Dr. Oleriannus Alvin Cover in Baltimore

This cabinet card portrait of Iowa physician Oleriannus Alvin Cover was likely taken ca. 1893, while Cover was attending the Baltimore Medical College, from which he graduated that year.

A biographical sketch tells us that after taking an MD from Baltimore Medical College, Cover  went to Philadelphia for further study at Jefferson Medical College, so his sojourn in Baltimore was probably relatively brief.

The man with the very unusual name of Oleriannus was born in Union County, Illinois in 1862 to Frederick County, Maryland-born farmer and devout Methodist Abraham Cover and Sophia Miller Cover.

Cover came to the medical profession relatively late in life. After graduating from Southern Illinois Normal School, he taught school and served as a principal at Alto Pass High School in southern Illinois for ten years.

He began studying medicine in 1891, at the Keokuk College of Physicians and Surgeons. After several apprenticeships and MD degrees from both Baltimore Medical College and Jefferson Medical College, Cover settled down to practice in Seymour, Iowa, a small coal town in Wayne County that owed its existence primarily to its proximity to the railroad.

Cover participated enthusiastically in the political and social life of the town: He was an active Mason, Odd Fellow, and a fervent Republican.

Dr. Cover married Jessie Llewellyn of Seymour in 1898 and they had a son, William Llewellyn Cover, in 1908.  Dr. Cover died in a train accident in Rock Island, Illinois in 1916, and was buried in South Lawn Cemetery, Seymour.

After Dr. Cover’s death, Jesse and their son William moved to Los Angeles, to live with Jessie’s brother. William died in San Bernardino, California in 1993.

I suspect that the “Rogers” in this studio partnership was Albert L. Rogers, who briefly occupied the same studio location, 112 N. Charles Street, under his own name, A. L. Rogers, ca. 1891.

Captain John Bond Winslow of Cumberland

John Bond Winslow (b. abt. 1839, New Jersey) perches, to ludicrous effect, on a “pile” of ca. 1870s faux rocks in the Cumberland, Maryland photographic studio of F. G. Wilhelmi.

The incongruous sylvan staging of this very serious, no-nonsense man demonstrates the decade’s mania for props that simulated the outdoors.

According to Winslow Memorial: Family records of the Winslows and their descendants, Capt. Winslow was the son of Margaret-Emily Sergeant of Morristown, New Jersey, and Vermont merchant John Winslow (1802-1839), who died at sea about the time of  John Bond Winslow’s birth.

John B. Winslow’s grandfather, farmer John Winslow (1767-1852) helped to settle the town of Williston, Vermont and was a deacon of the Congregational Church for over four decades. According to the family history, the Winslows were among the first settlers of Plymouth Massachusetts, and counted Plymouth Colony Governor Edward Winslow among their ancestors.

Emily took her son to live with the boy’s uncle George T. Cobb, in New York and later in Morristown. John B. entered the banking business in Morristown, where he remained until the war.

He served in the Quartermaster’s Corps of the Union Volunteers during the Civil War, and mustered out in 1866 with the rank of captain.

In 1870, he was working as the Hampshire and Baltimore Coal Company’s shipping agent in Cumberland.

According to an 1866 report, the company owned two productive tracts, one in Piedmont, West Virginia, and one 12 miles from Piedmont, at George’s Creek.

The coal was transported by train, and either proceeded by train to Baltimore harbor, or was transferred to a fleet of company-owned C & O Canal boats at Cumberland  (one boat was named the “Capt. J. B. Winslow”), and thence to the north via the inland water route.

Winslow married around 1872, but his young wife, Susan Mary Troxell, died in 1879 at the age of 27. She left him with a small son, Herbert Markley Winslow, who was born about 1873.

According to the Baltimore SUN, Winslow’s life did not end well:

“Information was received here today of the death, in Spring Grove Asylum yesterday, of Capt. J. B. Winslow, formerly of Cumberland, who was taken to the institution a year ago.  The deceased was well known here, having been at one time shipping agent of the Hampshire and Baltimore Coal Company” (5 May 1887).

According to a May 1928 Cumberland Evening Times survey of veterans buried in the vicinity, Winslow is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Cumberland.

A Byerly Beauty

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This ca. 1880s cabinet card portrait was taken by John Davis Byerly (1839-1914) at his studio on Frederick’s Market Street,  founded by his father, Jacob Byerly (1807-1883), in 1842.

John joined his father’s business ca. 1863-1869, during which period their photographs bore the business name J. Byerly & Son.

