Katheryn Earhart, Elizabeth’s Best Friend

Old photo, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $15.00             Size:  3 and 3/4 x 5 and 13/16″

Semi-profile portrait of a smiling young woman in hat and dark-colored satin or silk blouse, identified on the back as Katheryn Earhart, Elizabeth’s best friend:

Katheryn has a love of hats, I think. This one is wide-brimmed and was accessorized by wrapping the crown in a scarf with braid applique – a dramatic effect – the dark braid on light-colored fabric.

A match in records for Katheryn was not found online, and we wouldn’t know for sure whether her first name is spelled correctly in the i.d. on the back, so that makes it a bit more difficult. (The hope was to find the name match and check the census records for a neighbor named Elizabeth.)

The big question for me – is this young lady an older version of our Girl in Hat from a prior post? The two photos were found at separate times. (Unfortunately, I’ve never kept a list of where each item was found. Not very far-thinking but, there you have it, though I used to remember them all when I first started this venture.) But I’ve definitely found additional photos for people at separate times in the past, so it wouldn’t be surprising.

As you can see in the link for the younger girl, she wears quite an unusual head covering, and in the photo above – this one’s a bit different, as well – put together by someone fashion-conscious, that seems pretty evident. A love of style, a love of hats. Comparing the features for the girls and allowing for their ages and the light exposure in each, they may well be the same person. (The prior post’s photo has more light exposure which could account for the eye color difference.)

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).

Fred J. Summer, Insurance Man

Old photo, white border, circa 1915 – 1920.

Price:  $20.00               Size:  About 2 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/8″

“Photo. F. Summer. Queen Ins. p. 89”

“On The Way To Town”   

“Fred J. Summer”           

Sporting a cigar and bow tie, a young man with a gregarious smile, (a people person is a good fit for the insurance business) takes a break to pose for this picture.

Biographical data

According to his WWII Draft Registration, Fred John Summer was born December 8, 1900, though his first marriage record shows his birthday as January 8, 1898. He was born in London, England to Steven Summer and Clementine (Piruska) Summer. He married Hinda R. Fancher in 1919 in Indiana, but again in 1941, so they evidently had divorced. They had two children, Fred Orville Summer and Geraldine Summer. A third marriage was found, in Family Search, to Leslie Armantrout in Dubuque, Iowa. (Armantrout was the bride’s prior married name.) An image of this marriage is not online, and the transcription does not provide the marriage date (quite unusual). Fred passed away in Florida in 1965.

An early start to a successful career

The Queen Insurance Company of America was based in New York City but, according to an old envelope found on eBay, had offices in other states. This coincides with the second newspaper clipping (below) that reported that Fred started working (at age fifteen) for an “eastern insurance company”. Soon after that he started his own company, The Summer Agency, which became a very successful firm. Their slogan was, “where insurance is a business (not a sideline)”. The company’s long-term address in Chicago was 2145 E. 83rd St., Chicago. (If Fred was born in 1900, that would put him at age fifteen for starting his company – possibly the truth had been stretched a bit in the 25 year anniversary notice. (From researching other companies, this was not uncommon.)

Anniversary notice in The Daily Calumet (Chicago, Illinois). May 20, 1940:

In 1942, he moved to California, where in 1954, he became a Million Dollar Writer. Below, from the Oakdale Leader, December 20, 1956:

Sources:  “Illinois, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1940-1945”, , FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPH8-1TY4 : Sat Mar 09 16:29:12 UTC 2024), Entry for Fred John Summer and Self, 16 February 1942.

“Indiana Marriages, 1811-2019”, , FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KDH7-QLK : Fri Mar 08 18:52:51 UTC 2024), Entry for Fred J Summer and Hinda Fancher, 13 Mar 1919.

“Indiana Marriages, 1811-2019”, , FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:D4FD-RXT2 : Sun Mar 10 01:54:09 UTC 2024), Entry for Fred J Summer and Leslie Armantrout.

Carroll, B. F. Thirty-seventh Annual Report of the Auditor of State of the State of Iowa on Insurance Other Than Life, 1906, Vol 1. “Queen Insurance Co. of America, New York, N.Y.” P. 560. (google.com/books.)

