Who Am I? Ohio Mystery Photo

20070824 OhioGroupPicture.bmpHere’s another mystery photo I received this week. Hopefully since may of the individuals are identified, we’ll find some connections out there! 

This picture was in the possession of my husband’s mother Alice Codding Jensen She was born in LaRue, Ohio and also lived in Prospect, Ohio. Her father went to Iberia College in Morrow County and also lived in Wyandot County before coming to Marion County, so this picture could be from any of those places.

I thought there might be others who would identify family members in this picture and maybe someone else will know the reason for the picture. I believe the man seated in the chair in the center is my husband’s grandfather, George Pitt Codding. A note underneath says, “My father also taught at this same school,” but I don’t know who wrote that. A number of the women have married names, so it doesn’t seem like it would be a school picture, so that statement is a mystery to me.

The persons in the picture are identified as follows:

  • Back row: John Nickelson, Martha Nichelson Van Houten, Oliver Barnhart, Lizzie Boyd Harkins, Unknown, Hattie Boyd.
  • Middle row: Ira Nichelson, Florence Nichelson Biggerstaff, George Codding, Sara Nichelson Williams, Allie Van Houten.
  • Front row:  Unknown, Belle Boyd Otis, ? Williams, Clara Boyd Codding.

Another note says Hattie Boyd and Belle Boyd Otis are daughters of Robert Boyd.

Florence Jensen

12 thoughts on “Who Am I? Ohio Mystery Photo

  1. Nice picture! I love the lady’s hairdo’s. Just wanted to note that just because the married names are listed doesn’t mean they weren’t single at the time the picture was taken. Whoever wrote the names might have added the married names. I’d check census records to see if any of these people were ever teachers. Good luck!

  2. Many of these people were found on the 1880 census of Marion County, Ohio–most in Pleasant Twp. Ira Nickelson was age 31 (born 1849) and married; Hattie and Lizzie Boyd (daus of Robert G. Boyd) were b. 1852 and 1855. George P. Codding and family were in Tully Twp: George age 34 (born 1846) + wife and family. Judging by the style of clothes and the age groupings, I suspect this was a school photo, obviously taken prior to 1880. Whoever wrote identifying information must have written it sometime after the photo was taken since the females’ married names were included.

  3. Some of the group are wearing identical clothing, most noticably the dresses of Martha, Lizzie and Florence. Sara Nichelson was only 12 in the 1870 Marion Co., OH census and George Codding was still in Morrow Co. so the photo was after that date. Perhaps the group put on a show or music recital.

  4. Another possibility will be a church group. In our family we have several pictures of the neighboring families with members of our own family because they were all active in the local church. Just a suggestion.

  5. The 1870 U.S. Census for Ohio, Marion County, shows the Charles VAnHouten family including Highaliner (?) who probably was nicknamed Allie, age 18, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Boyd, age 16 and Clara Boyd, age 14. On the same page is the Robert Boyd family, wife Rebecca, son Joseph, daughter Hattie, age 18, Sarah, age 16, and Ella A. (probably Belle), 14. Oliver Barnhart apparently is listed as Isaac O. Barnhart and was age 18 in 1870, also in Marion County, Ohio. I wonder if Sarah Boyd was misslabeled as Sara Nickelson/Nichelson years after the picture was taken. I am not finding the Nichelsons under various spellings. However, my best guess is that these were students in a small high school in the early 1870’s and that George P. Codding was their teacher when he wasn’t farming. Or it could be an alumni picture for a grade school but I would think there would be a much wider range of ages if that were the case.

  6. What a nice picture! Wish I had one of my family from that time frame. I had Boyd ancestors in Ohio, but none are named in this picture. (nor did I expect one). I had a similar picture taken on my 80th birthday, but age ranges bigger.

  7. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I think the idea that the married names could have been added afterwards is quite likely. Appreciated the census lookups which help with the dating possibilities. I do know that George Codding taught at some time as did both of his parents.

    I hope some descendants of these individuals will happen on to this site so they can have the pleasure of seeing their ancestor.

