Lewis Dowe’s Portrait Photograph of Betsy Williams & Clara McNear, c. 1877-1880
THE PHOTOGRAPHER/ PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIO:
Photographer: Lewis Dowe (b. 1838, New Hampshire)
Active in Petaluma: 1877-1880
Biographical Note: Dowe worked in Petaluma as both a “view” and portrait photographer. After leaving Petaluma he worked in San Francisco, operated as a traveling photographer and by 1904, was working to repair musical instruments.
Bibliography: Mautz, pg. 95.
Name(s): Elizabeth Bailey "Betsy" Williams & Clara McNear
Description: Cabinet card of Betsy Williams and Clara McNear. Williams, age 90 years, holds her great granddaughter, Clara Williams (Clara McNear), age 5 months, who appears to be wearing a communion gown.
Biographical Note: George B. Williams was the father of Clarinda (Clara) D. Williams (later McNear) and the cousin of John A. McNear. Clara was the wife of John A. McNear (her father's cousin). They were married in 1854 in Mississippi. Clara D. Williams died in San Francisco on January 17, 1866 (age 29 probably due to complications of childbirth). She had five children, only one survived (George P. McNear who later married Ida Bell Denman (his second wife -- his first wife, his high school sweetheart, died in a steamboat explosion). The McNears lived on the corner of Fourth and D St. (now the location of the Post Office).
Bibliography: add, augment
Format / Size: cabinet card, approximately 10.75 x 16.5 cm
Medium: albumen photographic print mounted on cardstock
Description, Obverse: (identify group or individual, gender(s); identify pose, furniture & props; describe composition, background, added color…)
Description, Reverse: The Betsy Williams 90 years. Clara McNear 5 months. Great-Great-Grand Mother. For the Maria Wright from the Eliza Garrett.
Date: c. 1877-1880
Condition: (note tears, foxing, fading)
Owner: Petaluma Historical Library & Museum, 2006-1-78
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