Photographers - Putnam

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Photographers of Putnam County


Source: Greencastle Herald 26 Jan 1928 p 1

“Say! By Charles J. Arnold” – It’s a cinch you cannot have a Shepherdess picture without sheep. The Herald, the other day in mentioning the signal honor given Hillary G. Bailey, Greencastle photographer on the excellency of his photograph, The Shepherdess,” did not identify the sheep.  This certainly got us in “Dutch,” with a certain Greencastle business man and farmer, who in his farming activities, specializes in the raising of pure bred wool producers. As I said above, if you have a “Sheperdess” picture you must have sheep and to win recognition with the picture you must have good sheep.  In fact as I see it, sheep are the most important thing in the picture. That is why this farmer gave me quite a good natured “Panning” yesterday. Miss Mary Torr, who posed with the sheep in the honor winning photo, and Mr. Bailey the photographer, each got honorable mention but the sheep were entirely overlook.  So at this late date I am taking opportunity to give honorable mention to the sheep and to their owner, CC Hurst. And no kidding, they are REAL SHEEP, these CC Hurst kind!

Source: Same p 5 – “The Sherpherdess,” a photograph by Hillary G. Bailey, Greencastle photographer appeared in Photograms of the Year,” a review of the best photographs that appeared during 1927 and edited and published by FC Mortimer of London. The photograph appeared in the alcogravure section of the Indianapolis Star last year. Mr. Mortimer is editor of several art magazines including The Amateur Photographer, Dictionary of Photography … He selected 61 photographs from throughout Europe and America and 22 of these were from America. The Shepherdess was the only one selected from Indiana.


Source: Greencastle Banner 8 Sept 1881 p 1

HW BAKER – Photo & Art Gallery in Fillmore
Hugh W. Baker married Katie Browning of Putnam County 8 Dec 1875.  In the 1880 census Hugh is a Retail Grocer and they have a 6-month old daughter not named (this was Elizabeth born in November of 1879).  They show-up in Baltimore Maryland where he can read/write with a 10th grade education and is now a machinist and have another daughter, their last child, Ida born 12 Oct 1887 in Indiana.  Hugh was born 3 June 1843 in Winchester City, Virginia and passed away in Baltimore 17 August 1903.  Katie was born 23 Oct 1854 in Putnam County and passed away in Baltimore 7 Dec 1936 and had married 2ndly George Nieberlein who also passed away long before she did.  Buried in Baltimore with Hugh. Evidently, his photography business didn’t fly well, sadly!  Sure wish we had some of his pictures!

Source: Greencastle Daily Sun, 23 April 1890 p 3
Call on JT Bower, the photographer when you want first class work.   Gallery over post office.

Source: Greencastle Daily Sun, 23 April 1890 p 3
- Go to JT Bower when you want your babies pictures taken. He has the best outfit in the city for doing instantaneous work.  a very important feature in making photographs of babies and children. Don't fail to call on him; over post office.


She is mentioned as a photographer in the 1868 Greencastle City Business Directory. Could not find anything on her but in 1857 there is a Miss Mary Brock listed as a Greencastle primary teacher - perhaps she taught in winter and photographed in the summer?  Love to find more about her

Source: Greencastle Star-Democrat 16 July 1909 p 6
More honors in the photography line have been attained by JO Cammack, Greencastle's photographer. This time, Cammack made a clean sweet, being awarded first in both exhibitions in which he had displays. It was at the annual exhibit at the State Photographer's Association held at Lake Winona last week that Mr. Cammack won two gold metals. He exhibited 12 pictures, six in the Grand Portrait and six in View Class. Mr. Cammack's collections were awarded first prize in each class. The number of displays at the convention was larger and better than ever before. In both classes in which Mr. Cammack exhibited his work received the highest rating by the three expert judges. One judge was from Chicago, one from Nashville and the other from Peoria, Ill.  Another honor for Mc. Cammack was the selection of one of his views by a committee of five to be retained by the Association to be hung in the DeGuerre building at Lake Winona. Each year a committee is appointed to select the best pictures on exhibition to be used in this way. In the Grand Portrait Class Mr. Cammack exhibited photographs of men well known to Greencastle people.  Two pictures of the late John Gilmore were among them. There was one of the late John Clark Ridpath,
one of Jesse Weik, one of Jackson Boyd and another of Jacob Millman of Coatesville. In the View Class he had scenes from Putnam County's wilds. There were scenes from Little Walnut near the Baptist Church, a scene of Deer Creek, a scene from the little road which leads to Peter Stone's farm at Mt. Meridian road scene, a picture of the Jones' Falls and a picture of the brook below the falls. It was the last named which was selected for the permanent place on the walls of the DeGuerre building.

