Carte de visite of Addie Bogle by Stanton & Butler, Baltimore, Md.
Reverse of carte de visite portrait of Addie Bogle.
The ebayer I bought this 1860s Stanton & Butler carte de visite from thought the surname was Boyle, but that “y” looked much more like a “g” to me, and so I set out to find an Adelaide Bogle who might have lived in Maryland and passed through Baltimore in the 1860s.
I promptly came across a good candidate: Adelaide Ann “Nannie” Bogle (1847-1917), daughter of South Carolina artist Robert Bogle (1817-1865) and Rosalie Adelaide Ann (Bailey) Bogle (1828-1896).
Census records show that the Bogles lived in a number of locations that could have sent them through Baltimore between 1850 and 1880, including Anne Arundel County, Georgetown, outside Washington, DC, and Edesville, in Kent County, Maryland.
According to Kelbaugh’s Directory of Maryland Photographers,Stanton & Butler operated at Fayette and Charles streets between 1864 and 1871. This time frame seems to fit the age and dress of our subject, who would have been about 20 years old in 1867.
I don’t know enough to judge more than roughly about clothing, but her hair, especially, seems to indicate an 1860s date. She wears it, either crimped or naturally wavy, drawn back behind her ears and gathered low on her neck, possibly in a net.
Later women’s hair fashions moved to up-does with “love locks,” false hair pieces, and then frizzed bangs.
Addie’s hair style shows off black glass or jet earrings that match a small black cross worn as a pendant, perhaps as mourning jewelry worn following the passing of her father in 1865.
Addie’s father was twin to the better-known Carolinas artist James Bogle (1871-1873). The National Academy of Design has several of James Bogle’s portraits in its collection, and others are likely scattered throughout the eastern seaboard, in public and private collections.
In 1884, Addie married Dr.James LaRoche Beckett of Johns Island, Charleston County, South Carolina. They had one son in 1890, James Augustine Young Beckett. Later they moved to Eufaula, Alabama, where Dr. Beckett died in 1910.
Dr. Beckett’s ancestry leads back to the colonial roots of slave-holding Johsn Island and Edisto Island, and include surnames such as Seabrook, LaRoche, and Murray.
Before her marriage, Addie Bogle and her siblings appear to have spent a good deal of their time in the Edesville area of Kent County, Maryland.
Addie’s brother Robert Bogle (1845-1905) farmed there; the youngest of the Bogle children, Newton S. Bogle (1863-1918) was postmaster and storekeeper on what is still known as Bogle’s Wharf on Eastern Neck Island, once a busy steamer stop on the Chester River. The area is now part of the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge.
According to the Archives of Ontario, Canada, Eldridge Stanton was born 7 March 1834 in Cobourg, Ontario and educated at Victoria University. In 1871, he sold his part of Stanton & Butler in Baltimore and returned to Toronto, where he practiced professional photography in several locations.
Stanton served as president of the Photographic Association of Canada in 1887-1888. He died in Toronto in 1907 and is buried in St. James Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario.
The Butler brothers, Joseph and Samuel, were also Canadians who operated a photography business in Baltimore, but I have not been able to find anything more about them beyond the 1870 census. They are listed as “Butler Brothers” in the photographers’ section of Woods Baltimore Business Directory for 1868-1869.
People who research family history take different stances regarding the buying and selling of orphaned family photographs. Some refuse to buy them on principle; some take even more militant stances, engaging in small acts of illicit resistance.
You can condemn these sales as unseemly, but the reality is that without the trade in vintage photographs, most orphaned family photos would end up in the trash after more valued possessions are sold in estate sales.
So, I rescue what I can afford to, make family trees for the families on ancestry.com, and post the photos to the trees and to other sites like findagrave.com. At least this way, family structures are preserved on the web, and descendants have some chance of discovering their ancestors’ images. Ultimately, most of what I collect will go to archives and historical groups in Maryland.
This month, I dug into my frayed pockets to rescue an identified collection of about 20 vintage photographs from the early 1900s. All the individuals lived in Baltimore and Catonsville, Maryland, and are related to German immigrant John G. Schwartz (1847-1924) and his wife Anna H. Schlerf (b. abt. 1858, Baltimore, Md.).
