The Shelby Museum Of History
Recorders of Shelby Pictorial History


Early Shelby Photographers and their Photographs

Who was Shelby's first photographer? Possibly that question can never be answered with certainty. The currently available records include early area newspapers, the federal census, the 1856 Shelby Directory and early family records. One of the earliest area newspaper advertisements that is linked to photography can be found in the May, 1859 issue of The Shelby Pioneer newspaper.
Shelby Museum
Note that the Photograph Gallery is located on the south side of Main Street in WEST SHELBY. At that time Shelby was divided by the Black Fork into East and West Shelby and the area South of where the creek crosses South Gamble at Central Ave. was called "Texas". So we know approximately where the Madden Gallery was then located. It appears that she started her ad running in about July of 1858, not long after arriving in Shelby.
1856 Map of Shelby
(click on image)
The following ads appeared in the October 15, 1862 issue of The Shelby Express newspaper:



Mrs. Mary Madden (1856 - 1867)
Mrs. Madden has often been given credit for being the first milliner in the Shelby area. Many followed not long after she began; however she appears to be the first and the above ad must refer to her first store. It also expresses a common knowledge of her "picture business" preceding her millinery shop. The location of "High" Street is a bit confusing since it doesn't seem to be consistant over time. Early maps (1856) show Main Street extending West and East through town. The 1873 Richland County Atlas shows High Street in Shelby running East from the Broadway intersection, with Main Street running to the West. In 1896 Main Street again extended the length of Shelby East to West. It is likely that the "High" Street name applied from about the time the Maddens arrived until sometime in the late 1870s.
Mrs. Madden was born Mary Hadley in Trumbell County , Ohio in 1824. James Madden was born in 1813 in Perry County, Pennsylvania. He moved with his family from Perry County to Trumbell County in 1836. In 1841 James and Mary were married in Trumbull County. In 1850, James was listed a wagon maker in Bracewell, Trumbull County, Ohio. Mary did not have an occupation listed, but this was not unusual in the 1850 census. Wives and adult females generally had no occupation listed unless the wife was widowed and then occasionally an occupation was given. James and Mary Madden and their family of four children moved to Shelby, Ohio in 1856, perhaps just too late to be included in the first known Shelby Directory.
The 1860 census lists James as a millwright and Mary still has no listed occupation. Daughter Almira is listed as a school teacher. No records have been found to determine when Mary began her work as a photographer, but as the 1862 ad above states "Mrs Madden will continue her picture business as usual". The ad indicates that she was versed in producing "Ambrotypes and Dagerreotypes". Since Daguerreotypes (1839 - 1860s) and Ambrotypes (1854 - 1860s) were established and the Tintype (1860 - 1900) and paper "Carte-de-Viste" (CDV) (1859 - 1890s) did not become popular until later. Therefore, it would not be unrealistic to assume that she learned her trade in Trumbell County before journeying to Shelby.
We have no Daguerreotypes or Ambrotypes that we can attribute to Mrs Madden at this time so we will limit our discussion to the later paper photographic processes. Her work appears to be largely that of CDVs which were extremely popular in the 1860s to the 1880s.

February 2011
We are extremely pleased to have just recently received several family photo albums that contain a collection of early Shelby photographs. They were assembled and preserved by members of the David Cummins family. David Cummins, born 1834, died 1899, was a son of William (born 1809) & Jane Ann Addison Cahill (born 1806) Cummins, and a grandson of David (born 1782) & Mary Trimble (born 1784) Cummins who were living in what is now Auburn Twp., Crawford County, Ohio before 1822.
David Cummins married Angeline P. Taylor, a daughter of Henry and Evaline W. Ayres Taylor, in 1858 and from that time started assembling photographs of the Shelby area. The Henry Taylor family lived in the Jackson Twp., Richland County area prior to 1820 when Henry and Evaline were married.
David Cummins was a merchant in Shelby during the period of the late 1850s lasting until near his death in 1899. He and Angeline were friends with many Shelby merchants and others who were a part of the Shelby community during that period and they collected photos of these friends. Combined with their Cummins and Taylor family photos, the resulting collection is a treasure of Shelby history!
We are very grateful to Mrs. Mary Lou Wrobel for the donation of these albums to the Shelby Museum.
Picture courtesy of Mrs. Mary Lou Wrobel
Mary Hadley Madden photo c. 1867 - 68
One of the hundreds of Shelby photos contained in the Cummins' albums is the above photograph of Mary Madden. As her many advertisements reveal, Mary Madden was a milliner as well as a photographer and would quite likely stay current on clothing styles. The above CDV construction, the dress and hairstyle would date the photo to be just post Civil War. The back drop and chair have not yet been linked to other photos and can not be used as a means to date the photo. Notice there is no double line border as seen in many of the early Mary Madden photos shown below. There is no photographer's identification on this picture. The photo may have been taken after she had finished her photography career and was becoming more involved in the millinery business with her daughter and son - in - law.


