Mystery Photo #1: Girl with tribble, part 1

As with most family photo collections, I have some photos that are unidentified.  The following photo of the girl worried about the dead tribble at her feet is one of these.  Let’s see if we can narrow down the possibilities for who this might be.  The following are the research notes I took as I worked through this mystery.

Let’s start with the photographer to see if we can get a date for the photo.  The photographer’s name and place of business (“A. Wahlstrom, Wadena, Minn.”) are printed at the bottom center of the backing of the cabinet card.

According to the wonderful Directory of Minnesota Photographers created by the Minnesota Historical Society, A. Wahlstrom was Amanda Wahlstrom, a Swedish-American woman who was born in Sweden, spent a brief time working as photographer in Wadena, and then returned to Sweden.  While in Wadena, she worked out of a location at 235 Third Street, Wadena.  According to the MHS, she was active from 1898-1899 and 1902.

According to a May 22, 2011, article in the Wadena Pioneer Journal (“J. Tessman Studio and other Wadena County shutterbugs”):

In 1896, Amanda Wahlstrom, photographer, had her photography business at two different locations – 101 Bryant Ave. SW and 121 1/2 Jefferson St. S., which was sold to C. Raven and Wahlstrom and terminated in 1908.

So it appears that Amanda Wahlstrom may have been active in Wadena from 1896 to 1908.  Stylistic details of the cabinet card and the photographer’s logo may help narrow the date range.

The MHS has a photograph by Amanda Wahlstrom that they date to ca. 1900.  Other photos by A. Wahlstrom can be seen here (undated), here (undated), and here (undated).  The confirmation photograph of the two girls is the closest match of the card and the logo, but it looks to me to be more recent than the photo at the top of this post.

How old is the girl?  I’m not good with estimating children’s ages, so maybe 2-5?  If anyone reading this has a better estimate, please leave it in a comment to this post!

If she were 5 years old and the photo was taken in 1896, then she would have been born in 1891.  If she were 2 years old and the photo was taken in 1908, then she would have been born in 1906.

So what women in my family were born in or near Wadena, MN, between 1891 and 1908?  Here’s a list (I included those born a couple of years on either side of the limits):

  • Bessie M. Askew, born January 26, 1901, in Wadena.  Daughter of Samuel “Sam” Clarence and Anna C. (McDermott) Askew.
  • Beulah Lucille Askew, born May 20, 1907, in Wadena.  Daughter of Wilfred Lawson and Harriet “Hattie” S. (Eddy) Askew.
  • Jennie Ehilbeck Askew, born July 8, 1887, in Wadena County.  Daughter of Col. Joseph and Jane (Eilbeck) Askew.
  • Marguerite “Margret” A Askew, born December 3, 1904, in Wadena County.  Daughter of Samuel “Sam” Clarence and Anna C. (McDermott) Askew.
  • Beulah Lydia Eddy, born March 19, 1890, in Wadena County.  Daughter of Chester William and Emma Alice (Comstock) Eddy.
  • Josephine Eddy, born March 15, 1889, in Wadena County.  Daughter of George Frank and Ida Eddy.
  • Marie Gores, born January 27, 1896, in Wadena.  Daughter of Judge Fredrick Eugene “F.E.” and Veronika (Evertz) Gores.
  • Rosa “Rose” Cecilia Gores, born February 27, 1892, in Wadena.  Daughter of Judge Fredrick Eugene “F.E.” and Veronika (Evertz) Gores.
  • Ida Pearl McLaughlin, born May 23, 1899, in Deer Creek, Otter Tail County.  Daughter of Samual and Martha (McAllister) McLaughlin.
  • Dolly Peck, born ca. 1891, in Staples, Todd County.  Daughter of Alfred “Fred” D. and Mary E “Mate” (Scott) Peck.
  • Vivian Edward Prettyman, born March 29, 1901, in Redwood, Todd County.  Daughter of Albert “Bert” and Mary Harriet (Tobey) Prettyman.
  • Alice Jane Robson, born July 20, 1900, in Wadena.  Daughter of George H. and Marion “Mern” (McAllister) Robson.
  • Bernice M Robson, born April, 1897, in Deer Creek, Otter Tail County.  Daughter of George H. and Marion “Mern” (McAllister) Robson.
  • Jessie M Robson, born December 16, 1890, in Deer Creek, Otter Tail County.  Daughter of George H. and Marion “Mern” (McAllister) Robson.
  • Margret “Maggie” Almira Robson, born March 31, 1893, in Deer Creek, Otter Tail County.  Daughter of George H. and Marion “Mern” (McAllister) Robson.
  • Cassie May Scott, born August 23, 1904, in Deer Creek, Otter Tail County.  Daughter of Frank and Margaret “Maggie” Elizabeth (McAllister) Scott.
  • Eva Scott, born May 17, 1907, in Deer Creek, Otter Tail County.  Daughter of Frank and Margaret “Maggie” Elizabeth (McAllister) Scott.
  • Gertrude Scott, born July 9, 1897, in Deer Creek, Otter Tail County.  Daughter of Frank and Margaret “Maggie” Elizabeth (McAllister) Scott.
  • Mabel Scott, born December, 1899, in Deer Creek, Otter Tail County.  Daughter of Frank and Margaret “Maggie” Elizabeth (McAllister) Scott.

I really want it to be my great grandmother, Gertrude Scott, but there’s still a lot of work to be done before I can figure this one out.

Continued in part 2…

3 thoughts on “Mystery Photo #1: Girl with tribble, part 1

  1. Hello! My relatives Emma Olsson Ohlson and Amanda Wahlstrom came from Sweden to St Paul MN in 1887-1907. They are cousins of my grandfather. And Ida Holmberg is Emma Ohlson’s mother. ! On the self portrait photo, Emma has the name as Olson 844 payne Street St Paul. google maps has 844 payne avenue as a grass lot. Apparently, in the background information on the back of the self portrait of Emma, had a photography studio in Wadena MN.
    Somehow we are related!

    • Hi Shawn,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Unless there’s other information I don’t know about, I think our relation may be more about lives briefly intertwining than about being related by blood. It seems your cousin twice removed Amanda Wahlstrom opened a studio in Wadena and then around 1900 she met and photographed my great-grandmother Gertrude Scott (I figured out the girl’s identity in part two of this story: http://blackenedroots.com/blog/mystery-photo-1-girl-with-tribble-part-2-solved/) who was living with her parents in nearby Deer Creek.

      Do let me know if you know or suspect that there’s more to the story.

      All the best,

      Michael

  2. The information that I have regarding dates that Emma Olsson had her photo studio on 844 Payne avenue was 1887-1907 and Amanda Wahlstrom had the studio in Wadena. I know that Emma returned to Sweden. It reads as if Amanda stayed in Minneapolis Wadena.

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