Surnames of identifications inked on these photos, in addition to Schwartz, are Apy, Lemmerman, Schlerf, and Houff. Baltimore studios represented include J. H. Schaefer (John Henry Schaefer), Ernst Rudolph, Perkins (Harry Lenfield Perkins), and Russell (Mrs. Dora C. Russell).
I chose to start with this oversized (6″x8″) J. H. Schaefer cabinet card photograph because, despite its condition, this portrait represents the core of the Schwartz family:
Seated, center: John G. Schwartz and his wife Anna C. Schlerf; to their right, Edna F. M. Schwartz (1893-1975); to their left, Anna D. Schwartz (1880-1963).
Standing, left to right, are John and Anna’s three sons: George H. Schwartz (1886-1968) Walter H. Schwartz (1883-1965), and John F. Schwartz (b. abt. 1881).
Here is what I’ve been able to learn about John G. Schwartz.
He was born in an as-yet-unidentified part of Germany. The earliest census record for him I’ve found is 1880, when he married and listed as a “feed dealer.”
In 1900, he identified himself as a grocer, and the census-taker recorded his year of immigration as 1856. The family lived on North Schroeder Street.
Sometime between 1900 and 1910, the family moved to 520 N. Fulton Avenue, an area of three story, two- and three-bay Italianate row houses.
According to his Baltimore SUN obituary, John G. Schwartz “for the last 50 years conducted a stall in Lexington Market. He was one of the pioneers in its development.” He was said to have among his living relations a sister, Mrs. Caroline Mable, and a brother, Frederick Schwartz. John was a member of St. Paul’s “German Evangelical Lutheran Church,” and was buried in their cemetery in a neighborhood called Violetville.
The Violetville St. Paul’s Cemetery is located at 1022 Joh Avenue in Baltimore, across from what is now Violetville United Methodist Church. It’s here that I believe he is buried. The graves of his two daughters, Anna Schwartz and Edna Schwartz, have already been located there by diligent volunteers. I am hopeful his and his wife’s graves will eventually be located nearby.
The photographer, John H. Schaefer (1830-1921), was born in Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, and belonged to the same church as the Schwartz family. He is buried in the older St. Paul’s Cemetery.
This older St. Paul’s Cemetery is located adjacent to the grounds of Druid Hill Park. It’s also known as “Martini’s St. Paul’s Cemetery,” or “St. Paul’s Cemetery Druid Hill Park,” and has been the focus of substantial restoration efforts.
The card mount on this photograph is blind embossed “J. H. Schaefer and Son,” so this must have been taken after Schaefer’s son, John William Schaefer, joined the business. The address, unfortunately, has been lost with the disintegration of the mount, but based on the appearance of the children, I’m guessing the family sat for this portrait around 1905.
The Schwartz family is posed perfectly conventionally and perfectly harmoniously: elders at the center, flanked by their two daughters, and backed by their three grown sons. It’s a photograph that speaks of family success, both professional and personal. Only Walter’s slight scowl, echoing his father’s stern stare, hints at the emotional life beneath this perfect image of middle class respectability.
Dr. Robert Lewis Annan (1831-1907) was the son of Dr. Andrew Annan and Elizabeth (Motter) Annan. He was descended from Rev. Robert Annan (1742-1819), a Presbyterian minister who came to the American colonies from Scotland before the Revolution and became an ardent patriot.
Andrew Annan came to the Emmitsburg area in 1805. The Annans were merchants, organizers of community endeavors such as the Emmitsburg Water Company, and, with the Horners, founders of the Annan & Horner Bank.
The family faded from Emmitsburg life after the scandal, prosecutions, and seizures of property stemming from the downfall of their bank in 1922.
Robert Lewis Annan attended Washington and Jefferson College near Pittsburgh, Pa., then studied medicine at the University of the City of New York, graduating with an M. D. in 1855. He returned to Emmitsburg and practiced medicine there for the rest of his life. He was married twice: first to Alice Columbia Motter, who died in 1878, and then to Hessie Birnie. They lived in a large brick house adjoining that of his brother, Isaac Annan, in the center of Emmitsburg.
Franklin F. Kuhn (b. abt. 1830, Md.) partnered with James S. Cummins (1841-1895) as Kuhn & Cummins ca. 1874-1880, according to Kelbaugh’s Directory of Maryland Photographers1839-1900. From 1882 to 1886, Kuhn partnered with John Philip Blessing in the Baltimore firm Blessing & Kuhn–this is reflected in the 1883, 1884 and 1885 Baltimore city directories. In the 1886 Woods’ Baltimore Directory, Kuhn is absent, and the name becomes Blessing & Co., at the same address–46 N. Charles Street.
