Woman at work part 2

Photography by Candace McCormick Reed (1818-1900)

When her husband Warren died in April 1858, Candace McCormick Reed was thrown upon her own devices to support her two surviving sons and her elderly mother-in-law. In October of that year she advertised the opening of her Excelsior Picture Gallery at 103 Hampshire Street in Quincy, Illinois. She would be assisted by her sister, Miss Celina McCormick. In the same advertisement Mrs. Reed also offered her services at “plain sewing and stitching.”Candace McCormick was born in Tennessee in 1818, the same year Illinois was admitted to the Union. Her parents moved to St. Louis the following year. In 1842 she married Warren Reed, a native of Ohio four years her junior. About six years later the Reeds moved to Quincy, Illinois, and opened a daguerreotype gallery on the southeast corner of the square. After her husband’s death Mrs. Reed sold his “stand” and opened her Excelsior Gallery. She continued to raise her children while she found time to assist in the organization of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, an aid society for Civil War soldiers and their families. She served as a nurse in the army hospitals in Nashville, Chattanooga and Vicksburg. After the war she returned to Quincy and continued to operate her gallery. Few studios enjoyed the longevity of Mrs. Reed’s business. She died in Quincy on April 7, 1900.

Her pictures featured here are from the collection of the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, Quincy University, and a number of private collections loaned to the Society for this project. Street scenes, wedding portraits, baby photos, a civil war soldier – all give us a tantalizing view of what life was like for those who came before us. The images include the well known, such as Quincy founder and Illinois Governor John Wood, and the unidentified as in the carte de visite of a man in boxing tights, his hands in tight fists.

Photographs

NE Corner of 6th and Hampshire – Mrs. Reed ca. 1870s
John Wood Octagonal House
Unidentified Train Wreck
John Wood
Reverse of John Wood picture bearing Mrs. Reed’s logo
Mother & Daughter Possibly Myrtis Salmon & mother
Infant class – Vermont Street Methodist Church – 1865
Reverse of Infant class – Vermont Street Methodist Church – 1865
Robert Tillson
Gerrie and Maurie Nations, Liberty, IL
Gerrie and Maurie Nations, Liberty, IL – reverse with Reed info
Stephen B. Munn – believed to be a Mrs. Reed photo
Raphael E. Letton
Reverse of Raphael E. Letton with Reed logo
Quincy Saengerfest Bldg, 1877
Selden G. Edrel and wife, 1862
Reverse of Selden G. Edrel and wife, 1862 with Reed logo
Willis Grimmer
Quincy College for Ladies – Gentlemen, 1867-1862
Reverse of Quincy College for Ladies – Gentlemen, 1867-1862 – List of teachers and term dates
Frederick A. Specht & Mary A. Specht, 1866
Reverse of Frederick A. Specht & Mary A. Specht, 1866 with Reed logo and Revenue Stamp
Mary A. Stauterman Specht
Frederick A. Specht
A. C. Greene, 1885
Reverse of A. C. Greene, 1885 with notes showing date of photo
Unidentified Woman
Reverse of Unidentified Woman with Reed logo
Unidentified Man & Woman
Unidentified Woman
Unidentified Man & Woman
Unidentified Man & Woman, 1866
Reverse of Unidentified Man & Woman, 1866 showing Reed logo and revenue stamps
Unidentified Woman
Reverse of Unidentified Woman with Reed logo
Unidentified Family – 9 members
Unidentified Two Women
Unidentified Man
Unidentified Woman
Unidentified Baby Girl
Unidentified Children – 2 girls
Unidentified Children – Boy and Girl
Unidentified Child
Unidentified Two Elderly Women
Unidentified Man with dog
Unidentified Man
Unidentified Man
Reverse of Unidentified Man with Reed logo
Unidentified Man
Reverse of Unidentified Man
Unidentified Young Woman – possibly confirmation or communion
Reverse of Unidentified Young Woman – possibly confirmation or communion with Reed logo
Unidentified Child
Reverse of Unidentified with Reed logo
Unidentified Child
Unidentified Baby
Reverse of Unidentified Baby
Unidentified Man
Reverse of Unidentified
Unidentified Woman
Reverse of Unidentified Woman with Reed logo
Unidentified Young Man
Reverse of Unidentified Man with Reed logo
Unidentified Young Lady
Unidentified Woman
Reverse of Unidentified Woman with Reed logo
Unidentified Man
Reverse of Unidentified Man with Reed logo
2 Young Men – Unidentified
Reverse of 2 Young Men – Unidentified with Reed logo
Unidentified Man
Reverse of Unidentified Man with Reed logo
Unidentified Young Boy
Reverse of Unidentified Young Boy with Reed logo
Older man, possibly Mr. W. B. Lawrence
Reverse of Older man, possibly Mr. W. B. Lawrence wit Reed logo
George Lewis
Reverse of George Lewis with Reed logo
Unknown Woman
Reverse of Unknown Woman
Unknown Woman
Reverese of Unknown Woman with Reed logo
Unknown Man
Reverse of Unknown Man
Unknown Young Man
Wedding Photo – Unknown Man & Woman
Reverse of Wedding Photo – Unknown Man & Woman
Unknown Child
Unknown Man in Boxing Clothes (Pugilist)
Unknown Woman possibly Leina Mewn
View of Maine St., Quincy , IL, looking east, ca. 1870
Reverse of View of Maine St., Quincy , IL, looking east, ca. 1870 with Reed logo
View of 4th & Hampshire, ca 1870 (Mrs. Reed’s studio located in 2nd bldg.)
Reverse of View of 4th & Hampshire, ca 1870 (Mrs. Reed’s studio located in 2nd bldg.) with Reed logo
Unidentified Man
(front and back of photo)
Unidentified Woman
(front and back of photo)
Man – Signature not Legible
(front and back of photo)
Unidentified Woman
(front and back of photo)
Lawton Klein and wife
(front and back of photo)
Mrs and Mrs. Hilgenbrink
Unidentified couple
Two young boys – Unidentified
Two young girls – Lol and Bert
Luella A. Blessing, age 2 years
Unidentified baby
Unidentified older man
Unidentified two girls

