Henry B. Aldrich – Village of Catskill, New York Photographer

March 06, 2021  •  1 Comment

               Henry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890.

 

Henry B. AldrichHenry B. AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890.

 

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Henry B. Aldrich was originally from the state of Massachusetts. He was born on July 12, 1833 to Daniel Aldrich and Polly Stockwell. He was descended from “Daniel Aldrich, of the old and original stock of Rhode Island Quakers.” (“Real Business.” The Billboard. September 28, 1901.) He was of English ancestry.

On the 1855 Massachusetts State Census Henry B. Aldrich, age 23, was listed as living at Clarksburg in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. He was living with his wife Laura, age 25, and his daughter Mary, age 2. Aldrich was listed with an occupation of “Laborer.” His wife was Laura Louise Gray (Grey). She was born in 1832, although some census calculations and other resources sometimes provide alternative years. She was of Irish and French ancestry.

 

Henry B. AldrichHenry B. AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890.

1855 Massachusetts State Census.
Henry B. Aldrich, “Laborer.” 1855 Massachusetts State Census.

 

On the 1860 United States Census Aldrich, age 27, was listed as living at Adams in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. He was living with his wife Laura, age 30; his daughter Mary, age 6; and his son Joseph, age 4. His owned real estate was valued at $400 and his personal estate was valued at $300. Aldrich was listed with an occupation of “Ambrotype Artist.”

 

Henry B. AldrichHenry B. AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890.

1860 United States Census.
Henry B. Aldrich, “Ambrotype Artist.” 1860 United States Census.

 

As per the Library of Congress “An ambrotype is comprised of an underexposed glass negative placed against a dark background. The dark backing material creates a positive image . . . The invention of wet collodion photography processes in the 1850s allowed the development of two new kinds of photographs--ambrotypes and tintypes. These new formats shared many characteristics with the earlier daguerreotypes but were quicker and cheaper to produce. Primarily used for portraiture, each photo is a unique camera-exposed image and was available in the following standard-sizes. The most common size was the sixth plate.

 

  • Imperial or Mammoth Plate - Larger than 6.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Whole Plate - 6.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Half Plate - 4.25 x 5.5 inches
  • Quarter Plate - 3.25 x 4.25 inches
  • Sixth Plate - 2.75 x 3.25 inches
  • Ninth Plate - 2 x 2.5 inches
  • Sixteenth Plate - 1.5 x 1.75 inches.”

 

James A. Cutting (1814-1867) was an American photographer and inventor who is often credited as the inventor of the Ambrotype photographic process. Cutting patented his improvements on the ambrotype process in 1854, and thus attached his name to the process. Ambrotypes would reach their height of popularity in the mid-1850s to the mid-1860s. Ambrotypes were eventually replaced with Cartes de visite and other paper print photographs, both of which were easily available in multiple copies.

The 1860 publication of the New England Business Directory by Adams, Sampson, & Co. listed “Mrs. H. B. Aldrich” as working at North Adams, Adams, Massachusetts. There was no street address given. She was listed under the industry category of “Ambrotypes, Daguerreotypes, and Photographs.” She was one of 143 photographers listed in the directory as working in the state of Massachusetts.

In 1864 The New York State Business Directory by Adams, Sampson & Co. listed H. B. Aldrich as operating as a photographer at the village of Catskill. Aldrich was the only photographer listed in the guide as operating as a photographer in the village of Catskill.

In July, 1865 the partnership of J. N. Gilmore and Aldrich opened a gallery at No. 2. First Street in Troy, New York. The gallery was located across the street from the Troy House. They published a series of advertisements in The Troy Daily Times.

 

               “Fine Art Gallery! No. 2 First Street, Opposite Troy House.

               Gilmore & Aldrich,

Would most respectfully call the attention of the citizens of Troy and vicinity to the fact that they have purchased this finely located Gallery, and remodeled, refitted and furnished it in the most modern style. They have spared neither time, labor, nor expense, in making this one of the finest Galleries in the State. It is in point of elegance and artistic arrangement, unsurpassed. We shall make all kinds of sun pictures known to the Photographic world, from the largest life-size to the smallest miniatures. Also the celebrated Visiting or Wedding Card Pictures.

Particular attention paid to copying and enlarging old and faded pictures, which we re-touch in oil, water colors or ink, making them as life-like as if taken from the original.

