The Pottery Maker

bBAUER Lucina_Hannah_Barbara

The Bauer sisters, Barbara, Lucinda, and Hanna, sat for this photograph at the Gustave Kundler photography studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I believe the image was captured about 1875.  The girls would have been 11, 10, and two years old, respectively.

I’ve come to surmise that the photos of the identified children found in this album were friends or schoolmates of the album’s owner, or possibly of their child.  Why you may ask?  Take this photo as an example, if these children were nieces or cousins, it would make sense that they would all be identified, not just Barbara.  The person who wrote Barbara’s name did so because they had a relationship with her and not her sisters.  Of course, this is only my deduction.

I love this image for many reasons.  First, look at the matching dresses Barbara and Lucinda are wearing.  They match, right down to the ribbons and brooches!  It seems that Hanna couldn’t sit still.  Someone is behind the curtain holding her head, and look at how Barbara and Lucinda are holding onto her arms.  The hidden person might have been the girls’ mother, Margaret (nee Roth), or possibly an older brother, George or John, was given the task.  It couldn’t have been their father, John George Bauer, as he died Oct. 2, 1873, when Hannah was just eight months old.

Barbara, Lucinda, and Hanna were born in Wisconsin.  Their parents were immigrants from Germany.  Their father manufactured pottery and tile, a business their mother and brothers carried on after his death.  At 16, Barbara helped support the household by working as a live-in servant for a private family.

Sadly, none of the girls lived long lives.  Barbara married Adam Geil when she was nineteen, had eight children, and died in 1919, aged 56. Lucinda married Alb Bloedorn, had at least four children, and died on April 20, 1900, aged 34.  Hanna never married and died on February 1, 1907.  Like Lucinda, she was 34 years old.  Unfortunately, I was unable to uncover the causes of their deaths.

This carte de visite (cdv) is the third photo I researched out of what I’ve dubbed the Waukesha album because of where I found it, in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  The few photos with names written on them are children that appear to have been born about the same time period, the late 1850s to early 1860s.  If you’re interested, here are links to the previous posts, The Butcher and The Baker.

bBAUER Lucina_Hannah_Barbara BACK


Census records
Find A Grave
Wisconsin Deaths, 1820-1907

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