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).

Friends Album: Photos 36 & 37

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

Friend No. 36 gets all fancy on us:

Friend No. 36

How about that spiffy rolling edge effect? I wonder when that became possible… There’s another trick to this photo. Note that in the imprint, there are three (three!) possible studio locations and in two different states, no less! Sigh.

There’s nothing to identify the woman in the photo on the back of the image, but there is a nifty imprint:

Reverse side of Photo No. 36.

Ah well, on to Photo No. 37. What a cutie!

Friend No. 37

This print was done by Edward A. Osborne in Danbury, Conn. There’s not a lot of info on the back, unfortunately:

Reverse of Friend No. 37's photo.

[Photos 38 & 39]

Friends Album: Photos 34 & 35

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

Friend No. 34 looks pretty severe, but she has on a beautiful dress:

Friend No. 34

Check out this close-up of the beading on her dress:

Unfortunately, the back of her photo doesn’t reveal much:

The imprint on the front shows that the photo was taken by the Canfield & Bro. on Bank Street in New Milford, Conn. We encountered photographer James E. Canfield previously. He took Fred Young’s (Friend No. 8’s) photo. Now there is a brother indicated in the studio name. In the 1880 U.S. census, James is listed with a son, 20, who also has ‘photographer’ listed as his profession. Could Ward be the ‘brother’ indicated in the studio name?

I have discovered a New Milford city directory showing that both of them had removed to New Haven by 1888-89.

We’ve definitely seen Friend No. 35 before:

Friend No. 35 aka Friend No. 22 aka Mary Morris

This shot looks so familiar, I’m willing to bet it’s either a copy of Photo No. 22 or a copy of a photo from the same shoot. The fact that she’s wearing the same dress gives it away:

Photo No. 35 (left) and No. 22.

There is a beautiful imprint on the back of Photo No. 35:

Reverse side of Photo No. 35.

Photographer Charles R. Bronson is listed at 407 Main Street in Bridgeport in 1885-86 and 1890-91 city directories. That timeframe is definitely after the period in which I think the original shot was taken (in the 1860s or 1870s), reinforcing the idea that Photo No. 35 is a copy. Bronson is found in an 1874 city directory as well, but at a different address.

[Photos 36 & 37]


1880 U.S. Census, Litchfield County, Connecticut, population schedule, New Milford, page 30, dwelling 268, family 336, Ward B. Canfield; ( : accessed 9 March 2011); Roll: 101; Family History Film 1254101; Page: 566B; Enumeration District: 31; Image: 0833.

Bridgeport, Connecticut 1874 directory, Charles R. Bronson, p. 24; (accessed : 25 March 2011).

Bridgeport, Connecticut Directories, 1885-1893, Charles R. Bronson; (accessed : 25 March 2011).

New Milford Directory, 1888-89 and 1891-92, Ward B. Canfield; ( : accessed 25 March 2011).

Friends Album: Photos 32 & 33

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

Photo No. 32 was once again taken by photographer Charles H. Gallup in Poughkeepsie, N. Y.:

Friend No. 32

The imprint on the front of this photo is slightly different from the embossed imprint on the front of Photo No. 26. The imprint on the back is almost exactly the same as that of Photo No. 26, except the print is in red instead of green:

Reverse of Friend No. 32's photo.

I think we’ve seen the subject of Photo No. 33 before (twice!):

Friend No. 33/possibly No. 24

She certainly looks like Friend No. 24:

Friends 33 (left) and 24.

The eyes, nose and chin are all a match to me. Both photos appear to be taken at around the same time period and both were taken in Danbury, Conn., though at different studios. Photo No. 33 is taken at Mrs. J. H. Folsom’s studio — she got a lot of business from these folks! In fact, this is a second photo/view of Friend No. 7! I thought this dress looked familiar, but I didn’t recognize it until I started going through all of the photos again for the spreadsheet I am creating.

[Photos 34 & 35]