We have just received a new and elegant stock of Goods, consisting of the latest patterns of FRAMES and CASES, PHOTOGRAPH ALBUMS, and in fact, everything which can be found in any first-class Gallery; and as our motto is “Small Profits and Quick Sales,” you will do well to call on GILMORE & ALDRICH before going elsewhere.

Please give us a call, whether wishing pictures or not. Remember the place, No. 2 First st., opposite the Troy House.” (The Troy Daily Times. July 1, 1865.)

 

On July 22, 1865, the Troy Daily Times provided a flattering portrayal of the new Gilmore & Aldrich partnership. “PHOTOGRAPHIC. – Messrs. Gilimore [sic] & Aldrich, formerly of Geneva, N.Y., have thoroughly refitted the gallery at the junction of First and River streets, New and elegant carpets and furniture, handsome and conveniently arranged toilet rooms, and, in fact, every desirable improvement, has been added, rendering the rooms among the finest in the city. Messrs. G. & A. are both practical artists, and enjoy the benefit of long experience in the art. They are now producing accurate and handsomely finished pictures from the size of a three cent piece to life size. They have taken the rooms with the intention of building up a large, first-class business on the strength of their superior pictures. A first-class gallery has long been needed in the lower part of the city, and we bespeak for them success, if they continue to turn out work equal to that produced by them since they have taken the rooms.”

The partnership placed a new advertisement in several July and August 1865 issues of the Troy Daily Times. “Photographs, AMBROTYPES, and all other Sun Pictures, made and finished in the highest style of the art, at GILMOUR & ALDRICH’S new Fine Art Gallery, No. 1 First st. Also a large stock of Frames, Photograph Albums, & c.; and as our motto is “Small Profits and Quick Sales,” you will do well to call on us before going elsewhere.”

In August 1865 it was reported that H. B. Aldrich, after only a few months working together, had bought out his partner J. N. Gilmore and would continue operating as a sole proprietorship at Troy, New York. “H. B. Aldrich WOULD RESPECTFULLY ANNOUNCE to the public of Troy and vicinity the fact that he has purchased the interest of J. N. Gilmore, in the firm of Gilmore & Aldrich, No. 2 First street, and is now prepared to furnish all kinds of sun pictures known to the photographic world, finished in the finest style of the art. This is the place to get your old and faded pictures copies, enlarged and made as good as new.” (Troy Daily Times. August 25, 1865.)

Unfortunately, only a few weeks after buying out his partner, tragedy struck the business. “H. B. Aldrich’s new Photograph Gallery in Troy, (formerly Aldrich & Gillmore,) took fire, it is asserted by the Troy Times, from combustion of chemicals, last Sunday, and the proprietor’s loss is put down at $2,000.– The Times does not place him among the insured. He was formerly engaged in the same business in Penniman’s Row in this village.” (Geneva Daily Gazette. September 8, 1865.)

It was believed the “combustion of chemicals” at Aldrich’s Gallery started the fire. “The upper part of the buildings on the corner of River and First streets was smoking briskly, and before the firemen could get around there was a lively blaze that threatened a bad fire. The sky-light of the photograph gallery made a complete chimney, up which the flames leaped for twenty feet above the roof. But we never saw our steamers make such short work of a formidable fire. In ten minutes it had changed from a first-class conflagration to a mere charred attic. Our entire department was out – No. 5 came up from the Nail Factory, and the Roy steamer and Oswald Hose from West Troy – streets were crowded with spectators, and nearly everybody seemed to get a wetting. There were three buildings damaged by the fire and water. They have each been on fire several times before. On this occasion the combustion of chemicals in Aldrich’s gallery, started the ball in motion. He loses about $2000. L. C. Everett, second story, dealer in photographic materials, loss not large. Frank Hartsfield & Co., hoop skirts, loss $1000. Wm. Johnson, clothing dealer, loss $3000; insured; Jacob Sinshimer, cigar dealer, loss $500; insured; Peter Baltimore, barber, loss $300. If all these parties had had as good friends as Mr. Baltimore, their loss would have been slight. His customers, including the B. G. club, broke open the doors, rushed in and took out nearly every article of value, removing it to his new base over Young & Benson’s store.” (Troy Daily Times. August 28, 1865.)

Possibly as a result of the Troy fire, Aldrich moved to the village of Catskill where he opened a new photographic gallery. The gallery was located in the building once occupied by Granby and Van Hoesen. His wife operated a millinery shop on the first floor of the building. Imprints on the back of Aldrich’s later portraits had his location as “Opposite The Tanners Bank, Catskill, N.Y.” and “Over Van Loan’s Bookstore, Catskill, N.Y.” Below is one of his early Catskill advertisements, placed in a December 1865 issue of the local newspaper.

