Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

How about we take a look at a photo from the C Murray Album? I haven’t finished that family, although all the possible identifications have been made. I call this fellow “Slouchy” because he does seem to slouch down into the chair. He may have had an orthopedic problem that prevented him from sitting up straight, or he may have just slouched.

The photographer we have seen previously. Kalin was located in Clay Center, Kansas. Kalin was in business at least between 1890 and 1913. Since the majority of photos in the album are prior to the turn of the century, I’ll date this photo in the 1890s. The cabinet card is relatively simple with just a thin red line border.

11 thoughts on “Poor posture?

  1. GrammaA says:

    It does look to me that he probably has some kind of physical problem.


  2. His legs are so short and his arms seem so long..something seems off. But perhaps he was a short little guy with long arms:)


  3. mrsmarvel says:

    I was just looking at his feet and he’s got a pretty high heel on his boot – maybe 3/4″ which to me is a high heel for a man. They are also laced up boots, which the old catalogs show a lot for women but not for men as much. His legs seem awfully thin compared to his stocky body. Interesting.


  4. IntenseGuy says:

    I think he thin all over – his right (our left) sleeve is all puffed and mostly empty – his forearm appears pretty skinny.


  5. IntenseGuy says:

    It probably doesn’t add much, but Clay Center, Clay County is “just a stone’s throw” (10 miles) from Wakefield, KS and Junction City is about 18 miles from Wakefield in the opposite direction. Manhattan, KS is about 30 miles due east of Wakefield.

    I found this census record (I’m almost afraid to post it).

    Manhattan Township of Riley County of Kansas –

    Lewis Parish, Farmer (b. 1822, Canada) m. Laura Parish (b. 1823, New York)

    Offspring: Lamoile F 22y, Euginia F 18y, Ida F 15y, Ella F 12y, Effa F 12y, Emma F 7y, and Louis M 6y (ages as of 1870), Katie (b. about 1865???)

    If nothing else, we can chuckle at naming one’s daughters, Ella, Effa, and Emma.


  6. mrsmarvel says:

    So that’s an 1870 census. That’s a good lead – honestly, with Kate being from that area, around that time… it could be her. And what is their middle name, since all of them seem to have F as their middle initial? :-) Maybe the mother’s maiden name – that was pretty common. Or they just liked the letter F. Interesting!


  7. IntenseGuy says:

    The “F” and “M” is their gender. Sorry I edited this from the census report.


    1. mrsmarvel says:

      Oh, and I was too dense to catch that myself. Oops! :-)


  8. KittenWithaWhip says:

    I’m still guessing Polio or something, and they propped him in that chair to appear more “normal”.


  9. Ruth says:

    Entirely possible he has Osteogenesis Imperfecta or some other physical handicap of that nature. His torso in relation to he length of his arms/legs is incredibly too small. The location of the buttons on his coat also indicate that his trunk is far too short for ‘normal’. The 3rd button would normally sit somewhere around his navel, even when sitting, but in this photo it is obviously mid-thigh.


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