John Wesley Linton Family Photo

Today I share with you a photo of John Wesley Linton and wife Emma Adelaide Proctor, and two of their children.  With a bit of thought and research I believe I can tell you which of their five children are in the photo.  Let’s start with a little history.

John Wesley Linton’s grandfather was Benjamin Franklin Linton, who was born June 16, 1777, in Loudoun County, Virginia, the son of Captain John Linton and Ann Mason.  Benjamin F. Linton married Lucy Crewdson, April 12, 1805, in Fluvanna County, Virginia.  Even though his parents and other brothers and sisters moved to the Washington/Nelson County area in Kentucky, Benjamin settled in Logan County, Kentucky.

Benjamin and Lucy had twelve children – Mildred L., Moses Lewis, Nany M., John, Thomas Crewdson, William Crewdson, Elizabeth, Benjamin Burkette, John Newman, Lucy Crewdson, Burkette Lewis and George Thomas Linton.  Most of the older children moved away from Logan County, the younger ones stayed in Logan County.

Mildred married her cousin John L. Edwards, who lived in Washington County, Kentucky.  They are buried in the Linton Cemetery, along with the Captain and other members of the family.

Moses Lewis Linton married Ann Rachel Booker, from Washington County, became a doctor and moved his family to St. Louis, Missouri.  He taught at the university and was very widely known for his medical skills, as well as his charitable work.  In the new St. Louis Cathedral he is memorialized on the ceiling as a founding member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Nancy Mason Linton married John Mize and lived in Logan County.

John Linton, also a doctor, moved to Iowa and lived among the Indians of that area, treating them and learning their ways.  He is featured in the Garnavillo Iowa Museum, with many of his doctor’s tools, vials, medicines, and other items.

I’m not sure where Thomas Crewdson Linton lived, or who he married.

William Crewdson moved farther than any of his siblings.  He kept moving west, finally making it to California, where he lived until his death.

The other children all lived in Logan County.  Benjamin Burkette Linton married Nancy Jane Newman.  They are the parents of John Wesley Linton, featured in the photo.  John Wesley Linton was born November 14, 1843.  He joined the southern cause during the Civil War, and was part of the Orphan Brigade.  So many members of his company died that he vowed if he returned home he would plant cedar trees for each and every one who did not return.  True to his word, John Wesley did plant those trees – and many are still growing on his farm today!

After the war, John Wesley Linton married Emma Adelaide Proctor on November 11, 1869.  The couple had five children, Benjamin Proctor, John Warder, James Thomas, Lucy N. and Hugh Walter Linton.  Unfortunately, Lucy died at the age of 22 in 1903.  The four sons lived until the 1940’s – Benjamin Proctor Linton died January 19, 1941; the other three brothers died in 1945 – the youngest, Hugh Walter Linton, died March 21; James Thomas Linton died November 13; and two weeks later John Warder Linton died November 27.

Now, back to the photo.  Looking at the clothing and examining the card leads me to believe this photograph was taken about 1883-1885.  The card has an uneven scalloped edge which is appropriate to that time period.  There is no image printed on the back, but a small, photo-like image is glued to the back.  If you look careful you can see Genelli, St. Louis, printed under the photo of the woman.  I found Genelli, Hubert Brothers, Proprietors, running a photographic studio at 923 Olive Street from 1885.

John Wesley Linton and his family lived in Logan County, Kentucky, near the town of Russellville.  But they had family who lived in St. Louis!  Dr. Moses Lewis Linton had died by this date, but his children lived there.  I’m convinced this was taken during a visit to cousins.

Our next obstacle – which two children are shown in the photo?  My guess would be James Thomas and Lucy.  If you enlarge the photo you can definitely see the child standing with her hand on her father’s shoulder is a little girl.  She wears a ring on the middle finger of her right hand, and a small necklace, and her hair is styled very similar to her mother’s.  The little boy looks a few years older.  In 1885 Lucy would have been five and Thomas, eight.  It could also be that the photo was taken a year or two earlier.  There is no photographer’s name at the bottom of the card, and that could be due to setting up shop.  Either way, I feel very confident in naming the two wee ones.  The older boys could have been left at home with relatives; and Hugh, who was born in February of 1883, may have been too young to travel.  Another reason to date this photo to 1884 was the death of Ann Rachel Booker Linton, Moses’ wife, March 5, 1884.

Always check the small clues that may help you date photographs.  They will help you get close to the date.

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