Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Crooks family --- with livestock

I shared a photo here on Thursday from the Lucas County Historical Society collection of Charlie Crooks (1884-1962), then farming in Otter Creek Township, that was taken during 1917 with his horse, two dogs --- and a photo-bombing child in the background. 

What I didn't say at the time was that there are perhaps 60 related photographs in the collection, all donated last fall by Sheila Chin Morris, whose grandmother was Clarissa (Crooks) Eubank, a first-cousin of Charlie. This branch of the family settled in southwest Minnesota.

After I shared a link to that blog post on Facebook, Ann Crooks Mack shared the information that her grandfather, Ullie Crooks (1882-1956) --- Charlie's brother --- was the photographer. Ullie was an enthusiastic amateur photographer in the early years of the 20th century, according to Ann --- and she still has the camera he used. He printed many of his photographs in postcard format, according to Ann, and a majority of the images donated last fall are postcards, so we can be sure Ullie probably took many if not most of them. Some are identified; many are not.

Eventually --- and it takes quite a while to catalog and process a collection of this size --- all of these photos will be archived together in an easily accessible manner, but in the meantime I thought I'd share several this morning, all but one involving livestock. That's probably another clue to the fact a farmer was involved in their composition.

I picked the top image to begin with because of the chickens. You just don't see chickens that often in a family photograph. The humans are identified as (back row from left) Clarence Floyd Crooks, unidentified, unidentified, Jasper Crooks, Jesse Crooks, Lena Crooks, Linna Mae Crooks and unidentified; (front) unidentified (left) and Miles Ogle "Doc" Crooks. That distinctive floral backdrop, by the way, is a distinctive mark of Ullie Crooks' work.

The youngsters in the following photograph are identified as Floyd and Mae Crooks with their mother, Mary Nyswonger Crooks, in the background.

Because of the floral background, we can be sure that Ullie took the following photograph, but the subjects are unidentified.

This would appear the same man, but is it the same horse?

Here's a general shot of threshing.

And shot of someone's home. There's no indication where this might have been taken, but most likely it was in or near Otter Creek Township or near Medora, in Warren County.

Note the dog claiming pride of place in this image taken in front of a barn.

And here's a racing rig.

Someone has perpetuated the myth that all women rode sidesaddle.

Finally, here's a four-generation shot. The subjects are identified as John L. Crooks and his son, William H. Crooks; William's daughter, Mamie (Crooks) Chandler; and Mamie's son, Roy.

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