Col. Ellwood Waller Evans, US Army (1866-1917)

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English-born photographer George Richard Buffham (1846-1915) took this photograph of then Maj. Ellwood Waller Evans in the late 1890s.

Buffham and his brother J. H. Buffham may have been the  Buffham Bros. of the eponymous studio in Baltimore in the 1880s. They are found in Baltimore in the 1880 census listed as “picture dealers.”

George Buffham had moved to Annapolis by 1900, and worked there as a photographer at 48 Maryland Avenue until ca. 1910. Buffham may have been the US Naval Academy photographer around that time, when he took out advertisements seeking a managing partner for his Annapolis studio, and directed interested parties to write him at the academy.

Evans, who graduated from West Point in 1887, was a military instructor at St. Johns College in the late 1890s.  He began his career with the 8th Cavalry in Texas, South Dakota, and Montana. When the US went to war with Spain in 1898, Evans was chosen to help lead the 5th Regiment of the Maryland National Guard as the regiment was prepared for active duty, then moved to the 1st Regiment and accompanied them to Cuba, where he served from 1899 to 1902.

After Cuba, Evans served in Missouri, the Phillipines, and Nebraska. Evans then became commander of the First Squadron of the 10th Cavalry, an all-black corps, and led these soldiers with Pershing in the incursion into Mexico (Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young, Brian G. Shellum, University of Nebraska Press, 2010, pp. 248, 330).

By now a colonel, Evans died in Pueblo, Colorado on 24 July 1917. According to Evans’ Baltimore Sun obituary of 27 July 1917, the career soldier was serving as inspector-general of the Colorado National Guard at the time of his death.

The Pueblo Chieftain recorded the elaborate pageantry of his military funeral in its 29 July 1917 issue:

“The funeral procession of Colonel Evans was the most spectacular seen in Pueblo for many years, for while the service itself was simple,  the special escort of 800 soldiers, added a touch to the funeral procession which brought home to the hearts of many the seriousness of the present conflict.”

These soldiers, and the officer who accompanied Evans’ body back east, came from Peublo’s Camp Gunter. The camp, likely named for Colorado Gov. Julius Gunter, apparently served as a temporary encampment set up on the Pueblo Colorado fair grounds for the mustering of Colorado National Guard troops at the outbreak of World War I.

The Evans and Waller families had deep roots in Somerset and Worcester counties, Maryland.  Evans’ father, George Washington Evans (1841-1896), was born on his father’s farm on Smith Island. Capt. George W. Evans served during the Civil War in Company I of the 1st Eastern Shore Maryland Infantry, and made  the Army his career after the war ended (Historical Register of the United States Army, Francis Bernard Heitman, 1890, p. 258).

Ellwood’s great-grandfather, William Waller, served in Capt. James Foster’s Company of the 51st Regiment, Maryland Militia, in the 1812 war with the British, and Ellwood was a member of the Society of the War of 1812 on the basis of this ancestry.

His great-great-grandfather, Col. Peter Chaille of Snow Hill, Worcester County, served in the Revolutionary War with the 1st Battalion of the Worcester County, Maryland Militia. Col. Chaille was also a member of the Maryland Convention and the Maryland Lower House from 1777 to 1780.

George Buffham made frequent journeys back to England throughout the early years of the century, and it is possible that his brother and mother returned there permanently. Buffham and his wife may have also returned to England for good around 1910; a brief item in an Annapolis newspaper mentions an urgent trip back to England to attend his ill mother.

The photograph’s  5″ x 3-1/4″ white mount has a pebbled surface with embossed frame design, serrated edges and beveled, square corners, and is dated ca. 1900 by McCulloch. The image is a simple, vignetted bust portrait, perhaps  taken for his wife before he left Annapolis for Cuba in 1898.

Stereoview of Gunther Fountain, Eutaw Place, by William Chase

In an earlier post, I talked about the two fountains that wealthy residents purchased and installed in the parklike median of Eutaw Place.

The Centennial or “children’s” fountain, by far the most famous of the two, was installed after the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in the 1800 block of Eutaw Place.

This is the lesser known Gunther fountain. It was of bronze, about 18 feet tall, and stood in the grassy median of the 1400 block.

Prolific stereoview publisher William M. Chase sold this view of the Gunther fountain as part of his series “The Beautiful in Architecture and Landscape.” Orange mounts were employed after 1865. Stereoviews were given curved mounts after 1879. Since this photograph has a flat mount, it could have been created ca. 1865-1879.

The George Eastman House has a good collection of stereoviews, including about 100 by William Chase.

Thoughts about possible architects of the handsome residences behind the fountain? Please share them by leaving a comment.

