Another as-yet-unidentified photo I got from my grandmother’s house while helping my family get her old home ready for sale. This one is of two children and a doll. I’m not good with estimating ages, but I’d guess that the boy is somewhere around 3–5 years old, and the girl is 8–12 years old. Let’s see if we can figure out who they are.
According to the wonderful MNHS Directory of Minnesota Photographers, George H. Painter operated the Verndale Studio in Verndale, MN, solely in 1902. Thus, if that date and my age estimates are correct, we’re looking for a boy born between 1897 and 1899, and a girl (sister, maybe?) who was born between 1890 and 1894. To further limit the initial search, I also made the assumption that the boy, at least, was born in Minnesota.
These are the boys in my family tree who meet these criteria:
- Clarence Laverne Askew (born April 3, 1899, in Wadena)
- Aura R. Cook (born July 31, 1897 in Grove Lake)
- Paul Nicholas Gores (born June 7, 1898, in Wadena)
- John Peter Karpen, Sr. (born February 24, 1899, in Hastings)
- Boyd R. Kelley (born ca. 1898 in Minnesota)
- Lloyd Joseph Loso (born April 30, 1899, in Minnesota)
- Charles David McLaughlin (born November 14, 1897, in Deer Creek)
- William Earnest Trimble (born April, 1897, in Minnesota)
Of these, only two have sisters in the right age range:
- Paul Nicholas Gores—had two older sisters, Marie (1896) and Rosa Cecilia (1892)
- Paul Nicholas and Marie Gores would have been 3 and 6 years old, respectively.
- Paul Nicholas and Rosa Cecilia Gores would have been 3 and 10 years old, respectively.
- Boyd R. Kelley—had two older sisters, Murta May (1892) and Amy Galdys (ca 1887)
- Boyd R. and Murta May Kelley would have been ca. 4 and 10 years old, respectively.
- Boyd R. and Amy Galdys Kelley would have been ca. 4 and ca. 15 years old, respectively.
Out of this lot, Paul Nicholas Gores and his sister Rosa Cecilia Gores seem the most likely, given that I have other photos of them (all as adults), but no photos at all of the Kelleys.
My automatic facial recognition software, however, didn’t recognize either child, despite having adult reference photos for both Nicholas and Rosa. I’ll have to work on finding additional photos of the Gores children to see if I can match them to the children in this photo.
The location of the studio in Verndale may also provide a clue. When I searched for any family members who had lived in Verndale, I got a list of 13 people: 9 of whom were Eddys, 3 who married Eddys, and 1 who married a McLaughlin.
This photo was part of a photo collage made by my grandmother, Harriet (Askew) Prettyman 30–40 years ago. The collage included photos of her family (her family includes the Askews, Scotts, Eddys, and McAllisters), but none of my grandfather’s family (his family includes the Prettymans, Gores, Horans and Evertzs). This fact better comports with the photo being of Eddy family members instead of Gores family members. My family tree isn’t as well researched on the Eddy side, so I may not have all possible Eddy children entered yet. Additional work on that family branch may shed light on who these children may be.
What else? The photo lacks many obvious clues to help identify it. One potential clue is the button on the boy’s lapel:
The face appears to be that of a young woman or a boy, but who could this person be?
I enlarged and enhanced the portion of the photo with the button, but contrary to its portrayal on CSI, there really are limits to what can be achieved with actual image enhancement.
That’s about as far as I can go at the moment. Hopefully some new evidence (would a similar, but labeled, photograph be too much to ask for?) will come to light. In the meantime, if you have any ideas about who these children may be, please leave a comment!
NOTE: The mystery children have now been identified! See part two of this post for their identities.