page for Julia Ann Johnson Peck (2 May 1837–29 Dec 1893), Find a Grave Memorial ID 100739570, citing Hadley Cemetery, Groveland Township, Oakland County, Michigan, USA; Maintained by Destiny (contributor 47071650).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100739516/john-t-peck: accessed 27 November 2023), memorial page for John T Peck (unknown–11 May 1872), Find a Grave Memorial ID 100739516, citing Hadley Cemetery, Groveland Township, Oakland County, Michigan, USA; Maintained by Destiny (contributor 47071650).

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 15; Film Description: 1877 Mason-1878 Gratiot.

“Sac suit.” historyinthemaking.org. (Accessed November 27, 2023).

“Vintage Style Sack Coats.” historicalemporium.com. (Accessed November 27, 2023).