Monday, November 03, 2008

The Antique Photograph Album

While searching for descendants of Benjamin Kingman Curtis, I helped another descendant organize a small family reunion and dedication ceremony to place a new headstone on Benjamin's grave. The new stone was placed in honor of Benjamin's volunteer service in the Civil War. At the reunion/dedication I met several descendants who were new to me. One had brought some photocopies of pages from the antique photograph album. This all happened in June 2000. I ended up borrowing the album to make copies of all the pictures in the album. Posting the images on this blog is a small way to share them with others and preserve them for future generations. Please add comments about the people in the photos and the history behind the pictures as well.

Friend William Curtis 1890-1957

The first photograph in the antique Curtis family album was of Friend William Curtis, 1890-1957, son of Friend Charles Curtis & Mary Catherine Burrell. The photographer was Lewis & Son in Kaysville, Utah

Audeca Etta Brower

The third photograph in the antique album was of Audeca Etta Brower, wife of DeWilton Emory Curtis. The photographer was Frank D. Halsk, artist, place of business is unknown. Written on the back of the photo was "Friend of Mama's," meaning friend of Mary Lavantia Curtis (original owner of the antique album).

While attending a White family reunion in northern Utah, the descendants identified the person in this photo. Some of the descendants had a picture taken at her funeral of the flowers that adorned her casket. Among the flower was another copy of this exact same picture.

"Etta" was buried at the Preston City cemetery in Preston, Idaho. Her headstone is small and only says "Etta"

James Conroy Hobbs

The second photograph in the antique Curtis family album was of James Conroy Hobbs. James married Mary Lavantia Curtis, daughter of Benjamin Kingman Curtis and Sarah Lavantia Card. The photographer was Newcomb, 162 S. Main St., Salt Lake City, Utah.

Hugh Geddes

Hugh Geddes was a friend of Mary Lavantia Curtis, owner of the antique photograph album. This photo was the fourth one in the album. The photographer was H. H. Thomas whose studio was on Washington Ave., in Ogden, Utah.

Although living descendants of Mary, the original album owner, did not know anything more about Hugh, the following information was discovered in the 1900 US Federal Census:

In 1900 Hugh Geddes lived in Preston, Oneida, Idaho with his wife and children. He was born in July 1859 and was 40 years old at the time of the census. He was married in 1884 to Martena, who was listed as 35 years old during the census. They had six children: Estella E., Hugh L., Maud L., Moses P., Grant P., and Elva P. Hugh's parents were both born in Scotland. (See the 1900 US Federal Census, Preston, Oneida, Idaho; National Archives film #T623-234, page 8B)

It's very likely that this is the same person whose photograph ended up in the Curtis album because the Curtis family also lived in Preston, Idaho during the 1880s and 1890s.

Antique Photograph Album, image #5

We don't know anything about this person, other than he was a friend of Mary Lavantia Curtis. The photographer was Kirkland's Studio in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I've added this picture to the blog before, so view the comments on the picture by clicking on the label "family friend"

Cyrus Jerome Curtis

Antique Photograph Album, image #6. This is Cyrus Jerome Curtis, 1852-1922, son of Benjamin Kingman Curtis and Sarah Lavantia Card. There were two photographer's imprints on the back of this photograph: Cardon Art Gallery in Logan, Utah; and Portrait House in San Francisco, California. We assume that since the Curtis family was living in either Logan, Utah or Preston, Idaho during the time this photo was taken, that the original photographer was Cardon and that Portrait House reproduced the photograph.

Louise and Leversa

Antique Photograph Album, image #7. I've already added this picture to the blog, so I won't repeat the whole story behind the picture. I sure wish we knew who these girls were. Especially because the picture was taken in Grand Rapids, Michigan - the location where the Benjamin Kingman Curtis family used to live. The photographer was W. L. Beebe and G. H. Bailey, successors to Bayne in Grand Rapids. Written on the back of the photograph was "Louise and Leversa age 11 years May 30th 1890." I have already tried to find the identity of the girls by searching through the census records. The earliest census we might be able to find them in would be the 1880 and they would be about one year old when the census was taken. Since the 1890 census was burned, the next one to use is the 1900. By then, the girls would have been 21 years old. The hope of identifying who they are through census records is dependent upon finding them both listed in the same household. At 21 years, either one or both of the girls could have been married. Finding them in the 1880 census is a long shot, but very possible if the names written on the back of the photo were the same names written on the census. I'll keep looking, but if anyone knows anything about the two girls, please leave a comment on this blog.

