Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

I’d venture that this lady is middle aged or older, based on the slight jowls and light colored hair. It’s probably gray. Her features have stood up to the test of time though – her mouth isn’t pulled in by missing teeth and her eyes don’t seem tired with fatigue. While we can’t guess what her skin was like, it appears smooth in the photograph.

She was photographed by Hiram W. Lawhead of Onarga and Gilman, IL during the 1890s. The deckled edges of the cabinet card tell us that is the decade. Unfortunately we can’t see much of her dress, but it looks like it would have been lovely with some kind of embellishment on the bodice and a small white (?) bow mid-chest. I have a similar looking pin from Lenox myself, so I wonder if it was a brooch or an actual fabric bow.

Onarga and Gilman are directly down the highway south of Chicago. Hiram Lawhead lived 1840-1917, and operated his studio in Onarga from 1866 to 1892 or so. Apparently he was quite successful as he opened his second studio in Gilman. He was identified as a Prohibitionist in his rootsweb write up.

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