Tag Archives: Lexington Kentucky

Old Photograph from W. E. Johns in Lexington

I share with you today this very interesting photo.  This is definitely a cabinet card photo – not sure why that is written on the front of the card instead of the photographer’s name – but the clothes and hairstyle of the woman portrayed do not reflect the 1870 to 1900 time period for this type of photography.

The appearance of this woman’s neck is unusual for this time period.  Usually women wore collars high on their necks, almost to the chin.  And the material of the clothing is very different from what is normally seen.  She is quite lovely and has that tantalizing hint of a smile playing upon her lips.

The cabinet card was introduced in the United States in 1867, gained popularity from 1878 to 1897, and was used occasionally until about 1900.

This particular card has a gold beveled edge which dates it from 1885-1900.  The centered monogram (although the photographers name does not appear on this card) dates this to 1889-1894, and the gold foil stamped text to 1890-1900.

in the 1870’s many cabinet cards had no imprint on the back.  During the 1880’s photographers added a huge imprint, stating their name and address, filling the entire back of the card.  By the middle and late 1890’s the imprint was smaller and simpler than before.

W. E. Johns, located at 55 E. Main Street, Lexington, took this photograph – at least one hundred years ago.

Does anyone recognize this woman from Lexington, Kentucky?

Dear Aunt Lil

Goodrich Nursing Home in Lexington, Kentucky. My Aunt Lil’s nursing home, run about 1940-1960? Not sure about the dates. Aunt Lil is in the dark dress at the bottom of the photo.

This is a great photo of my Aunt Lil and her nursing staff at the Goodrich Nursing Home in Lexington, Kentucky.  Aunt Lil, actually my great-aunt, was born Lillian Catherine Montgomery, March 11, 1900 – always easy to remember old she was – in Washington County, the daughter of Robert E. Lee Montgomery and Frances Barber Linton.  She married Guy Goodrich in 1933.  They had no children, but Aunt Lil devoted her time as a registered nurse, a graduate of St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in Lexington.  She began Goodrich Nursing Home and ran it with an iron fist.  Patients always came first.  She was a stickler for cleanliness and demanded superior work from her staff.  She was well known in this field, and well loved by those who worked for her.

I have very vague memories of visiting Aunt Lil and Uncle Guy’s home in Lexington – I always thought it very fancy!  I particularly remember her plates with pink flowers and green leaves in her china hutch.  In later years, after Uncle Guy passed on and she sold the nursing home, she returned to Springfield, in Washington County, and lived near her sister – my grandmother.  It was at this point our relationship grew, since the genealogy bug had been handed down to her, from her mother – and also handed down to me from the same, my great-grandmother.  As far as I know, we were the only two in the family so obsessed!  I would visit her for lunch and we would pore over all the delicate pieces of paper of our ancestors, handed down through the years, and look at those faces in photographs of so long ago.  Sometimes I miss her so!

Aunt Lil was rather a roving senior citizen.  She would move to Springfield, be there several years; miss Lexington; move there for several years, miss Springfield, and move back.  Torn between two worlds.  In her last years she lived in a nursing home in Springfield, but acted like she was the one taking care of things.  I suppose once a nurse, always a nurse!

Do you recognize any of the nurses in the photo?

1870-1880 Photos – Lexington, Kentucky

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One never knows when you might find something exciting in your own back yard!  I have been very interesting in purchasing a copy of Colonel George Chinn’s book, The History of Harrodsburg and “The Great Settlement Area” of Kentucky, 1774-1900.  I’ve checked on Ebay and Amazon with no luck.  So I called one of our local shops, J. Sampson Antiques and Books – on Main Street in Harrodsburg.  At that time there was not a copy available, but received a call this week that he had a pristine copy found over the weekend.  Most anxious to see the book I told him I would be there after work.  Not only did I purchase the Chinn book, but several others on Mercer County history.  Then I asked about old photographs.  Even though in number they were few, I found four photographs taken in Lexington, Kentucky; one in Georgetown; and one in Louisville.  I was thrilled!  So my blog to you today are these photographs, I believe from the 1870’s to 1880’s.

The above photo is of a young man very nicely dressed – I love his neckwear.  He is holding a riding whip, which perhaps he has nervously twisted while waiting to take the photo.  This is a carte-de-visite, the 2.5 x 4 inch photo taken from the 1860’s through the 1870’s.  On back it reads “Go to Butler’s Gallery for Photographs, No. 19 1/2 West Main Street, Lexington, Kentucky” – which is almost exactly where my daughter used to live in the high rise on Main Street!


The rest of the photos are cabinet cards – 4.25 x 6.5 inches.  This lovely woman has an interesting dress, but her brooch is most beautiful!  She almost has a smile on her face!  This photo was taken by Mullen Photography in Lexington.

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I love this photo!  The gentleman’s suit is a three-piece matching outfit.  His striped tie a nice compliment!  The fob attached to the man’s belt is not for a watch.  It is hard to see in the photo, but I believe there is an emblem on the lower part – perhaps a Mason or Odd Fellow fob?  This photo was taken by John’s Photography in Lexington.

