William Joseph Hillman
(7 Apr 1849 - 17 Apr 1921)
Sources: US census, Wisconsin territorial census,
No city directories are available for Richland City, WI so little can be assembled about the whereabouts of this photographer.
There are however an unusual quantity of examples of Hillman’s work to be found, mostly from the Richland County Digital History Room. It is a fine website with clean scans of Hillman’s work and includes documentation on many.
The card design varies and perhaps the design might suggest a time period for a given card. The attempt here is to group some of the cards by their imprint design and include the owner’s estimate on the time period the photograph was made. Their estimate will be based on knowledge of the subject in the photograph and family lore.
Perhaps it will narrow the date range of when a cabinet card was made. Keep in mind, the owner’s estimate might be ambiguous or even completely wrong.
Consider also that Hillman might have used more than one style during a time period.
Some examples were slightly cropped when scanned.
The examples below all came from the
Richland County Digital History Room
These three are very similar but not identical.
Note that although the imprint is the same, two are plain edge and two are deckled edge.
All of this design have a smooth edge.
This one shows that Hillman was in partnership with a photographer named Leonard.
The card at the right is the only example found with this design.
A single decorative line above the name imprint is typical of earlier designs.
This is the same style as the example at the top of the page.
A single decorative line again but this time with a gilded edge.
Note "Extra Finish" in an arched design. Note also that the last example in this row has no decorative line.
These have a single ruled line all the way around the card.
These all have a deckled edge