A 19th Century Baltimore Boxer

This cabinet card was produced by photographer Mrs. Dora Jose Russell, wife of photographer William C. Russell, between 1894 and 1901.

William C. Russell (1843-1900) was born near Chadd’s Ferry, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. According to his obituary, Russell was well known as a landscape photographer, who, “while in the Baltimore and Ohio service . . . took many thousands of photographs of interesting scenery along the road.”

Several years before his death, Russell retired from the railroad and opened a studio at 5 North Charles Street. Kelbaugh’s Directory of Maryland Photographers lists two addresses for his studio: 151 W. Fayette (1886) and 106 N. Charles (1887).

Kelbaugh’s directory may be incomplete.

Wilson’s Photographic Magazine for January  1890 briefly notes that Russell and Charles Quartley had dissolved their partnership and that Russell continued busines at 5 North Charles.

Both the Baltimore Sun article and Kelbaugh’s directory are in agreement on the fact that Russell sold his studio after only a few years, and that his wife, Dora, “soon afterward opened a gallery at 109 West Lexington street.”

Kelbaugh dates Mrs. Russell’s studio at this location to 1894-1901, and this is the period during which this cabinet card photograph was taken. She is listed as Mrs. William C. Russell, photographer at 109 W. Lexington, in Polk’s Baltimore directory for 1893-1894.

As for the figure itself, the gentleman’s pose is a conventional one for boxers’ portraits. What seems odd is his outfit. He is apparently wearing an improvised pair of “shorts” made from a folded length of fabric, perhaps pinned at the back.

In short, a diaper.

Stereoview of the Eutaw House by William M. Chase

William M. Chase published this stereoview of the Eutaw House, a large and fashionable hotel built on the northwest corner of Eutaw and Baltimore streets between 1832 and 1835 by William Hussey.

According to Scharf’s History of Baltimore City and County, the brick Eutaw House covered over 19,000 square feet. The architect was Samuel Harris; the builders John and Valentine Dushane. Robert Garrett & Sons acquired the hotel at auction in 1845 for $58,500, excluding furnishings.

Carleton Jones wrote in his 1982 book Lost Baltimore Landmarks that the Eutaw House was “the great rival in its day of Barnum’s City Hotel.” The 1866  travel guide A Stranger in Baltimore told sojourners the Eutaw was “celebrated as one of the best hotels in the country.”

The drawing that appears in this advertisement for the hotel in Howard’s 1873 The Monumental City depicts the structure with two cupolas and several broad, low-pitched decorative gables facing both Eutaw and Baltimore streets instead of the small Federal-style garret windows seen in this stereoview. Were these decorative gables  a product of a post-bellum face-lift?

An advertisement for William E. Wood & Company, purveyors of stoves and heaters, appears in the same volume.

The publication history of The Monumental City creates complications for dating the photograph. The edition digitized for Google Books has an 1873 date of publication, but an 1878 copyright notice. The advertisement for the Eutaw House gives the manager’s name as C. S. Wood. According to Scharf’s 1881 History, also on Google Books, Wood took on the management of the hotel in 1880.

Google’s Monumental City is a digital version of a copy held by the Bodleian Library. B & O Railroad President, banker and philanthropist John Work Garrett inscribed this copy to an English M.P., John Pender, Esq. Pender was a member of Parliament 1862-1866, 1872-1885, and 1892-1896; Garrett died in 1884. A city booster, Garrett apparently used the book to promote Baltimore. Howard’s volume may have gone through multiple unrecorded printings, but this copy had to have been produced ca. 1880.

The presence of horse-drawn omnibuses indicates the photograph was taken before 1890, when electric trolleys replaced the horse-cars; following William Darrah’s dating, the yellow, flat mount suggests  this stereoview was published between 1862 and 1876.

Do you know additional details about either the date of publication of this stereoview or the date of the exterior alteration of Eutaw House? If so, leave a comment.

William Easley Woodall, “A Dear Friend of Baltimore Md.”

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I got lucky again with this identified portrait taken in the studio of John Holyland between 1865 and 1880.

On the back is written in old but still quite legible ink, “Mr. Wm. E. Woodall a dear friend of Baltimore Md. shipbuilder.”

