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Picturing the Past 162: Mystery photo

Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at 2:32 PM

Anyone recognize the people in this photo or where it may have been made? Dorothy Orr, who supplied it, thinks it may have been made in Shelbyville, Wheel or Farmington.
Looks like this is mystery week.

Dorothy Orr brought by this photo last week. Recognize any of your ancestors? She has no idea who's pictured or what type of business this was, but thinks it's from the 1920s. I'd guess it may be from earlier back than that, based on the horses, obviously attached to a buggy, at right.

Go here for a larger view.

Multiple ledger books are visible along with what appear to be a large number of order forms on the shelves at left.

She thinks the photo was made in Shelbyville, Wheel or Farmington. Call her at 684-4848 if you can tell what's going on - and post your thoughts here, too.

1934 Courthouse info

I was looking through the 1973 Times-Gazette files (yes, I'm going to post newer photos again here soon - haven't had time to search in weeks, but I'd rather focus the blog on, say, 1950s-up) and found a portion of an oral history project on the 1934 courthouse burning/riots.

During the 1972-73 school year Cascade High students interviewed a large number of people about what they remembered. The T-G published Part 1 of what was described as "a series" but apparently never ran the rest of it.

Does anyone know if any copies of that project still exist and, if so, could I get it and copy it? Those involved were teacher Thomas P. Philpot and students Bonnie Fann, Betty Ann Edde, Mary Jane Troxler, Sarah Grubbs, Charles Rippy, Carl Helton and George Hodge.

Murder in Raus?

We got this request from Donna Hall of Carrollton, Texas, who wants information on a murder case from Raus in 1864. Anyone remember older relatives talking about this? Donna's request follows:

"Trying to locate anyone in Bedford & surrounding Counties who might help solve the mystery of our great, great grandfather John Henry "Ky" Hall's (Born: 1823 KY) violent death in 1864. He & his eldest son, John L. Hall, were reportedly ambushed along Thompson Creek near Raus by Mel Ray, Ben Byrom & Clayborn Prince who were, or had been Confederate soldiers. John "Ky" Hall died in the creek & his son ran to his maternal grandmother, Naomi Powell's home where he was shot to death & she was shot in her arm. We are wondering if our ancestors were Union sympathizers or Union Soldiers, because the stories we've read, stated that their bodies were put in a wagon & shown to people living along the river. It doesn't appear that there was any fear from law authorities for the killings. We would also like to know if there are any descendants in the area of John "Ky" Hall, or his son William Henry Hall (1852-1933), or "Ky's" wife, Mary C. Powell (1823-1896) or her parents, John Powell & Naomi Dobson Carter."

Her address: Donna Hall, BARD4567@aol.com or (972) 242-4580.

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Reader contributions are welcome.

Showing comments in chronological order
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David, Regarding Dorothy Orr's photo, that's a great old photo. I may be way off base, but the fact that the two men are dressed to the nines and have 3-piece suits on, might indicate it's a bank, or maybe a city or county government office, or even a manufacturing concern. I could visualize it being from U.S. Rubber (aka Uniroyal) due to the vast amount of ledger books and other paper work. To me that would make it more likely to be from Shelbyville rather that Wheel or Farmington. Hopefully, someone will weigh in with more concrete information.

Regarding the Cascade School oral project on the 1934 Courthouse fire, I recall seeing in recent years at the local history room of the library, a somewhat tattered compilation of the project. Initially it included photos, but they have long since gone missing. I was T-G editor at the time, but don't have any recollection why we only printed a Part I and called it a series. Maybe it turned out to be only one?

David, I know there are still several people around, now in their eighties, that were children at the time and can tell of their memories of that tragedy. The ones I've talked to, all have vivid memories about certain specifics. A compilation of "their stories" should be captured and preserved before it's too late. Just a thought that would make a great project for the T-G.

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Fri, Jun 8, 2012, at 10:21 AM

A closeup of the calendar shows it is Feb/Mar/Apr month page. If so, on this page Feb has 29 days and thus a leap year. The only leap years in this era that match the layout of this one are 1904 and 1932. Most likely this is from 1904.

-- Posted by cfder on Fri, Jun 8, 2012, at 4:38 PM

See the horse outside...would that make it most likely 1904.

cfder, you have a great eye. And what research!! This is the type of comments that make these blogs so much fun.

-- Posted by moonwalker on Fri, Jun 8, 2012, at 4:52 PM

The company name on the calendar appears to be Western Brass. A company by this name was founded in California in 1932, and remains in business today with the name being changed at some point in time to Storm Industries.(Storm was the name of the founder). Unless another business of the same name was in operation at the same time, I would guess that this photo was made in 1932 or later.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, Jun 8, 2012, at 7:47 PM

I believe the clothing worn in this picture would indicate a later time period than 1904.

-- Posted by reilly on Fri, Jun 8, 2012, at 7:54 PM

I googled a 1904 typewriter and there is vast difference in the looks of it and the one in this picture. Maybe the picture was made in 1932. I sure wish someone would know where it was made. It sure catches one's interest

-- Posted by cookie on Fri, Jun 8, 2012, at 8:14 PM

I was trying to make some sense of the calendar, the map on the wall, and the large book on the desk at far right. MArnold did good on the calendar (I vote for 1932--depression era can make things a bit more spartan, though all the players appear well-dressed!) The map appears to show Kentucky at top and Tennessee below, and the large book appears to have NESTOR LETTERS on the spine...and Google is not helping on that count!

Good 'un, David!!

-- Posted by dkd57 on Fri, Jun 8, 2012, at 10:19 PM

Also, that looks like a more modern light bulb than one from 1904.

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Tue, Jun 12, 2012, at 11:24 AM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.