 

“New Photograph Gallery. H. B. Aldrich Has fitted up a new PICTURE GALLERY, in Catskill, over the Millinery Store opposite the Tanners’ Bank, and has spared neither time, labor nor expense in making it One of the Finest Galleries in the State.

It is furnished in the most modern style, and in point of elegance and artistic arrangement is unsurpassed.

I shall make all kinds of PICTURES known to the art, from the largest life size to the smallest Miniature.

Particular attention is paid to Copying and Enlarging old and faded Pictures, which I will retouch in Oil, Water Colors, or India Ink, making them as life-like as if taken from life.

My Stock and Instruments are all new and of the best quality, and with a superior Light, I flatter myself I shall be able to please.

A LARGE AND SELECT STOCK OF ALBUMS,

Which I will sell at cost,

Please call and examine work and prices.

Catskill, Dec. 8, 1865.”

 

Mrs. Henry B. AldrichMrs. Henry B. AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890. Mrs. H. B. Aldrich, “Fashionable Millinery.” Windham Journal. 1866.

 

In 1867 The New York State Business Directory by Sampson, Davenport & Co. listed “H. P. [sic] Aldrich” operating as a “Photographist” at the village of Catskill. There was also listed a W. B. Waldron operating at Catskill as a Photographist.

 

Portrait of unknown man by photographer Henry B. AldrichPortrait of unknown man by photographer Henry B. AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890. Portrait of Unknown Young Man by H. B. Aldrich. Author’s collection.

 

In 1870 The New York State Business Directory by Sampson, Davenport, & Co. listed H. B. Aldrich as operating as a “Photographist” at the village of Catskill. Aldrich was the only photographer listed in the guide as operating as a photographer in the village of Catskill. After Aldrich’s career change from photography to the livery industry in 1871, the 1874 directory shows that Aldrich was replaced at Catskill with two new “photographists,” Frank Allen and C. E. Van Gorden.

On the 1870 United States Census Henry B. Aldrich, age 36, was listed as living in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York. He was living with his wife Laura, age 38, who had an occupation of “Keeping House”; his daughter Mary, age 16; his son Joseph, age 14; Lizzie Gray, age 15, who was born in Michigan; and Mary Walters, age 18, who was born in New York. The Aldrich family real estate was valued at $4,000 and their personal estate was valued at $2,000. The Aldrich family must have been doing quite well as Mary Walters was listed with an occupation of “Domestic Servant.” Aldrich was listed with an occupation of “Photographer.”

 

Henry B. AldrichHenry B. AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890.

1870 United States Census.
Henry B. Aldrich, “Photographer.” 1870 United States Census.

 

In the summer of 1871 Aldrich left the photography business and began a partnership with Edward Cargill in the livery business. He would continue with this line of work until his passing. In one of the first announcements of the new partnership, it was advertised “Cargill & Aldrich’s New Livery Stables! In New Brick Building, Opposite the Catskill House, Main Street, Catskill. This is the most extensive Livery in town, and can furnish Rigs in all styles. Headquarters of the Omnibus Line. Order Slate in the Office. June 9, 1871.” (The Catskill Recorder. August 11, 1871.)

In order to procure the best horses for his livery business Aldrich often searched in far-ranging places. He was noted for searching across the west, including Indiana and around Galena, Kansas, where his son Joseph had moved. He also traveled to Canada to look for the best stock.

 

“Western Horses! THE UNDERSIGNED have just returned from Indiana with a large selection of excellent Work Horses, which they offer for sale at reasonable rates. CARGILL & ALDRICH. Catskill, April, 2, 1872.” (The Catskill Recorder. April 12, 1872.)

 

“H. B. Aldrich has arrived from Canada with a carload of extra-large draft horses, matched pairs weighing from 2400 to 3200. May be seen at Cargill & Aldrich’s stable, this village. Those intending to buy this Spring would do well to call early and get the benefit of a liberal discount.” (The Catskill Recorder. April 20, 1888.)

 

“H. B. Aldrich arrived from the West yesterday with a carload of extra-fine road, coach and farm horses, among them some well-matched pairs, selected with care.” (The Catskill Recorder. June 15, 1888.)