Research in census records quickly turned up a William E. Woodall, ship builder, born in England in 1837. Through research in a newspaper archive, I learned that William E. Woodall & Co. was founded by three partners in Baltimore in 1873: William Woodall, his brother James, and Charles A. Witler. The announcement of the new partnership related that the yard was located on “the north side of the basin, near Reese’s Furnace.”

According to Robert C. Keith’s Baltimore Harbor: A Pictorial History (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), William Easley Woodall arrived in Baltimore from Liverpool in 1853, at the age of 15 (pp. 102-103). Woodall’s yard built and refitted all sorts of vessels until its closure in 1929. It is now remembered chiefly for its drydock:

“The yard he created had the harbor’s first drydock, a floating affair built at the Reeder wharf on Federal Hill in 1874. The 270-by-60-ft. drydock was a harbor landmark for 62 years. It could be sunk in 30 minutes to pick up a ship in need of paint or repair, and handled 50 or more vessels a year” (Baltimore Harbor, p. 103).

Keith’s volume includes a map of the harbor showing the location of the Woodall yard and many other docks.

Woodall died in 1884; his brother James in 1915. James is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Baltimore; it seems likely William is there as well. A third brother, Henry Easby or Easley Woodall (1827-1909), settled in Baltimore as a rigger after a career at sea and in the California gold fields. They may have had an elder sister, Hester Woodall Richardson, wife of ship’s joiner James Richardson.

John Holyland, chose a simple, vignetted bust for Woodall’s portrait. Subtle side-lighting delineates the features of a successful, confident, and vigorous man in the prime of life.

Dentists I Have Not Known: John Willis White Lyle

Occasionally I have the good fortune to find a photograph that is so well-identified that I can trace something of the history of the sitter.

On the back of this Richard Walzl cabinet card photograph is written “Uncle Jno. Willie White Lyle-Picture made first year in Baltimore Dental College, Baltimore, Md., 1893.”

Several family historians on Ancestry.com have traced this gentleman’s roots and descendants in census and other records.

John W. W. Lyle (1869-1948) was born in Scott County, Mississippi to wealthy Georgia-born farmer Matthew Lyle (1818-1890) who had served in the Confederate Army with the 5th Mississippi Infantry.

John Lyle received his DDS from the storied Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in March 1895.

After dental training in Baltimore, John returned to his home state and settled in the town of Good Hope, and then Lena, Leake County, with his wife, Ouda White Lyle, to practice dentistry and to farm on Cash Road. They had three children: John Matthew Lyle, Maggie, and Gilbert G. Lyle  (1904-1999).

John W. W. Lyle is buried in Cash Cemetery, Scott County, Mississippi, along with several other family members.

The photographer has improved upon the old style of vignetted busts by using  a soft, cloud-like background that adds texture without distracting from the subject.

Charles Street First Methodist Episcopal Church

This William M. Chase stereoview of the Greek Revival-style Charles Street Methodist Episcopal Church (aka Mt.Vernon M.E. Church), northeast corner of Charles and Fayette streets, no longer exists.

According to a reference I found on the wonderful Baltimore Architecture Project website, this church was built in 1844 and torn down ca. 1885. This reference text, a slim 1982 softcover labor of love by Carleton Jones called Lost Baltimore Landmarks: A Portfolio of Vanished Buildings, is well worth acquiring for those interested in identifying Baltimore architecture.

Scharf’s History of Baltimore City and County relates that the Light Street M. E. congregation bought the Charles Street church building in 1869 in order to make way for the extension of German Street.

It is well-known Baltimore architectural and Methodist history that this congregation, led by Rev. John Franklin Goucher, commissioned  Stanford White to build a new church beyond North (Boundary) Avenue at 22nd and St. Paul streets in 1882.

In 1884 the new church, dubbed Lovely Lane Methodist Episcopal Church after the congregation’s pre-Light Street location, opened adjacent to the site of the future Goucher College (Baltimore: Its History and People, Vol. 3, ed. Clayton Coleman Hall, 1912, p. 546)

Based on the style of Chase’s mark and the orange color of the mount, I’m guessing this photo was taken in the 1870s. Note the horse-car in the foreground, the horse’s figure blurred by its motion. Horse-cars were introduced to Baltimore in 1859, and were in use until replaced by electric trolleys ca. 1890.

Band of Unknowns by G. E. Beckner

Photographer G. E. Beckner took this cabinet card photograph of four unknown musicians, ca. 1895,  at 133 E. Main Street in Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland.