Picture courtesy of the Shelby Museum
The above photo was likely taken in the early 1860s, at about the time of the Shelby Express newspaper advertisement (c.1862). The CDV format was approximately 2.5 by 4.2 inches. These cards were cut 8 from a single sheet. Early cards were cut with the corners roughly square with the image attached to the surface of the card. The earlier cards (early 1860s) had a thinner card backing material and often had a border of one or two lines (see above and below). The imprint: "Mrs.M. Madden Shelby, Ohio" on the reverse is unadorned and brief. Photo subject unknown.

Two more treasures from the Cummins collection:

Pictures courtesy of Mrs. Mary Lou Wrobel
Thomas Mickey
Rebecca Cummins Mickey
Thomas Mickey, born 1820, died in 1878, was a Shelby merchant during the same period as David Cummins. In 1842, Thomas Mickey married Rebecca Cummins, who was probably the only daughter of David Cummins (born 1782) and his second wife, Rebecca Hoblitzell Cummins.
These two photos are of the same period as the previous one (above). Note the reverse imprint (below) is identical to the previous photo.
Pictures courtesy of Mrs. Mary Lou Wrobel



Picture courtesy of the Shelby Museum
Rev. R. R. Moore
Rev. Robert Moore was pastor for the Shelby Presbyterian Church during the period from the Summer of 1858 until late in the year of 1864 when he moved to Tiffin, Ohio. The thickness of this card, the border, and the labeling on the back would indicate that it was made after the first picture (shown above) and prior to the following Elizabeth Bricker picture. It would seem that the picture must have been taken late in Rev. Moore's Shelby ministry, possibly 1864.

Picture courtesy of the Shelby Museum
Elizabeth Bricker
The above photo was likely taken in the mid 1860s. Elizabeth Libbie Bricker was probably the daughter of William Reilly and Esther Taylor Bricker. William was a prominent Shelby physician in the period of the 1850s through the 1880s; Elizabeth was born in Shelby in 1850 and appears to be in her late teens in this photo. Note the card corners are cut a bit rounded and Mrs Madden's imprint has become more ornate.


Pictures courtesy of Mrs. Mary Lou Wrobel
Elizabeth Bricker
The above photo of Libbie Bricker is the same as the previous, however this is from the Cummins collection and has a stamp on the reverse. The stamp was used during the latter part of the Civil War (August 1, 1864 - August 1, 1866). It is strange that the picture from the Museum collection lacks the stamp, however the imprint on the back of the Museum picture is one probably used at a later time than the simple unadorned "Mrs. M. Madden imprinted on the Cummins collection photo. Perhaps the Cummins picture was produced first and the Museum photo was a copy made later during the period that the stamp was required.


Picture courtesy of the Shelby Museum
Thomas Jefferson Mickey
Thomas Jefferson Mickey was born in 1848 in Shelby, Ohio, the son of Thomas and Rebecca Cummings Mickey. Two other sons died at a young age. Jeff's sister, Sarah "Sallie" married the dashing Civil War Officer, Franklin Asbury DuBois after the war in 1867 and eventually went off to live in Kansas and finally died in New Mexico. This photo has the same back imprint as the one above, has the same border and trimed corners and probably also dates from the mid to late 1860s.


Pictures courtesy of Mrs. Mary Lou Wrobel
Thomas Jefferson Mickey
This photo of Jeff Mickey is from the Cummins albums and shows a slightly different pose than the previous Museum photo. It is the same setting but both feet are on the floor and his head and body are tipped forward a bit more. The major difference is in the reverse imprint. This is the only Mary Madden photo we have that has this imprint and therefore it is difficult to speculate why different imprints would be used for pictures taken at identical times, unless the photos were actually "produced" at differing times. Perhaps the photos were taken and one set of prints was made and at a later date another pose from this same sitting was ordered and when completed, imprinted with a stamp that was used at that time. The difference in dates could be as little as months.


