Monday, June 11, 2012

Mystery Monday - Three Gentlemen, Unknown Occupation


Can you determine what occupation these gentlemen are representing in this cabinet card from the 1880's?  The man on the left, identified as Curry Williams is wearing what appears to be a painter's overcoat and holding a paint can and paint brush.  The man in the middle who is rather good looking and seems somewhat smug is holding some sort of notebook in his hand.  t his feet is a large bag that could be any number of things.  The young man on the right is holding on to some sort of stick, has his left hand in his pocket and you may notice his pant legs are splotched with what appears to be paint.  From other pictures in my possession I believe he may be Curry's younger brother Albert.


I picked up this Cabinet Card at the same antique show where I got the one I talked about recently (Lillie Allen Draper) along with about fifteen or so others.  I believe many may have been from the same family. You will see that some, once again has written in ink on the front of the card and identified Curry Williams on the left. Since I have the other photographs with family names I was able to locate him on Ancestry.com.  

He was born 15 Mar 1857, Curry Elihu Cadwallader Williams, to Abner and Agatha (Heacock) Williams in Talladega, Alabama.  In the 1880 Oxford, Calhoun, Alabama census, at age 23 he was living with his parents, sister Mollie age 21, brother J. Albert age 19, brother Abner J. age 13, and sister Lillie Belle age 11.  He listed his occupation as warehouse keeper.  He married Cordelia "Della" Anderson on 1 Jan 1889 in Alabama.  I could not identify the photographer - looks likes Hurd & Delany, and I suspect this photo was taken sometime before his marriage.

Curry and his wife Della were the parents of five children.  They moved to Oklahoma City, OK sometime before 1906 were I found numerous Oklahoma City Directory listings of him as "cotton buyer" starting in 1906 and ending in 1927.  He died 2 Feb 1954 in Illinois and is buried in Oklahoma City.

Here's a picture of his younger brother J. Albert Williams (30 Nov 1861 - 23 Mar 1923):


6 comments:

  1. I wonder if the guy in the middle might be a big wheel investor or contractor in charge of constructing a major building and the Williams brothers are key subcontractors.

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    1. I've reall wracked my brain over this one.

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  2. Interesting picture - it's great you were able to locate details about the family at Ancestry.com. Wonder what's in the bag?

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    1. I also wonder what's in that bag....money, a rattlesnake, dirty clothes?

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  3. The man on the right is hold a kind of auger I think, with his arm resting on the T-handle. Used for boring holes like pegging timbers together. He looks like brother J.Albert. The paint pot might be a glue pot, maybe for pasting posters or labels. The duster he is wearing doesn't fit with a house painter maybe they are in cotton broker business.

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    1. Thanks for your insightful comments Mike, I did not mention that in later years some of the city directories actually said cotton broker instead of cotton buyer. I guess both are actually the same thing. He would have been a fairly young man here, mid to late 20's, must have been the early days of his career.

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