Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Here for your perusal is the wedding photo of Mrs. Nelia Hall and presumably Mr. Hall. I find it interesting that Mr. Hall was left unnamed for the ages to forget. Unfortunately without his name, it becomes terribly difficult to figure out just who she is. You wouldn’t think that “Nelia” was a popular name, because it’s relatively unknown today, but it was in fact, rather popular at the turn of the century, and that doesn’t account for the interpretations of the census taker’s poor handwriting or spelling errors.

Nelia was a short and plump little woman, who the fashion craze for exaggerated sleeves did not flatter. While her dress is lovely and surely well made by an expert seamstress, it serves to make her whole body look stuffed. Mr. Hall has a “distracted intellectual” look about him, what with his hair flipped up, and the way he was made to hold the lapel of his coat. It is also an illusion of the photograph that makes it look as though Mr. Hall is holding the bouquet in front of his lovely bride, when in fact he has his hand tucked behind his own back.

The photographer was Stillman, at 326 E. 3rd Street, Jamestown, NY.

2 thoughts on “Mrs. Nelia Hall

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    At first I thought ‘Nelia was short for Cornelia.. but wow.. there are dozens of Nelia Halls in the US census. Even with the date – and assuming its a wedding and she is about 20… doesn’t narrow things down much.

    Jamestown isn’t very large – but its near PA and Ohio… so she could have been from … just about anywhere. I seem to recall there is a place near Jamestown that was a religious retreat that thousands went to – back around 1900.


  2. Sometimes fashion traps the plump into looking plumper. Interesting wedding photo:)


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