Today’s episode provides a bit of information about other photographers who intersected Eva B. Strayer’s story.
For example, I ran across an ad in the Cohongoroota yearbook (class of 1914) in Martinsburg, West Virginia for the studio of the Misses Strayer, Dey & Fawley:
According to the 1913 and 1915 Martinsburg city Directories, Eva B. Strayer was a partner in that firm, along with
- Lloyd A. Dey
- Marguerite L Fawley
What can we find out about the Misses Dey and Fawley … and is Lloyd A. Dey really the “Miss Dey” from the studio’s advertisement?
Photographers whose work was exhibited in 1923 in Eva B. Strayer’s studio in Huntington:
- Harriet A. Stover
- Sprague Bishop
What can we find out about these two photographers who are described in the exhibition information as being from South Bend, Indiana?
How do these photographers factor into Eva B. Strayer’s story?
Those are a few of the questions this episode attempts to answer. 🙂
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Welcome to Photographs, Pistols & Parasols, the podcast where we celebrate early women artisan photographers.
I’m your host, Lee McIntyre.
Today we’ll hear about misfortune, mystery, and serendipity as I give you some follow-ups on people I mentioned in passing in the Eva B. Strayer episode.
For more information about any of the women discussed in today’s episode, visit my website at p3photographers.net. That’s letter “p”, number “3”, photographers “dot” net.
Today I am going to follow-up on a few of those people that I mentioned in passing in the Eva B. Strayer episode.
Our stories today involve a little misfortune, quite a bit of mystery, and a dash of serendipity to round it all out.
First I want to talk a little bit about the partners in that Strayer, Dey and Fawley studio in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
I ran across a 1914 yearbook ad for that studio.
That was actually the first thing I saw.
And itt said that it was being run by the Misses Strayer, Dey and Fawley.
In other words, 3 unmarried women all of whom would use the title “Miss”.
That was pretty exciting to find.
And when I found the Martinsburg city directories I figured, Great! This is going to list who the partners were in that firm.
The partners were listed as:
Eva B. Strayer
Lloyd A. Dey
Marguerite L. Fawley.
OK, well, before we get to Lloyd A. Dey, let me just talk about Marguerite L. Fawley, as Miss Fawley’s story was easy to figure out, in some ways because it’s also quite sad.
As it turned out, she had health problems for years.
She was from Wabash, Indiana … and I suspect that maybe that’s how she knew Eva B. Strayer, because that was near where Eva grew up.
But at some point around 1913 she moves East, and she’s running a studio with several other women, but she has health problems that have plagued her all her life.
She returns to Indiana, gets treatment, thinks she’s cured, then travels back East to visit her brother in Massachusetts.
Sh gets off the train, falls ill, and dies.
I know this because her death was such a “cause celebre” back in Wabash, Indiana in 1917, that it is written up in several newspapers.
She’s only age 33 when she dies, and maybe this is why the Strayer, Dey and Fawley studio ended.
But that leaves Lloyd A Dey as that third partner [to account for].
As I said, in the 1913 yearbook ad for that studio, it says that it was being run by 3 women.
So I looked in the the Martinsburg city directory, expecting to find a woman connected with Lloyd A. Dey, like a sister or cousin or somebody.
But I didn’t find anybody else named Dey in the directory.
All three of the partners — Strayer, Dey and Fawley — all three of them board in the same rooming house, so maybe they’re all women, and Lloyd is just a woman with a man’s name.
Remember, we saw that already in Lowell, Massachusetts, where Miss M. Frank Kimball had a name that was usually a man’s name … and Serge Duclos also had a name that was more typically a man’s name.
Lloyd A. Dey could conceivably be a woman [therefore].
But then again, boarding houses weren’t necessarily segregated.
Also in Lowell we discovered Miss Costillia Smith met Moses Emerson when they were residing in the same boarding house.
So, I can’t guarantee that Lloyd A. Dey was a woman living in that boarding house.
The curious thing about Lloyd A. Dey, though, is that I can’t find any information about any one by that name.
I mean, not in ancestry.com, not in the census records, not in any other directories…
It’s only those two mentions in 1913 and 1915 in Martinsburg, where Lloyd A. Dey is a partner in the Strayer, Dey and Fawley firm.
It’s a real puzzle … just a bit of a mystery.
Now another bit of a mystery is when we turn to that Pictorialist exhibit in Huntington, Indiana that was sponsored by Eva B. Strayer and Nettie Overmyer.
The two photographers whose work was being shown in exhibit were Harriet A. Stover and Sprague Bishop.
It was an exhibit of the Indiana sand dunes. Those sand dunes are in northern Indiana, but both of the photographers are described as being from South Bend, Indiana.
You might recall that Eva B. Strayer and Nettie Overmyer were actually living in South Bend before they moved to Huntington to start the studio there.
So the fact that they had a connection to photographers in South Bend is not that much of a mystery.
And Miss Harriet A Stover, well, she’s described as a South Bend artist and photographer, and is in the directories as being a photographer there in South Bend.
So, OK, she’s not a mystery.
But it’s the other photographer who did that work, a person named Sprague Bishop …
Sprague Bishop — I thought, well, that’s a really kind of unique name, so Sprague Bishop is not going be that hard to find …
But the only Sprague Bishop I found who was really in the right time period to be possibly doing pictorialist style photography (which started in the United States in the 1890s) … the only Sprague Bishop I found was a prominent businessman in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
Well, OK, Eva Strayer had had that connection to Martinsburg, so that’s not so far fetched.
