“Women’s History Month Photo Essay”

Carroll County Times Article for 19 March 1995

By Jay A. Graybeal

The Historical Society’s photograph collection contains numerous images of local women taken from the 1840s to the present. Due to the constrains of costly equipment and relatively long exposures most of the 19th century examples are studio portraits taken by professional photographers. The advent of inexpensive cameras by the early 20th century brought amateur photography to nearly every household.

The earliest examples are cased daguerreotypes, which are silver-mercury images on a thin sheet of silver-plated copper. Daguerreotypes were the dominant photographic process until 1860. Later images were produced on photographic paper and often mounted on a decorative cardboard mount. The mount often carried a printed or embossed name of the photographer and the name of the community where he worked.

Each of these images reveal something about the period photographic sytles and the sitter’s preferences in costume, jewelry and hairstyles. They also help us to put faces to the names in the historical record.

The writer would like to thank student volunteer Amanda Boyd for her assistance in selecting the images for this article an Mrs. Winnie Conner for helping collect the biographical data about these local women.

Photo Caption 1: Mrs. Elizabeth (Haines) Shepherd (1799-1885) from a daguerreotype by Jesse Whitehurst of Baltimore, c. 1850. Betsy was the wife of Job Haines and, after his death, the second wife of William Shepherd. The Shepherds lived at “Rock Hall” near Union Bridge; today the property is known as “Hard Lodging” and is a house museum owned by the Historical Society. Mrs. Shepherd is buried at Friends (Quaker) Cemetery near Union Bridge. Her portrait shows the conservative dress favored by Quaker women in the mid-19th century. Fropm a copy photograph courtesy of Porterfield’s Photography, Westminster.
Photo Caption 2: Mary Jackson and Josie (Dr. Joseph) Herring from a carte-de-visite taken June 24, 1871 by an unknown Westminster photographer. At the time this image was taken, Miss Jackson was a member of a Sunday school class taught by Mrs. Mary Pauline Reese at the Ascension Episcopal Church in Westminster. Although the relationship between the two sitters in not fully known, Miss Jackson and young master Reese were clearly fond of one another. Miss Jackson married William J. Woodyard in 1877. Gift of Rev. Paul Reese, 1941.
Photo Caption 3: Mary Test Buckingham (1880-1961) sat for her portrait at the turn of the century and selected an interesting gilt edge circular mount. She married Henry M. Kimmey in 1908 and lived in the Kimmey House at 210 E. Main St. in Westminster. It was in her home that a group of local men and women met in 1939 to form the Historical Society of Carroll County. Her former home was purchased by the Commissioners of Carroll County after her death and presented to the Historical Society. The building now houses the Society’s administrative offices, auditorium, research library and collections storage rooms. Gift of Henry B. Kimmey, 1985.
Photo Caption 4: Mrs. Susan (Bennett) Brown (1823-1908) posed with her granddaughter Mary Brown Hughs in this portrait taken in Baltimore on July 10, 1905. Mrs. Brown was the wife of Stephen Cockey Brown; their son was Frank Brown of Sykesville the only Carroll Countian who served a governor of Maryland. Gift of Mrs. Frank Beasman, 1953.
Photo Caption 5: Mrs. Gladys M. Wimert (1900-1969) posed with a group of unidentified young women and a gentleman in the living room of her Westminster home in this c. 1950 photograph. Mrs. Wimert was active in establishing many of Westminster’s civic and social organizations. Local residents still benefit from her efforts to establish Carroll County General Hospital. At her death in 1969, the Carroll County Edition of the Hanover Sun carried the story as a front page story. Mrs Wimert had written for the paper for 46 years. Readers who can identify the other people in this photograph are urged to contact the Historical Society.