Friends Album: Photos 44 & 45

Read from the beginning here. **Click on the images below for larger versions**

Friend No. 44 looks a little surprised to be here:

Friend No. 44

We’ve seen photographer Walter F. Chipman’s work before. He shot Friend No. 29 as well. Unfortunately, there are no identifying marks on this photo besides the imprint on the front.

Photo No. 45 was taken by still another photographer in Danbury, Conn.:

Friend No. 45

This new (to us) photographer was Harvey A. Lesure. I’ve added his address to my Danbury photographer map on Google Maps.

This imprint is especially helpful as it includes the year — 1886. I found Lesure at 207 Main in directories in 1885 and 1886. Interestingly, he’s again listed in 1886 at 247 Main (that address was also used by Mrs. J. H. Folsom, Frank Smith and Wynard’s Studio over the years).

[Friends 46 & 47]


Carter’s Danbury Directory for 1886-7, Harvey A. Lesure, p 111; ( : accessed 27 March 2011).

Danbury, Connecticut Directories, 1885-86, Harvey A. Lesure; ( : accessed 27 March 2011).


Friends Album: Photos 42 & 43

Read from the beginning here. **Click on the images below for larger versions**

Today’s post is another all-baby edition. Here’s Photo No. 42:

Friend No. 42

Our old friend Edward A. Osborne in Danbury, Conn., took this photo too.

Photo No. 43 was taken by another familiar name, Walket Studio in New Milford, Conn:

Friend No. 43

I suspect that the above photo was taken more recently that the Photo No. 31, also taken by Walklet. This child’s hair is parted on the side, which leads me to believe a boy is pictured.

[Photos 44 & 45]

Friends Album: Photos 40 & 41

Read from the beginning here. **Click on the images below for larger versions**

The type, style and imprint of Photo No. 40 exactly match that of Photo No. 39. Since they were on the same page in the Friends Album, I’m thinking the individuals pictured may be related:

Friend No. 40

Unfortunately, that’s all I can divine from this photo, as there were no other markings.

Photo No. 41 was taken by the same studio, but in a different iteration:

Friend No. 41

Above, the imprint shows the studio name is now Folsom & Moffitt’s in Danbury, Conn. Below is the imprint on the back (no other markings, but check out the detail in the doorway):

Reverse of Friend No. 41's photo.

I’m having a hard time figuring out when this studio actually went by the name of Folsom and Moffitt’s. Mrs. J.H. Folsom’s is listed in 1886-1890 Croffut’s Danbury City Directories. It is listed simply as Folsom’s in 1887-88, 1890, 1895, 1896 and 1897 in various other city directories. Ads for Folsom’s, located “Over Danbury National Bank,” can be seen in 1891-1894 Crofutts’ Danbury directories. The studio isn’t listed at all in 1898-1901 Danbury city directories. Moffitt is never mentioned… Nor did I have any success finding a photographer by the last name of Moffitt in the area in records like the census.

Based on the location given in the imprint and the ads I found in the directories, I’m going to guess it’s likely that this photo was taken in the early 1890s. I can only assume the Moffitt partnership was a brief one…

Here’s a bit of fun. The imprint above mentions that the bank building is located next to the city library. I searched for the library and found a historical image of the block:

Below is a postcard image that I found on Etsy. I’ve highlighted the bank building in pink:

Danbury City Library (right) and bank building (highlighted in pink). Photo links to Etsy original.

I recognize the steps and the arched window to the right, as pictured in the imprint.


[Photos 42 & 43]


Crofutt’s Danbury City Directory, 1886-1901. ( : accessed 26 March 2011).

Danbury, Connecticut Directories, 1885-1890. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000. ( : accessed 26 March 2011).

Library and Danbury National Bank DANBURY Conn 1906 Undivided Back Vintage Postcard; ( : accessed 26 March 2011).

Wordy Wednesday: Friends Album Update

Well, I’ve done it! I’ve found a living descendant of a subject in the friends album. I haven’t contacted him yet. I’m still figuring out what I want to say.

Friend No. 12 (Ellis B. Wilson)

In the meantime, I’ll share some tidbits from a major clue that led me to the grandson of Ellis B. Wilson (I’m withholding the grandson’s name to maintain his privacy). Over the weekend, I decided to search the Hartford Courant archives to see if I could find Ellis’ obituary (previously, I found his FindaGrave memorial, which provided me with his date of death and the names of his two wives). Other records had confirmed for me that Hartford was the place to search for his obit.

The Courant’s archives delve back into the 1700s. The paper does charge users for anything besides a brief abstract of its older articles, but after failing to find the obituary through other free resources available to me (and resources that I already pay for), I decided it was worth the nominal fee to get the details that his obituary would divulge.

From Ellis’ obit, I learned he was known as “Mr. American Legion Baseball,” having established the American Legion Baseball program in Connecticut. I also learned that he died while on vacation in Treasure Island, Fla.

The obituary named his daughter and her place of residence at the time of his death. This allowed me to find more information on her, which led me to her sons including the one I know still to be living.

I think I’m going to wait until I’ve finished going through the entire album before I contact Ellis’ grandson. I’m still hoping that I’ll find other descendants of other known subjects in the album. This could lead to a dilemma. My original goal was to return the album to descendants of those pictured after I realized that many of the photo subjects belong to the same family. Now, it appears that I may identify descendants of unrelated subjects. I’m loathe to split up the album, at least right now. But if Ellis’ family doesn’t have this picture of him, how I could I not send it to them? Dilemma!


“Ellis B. Wilson, 77, Dies; Legion Baseball Pioneer,” The Hartford Courant (1923-1984), Jan. 30, 1971, p 4: ProQuest Historical Newspapers Hartford Courant (1764-1985); ( : accessed 26 March 2011).

Friends Album: Photos 38 & 39

Read from the beginning here. **Click on the images below for larger versions**

Meet Natalie, Friend No. 38:

Friend No. 38 aka Natalie

This is the same type of photo as Photo No. 37, but the styles are slightly different. They are on the same page in the album, but I hesitate to say they were taken at the same time. Here is the inscription on the back:

Reverse of Friend No. 38's photo

I am assuming the date written on the back is the date that the photo was taken, since her weight also is listed. She looks about 8-10 years old in this photo.

I am still trying to figure out what kind of photo this is. The edging around the print reminds me of a Polaroid, but I think it may just be a sleeve used by the studio to hold the image.

Here is Photo No. 39:

Friend No. 39

This is another photo taken (or at least produced by) Folsom’s studio in Danbury, Conn. There are no markings on the photo besides the imprint on the front. I’m guesstimating the date of this photo to be 1890.

[Photos 40 & 41]

Tombstone Tuesday: Friends Album Graves

For Tombstone Tuesday, I did some more searching on FindaGrave for the known subjects and the photographers associated with the Friends Album. In an earlier post, I mentioned that I had already found the memorial for subject Ellis B. Wilson.

Friend No. 18 aka William Morrell

I found a memorial for Friend No. 18, William Morrill. His tombstone also lists his parents. William’s photo in the Friends Album lists him as the brother of Mrs. Stanley M. Young. William is buried at what is now South Cemetery in Bridgewater, Conn. FindaGrave notes that this cemetery was once known as Old Bridgewater Burying Place.

Headstone for William A. Morrill and his parents (FindaGrave)

This find is helpful because it gives me his exact date of death, which may help me track down an obituary for him. Alas, this was the only additional tombstone photo I could find related to the Friends Album so far.

I did find memorials for Stanley M. Young and his wife, Mary. They are buried at Bridgewater Center Cemetery in Litchfield County, Connecticut. There are no tombstone photos for them though. I may request them.


FindaGrave Memorial 49155163, Stanley M. Young; ( : accessed 25 March 2011).

FindaGrave Memorial 49155164, Mary L. (Morrill) Young; ( : accessed 25 March 2011).

FindaGrave Memorial 56846606, William A. Morrill; ( : accessed 25 March 2011).

Tuesday’s Tip: Inserting Images in GoogleDoc Spreadsheets

For the Friends Album, I created a spreadsheet to keep track of the various images and data I’ve assembled about each. One of my goals was to be able to sort the spreadsheet by location, photographer, etc. Imagine my frustration when I first sorted the spreadsheet and the photos didn’t sort with the rows.

I had initially populated the spreadsheet with images by using the menu command Insert -> Image and then resizing each image to fit the designated cell. I’m not quite sure why this command exists, because it was pointless.

After the sort didn’t work, I did some research on how images really should be included in Google spreadsheets. I found this page, which was very helpful. Instead of using the menu command, using this formula embeds the image in the selected cell:


It was a pain to go back and repopulate the spreadsheet with images the proper way, but at least now I can sort the rows and the photos will move with them!