[Various locations in South Dakota, including Pierre, and Oahe. 1918-1928]. 230 photographs mounted on album leaves, captioned in white or red ink throughout. Images range from 2 1/2 x 2 inches to 3 1/2 x 5 inches. Oblong octavo. Contemporary black leatherette photograph album, string-tied. Minor edge wear. Several leaves detached, some photographs wholly or partially removed, most in nice condition. Overall good condition. Item #WRCAM55666
An interesting annotated vernacular photograph album featuring a South Dakota family in the first quarter of the 20th century. Members of the family are variously identified as Anna, Beulah, and Dwight Huffman, aided by a few pages of typed family notes that accompany the album. The album was kept by an unidentified member of the Huffman family, who refers to herself in the first person in a few photographs, including a group shot of school girls, captioned "Domestic Science Class when I was a 'Frosh.'" Comparisons of photographs indicate the author of the captions is probably Anna Huffman. Most of the photographs feature people from multiple generations of the Huffman family in South Dakota, including Grandma Benjamin. These men, women, and children pose in front of houses and on farms on the South Dakota prairie and at various spots in the capital city of Pierre. The family members are captured in a variety of activities common to rural life: feeding livestock, killing and cleaning chickens, gardening, stacking hay, camping, cutting their own hair, extracting a cow from a muddy lake, tilling farmland with early motorized tractors, and fishing in Lake Oahe. Two photographs feature Robert Benjamin Huffman - one of him while at Illinois State Normal University (now Illinois State) and one showing him in his World War I uniform. According to the family notes accompanying the album, Robert was killed in France on October 1, 1918. Several more lighthearted photographs in the album show women laughing and clowning for the camera; one photograph shows a female family member dressed as "the Hawaiian in the school parade." Particularly interesting are the three photographs featuring Native Americans, two of them identifying the subjects. The first of these features Mr. and Mrs. Spotted Bear in Oahe, S.D. The second shows Mr. and Mrs. Spotted Bear standing with Mr. and Mrs. Tall White Man. The third photograph captures a large group of Native Americans sitting in a wide circle, with the caption reading "An Indian Conference Pierre, So. Dak." Other landmarks captured here include "The old school house," the "M.E. Church at Pierre, So. Dak.," the "Old Missouri" River, the Red Wing Seminary, the "Sorensen Home Oahe So Dak.," and the South Dakota State Capitol building. As with other family albums, there are also numerous vacation shots, with various family members in New York, Virginia, and Illinois; at some point, Beulah and Anna drove from South Dakota to New York for vacation. An interesting collection of annotated vernacular family photographs from the rural American West.