Sentimental Sunday: Samuel T. Beerbower to Irene L. Peters

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Samuel T. Beerbower portrait, circa 1860s? Posted with kind permission of the Marion County Historical Society (MCHS), Ohio. (Click to enlarge.)
Samuel T. Beerbower portrait, circa 1860s? Posted with kind permission of the Marion County Historical Society (MCHS), Ohio. (Click to enlarge.)

Beerbower Family (Click for Family Tree)

We generally see our ancestors in two dimensions, if we are lucky enough to have an image of them. Sometimes, though, we get to see a third dimension, something deeper, sometimes down to their heart:

circa 1860s? Samuel T. Beerbower portrait. Posted with kind permission of the Marion County Historical Society (MCHS), Ohio.
Samuel T. Beerbower portrait-reverse, circa 1860s? Posted with kind permission of the Marion County Historical Society (MCHS), Ohio. (Click to enlarge.)

“Yours faithful until death

                    – Sam”

 

Such romantic words… What a gift to know that Sam could express himself in such a way, and that he loved Irene enough to put those words on the back of his portrait!

Perhaps this was a portrait Sam gave to Irene before he left for the war on 2 Oct 1861 at age 18?

Or was it given during their courtship? Sam was born in Fairfield County in 1842, but his family moved to Marion when he was just over a year old. Irene was born in Marion in 1846, so it was likely that they knew each other growing up. Were they ‘sweet’ on each other during their school years? Had they courted before he left for the war?  Or did they fall in love after Sam returned from the war, a man changed physically as well as mentally?

Or was this a gift from around the time of their wedding, on 13 Jan 1867?

We won’t know the occasion unless letters or a diary are found, but it is fun to imagine what their lives may have been like.

Identifying when N. Green, the photographer, had a studio on Main St. in Marion, Ohio may help us pinpoint the date. (No luck so far, though found another photo identified as the 1860s with N. Green the photographer. So we are in the right decade.)

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Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Samuel T. Beerbower portrait, circa 1860s? Posted with kind permission of the Marion County Historical Society (MCHS), Ohio for non-profit use only. Found in the Samuel T. Beerbower bible held by MCHS.

 

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