Queen Insurance Company of America Advertising Cover (-699). https://www.ebay.com/itm/122521912348. (Accessed March 28, 2024.)

“Fred J. Summer, Marking 25th Anniversary, Warns Against False Economy.” The Daily Calumet (Chicago, Illinois). May 20, 1940. Monday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).

“Insurance Speaker in Modesto Tomorrow.” Oakdale Leader (Oakdale, California). December 20, 1956. Thursday, p. 8. (Newspapers.com).

Family On Porch

Old photo, circa 1900 – 1910’s.

Price:  $5.00             Size:  4 and 1/2 x 2 and 7/16″

Nice gingerbread detail on this porch – clearly a family is gathered here, though we don’t have any names or even a location on the back. The woman on our right in the dark dress is the mom and possibly the man in front of them is the dad. Then we’ve got a grandmother or two, or perhaps a great-aunt and then a couple of men in conversation, maybe a neighbor has stopped by….I had picked up this photo thinking it went with some others (but probably not) that were loose in a bin; they were, per the norm, languishing – just hanging around in an antique store. How many millions of old photos are doing the same at this moment? Yes, rather a tragedy, especially to those of us that have actively searched for images of their ancestors; some found (amazing!) and many more not. (There’s always hope.) Back to this lack of i.d., really, it’s a rare person then and now (well, different now with everything digital) that always identified the back of a photo. (It is tedious, for sure.) But even unidentified it’s still good. We can get a sense of, certainly fashion, including house fashion (i.e. our Victorian gingerbread here with that beautifully tall door) and that can be important to historians and collectors. (You bet, you can get deep in research detail – those white shoes the mom and daughters are wearing, for instance, and their nearly identical hairstyles). But good also, for just life the way it used to be…..in what we now (laughably) think of as a simpler time.

Couple With Towle’s Log Cabin Display

Old photo, white border. Circa 1910’s. 

Price:  $20.00           Size:  4 and 1/16 x 2 and 3/8″

There may be some historical interest for this photo for any researchers or collectors of Towle’s Log Cabin Syrup items; we’re not finding anything similar online…..

In starting research for this one, I was surprised to find the Log Cabin brand of syrup still being sold. (I always go right for the real thing, apparently blocking all others from vision. And yes, I know, this makes me sound like a snob, 😉 especially in light of the absurd store prices we’re up against today). Thinking back, growing up in the ’60’s, our cupboard usually contained Mrs. Butterworth’s (we liked the bottle) and sometimes Log Cabin, but at some point, someone (maybe an uncle and probably not till I was in high school), introduced us to actual maple syrup (from trees!) and well, why would you want anything else? (Ha, memories, as an adult, of going out for breakfast and sneaking in syrup from home, and later, of a great place that my husband and I used to drive down to, in Carmel Valley, CA – The Wagon Wheel. Real maple syrup available upon request, still for just an extra dollar.)

About Towle’s

Towle’s was started in 1888 in St. Paul, Minnesota by grocer, Patrick Joseph Towle, and bought out by General Foods in 1927. They initially sold their log cabin syrup in a tall metal can and shortly thereafter in that iconic log-cabin-shaped container. In addition, they manufactured other syrup brands, as well as other related products. For much more about them, see this article by author Matthew Thomas. (Check out his link within the link. Note:  Even the original recipe for log cabin maple syrup may not have been pure maple.)

Our photo….

A couple, maybe in their twenties, are sitting on a porch; the woman backed up to one of the porch posts and the man with his elbow resting on a 3-D Towle’s Log Cabin display. An axe and hammer, and these both appear to be real tools, lean against the little cabin. We can see houses across the street, so the area seems to be residential. Now, it’s possible that this was a general or hardware store with this display set up, and the gentlemen has just bought these tools – but in typing this scenario, it sounds far-fetched, the display would be subjected to the weather, for one. This makes us wonder if the couple isn’t somehow connected to the Towle family….Or, the gentleman could have been a new distributor of the syrup and had added the two props for picture-taking purposes.

Advertisements in old newspapers abound; here are two:

From The Tacoma Daily Ledger, November 23, 1890, an ad touting Towle’s “Log Cabin” maple syrup as absolutely pure, unadulterated and without added glucose, though, if you read with skepticism, you’ll understand that this ad never definitively says that it’s 100% maple syrup.