  8. How do people submit photos to this sight? I have several photos , all of the same people, whom I cannot identify. They were my grandmothers relation from Indiana and ohio. I would love to get them on your website so that maybe someone can identify them. I have them posted on ancestry message boards, but have had no response. Please respond.

  9. I agree with Sharon, I have dozens of pictures taken at the turn of the 20th century or before, but very few are ID’d. I believe they are of the Gatewood Family, who would be from my greatgrandmother Lucy Bird Gatewood Gilmore’s side. I would never hope to get all of them identified, but I have about five
    I would love to know who they are. Especially since the only picture I know for sure that is my grandmother, his her in her
    coffin. How can I submit them to be posted here.

  10. # Name: George Pitt Codding
    # Sex: M
    # Birth: 20 FEB 1846 in Copley, Summit, Ohio of Tully, Marion, OH 1 2
    # Note: 1 1907 GEORGE PITT CODDING, a prominent citizen of Bowling Green township, who is extensively engaged in farming and stock-raising, owns a finely-improved farm of 167 acres. Mr. Codding was born at Copley, Summit County, Ohio, February 20, 1846, and is a son of Robert F. and Betsey (Hawkins) Codding. On the maternal side, Mr. Codding comes of Puritan ancestry, one of his forefathers having been of the goodly company that came to the shores of New England in the “Mayflower,” descendants of whom located first in Vermont and subsequently came to Ohio. A cousin of Mr. Codding has in her possession a chest which was brought across the stormy ocean on that memorable voyage and which has remained a treasured relic in the subsequent wanderings of the family. It is constructed of wood and is carved in the old way entirely by hand and so carefully dovetailed together that not a nail was used. For some years the family permitted it to be exhibited in a museum at Cleveland. Betsey Hawkins, the mother of Mr. Codding, was born May 18, 1812, in the shadow of the Green Mountains, at Bridgewater, Vermont, and died in Iberia, Morrow County, Ohio, May 10, 1879. She was a daughter of Samuel and Betsey Hawkins, who came to Summit County, Ohio, when Mrs. Codding was a child. Samuel Hawkins lived to be 94 years of age. In 1860 he cast his vote for Abraham Lincoln, the last political act of his life. He was twice married, his first wife dying in Vermont. One of his brothers was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. His four daughters were: Laura, Ann, Julia, and Betsey. Robert F. Codding, father of George P.. was born August 21, 1806, at Canandaigua. New York, where his parents died of a prevailing epidemic, when he was six years old. The family consisted of four sons-John, George, Warren and Robert F., and three daughters-Nancy, Polly and Eunice. Subsequently, accompanying his older brother, Warren, Robert F. Codding walked from New York to Medina County, Ohio, where Warren took up government land-his descendants still reside there. Prior to marriage, both parents of Mr. Codding taught school, but later the father bought a farm near Copley Center, Summit County, and there the greater part of their subsequent lives were spent. Mr. Codding was a civil engineer by profession. He was twice married, two children being born to his first marriage and 10 to his second, as follows: Anson, who is county engineer for York County, Nebraska, having filled that position ever since the office was established, probably 30 years; Amelia, widow of Capt. James M. Leighton, residing at Joliet, Illinois Emeline, who married Gen. E. B. Finley, of Bucyrus, Ohio; Ellen, who married Lee R. Howell, of Addison, Ohio; Romelia, who married Dr. C. C. Dills, of Cleveland, Ohio; George P.; J. Q., who is assistant postmaster of Findlay, Ohio; Alice T., who married W. F. Carr, an attorney at Cleveland, Ohio; Warren Leroy, residing on his farm in Prospect ,township; Arthur T., who is a fruit dealer at Dayton, Ohio; Charles F., deceased, who was a dentist and practiced in a Connecticut town; and Robert 0., formerly an attorney at Winfield, Kansas, who was killed by the accidental discharge of his gun while on a hunting expedition. George P. Codding was 14 years of age when he came to Marion County. During his first winter here he worked on a farm but in the following spring he went to Marion and secured employment as a clerk in a dry goods store. He was then employed from 1861 until October, 1864, when be enlisted for service in the Civil War, entering Company C, 11th Reg, Ohio Vol. Inf. He reported to the regiment at Atlanta, Georgia, which town was burned while he was there. Mr. Codding