Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Lorig

Lizzie Lorig

Henry and Katie Lorig had six children. Anna, Lizzie, Mary, Maggie, Edd, and Mattie. There are no photographs of Anna who died in her late teens or early twenties, unmarried, from typhoid fever. All the children in the family had the fever but Anna was the only one who did not survive. Walt Lorig recalled his father, Edd, telling of how they could only have milk while they were sick with the fever. No mention was made of whether the parents were sick at the same time. Katie must have been a very good nurse to save five of her six sick children from this deadly disease.

Elizabeth or Lizzie as she was called was their second child and was born 5 April 1856 when the family was living briefly in Pennsylvania before they moved on to Iowa. She married Charles Bird Keller who was born 24 June 1854 in Selinsgrove, Snyder, Pennsylvania but also removed to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. They married 31 March 1886 in Omaha, Nebraska and lived there for a time. Their only child MayBell was born 17 February 1887 while they lived in Omaha. They were living in Chicago in 1900 but by 1910 Lizzie, Charles and MayBell had come to Seattle where Lizzie’s brother, Edd, had settled. Charles Keller was a cement finisher and Lizzie had been a dressmaker before they wed. Descendants of Lizzie’s sister, Mattie, remembered when the Kellers came for visits they were very generous and gave a dollar to each of the children.

This postcard dated 1906 shows Omaha, Nebraska as it was then.

Wedding photograph of Lizzie Lorig and Charles Bird Keller, 1886

MayBell Keller, cira 1889/1890

This picture of MayBell is one of my all time favorites. She looks like a little doll and makes me wonder how they got a two or three year old child to pose so perfectly since in those days she would have had to stand still for quite a while to have the photograph taken. The huge bustle on the dress Lizzie is wearing in the picture at the top could not have made it easy to sit for a prolonged period of time either. The use of added background materials such as the bales of hay, flowers, rocks and painted back drops were very popular. Photographers of that time did employ various stands and anchors to keep the subjects immobile during the sittings. The use of chairs or some other object to lean on also helped. The three studio prints here are mounted on cardboard and would be either called cabinet prints or the smaller ones were called carte de visite. Both styles were in use from the 1880s through the early 1900s.

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