I found this photo in Morgantown, Kentucky at a wonderful little antique shop called Graham Central Station.  The image is on thin paper and was meant to be affixed to heavier cardboard.  I love the beautiful couple and the ghostly figures on their right.  The setting of a home porch and large floral fabric draped in the background suggests that a traveling photographer captured this image.

The couple, identified on the reverse as Bert Mason McCollum and his first wife, Birdie Cartwright, were married on April 4, 1906, in Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky.  Birdie died five years later at the age of twenty-seven. I was unable to discover her cause of death, but she passed while living at 1142 S. Homan in Chicago, Illinois. Her body was laid to rest in Morganfield.

Bert married a second time to Miss Margaret Hurt and had four children; James, Helen, Ida, and Etta.  He worked as a coal miner the majority of his life, but in his fifties took up the profession of carpenter.  Bert lived to be an old man of 73 and is buried in Henderson, Kentucky beside Margaret.

Census records
Find A Grave
Cook County, Illinois death records

7 thoughts on “Birdie

  1. I do enjoy studying these old images, and find it fascinating that you are able to discover so much about the subjects in them. Thank you for publicly sharing your avocation so others may enjoy as well, and without the effort of research! Not to be nit-picky, but are you referring to the sitter’s right in reference to the ghostly figures in this image? The one’s on the left of the image?

    Liked by 1 person

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