Source: Greencastle Herald 4 April 1911 p 1

As stated by the Herald some time ago, Dr. King of this town and John Owens of the State Board of Health and Photographer Cammack took some pictures of several alleys and back yards in Greencastle. The photographs were finished several days ago and copies were forwarded to Dr. Hurty at Indianapolis.  The following is a letter from Dr. Hurty to Dr. King in regard to the alleys:

Dr. JM King, Greencastle, Ind
Dear Doctor: The photographs received, for which I thank you, I suppose the photographer will send his bill along later. I have been in four county seats since I was in Greencastle and not one of them have conditions even approaching the filthiness and nastiness of your alleys around the public square. These alleys are a disgrace to the city of Greencastle. If the authorities do not go to work to clean up these alleys and repave them and make them decent, the matter will be exposed throughout the state. Your city fathers should make visits to some surrounding cities of the same class at Greencastle and see what is being done. Greencastle is a college town and it should, therefore, set an example. Governor Marshall says, “Cleanliness is essential to Godliness.” This is a paraphrase of the poet’s utterance that Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Judging by the alleys around the public square in Greencastle, there is very little Godliness there.  You should bring this matter before your county and city council as city health officer and talk to them very positively in regard to it.  Very truly yours, JN Hurt, Sec State Board of Health.


Source: Greencastle Banner 28 March 1879

Dear Sir ■
The cabinets came all right, and everybody says are “just splendid,” and I want a
dozen more of each, which in the light finish would be 19 for the 74 pictures. Bend them by express ears practical experience in this business that requires art talent, mechanical genius, diligent study, and practice to insure success. D. R. Clark,
Ira W. McConnell
Cabinets|4 per dozen; gallery in Bates block. Terre Haute, March 28, 1879. Mr. D. B Clark—1 received my photos and was pleased with them. You may have three dozen more made at your leisure, and oblige yours sincerely, W. W. Claxton. All styles of photographic art work, large or mail, plain or colored, at Clark’s gallery. Many of the college students are photographed at Clark’s; a large number from Asbury university.
Read this:
Greencastle, May 7, 1879. Mr. D. R. Clark—Those photos sent to me arrived safely, and have been delivered. Your pictures give general satisfaction Yours truly, Will F. Switzer.
Another: A lady senior of Asbury says: “Your work is excellent. Lacey’s pictures do not come up to his samples. This is the reason I come to you.” -Prices greatly reduced; cabinet* $4 per dozen. There is no gallery in this city that depends upon hired operators and retouchers that can compete with me in price or quality. I am prepared to defy all such competition.  My patrons have the benefit of 20 years practical experience in this profession. A business that requires art talent, skill, mechanical genius, diligent study and practical experience in Bates block.
Again: We have a first-class artist to finish all orders for water colored and Ink work. Mr. Fetsch was formerly with me (six years,) and I know him to be the finest artist in ink and water colors In the state. Clark, photographer.
Mr. Chas. Fetsch, the well-known German artist, has removed his studio to Bates block, adjoining Clarks gallery. •
Remember Clark has removed from Vance block. From the president of the First National Bank: Thorntown, May 15, 1879.
Mr. D. R. Clark—Sir: Enclosed find one draft for $8. The pictures are good and satisfactory. Keep the negatives. Yours truly, John Niven.
At the greatly reduced prices only the best class of work will be allowed to go out of Clark’s gallery, Bates block.
From the Practical Photographer, published at St. Louis, May. 1879:
The fine establishment in the Bates block we found was now occupied by our old friend Clark, who, by the way, was quite busy the day we called. Mr. Clark is a very superior artist and turns out excellent work.
Mr. Dennis, the artist, is in the Bates block. I will “fight it out on this line if It takes all
summer:" cabinets $4 per dozen.
Mr. Allen, one of the finest negative retouchers in the west, at Clark’s gallery.
Old picture* copied and enlarged, and finished in Ink, crayon, oil and water colors at Clark's gallery, Bates block.
The best inducements afforded for securing the finest and most artistic photographic work at Clark’s Gallery, Bates block-.

 (28 October 2021)
Maurice Frink - photographer about 1940 for DePauw
Source: Thanks to Indiana Album


Source: Greencastle Banner 10 Aug 1882 p 5

J.D. Hathaway attended the Photographers Convention at Indianapolis Monday. Also James Purgin and wife.

J.M. HEATH - Aidelott

Source: Greencastle Banner 31 July 1890 p 3

A New Firm – JM Heath of Cloverdale and CM Aidelott of Gosport, have formed a partnership and will take charge of the old Jones gallery next week.  

