This is a great photo I share with you today. Definitely from the 1870’s, the style of skirts and the man’s jacket, closely buttoned at the top, are more than enough clues to date it. This style of dress is very beautiful, not quite the impression the huge skirts of the 1860’s made, but more ornate in detail and trims. Both women wear fine gold necklaces, and the gentleman a gold watch chain.
Do you notice anything unusual in the photograph? It seems that both woman are a bit possessive of the gentleman. The hand on the shoulder, and one on the forearm speak volumes.
This photograph was taken by T. B. Cardon in Logan City, Utah. I did just a bit of research on Logan City and found it is indeed inhabited by many Mormons, and is considered very conventional. The town was founded in 1859 by settlers sent by Brigham Young to survey for the site of a fort by the Logan River. Evidently a beautiful place to live, it is the home of Utah State University and has a ski areas close by. Given that this photo was taken in Logan City, this three people could very well be Mormon, and be a man with his two wives.
I found a wonderful site with information on T. B. Cardon and his wife, Lucy Smith. They were Mormon, and not only was he a photographer, but also a watch maker and jeweler.
Thomas B. Cardon was a member of General George B. McClellan’s army during the Civil War, and after the Battle of Gaines Hill, where he was shot in the arm and side, was left for dead. Coming to, surrounded by the dead from the fight, he caught up with the Union Army just before being captured by the South. He survived, met Lucy Smith and proposed in 1867, married four years later. They were married 27 years before Thomas’ death in 1898.
T.B. Cardon Dead. Passing Away One of Logan’s Most Highly Respected Citizens. The hand of death has again been thrust into our midst and has plucked from amongst us one whom, not only his family, but the entire community, will miss and mourn for. Thomas B. Cardon passed away at his home on Tuesday evening after an illness reached its culmination in an attack of pneumonia which developed recently, and was the stated cause of death.
Nervous prostration, brought on by worry over business reverses which a less honest man than he would not have noticed, which had weakened his body and made it an easy prey to disease, was the real cause of death. He built up a magnificent business here, and then when the panic came a few years ago he lost it all, simply because he gave every man credit for being as honest as he was himself. He never recovered from the shock of the affair, but fell prey to needless worry; for no man in Logan would have deemed Thomas B. Cardon’s word less than his bond. But the strain was too great; the magnificent brain wore itself out and the big, honest heart of Thomas B. Cardon was stilled forever. He leaves a wife and family behind him, who will miss him as much, but will treasure within their hearts the memory of his worth and goodness.
A biographical sketch of Mr. Cardon was partly prepared for this issue but was withheld at the request of the relatives, in order to obtain some additional information in regard to his life. The funeral services will be held at one o’clock on Friday in the tabernacle.
– Utah Journal Newspaper, February 17, 1898