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28 September 2010

Wordless Wednesday: 1870’s. Illinois. Kankakee. Dunham and Couch family. Voss photographer.

Please help identify my family.

 The back of the photo reads: Great-grandfather and great-grandmother Dunham. Grandma Couch’s mother and father. The “great” has been added at a later date. The writing resembles Nettie Couch (1884-1965). Nettie Couch is my maternal grandmother.

Kankakee, Illinois, was both a vacation destination and major train route during the late 1800’s.
According to the city directories, Charles E. Voss was a photographer in Kankakee during the turn of the century. With a studio located near the train depot, his business thrived on travelers. 

According to the 1898 city directory, Carrie Sarah Couch (1857-1927) worked for C. E. Voss as a retoucher. Her skill may account for Mr. Dunham’s even beard and the lack of aging on their faces even though their hands are wrinkled. 

The photograph has been dated as circa 1870. The edge of the card and embossing are in a gold color. The back of the card lacks the fancy embossing characteristic of the 1880’s. 

Kankakee County Museum,
Kankakee Public Library, genealogical collection maintained by Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society,
Taylor, Maureen, “Photo Detective,” or