Monthly Archives: July 2014

Vintage Portraits – Wausau Edition

Time for some more old photos that are not (to my knowledge) related to my family.  As usual, if you can identify anyone in these photos, please drop me a line.  These photos were all taken in Wausau, Marathon County, Wisconsin.

UnknownCoupleWausau034 UnknownBeardedManWausau033 UnknownWomanWausau032 UnknownSistersWausau031 UnknownSistersWausau030 UnknownWomanWausau029 UnknownManWausau022 UnknownMotherAndSonWausau021 UnknownBabyWausau020 UnknownBabyWausau019 UnknownBoyWausau018 UnknownChildrenWausau017 UnknownBabyWausau016 UnknownManWausau015 UnknownBabyWausau013 UnknownBabyInCarriageWausau014 UnknownFamilyWausau012 MollyKroenSwanson UnknownBabyWausau011 UnknownCoupleWausau010 UnknownWomanWausau009 UnknownWomanWithChildrenWausau006 UnknownBeardedManWausau004 UnknownFamilyWausau003 UnknownFamilyWausau002

Antique Store Photos – July, 2014

Another in a series of blogs where I post old photos I found in antique stores or online and then give some details about the people in them.  My hope is always that someone from the family will find these photos and give them a good home.  Here we go!

The first photo was taken in South Belvidere, Illinois about 1875:


Agnes Rae née Marshall


Agnes Marshall was born in Scotland in June 1814.  She married John Rae (b 1813) on 23 Nov 1838 in Nielston, Renfrew, Scotland, and they immigrated to the US about 1842.  She and her husband John are in the 1860, 1870, and 1880 census for Boone, Illinois.  John Rae died in 1884, and Agnes can be seen in the 1900 census for Hyde Park, Illinois with her niece Hannah MacGregor Waddell.  She is listed as having had no children.  Agnes died in 1901 and was buried next to her husband in Poplar Grove Cemetery, Poplar Grove, Illinois.

The next photo was taken in Chicago, Illinois.

"Ellsworth Loomer"

“Ellsworth Loomer”

There’s a bit of a mystery here.  The back says “Ellsworth Loomer”, which is a sufficiently rare name that I was very confident I could find out all about this man.  As it turns out, I can find quite a bit about Ellsworth Loomer, but I’m not sure it’s him in the photo.

Ellsworth Loomer was born in 1864, in Millard, Walworth County, Wisconsin, the son of Leonard Loomer (1818-1894) and Aseneth Sophia Loomer (1823-1899) [Loomer is her maiden name].  He is in the 1870 and 1880 Census for Sugar Creek, Walworth, Wisconsin.  He died in 1891 and is buried in the Millard Cemetery in Millard, Walworth, Wisconsin.

My issue here is that even if this photo were taken in 1891, the year he died, he would have only been 27 years old, and this man looks somewhere between 45 and 60.  It could be that the photo belonged to Ellsworth at one point, so it could be one of his older brothers, or perhaps even his father.

I say this because I purchased another photo from the same stack, totally oblivious that the two photos were related.  There was no reason to suspect they were related since the last name was different and the town where it was taken was totally different also.

"Mary H Wright"

“Mary H Wright”

The back of this photo says simply “Mary H Wright”, but I found a marriage record for her that indicates that she was Mary H Loomer, sister of the above-mentioned Ellsworth Loomer.

Mary Helen Loomer was born 26 May 1852, in Millard, Walworth, Wisconsin, daughter of Leonard and Aseneth Sophia Loomer.   She married Oscar D. Wright (1850-1920, son of Henry Wright and Abigail Child) on 1 Oct 1884 in Wisconsin.  She is in the 1860 and 1880 census for Sugar Creek, Walworth, Wisconsin.  She is in the 1900 Census for Janesville, Rock, Wisconsin living next to her sister Ellen.  She is listed as married and as having had no children, but her husband is not in the Census with her.  She is listed again in the 1920 census for Janesville living with her sister.  Mary died in 1922.

The final photo is a post-card photo taken in the town of Aledo, Illinois.  On the back it says, “Clarence F. Smith & Grace”:


"Clarence F. Smith & Grace"

“Clarence F. Smith & Grace”

Aldedo is in Mercer County, Illinois.  The photo certainly has the look of being more recent.  Based on the clothing and style of photograph, I’d guess more like 1910-1920.  I have a photo of my great-grandfather’s first wedding (taken in 1918) which looks very much like this.  They look like a young couple, so I’d put their birth years between 1890 and 1900.

I’m fairly certain I have information on Clarence F. Smith.

