Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

We are starting a little mystery tour with this lovely little girl, identified as Mary Harding. If you haven’t already guessed, Mary Harding is an incredibly common name, with Mary having been the #1 most popular girls name for much of the last two decades of the 19th century. I believe this is at minimum an 1895+ cabinet card due to the fancy embossing. It’s a floral pattern that I have seen one other time on some square snapshot type photos I found. This is definitely a studio photograph, but the name of the photographer was not present on the back. My suspicion leads me to think this is really a post 1900 photo.

Tomorrow, someone else identified in the same handwriting as Mary.

6 thoughts on “Pretty Mary Harding

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    What big beautiful eyes she has!


  2. I agree a photo taken after 1900 ( for what my opinion is worth..about 2 cents) :)


  3. IntenseGuy says:

    While looking into Frank Buxton, I spotted a reference to Hardings “Friendly” Market and Plainwell Electric (owned by Chuck Buxton). I suspect Mary’s folks owned the market.

    You might enjoy these life stories:

    I think this is this Mary:

    Mary Harding (b. 06-Jun-1897 in Martin, Allegan, Michigan (Martin is about 6 miles from Plainwell))
    Father’s Name: Freeman D. Harding (1900 census “Farmer”, widowed in 1910, remarried Matilda, living in Los Angeles, CA without daughter Mary)
    Mother’s Name: Mary A. Harding

    Mary’s brother John Paul Harding (b. 29-Aug-1899 d. Nov-1976 at age 77 in Studio City, Los Angeles, CA)


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      Isn’t it amazing to think that he moved thousands of miles away from his 13 year old daughter? I can’t imagine my folks doing that for any reason. Unless she died.


  4. IntenseGuy says:

    Oops. That should be “in 1920, remarried Matilda…”

    Mary would have been 23 and possibly (likely?) married. I don’t know what became of her – if she married – I do not know to whom. Since I can’t find a SSN death record – she either died or got married before SSN started (or I goofed and overlooked her).


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