Picture courtesy of Robert Sponseller
M. A. Garrett c. 1867
This may have been one of Mary Madden's final series of photos. Notice that the stamp on the reverse is now done with colored ink and that it is different from the one used on the previous two photos. The subject is probably Myers Garrett, a son of Andrew and Margaret Myers Garrett. Myers Garrett was born in 1849 in Lebanon County, Pa. and came to Shelby with his parents c. 1865. This photo appears to have been taken c. 1867 . In 1875 Myers married Eleanor Marshall at her home in Buffalo, New York.
(See August J. Longe section for an additional photo of Myers portrayed as a Native American)

Helen V. Stimmel

November, 1866 

Almanza Rogers Sipe

November, 1866  
Pictures courtesy of private collector
These Madden photos were just recently discovered (February, 2008) and are nearly the same vintage as the previous photograph of Myers Garrett(above). There is a slight difference in the printing on the reverse, however the materials and construction are as in the Garrett photo. These two photos were taken when the subjects were about 21 years old. Almanza Sipe and Helen Stimmel would be married in May, 1869. Almanza was a son of Daniel and Florilla Rogers Sipe who came to Shelby from Pennsylvania. Almanza must have been named for his Grandfather Almanzo Rogers. Helen's parents were Henry and Margaret Snider Stimmel. Almanza and Helen lived in Mt. Vernon, Ohio where "A. R." was a tailor. Helen died in 1900 and Almanza in 1923. They had no children.
These two pictures further verify the style of reverse printing that Mary Madden used for her final series of photographs.

Shelby Chronicle Advertisement
This would seem to indicate the end of Mary Madden's photographic enterprise. The above ad ran in the Shelby Chronicle newspaper starting May 23, 1867 for a period of six months.
In 1862 the Maddens lost their daughter Almira and five years later, daughter Florence married Milton Newton Mickey, a son of Robert and Louisiana Mickey. In the 1870 census, Newton Mickey, tailor, and his wife are livng at the James Madden residence.



Pictures courtesy of Mrs. Mary Lou Wrobel
Florence Madden Mickey c. 1867
The Cummins albums contain this picture of James and Mary's daughter Florence, possibly taken near the time of her wedding. After Florence married Newton Mickey in September of 1867, Mary Madden and her daughter and son-in-law went into business together and they continued with their enterprise until only months before Mary's passing in 1888.

Shelby Times December, 1880
In the early 1870s, most of the Mary Madden ads placed in the local paper were specifically aimed at her millinery shop. By the early 1880s competition in Shelby had grown and there were several shops vying for the millinery and dress making business. (Note that Mrs. M. Madden & Co. was sole agent for the sale of Butterick and Co. patterns in Shelby.) James was still working as a millwright in 1880 even as he passed his 67th birthday.
Mary Hadley Madden passed away late in 1888. Mary Madden's obit states that she and family moved to Shelby in 1856 and she had been actively engaged in her businesses for the entire period of 31 or 32 years, until her failing health forced her to relinquish it. That statement is born out in the ads that appeared in the Shelby Times as late as July 21, 1888 (The Mickey in the ad refers to Mary's daughter Florence Mickey whose husband Newton passed away in 1877.) :
Shelby Times July 21, 1888
Mary Hadley Madden passed away in November of 1888.
One month later her husband James died. His obit states that he served over 3 years in the service of his country as a member of Co. H, 64th Regiment OVI. He began his service on Oct. 26, 1861, was appointed Corporal in December, 1861 and served until December 10, 1864 in Nashville, Tenn.


Mary and James Madden are buried at the Oakland Cemetery in Shelby.
It must be assumed that there were pictures taken of both James and Mary Madden, however the Museum has no "known" copies of them. It is also assumed that Mary took many Shelby area Ambrotypes and Daguerreotypes, as well as the later, larger format Cabinet pictures, but there are none that have been identified at the Museum. We are constantly searching for items of this type, and will update this article as soon as examples are located.
The pictures from the albums of Mrs. Mary Lou Wrobel prove some of the above assumptions true. Through these pictures, we now have several copies of Mary Hadley Madden's photo. Comparisons with Mrs. Wrobel's photos have helped in identifying photos that have been in the Museum's possession, but with no names associated with them. Mary must have taken photos of her husband James. He is probably one of the many that remain unidentified.
We hope the future will disclose additional photos that will help identfy even more of those in our possession.
(Feb. 2012)

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The Shelby Museum of History
23 East Main Street
Shelby, Ohio 44875
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