Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Starchy Hooper, Nebraska Couple

There's a lot to look at in this wedding photo of a young couple in the late 1890's or very early 1900's in Hooper, Nebraska.  The unidentified married couple are sitting side-by-side and their body language is a bit stiff. Although he is leaning his knee into hers, he seems rather tense, note how his hands are fisted.

The bride's dark colored dress is a little unusual with the floral bodice insert and high neckline as well as cuffs and belt.  The dress also has puffed up sleeves at the shoulders and beautiful trim sewn on the lower sleeves as well as in several tiers along the bottom of the skirt.  One can assume this dress was to be used over and over again as her Sunday best. Her bridal bonnet/headpiece was quite lovely and typical of the very early 1900's with the beautiful sprigs of flowers and trailing vines.   She is not holding a bouquet, but does have a small corsage which adds to all the busyness. If you look closely  you can see her wedding ring as well as the groom's.

The woman standing behind her I am going to assume is her sister because there is a striking resemblance.  She appears quite tall and trim and is also wearing a dark dress and corsage. She personifies the Gibson Girl look of the time.  Both the groom and best man are wearing boutonnieres that match the bride's headpiece and the best man has the most unusual striped bow-tie.

The cabinet card itself is most unusual and is the first I have seen like it.  The background is a striped paper and the photographer's mark is deeply embossed.  I had much trouble reading the photographer's name and after much research on the Internet I finally discovered that he is Peter Wilhelm Traulsen.  Traulsen was born 13 Sep 1862 at Tating, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.  He attended school in Germany and served three years in the German army.  In 1887 he emigrated to the United States from Hamburg with his two brothers, Herman and Claus.  Upon his arrival he worked as a painter in Minton, Iowa.  In 1891 he moved to Hooper, NE where after a short time he took up the trade of photographer.  He opened a studio in Hooper  and became one of the area's leading photographers of the late 19th and 20th centuries.  On 14 Jun 1896 he married Wanda Augusta Kruger, also from Germany, and they had three children.  Peter Traulsen died 30 Nov 1926 and is buried at Hooper Cemetery in Dodge County, NE.

1.  NEGenWeb Project -Darrell Moyer,
2.  Find-A-Grave


  1. Lots of frou-frou on that dress! I don't think I've ever seen contrasting cuffs before.

    1. I found it to be rather unusual as well.

  2. Why is she wearing a black wedding dress? Is it her second marriage? or did somebody die recently? They don't look happy at all.

    1. It was quite common for brides to wear dark colored dresses Rob. They could then be reused for practical purposes. A white dress would have been impossible to keep clean and very impractical.


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