Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sepia Saturday #165; Unkown folks from Benton and Wasco Counties



The theme for today is "Group Portrait of an Unknown Family". As said in Sepia Saturday. "All lovers of old photographs are familiar with unknown people, unknown families and unknown places, we all have them in our collection, and Sepia Saturday 165 provides an opportunity to give them their moment in the limelight, not because of who they are but because of who they may be."   And so it is with this collection of pictures, some group, some not, that most likely is connected to my Keyes ancestors in Oregon. Their 1870s  arrival  in eastern Oregon was via Benton County, Isthmas of Panama, Tennessee, Virginia, and back to Ireland and the Scots border lands.  The following "unknown" pictures came to me from a Keyes cousin, who had "rescued" a number of old albums  that had apparently been in the Brown, Keyes, Butler and Donnelly families.  The lovely old fashioned albums were in disrepair -- cut up, pages torn out, pictures removed, and discarded as trash.


This first picture shows two young boys in The Dalles,Oregon, circa  1880s. The photographer was F. J. Gerhes. In the 1850s through  1870s, The Dalles was the County Seat for most of eastern half Oregon, and continued to be an important city on the Columbia for all of eastern Oregon.

The  picture below is a tintype of two unknown men. They each have a faint familiar look, and could be from the Keyes, Brown, or Donnelly families in either Corvallis, The Dalles, or Mitchell, Oregon.
The following  two pictures were taken by Ted Brown, a photographer who apparently took a number of tures in the Mitchell-Fossil area of eastern Oregon. The young men are most likely of the Keyes, Donnelly or Butler families --- all of whom were inter-related.


The couple below were photographed in The Dalles, Oregon, by C. M. duVall, photographer.

A group picture of a young family. No indication of a photographer, but there was a notation Canyon City (a small town just south of John Day, Oregon) that "might" have gone with this picture.
The following picture is a tintype and was found with other tintype pictures of my Benton County Keyes family.  If I had to hazard an educated guess, I would say this was Rebecca Jane Keyes Donnelly.
And now a family group picture.  However, I really do know all of the young people in this picture. I am thinking it was taken in 1875, just before the wedding of Margaret Delilah Keyes to Abiather Barrett Newton.  My great grandfather James Edward Leonardis Keyes returned to the family home in Benton County to attend his sister's wedding.  He and his cousin Zachary Taylor Keyes were building a sheep ranch near Mitchell, Oregon.


Keyes Siblings, circa 1875
Back Row, L-R, Alexander Doran, James E. L., and John Ward Keyes
Front Row, L-R, Margaret D., Rebecca  J., and Orena Cordelia Keyes
This post is part of a series of posts for Sepia Saturday, which provides an opportunity for bloggers to share their history through photographs. You can view more Sepia Saturday images here. 

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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

22 comments:

  1. A great collection of old photographs. But oh, you just can't help wishing that someone had a smartphone around in those times in order to get a relaxed, informal photograph.

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    1. Right, those old-fashioned staged photos rarely had a smile --- just too intent on remaining still, I think.

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    2. still they are stylish, w a sense of pride & dignity we now find hard to come by even w the british royal family! i love these joan... they belie what is said about ALL of us old tyme oregonians being nothing but hatfields & mccoys... guess that was just my family, where i believe they took turns wearing a pair of shoes.

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  2. It was a nice surprise to come to the 'all knowns' at the end.

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    1. Thank you for noticing the "knowns." I was so delighted when I came across this very large picture(16"x20"), of my Keyes ancestors. I dinna even mind that there was no frame and that someone had tinted the scarves blue.

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  3. Those 2 Unknown Men wouldnt look out of place in a movie (perhaps starring Paul Newman)

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    1. Quite right! They are a dashing duo.

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  4. Wonderful selection of photos, and you have hints to go by on most of them. I wonder if those boys in the first one are twins?

    Kathy M.

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    1. I have wondered the same thing. I haven't come upon twins in the family in that era, but perhaps someone will see the picture of the boys and give us the full story.

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  5. I am struck by the tinting with blue in the last photo. Do you think other colors were also applied and have faded with time? Very interesting blog.

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    1. From the looks of the picture, only the blue was applied --- it looks very non-professional, so I'm thinking it was applied much later, perhaps in the 1950s or 60s. I say that because it was in that time period I tried my hand at coloring photos --- with not much better results, I might add.

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  6. I wonder if the two men together are the same people as the two young boys?

    Interesting how the girls all had identical dresses in that last photo. I felt that the one you queried as Rebecca above looked a bit more like Orena or Margaret -Rebecca's jaw looks rounder.

    Isn't it frustrating to have clues but no answers?! And how sad to know the albums were destroyed (mind you they'll think about mine after my scanning efforts!)

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  7. I just want to say smile! But I do like the blue tint in their photo! The first two do seem to be related!

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    1. The likelihood for them to be related is pretty high. I think that most of the folks in these pictures are related -- in one way, one degree, or another.

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  8. Fantastic to have the photos, named or not.

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  9. I agree with Kathy and think the boys in the first photo look like twins. The fifth photo of the couple looks a little bit like a test photo or some such - from the angle - do you know what I mean?

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    1. Regarding the 5th photo, You might be right. I always thought that it was just an odd photo, but now that I look at it again,you might be right --- or just a sloppy photographer.

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  10. A good lesson in why we should keep those collections intact. even if we don't know who they are, as some descendant may in the future arrive with the clues that fit the puzzle together. Great tintypes, by the way - my favourite photo format.

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  11. I thought the first picture looked like twins. The man in the 4th picture looks like he has an early version of the kind of neckties men still wear. Neckties have been getting longer and longer over the years. Now they are below the waist!

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  12. I love those tinted photos. I wonder if the girls might have been bridesmaids since they all have the same dresses. And the boys were probably in the wedding party also. Great photos.
    Nancy

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  13. I enjoyed this collection of photos.

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  14. Enjoyed the look at your unknowns and the wedding group. Good luck finding the answers you seek!

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