Kirkley’s Snap Shot


This cabinet card was found in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The sitter was James Buchanan Kirkley, born April 15, 1856, in Indiana.  His image was captured by Felix Schanz, a native of France, who came to Fort Wayne in the 1880s.  According to the following article, Schanz’ studio, at 112 Calhoun, opened in 1889.

1889 Mar 30 SCHANZ photographer THe Fort Wayne Sentinel
Fort Wayne Sentinel (IN) – March 30, 1889

James Kirkley worked as a farm laborer and carpenter.  During the late 1880s, he ventured to Kansas, where he lived for some years.  It was reported, in the January 23, 1890 edition of the Huntington Democrat, that James had arrived in the city and would be visiting with relatives in the county. Was this when he posed for his picture at the Schanz studio?  He would have been about 34 years old.

Sometime before 1900, James moved back to Indiana.  He never married and lived to be 81 years old.

Census records
Indiana death records
Huntington Democrat, Huntington, Indiana
The Cabinet Card Gallery

4 thoughts on “Kirkley’s Snap Shot

  1. Interesting to hear something of the background of studio photography. With regard to the number of catalogued plates, recently just such a cache was discovered in a local photographers, dating back into the 19th century. The plates were found in a bricked up storeroom at the studio of Winter’s photographers in Derby, England, which has been in continuous operation from the middle of the 19th century.

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  2. Great post. I never studied the history of fabrics or design of clothes but since becoming interested in feeds of Victorian folks living their lives, I have so many questions. Now this gentleman’s jacket and slacks must be made of cotton, 100%. But there is not one wrinkle seen on his attire. Did the photographers studio employ a gal who ironed all the clothing of the subjects immediately prior to be photographed?? Perplexing

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