This picture is significant as it depicts the family of one of the prominent citizens of this area during the mid to late 19th century. It is unusual as few of these early family portraits have survived.
This image dates to the period between 1875 and 1880. It is provided by David T. Berns who is a great-great-grandson of this couple.
The picture was probably taken at the Hayward Studios in Crown Point. As you can see, this was taken indoors with a long exposure time as some of the faces are blurred, as the younger children would have problems sitting still.
The original print is about 8 inches by 10 inches, so we know that it was made using an enlarger from a glass-plate negative. The print does not have the names of the people written on it, but we are able to assign names as we know all the birth dates of the members of the family.
Back row: Edward Grant Palmer (1864 - ), Marcus Adelbert Palmer (1859 - ), James Calvin Palmer (1855-1942), John Dennis Palmer (1857-1949) and Charles Fremont Palmer (1861-1957).
Front row: Henrietta ("Etta") Palmer (1867-1956) and Jasper Packard Palmer (1868-1967).
If you examine the life spans of this family, you will see that most lived very long lives.
Adelbert and Maryetta were married in 1849 in North Twp, Marshall County, Indiana. They were both from early New England families that had migrated from Connecticut, through New York and Pennsylvania and finally to Indiana. The Palmer and Burch families were early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and knew each other as early as 1660.
Celesta and Benjamin are placed to the left and right of Adelbert and Maryetta as they were the oldest daughter and son. When this picture was made, Celesta had already married Amos Perry Thompson in 1866 and had several children.
Henrietta Palmer married Elmer E. Ragon in 1890. He was the editor and owner of the Lowell Tribune.
James Calvin Palmer married Celia Jane Nichols in 1879. Their oldest daughter, Mary Elnora Palmer, married Clifford Thompson and were the grandparents of David Berns, who provided the picture. Clifford Thompson was the nephew of Amos Thompson (above). Another of their daughters, Henrietta Jane Palmer, married Harry Hathaway of the Hathaway family. She lived to be 100 years old.
Charles Fremont Palmer is remembered as "Uncle Charlie" to family members. He lived to be 96 years and lived on Halsted Street in Lowell in a house built by members of the Palmer family. Adelbert and Maryetta lived next door in their later years.
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