Around 1869-1870, photographs began bearing the name J. Davis Byerly. In 1899, John retired and turned the business over to his son Charles Byerly (1874-1944), who ran the studio until it was destroyed in a building collapse in 1915.

A number of details, both of setting and of dress, place this photograph in the 1880s.

The advertising that  fills the card’s reverse employs a japonisme decorative motif, with a bamboo frame accented with small blossoms.

The subject’s dress features mid- to late-1880s details such as a high round collar, relatively tight sleeves set high on the shoulder, a bodice decorated with buttons, dark velvet trim and tucks. Her hair is worn pulled back, low on the head, with  curled bangs typical of the decade, as is her small, high-crowned hat, known as a “capote.”

Increasingly, photographers of the late 19th century used props and painted backgrounds to more closely approximate the naturalness of the best painted portraiture. Darrah distinguishes this more elaborate “staging” of a portrait from simple posing (William C. Darrah, Cartes de Visite in Nineteenth Century Photography, 33).

Byerly may have been thinking of M.A. Root’s instructions in The Camera and The Pencil to “place the model in a very easy and graceful manner” (quoted in Darrah, Cartes, ).

Byerly posed his subject in a faux outdoor setting with fake grass, papier mache tree stump, and painted backdrop, as if the young woman were reading outside her home on a fine spring day. The light emanates from the upper right corner of the frame in imitation of natural sunlight.

The photograph’s decorative framing however, cannot compete with the simple, fresh, confident attractions of its young subject.

As usual, the information and interpretations of the portrait above rely on several key sources: Ross Kelbaugh’s Directory of Maryland Photographers 1839-1900, William C. Darrah’s Cartes de Visite in Nineteenth Century Photography, and Joan Severa’s Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion 1840-1900.

“Mr. Fugle, Mother’s Employer”

James Fugle (1836-1910), described in the 1880 Federal census of Baltimore as a “keeper of ladies emporium,” appears in Baltimorean Elizabeth Gaither Summers‘ photo album as “mother’s employer.”

But which mother? Elizabeth worked as a sales lady before her marriage. Her mother-in-law, Anna Louise Ross Summers, who lived with Elizabeth and Charles D. Summers, worked as a seamstress and dressmaker.

James and his brother Frederick Fugle (b. abt. 1845) were English; James emigrated in 1867 and Frederick three years later. James may have been the “James Fuggle,” “draper’s assistant,” born in Sevenoaks, Kent, listed in the 1851 and 1861 censuses of England. They may have been the sons of Sevenoaks tailor Samuel Fuggle (b abt. 1800). The houses where they lived, “Taylor’s Cottages,” on 55 Akehurst Lane, Sevenoaks, are still in existence.

James’ Baltimore concern on North Charles Street (later West Townsend Street) was known as Fugle & Co. Dry Goods or just James Fugle & Co. An 1890 directory of Baltimore lists their merchandise as “cloaks, furs, costumes, etc.”

Advertisements from the 1870s and 1880s call for skilled “cloakmakers”–seamstresses–and cloth-cutters to work in their shop, so they were not only selling but producing ladies’ clothing.

Talking up Baltimore goods to the Baltimore SUN in December 1889, Fugle is decidedly a “go-er,” as they might once have said: a self-confident merchant and manufacturer surveying his sales floor with satisfaction as the holiday shopping season begins:

“When you see a man’s clerks on the jump, as you see them here, and you hear him complain about dull times put him down as a chronic kicker, whose life is a burden to him. . . . Do you know that Baltimore is the cheapest market in the United States for fine goods? Now, in the matter of riding habits, where everything must be of the best, we can sell them just as good in every particular, as Redfarn of New York, and at one-half of his prices.”

The Fugles became wealthy enough to travel to Europe, and to keep a  summer home in the Waverly area of Baltimore County.

James Fugle died at his Arlington, New Jersey home of pneumonia in February 1910, and is buried in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery.

He and his wife, Laura Walsh Fugle, had three children: Hellen (“Nellie;” later Mrs. George D. Thompson); Frederick Walsh Fugle, who settled in Montclair, New Jersey, married Nellie LaSalle Canton, daughter of sculptor John LaSalle, and worked in a paper and twine business; and Edyth, who married Canadian furrier George K. Campbell and settled in Kearny, New Jersey.

James and his brother  Fred C. Fugle apparently parted ways, and Frederick did not share in the prosperity of his elder brother. He remained in Baltimore, employed in a series of sales jobs.

Fugle thought well enough of “mother” to give her a portrait of himself. It’s a classic Bachrach portrait of the early 20th century: a dignified head and shoulders against a tasteful neutral background, on the new larger mount–cut down, no doubt to fit in the album.