Family Stories

Lyman Metcalfe Bass – at 3 Years and 3 Months!

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Lyman Metcalfe Bass – 3 Years and 3 Months Old

When I found this photo I thought the hair on this little boy just adorable – the curls and length – along with his chubby cheeks and white lace collar!  Written on back was his name, hold old he as in the picture and the date of the photo – October 1879!  It was taken by A. Simpson, 456 Main Street, Buffalo, New York.  Isn’t it hard to imagine how someone could part with this photo?

Having the name and birth date – July, 1876 – I turned to ancestry – and the web – to see what I could find!  This cutie was the son of Lyman Kidder Bass and Frances E. Metcalfe, their only child.  Lyman Metcalfe was born July 5, 1876, in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, but the family soon moved to Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado.  Since his father died in 1889 of consumption, perhaps the move was due to his health.  There is a lovely description of this little one by his mother in 1932, “Laying of the corner stone of our new home, Edgeplain, was by my boy, aged three years, now a grandfather, in kilt and tam o’shanter, yellow curls blowing in the the wind.”  Isn’t that a vivid description?  And with this photo it’s not hard at all to see him!  And he wore a kilt!  What a great mental picture!

Lyman’s father, who was a politician and US Representative from New York, died in 1889.  The year before father, mother and son visited England – again, perhaps to bolster his father’s health?

Lyman Metcalfe Bass was in the Puerto Rican campaign during the Spanish American War, and served again in World War I, his draft card listing him as a lawyer, tall, medium build, with blue eyes and brown hair.

Lyman married Grace Holland.  They had three daughters, Susan, Frances and Grace.  He died in July of 1955.  But we will always remember him as the cute three-year-old with flowing hair, wearing a kilt and being the darling of his family!

4 replies »

  1. I have a distant Aunt Annie Crawford who was an artist in Buffalo when Metcalfe was this age. She painted a portrait of him around 1881 for his mother and a full length portrait of him in 1882 for his grandmother. I would be very interested in seeing these portraits if someone in the family still has them. I know about this from a letter she wrote:
    “I have been painting a full length of little Metcalfe Bass (you may remember I painted his portrait last summer for his mother, this is for his grand mother. I have been obliged to have him every morning and this with all my other work has left me in my studio the whole of the time. Metcalfe leaves for Colorado today”.

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