was with General Thomas’ soldiers in the pursuit of General Hood to Chattanooga, later went to Atlanta, the force destroying railroad bridges, depots and commissary stores wherever found on the way. He belonged to the victorious army that marched to the sea, thence to Columbia, South Carolina, later up, through North Carolina. After the surrender of General Lee, his regiment went to Washington and took part in the Grand Review and then went into camp at Alexandria for a short time before being mustered out at Washington, June 11, 1865. He was honorably discharged at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, June 20, 1865. After returning to Ohio, Mr. Codding did a very sensible thing in completing his education at Iberia College. He then engaged in farming and teaching, alternating his mental and physical work with the seasons, up to 1872, when he was married. Prior to 1875, Mr. Codding farmed two years in Morrow County and then moved to Wyandot County, where he purchased 40 acres of land which he operated until 1875, when he came to Marion County and followed farming in its eastern part until 1882. Two years prior to this, in 1880, he had purchased his present farm, and in 1881 had built a barn, in part of which he lived until he had built a log house, He planned the beautiful, modern home he now occupies, not only the general construction but the outside and interior work and directed the same, the result being that when his residence was completed, in 1902, it stood an ideal rural home. The house contains eight rooms, three closets, two halls and a bath room, all elegantly finished. Mr. Codding also made the exterior and interior plans for the La Rue Presbyterian Church, work that would be most creditable to the ability of a professional architect. On April 23, 1872, Mr. Codding was married to Martha Morrow, who was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 1848, and is a daughter of James and Elizabeth Morrow, who moved to Marion County in 1851. James Morrow was born October 16, 1817, in Washington County, Pennsylvania, was married in 1840 and moved to Washington, Guernsey County. His father, Hugh Morrow, was born in Ireland and was accompanied to America by his wife Martha. They settled in Washington County, Pennsylvania, but later came to Guernsey County, Ohio, where they died. James Morrow married Elizabeth Cunningham, who was born January 23, 1818, and died in 1897, being survived two years by her husband. The maternal grandparents of Mrs. Codding were James and Eleanor Cunningham, of Irish and Scotch, extraction, respectively; both died on their farm in Guernsey County. The children of James and Elizabeth Morrow were: Hugh James, who resides in Lancaster County, Ohio; John Franklin, deceased; Simon A., deceased; Martha and Eleanor (twins), the latter of whom, formerly the wife of Chester Orcutt, of Summit County, is deceased; and William Edward, who resides on his farm in Claridon township. To George P. Codding and wife have been born the following children: H. Max, born in 1873, who married May Spracklen, of Hardin County, resides on a farm in Bowling Green township and has two children-Lillian and Donald: Jessie M., an accomplished lady and popular teacher, principal of the Forest Lawn School at Marion, who was educated in the public schools of Bucyrus, Ohio, and at Wooster University: Lois, born in 1879, who married George McWade, a farmer of Hardin County, and has two children-Martha and Mary; J. Percy, born in 1881, who is a bookkeeper in the employ of the Box Board Company, of Cleveland: and Alice Lenore, born in 1886, who resides at home. An adopted son, Oakland Powers, now 14 years of age, has been a member of the household of Mr. and Mrs. Codding since he was eight years old. Mr. Codding has been a lifelong Republican. He is a valued member of Owen Gray Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at La Rue. Both he and his wife have been very active in the Presbyterian Church.
    # Note: 2 1880…. George P. CODDING Self M Male W 34 OH Farmer NY VT Mattie CODDING Wife M Female W 32 OH Keeping House VA OH H. Max CODDING Son S Male W 6 OH OH OH Jesse M. CODDING Son S Male W 4 OH OH OH Louize CODDING Dau S Female W 1 OH OH OH John MOSSMAN Other Male W 21 CANADA Laborer IRE IRE Source Information: Census Place Tully, Marion, Ohio Family History Library Film 1255046 NA Film Number T9-1046 Page Number 174C

  11. believe these are all of one family. take a close look at each of the men. they all have the same nose,chin, and profile. then look at the each of the girls. they have some of the same features.

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