G. E. Beckner appears likely to have been George Edgar Beckner, traveling photographer, born July 1864 in Waynesboro, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, son of Jacob Beckner and Catherine Shaffer.

Beckner married Emma Susan Ziegler of Leitersburg, Washington County, Maryland, about 1900. They apparently had no children.

The census provides only sketchy snapshots of his travels: 1900 in Leitersburg; 1910 in Toboyne,  Perry County, Pennsylvania; 1920 in Washington, DC.

The musicians are posed against an incongruous background of a vaguely sylvan scene.

Chase Stereoview of the Wildey Monument

This stereoview of the Wildey monument, located on Broadway at Fayette Street, was originally published by William M. Chase. There is an additional blind embossed imprint on the left-hand edge of the card that reads “G. W. Thorne 60 Nassau Street New York.”

According to The Monumental City, the monument was dedicated to the founder of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Thomas Wildey, on 26 April 1865.

The movement to build a monument to Wildey was organized after his death in 1861. American lodges raised about $18,000 to design and build the monument, and the City of Baltimore donated the ground for its erection.

The spot on N. Broadway was chosen because it was close to the location where Wildey founded the I.O.O.F. in 1819, the Seven Stars Tavern. Its doric column, says Baltimore historian Thomas Scharf, “is surmounted by a life-sized figure of charity protecting the orphans” (History of Baltimore City and County, pp. 269-270).

Engravings often include a representation of the Washington Medical College of Baltimore,  later purchased by the Presbyterian Church and renamed the Church Home and Hospital.

While the Church Home and Hospital is not visible in this photograph, of architectural interest is the two-story, two-bay Federal style house, ca. 1790-1835, behind and to the left of the monument. The house appears to be made of wood and faced with brick with a shop attached. Wood structures were outlawed in Baltimore in 1799, but enforcement was lax.

If the view is looking northwest, the cupola glimpsed on the horizon to the left of this old house might be the old Baltimore City Jail on East Madison Street, on the edge of Jones Falls. Another possibility is the cupola of the old Baltimore courthouse at Calvert and Lexington streets, farther west, which was torn down in 1895 to make way for a massive new Beaux-Arts structure; a third, if the view looks southwest: the Baltimore Merchants’ Exchange, Gay Street between Lombard and Water, whose “high dome . . . dominated the southeastern quarter of the city until its demolition in 1901-1902” (The Architecture of Baltimore: An Illustrated History, p. 78).

Two structures to the right of the monument might be what were called “half” houses, but I don’t know enough about Baltimore’s architecture to be sure. Ideas?

More about the Wildey Monument on the Monument City blog.

William Lincoln Cover

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This cabinet card photograph may be a portrait of Baltimore photographer William Lincoln Cover. The words “Cousin Will Cover” are penciled on the back.

Born 5 Jan 1844, William L. Cover grew up in Frederick County, Maryland. The son of prosperous carpenter Frederick Cover, William attended Emmitsburg Academy. According to a brief biography published in the Baltimore SUN in 1900, Cover set up as a photographer in Baltimore about 1872. The 1870 census for Baltimore city has Cover listed as a photographer, boarding in the home of an elderly lady named Anna Rose.

He ran on the Democratic ticket for the State House of Delegates for the Third District in 1899 and was elected.

I haven’t found a date of death, yet, but letters of administration for the estate of William L. Cover were granted to his wife Susanna Cover in April 1903. Their home was at 304 N. Stricker Street, and his studio was located at 754 W. Baltimore Street.

I have a Cover carte de visite with a different studio address, 560 W. Baltimore Street, whose simple imprint Darrah suggests dates to anywhere from 1868 to 1882; according to Ross Kelbaugh, Cover’s studio was located at 560 W. Baltimore from 1868 to 1886 and 754 W. Baltimore from 1887 to 1903.

He is dressed formally in a Victorian tailcoat and white wingtip shirt. Elaborate advertising graphics on the reverse feature a Greek theme. He may have had this formal portrait taken for his campaign ca. 1899.

Col. Ellwood Waller Evans, US Army (1866-1917)

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English-born photographer George Richard Buffham (1846-1915) took this photograph of then Maj. Ellwood Waller Evans in the late 1890s.

Buffham and his brother J. H. Buffham may have been the  Buffham Bros. of the eponymous studio in Baltimore in the 1880s. They are found in Baltimore in the 1880 census listed as “picture dealers.”