Mr. Jones

Antique Photograph Album, image #8 - the only thing we know about this person is that his name was Mr. Jones and he was a friend. A friend of whom is unknown, but assume he was a friend of the Curtis family. The photograph was taken in Logan, Utah at the T. B. Cardon art gallery.

Mrs. Jones

Antique Photograph Album, image #9 - We can assume that this person is the wife of Mr. Jones, the eighth picture in the album. Written on both photographs was the word "friend" and we assume this meant that Mr. and Mrs. Jones were friends of the Curtis family. I wish we knew more about this couple and how they came to be friends with the Curtis family. Did the know each other in Michigan before the migrated to Utah? Were they neighbors?

C. Reed and M. A. Reed


Written on the back of the man's photo was C. Reed at 67, 1887. (Antique Photograph Album, image #10.)

The next photograph in the album was of a woman identified as M.A. Reed at 58, 1887 (Antique Photograph Album, image #11).

We assume C. and M.A. Reed were husband and wife, although no proof exists. Both photos were taken at 632 Kansas Ave., in Topeka, Kansas and the photographer was Snyder. They were friends of the Curtis family but no other information is known about them. We have no evidence that any of the Curtis family ever lived in Kansas, so we assume the Reed's lived there prior to their friendship with the Curtis family. The location where the Curtis and Reed families met is unknown, but we assume it was possibly in Utah, Idaho, or maybe Montana. The photographer for both pictures was T. B. Cardon, located in Logan, Utah.

The Reynolds family

This was the 13th page in the Curtis family antique photograph album. All the pages in the album were very similar in design. This picture was already added to this blog, so instead of adding it again, I chose to add the scanned image of the page itself. Neither the front or the back of the picture included a photographer's imprint so the name of the photographer or the place where the picture was taken is unknown. The family is that of George Robert Reynolds, his wife Sarah Ellenor Curtis, and their oldest child Leila Belle Reynolds.

Anna Feltstead

This image was the 15th in the antique photograph album. Her name was Anna Feltstead and she was a friend of Mary Lavantia Curtis, original owner of the antique photograph album. The photographer was the Cardon Art Gallery in Logan, Utah. The Cabinet Card image was mounted on a dark brown-black card with gold edges. The style of the card is the same style as the images on pages numbers 8, 9, 21, 25, and 27 in the antique album.

Alice

Antique Photograph Album, image #14. Written on the album page itself was the name "Alice". More writing exists on the page under the name, but the pencil has faded beyond the ability to read. A photographer's imprint was not on the cabinet card, so neither the name of the photographer nor the location where the photo was taken is known. We assume that Alice was a friend of Mary Lavantia Curtis, the original owner of the antique album.

Mary Lavantia Curtis

The 17th picture in the Curtis family antique photograph album was the original owner of the album. Mary Lavantia Curtis. Mary was the daughter of Benjamin Kingman Curtis and Sarah Lavantia Card. The Cabinet Card did not have a photographer's imprint, so the name of the photographer or the location where the photo was taken is unknown.

Florence Harland

Antique Photograph Album, image #16. This picture is identified as Florence Harland, a friend of Mary Lavantia Curtis. The photographer was D. Lewis Bon Marche Photo Gallery in Logan, Utah

Steward Card

Antique Photograph Album, image #19. The child's name is Steward Card. The photographer's imprint said Morris & Co., 64 West 2nd South Street, Salt Lake City. We assume Steward was related to Willie Card (image #18).

Willie Card

Antique Photograph Album, image #18. The child's name is Willie Card. The photographer's imprint said Morris & Co., 64 West 2nd South Street, Salt Lake City. I am not sure where this child fits into the family, but assume it's through one of the siblings of Sarah Lavantia Card, wife of Benjamin Kingman Curtis. Sarah was the youngest child in her family, with five brothers and five sisters. Her parents were William Fuller Card and Sarah Sabin. Children:
Caroline Card, 1812-abt 1846
Cyrus William Card, 1814-1900
Elizabeth Cady Card, 1816-1842
Charlotte Cellissa Card, 1818-1848
Charles Ora Card, 1820-1835
DeWilton Bradley Card, 1822-1831
David Miller Card, 1823-1843
Mary Ann Card, 1826-1850
William H. Card, 1828-abt 1847
Louisa Jane Card, 1830-abt 1850
Sarah Lavantia Card 1832-1890