Much more is known about Cummins and Blessing than Kuhn, and as I researched this photograph, I found my interest in Franklin Kuhn overshadowing the portrait’s subject.
Kuhn worked as a photographer in Atlanta, Ga. after and perhaps during the Civil War. His name appears on 1866 tax lists and 1867 voter rolls for Atlanta, and a Franklin Kuhn, born in Maryland, took the oath of allegiance in Fulton County, Ga. in 1867. In 1870, he appears in the Federal Census in Atlanta as a photographer, married, with a daughter, Sarah E. Kuhn, born in Georgia about 1867.
I found on Flickr a set of vintage photographs taken at F. Kuhn’s Pioneer Gallery, 290 White Hall Street, Atlanta, and I think this is probably Franklin Kuhn. A search for this gallery name brings up a smattering of photographs, all in carte de visite format. Subjects are clearly dressed in 1860s styles or Civil War uniforms.
An advertisement for “Kuhn’s Photograph Gallery,” at “new” No. 19 Whitehall Street, appears in the 1870 directory for Atlanta. In 1871, he was advertising as “Kuhn & Smith,” “up stairs, 27 Whitehall street.” His name does not appear in the 1872 directory; Smith appears now as “Smith & Motes” at 27 Whitehall Street.
An 1873 Baltimore directory lists a Frank Kuhn, photographer, at 48 N. Charles, so it appears that ca. 1872-1873, he moved his family back to Baltimore, and they are in Baltimore in the 1880 federal census.
I found a record of a Franklin Kuhn who served with Company K of the 15th Michigan Infantry and, intriguingly, mustered out at Jonesboro, Georgia, about 20 miles south of Atlanta, in 1864. Could this have been Frank Kuhn the photographer?
Franklin F. Kuhn surfaces in 1866, then disappears from records after 1885. Where was he born? Who were his parents? Where was he before the Civil War? Why did he go to Atlanta? What took him back to Baltimore after 1870? Where and when did he die? I am troubled by a nagging enigma that Dr. Annan, or any number of Maryland doctors, can’t cure.
On first reacquainting myself with Baltimore and environs some years ago, one thing that impressed me was the refreshingly utilitarian method of naming roads. Near my grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ homes runs Philadelphia Road, which I prefer to call “the” Philadelphia Road–because that’s exactly what it was–the road to Philadelphia.
Recently I found myself taking a metaphorical trip up the Philadelphia Road to explore the family ties of Mrs. Florence Fisher Webb West. After acquiring a cabinet card identified as Mrs. Frank West by the Russell & Co. studio, No. 5 North Charles Street, Baltimore, I became increasingly interested in a collection of related family photos, mostly taken in Philadelphia.
Florence Fisher Webb was born in Philadelphia about 1871 to bookkeeper Samuel Webb (1842-1932) and Maria Christiana (Dunnott) Webb (1845-1928). Florence spent at least part of her childhood in the Philadelphia household of her aunt and uncle, Eliza Dunnott Gibson and bookbinder George Gibson.
Florence’s middle name honors her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Fisher Dunott (1824-1897). The Dunott family appears to have originated in Delaware, while the Webbs go far back in Philadelphia. Florence’s grandfather, John Webb, went to sea as a youth, served with the city militia during the nativist riots of 1844, and prospered as a hotel owner.
Florence married hardware salesman Frank West in 1897, son of Emma and Edwin West (1844-1909), an English-born bank clerk. Florence and Frank had one child, Jack Edwin West, born in 1899. Frank does not appear to have done particularly well financially. At first they lived with her parents at 1706 N. Sydenham Street, a neighborhood of three-story, two-bay Italianate row houses near what is now Temple University. In 1910 he gave his occupation as manufacturer of garters. In 1920 he was a “sanitary engineer” at an ordnance depot in Salem County, New Jersey.
1930 found Florence a widow. She and her son were again living with her parents on Sydenham Street in Philadelphia. After that, the trail goes cold. I know she was alive in 1932, because I found a record of invoices sent to her for the funeral and grave for her father with that date, addressed to her at 1706 N. Sydenham Street. That is the last trace of Florence Fisher Webb West.
