A Photo Album Belonging to William Henderson Reece & Mary Lavina Montgomery – Part 1

An album of amazing photographs has been passed to me, and I need help identifying most of the people in the photos. Please let me know if you can identify anyone! It belonged to Mary Lavina Montgomery Reece and her husband William Henderson Reece.

Here’s the cover sheet:

Cover Sheet

The album itself:

IMG_0951 IMG_0949 IMG_0950

I’ll start with photos that include identification:

MONTGOMERY John William FRANKLIN Martha VictoriaThis is indicated to be John and Martha, and on Ancestry.com I found this same photo attached to John William Montgomery and his wife Martha Victoria Franklin. The photographer was Eckles Brothers in Lamar, Missouri.

John is the brother of Mary Lavina Montgomery Reece, the owner of the photo album.




MONTGOMERY Mary Lavina and sisters  MONTGOMERY Mary Lavina sisters back of photo

MONTGOMERY Samuel Phoebe Original  MONTGOMERY Samuel Phoebe BACK
Photographer: Scribner’s New Art Gallery, Altanta Illinois

GUMMERE Alice Written on back in pencil: Alice Gummere

Research shows she is Celestia Alice Gummere, who worked for the Creston Post Office along with her father. There’s a website devoted to the photographer, Caleb Agnew/Agnew Studios of Creston, Iowa, here. There’s also a page about the Creston Post Office that shows this photo. I don’t know yet if she’s related to the Reece or Montgomery family.



Here’s the start of the photos in the book which need identification. We will call these Photo 1 (Kerr’s Studio, Lincoln, Illinois), Photo 2 (Kerr’s Studio, Lincoln, Illinois), and Photo 3 (Nora, Coates, Cerro Gordo.)


We will call these Photo 4 (on front it says Mina & Etta, on back it says Mary Billy Reece, photo by Peoria Portrait and View Company, Mathis Bros, Peoria, Illinois), Photo 5 (Farley Photgrapher), and Photo 6 (E. N. Kerr, Lincoln, Illinois):

Mina and Etta  Baby  Music Man

Check out Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. I look forward to hearing from anyone who can identify someone in these photos!

3 thoughts on “A Photo Album Belonging to William Henderson Reece & Mary Lavina Montgomery – Part 1

  1. I am curious whether you have managed to identify any of these folks. I stumbled onto your blog because i am researching cabinet card photographers for a similarly “lost” photo album. My approach was to create a public photo album tree on ancestry and to put the unknown photos in the media gallery for the tree. I am just curious if you have also tried this approach, or if you have had much luck using this blog.

    I actually researched a previous “lost” album in which many of the photos were labeled, and I found a family member via Ancestry who was very interested in receiving the photos and continuing the research. The second album has much less info on individuals, but it had an obituary from which i was able to build a tree. I just can’t figure out most of the IDs for the photos.



    • Hi Steve,
      Thanks for writing! I haven’t identified anyone from my photos, unfortunately. There are many “rescued old photos” groups on Facebook. Just search for those words, and see if there is a group for the state you are working with. Not sure how successful anyone is at identifying photos this old, but worth a try!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s