Leila Belle Reynolds





This Cabinet Card was the 22nd picture in the Curtis family antique photograph album. The clues on this photograph solved a research problem that was more than fifty years old. We did not know where her parents were married, where they lived, or even if they had children. The photographers imprint on the bottom of the photograph solved the case. We had no idea that they left Idaho and went to Minnesota, but with this clue I was able to find their marriage record and the record of this child's birth. Her name was Leila Belle Reynolds.

Clyde, Cora, Bell, and Bennie Curtis

Antique Photograph Album, image #21 - Written on the back of this Cabinet Card was, "Children of Grandma's brother Charlie (Joe)" and "For Em" and also "Uncle Joe Curtis children." The father of the children was Oscar Benjamin Curtis and the mother was Esther Mary Thompson.

I don't know where this photograph was taken because a photographer's imprint was not on the front or back. The overall style of this Cabinet Card was the same as many others in the Curtis antique family album.

Note that the baby in this picture is the same child as the one in picture #36 and written on picture #36 was the name Cora Curtis. The child was wearing the same dress and was seated in the same chair in both pictures. I believe the child was misidentified on picture 36 and should have been identified as Benjamin W. Curtis, the youngest child in the family at the time this photograph was taken:


1. Munson Clyde, 1884-1949 (far right)
2. Cora Lavantia, 1885-1912 (far left)
3. Minnie Belle, 1887-? (seated on the right)
4. Benjamin W., 1888- (seated on the left)
5. Mary L., ?-?
6. Lyman Card, 1890-1961
7. Sherman James, 1892-1970
8. Fredrick Dubois, 1894-1972
9. Ruth Ester, 1896-1896

George Leslie Curtis family

Antique Photograph Album, image #20 The children in this photograph were identified as "George, Leo, and Harvey Curtis - grandma's brother George's boys." Details of this family include the father, George Leslie Curtis and mother Emily Faith Ash. Their children were:

George Cleveland Curtis, 1884-1955
Leslie Leo Curtis, 1886-1949
Harvey Benjamin Curtis, 1888-1956
Sophia Curtis, 1890-1890
Cora Emily Curtis, 1898-1901

James Conroy Hobbs

Antique Photograph Album, image #23. James Conroy Hobbs was married to Mary Lavantia Curtis, original owner of the antique photograph album. The photographer was A. Lang in Logan, Utah. The original picture was heavily stained, both front and back.

James Conroy Hobbs and others

The 24th image in the antique album was labeled:

"The  Bum's Quartette"

The significance of the name for this group of men is unknown. From left to right is James Conroy Hobbs, Andrew Nash, Joe Morrison, and Tom Parkinson

William Rushmer Curtis

This is my great-grandfather. His name was William Rushmer Curtis, son of Benjamin Kingman Curtis and Sarah Lavantia Card. His sister, Mary was the original owner of the antique photo album and this Cabinet Card was the 25th photograph in the album.

William was married to Ella May Canfield and they had twelve children.

Herbert Jonathan Porter

Antique Photograph Album, image #26. This is Herbert Jonathan Porter, husband of Cora Belle Curtis. Herbert and Cora were married 4 October 1879 in Cedar Springs, Kent Co., Michigan. They did not have any children. Cora died on 13 August 1932. Herbert was known as Uncle Hub. He died 23 May 1940. Both were buried at the Odd Fellow's Cemetery on Whittier Blvd. in Los Angeles, California. The photographer was Newcomb at the Opera House Block in Ogden, Utah.

Barbara Strauser and husband


Antique Photograph Album, image #27. Another friend of the Curtis family, Barbara Strauser and her husband. This Cabinet Card was created by the Cardon Art Gallery in Logan, Utah. Several photographs in this antique album were produced by Cardon Art Gallery. This picture was mounted on a dark brown-black card with gold edges. The prop in the picture is the same prop that appears in several other pictures in the album.

Wilford Hobbs - Antique Photograph Album, image #28

The photographer was J. T. Scott and the studio was located in Cardston, Alta, Canada. The writing on the album page was very faint, but appeared to be Wilford Hobbs. Since the name was on the page and not on the photograph, it's possible this child was someone other than Wilford Hobbs. Although the Curtis family married into the Hobbs family, the identify of Wilford Hobbs, his parents or siblings, remains unknown.