Her son Jack lived alone in 1940, and gave his occupation at salesman in a sporting goods store. I learned that he served in the Army during World War II, but not what became of him afterwards.
I have another Russell & Co. portrait of Florence’s mother Maria, possibly taken during the same period. But what drew them to Baltimore? I still don’t know.
Part of the excitement and frustration of collecting vintage photographs lies in unraveling puzzles from the past. By now I’ve had some experience tracking down long-ago graduates of Baltimore medical and dental programs, and even a group of nurses from Western Maryland Hospital, but Frances P. Toulmin was my first Baltimore nurse.
Despite the presence of an inscription, several challenges presented themselves. One was the unusual last name. At first I looked for Tomlinson, but the ones I found didn’t fit the 1890s time frame of the cabinet card style. And what did the initials “J. H. H. ’92” mean?
Finally a brainstorm: Johns Hopkins Hospital 1892. I quickly found a June 1892 Baltimore Sun account of the commencement ceremonies for the second graduating class of trained nurses from the newly established Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing.
Among the graduates: Frances, or “Fannie,” Priestley Toulmin.
The two-year course of study had just been established at the new Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1889. Eighteen graduated in 1891, and Frances was among the second group of 21 to complete the curriculum successfully.
Success was by no means a given. The principle of the program was that “the School should form an organic part of the hospital and be fully identified with its work” (Ethel Johns and Blanche Pfefferkorn, The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, 1889-1949, Baltimore, Md.: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1954, p. 59).
Less a course of study than a trial by fire, the program immediately put the untrained young women to work on the often crowded wards. The students worked 12-hour shifts, both day and night, caring for patients with everything from typhoid to mania.
In addition, the students attended lectures and demonstrations given by the program’s head, Isabel Hampton, its cooking instructor Mary A. Boland, and its pioneering doctors, including William Osler, Henry M. Hurd, William Welch, and Howard A. Kelly.
The young women went on Dr. Osler’s rounds along with the young assistant physicians. They prepared for district nursing and private nursing as well as for working in hospital wards and surgical theaters. And they sewed their own uniforms: blue dress and cuffs, white apron, cap, and collar.
The Hopkins nursing program was modeled on the work of Florence Nightingale in Europe, particularly St. Thomas’s hospital in London, and the Bellevue Hospital training school in New York.
Ethel Johns and Blanche Pfefferkorn recount Dr. Billings’ recommendations for the Hopkins program’s organization. A picture arises of the nurse as a sort of magical Mary Poppins-like figure:
” ‘ Miss Nightingale’s views as to female nurses . . . are well known. By this school it is held that female nurses should be as far as possible, refined, educated women, fitted to move in good society–who should be thoroughly trained in everything pertaining to the management of the sick–from the washing of bedpans to the regulation of temperature and ventilation and the noting of symptoms for the physician–who should be good cooks and seamstresses–gentlewomen also, thoroughly kind-hearted, yet with firmness and decision, and power of control of unruly patients. They should know as much as the surgeon about the dressing of wounds and as much as the physician about the meaning of symptoms–yet they must have no tendency to become medical women or to set up their own opinions in practice. They must, of course, be of unspotted morals and chastity.’ “(Nursing, p. 13)
Although the work was so unrelenting that it broke some women’s health, according to the accounts of some early graduates, the nurses were happy. Their specially-built quarters were comfortable, airy and commodious, the food was simple but nourishing, and they were encouraged, as time allowed, to take advantage of the cultural opportunities of the city.
Fannie Toulmin’s pride and happiness shine clearly in her portrait, which may have been taken as a memento of graduation.
But of her previous life and subsequent career, little is known. The daughter of Alabaman US Army Captain Harry Toulmin (1819-1870) and Frances Priestley Biddle (1829-1916), Fannie Toulmin grew up in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, and, possibly, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where her brothers Priestley and Harry attended Lehigh University–Priestley, to become a mining engineer, and Harry, to prepare to enter the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school.
On her father’s side she was descended from the great early federal judge Harry Toulmin (1766-1823), and on her mother’s from the scientist and Unitarian pioneer Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) and from attorney James Biddle (1731-1797), an early Philadelphia settler who served with the Continental Army during the Revolution.