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There is much beauty in this photograph of an older woman.  The sunken cheeks and tiny mouth remind me of my grandmother Hill!  It is impossible to see, but perhaps she braided her hair and wore it wound around at the back of her head in a bun – also like my grandmother.  Look at her hands – small and well-worn.  Although it’s always hard to say for certain, if this photo were taken in 1875 – this woman could have been born around the turn of the century.    On back is written, W. E. Johns, 55 E. Main Street, Lexington, Kentucky.  The previous photo was also taken by a Mr. John’s in Lexington, but there is nothing written on the back.  That would lead me to believe the previous photo was taken several years before this one.

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The next photo is of a very debonair young man whose photo was taken by Phipps Photography in Georgetown, Kentucky, just sixteen miles north of Lexington.  I like the elongated coat – and fastening just the top button, with a view of the vest and watch chain, is definitely an 1870’s style.  I’m not sure what the star on his lapel might represent.


And I saved the best for last!  This is the most adorable little girl!  And we know her name – Anna Kilsal Wilde!  Look at the plump arms and feet – and the one little foot resting on a pillow!  The white lace dress is gorgeous!  Her sweet little face and hair just complete the picture!  This photo was taken by Veasy, The Doerr Gallery, at 12th and Market Streets, Louisville, Kentucky.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the gallery show of Kentuckians today!  Please let me know if you recognize anyone in these photos – or know anything about Anna Kilsal Wilde!

A Beautiful Day at the Lexington Cemetery



‘A rose once grew where all could see, sheltered beside a garden wall.  And, as the days passed swiftly by, it spread its branches, straight and tall.’

On a beautiful day in April Ritchey and I visited the Lexington Cemetery, Fayette County, Kentucky.  It was a glorious day – tulips blooming, trees laden with blossoms of white, purple and pink.  So not only were there gravestones to photo – but the scenery also!


One of the famous persons buried in this cemetery is Henry Clay – the man who was Speaker of the House, senator, secretary of state, five time presidential candidate – but never president.  Clay married Lucretia Hart and together they had eleven children.


Earlier in the year I read Henry Clay – The Essential American by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler.  I highly recommend it!


Dr. H. H. Sheppard, born August 18, 1797, died January 8, 1859.


Sampson Dots, born May 3, 1800, died March 25, 1863.


Mrs. Margaret R. Rodes, born June 4, 1799, died November 27, 1865.


Levi Todd Rodes, 1831-1890.  A relative of Mary Todd Lincoln.


Caroline V. Waters, born January 23, 1801, died April 7, 1876.


Maj. George Parke Richardson, born March 12, 1795, died July 16, 1851.

Sarah Ann McDougald, wife of George P. Richardson, born September 23, 1802, died March 5, 1875.

Georgia Richardson, died January 30, 1884.  ‘She hath done what she could.’


Livia H., wife of W. L. Gardner, born November 7, 1834, died February 21, 1864.

William L. Gardner, born March 27, 1836, died May 20, 1882.



William Logan Reed, Biography

from Mercer County, Kentucky – Biographies

William Logan Reed was born May 19, 1819, in Lexington, Kentucky, where he was reared until 1835, when he was sent to Kelley’s High School, at Harrodsburg.  In 1836 he commenced to learn the tanner’s trade with his brothers and spent two and one-half years with his uncle in Danville, at the same vocation.  In 1841 he entered into partnership with George C. Timberlake, of Garrard County, in the tanner’s trade, at which he continued three years, when he removed to Lexington, and purchased the old Trotter farm, upon which he located.  In 1850 he removed to Boyle County and engaged in farming seven years, after which he established a tannery in Lincoln County, which he operated for five years.  In 1864 he located on Cane Run Turnpike, three miles east of Harrodsburg, Mercer County, where he has since resided.  His father, Isaac Reed, a native of Maryland, removed to Kentucky about 1795, locating in Lexington, where he engaged extensively in the manufacture of boots and shoes, often employing from forty to sixty men on sewed work alone.  He amassed a handsome property at the business, and died in 1847 at the age of seventy-two years.  He married Rebecca Prall, of Lexington, and from their union sprang Henry W., John P., Emeline (Timberlake), Mary J. (Bridges), Andrew J. and William L.  September 22, 1845, William L. Reed was united in marriage with Miss Josephine, daughter of John and Mary (Dunn) Hogan, of Garrard County, born September 24, 1824, and to them have been born Emeline I., deceased; Mary R., wife to Thomas P. Embry, of Fayette County; Andrew J., deceased; Ophelia, wife of Bedelle Chancellor of Virginia; Julia H., deceased; Lizzie H., wife of B. C. Sandidge, of Lincoln County; and William A. J.  Mr. Reed is a farmer and stock raiser, directing his attention to shorthorn cattle and trotting horses, and owns 433 acres of finely improved and productive land.  He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, an Odd Fellow and a Democrat.