Oliver H. Brasher: 3rd Annual Genealogy Blog Party Potluck Picnic

Oliver H. Brasher, I Think!

I’d like to invite Oliver H. Brasher to the picnic this year as I’d love to get some feedback. First, I have to say that neither my husband nor I have many Olivers in our family tree, but the handful that we do have all lived quite short lives. Maybe that’s why we don’t have too many Olivers!

Oliver H. Brasher was the half brother of my husband’s 2X great grandfather, Emsley Harrison Brasher. Oliver H. Brasher was born on 10 January 1858 in Cedar County, Missouri. He was the son of Hampton Brasher and his second wife, Mahala Duncan; both Hampton and Mahala died when Oliver was little, leaving him orphaned.

I have not been able to find any record that includes Oliver’s middle name. He might have been named Hampton after his father, or Harrison like his half brother, or some other name.

In 1860, Oliver was living with Emsley’s family in Missouri, but soon moved to Hopkins County, Texas, where he later married Sallie Henderson on 8 April 1889.

By the time Oliver married, his brother/surrogate father had died (in 1884), along with Emsley’s wife Mary, who helped raise Oliver, who passed on in 1882.

Oliver appears as head of household in the 1900 census of Sulphur Springs, Hopkins, Texas:

O.H. Brasher & Family, 1900

By this time, O.H. and Sallie were parents of one child, a daughter named Eleanor Ruth. Ruth, as she was known, was born on 12 January 1894 in Hopkins County, Texas. She died on 30 October 1982, Dallas, Texas.

1982 Death Certificate for Ruth Brasher Rauscher

However, the 1900 census is the last one in which Oliver or Sallie appeared. Sallie left a will, written on 29 May 1901, in which she left her estate half to husband O.H. and half to only child Ruth.

Sallie Brasher, right page

Sallie Brasher’s Will, Page 2
Source: Ancestry

Sallie’s gravestone gives her date of death as 2 June 1901, so she died just three days later. Although she could read, the 1900 census states that she was unable to write, so her X was not a sign of how ill or weak she might have been.

Oliver apparently moved back to Cedar County, Missouri soon after Sallie died. It seemed odd that Sallie named her brother, Sam H. Henderson, as Ruth’s guardian since her father was alive.

There is something here that the records aren’t yet telling and I think it was that Oliver, too, was in poor health. He died in Cedar County, Missouri just six months later, on Christmas Day 1901 and was buried in Missouri.

I have not been able to find Ruth Brasher in the 1910 or the 1920 censuses. However, by 1930, Ruth had married John Howard Rauscher, had apparently moved to California for a short time with her new husband and then settled in Dallas, Texas.

Ruth and John had one child:

1. John Howard, born 18 December 1924, California; died 11 November 2006, Dallas, Texas; married Mary Jo Long. This couple had children.

Therefore, Oliver and Sallie have descendants living today.

Now, back to the reason why I invited Oliver to the picnic!

We inherited the photo at the top of this post from Dave’s father. It is unmarked, but the young man strongly resembles Dave’s other male Brasher relatives, including his granduncle.

Several years ago, I wrote about this mystery photo, asking for help dating it. I only got two comments, one who said they liked old photos, but couldn’t date them and a second who said this photo was from the 1890s.

I have quite a few photo dating reference books and found several examples of young men with the exact same hair style as in my picture and who had high collared shirts, like in my photo, and had oval embossing on the matte. The clues and style of the photo covering seem to me to point to the late 1870s or early 1880s.

Here are my questions:

1. About how old do you think the young man is in my photo?
2. In which time period do you think the picture was taken?

Oliver’s half brother who raised him, E.H. Brasher, owned a mercantile and was fairly well-to-do for his time. That would have given Oliver access to a spiffy looking suit like the one in my picture.

My personal opinion is that I believe this picture is Oliver H. Brasher, likely taken in the mid-to-late 1870s, when he was in his teens.

Please leave your comments and, if you don’t share my opinion, that is okay. I’d love to have more input on this from all of you other picnickers. Thanks!



2 thoughts on “Oliver H. Brasher: 3rd Annual Genealogy Blog Party Potluck Picnic”

  1. I am very very new to dating photos so unfortunately, like your commenter from a few years ago I won’t be much help but I did follow your logic as explained, and could definitely see that being the case, and I would agree that he looks to be in his early to mid teens. My question is what leads you to believe that it is Oliver specifically? Is this a part of Brasher collection that you have? I’m not saying you are wrong, I was just curious as to what made you believe it is a Brasher.

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