And from The Oregon Daily Journal, September 27, 1912:

Sources:  Thomas, Matthew. (2017, August 31). “When Towle’s Log Cabin Was a Maple Syrup Company.”maplesyruphistory.com. Accessed March 2, 2024.

“A Card to the Public.” The Tacoma Daily Ledger (Tacoma, Washington). November 23, 1890. Sunday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com).

“Record-Breaking Shipment of Towle’s Log Cabin Syrup.” The Oregon Daily Journal (Portland, Oregon). September 27, 1912. Friday, p. 15. (Newspapers.com).

Couple On Porch

Old photo, white border, circa early 1920’s.

Price:  $4.00           Size:  2 and 3/8 x 4 and 1/4″

We’re continuing a short couple theme, no names on the back of this one. I’m guessing the ’20s due to the cloche-style hat the woman is wearing, though it could have been earlier. Estimating dates from clothing, footwear and hairstyles can be really time-consuming, unless something specifically jumps out to pinpoint, or you’re already an expert or close-enough to one. Alas, I’m not. What was the moment? Obviously, he likes her, but she has that skeptical, “nobody’s fool” look. Nice porch columns displayed here – quite detailed and with that bit of gingerbread trim at the top.

Frank and Girlfriend, 1919

Old photo, 1919.

Availability Status:  SOLD                Size:  2 and 3/8 x 4 and 1/4″

Probably when I found this one (it was floating loose in a bin), I thought I’d be able to read the surname for Frank. Hmmm, no, not getting it. (My own scribble is just as bad.) But they’re a cute couple. (We’re on a short “couple theme” – a continuance of Valentine’s Day). At least, I think they’re a couple – no certainty there, either. But it’s a nice, “We were here….standing on this street….in the summer of 1919” photo. It would have been the summer after the end of the “Great War.” It’s a tree-lined residential road; you can see the utility pole and barely make out an old street lamp. There are train tracks, for a trolley one would guess, but we don’t notice any overhead cables, so maybe the tracks are a remnant from our horse-drawn car days, or maybe they’re old tracks, no longer used. That’s probably an old Model T in the distance (if you were betting you’d play those odds). Through the open wooden gate, we see a woman carrying something, potatoes maybe, on her way back from the garden or cellar storage.

The young woman in the photo – she’s beautiful, hair pulled up, appearing here in a long-sleeved white blouse with black cuffs (great style, yes, but think how practical that is) and in a striped, high-waisted skirt with big front pockets. Nothing fancy but it never needs to be. And Frank – he’s got that, “knows what he wants out of life” look. That direct gaze, a hint of sadness in the smile (did he lose an older brother in the war?), the confident, kind of brash stance, the backwards cap, that proprietary arm around his girl. We’re off with them, in spirit, just for a moment, to each of the many and wherever, those many possibilities led.

Sophia Jane (McIntosh) Blake, 1892

Cabinet Card, 1892. Photographer:  McIntosh & Allen. Gardiner, Maine.

Price:  $20.00               Size:  About 4 and 1/4 x 6 and 1/2″

An adorable expression…..

If the date on the back is accurate, Sophia would have been about fifty in this photo.

She has accessorized here with a brooch fixed to a white lace collar, matching earrings (though only one is visible) and that’s perhaps a lace or net-type fabric head covering with fabric rosettes making her hair look a bit shaggy. (It only adds to the charm.) I’m picturing her with a good sense of humor.

Details….

Sophia Jane McIntosh was born September 3, 1842 in Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine, daughter of George W. and Hannah (Bayer) McIntosh. She was twice married. First to George William Webber, March 25, 1858, whom she divorced in October 1867. They had two daughters, Sarah, born 1858 and Alice, born 1861. She married Jeremiah Curtis Blake July 31,1870. He was born in Maine, about November 1846, and from the 1900 Federal Census for Winthrop, Massachusetts, his occupation was policeman.

Find A Grave lists Sophia’s maiden name as MacIntosh, though other records, including her birth record and her parents’ marriage record show McIntosh. You’ll have noticed the photographer’s surname is the same – it appears he and Sophia were brother and sister. (Rather a nice find!) Sophia died August 22, 1926 in Winthrop, Massachusetts.

