Old photographs have always been of interest to me. I am fortunate to have a number of old family photos and several hang in my home. The black and white photos taken in the late 1880’s have turned yellow with age and unfortunately when I received them many have faded from exposure to bright light.
One photo that I particularly enjoy is an “Aged” photo taken by Photographer J.R. Tewksbury of the SAM ATLEE Steamboat owned by my ancestors S. & J.C Atlee. Father John Cox is my 3rd great grandfather and son Samuel my 3rd grand uncle. They owned one of three large lumber mills in my home town Fort Madison, Iowa which lies along the Mississippi River. The river along with the railroad has provided many citizens with well paying jobs since Fort Madison became and official city in 1838. My 3rd great grandfather along with brother Isaac opened the mill around 1850. Brother Isaac retired and John took on another partner in 1853 eventually buying him out to bring his son Samuel into the business. The business prospered through the turn of the century.
Today the photo rests loosely in its original frame with only two nails, one original and one a replacement, to hold it in place. I am grateful to have this small piece of my ancestry to remind me of times gone by.