Not sure if this is him - whether he'd have time to be a photographer and a farmer :)

Source: Greencastle Banner & Times 16 Dec 1892 p 1
J McD Hays, the Post Master listed those who had letters – JM Heath did have one, addressed to him as Sec. Putnam County Agricultural Society.  Hmmm

Joseph Addison HILL

(you might like to read his obituary which is on this site - information from that source) -- J.A. Hill which is how he was known was born March the 2nd, 1827 at Urbanan, Ohio.  His father was Dr. John Hill from Virginia.  Joseph A. was his only son, and was well educated, his father moving to Bloomington Indiana where J.A. accomplished the classic education.  He loved to learn, always reading and observing.  An art critic he loved to paint and sculpt himself.  When he was 17, he built a telescope as astronomy was another of his loves.  An expert photographer, he practiced this in Greencastle for many years.  He was listed in the 1868 Greencastle City Directory.  He married Emaline Deming of Bloomington and they parented six children.  At Hill's death in 1892, he was a member of the K of P; an Eagle; and owned many friends. Here is an example of his work

HUSHER - 1877

William H. Kerr - AD

William H. Kerr advertised in the Greencastle papers right before the turn of the 20th century (1890s) - could not find him in the 1900 census although he married Ida C. Ripley 29 Oct 1878 in Putnam County - they have one son Alva E. in the 1880 census age 2 months.  Sadly, Ida died that census year in November, having been born in August of 1860 thus just 20 years old. Buried at the Dunkin Cemetery in Quincy (Owen County, Indiana). He and son Alva are found in the 1902 Indianapolis City Directory, their business at 1023 E. Washington Street then Alva in Cairo, Illinois in the 1910 census as a photographer in business with Jessie Ronkeberger.

KNIGHT (of Cloverdale)

Source: Greencastle Herald 24 Oct 1907 p 4
On Sunday Oct 20, 1907 Mrs. RM Mason gave a dinner in honor of Lowry Mason, her stepson of Denver Co who is here visiting relatives and friends for the first time in 24 years. He is on the police force in Denver.  Mrs. Mason is the mother of 12 children and 3 step children, all of whom are living except one stepson, 27 grandchildren and two greats.  All her children were present but two….After dinner, photographer Knight of Cloverdale took a picture of the family.  All departed hoping that many more reunions like this one can be enjoyed.  


Source: Greencastle Daily Sun, 23 April 1890 p 3
W.H. Lyon, the photographer, will make you 100 stamp photographs for $1.

Source: Greencastle Daily Sun, 23 April 1890 p 3
- Lyon, the photographer, says he has the best operator and retoucher that has ever worked in his gallery.

Source: Greencastle Daily Sun 15 April 1890 p 3

Go to WH Lyon, photographer when you want fine work.  He employs the finest artists and is able to give you the latest style work. Call and get acquainted with his new operator.
Also: Lyon, photographer, is making life size crayons with nice frame for $10. This is to advertise his large work and is only for 60 days.

Source: The Greencastle Daily Sun Friday, April 18, 1890

Lyon, the photographer says he has the best operator and retoucher that has ever worked in his gallery.


James S. Spurgin was a Civil War Soldier in Company K, 16th Indiana Infantry, leaving his parents, David and Amanda and going off to war.  He received a pension as did his wife, Clara Baker Spurgin upon his death.  They were married October 30th in 1873 married until his death 24 July 1888 (after a severe stroke that paralyzed his face and the whole right side of his body), born July 26, 1843.  He was a photographer in Greencastle from at least 1869 to his death, his specialty being portraits.  In August of 1886 in the "When" show window his large portrait of a Miss Hendricks of Terre Haute was on display for quite some time as it was so impressive.  An August 1885 Star Press news item noted that he had had a rash of sickness and had lost over 15 pounds but that his "famous homemade turtle soup" would soon make him well again!   He is listed as a photographer in the 1870 & 1880 census.  

His father David's main concern was jewelry and was apprenticed at age one to a Samuel Hensley in Mt. Sterling KY as a silversmith.  He then lived and did his business from 1833-47 in Carlisle, Kentucky and from then to 1852 in Winchester Ky until he came to Greencastle in 1852.  He is lived as a Jeweler in 1860 but he was very creative and decided to tackle photographer about that time - listed in the 1868 Greencastle Business Directory as a photographer.  Mainly James did that part but they both worked together.  After James' death, David mainly worked at his jewelry business in the same building as he'd used for many years.  In fact, he passed away there in June 1892.  At his death he had one son left, who became a Brigadier General (William Fletcher Spurgin)

Source: Greencastle Banner 29 Nov 1877 p3

Jim Spurgin has taken large photographs of his father, Dr. Stevenson, Jacob Troutman and Charles Allison that show excellent workmanship.  

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