The photographers….

No reference was found for McIntosh & Allen, and nothing for Allen in Gardiner, or its county, Kennebec. (Turn your head sideways slightly to see catch the “&” sign!)

McIntosh was George F. McIntosh, born April 26, 1849, Hallowell, Maine; and as indicated above, son of George W. McIntosh and Hannah (Bayer) McIntosh, and sister of Sophia. He married Elizabeth Blanchard in 1872 and they had five children. Sometime between the 1870 and 1880 Federal Census’ he went into the photography business. It’s unclear whether he may have had more than one studio at a time; records show him in various cities and towns:  Hallowell, Gardiner, Augusta and Richmond Township, Maine; Laconia and Dover, New Hampshire and Lynn, Massachusetts. The 1920 census in Laconia lists him as retired, however, a Hallowell city directory in 1923 has him still working. He died June 2, 1931 in Hallowell.

One last note….

This cabinet card was found at the Cannery Row Antique Mall in Monterey, California. It’s unknown who may have given the 1892 card date and without knowing, one wonders if it’s exact or more of a guess, though the 1892 city directory does confirm Gardiner, Maine for George F. McIntosh, photographer. As for the address penciled on the back of the card:  15 Ingleside Avenue was in Winthrop, Mass on the 1910 census but was 5 Ingleside on the 1900. (Maybe an error on the earlier census or a renumbering situation on the later.)

Sources:  Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/124584840/sophia-jane-blake: accessed 28 November 2023), memorial page for Sophia Jane MacIntosh Blake (Sep 1842–22 Aug 1926), Find a Grave Memorial ID 124584840, citing Winthrop Cemetery, Winthrop, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA; Maintained by Bob McLellan (contributor 47824019).

Ancestry.com. Maine, U.S., Compiled Marriages for Belfast, Hallowell and Pittsdon, 1748-1875. 

Ancestry.com. Maine, U.S., Divorce Records, 1798-1891. 

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100617756/george-f-mcintosh: accessed 30 November 2023), memorial page for George F. McIntosh (1849–1931), Find a Grave Memorial ID 100617756, citing Hallowell Village Cemetery, Hallowell, Kennebec County, Maine, USA; Maintained by Maine 101 (contributor 47130320).

Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; Pre 1892 Delayed Returns; Roll Number: 73. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1870; Census Place: Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine; Roll: M593_546; Page: 325A. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine; Roll: 481; Family History Film: 1254481; Page: 277B; Enumeration District: 096. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Winthrop, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: 690; Page: 22; Enumeration District: 1577. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Winthrop, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T624_626; Page: 1a; Enumeration District: 1691; FHL microfilm: 1374639. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine; Roll: T625_643; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 61. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

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).

Ruins in Old Panama City

Old photo, white border. Circa 1931 – mid-1930’s.

Price:  $10.00        Size:  2 and 5/8 x 4 and 3/8″

This photo’s reverse shows,  “Castle in Old Panama City destroyed by Morgan the pirate.” It was year 1671 when the city was sacked by Morgan’s forces, as part of the Anglo-Spanish War, and perhaps “castle” is not quite the correct term – the Wikipedia entry has “cathedral.”  Morgan was Welsh-born privateer Henry Morgan who later became Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica.

Panama Viejo or Old Panama was the first permanent European settlement on the Pacific Ocean, and dates back to 1519. Today, located in the eastern suburbs of Panama City, it’s a major tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I was guessing 1920’s or early ’30’s for this photo but a couple of forum readers at the Antique Automobile Club of America narrowed it down for us. The car is a 1931 Chevy, so the photo’s ’31 through probably the mid-’30’s.

Sources:  Panamá Viejo. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panam%C3%A1_Viejo (accessed September 8, 2023).

“Old Car from the 1920’s or ’30’s. Help to i.d.” September 5, 2023. Antique Automobile Club of America. (https://forums.aaca.org/topic/403154-old-car-from-the-1920s-or-30s-help-to-id/#comment-2578340).

Henry Morgan. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Morgan (accessed September 8, 2023).