 

“Horses! Horses! Horses! The Third Carload of Horses For the Spring Trade has arrived from the west. These Horses are note sent here by Western dealers, but are carefully selected by Mr. H. B. Aldrich, and are suitable for all classes of work. We guarantee each horse to be as represented or money refunded. Early buyers get best bargains. No trouble to show. CARGILL & ALDRICH, Livery, Sale and Exchange Stables, Opposite Opera House, Main Street, Catskill, N.Y.” (The Catskill Recorder. June 7, 1889.)

 

Cargill & AldrichCargill & AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890. Cargill & Aldrich advertisement. The Catskill Recorder. August 11, 1871.

 

Cargill & AldrichCargill & AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890. Cargill & Aldrich advertisement. The Catskill Recorder. April 12, 1872.

 

Cargill & AldrichCargill & AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890. Cargill & Aldrich advertisement. The Catskill Recorder. April 22, 1877.

 

Cargill & AldrichCargill & AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890. Cargill & Aldrich advertisement. The Catskill Recorder. April 27, 1877.

 

Cargill & AldrichCargill & AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890. Cargill & Aldrich advertisement. The Catskill Recorder. December 7, 1883.

 

Cargill & AldrichCargill & AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890. Cargill & Aldrich advertisement. The Catskill Recorder. July 20, 1888.

 

Cargill & AldrichCargill & AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890. Cargill & Aldrich advertisement. The Catskill Recorder. May 10, 1889.

 

Edward Cargill, Henry’s partner, was a longtime livery operator at Catskill. He had previously partnered with Samuel Mallory. After Henry’s passing Cargill partnered with Wilbur Brown from 1890 to 1893. Wilbur had previously operated with the Selleck & Brown confectionary and ice cream firm for 22 years, and as a partner for 15 of those years. After Brown left the firm Cargill continued to operate as a sole proprietor.

The Cargill & Aldrich livery stable was located on the site now occupied by the Greene County Court House. “The lower floor was occupied as an office and for the storage of carriages. There was an entrance on Bridge street for the horses, who went up a ramp to the second floor where they were quartered.” (Greene County Examiner-Recorder. March 6, 1947.)

In 1945 the Greene County Examiner-Recorder offered a detailed and interesting article on the livery trade at the village of Catskill.

 

“‘Thanks for the buggy ride.” That was an expression quite common a half century ago, but is now obsolete, along with the livery horse and buggy.

That, of course, was before the advent of the automobile which put liverymen out of business. At one time there were several livery stables in Catskill village where a horse and buggy could be rented for a reasonable price and many a young man would hire one and take his girl for a ride. When he drove up to her home after a drive often she would say: “Thanks for the buggy ride.”

Only a comparatively few young men owned their own rigs, but would hire one from the livery . . .

One could not cover as much ground in an hour with a horse and buggy as he can today with an auto. It was a good horse that could cover the ground between Catskill and Cairo in an hour and there were few who could do it. The trip usually took from an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half.

Often Catskillians would take a drive up Windham Mountains, through Hunter and Haines Falls and down the Clove Road, a trip which took a good half day with a livery horse and buggy.

It was the custom to drive to Cairo and have dinner or supper at Walters’ or Jennings’ hotel, or go to Coxsackie and eat at Cummings’ Eagle Hotel.

Most of the livery horsed were gentle animals, not given much to speed, but safe for anybody to drive. Once in a great while a liveryman would get stuck with a balky horse, that would stop on the road and refuse to go any further until he was good and ready . . .

On the occasion of some dances, such as the Rip Van Winkle Club annual ball and other like events, young men would engage from the livery a carriage, team and driver to take him and his girl or, if married, himself and wife to the affair and return later to convey them home. Often a couple of young men would hire a rig between them and ride in style to the ball.

The local liveries had some swell turnouts and their horses were always kept slick and looking in the pink of perfection. In those days not so many local residents owned horses and carriages as they do automobiles today, hence the liveries did an excellent business.

But the auto came and gradually forced the livery stables to the wall, until they all disappeared.”

(“Backward Glimpses.” Greene County Examiner-Recorder. August 23, 1945.)

 

On the 1875 New York State Census, Aldrich, age 40, was listed as living in the town of Catskill in Greene County, New York. Interestingly his last name, and the last names of his family, were all spelled “Aldridge” on this census. He is listed as living with his wife Laura, age 38; his daughter Mary, age 19; his son Joseph E., age 17; and Josephine Dixon, age 23. Josephine was listed with an occupation of “Domestic Servant.” Aldrich was listed with an occupation of “Proprietor of Livery Stable.”

