Maplewood History: Woodside’s Family Photo Album

One of the unexpected pleasures of working on the Woodside project has been meeting and getting to know some of the descendants of Charles and Mary Rannells.  Without exception they have allowed me to copy and photograph their family treasures and use the images how I saw fit.

They came together from several far apart locations around the country, pooled their historic documents and letters, and then donated them to what was then the Western Historic Manuscript Collection, next to the Mercantile Library on the campus at UMSL.  (WHMC is now known as The Historical Society of the State of Missouri, Research Center-St. Louis).  Anyone who is interested can see all of these originals along with copies of the Rannells families’ historic photos and paintings.

This is a tremendous boost to the history of our area and an even bigger boost to the understanding of the history of our city, Maplewood.

Particularly rewarding to me is talking to some of the folks whose interest has been sparked by something they saw in my blog or book.  I will attempt to post as much of this information as I can.  We owe a big thanks to the generous souls who share with all of us their fascinating historic images and information.

I’ve posted these images before but I can’t leave them out of a family album.

Images courtesy of the Rannells Family

I’ve posted these images before but I can’t leave them out of a family album.

The information from David Meyer's letter follows.

David and Alice Rannells Meyer

The information from David Meyer's letter follows.

This may be the earliest photo of Edward “Ned” Rannells.  The information from the back is hard to understand.  The “Mo-Pac office” part must be there for some other reason since the photo was evidently made in Springfield, OH.

David Meyer

This may be the earliest photo we have of Edward “Ned” Rannells. The information from the back is hard to understand. The “Mo-Pac office” part must be there for some other reason since the photo was evidently made in Springfield, OH.

Ned has gained a mustache by the time this photo was taken.  He was born in 1854.  How old does he look in this undated photo?

Greg Rannells

Ned has gained a mustache by the time this photo was taken. He was born in 1854. How old does he look in this undated photo?

Elinor (Nelly) Cartmell who would become Ned's wife

Greg Rannells

Elinor (Nelly) Cartmell who would become Ned's wife

Elinor and Cartmell who must have been born about 1894.

Greg Rannells

Elinor and Cartmell who must have been born about 1894. I can't prove it but I strongly suspect that the street, Elinor, in Richmond Heights was named by Ned for his wife. It is on property that once was part of the Woodside farm.

Edward Warder (Ned) Rannells a little farter along.  Any guesses as to how old he looks in this photo.

Greg Rannells

Edward Warder (Ned) Rannells a little farther along. Any guesses as to how old he looks in this photo?

Ella Robinson with Cartmell and Warder Dec. 29,1896.  This photo is a true treasure the contributions of African/Americans can be difficult to trace.  Ella's name and the exact date on this photo add much needed information to an area sadly lacking.

Greg Rannells

Ella Robinson with Cartmell and Warder Dec. 29,1896. This photo is a true treasure. The contributions of African/Americans can be difficult to trace. Ella's name and the exact date on this photo add much needed information to an area sadly lacking.

7 thoughts on “Maplewood History: Woodside’s Family Photo Album

  1. Some of the photos can be narrowed down in date by when the type of photograph was used. They look similar to photographs in my family’s collection, some of which are also not dated. The earliest cabinet card we have dates from 1875 and also exists as a tintype. I’m betting the F.W. Guerin photograph of Ned was in about the 1880s at the earliest. The Genelli photograph of Ned reminds me of some photographs from the 1890s and 1900s. It’s great that these photos are all identified–there are some photos my family has that are not identified or they are vague like “Grandma Lee’s mother” (tintype) and “Uncle John’s grandson” (early cabinet card) which all I can do is go by the style of photo to figure out who it might be. If you can find when the photographers listed on the cabinet cards were in business that may or may not also narrow down a few dates.

    • Gary, Much thanks for your comments. I always copy the front and the back of old photos because many times I’ve discovered several copies of the same photo that were originally given to different members of the family. Someone may have written information on one of them. Or the photos may be different but one can tell by the cardboard mounts (You called them “cabinet cards”. That’s new to me.) that they were taken at the same time. If Ned were 26 in the Guerin photo that would put it at 1880. I’d bet it’s not more than a few years off from that date. Your photo that was printed as a tintype and also a cabinet card is interesting. I’ve not seen any like that. As always, I appreciate your interest.

      • Doug, you have the right idea about copying the back of photos in order to get what information may be there. That’s also a reason why I have tried to contact multiple family members. There is a mystery woman whose identity I was speculating on but then I discovered someone else also had a tintype of her (also not labeled), but they were from the “wrong” family so she wasn’t the person I had hoped to be (that is, my great-great-great-grandmother). At one point, I think everyone knew who she was so there was no point in marking the back.

        I learned the term “cabinet card” from reading about photography when I was working intensely on my family history. We have photos going back to my great-great-grandparents Lee’s wedding photo of 1862.