Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Tribute 1907

From the Ellicottville Post, May 22, 1907

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Traveling Photographers

I mentioned something about local photographers being itinerant and here's a good example of that:

Identified as Josephine Beecher Scoville [1 Sept 1855 - 17 Sept 1905], accession #2013-7-106.
Came to Ellicottville in 1870, married William P. Scoville in 1880. Courtesy Ellicottville Historical Society
with kind permission from Mary E. Dunbar, town historian

L.L. ZUVER (1861-1924)                 
Ellicottville (Cattaraugus Co), NY: 1886-1887 (Partner with MH STEWART)
Pleasantville (Venango Co), PA:
Oil City, (Venango Co), PA: 1905-
Tionesta (Forest Co), PA: photography business & general store
L.W. ZUVER (1854-1927)
Ellicottville (Cattaraugus Co), NY: (after 1875) August 1884
Salamanca (Cattaraugus Co), NY: after 1875-November 1884
Cleveland, OH: November 1884; engaged in the manufacture of dry plates used in photography
Olean (Cattaraugus Co), NY: 1885-
Operated a steamboat studio covering Olean, NY to Pittsburgh, PA to include the busiest oil centers in Pennsylvania such as Warren, Oil City, Tidioute, Tionesta and Franklin. 
Pittsburgh, PA: 1893-1900
Butler (Butler Co), PA: to 1910; sold out to H. S. Sheffler in 1910 and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida.

These names are not listed in the 1874/5 directory of Cattaraugus County, New York. In the Randolph newspaper in August of 1884, it was noted that “L.N. ZUVER hereafter will be at his photograph rooms in the Huenerfeld Building in Ellicottville on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”
The Ellicottville paper noted in November of 1884 under Salamanca news that Mr. L. W. ZUVER had sold his photograph business in this city. It further stated that Mr. ZUVER would relocate to Cleveland, Ohio where he would “engage in the manufacture of dry plates used in photography.”

L.L. ZUVER was at first a partner with M.H. STEWART in Ellicottville in 1886 but by the next year, the partnership had dissolved.

George Emery Zuver and his Susan Goodman had nine children, three of whom went on to become photographers. Their daughter Mary (born 1851) married Jacob West who was listed as a photographer in 1870 in Bradford (McKean County) Pennsylvania. She joined the photography business and eventually became very popular in Bradford. Mary sold her business after her husband’s death in 1906 to Howard Spangler and moved to the town of Butler, PA to live with her family in 1907. (See the blog “Diggin Up Dirt”. This blog goes on to say that Mary’s two younger brothers Lewis W Zuver (1854-1927) and Leander L Zuver (1861-1924) were also photographers and that the brothers can be found listed with studios from Olean, NY, just north of Bradford across the Pennsylvania line and as far south in Pennsylvania as Pittsburgh. Leander (aka Leonard, Richard or “Dick” as his friends referred to him) had the shortest career in the photography business. In 1885 Lewis and a man named Atherly had small steamboat built in order to hawk their wares in the river from Olean, NY to Pittsburgh, PA. This path would allow them to hit some of the busiest oil centers in Pennsylvania including, Warren, Oil City, Tidioute, Tionesta and Franklin. 

Lewis was operating in Pittsburgh, PA from at least 1893 to 1900 and is noted for exceptional work with wonderful detail of textures (see <>). Mary West’s granddaughter noted that he lived in Butler, PA and operated two different studios in the area. She also noted that Lewis continued to enjoy the photography profession until selling out to H. S. Sheffler in 1910 and moving to St. Petersburg, Florida.

                Richard (aka L.L.) Zuver’s obituary in the Titusville Herald indicated that he died in Tionesta and “learned the photographer’s trade when a young man and for several years conducted a studio in Pleasantville in a building which stood just west of the Dutton livery in that village. He was united in marriage with Miss Agnes Braneth (or Braniff) who resided near Pleasantville, and in 1905 went to Oil City, where he conducted a studio for several years before coming to this village, where he had operated a general store in connection with his photograph business.”

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Workday Wednesday:

M. HOWARD STEWART (1858-1932). Photographer in
Ellicottville (Cattaraugus Co), NY: 1886-1888, 1889-1890 in Huenerfeld Block on Monroe Street; March 1891 moved to Stewart Block on Main Street until about June of 1899
Middleton (Dauphin Co), PA: about June 1888 to August 1889
Washington (Washington Co), PA: about 1899-1900s

M. Howard Stewart was born in 1858 in Utica (Venango County), Pennsylvania. He died in 1932 in Apollo, a borough in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, 35 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. He came to Ellicottville (Cattaraugus County) New York around 1886 and set up a photo gallery with L.L. Zuver. By 1887, their partnership had dissolved and Stewart carried on the business. In 1888, he left for Middleton, PA (Dauphin County) but came back by August of 1889. He built a studio of his own on Main Street in Ellicottville by March of 1891. In June of 1899, it was advertised that Alfred H. Coit bought Stewart’s photography business. Stewart then moved to Washingon (Washington Co), PA where he carried on his photography business within the Pittsburgh Metro Area. He was enumerated there during the 1900 and 1910 Federal census. The Ellicottville Post carried the story of his death on July 7, 1932.