 

Henry B. AldrichHenry B. AldrichHenry B. Aldrich was a popular photographer in the village of Catskill in Greene County, New York in the mid-1860s through the summer of 1871. Aldrich would then partner with Edward Cargill in the livery trade at Catskill until his passing in 1890.

1875 New York State Census.
Henry B. Aldrich, “Proprietor of Livery Stable.” 1875 New York State Census.

 

Mary Aldrich, the Aldrich’s daughter, was born in 1854 and moved to Catskill with her family in her childhood years. She attended school at the Moravian school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and at St. Agnes School in Albany, New York. On September 14, 1875 Mary Aldrich married Samuel N. Andrews of Little Falls, New York. Given the likely prominence of the Aldrich family in Catskill there was a lengthy write-up of the wedding in the local newspaper.

 

“The Wedding. A large and fashionable party assembled at the Presbyterian church on Tuesday, at the marriage of Miss Minnie E., daughter of our townsman H. B. Aldrich, Esq., to Mr. Samuel N. Andrews, of Little Falls, N.Y. Rev. Dr. Howard officiated. Miss Mary Olmstead presided at the organ, and rendered the Wedding Mach and other choice gems of music. Messrs. Charles Gregory, of New York, and J. E. Aldrich acted as ushers.

The bride was beautifully and richly attired in white silk, en train, point lace, orange blossoms and flowing white veil. The four bridesmaids – Misses Moffatt, Fox, Browne and Bacon (daughter of Judge Bacon) – were dressed in exquisite taste and made a charming picture. A costume of pale pink was very much admired, as was also one of the light blue trimmed with tulle and natural flowers. They were attended by Messrs. Brainard, Champney, Wiswell and Morgan.

After the ceremony the bridal party and invited guests attended the reception at the residence of the bride’s parents, on Summit Avenue, where a bountiful collation was spread. The parlors were tastefully decorated with bouquets and vases of rare flowers presented by friends of the bride. The presents were numerous and valuable, both of American and European manufacture, aggregating a value of several thousand dollars. Among them may be noted one set solid silver service; one elegant cream-spoon from Chas. Gregory; a set of sterling silver spoons, of splendid design, from Mrs. D. Harris, of 49 West 25th st., New York; silver fruit-dish, of unique design from Hon. G. A. Harding and wife; gold watch and chain, more silver service, etc. etc.; silver cake-basket from Mrs. L. J. Clark, silver table ware, and jewelry, etc., of all designs. At the reception there were many elegant toilets, that of Mrs. D. Harris, peach silk and Parisian lace, being much admired. The wedded pair left town at 6 P.M., on a tour to Niagara and the Thousand Islands.” (The Catskill Recorder. September 17, 1875.)

 

In 1880 Mary Aldrich and family moved to Galena, Kansas, where she would remain for the rest of her life. Only two years after their arrival, Samuel N. Andrews, Mary’s husband and Henry B. Aldrich’s son-in-law, was killed in 1882 at Kansas as a result of a tragic hunting accident.

              

“Accidentally Killed. For the following particulars of the sad death of S. N. Andrews, son-in-law of H. B. Aldrich of this village, we are indebted to the Short Creek (Kansas) Republican:

“On Tuesday morning S. N. Andrews, in company of J. E. Aldrich of this city, Hank Gray and several other gentlemen of Carterville and Carthage, started for a few days’ hunt. All went well and the party were enjoying the sport to their heart’s content until Wednesday at about 11 o’clock, when the distressing accident above-mentioned occurred.

“The party were on Elm Creek, a small stream about 10 miles West of Baxter. They had become separated, so that at the time of the accident the deceased and Mr. Gray were alone together. According to Mr. Gray’s statement, they were kneeling down awaiting an opportunity to fire at some ducks that were flying overhead. Mr. Andrews said: ‘Hank, you take the right and I’ll take the left.’ Just then some ducks came along and Mr. Gray turned and fired at them. Immediately following the report of his gun, that of Mr. Andrew’s was heard. Mr. Gray turned, to see Mr. Andrews falling, his brains flying in every direction. He hastened to him and found him dead. The charge from the gun had torn away the entire skull immediately above the left eye. Death was instantaneous. He had the gun resting against his knee, and the supposition is that in raising it it was accidentally discharged, with the result mentioned. His companions were summoned and the sad party started homeward with the remains, arriving at the residence of Mr. Aldrich at 6 o’clock in the evening. The wife, who had but a few moments before been notified of the sad occurrence, was almost crazed at the sight of all that remained of him who, but a few short hours before, had parted from her in the full enjoyment of life and health.