The Priestley and Toulmin families were not unknown to each other. Like Priestley, Judge Harry Toulmin was an early Unitarian leader, and had been a minister in England. Judge Toulmin’s sister, Lucinda Toulmin, was the second wife of Frances’ maternal great-grandfather, Joseph Priestley’s eldest son (G. H. Toulmin, A Catalogue of Toulmins, vol. 1, 1996, pp. 126-127).
Frances entered the Hopkins nursing program while her brother Harry was serving there as an intern, and one of her two letters of reference for the nursing program was written by Harry. But I have been able to find little about whether, or where, she worked as a nurse after completing her training.
While living in Baltimore, she attended First Unitarian Church, also known as Christ Church, Charles and Franklin streets; its pastor, Charles R. Weld, wrote Fannie’s second letter of reference for the nursing program. Rev. Weld describes her as “a teacher in one of my schools & highly esteemed for her efficiency, as well as for the graces of a Christian character.”
She does not reappear in any records I’ve found until 1910. In the 1910 census, she was listed, without employment, in the household of her now-married and well-established brother Harry in Haverford, Pa.
Harry, an avid golfer who ran track and played tennis at Lehigh University, had married Bertha Louise Townsend, the tennis champion daughter of well-to-do Philadelphia attorney Henry Clay Townsend. H.C. Townsend was founding counsel to the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company; Harry Toulmin rose to become Penn Mutual’s Resident Medical Director as well as a company vice-president.
While Harry and Bertha and their daughters, Marian and Frances, featured often in the Philadelphia society pages, and participated enthusiastically in Haverford’s exclusive Merion Cricket Club,Frances P. Toulmin appears but once in the Philadelphia Inquirer as a chaperone at an event for her neices.
In 1920, Frances was living on her own in an apartment on Montgomery Avenue in Bryn Mawr, near the college. An item in the nursing program’s alumnae association bulletin for 1925 says that she “has had to discontinue nursing. She is living at ‘Montgomery Inn’ Bryn Mawr, and when needed, ‘chaperoning’ at one of the Bryn Mawr Schools” (Johns Hopkins Nurses Alumnae Magazine, v. 24, n. 1, Feburary 1925). She died on the 25th of April 1928.
Another copy of this photograph is archived at the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, where Miss Toulmin’s portrait is part of a collection documenting the history of the JHU School of Nursing. Thanks to Marjorie W. Kehoe, Accessioning and Reference Archivist at the Chesney Archives, for her enthusiastic assistance with this research, including assistance in obtaining a copy of Miss Toulmin’s nursing school application.
A young Dr. Charles Thomas Harper (1872-1915) had his photograph taken at the studio of William Ashman, whose establishment was located at 17 W. Lexington Street ca. 1889-1904 (Kelbaugh, Directory of Maryland Photographers 1839-1900).
Harper might have made a present of his cabinet card portrait to a friend while studying medicine in Baltimore.
After a period of pre-med study at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, Harper earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland in 1894. He married Jessie Glenora Zimmerman in 1895, and they remained in Baltimore for a number of years.
He was “Demonstrator of Anatomy at the Woman’s Medical College in 1895, and also during that year Assistant Demonstrator of Histology at Baltimore Medical College. In 1896 he was Chief of Clinics of Surgery at Baltimore University, and in 1897 lecturer on Minor Surgery and Bandages at Baltimore University” (Henry E. Shepherd, History of Baltimore, Maryland, p. 91).
By 1900, Harper and his wife and daughter Jessie returned to Wilmington, North Carolina. Dr. Harper’s family was prominent and prosperous. His father, Capt. James Thomas Harper, ran a tugboat service, was a partner in the Boney & Harper Milling Company and proprietor of the Wilmington Steam Laundry.
But it was at 1 Church Street, a sprawling 1828 house backing onto the Cape Fear River, that Charles Harper grew up.
Dr. Harper’s granddaughter, Anne Newbold Perkins, remembered the house, which remained in the family from 1882 to 1992, as a center of activity for the neighborhood children, “a big old house . . . a wonderful house, fourteen rooms- no central heat. So you were either freezing or burning up. And we just had a good time there” (2006 oral history of Anne Newbold Perkins, William Madison Randall Library, University of North Carolina Wilmington).
Charles and his family moved back into the big Harper home with his parents and sisters, Mary and Anna.