Clarence Fair Smith was born 28 May 1894, in Sunbeam (Ohio Grove Township), Mercer, Illinois to Sylvester Fair Smith (b Sept 1867 in Illinois, d 1955) and Dorthula Moore (b 8 Jun 1868 in Warren County, Illinois, d 14 Nov 1936 in Rock Island, Illinois).  Clarence’s parents were married in 1891 and Dorothula was listed as the mother of 4 children, 3 living in the 1900 census.  Clarence can be found in the 1900 Census for Ohio Grove Township, Mercer, Illinois, and the 1910 Census for Millersburg, Mercer, Illinois.  His 1918 WWI Draft Card, lists his residence as Joy, Mercer, Illinois, and he is listed as single at that point.  He is in the 1920 Census for Millersburg, Mercer, Illinois with a wife Lucy Duncan (b 1900 in Oklahoma), and a daughter, Mary Pauline Smith who was born in 1900.  Clarence died 26 Feb 1978, in Santa Clara, California.
I don’t really know who Grace Smith was.  A first wife, perhaps?  There is a record for a Grace Smith b 22 Oct 1895, who died Apr 1978 in Mercer, Illinois.  But that’s a long-shot given the common nature of the name.  So far I have nothing on a “Grace” linked to Clarence.


Town of Maine / Town of Berlin Wedding Photos

A couple Summers ago I was fortunate enough to get to spend the afternoon with Jim and Marlene Strehlow, who, along with Jim’s late siblings Virgil and Marilyn Strehlow, have been the keepers of a vast and detailed family history for the Strehlow, Christian, Voigt, and Genrich families from the Town of Maine in Marathon County, Wisconsin.

Among the treasures that are curated by the Strehlow family are several group photos taken at weddings in the Towns of Berlin and Maine.  I have long entertained fantasies of somehow identifying all the people in these photos; there are certainly some people who are seen in more than one of them.  I’m afraid, however, that the people who could have identified most of them likely passed away about thirty years ago.  My hope now is that individual descendants might be able to identify specific people based on family photos they would have.  So, out into the world they go… time for some “crowd-sourcing”!

[All of these photos can be downloaded or enlarged by clicking on them.]

I’ve posted this photo previously.  It shows the wedding of Albert Garske and Ella Baumann taken on Oct 4, 1919 at the Baumann homestead in the Town of Berlin, located at 14656 Berlin Lane, Merrill, WI 54452.  Only four people are identified in this photo (see previous article).


The next four photos are from the marriage of Rhienhard Carl Julius Christian (1881-1963) and Ella Neitzke (1890-1940) in the Town of Berlin, Wisconsin, on 20 Nov 1913.  There are a few people besides the bride and groom that I recognize.  In the back row right, just to the right of the pole and wearing a hat and a stylish mustache, is my great-great-grand-uncle Carl Bertold Krueger.  His daughter Helen Krueger is three people to the left of the bride, wearing an apron.  There are two ushers kneeling in the front holding bottles of brandy.  The one on the left is Carl’s son Wilhelm “William” Krueger.  The other thing I noticed is that the band in this photo (lower left) are all the same men as the band in the photo above (Garske/Baumann Wedding).


Another photo taken at the same occasion.  Carl Krueger is in the back again, this time holding a mug of beer!


One more from the same wedding.  Just the wedding party this time, I’m guessing.  William and Helen Krueger are present again.


This oddly somber and uncomfortable-looking photo is from the wedding dinner for the same Christian/Neitzke wedding as above.  The bride and groom are easy to spot, and behind them (between them) is Helen Krueger.  The other people, including those in the portraits on the wall, are unknown.


I have no information at all about these next two photos, except that both show the same wedding.  They were clearly taken around the same time at the others, so between 1910 and 1920.  I’m guessing a careful analysis would show some people in these photos are also in one of pictures above.


The second one is much less formal, and the women are wearing their stylish hats.


Again, if anyone knows more about these photos or any of the people in them, please contact me!

Grace Lutheran Congregation Photo – c1900

I first saw this photo hanging on the wall of Grace Lutheran Church in the Town of Maine, Wisconsin at some point in 2012.  The pastor for Grace, Nate Biebert, is a devoted and passionate historian who has spent a great deal of his time investigating the history of the church he currently leads.  We had discussed this photo on several occasions, and he was generous enough to find the time to scan it for me at a very high resolution.

The photo, taken about 1900, shows Grace in the background with her congregation gathered in front.  The photo is not quite clear enough to easily identify individual people, but I’ve included five detail photos showing the attendees.