George, Leo, and Harvey Curtis

Antique Photograph Album, image #29 - No photographer's imprint. Cabinet card was dark brown/black with gold edges. The same chair and background was also found in several other pictures in this collection. Note that there appears to be the skirt of a dress behind the chair. It's likely the mother of the baby is helping the child to sit up for the photograph. The baby's name was Harvey Benjamin, and he was about 6 to 9 months old at the time this photograph was taken. This would date the photo to about 1889. Parents of the children were, George Leslie Curtis (son of Benjamin Kingman Curtis) and Emily Faith Ash. This couple had five children, the first three are pictured in this photograph:

1. George Cleveland Curtis, 1884-1955 (standing on the left)
2. Leslie Leo Curtis, 1886-1949 (standing on the right)
3. Harvey Benjamin Curtis, 1888-1956 (seated on the chair)
4. Sophia Curtis, 1890-1890
5. Cora Emily Curtis, 1898-1901

Mary Lavantia Curtis

Mary Lavantia Curtis, original owner of the Antique Photograph Album, image #30. This was the last Cabinet Card in the album. The photographer was A. Lang in Logan, Utah. The picture was heavily stained. The only thing written on the album page or the album was "Mama at 21 years." Mary's descendants, and owners of the album today, identified her. The remaining pages held four pictures per page.

Antique Photograph Album, image #31

I wish that I knew who this person was!!!

The photographer was Dr. H. Baker in Coldwater, Michigan. The card was cream color with a gold double border and rounded corners. This was the first carte de visite style photograph in the album. There were four carte de visite pictures per page.

The Curtis family lived in Michigan for many years before migrating to Utah, Idaho, and Montana. Since the family lived in Michigan at one time, this person could be a friend or relative.

We need to try and date the picture based upon the clothing and also the dates that the photographer had his business open in Coldwater.

Antique Photograph Album, image #34

Unknown, but assume this child is a girl because she is holding a doll. She is wearing high-top laced shoes. The carte de visite style photograph was a dark tan card with rounded edges and a single gold border surrounding the photograph. The photographer was Thos. B. Cardon in Logan, Utah

Antique Photograph Album, image #32

This couple looks like they could be really important to the Curtis family history. I sure wish that I knew who they were!!!

The photographer's imprint was: L. W. Schellhous, in Cold Water, Michigan.

This was a carte de visite style picture, cream card and a gold double border.

The album did not have a picture in the 33rd slot, so the next one posted to this blog is picture #34

Antique Photograph Album, image #36


The name Cora Curtis was written on the album page, not the photograph. The card was the carte de visite style, light cream with rounded corners. No photographer's imprint was on the front or back of the card, so we do not know who took the picture or where, but comparing the child's clothing and other details in the picture with other pictures in this family album will give more clues about the identity of this child. As noted in another blog entry for this picture, I believe this child was mis-identified in the family album. Please click on the Tag "Cora Lavantia Curtis" or "Benjamin W. Curtis" below to see all the blog posts related to the identification of this child.

Antique Photograph Album, image #35

The name "Leo Curtis" was written on the album page, not the photograph. The carte de visite style card was dark brown/black with gold edges. The chair the child was seated in is the same chair seen in several other photographs in this Curtis family album. The photographer was the Cardon Art Gallery in Logan, Utah, T. B. Cardon, Prop'r.

Antique Photograph Album, image #37


The name of this child was unknown until the album page was scanned, enlarged, and more contrast added. On the page was written "Mabel Chatterley, cousin."

Unfortunately, we do not know anything more about this "cousin." The Chatterley name does not appear in any of our Curtis family records - at least not yet. Perhaps after more research into the collateral family lines on our Curtis family we will discover exactly how this child fits into our family tree.

The photographer was Barrows at 55 West Bridge St., Grand Rapids, Michigan. The carte de visite style card was light cream with rounded corners. Just knowing that this photograph was taken in Grand Rapids, Michigan offers hope that more records and extended family members to our Curtis family will soon be found.

Baby of John H___t in Logan, Utah

On the album page was written, "Baby of John H___t" neighbor baby. The writing on the album page could only be read after scanning, adding contrast, and zooming twice the normal size. No other information is known about the child or his parents.