Once settled back in Wilmington, Dr. Harper took a leading role in matters of municipal health as well as county and state medical affairs. He served as port physican and superintendent of health for the City of Wilmington and was a member of the North Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners.
In 1910 Harper founded a small sanitorium, in a Second Empire-style building at Front and Castle streets, where, ironically, he died of complications from an appendectomy in 1915.
After his death, the Association of Seaboard, Airline and Railway Surgeons published a memorial to Dr. Harper in the International Journal of Surgery:
“Dr. Harper was a lovable and strong man, and was always willing to bear the infirmities of the weak and lowly. His genial personality and bright disposition endeared him to all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance . . . Among the profession he was universally popular” (International Journal of Surgery, v. 28, 1915).
Charles T. Harper and his wife Jessie are buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, North Carolina, along with their daughter, Jessie Harper Newbold.
Ashman’s operator used the very popular vignette style, which burned out the background so that the figure seems to float. Curiously, Harper’s bow tie remains the most vivid thing in the photo–the tie seems so real you can almost imagine reaching in and touching its shiny folds.
Inscribed “Yours Very Sincerely, Agnes Blass, taken July 1902, to Mrs. G. Sander,” this busy, slightly over-sized cabinet card portrait looks much more back to the 19th century than it does forward to the 20th.
Although attempting to highlight the subject’s rather striking gown, the Julius Hebbel studio operator overwhelmed the dress with clutter representing some of the 1880s’ typical props: a sentimental rural landscape backdrop (the visible edge of which reveals the studio’s “back stage”), artificial flowers and Hebbel’s ubiquitous Victorian wicker screen.
Miss Blass is posed in profile to highlight the ornamentation on the gown’s filmy overskirt and small gathered train, but somehow the lighting has produced a deep shadow that makes the young women look as if she has a black eye.
Louisa Agness Blass was born 1 December 1872 in Washington County, Ohio to Bavarian immigrants Jacob Blass (1834-1890) and Catherine (Barthell) Blass (1835-1920).
Jacob Blass was apparently a pastor of the German Reformed church who served congregations in Baltimore, Pennsylvania and Indiana, including St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Church in Erie, Pa., Emmanuel Church (now part of the United Church of Christ) in Meadville, Pa., and St. John’s Evangelical Church, Evansville, Ind.
A 1901 Baltimore Sun article on the 50th anniversary of the “First German United Evangelical Lutheran Church” noted Jacob Blass as a former pastor, and said the church was located on Eastern Avenue near Broadway, but this may not be accurate.
The Blasses lived in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore in 1880. There is an Evangelical United Church of Christ at Dillon Street and S. East Avenue in Canton, but it’s unclear whether this congregation has any relation to the one served by Blass.
Agness and her mother made their home with Agness’ brother, Reverend Julius Blass (1861-1902). According to a family history researcher on Ancestry.com, Agness became the second wife of Erie, Pa. cigar manufacturer Henry Mueller and step-mother to Henry’s daughter Thelma Mueller.
Reverend Julius Blass was ordained as a Unitarian minister in 1882 after studying at the Meadville Theological School, Meadville, Pa.. He died on 5 April 1902 in Baltimore (Baltimore Sun, 6 April 1902).
Agness’ brother John Henry Blass became a pharmacist, and in 1902 kept a drug store at 410 N. Gay Street, next door to the Hebbel Studio at 409 N. Gay Street, so having her portrait taken there would have been quite convenient.
The funeral directors H. Sander and Sons were charged with conveying the Reverend Julius Blass’ remains back to Erie, Pa. for burial. Agness Blass presented this portrait to “Mrs. G. Sander,” who likely was the wife of George A. Sander, Henry Sander’s son and a member of the family firm.
Of the six graduates of the University of Maryland Dental Department class of 1888 whose portraits I have written about, Fred Morton Wheeler is the only one who gave up dental practice.
Son of Nashua, New Hampshire job printer Harrison Rodney Wheeler (1841-1898) and Nettie (Mills) Wheeler, Fred was born in April 1866 in Nashua. In 1900 he was practicing dentistry in Milford, New Hampshire, but by 1910 he was working as a printer. In 1920, he had a position as a clerk in the Manchester, New Hampshire post office, where he stayed for the rest of his known career.
Their family’s ancestry is well documented, thanks to Albert Gallatin Wheeler’s 1914 work The genealogical and encyclopedic history of the Wheeler family in America.