The full photo

The full photo

Photo 1

Detail Photo 1

Photo 2

Detail Photo 2

Photo 3

Detail Photo 3

Photo 4

Detail Photo 4

Photo 5

Detail Photo 5

There are 89 people in the photo.  Everyone is very well dressed.  You can see that all the boys are wearing suits… there are even two boys from a family with what look to be matching “tuxedo-style” ruffled shirts [detail photo 4].  Several have matching hats.  One family of girls all have matching parasols [detail photos 2 and 3].  Many are wearing gloves and/or cloaks [detail photo 2].  Most of the older women are wearing what would have been very trendy gaudy hats [detail photos 3 and 4].  Not one single person in the photo has a bare head.  Everyone is wearing a hat.  So it seems to me that either a) everyone always wore their very best matching suits to church on Sunday or b) everyone knew the photographer would be coming by that day.

The latter seems much more likely.  It does not seem impromptu at all.  The position of the pastor above his “flock” [detail photo 2], the man with the wagon [detail photo 1], the bicycle [see below]… another prized possession of someone.. it seems to have been very new considering the model and the year of the photo, the matching outfits, stylish new hats, etc.  All point to an arranged photo session that day.



[If someone can tell me more about the make/model of this bicycle based on the photo, feel free to contact me directly.]

So here are the individual faces.  All 89 of them.  They are listed pretty strictly from left to right.  If, for some reason, you are able to identify any of these people, please get in touch and let me know.  So far only two are identified.

Faces 1-50

Faces 1-50

Of these people, I have a feeling that #25 may be my great-great-grandfather, Heinrich Krueger.  I’m hoping my cousin Lisa will be able to locate a copy of a photo she has taken about this time-frame which could confirm his identity.  Pastor Beibert and I believe that #17 is likely Pastor John Rien, who was the Grace pastor from 1895 to 1903.  That narrows down the year of the photo pretty well, confirming our belief that the photo was taken about 1900.

Pastor John Rein

Pastor John Rien

Here is the second set of faces:

Faces 51-89

Faces 51-89

Of these the only one I know for sure at this point is #83, who is my great-great-grand-uncle Carl Bertold Krueger.

Carl Krueger

Carl Krueger

Montello Postcard From Clara Young (Wells Lowe)

This is another non-family item that I’m posting purely for its historical value.  This postcard, sent from Montello, Wisconsin, was purchased on eBay.  It was sent by Clara Malinda Young to Miss Ina Cool on 2 Nov 1914.  It’s nearly certain that my Zierke relatives knew Clara since Montello is not a large town and the Zierkes lived in and around Montello from 1865 to the present day.

It shows the impressive, imposing, and lovely old Montello High School, taken during the construction of a newer school adjacent to this one.  Interestingly, as of this writing you can buy the newer Montello High School for about $70,000.  The postcard indicates the new school cost $19,000.  So… you know… $51,000 for 100 years of use?  Not bad.

Old Montello High School, 1914

Old Montello High School, 1914

The postcard reads:

“Miss Ina Cool, Berthoud, M, Colo.  Montello, Nov 2 1914.  Dear friend, Irvine(?) wrote me some time ago you was [sic] called home on account of sickness, and I hope all are well now.  It has been a lovely Fall.  No frost ’till a week ago, and a hard thunder-shower tonight.  This is our old school house.  A new $19,000 one erected this Summer at the right of this one, and both are in use.  Mrs. Clara M. Lowe.”


Some information about Clara:

Clara Malinda Young was the daughter of John C Young (b Burrell, Rhode Island to Othniel Young and Ruby Southwick) and Eliza Walcott (b Brookfield, Vermont to Zebina Walcott and Clarissa Ingalls).  Clara’s parents were married in Andover, Massachusetts on 11 Dec 1851 [link].

Clara was born 8 Aug 1852 in Wisconsin.  She and her family are in the 1870 Census for Shields, Wisconsin.  She married Barney Herbert Wells in Montello about 1874, and they had the following children:

Walter Warren Wells, 1874-1885
Willis Wilson Wells, 1875-1968.
Wilber Walcott Wells, born 23 Dec 1879 in Montello, died 1900 in Montello.
Mary Elizabeth Wells, born 7 Jan 1884 in Montello.
Unnamed Son (possibly stillborn), born 4 Nov 1887 in Montello.

Clara and Barney are in the 1880 Census for Montello, Wisconsin with their first three children.

Barney Wells died 18 Nov 1890 in Montello, and Clara remarried to George Leroy Lowe in Montello on 15 Jun 1897.  Clara died 15 Mar 1917 in Wisconsin, likely in Montello.