“The occurrence is one of the saddest that ever befell us and casts a deep gloom o’er the heart of every citizen of Galena. Mr. Andrews was among the first to locate on the Creek, and remained until a few months ago, when he moved to Carterville, where he was largely interested in mining and other business.

“The hunting party was made up of Carthage, Webb City and Carterville gentlemen. They came through this city and were joined by J. E. Aldrich. Mrs. Andrews accompanies her husband thus far, and was to remain here until his return from the hunt.

“The parents and the relatives of the deceased, residing in New York, have been notified and the remains will be kept until Sunday, awaiting their arrival.” (The Catskill Recorder. November 24, 1882.)

 

After the passing of her first husband Samuel N. Andrews, Mary Aldrich remarried to Edward E. Sapp on December 24, 1885. Edward (1858-1930) was been born on July 12, 1858 at Jackson, Michigan to Rev. Reison and Margaret Ferry Sapp. His father was a minister at the Methodist Episcopal Church at Grand Rapids. Edward was educated in the schools of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He moved from Michigan to Kansas in March, 1877, and resided at Galena, Kansas since January 1884. He was admitted to the bar in 1883. Edward would become extremely successful as a lawyer, city attorney, judge, a director in local mining companies and “one of the large capitalists and leading citizens of Galena.” “His professional standing, either at the bar or on the bench, cannot be assailed. He served his fellow citizens for many years in high positions, with the justice, fairness and dignity which reflects upon him the greatest credit, both as an upright exponent of the law and as a man of high personal aims and character.” (Allison, Nathaniel Thompson. History of Cherokee County, Kansas, and Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Company, 1904. p. 461-462.)

 

Edward E. Sapp, son-in-law of Henry B. AldrichEdward E. Sapp, son-in-law of Henry B. AldrichEdward E. Sapp, son-in-law of Henry B. Aldrich, photographer from Catskill, New York. Edward E. Sapp, son-in-law of Henry B. Aldrich. “Edward Elisha Sapp Succumbs to Heart Trouble, Age 72 Years.” The Galena Journal. January 24, 1930.

 

Mary was also successful in her own right. In 1890 Mary and her husband Edward constructed Sapp’s Opera House in Galena, Kansas, which she then operated. The Opera House, located at the corner of Main Street and Seventh Street, had capacity for 850 people. The interior design was completed by W. A. Farris and included a brilliantly painted ceiling, a proscenium arch on the stage, modern lighting and much more, “the whole forming a grand picture of elegance and master skill.” At the time of its construction, “Not only is it the largest block ever built in Galena, but we question if it has a superior in the country.” (Galena Weekly Republican. October 25, 1890.)

Sapp’s Opera House hosted concerts, shows, boxing matches and much more. In perhaps some of the most memorable shows ever presented at the Opera House in January 1898 the famous illusionist and stunt performer Harry Houdini thrilled the audiences with card tricks, escaping handcuffs and a “metamorphosis trick.” The historic Sapp’s Opera House building would only last for 41 years, being destroyed in March 1931 by a devastating fire.

 

Mrs. Mary Sapp, daughter of Henry B. AldrichMrs. Mary Sapp, daughter of Henry B. AldrichMary Sapp, owner and operator of Sapp's Opera House and the Galena Bill Posting Company at Galena Kansas. Mary was the daughter of photographer Henry B. Sapp of Catskill, New York. Mrs. Mary Sapp, daughter of Henry B. Aldrich. The Billboard. September 28, 1901.

 

Mary also operated the Galena Billposting Company at Galena. She was featured on the cover of The Billboard publication on September 28, 1901. The industry publication covered theaters, parks, circuses, fairs and more. For all her success in the often male-dominated industry it was written that she was “a living witness to the fact that women can succeed in the billposting business. Though usually signing her business correspondence “M. E. Sapp,” this busy woman finds it necessary to prefix the “Mrs.” if she would convince the public that she is not a hustling, business-getting man, instead of a woman of refinement, who attends to her many business affairs with remarkable skill and judgment and still finds time to devote to a woman’s usual social duties. It is said of Mrs. Sapp that she is one woman who can consistently and intelligently combine business and social duties – the church and the theater – so that it is impossible to tell where one begins or the other ends.” (“Galena’s Woman Billposter.” The Galena Evening Times. April 11, 1902.)