Fred’s grandfather was Daniel Wheeler (1789-1867), an Amherst, New Hampshire farmer. According to family historian Paul Wheeler, the family’s roots go back to American Revolution: great-grandfather Timothy Wheeler (1750-1826) served in Col. Nichols Regiment, New Hampshire Militia, and may have seen action at Fort Ticonderoga.
Fred and his wife, Mary (Batten) Wheeler had one daughter. Mabel Florence (Wheeler) Lovering (1904-1996), taught school in Manchester before her marriage to Clarence E. Lovering (1905-2000).
Wheeler had his portrait taken at the studio of Russell & Company. Ross Kelbaugh’s Directory of Maryland Photographers 1839-1900 dates Russell’s location at 17 & 203 W. Lexington Street to 1888, which corresponds nicely with the date of Wheeler’s graduation from dental school.
For this vignetted bust portrait, the photographer chose to add a touch of rose to Wheeler’s cheeks, probably on the print, to highlight the sitter’s youth and health.
He was born 9 Mar 1862 in Westernport, Md. to William R. Cross (1831-1895), who became head of the carpentry department for the B & O Railroad operations in Piedmont, and milliner Penelope (Jameson) Cross (1838-1891).
Piedmont was a key B & O Railroad hub, and in its heyday was a prosperous town. The Cross family’s upper middle class status probably enabled Theodore to study for a profession in Baltimore.
Dr. Cross died on 4 Mar 1944, Burlington, Mineral, West Virginia.He and his parents are buried in Philos Cemetery, Westernport, Allegany Co., Md. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, Piedmont Company No. 10, Uniform Rank, which held graveside services for him at his death.
Cross had his cabinet card portrait taken at the studio of William Ashman(1863-1902). Ashman learned photography from his uncle, stereoview photographer and publisher William M. Chase. The young photographer worked for David Bachrach, then in 1877 left to open his own studio.
As with many of the portraits of dentists I’ve written about, Cross’ photograph focuses on the bust and employs vignetting–careful overexposure of the background–to create a floating effect. The popularity of vignetting may point to a shift away from the gimmicky props and backdrops of earlier years.
The technique has, however, the unfortunate side-effect of destroying depth and flattening the sitter’s image. Compare this lack of depth with the much more attractive and dimensional effect created when a nuanced, textural backdrop returned to the studio in the 1890s, as in this moody later Ashman portrait.
Born in Missouri on 1 April 1860, he grew up in the hamlet ofBrookevilleand the town of Olney, Montgomery County, Maryland, where his father, Rufus Worthington Gartrell (1824-1898), was a merchant and postmaster. Although not a distinguished family, their roots in Montgomery County went at least as far back as the American Revolution.
Rufus appears to have been the only one of five siblings who married and had children. Julian was one of three siblings, and all remained single.
In 1889 Gartrell joined the DC dental practice of C. E. Kennedy at 1426 New York Avenue, NW (Washington DC Evening Star, 23 May 1889).
Gartrell’s interest was oral prophylaxis, and he became a lecturer on this subject at the George Washington University School of Dentistry (GWU Bulletin March 1910).
His mother Caroline (Robinson) Gartrell, and his sisters Hallie May and Laura, kept house for him at 3025 15th St., NW.
Dr. Gartrell died 28 March 1943 in Washington, DC. His funeral was held at All Souls Episcopal Church, just a few blocks from his DC home.
He is buried, along with his parents and sisters Hallie and Laura, at Saint Johns Episcopal Church, Olney, Montgomery County, Md, the church his ancestor Caleb Gartrell helped to found in 1842.
John Philip Blessing (1835-1911) and son-in-law Henry Fenge were partners at 214 N. Charles Street in Baltimore from 1887 to 1904, a timeline that fits my tentative dating of this portrait to 1888 (Ross Kelbaugh, Directory of Maryland Photographers 1839-1900).
As with many of the other portraits of Maryland doctors and dentists in my collection, the operator chose a vignetted bust for Gartrell’s portrait, in which the background is burned out to create a soft, floating effect.
I am grateful to descendant and family historian William Gartrell, who has posted a Gartrell family treebased on notes made by Hallie and Laura Gartrell and The Gartrell/Gatrell Ancestry of Colonial Marylandby Randall A. Haines.