This solemn picture shows my Mother's family. Judging from the young boy's appearance, it was probably taken in the late 1890s.
John Henry Blake, the oldest gentleman pictured, was her grandfather. He recorded the first deed in Johnson County, Kansas and Blake Street is named after him.
According to the book Increase Blake of Boston His Ancestors and Decedents, John Henry Blake was born to Dr. Ellis Gray and Elizabeth (Leachman) Blake. December 17, 1831. (I have no idea why he wasn't named John Henry Gray).
He died at home December 1, 1910, in Kansas City, Missouri, from indigestion. You can read about it as the Olathe Mirror wrote about it at the time.
He married Lucretia Almira Hale February 20, 1862, who was born June 23, 1843. She is pictured on the photo's left side at the same level as her husband.
John Henry's mother died when he was an infant and he was then cared for by his uncle John Leachman and his grandmother Lucretia Hale. They moved to a farm in Bolivar, Missouri in 1839. In 1857 John Henry moved to Johnson County and was appointed county clerk and recorder of deeds.
In 1859 he moved to Olathe, Kansas where he was a business man, county treasurer, and cashier of Peoples Savings Bank.
He and his family moved to Kansas City in 1898.
Their oldest child was Ellen Leachman Blake. She's the one in the middle with the small funky bun and dark circles around her eyes. She was born January 8, 1863. She married Harry Scott Bryan April 19, 1892. They had no children.
Charles Ellis Blake, my mother's father, was born April 27, 1865. He's the one with the comely mustache on the top row farthest to the right. He married Susan Everman Browning April 27, 1892. (Good way to never forget your anniversary.)
Charley became a sheet-metal worker and owned Blake Sheet Metal Works from 1894 to 1945 when he retired. That is now in the Westport shopping area of Kansas City, Missouri.
They had five children, who I knew and loved as my close Aunts and Uncles.
The tall man in the top row above John Henry Blake is his son John Littleton. He was born June 22, 1870. He married Mallie F. Curry August 19, 1899. They had no children.
Kate Belle is the young woman to the right of the white haired man. She was born November 20, 1872.
Lotta Raymond (m. Burris) is on the photo's right side. She was born March 25, 1875. She was a widow and seamstress. When I was young she owned a lovely large home in Westport, then part of Kansas City, Missouri. It had been divided into a duplex. Plus my Aunt Lotty rented a room out in her duplex half to (horrors) a man.
Thomas Henry, the albino, was born October 1, 1880. He owned a cabin in Missouri I often heard about as a child. For some reason, until I was in highschool I thought a book had been written about it because the family often talked about "Uncle Tom's cabin".
Frederick Foote, born May 20, 1886, is the child on the bottom row. He was kicked at a young age by a horse and then had a metal plate put in his head. Because of that he sometimes had seizures.
As a child, I knew several of these Victorian appearing people. As my Mother was born late to Charles Ellis and I was born late in her life, to me they seemed old, distant and scary.
Most are buried in Olathe Memorial Cemetary.