W. O. Bibel had a relatively short career in photography, from about 1886 to 1891. His time in Chenoa, IL was even shorter as noted by a small newspaper item from the Bloomington Pantagraph, 21 Oct 1887 that he had closed his Chenoa studio.
Bloomington Pantagraph 21 Oct 1887
After 1891 he was a railroad fireman, cigar shop proprietor, a street car repairman and a gardener for the city park.
His brother Charles Adolph Bibel was also in the photography business but only for a very short time.
The Bibel family (originally Schwitalskey) was a colorful and apparently hot headed group. In 1880, W. O. Bibel’s mother Margaret and another brother Louis G. were arrested and jailed for attempting to murder his father Louis J. Bibel (Schwitalskey), a shoemaker. The newspaper accounts of the attempt and the subsequent trial are quite humorous.
This cabinet card from Chenoa, IL, must have been finished in that short time between 1886 and 1887.
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.