Tag Archives: Mystery Photos

Mystery Photo: Benjamin Shattuck of Calais, Maine (1833-1900)?

It’s been a while since I shared a mystery family photo. This photo style was prevalent in the 1880s and 1890s. Photographer W.G.C. Kimball took over the family photography business in Concord, New Hampshire in 1880 and it continued to do business under his son when W(illis) G(aylord) C(lark) Kimball died in 1909.

This photo, part of the collection I inherited from my great grand aunt, Pearl (Adams) Chadwick, is, I believe, of Benjamin Shattuck. Pearl’s mother was Nellie Tarbox Adams and her grandparents were George Rogers Tarbox and Mary Elizabeth (Scripture) Tarbox.

Benjamin Shattuck married Lucretia Scripture, sister of Mary Elizabeth. Therefore, Benjamin and Lucretia were Nellie’s aunt and uncle and grandaunt and granduncle of my Aunt Pearl.

Mary Elizabeth’s and Lucretia’s parents, Oliver Scripture and Mary Goddard (Bucknam) Scripture lived in Mason, Hillsboro, New Hampshire as their young family was growing up.

The little town of Mason sits about 50 miles due south of Concord, New Hampshire, where this photo was taken.

Do the photo clues fit with the information found about Benjamin Shattuck? I think they do.

Benjamin Shattuck was born on 16 February 1833 in Maine and died on 11 August 1900 in Calais, Maine. He married Lucretia Scripture on 15 November 1858 in Robbinston, Washington, Maine. It seems likely that Lucretia might have been visiting her sister, Mary Elizabeth, as George and Mary Tarbox lived in Robbinston at that time and met and fell in love with Benjamin Tarbox.

Benjamin would have been in his 40s or perhaps early 50s when this picture was taken. The Shattuck family would have had reason to be traveling either to New Hampshire to visit Lucretia’s relatives or even to Massachusetts to visit some of the Shattuck clan.

I would love to compare notes with Shattuck descendants to determine whether or not this really is Benajmin Shattuck.

Benjamin and Lucretia lived their married lives in the area around Calais, Washington, Maine. Lucretia was born 25 April 1837 and died on 15 September 1892. They were the parents of six known children:

1. Ann G., born c1859; died between the 1860-1870 censuses.
2. Benjamin, born c1863; married Minnie Noble
3. Edgar Scripture, born December 1866; died 21 January 1910, Calais, Washington, Maine; apparently unmarried.
4. Annie G., born c1869; died 16 June 1896, Calais, Washington, Maine; unmarried.
5. William Henry, born November 1872; married Ethel Johnson of Perry, Washington, Maine, 5 March 1913.
6. Mary Ella, born 21 September 1877; married John A. Sprague, 1 July 1915. John was born in 1864 and lived in Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada. Mary Ella was 39 when she married and it isn’t known whether they had any children. It isn’t known when or where the Spragues lived or died.

Of these six children, only two are known to have had children – Benjamin and William.

Benjamin married Minnie Noble and had two known children:

1. Benjamin Isaac, born 29 November 1894; unmarried in 1930 and boarding in a home in Perry, Washington, Maine. It is unknown whether he married and/or had children.

2. Lola Noble, born 19 August 1899; died 17 February 1984; married Austin Calvin Humphries, 24 December 1912, Calais, Washington, Maine. They had five children: Evelyn May, born 21 October 1913; died 28 March 2014, Benjamin, born 4 November 1914; died 22 January 1980; unmarried, Robert Lewis, born 1916; died 1945, apparently unmarried, Angus Edward, born 16 December 1917; died 25 April 2002, married Lola M. Gove, 29 September 1951 and Catherine Holmes, born 29 December 1918; died 12 August 2006; married (1) Mr. Bucklin, by November 1945 (2) Nelson B. Camick, by November 1973.

Lola has descendants today.

William Henry married Ethel Johnson of Perry, Washington, Maine on 5 March 1913 and had at least one child:

1. Leonard E., born 5 February 1916; died 24 May 1968, Calais, Washington, Maine; married Norma Isabelle Diffin of Perry, Washington, Maine, 25 December 1949. They had three children.