 

Galena Bill Posting CompanyGalena Bill Posting CompanyThe Galena Bill Posting Company was owned and operated by Mary Sapp, daughter of Henry B. Aldrich. The Galena Bill Posting Company was owned and operated by Mrs. Mary Sapp, daughter of Henry B. Aldrich. The Billboard. 1900-1902.

 

Edward Elisha Sapp passed away from kidney, bladder and heart trouble at St. John’s Hospital in Joplin, Missouri on January 21, 1930. Funeral services were conducted at his home about a mile west of Galena and interment was at the family mausoleum in the Galena cemetery.

Mary E. Sapp passed away at the age of 80 at her home west of Galena, Kansas on February 1, 1934. Funeral services were conducted at her home, and officiated by Reverend Alfred du Domaine, pastor of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Joplin, Missouri. She was buried at the Sapp mausoleum in the Galena cemetery. Her obituary noted that she was survived by her son Thomas Sapp of Treece and her daughter, Miss Vira Sapp. Their son Dexter had died years earlier in 1917: “Dexter, son of Judge E. E. Sapp of Galena, Kansas, died suddenly on June 21st, [1917] aged about twenty-one years. The young man, who was of brilliant promise, was a grandson of the late H. B. Aldrich of Catskill.” (Catskill Recorder. 1917.)

Joseph Elmer Aldrich, Henry’s son, was born on December 2, 1855 at North Adams, Massachusetts. After his early education at the village of Catskill he attended Rutgers College at New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he graduated from in 1879. He then moved to Galena, Kansas, where he became a prominent miner. In June, 1881 Joseph married Alice A. H. Bacon, a native of North Adams, Massachusetts. Alice was the daughter of Joel and Elizabeth Bacon and “a scion of some of the oldest families in the city and state of her nativity.” (Livingston, Joel T. A History of Jasper County, Missouri and Its People. Volume 2. New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1912.) In 1881 Henry Aldrich joined his son Joseph in the mining industry when it was reported that he had taken a stake in a mine located at Galena, Kansas. Henry and his wife Laura would also come to own several buildings at Galena.

“[Joseph] Aldrich was one of the most successful mine operators in the southwestern mining district . . . Among the large number of mines which he owned at one time or another were the Oasis, the Tender Foot, the Mooney, the Sun Flower and the Mary Ann. The last named property was a rich property. It was located at Galena on the “Lost Forty,” and was one of the wonders of the mining district of that time. At one time Aldrich was accounted as one of the wealthiest men in the district.

The former mine operator brought into the locality of his mines the first steam drill ever used in this section of the country, and erected the third concentrating plant in the United States. He also introduced the first ore crusher used in this part of the country. The crusher was manufactured at the Fort Scott foundry, and it was the first one ever turned out by that company. The mill for the crusher cost $14,000, and the crusher would crush and clean thirty tons at a shift, a great amount in that day.

Aldrich had been a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks for many years, and was actively interested in civic affairs during his prime. The Aldrich building, owned by him, now houses the Joplin Supply Company.” (“J. E. Aldrich, Retired Mine Operator, Dies.” Joplin Globe. March 23, 1929.)

Joseph Aldrich retired from active business in 1912. He passed from heart failure away at age 74 in March 1929. Funeral services were conducted at the Frank-Sievers Chapel. The services were officiated by Reverend A. R. Foster of Anderson. Aldrich was buried at Mount Hope cemetery. Joseph was survived by his widow, Hattie Aldrich, sister, Mrs. E. E. Sapp of Galena, and a nephew, Henry A. Halihan of St. Joseph.

Henry’s first wife Laura L. Aldrich passed away in Catskill at the age of fifty-six years, 11 months on December 10, 1886. She may have been sick for some time as an August 27, 1886 newspaper article in The Catskill Recorder noted that her son Joseph was traveling from Galena, Kansas to Catskill to visit his ill mother. Her will was probated on December 28, 1886 with her husband listed as heir and executor. Witnesses to the will were E. J. Hill and John R. Hicks, both of Catskill.