Except — thatSprague Bishop died in 1900 of typhoid fever, 23 years before this exhibit.
So how to explain Sprague Bishop having Pictorialist style photos of the Indiana sand dunes available for exhibit in 1923, when he died in 1900?
Well, that’s a bit of a puzzle.
It turns out there was a photographer named Lloyd C. Bishop who lived in South Bend, Indiana who was a contemporary of Eva B. Strayer.
So, I started to wonder … Well, maybe Lloyd and Sprague were relatives… and Sprague was really like a talented amateur photographer… He’s visiting his cousin, Lloyd, one year in the late 1890s… they go up to the sand dunes … they take the photos… Sprague goes back to Martinsburg, West Virginia, where he dies. Years later, when there’s a big push to try to make the sand dunes in Indiana into a US state park so it will be protected, well, that prompts the exhibit there in Huntington … and Lloyd says, hey, I’ve got these great photos that my cousin Sprague took years ago … and so they decide to put those photos in the exhibit as well…
But you see, I’m just kind of making that story up.
Because I have no connection that I can prove between Lloyd C. Bishop and Sprague Bishop.
But it is intriguing to ponder who Sprague Bishop really was, and how his photos wound up in that exhibit in 1923.
OK, the next update is on a woman named Miss Lillian Heiney, someone I mentioned that Eva B. Strayer and Nettie Overmyer travel to photography conventions with.
The only mystery with Lillian Heiney is whether or not she was ever a professional photographer, because she’s listed in the 1930 as being a photographer “at home”.
But before that, starting the 1890s, she works first as a postmistress, and also as a millinery shop owner, in Mt. Etna, a town not too far from Huntington.
She does go off to the photographers conventions quite a bit.
And the puzzling thing is in 1910 she goes off to the Southern School of Photography in McMinnville, Tennessee.
Now, that’s a place that really it deserves its own little extra episode sometime here on the podcast, because it’s where people would go and take a course of training, and then go off and become professional photographers.
But Lillian Heiney never seems to become a professional photographer.
After she goes to the photography school in McMinnville, she teaches in the McMinnville public schools.
Then she returns to Indiana, where she’s very active in the church, including with various missionary trips, including one to Mexico at one point.
It’s intriguing that she gets the training that I’ve seen a lot of men and women get in this time period in the early 20th century when they’re wanting to launch their own artisan photography studios.
But Lillian Heiney seems like she’s more of a dedicated amateur, really not that interested in running a studio herself.
Finally today I want to tell you a little bit about a woman named Miss Belinda Daniels.
Now, Miss Daniels was also not an artisan photographer per se, since she doesn’t run a studio as far as I can tell.
She’s mainly the teacher of photography at the School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, Illinois.
But she comes up in context with Eva B. Strayer because there’s a notice in the paper in 1928 that the two of them are traveling back together from the national photographer’s convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
In the notice, it says that Miss Daniels spends the weekend with Eva Strayer before traveling on to her home in Jacksonville, Illinois.
I actually found Miss Daniels and that notice because I was looking for one of the first women artisan photographers that had caught my eye, Margaret DeMotte Brown.
Now, I did a podcast episode about her earlier.
Margaret DeM. Brown was a photography teacher at the School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, Illinois until 1918, when she inherits a bunch of money and is able to pursue her dream of opening a studio, which she does in Poughkeepsie, New York.
But because I was looking for her, and trying to find out more about her and her time in Jacksonville, I was looking for that phrase “photography teacher at the School for the Deaf” in Jacksonville, Illinois, and that’s what led me to this notice about Belinda Daniels visiting Eva B. Strayer.
And it’s that notice that actually led me to Eva B. Strayer, because prior to that I hadn’t any idea that there were women running photography studios in Huntington, Indiana.
So that’s where that bit of serendipity comes in that I mentioned at the beginning today, because to me, it was just serendipitous to run across this notice that led me not just to Belinda Daniels, but also to Eva B. Strayer and Nettie Overmyer, and their wonderful story in Huntington .. and also to next week’s story about the woman who preceded Evan, a woman named Miss Iva M. Roach.
More about Iva Roach and her extraordinary adventures on the next episode. Stay tuned!
So in the episode notes I’ll put a list of all the names that I’ve mentioned today, and the studios, and the places that they were.
These are people whose stories didn’t start [for me] with any photos that I found, but more just mentions of them in passing as I was doing the research for Eva B. Strayer, or, as I mentioned, Margaret DeMotte Brown.
If you happen to have any more information about any of the people I mentioned — particularly if there’s any information about the Strayer, Dey and Fawley studio; any examples of their work or even just more information about who Lloyd A. Dey was; or, when it comes to the Huntington exhibition in 1923 and the work by Harriet Stover and Sprague Bishop, the beautiful pictorialist images of the Indiana sand dunes; well, I would love to be able to pass that along to the listeners of this podcast.
As always, the episode notes and all the photos and everything are available on my website at p3photographers.net, that’s letter “p”, number “3”, photographers “dot” net.
Also, I’ll post any updates on my Facebook page at facebook.com/p3photographers.
That’s it for today’s extra episode.
Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time, I’m Lee, and this is Photographs, Pistols & Parasols.