 

Bibliography

  1. The History of Adams County, Illinois. Chicago, Murray, Williamson and Phelps, 1879.
  2. Landrum, Carl. “Photo Recalls Quincy of 1848,” The Quincy Herald-Whig, September 26, 1965, p. 3C.
  3. —————–. “Photographers Were Here in 1840’s,” The Quincy Herald-Whig, July 7, 1968, p. 3C.
  4. Landrum, Carl. “Reed Photos Record Early Years,” The Quincy Herald- Whig, May 16, 1982, p. 4E.
  5. ——————. “Picture Recalls Days Before Development Changed City,” The Quincy Herald-Whig, June 2, 1985, p. 4E.
  6. ——————. “Reed Studio Recorded Scenes of Early Quincy,” The Quincy Herald-Whig, April 18, 1993, p. 3B.
  7. Murphhy, Lucy Eldersveld. “Her Own Boss: Business Women and Separate Spheres in the Midwest, 1850-1880. Illinois Historical Journal, Vol. 80 (Autumn, 1987), pp. 155-176.

Contributing Library:

Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, Quincy, Illinois

Cora Agnes Benneson (1851-1919)

Cora Agnes Benneson, lawyer and writer, was born in Quincy, Illinois on June 10, 1851 to Robert S. and Electa Ann Benneson. Cora was the youngest of four daughters, attended college and law school, became one of the first women to practice law in New England, and traveled around the world to study legal procedures in other countries. Photographs and primary documents are courtesy of Mrs. Caroline Sexauer, Quincy, great niece of Cora.

