Sunday, September 3, 2017

Ford's Fine Art Gallery


Ford's Fine Art Gallery
McHenry, Ill.

Reverse of the card on the left

Another card with the same image
has a different reverse

Photographer B A Ford was difficult to trace. He was born in Rhode Island, US, in 1833 as shown by the US census of 1870 and 1900. The 1880 US census claims he was born in 1843, ten years later. It’s probably just a clerical error but it does confuse things a bit.

Newspaper items place him positively in McHenry, IL, between December of 1866 and October of 1893. After that he is, for a time in Joliette, Braidwood and then Streator, IL. No death certificate or obituary could be found but he does seem to drop out of sight after 1900. One Ancestry tree places his death at 23 Feb 1904, at age 60, but no documents have been found to support this.

Several newspaper items were found, the most informational are added here.

The cabinet cards here were probably finished between about 1853 and 1877. There is a possibility also that the subsequent photographers operating in the Ford Fine Art Gallery space after he sold out, kept the gallery name.

The cards at the left are quite primitive and were possibly done early in that time span.

Rhode Island, US census 1870, 1900, B E Ford is born
Rock Island, IL, city directory, tax role, as photographer (studio location not given)
Illinois, tax role, city not shown, as photographer
McHenry, IL, tax role, as photographer
1867 Apr 18
Woodstock (IL) Sentinel newspaper ad as photographer, studio over Owen & Bro’s store in McHenry, IL
1868 Apr 19
McHenry, IL, state records, marriage to Mary E Colby (Note this might be in error, 1900 US census says the marriage was in 1883)
1870 Sep 02
McHenry, IL, US census, as photographer (no wife mentioned)
1875 Oct 06
McHenry (IL) Plain Dealer newspaper item as photographer at Ford’s Fine Art Gallery
1876 Jul 19
McHenry (IL) Plain Dealer newspaper item says Miss A M Woodward has been hired as artist for Ford’s Fine Art Gallery

1876 Oct 01
La Salle, IL, state records, marriage to Anna M. Woodward; this conflicts with the state records that say Ford married Mary E Colby in 1868
1876 Oct 11
McHenry (IL) Plain Dealer newspaper item says B A Ford has married Anna M Woodward of Streator, IL
1876 Nov 01
McHenry (IL) Plain Dealer, newspaper item says an Estey Organ was presented to the parents of Mrs B A Ford who reside in Streator, IL
1877 Jan 27
McHenry, (IL) Plain Dealer news item says Ford is looking for someone to take over the gallery
1877 Jan 31
McHenry (IL) Plain Dealer news item says Ford has sold his gallery and is moving to Streator. IL
1877 Feb 07
McHenry (IL) Plain Dealer news item says L S Gorten had purchased the gallery of B A Ford
1879 Feb 06
Woodstock (IL) Sentinel news item says Mr Dunbar has taken the rooms formerly occupied by B A Ford
1880 Jun 02
Braidwood, IL, US census, as photographer boarding at 69 Main, no wife listed

US census of 1900 says Bernard Ford married Mary E Colby on this date (Note: state records say the marriage to Mary E Colby was in 1868)
1885 Jan 01
(Bloomington IL) Pantagraph newspaper item says a fire has damaged the gallery of B A Ford in Braidwood, IL
Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune small news item says B A Ford is selling to buildings in Braidwood, IL
Joliet, IL, city directory as photographer
Will County (IL) directory as photographer
1900 Jun 14
Coal City, IL, US census, as photographer
1904 Feb 1904
Streator, La Salle, IL B A Ford dies at age 60 (date from a family tree, no documents to support)

The Woodstock Sentinel - 18 Apr 1867

McHenry (IL) Plaindealer - 08 Sep 1875

McHenry (IL) Plaindealer - 13 Oct 1875

Woodstock (IL) Sentinel - 23 Dec 1875

McHenry (IL) Plaindealer - 19 Jul 1876

McHenry (IL) Plaindealer - 27 Sep 1876

McHenry(IL) Plaindealer - 11 Oct 1876

McHenry (IL) Plaindealer - 01 Nov 1876

McHenry (IL) Plaindealer - 07 Feb 1877

McHenry (IL) Plaindealer - 31 Jan 1877

Woodstock (IL) Sentinel - 06 Feb 1879

The Pantagraph - 01 Jan 1885

McHenry (IL) Plain Dealer - 15 Oct 1887

Chicago Daily Tribune - 15 Oct 1893

Not the one you were looking for? Here's the photographer's INDEX by name. Listed here are all the Cabinet Card photographers of the 19th century found in LOST GALLERY. This is a work in progress. For a look at the original postings go to LOST GALLERY.

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