Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dr. Plumer Morton Woodworth

I was finally able to identify another photo from the Warrenville Historical Society this evening. The mystery man with the long beard turns out to be Plumer Morton Woodworth, eldest child of Dr. Jacob and Ellen Douglas Bird Woodworth.

The clue came from a photo of Dr. Woodworth in later life, published in A History of the City of Chicago: Its Men and Institutions. Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens (p. 419) and available digitally at Google Books.

Take a close look at the two photos. Notice the hairline, the shape and set of the eyes, the nose, the ears.  I'm comfortable with saying that the unlabeled photo is definitely Plumer Morton Woodworth. This conclusion also fits with the photo's placement in the album. (It follows individual photos of Jacob Woodworth and Ellen D. Bird Woodworth.)



Dr. Plumer Morton Woodworth
about 1878
Dr. Plumer Morton Woodworth
about 1900
Like his father, Plumer Woodworth was a doctor.  He is mentioned in a number of family letters, including one written in 1882 by his grandmother, Louisa Goddard Warren Bird, to his uncles Byron and Henry Bird. (My connection to Plumer?  His grandmother is my third great grandmother, making him first cousin to my g-grandfather F.J. Bird.  Plumer did not have any descendants, and so passed some of his photos and a scrapbook along to F.J. Bird, which were eventually passed along to me. My collection of old family photos overlaps the Warrenville Historical Society albums, so I'm working to identify all of them.)

Plumer has something else in common with his father: an impressive beard!  The resemblance is really remarkable, beards included.

Dr. Plumer M. Woodworth
(1851-1931)
Dr. Jacob Woodworth
(1824-1879)
There is a photo of a woman taken at the same studio at what appears to be the same time.  (Possibly engagement or wedding photos?)  I'll venture a guess that woman is Plumer's wife, Esther H. Teare.  But that's a story for another day!

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