Miss Gertrude G. Hooper and her Doll

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If the identification penciled on the back of this carte de visite is correct, this little girl is Gertrude G. Hooper (b. March 1869, Md.), daughter of Baltimore cotton manufacturer William John Hooper (1836-1911) and Emily Gladding Hooper (b. abt. 1838, Md.).

In 1874, the date given along with her name, Gertrude would have been about five years old. She was the granddaughter of cotton duck manufacturer William E. Hooper (1812-1885) who, with H. N. Gambrill, bought a Woodberry cotton mill in 1849.

In 1865, the men dissolved their partnership, Gambrill founding Druid Mills, and Hooper taking into partnership his sons, William J., Theodore, and James Hooper.

By the time of the elder Hooper’s death, William E. Hooper & Sons had expanded to include three more mills at Woodberry: the Park, Meadow, and the Clipper, and the Washington Mills at Mt. Washington.

According to the New York Tribune’s obituary, the Hooper firm was at that time one of the largest in its line in the country. The mills made use of the water power along Jones Falls, on the eastern border of Druid Hill Park. They closed permanently in 1961.

Today property developers are working to turn Clipper Mill, and the neighboring Poole and Hunt Foundry, into fashionable studios and offices.

Gertrude’s father William J. Hooper (1836-1911) also at that time owned the Baltimore Herald newspaper and another cotton mill in North Carolina. The family lived on Lafayette Avenue in 1880, at 1923 W. Lanvale Street in 1900, and then in 1910 at fashionable 1504 McCulloh Street between Druid Hill Avenue and Eutaw Place.

William J. Hooper is buried in Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore.

The reverse includes Daniel Bendann’ familiar coat of arms backmark. His “Galleries of Photography” were located at 26 N. Charles Street from 1874 to 1879.

Sailor in the Maryland Naval Militia, ca. 1915

This photo by Max J. Reissert was sent to me by my genealogy buddy and shirttail cousin, Janet Canapp. She found it in a family album and has been researching the photograph and uniform to get an idea of who it might be.

The young man is wearing what appears to be a ca. World War I naval uniform, with puttees, maybe made of canvas. Under a microscope, Janet says the initials on his cap are M N G. Maryland had a naval militia as part of its national guard, so our best guess is that the initials stand for “Maryland National Guard.”

The operator chose a rather incongruous garden motif for a background. The young sailor stands tall and smiling, clearly proud of his position. Note the base of the posing stand visible behind his feet.

Reissert’s studio had been occupied by Julius Hebbel ca. 1889-1904. Reissert and his wife are both listed as photographers on N. Gay Street in the 1910 census.

Born about 1867 in Germany, Reissert immigrated to the U.S. in 1897 and was still active as a photographer in 1930.

Inexplicable Woman with Fishing Pole

This cabinet card was taken in the studio of William Ashman, 17 West Lexington Street, Baltimore, between 1889 and 1904. Its white mount, blind embossed studio identification and elaborate sylvan background are consistent with the period.

The woman appears to be wearing some sort of seaside or bathing costume. She holds a fishing pole with one hand, and with her other hand, points to the fish (a prop, I hope) on the pole.

I haven’t been able to locate a similar costume. The 1890s bathing outfits I’ve found all have knee-length openings for the legs. Perhaps it was a stage costume?

According to the individual from whom I acquired this cabinet portrait,  the woman in the photograph probably belonged to two prominent Baltimore and Western Maryland families, the Wardwells and the Brundiges.

This is one of the Wardwell sisters, I believe,” she says. “I own many family photos, and this one came from a group of things from their large house in Baltimore that was torn down in the first decades of the 20th century to make way for row houses.” (private communication, August 2010)

Stripped of its context and without identification, this photo is difficult to interpret. An eccentric on a spree? An unidentified stage actress? Me in the late nineteenth century?

A. L. Rogers Trade Card

Albert L. Rogers (1853-1934) had a studio at 68 Lexington Street ca. 1882-1885. At 4″ by 2-1/2″, this trade card suggests a move toward the modern business card.

With its touches of gilt and delicate script address, Rogers’ card strives for elegance. Richard Walzl (see previous post), by contrast, chose a brightly colored card in a larger format, designed to catch the eye.

Rogers was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania in October 1853. According to Biographical Annals of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, Rogers learned photography at the age of 16 in his older brother Samuel G. Rogers’ Waynesburg, Pennsylvania studio.

According to the Annals sketch, Albert made a specialty of retouching, and worked in this and other capacities for Kuhn & Cummins and then Richard Walzl in Baltimore.

Rogers went into business for himself in  Baltimore in 1880.

In 1891, Albert bought Norval Busey’s studio at at 112 North Charles Street. By 1900, he and his wife, fellow photographer Elizabeth E. Jonas Rogers, had relocated to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. I found a ca. 1890s cabinet photograph by Rogers marked Carlisle and Chambersburg, and an 1889 cabinet card from Westminster, Maryland; he is also said to have had a studio in Hagerstown, Maryland for a time.

