Emmitsburg Physician Robert Lewis Annan and the Enigma of Franklin F. Kuhn

Again with the doctors! Portraits of Maryland physicians keep finding me. This cabinet card photograph by Kuhn & Cummins is identified as “Robert Lewis Annan Octb. 13th 1880.”

It wasn’t hard learn his identity; the Annans were a prominent Presbyterian family of Emmitsburg, Frederick County, Maryland. There is quite a bit about the Annans, and Dr. Robert Lewis Annan specifically, on the web, thanks to the Emmitsburg Area Historical Society.

Dr. Robert Lewis Annan (1831-1907) was the son of Dr. Andrew Annan and Elizabeth (Motter) Annan. He was descended from Rev. Robert Annan (1742-1819), a Presbyterian minister who came to the American colonies from Scotland before the Revolution and became an ardent patriot.

Andrew Annan came to the Emmitsburg area in 1805. The Annans were merchants, organizers of community endeavors such as the Emmitsburg Water Company, and, with the Horners, founders of the Annan & Horner Bank.

The family faded from Emmitsburg life after the scandal, prosecutions, and seizures of property stemming from the downfall of their bank in 1922.

Robert Lewis Annan attended Washington and Jefferson College near Pittsburgh, Pa., then studied medicine at the University of the City of New York, graduating with an M. D. in 1855. He returned to Emmitsburg and practiced medicine there for the rest of his life. He was married twice: first to Alice Columbia Motter, who died in 1878, and then to Hessie Birnie. They lived in a large brick house adjoining that of his brother, Isaac Annan, in the center of Emmitsburg.

Franklin F. Kuhn (b. abt. 1830, Md.) partnered with James S. Cummins (1841-1895) as Kuhn & Cummins ca. 1874-1880, according to Kelbaugh’s Directory of Maryland Photographers 1839-1900. From 1882 to 1886, Kuhn partnered with John Philip Blessing in the Baltimore firm Blessing & Kuhn–this is reflected in the 1883, 1884 and 1885 Baltimore city directories. In the 1886 Woods’ Baltimore Directory, Kuhn is absent, and the name becomes Blessing & Co., at the same address–46 N. Charles Street.

Much more is known about Cummins and Blessing than Kuhn, and as I researched this photograph, I found my interest in Franklin Kuhn overshadowing the portrait’s subject.

Kuhn worked as a photographer in Atlanta, Ga. after and perhaps during the Civil War. His name appears on 1866 tax lists and 1867 voter rolls for Atlanta, and a Franklin Kuhn, born in Maryland, took the oath of allegiance in Fulton County, Ga.  in 1867. In 1870, he appears in the Federal Census in Atlanta as a photographer, married, with a daughter, Sarah E. Kuhn,  born in Georgia about 1867.

I found on Flickr  a set of vintage photographs taken at F. Kuhn’s Pioneer Gallery, 290 White Hall Street, Atlanta, and I think this is probably Franklin Kuhn. A search for this gallery name brings up a smattering of photographs, all in carte de visite format. Subjects are clearly dressed in 1860s styles or Civil War uniforms.

An advertisement for “Kuhn’s Photograph Gallery,” at “new” No. 19 Whitehall Street, appears in the 1870 directory for Atlanta. In 1871, he was advertising as Kuhn & Smith,” “up stairs, 27 Whitehall street.” His name does not appear in the 1872 directory; Smith appears now as “Smith & Motes” at 27 Whitehall Street.

An 1873 Baltimore directory lists a Frank Kuhn, photographer, at 48 N. Charles, so it appears that ca. 1872-1873, he moved his family back to Baltimore, and they are in Baltimore in the 1880 federal census.

I found a record of a Franklin Kuhn who served with Company K of the 15th Michigan Infantry and, intriguingly, mustered out at Jonesboro, Georgia, about 20 miles south of Atlanta, in 1864. Could this have been Frank Kuhn the photographer?

Franklin F. Kuhn surfaces in 1866, then disappears from records after 1885. Where was he born? Who were his parents? Where was he before the Civil War? Why did he go to Atlanta? What took him back to Baltimore after 1870? Where and when did he die? I am troubled by a nagging enigma that Dr. Annan, or any number of Maryland doctors, can’t cure.

2 comments on “Emmitsburg Physician Robert Lewis Annan and the Enigma of Franklin F. Kuhn”

  1. I have a Cummins portrait of an ancestor and would be happy to send you a copy of front and back if you can help me date it. There are two possible identities, both of whose histories entail Spanish period Louisiana, possibly Canary Island Isleno, possibly Balearic Menorcan, I will soon be putting up on my own blog, and will give you a synopsis of if you’d like to attach it to yours. I’m hoping that the address of his studio at #7 N. Charles (not #5) will help date the portrait, which in turn will tell me which of the two women it belongs to.
    With sincere thanks in advance,
    Laura S. Sitges from New Orleans
    sitges_prentice@yahoo.com

    • Laura, happy to pass on the info I have on Cummins’ studio. According to Kelbaugh’s “Directory of Maryland Photographers 1839-1900,” James S. Cummins’ studio was located at 7 N. Charles St., Baltimore, from 1884 to 1886. I’d also recommend looking at Baltimore directories of the period. There is a great collection of links to Baltimore city directories on the Baltimore City Archives blog: http://baltimorecityhistory.net/baltimore-city-directories/

      Hope this helps . . . Good luck with your research–would love to see your blog post when it’s up!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: