Old photo. Root Photography Studio, Chicago, Illinois. Circa 1907 – 1915.
Price: $30.00 Size: 4 and 9/16 x 6 and 3/8″
A portrait in profile of a beautiful young woman. Note the intricate hairstyle, the lace dress with small decorative bows and the pearl-like choker necklace. Estimating that she was around age 19 to 27 in this photo.
On the reverse, a will of sorts……
“Ada Clarice Atkins born Kansas City, Missouri [photo by Root, Chicago]. Henry J. Atkins wills to the above named daughter all real estate free from any indeptedness. And personal property; of every description in his posession, with no incumbrance: free from any claim, all real estate is held in joint tenacy or arranged for same. As also joint savings account in bank. H. J. Atkins, Jan 23rd 1943. 1253 West 37th drive, Los Angeles, Califa.”
Would the above have held up in court since there is no witness signature? I’m not sure what the law in California was in 1943. And it’s unusual to find this type of paragraph on the back of a photo. Interestingly, (and thankfully) Henry J. Atkins lived well past 1943, passing away in 1959, at the age of 94.
Ada was born in November of 1888, the daughter of Henry Atkins and Louise M. Bleitz. (Date of birth is from Find A Grave, though the place of birth listed there for Ada is Illinois, which has to be is incorrect, since all of Ada’s census records indicate Missouri, and of course, the info on the back of the photo, written by her father, states Kansas City, Missouri.) Ada never married and lived at the family home of her parents. She was an accomplished vocalist as evidenced in the following article appearing in the Los Angeles Evening Express:
The difference between a coloratura and a soprano, from the Study.com website, is as follows:
“A soprano is a singer with a high vocal range, but does not necessarily possess the ability to sing fast notes and passages with agility and ease. A coloratura soprano is a specific type of voice that contains the skills and virtuosity to sing difficult, rapid runs, trills, and arpeggios with great vocal dexterity.”
Root photographers or Root Studio – The photographer may have been William J. Root, who was prominent in Chicago. See pages 693-4 on W. J. Root appearing in an 1894 publication about Industrial Chicago.
Sources: Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/10849154/ada-clarisse-atkins: accessed 03 October 2022), memorial page for Ada Clarisse Atkins (9 Nov 1888–7 May 1974), Find a Grave Memorial ID 10849154, citing Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA; Maintained by GerbLady (contributor 46637511) .
Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/10849191/louise-m-atkins: accessed 03 October 2022), memorial page for Louise M. Bleitz Atkins (5 Mar 1865–23 Jan 1943), Find a Grave Memorial ID 10849191, citing Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California, USA; Maintained by GerbLady (contributor 46637511).
“Caruso Airs at Lincoln Park.” Los Angeles Evening Express. August 6, 1921. Saturday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).
Klein, Julianne. “Coloratura Soprano.” April 13, 2022. https://study.com/learn/lesson/coloratura-soprano-arias-technique.html (accessed October 3, 2022).
Industrial Chicago, Vol. 5. The Commercial Interests. (1894) “W. J. Root.” Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co. (Google Book search).