Wednesday, April 3, 2013

1880s/1890s Autograph Album that Belonged to May of Indian Hill, Ohio


1880s/1890s autograph album that belonged to a May who lived in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, possibly at Indian Hill.  Many of the autographs were signed around 1884 to 1887.  One was signed in 1898 and another in 1899.  

It appears that a page or more in the front of the album may be missing.  One of these missing pages may have included May's surname.  There are two clues to her identity in the album, a page signed by her sister Nettie and a page signed by her aunt Mary E. Leach.  Neither Nettie nor Mary gave a residence.

The album is approximately 7" x 4-1/4" and contains pages signed by 24 people and two calling cards.  The album is interspersed with plates of floral illustrations, and many of the pages, signed or not, have Victorian scraps pasted on them.

An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.

I found more than one instance of a May in the Cincinnati area with a sister named Nettie.  Hopefully a reader with knowledge of siblings May and Nettie with an Aunt Mary in or near Hamilton County, Ohio, will happen by and leave a comment to solve the mystery.

The name of the first signer was very difficult to read.  She may have been Carrie M. Cole, who penned her page on 9 November 1884.


Harry Nelson signed a page on 26 April 1885.


Mrs. W. H. Norris signed a page on 27 January 1885.


Z. T. Demar signed a page on 27 April 1885.  He indicated that he was May's former teacher.  I'm assuming he was Zachary Taylor Demar who became an Ohio school superintendent.


Maggie Thompson of Williamsburg, Ohio, signed a page on 28 December 1899.


S. J. Galloway signed a page at Montgomery, Ohio, on 8 November, with no year written.


B. F. Adams signed a page on 2 June 1885.


Mary Leach signed a page and inscribed it to her niece.  Her middle initial might have been E.


Lizzie P. Galloway signed a page on 7 November 1884.


Lou Meier signed a page.


William Galloway signed a page on 7 November 1884.  His middle initial might have been H.


W. L. Finch signed a page at Indian Hill, Ohio, on 6 May 1885.


Mamie A. Nelson signed a page on 26 April 1885.


Hattie signed a page on 8 June 1885.


F. C. Finch or T. C. Finch signed a page at Indian Hill, Ohio, on 30 April 1885.


May's sister Nettie signed a page on 13 February 1887.


Artie Lawson signed a page at Cincinnati, Ohio, on 16 January 1898.


Jennie Finch of Indian Hill, Ohio, signed a page on 30 April 1885.


Lena H. Norris signed a page at Indian Hill, Ohio, on 1 December 1885.


Etta C. Williams signed a page at Plainville, Ohio, on 15 November 1885.


A. C. Norris, M.D., signed a page at Plainville, Ohio, on 29 December 1885.


Sallie Logan signed a page at Indian Hill, Ohio, on 7 May 1885.


Carrie E. Norris left a wonderful message on 30 November 1885.


George E. Nelson signed a page at Indian Hill, Ohio, on 26 April 1885.


Tucked inside the album was this calling card of Lena Benjamine.



And this calling card of Sam Garver.


If you have a theory about May's identity or information on any of the signers, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

Alphabetical list of signers: [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]


  • Hattie, signed on 8 June 1885
  • Nettie, signed on 13 February 1887; May's sister
  • B. F. Adams, signed on 2 June 1885
  • Lena Benjamine; her calling card was tucked inside the album.
  • Carrie M. Cole, signed on 9 November 1884; not sure of surname
  • Z. T. DeMar, signed on 27 April 1885.  Presumably Zachary Taylor DeMar
  • W. L. Finch, signed at Indian Hill, Ohio, on 6 May 1885
  • F. C. Finch, or T. C. Finch, signed at Indian Hill, Ohio, on 30 April 1885
  • Jennie Finch of Indian Hill, Ohio, signed on 30 April 1885
  • S. J. Galloway, signed at Montgomery, Ohio, on 8 Nov. [no year written]
  • Lizzie P. Galloway, signed on 7 November 1884
  • William Galloway, signed on 7 November 1884.  Middle initial might be H, for William H. Galloway
  • Sam Garver; his calling card was tucked inside the album.
  • Artie Lawson, signed at Cincinnati, Ohio, on 16 January 1898
  • Mary Leach; middle initial might be E.  May's aunt
  • Sallie Logan, signed at Indian Hill, Ohio, on 7 May 1885
  • Lou Meier
  • Harry Nelson, signed on 26 April 1885
  • Mamie A. Nelson, signed on 26 April 1885
  • George E. Nelson, signed at Indian Hill, Ohio, on 26 April 1885
  • Mrs. W. H. Norris, signed on 27 January 1885
  • Lena H. Norris, signed at Indian Hill, Ohio, on 1 December 1885
  • A. C. Norris, M.D., signed at Plainville, Ohio, on 29 December 1885
  • Carrie E. Norris, signed on 30 November 1885; a lovely message
  • Maggie Thompson of Williamsburg, Ohio, signed on 28 December 1899
  • Etta C. Williams, signed at Plainville, Ohio, on 15 November 1885
Indian Hill, Ohio


Thanks for stopping by!


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