Cora Benneson
“Miss Benneson was an astute observer of the activities of women. She gave voice to the opinion that ‘the coming woman will not hesitate to do whatever she feels will benefit humanity, and she will develop her own faculties to the utmost because by so doing she can best serve’.”
Cora Benneson, age 18, Aug 1869
At the University of Michigan Law School, Cora was one of two women in a class of 175. She was admitted to the Michigan and Illinois bars in 1880. At an early age Cora displayed an unusual ability in getting at the core of an argument, according to Mary Esther Trueblood.
Sisters Cora & Lina Benneson
All four sisters were tutored by their mother, Electa Ann Parks Benneson, a former teacher. Cora was an eager student. Miss Trueblood states that “at twelve she was reading Latin at sight, had acquaintance with much of the best literature, and was industriously collecting and tabulating historical facts.”
[l to r] Alice Bull, Mary Marsh, Nellie Marsh, Cora Benneson
Graduating class from the Quincy Seminary or Miss Chapin’s Private School, as it was commonly known. The Quincy Seminary was in existence from 1867-1876.
Childhood home of Cora Benneson, 214 Jersey, Quincy, Illinois
The homestead of the Bennesons was a large mansion located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River at 214 Jersey Street. The home, situated above a series of terraces, commanded a magnificent view of fourteen miles of the river.
Quincy Academy Booklet, 1864-65
At age 15, Cora finished the course of study at the Quincy Academy, the equivalent of a good high school. The 5 x 7 inch original booklet contains a list of studies and text books as well as policies of the school.
Magazine Article by Cora Benneson. “The Semitic Museum of Harvard University.” The Unitarian August, 1891: 362-365.
Cora was a noted writer and wrote extensively on a variety of topics including education, politics, and the social sciences. She became a recognized authority on government and presented papers at various association meetings.
Reprint of 1904 article entitled “Representative Women of New England” by Miss Mary Esther Trueblood.
Miss Trueblood states that Cora “had scholarly instincts, rare literary taste, and constantly took up new studies.”
Letter from Cora to her family in Quincy, May 6, 1909.
Letter from Cora, May 12, 1912.
Pioneer Women of Quincy: Cora Benneson predicted modern woman would develop own faculties by Helen Warning

OBITUARY OF MISS CORA BENNESON
From: Quincy Daily Herald Newspaper, June 12, 1919.

BRILLIANT WOMAN DIES. . .

MISS CORA BENNESON WAS NATIVE OF QUINCY.

Member of Bar of Three States and Had Won Many Honors-Founder of Unity Club in This City.

Miss Cora Benneson, one of the women who has made the name of Quincy known abroad, and at one time one of the city’s best known residents, died at her home in Cambridge, Mass., last Sunday and was buried in Mt. Auburn cemetery. Word of her death came to her sister, Mrs. George Janes of this city. Miss Benneson was one of the few women attorneys in the country, and for many years had been practicing her profession in Boston. About a year ago she gave up her active practice of the law, and fitted herself as a teacher of civics under the auspices of the state board of education of Massachusetts, which has established a school in Boston for the Americanization of foreigners. Miss Benneson worked so hard to fit herself for this new work that she suffered a break down in health about six weeks ago, and her labors were the cause of her death. Her diploma, entitling her to the position which she sought, came just a day after she died.

WON MANY HONORS

Miss Benneson was born in Quincy, the daughter of Robert S. and Electa Ann Benneson. She was graduated from Miss Chapin’s School, and later attended the University of Michigan, where she received her L. L. B. degree in 1880, and her A. M. degree in 1883. She was admitted to the Michigan and Illinois bars in 1880 and to the Massachusetts bar in 1894.

In [1883], Miss Benneson left Quincy for a tour of the world, which lasted for two years. On her return she went to St. Paul [Minnesota], where she edited law reports for the West Publishing Company. She gave lectures on her trip around the world in 1885-86, and was appointed a special commissioner in Massachusetts in 1895, and subsequent years. She was awarded a fellowship in history at Bryn Mawr College in 1887. She was also an honorary member of the Illinois State Historical society, and sole trustee of the Edward Everett estate in Boston.

FOUNDER OF UNITY CLUB

Miss Benneson was a contributor to journals on topics of law, education, and political and social science, and throughout the east was recognized as one of the leading members of the bar. In Quincy she was prominent in the literary life of the city, and was one of the early members of Friends in Council and the founder of the original Unity Club of the Unitarian Church. Robert S. Benneson, her father, was one of the first mayors of Quincy and the family was a prominent one. The old family home was at 214 Jersey Street, and afterward on Broadway, between Fifth and Sixth, next door to the F. T. Hill home. The house was torn down to provide additional grounds for the present detention home.

Miss Benneson leaves two sisters, besides Mrs. Janes. They are Mrs. Anna McMahon, now at Atlantic City, N.J. and Mrs. Alice B. Farwell of Boston. Guido Janes, Mrs. Charles Seger and Mrs. Philip Schlagenhauf of this city, are nephew and nieces of Miss Benneson.

Bibliography:

  1. “Cora Agnes Benneson, 1851-1919.” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society XII (1919): 307-309.
  2. Trueblood, Mary Esther. Cora Agnes Benneson Boston: Geo. H. Ellis Co., 1904.

Contributing Library:

Quincy Public Library, Quincy, Illinois

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