For her part, Ina Cool seems to have been born in 1894 in Minnesota, the daughter of Willis Cool and Susan E Vroman.  They can be found in the 1900 Census for Nekoosa, Wisconsin and the 1910 Census for North Berthoud, Colorado.  Ina’s father Willis was born in Wisconsin, and he can be found in the 1870 Census for Adams, Wisconsin.

Ina apparently married Everett M Haworth in Berthoud on 27 Jan 1915.

Oelke / Kamrath Marriage – 1893

Emma A. Kamrath was born in Pomerania, Prussia on 5 Aug 1870 and immigrated with her family to America aboard the “Hammonia” in May of 1885 when Emma was 14.  The Kamraths settled in the Town of Maine near Wausau, Wisconsin where Emma’s parents were farmers.

Emma worked as a domestic servant briefly (she is listed as such in the 1893 Wausau City Directory), then she met August Baumann Oelke.  August was also born in Prussia, on 12 May 1860, and came to America in 1873, when he was 13 years old.

Emma and August were married on 8 Nov 1893.  This photo of their wedding comes to me courtesy of Emma’s grandson Roy Passow.  The original was very faded, but I recently paid to have it restored and the new version is quite lovely.

Oelke-Kamrath Marriage, 1893

Oelke-Kamrath Marriage, 1893

What strikes me more than anything about the photo is the strong esemblance between Emma and her sister Helena.  Neither one looks particularly happy to be getting photographed, unfortunately.  I’ve heard rumors about Emma that she could be a difficult woman.  I think you can see that in her photo.

Helene (l) and Emma (r) Kamrath

Helene (l) and Emma (r) Kamrath



Winooski, Vermont Photographers

I have several photos from Winooski, Vermont from various photo studios and I thought it might be a good idea to know when these photographers were in business.  Knowing when the studios operated can help with dating photographs taken there.

Here are entries from the city directories for two photographers in Winooski, Hector Huard and Ezra T Langlois.  They were in business together briefly as “Huard & Langlois”, but both broke out on their own after that.

Hector Huard

1888 – Hector Huard, employee of WG Brown, lives in Winooski [Burl Dir]
1890 – Hector Huard, owner of Huard & Langlois
1892 – Hector Huard, owner of Huard & Langlois
1894 – Hector Huard, owner of Huard & Langlois
1896 – Hector Huard, photographer W. Allen Street & North Main Street.
1898 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen N Main
1900 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen n Main
1902 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen n Main
1904 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen n Main
1906 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), 10 W. Allen Street
— Langlois moves to 35 1/2 Main.
1908 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen Street c Main.
1910 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen Street c Main.
1912 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen Street c Main.
1914 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen Street c Main.
1916 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen Street c Main.
1917 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen Street c Main.
— Langlois retires
1918 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen Street c Main.
1920 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard), W. Allen Street c Main.
1922 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard, Prop), 1 W. Allen Street c Main.
1924 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard, Prop), 1 W. Allen Street c Main.
1926 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Sr and George J Huard), 1 W Allen, c Main.
1928 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Sr and George J Huard), 1 W Allen, c Main.
1929 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Sr and George J Huard), 1 W Allen, c Main.
1930 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Sr and George J Huard), 1 W Allen, c Main.
1935 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard Sr, Prop), 1 W Allen.
1938 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard Sr, Prop), 1 W Allen.
1939 – Huard Photo Co (Hector Huard Sr, Prop), 1 W Allen.
Died 11 Nov 1939

Ezra T Langlois

1888 – No entry
1890 – Ezra Langlois, owner of Huard & Langlois
1892 – Ezra Langlois, owner of Huard & Langlois
1894 – Ezra Langlois, owner of Huard & Langlois
1896 – E. T. Langlois, photographer W. Allen Street & Main Street.
1898 – E. T. Langlois, photographer, W. Allen c Main.
1900 – E. T. Langlois, photographer, W. Allen c Main.
1902 – E. T. Langlois, photographer, W. Allen c Main.
1904 – E. T. Langlois, photographer, W. Allen c Main.
1906 – E. T. Langlois, photographer, W. Allen c Main.
— Langlois moves to 35 1/2 Main.
1908 – E. T. Langlois, photographer, 35 1/2 Main.
1910 – E. T. Langlois, photographer, 35 1/2 Main.
1912 – E. T. Langlois, photographer, 35 1/2 Main.
1914 – E. T. Langlois, photographer, 35 1/2 Main.
1916 – E. T. Langlois, photographer, 35 1/2 Main.
1917 – E. T. Langlois, retired.