George Buffham had moved to Annapolis by 1900, and worked there as a photographer at 48 Maryland Avenue until ca. 1910. Buffham may have been the US Naval Academy photographer around that time, when he took out advertisements seeking a managing partner for his Annapolis studio, and directed interested parties to write him at the academy.

Evans, who graduated from West Point in 1887, was a military instructor at St. Johns College in the late 1890s.  He began his career with the 8th Cavalry in Texas, South Dakota, and Montana. When the US went to war with Spain in 1898, Evans was chosen to help lead the 5th Regiment of the Maryland National Guard as the regiment was prepared for active duty, then moved to the 1st Regiment and accompanied them to Cuba, where he served from 1899 to 1902.

After Cuba, Evans served in Missouri, the Phillipines, and Nebraska. Evans then became commander of the First Squadron of the 10th Cavalry, an all-black corps, and led these soldiers with Pershing in the incursion into Mexico (Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young, Brian G. Shellum, University of Nebraska Press, 2010, pp. 248, 330).

By now a colonel, Evans died in Pueblo, Colorado on 24 July 1917. According to Evans’ Baltimore Sun obituary of 27 July 1917, the career soldier was serving as inspector-general of the Colorado National Guard at the time of his death.

The Pueblo Chieftain recorded the elaborate pageantry of his military funeral in its 29 July 1917 issue:

“The funeral procession of Colonel Evans was the most spectacular seen in Pueblo for many years, for while the service itself was simple,  the special escort of 800 soldiers, added a touch to the funeral procession which brought home to the hearts of many the seriousness of the present conflict.”

These soldiers, and the officer who accompanied Evans’ body back east, came from Peublo’s Camp Gunter. The camp, likely named for Colorado Gov. Julius Gunter, apparently served as a temporary encampment set up on the Pueblo Colorado fair grounds for the mustering of Colorado National Guard troops at the outbreak of World War I.

The Evans and Waller families had deep roots in Somerset and Worcester counties, Maryland.  Evans’ father, George Washington Evans (1841-1896), was born on his father’s farm on Smith Island. Capt. George W. Evans served during the Civil War in Company I of the 1st Eastern Shore Maryland Infantry, and made  the Army his career after the war ended (Historical Register of the United States Army, Francis Bernard Heitman, 1890, p. 258).

Ellwood’s great-grandfather, William Waller, served in Capt. James Foster’s Company of the 51st Regiment, Maryland Militia, in the 1812 war with the British, and Ellwood was a member of the Society of the War of 1812 on the basis of this ancestry.

His great-great-grandfather, Col. Peter Chaille of Snow Hill, Worcester County, served in the Revolutionary War with the 1st Battalion of the Worcester County, Maryland Militia. Col. Chaille was also a member of the Maryland Convention and the Maryland Lower House from 1777 to 1780.

George Buffham made frequent journeys back to England throughout the early years of the century, and it is possible that his brother and mother returned there permanently. Buffham and his wife may have also returned to England for good around 1910; a brief item in an Annapolis newspaper mentions an urgent trip back to England to attend his ill mother.

The photograph’s  5″ x 3-1/4″ white mount has a pebbled surface with embossed frame design, serrated edges and beveled, square corners, and is dated ca. 1900 by McCulloch. The image is a simple, vignetted bust portrait, perhaps  taken for his wife before he left Annapolis for Cuba in 1898.

Stereoview of Gunther Fountain, Eutaw Place, by William Chase

In an earlier post, I talked about the two fountains that wealthy residents purchased and installed in the parklike median of Eutaw Place.

The Centennial or “children’s” fountain, by far the most famous of the two, was installed after the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in the 1800 block of Eutaw Place.

This is the lesser known Gunther fountain. It was of bronze, about 18 feet tall, and stood in the grassy median of the 1400 block.

Prolific stereoview publisher William M. Chase sold this view of the Gunther fountain as part of his series “The Beautiful in Architecture and Landscape.” Orange mounts were employed after 1865. Stereoviews were given curved mounts after 1879. Since this photograph has a flat mount, it could have been created ca. 1865-1879.

The George Eastman House has a good collection of stereoviews, including about 100 by William Chase.

Thoughts about possible architects of the handsome residences behind the fountain? Please share them by leaving a comment.