The Shelby Museum Of History
Recorders of Shelby Pictorial History

Early Shelby Photographers and their Photographs

(George Berry Salls?)
( 1882? - 1887?)


Courtesy of private collector - photo - CDV size c. mid 1880s
Based on clothing and the photo mount material, it is estimated that the above photo (CDV) was taken in the mid 1880s. The subjects in the above photo are unknown at this time. Any help in identifying the above couple would be greatly appreciated.
There is no Salls family that appears in the 1880 or 1900 census in the immediate Shelby, Ohio area. There is no Salls family listed in the 1901 or 1906 Shelby directories. There are no Salls families that owned property listed at the Richland County Court House during this period. Lack of evidence would seem to indicate that the photographer may have worked in this area for a short period of time between the 1880 and 1900 censuses. The fact that the above photo was made in the mid 1880s would support that assumption.
The 1880 census lists a George Salls age 17 living with Albert J. and Mary Hawkins on Main Street in Mansfield, Ohio. Further research reveals that Mary Hawkins (36) is in fact Mary Sophia Rickerson Salls Hawkins and George Salls' mother. Albert John Hawkins lists his occupation as photographer. He, in later years, would become a dance instructor. George lists his occupation as "works in brass foundry".
Could George Salls be our "Salls" photographer? He was born George Berry Salls, April 3, 1863 in St. Lawrence Co., New York, to Benjamin and Mary Sophia Rickerson Salls. By 1875 Benjamin Salls had passed away. George and his mother moved from New York to Ohio and she remarried in 1876 to Albert J. Hawkins in Richland County, Ohio. Albert and Mary had a daughter Pearl who was born in 1878 in Mansfield. Mary passed away in 1906 in Mansfield, Ohio and Albert died in 1916.
On May 30, 1883, George Salls married Sarah Elizabeth "Bessie" Robertson in Quincy, Adams Co., Ill. Their youngest child Grace was born in March 1884. George and Bessie had 5 children, one child Albert William died in infancy and is buried in the Mansfield Cemetery. George's wife Bessie died c. 1893 and George returned to the Mansfield area shortly afterward leaving two of his children with Bessie's parents in Illinois.
George remarried in 1900 to Eta Glashau in Richland County and died in Mansfield in 1907 at the age of 44. He is also buried in the Mansfield Cemetery.
The period of time in which George Salls could have been involved with photography was the period from 1880 to 1884 while he was living with a step father who was at that time involved with photography. This short period of at most 4 years, would perhaps account for the fact that "Salls" photographs seem to be few in number.
Shelby Museum photo c. 1882
The above cabinet photograph construction appears to "fit' in the mid 1880s time frame. The clothing style isn't "out of place" for this time period. The subject of this Shelby Museum photo is unknown at this time.
Shelby Museum photo c. 1885-7
The above cabinet photograph provides additional proof of Mr. Salls developing photographic skills. (Notice that he is using the same backdrop as used in the first example photo in this section.) The subject is this case is known. She is Mabel Patterson, daughter of Eugene and Mary Elizabeth Reynolds Patterson. Mabel was born in 1881 and that would date this photo to about 1885 - 1887.
The quality, composition, and overall final production indicate that Mr. Salls is quickly maturing as a quality photographer. He would be 22 to 24 years of age at this time. It also indicates that Mr. Salls possibly went "out on his own" after his photographic apprenticeship with his step father.

If you have additional information on the Salls family or if you know the subjects of the above photos please contact us at the Shelby Museum.
We are also searching for additional Salls photos. If you can help us with this
please contact us at the museum.
The Shelby Museum of History
% Sally Maier
76 Raymond Ave.
Shelby, Ohio 44875
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