So Far Lost in Manhood


I found this tintype in Coldwater, Michigan and although it’s in rough condition (I digitally removed a lot of scratches from the men’s faces) I couldn’t pass it up.  Written on a piece of tape on the back is “J.D. Anglin and Frank McCuen – Willards Grandfather McCuen.”  There was no photographer or location noted but I hoped the name Willard would prove just as useful in identifying this duo and luckily it was.

John David Anglin (left) and James Franklin McCuen lived the majority of their lives in Kosciusko County, Indiana.  I believe this image was captured in the late 1870s, perhaps celebrating one of their impending nuptials.  In 1876, nineteen-year-old J.D. wed Miss Adaline Harmon and the following year eighteen-year-old Frank got hitched to Miss Della Martin.

cropFindAGrave_ANGLIN JD

I was able to positively identify which man was which based on the photo above of a much older J.D. that I found on his sister’s Find A Grave memorial.

The key to locating these two men was definitely Willard and it turns out that Willard had a family connection to both of our sitters.  J.D.’s niece, Matilda Harmon, and Frank’s son, Melvin McCuen, were Willard’s parents.  Tragically, Willard was just five years old when he lost his father.  Melvin died at the age of 28 as the result of complications after an operation.

I was pleased to come across some interesting newspaper articles providing a glimpse into the lives of our sitters beyond the small bit of information I was able to glean from census records.

1881 Jun 2 MCCUEN Frank ARRESTED Nappanee News IN
June 2, 1881 ~ Nappanee News (IN)

Frank found himself in trouble with the law in 1881 for “disturbing the repose of the people” which resulted in his arrest and fines of $22 ($500 in 2019.)  I have a suspicion that J.D. was one of his “backers” and I’d bet this wasn’t the only trouble the two found themselves in over the years.

1890 Aug 8 ANGLIN John D BUTCHERING BUSINESS Goshen Daily News IN
Aug. 8, 1890 ~ Goshen Daily News (IN)

Census data reveals that in 1900 the men were living next door to each other in Scott, Indiana.  J.D. was working as a stock dealer and Frank as a farmer.  The news tidbit above lets us know that J.D. was involved in other endeavors as well, like the butchering business in 1890.

1901 Dec 21 ANGLIN John D ARRESTED A CRANK Goshen Democrat IN
Dec. 21, 1901 ~ Goshen Democrat (IN)
1901 Dec 26 ANGLIN John D GUN POINTED AT HIM Milford Mail Milford IN
Dec. 26, 1901 ~ Milford Mail (IN)

J.D. came face to face with an armed bandit in 1901.  I can only imagine the buzz about town and how many times he must have told that story over the years.

1910 Jul 2 ANGLIN John D COMET EGG The Saturday Call Lagrange IN
July 2, 1910 ~ Saturday Call

After Haley’s Comet passed by on May 19, 1910, there were farmers all over the country who claimed their chickens laid freak eggs with appendages that resembled the comet tail itself and J.D. was one of them.  I wonder what happened to that egg.


1917 Jan 22 MCCUEN Frank ACCIDENT Fort Wayne Daily News IN
Jan. 22, 1917 ~ Fort Wayne Daily News (IN)

January 1917 wasn’t a pleasant month for Frank.  His wife divorced him and he was seriously injured in an explosion.  He recovered and remarried in July to Mrs. Rosa (Holderman) Housouer.  Not even two years later, on March 1, 1919, Frank died of lobar pneumonia (acute inflammation of an entire lung.)

Coincidently, J.D.’s death in 1924 was also a result of lobar pneumonia.  J.D. and Frank are buried in Stony Point Cemetery in Clunette, Kosciusko County, Indiana.

Census records
Find A Grave
Indiana marriage records
Michigan marriage records
Michigan death records
Goshen Daily Democrat, Nov. 8, 1906 ~ Melvin’s death

11 thoughts on “So Far Lost in Manhood

  1. Harks back to a time period in America when almost everyone lived near their relatives, farmed to earn at lest some of their living and the days when young men were often rowdy!

    I wonder if Frank’s death was related to the flu epidemic?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a secondary cause of death listed on Frank’s death certificate but I couldn’t make out what it said. Take a peek if you have time and tell me if you have a clue as to the writing. I’ve linked to images of both men’s death certificates. J.D.’s secondary cause of death was a strangulated hernia. Yikes.

      Liked by 2 people

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