Wednesday, September 6, 2017

John Henry Gilkey


Photographer: Gilkey & Martin
226 S. Main
Ottawa, Kansas
Before 1894

It appears that the Martin of “Gilkey and Martin” was actually William H. “Dad” Martin who began the “Tall Tales” postcard business. These were cards depicting giant grasshoppers, rabbits, cabbages or onions, promoting some exaggerated comical tall tale.

Martin took over the photograph studio from Gilkey in 1894 and began making his photo-montage comic cards.

He sold the photography studio the next year in 1895, to work full time on his post card business.

He sold the postcard business in 1912. He then started the National Sign Company.

Interesting Links
The In-Between
Smithsonian American Art Museum


Photographer: Gilkey & Martin
226 S. Main Street
Ottawa, Kansas

John Henry Gilkey
(13 Jun 1853 - 22 Mar 1923)

The records are a bit sketchy but apparently Gilkey and Martin worked together between 1886 and 1894. After that Martin worked alone as a photographer until he sold his studio in 1895.

It is important to note that although John H. Gilkey is the only Gilkey found in the Ottawa, KS, area between 1886 and 1923 he is never noted as photographer in any document found so far.

John H. Gilkey arrived in Ottawa about 1903. He apparently left the photography business to do farming and the directories and census reflect that he is living in Richmond, a farming community just outside of Ottawa, KS. Richmond is included in the Ottawa city directory. He dies in 1923.

1853
Gilkey born in PA
1870
(US Census) Gilkey at 17 is in Lackawannock, PA
1880
(US Census) Gilkey at 27 is in Lackawannock, PA
1884
(Ottawa city directory) No Gilkey, Calvert, MacDonald or W. H. Martin are listed

1886
(US Census 1900/KS reg) Gilkey and Elizabeth A Calvert marry
1900
(US Census) Gilkey as farmer w/Lizzie in Richmond, KS
1903
(Ottawa city directory) Gilkey as farmer w/Lizzie in Richmond, KS; Martin is not listed
1910
(US Census, Ottawa city directory) Gilkey as farmer w/Lizzie in Richmond, KS;
1913
(Ottawa city directory) Gilkey as farmer w/Lizzie in Richmond, KS
1915
(KS state Census) Gilkey as farmer w/Lizzie in Richmond, KS
1920
(US Census) Gilkey as farmer w/Lizzie in Richmond, KS
1921
(Ottawa city directory0 Gilkey as farmer w/Lizzie in Richmond, KS
1923
(FindAGrave) Gilkey dies 23 Mar;

The cabinet cards imprinted with Gilkey and Martin were probably done between about 1886 and 1894

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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