In addition to their Catskills dealings, Henry and Laura owned property at Galena, Kansas, which was held in her name. “Shortly before her death, Laura L. Aldrich executed a will, in which she bequeathed her property . . .  to her husband, H. B. Aldrich, and it is alleged that it was transferred to him under an agreement that the property was to be held by him in trust for the two children, Joseph and Mary, and was to be divided between them when they could agree on a division of the property. Joseph intermarried with Alice H., and Mary was married to E. E. Sapp, all of whom, together with the second wife, Hattie J. Aldrich, and her infant daughter, were made parties defendant. In the latter part of 1889 Joseph and Mary agreed upon a division of the property held in trust for them by their father, and this was done at his earnest solicitation. Afterward he executed deeds conveying to Mary the property allotted to her, but it appears that Joseph was involved in financial troubles and the conveyance to him was delayed.” For more information about this property and the court case in which it was central claim see “Aldrich v. Boice” argued before the Supreme Court of Kansas. (Randolph, A. M. F. “Alice H. Aldrich, et al. v. J. H. Boice et al.” Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of Kansas. Topeka, Kansas: The Kansas State Printing Company, 1896. p. 170-173.)

After his first wife Laura passed away, Aldrich remarried two years later to 21-year-old Hattie Jane Still (1866-1921) in the afternoon of March 8, 1888. She was the daughter of Hiram Still (1844-1908) and Jane “Jennie” S. (Peck) Still (1845-1927) of Warwick, Orange County, New York. The Still family was listed in the 1875 New York State census as living at Warwick and on the 1880 United States census as living at Catskill. Hiram was listed in 1875 with an occupation of “Laborer” and in 1880 with an occupation of “Engineer.” Together Henry and Hattie had a daughter by the name Laura L. Aldrich, who was named after his Henry’s first wife. After Henry’s passing Hattie would remarry to William Case Eager of Warwick. Hattie passed away in 1921.

Less than two years after getting remarried to Hattie J. Still, Henry B. Aldrich passed away of heart disease at the age of 56 on January 18, 1890. “Sudden death is always startling, but in the demise of H. B. Aldrich, of the firm for Cargill & Aldrich, it was peculiarly so. Judged by the average standard of life it seemed that many years should be accorded to him. He died from what is termed by the late medical writers, “heart failure.” For some time he had been driven to his place of business, as the ascent or descent of a hill aggravated the trouble. On Saturday he paid off the employees of the firm, as was his custom. His death occurred on Sunday evening, between nine and ten o’clock. It was so quiet that it was unobserved. The family could not realize it, and it was only when Dr. Robert Selden said he was gone, that the fact was comprehended.” (Windham Journal. January 30, 1890.)

Upon his passing a local newspaper remembered Henry’s previous trade prior to the livery business by writing that “many of the oldest readers of the Examiner will recall him as a photographer of no mean acquirements.” (Windham Journal. January 30, 1890.)

Catskill Lodge No. 468, F. & A. M. (Free and Accepted Masons) passed a touching resolution in honor of their longtime member Henry B. Aldrich.

 

“Obituary Resolutions. Resolutions of Catskill Lodge No. 468, F. & A. M.

               WHEREAS, It has pleased the Grand Master of the Universe to call from Labor to Refreshment Henry B. Aldrich, a good citizen, an honest man, an upright Mason, and a valued member of this Lodge; therefore be it

               Resolved, That while we bow in humble submission to this dispensation of a higher power, we recognize the summons that sooner or later will come to us all.

Resolved, That while we mourn our loss we cherish the memory and example of the many virtues of our deceased Brother.

Resolved, That we tender his family and friends in their hour of affliction our deep and sincere sympathy.

Resolved, That the Lodge be draped in mourning, and that these resolutions be spread upon the minutes and published in the village papers, and a copy furnished to the family of the deceased.

J. B. Olney,

H. C. Bulkley,

Rob’t Selden,

Committee.

               (The Catskill Recorder. February 14, 1890.)

 

The funeral for Henry B. Aldrich took place on Thursday at 3pm at the Presbyterian Church with the Reverend D. Howard officiating. At this time of his passing he was survived by his wife Hattie, their infant son, and two children from his first marriage, Mary and Joseph. His body was taken to North Adams, Massachusetts, where he lived previously, for interment.

 

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If you should have any additional information, comments or corrections about the photographer Henry B. Aldrich please add a comment to this page, or send me an email using the contact page. Where possible, please include any available references. Thank you. 

 

 


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Jane Anderson(non-registered)
Have photos of H. B. Aldrich and family.
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