                M. H. Stewart married Matie Greene, the daughter of C.B. Greene and Jeanette Huenerfeld. They were married in Ellicottville in 1889. It was Jeanette’s father and Stewart’s grandfather-in-law, Peter J. Huenerfeld who owned the Huenerfeld Block on Monroe Street in Ellicottville where Stewart had his photography studio before he built his own. 

Sources: Ellicottville Post advertisements, items of interest and obituary notice from the online newspaper project at; 1900 and 1910 Federal census.

Identified as Thomas McMahon, accession #2013-7-13. Courtesy Ellicottville Historical Society
with kind permission from Mary E. Dunbar, town historian

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Happy Mother's Day

I would love to be able to say I came up with this, but alas, I cannot! But I did want to share this awesome "pinterest-worthy" photograph project for Mother's Day. The woman in this photograph is a dear woman who I have known for years. She is pictured here with her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter using a mirror that was originally her mother's. How awesome is that? Though only four generations are pictured, really there are five generations represented. The granddaughter is the one that completed the project. When I asked it how she did, she explained and said it was a pain but worth it. I, and many others, would agree that it was certainly worth it.

I hope this inspires you to make a project of your own to honor some aspect of your heritage...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday's Faces From The Past: Cabinet Card Project

Children of Thos. L. & Mary (Ida) Simmons Dineen: Stella, Mabel, Nellie, Tom & Raymond (born April 1897)

This is a cabinet card. These types of photographs first appeared in the mid-1860s and were popular from about 1875 to 1900. Most cabinet cards are a standard size of 6 1/2" x 4 1/4" although there were size variations later on. See the website for additional information regarding cabinet cards.

What started out as a small project bloomed into a bigger one as I searched farther and farther afield for information. I have always had a fascination for old photographs so a lot of my projects entail research about them. I have studied the history of photography via the finished projects that each era has ushered in as technology and fashion run hand in hand to shape experiences.

In attempts to identify old photographs, there are several techniques that one can employ. One is to research the photographer’s information if possible. Cabinet cards hold the most promise for that type of research as very often a photographer’s imprint can be found on the bottom of the photo card or even on the back.   
Several cabinet cards were among the items a close friend owns which were given to her by her uncle. These were originally among her grandmother’s possessions and passed down from earlier generations with many of the family members having been in the area since the early 1800s. The above example is from her collection. Fortunately, this photograph is labeled so one can more easily determine when it was taken. Thus we know that this photographer was in business at least at that period of time. But what about other photographs which also list him as the photographer such as this one below?

Unknown infant. Courtesy of the Ellicottville Historical Society
with kind permission from Mary E. Dunbar, town historian

And what about the difference in address between that one and this one following?

Unknown woman, 1890s. Courtesy of Ellicottville Historical Society
with kind permission from Mary E. Dunbar, town historian

Because there is online access to old newspapers from the Ellicottville and some surrounding areas at, I was able to do some searching to discover more information about this photographer and his business.  I will present the information on him in a later post.

Success with this initial research led me to explore information about other photographers in the area using the same newspapers. Then I went on to look for more examples at the Ellicottville Historical Society. Some of these photographers were more itinerant and I would find evidence of them having moved their business to other parts of the county as well as other states. The nearby town of Franklinville was a thriving business area back in the day and so there were several examples of photographers in that area. The City of Salamanca was also a larger area for photography work. I tracked a couple of photographers from Randolph, New York (in Cattaraugus County) to Ellicottville, New York to Salamanca as well as up and down the river to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That is an interesting story that I will save for another post as well.

I know this information will be helpful to other researchers, so I want to continue with the project and document as much as I can about the different photographers in the area. I probably will not be able to limit myself to just the cabinet card era although that is where the bulk of the research will be. I was encouraged by fellow blogger at the blog Hunting and Gathering to make this information available as I go which I may do in various installments of blog posts in the future or put together a document similar to what is done for Georgia photographers at Hunting and Gathering. If there is any information you can provide that would be helpful to this project as well as any examples to share, that would be greatly appreciated!