Leonard has descendants today.

I would love to make contact with some of these Shattuck cousins. Perhaps they have the same photo in their family collection and can verify Benjamin’s identity for me.



Stufflebean Family Vintage Mystery Photo

Here is a very old family photograph about which I wish I knew something – anything – about the subject or the location.

I actually love this photo in spite of my lack of knowledge about it.

We have a young mother sitting on a chair in the front of the house, with a baby buggy and bicycle displayed in such a way that the entrance to the house is blocked.

From the carriage and bike styles, I’d say this photo dates from the early 1900s – maybe c1910 or a bit later.

In the doorway, we see another woman standing, but hidden by the shadows.

Quite a few objects appear to live on the small porch. To the left of the doorway, there are a couple of barrels, perhaps made of wood. One has some sort of handle sticking out of it.

To the right of the doorway, there is maybe some kind of hutch or cabinet that has a couple of bowls on top.

The wicker style baby buggy was popular in the early 1900s. The bicycle was of an era where lots of people could afford one (unless it was the photographer’s transportation) and it clearly has a fender on the back.

I haven’t a clue where this was taken, but if I guessed Texas or Oklahoma, I’d probably have a 90% chance of being correct.

Readers, any thoughts about when this photo might have been taken?


Help, Please! Trying to Date an Old Photo

Help, Please!

Annie Grover

I’ve found that reviewing some of my old photos has been productive in identifying some of the subjects and returning these original photos to descendants.

This is one of my more annoying pictures because on the back is written “Annie Grover.” The problem is the only Annie Grover I can find wasn’t born until 1872 and, to me, this seems to clearly be a Civil War era photo.

Please confirm this for me. First, the square corners of the photo fit the 1860-1865 time period. Second, the two think gilt lines forming the border also fit the mid 1860s. Third, the full length portrait showcasing the full dress style is very Civil War time frame, as is posing with a chair as a prop. Fourth, Annie’s hair style, parted in the center and pulled tight with the braid or cap or whatever that is on her head is also quite in vogue for the time. In fact, I found a photo of a lady in one of my dating old photos books who had the exact same hair style with the cap(?) and the picture is dated 1865. Lastly, the off-the-shoulder dress seems to be a bit daring for the time and Annie’s apparent age, but there were ladies wearing that style in the 1860s. So, everything about the picture screams Civil War era.

However – I can’t find any Annie Grover born in the 1840s or 1850s who could be this young lady.

I know the Grover family. My cousin, Charles Chadwick, actually first cousin once removed and who passed away in 2006, was the grandson of Elbridge Gerry Chadwick and Margaret Jane Grover from St. George, Knox, Maine.

Margaret Jane Grover was born in November 1845 in St. George. My first thought was that Annie might have been Margaret’s sister and the timing would be a perfect fit. Lo and behold, Margaret only had two brothers, George H., born c1839 and Charles, born in 1843.

I don’t know what happened to George after 1860, when the family had moved north to Calais, but Charles returned to St. George, married, had a family and spent the rest of his life in his birthplace. Charles is the one who had a daughter named Annie Maude born in 1872.

Therefore, if I was two decades off in estimating the date of Annie’s photo, I would have my answer as to who she was. I don’t think I am wrong, though so I need to move back one generation with the thought that Annie Grover was Margaret’s cousin.

George, Charles and Margaret were the children of John Grover, born c1812, probably in Boothbay, Lincoln, Maine and Eunice Barter. There were quite a few Barters living in St. George in 1840 and Eunice was likely related to at least some of them. She died in Calais in 1863.

John Grover, in both the 1850 and 1860 censuses, reported an age consistent with a birth year of 1812, in Maine. John is attributed as a child of John Grover and Elizabeth Lortz in Lincoln County, Maine, which may be correct or not, but there are several John Grovers born in the 1810-1820 time frame living in Maine.

Therefore, I am stymied. However, readers – do you agree that Annie’s picture was taken in the 1860s?

Here’s one more final frustration. Along with Annie’s photo, I have a second picture apparently taken at the same time and place:

Meet young master Walter Grover. I can’t find him anywhere either! Double help!