The Higher the Hair

I love the soutache braid design on this sitter’s bodice and the large brooch which appears to be made of carved shell. Although, to me, the best part and the reason I bought this photo is the identification written on the reverse!


Alice was the daughter of Thomas and Selina (nee King) Hepperly.  The family relocated to Ringgold County, Iowa from Illinois about 1868.  Alice, born in Kansas in 1872, is the only one of her siblings not born in Illinois or Iowa. I suspect the family may have been visiting her Uncle John Hepperly in Sumner, Kansas when Alice decided it was time to make her grand entrance.

These scroll style cabinet card designs are almost always touted as a memorial photo created to hand out to friends and family during the sitter’s funeral.   However, I can say with certainty that this is not always the case.  I’ve come across cards featuring identified sitters who lived well past the age of their so-called memorial photo.

Sadly, it is highly probable that this cabinet card was indeed produced as a funeral memento as Alice died at the young age of 21 years, 10 months, and 18 days.  She is buried in Clearfield Cemetery.

Census records
Find A Grave
Iowa deaths and burials

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