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I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me. Donations of pre-1920 photographs are also most welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Two Stories: Jacob Sedlacek and Henry Strasburg, Omaha, c. 1880, Part Two


Yesterday's post looked at the image of Jacob Sedlacek, the subject of this carte de visite.  Today we see what can find out about the photographer, Henry Strasburg of Omaha, Nebraska.  I'll warn you now, it's a sad story.

In 1870 Henry is living in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa and is employed as a photographer.  The census tell us that he was born around 1845 in Prussia.  He is sharing a place with Ernest Mueller, a fellow  photographer, and Ernest Burhom, a watchmaker.  I couldn't find a studio owned by Ernest Mueller or Henry Strasburg in Council Bluffs, but there is one owned by Joseph Mueller, which was in operation from 1865 until the 1870s, save for a short time in 1866 after the studio burnt to the ground and was rebuilt.  Joseph Mueller had a second studio in Omaha, and if Henry Strasburg worked for Mueller,  this may provide a reason why Strasburg ended up there. (Source: Pioneer photographers from the Mississippi to the continental divide by Peter E. Palmquist, page 455) 
 
Henry was born in 1845, Germany according to the 1880 US Census for Omaha.  His wife, Elizabeth, was born in Kentucky in 1849.  They had four children in 1880:  Rosalie, age six, Heinrich, four; Ottilie, two; and Elise, 6 months.  Henry is listed in the Omaha City Directory for the years 1878 to 1883.  His photographic studio is located at 220 South 13th Street.

I found a website online with a history of the eldest son, Heinrich, which tells us that Henry, Sr. died sometime around 1884, of influenza, shortly after losing both his wife and daughter to the same illness.  This left son Heinrich, and another brother, George, as orphans.  George was adopted by a family, while Heinrich, at the young age of eight, went to work. Note:  I have not been able to find a George Strasburg in any records. This could mean George was born after the 1880 census.

The Douglas County Nebraska Marriage 1854-1881 book, page 150, provided more details about Henry Strasburg's parentage, as well as his wife's.  Henry's parents were Henry and Rosa (Schindler) Strasburg.  Henry (b. ca 1845) married Elise Hocket, age 25, born Louisville, KY.  They were married 21 August 1873.

Since the children of Henry Strasburg were scattered after their parents' deaths, and did not get placed with family, it is probably an indication that the Hocket and Strasburg grandparents were either dead or could not accept the children.

Image of Jacob Sedlacek, photographed by Henry Strasburg

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