The photographer was David Lewis, a photographic artist in Logan, Utah. The card was cream colored with a gold 1/8" edging on the top of the card, not the outside edge. The photograph was the 38th item in the album.

Unknown child, Antique Photograph Album, image #39

Unfortunately, no identifying information was written on the photograph or the album page.

The photographic artist was David Lewis, of Logan, Utah. The card was cream color with a gold 1/8" edge on the top and round corners.

George Cleveland Curtis


The 40th picture in the Antique Photograph album was a child named George Curtis. The photographic artist was David Lewis, whose studio was in Logan, Utah. The photo was mounted on a cream color carte de visite style card, with a gold 1/8" edge on top and rounded corners.




Antique Photograph Album, image #41

Another unknown identification. This one is tragic because the photographer's studio was in Three Rivers, Michigan. Three Rivers was in St. Joseph county, the same place where Benjamin Kingman Curtis and Sarah Lavantia Card were married. Sarah's father and several of her siblings also died in St. Joseph county. Sarah also had siblings who were married with children of their own, so this photo could easily be one of Sarah's niece's.

The photographer was Udell, whose studio was located in Three Rivers, Michigan. The carte de visite style card had rounded corners.

We might be able to date this picture based upon the time period that Udell had his studio in Three Rivers, also the child's clothing and the carte de visite style photograph history.

Antique Photograph Album, image #43


Who is this man?
Was he a friend or family member?

This carte de visite picture was taken at the Jackson's Photograph Rooms on 38 Canal Street, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Curtis family lived in the Grand Rapids area for about twenty years, from the 1860s to the 1880s.

Antique Photograph Album, image #42


This carte de visite photograph is a tragic mystery because it was taken in Brockport, Monroe Co., New York. Any picture taken in New York and part of the Curtis family album could easily be a clue to the names of Benjamin Kingman Curtis' parents and siblings.

Antique Photograph Album, image #44

This is the second carte de visite photograph in the Curtis family album that was taken at the Jackson's Photograph Studio in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The name of this man is unknown, but he is younger than the man in the other photo that was also taken at Jackson's.

Antique Photograph Album, image #46



On the album page was written "friend" but her name is unknown. The rose color in her cheeks were hand colored. This carte de visite photograph did not have an imprint on either the front or back, so the locality where the photo was taken is unknown.

Antique Photograph Album, image #45

The word "friend" was written on the album page and on the back of this carte de visite photograph was written David Spelsbury of Toquerville, Kane Co., Utah. No photographer's imprint was on the photo and the place where the photo was taken is unknown.

Sarah Jane Card and Charles Ora Card


Sarah Jane Card (1870- ) and 
Charles Ora Card (1873-1930)

Children of Charles Ora Card (1839-1906) and Sarah Jane (Sally) Beirdneau (1850-1926). 

A carte de visite photograph taken about 1885 in Logan, Utah by T. B. Cardin. This was the 47th photo in the Curtis family album.

Joseph Rolins


A carte de visite photograph taken by David Neilson, unknown location. This was the 48th photograph in the antique Curtis family album.

The name written on the back of the photograph was Joseph Rolins. How Joseph knew the Curtis family is unknown.

Antique Photograph Album, image #49


We do not know who this person was, but some have thought he looks like Brigham Young.

The carte de visite photograph was taken at T. B. Cardon & Bros. in Logan City, Utah

Annie Werner


Annie Werner, a friend of Mama's.

We assume Mama was in reference to Mary Lavantia Curtis, the original owner of the Curtis family photograph album. 

The photo was taken by J.O. Stephens in Ogden, Utah and was the 50th picture in the album.

No other information is known about Annie.

Oscar Benjamin Curtis or Will Card


The name Will Card was written on the album page, not on the photograph itself. A cousin had a similar photo with "My Father" written on the back; the photo originally belonged to Belle Curtis whose father was Oscar Benjamin Curtis (1858-1921).

The two photos were taken a different times and places, but the men look exactly alike.

This photo was taken by Van Buskirk, place unknown and was the 51st photo in the Curtis family album.

Please add a comment if you have other details that would help identify this person.

Antique Photograph Album, image #52


This was the very last photograph in the Curtis family album, the 52nd picture!

The photographer was Mrs. Fannie Hoyt, whose business was located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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