Five photos, varying in size from 6 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. to 4 x 6 in., all mounted on stiff card stock, all with the stamp and/or pencil caption by Joseph Stocks on the versos, three with a blind-stamp of his name in the card stock margin. The largest of the five photos is a cyanotype. Some light soiling to two of the photos, else very good, clear images.
Three of the photos depict the homestead of John Day and his family in Missouri City, Texas. Stocks has penciled captions on the versos of these, stating that he and Day were friends and partners in Londonderry, Ross County, Ohio before Day moved his family to Texas. The images show the house under construction, with tents pitched nearby for temporary shelter, and one showing a line of plows piled up in front of a building. One of the captions mentions that John Day died in Texas. A fourth photo, is an oval image of a tool or machine of some kind (a drill?). The cyanotype, a large two-story building, with a pair of horses (or mules) hitched to a wagon in the side yard, and three men standing on the porch, is captioned on verso "My grist mill, I had brought in a load of corn with Old Bill and Little Maud. I, Jim McKnight & Harry Percivale. [signed] Jos. Stocks." Item #67284
Stocks and Day (1840-1897) may have been partners in a blacksmith shop in Ohio. The 1870 Census of Londonderry Station, Ross County, Ohio, lists John Day, age 30, as a blacksmith. Presumably he continued this trade in Texas, as the pile of plows indicates. His brief biography on the find-a-grave site mentions that he served in the 89th Ohio Infantry during the Civil War, and died in Missouri City, Texas in 1897. His wife Lucinda filed a pension request as his widow in December of that year. Missouri City was promoted for settlement by the real estate firm of Cash and Luckle in 1890, primarily to midwesterners, especially Missourians. According to the Handbook of Texas (Austin: 1986), between 1890 and 1900, the town filled with new settlers. The first business was a blacksmith shop. We have been unable to track Stocks who stamped his name and address as Montana Farm, Lake City, Illinois on the versos of two of these photos. He may have emigrated from England to the United States in about 1857, first finding work at a wagon and buggy shop. There is a record of a Joseph Stocks (1838-1928) who tried his hand at mining in Montana before settling in Illinois and turning to farming. He died in Lovington, Illinois (not far from Lake City) in 1928. [see: his entry on the find-a-grave website].