Albert and Samuel weren’t the only family members to go into the photography business. In all,  I have found evidence that three other siblings did the same: John H.(Waynesburg, Green Co., Pa.),  Thomas Wilson Rogers (Carmichaels, Green Co., Pa.), and Jessie Addison Rogers (Greensburg, Decatur Co., Indiana).

Elizabeth died in 1917, and Albert remarried a woman several decades younger, Louise McCann Rogers. They had two daughters, Marie and Helen.

He gave up the photography business to grow fruit trees between 1910 and 1920 to devote himself fully to his orchards.

Rogers and his two wives are buried in Norland Cemetery, Chambersburg, Franklin County, Pa. (Thanks go to Jim Houpt of the Franklin County Genweb for information about the deaths and burials of the Rogers.)

The Greene County Historical Society has a large digitized collection of photographs, many bearing the Rogers name.

Tweet Tweet, Mr. Walzl

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Baltimore photographer, publisher and entrepreneur Richard Walzl gave away this card when he moved his studio from  46 N. Charles Street to 405 W. Baltimore Street ca. 1881-1882. To get the word out, Walzl chose  a stock card featuring a colorful bird singing in a rose bush. This card is one of only two Baltimore photographers’ trade cards I have found.

Color Me Badly, Bendann

Even the renowned Bendanns could turn out bad work. I was fortunate to acquire two Bendann Brothers carte de visites of the same subject. One has been hand-tinted; one has not. The contrast is striking. Instead of animating nature, an unskilled hand has marred it.

These two cartes were produced at the Bendanns’ 205 W. Baltimore Street gallery, which, according to Ross Kelbaugh‘s Directory of Baltimore Photographers, the brothers occupied from 1859 to 1860.

Drawing the Line: Photography and Art

From the moment Daguerre produced his first pictures in the late 1830s, people have argued about the relationship of photography to art. “Artistic Photography” was a common line on photography studio advertising, often accompanied by some form of an image of an artist’s paint palette.

George Ayres’1878  articulation of the relationship of photography to art echoes the eighteenth century notion of art as nature perfected:

“While the camera produces nature truthfully–perhaps too much so for mortal vanity in general–the artist’s office is to impart life and color” (How to Paint Photographs, 22).

The goal, wrote Ayres, was the harmonious “union of the true and the beautiful” (How to Paint Photographs, 23). In this formulation, art and photography are not rivals but partners. Photographs reproduce nature, but artistic embellishment brings nature to life.

Many studios employed staff whose job was to add color to photographs. This could range from a subtle hint of rose to the lips to a full-scale reworking of the photo into a  drawing.

This carte de visite from the Cox & Ward studio is an excellent example of the latter treatment. Watercolors, pencil, and crayon (now known as pastels) have been used to alter the figure’s features until very little of the original photograph can be discerned.

The unidentified subject appears to be in evening dress. She wears her auburn hair in shining braids piled high on top of her head, with frizzed curls on the forehead, a style in keeping with 1870s fashion.  A cross on a black velvet ribbon draws attention to her creamy throat and shoulders.

Bringing out the black of the subject’s choker, the black card mount is gilt-edged to match the gilt type in which the studio name and address is printed.

William A. Cox operated a studio with a partner named Ward–possibly a jeweler named George W. Ward– from 1870 to 1881. Cox and his family also spent time in St. Augustine, Florida, where they are found in the 1885 Florida census. He may have located there permanently by 1900. A William A. Cox died in Broward County, Florida in 1915.

Bendann with Blind Emboss

This ca. 1860 carte de visite has an unusual  blind-embossed “Bendann” mark instead of the usual printed studio mark.

According to Baltimore photography historian Ross Kelbaugh, Daniel Bendann opened his own studio in Richmond, Virginia in 1856. In 1858, he worked as a photographer for the B & O Railroad. He and his brother, David Bendann, opened their Baltimore studio in 1859.

I have one other Baltimore card photograph with a blind-emboss studio mark:  A carte de visite by Henry Pollock. Blind-emboss may be an indication of an earlier date in the wet plate era.

Like some earlier cartes in my collection, including the Pollock, this Bendann cdv was made with austere props on a thin, ivory card stock without border lines.

His coat is shorter and more fitted than the the typical sack coat of the 1860s. He wears a matching vest and contrasting checked trousers. His necktie is worn vertically, in a soft knot at the neck–a style that seems to have been common in the 1870s.

Without additional information about how the Bendanns marked their early work and when the blind emboss mark was in use, is not possible to be sure  when  this carte was produced.