NGS Photo Spotlight

By Maureen A. Taylor

The owner of last week’s photo, Larae Schraeder, sent me some additional information on her family. I love the connection between family history and photography! That’s no surprise to all the readers of this space.


Last week, I showed details giving evidence that this picture was taken by an itinerant photographer. One correction to that post. The photo was found in Schraeder’s great-grandparents’ collection of images. It depicts Caleb and Eliza C. (Jeffers) Coon/Kuhn.

If you’re wondering about the alternate spelling of the Coon/Kuhn name, Caleb’s Civil War pension file contains information on his formal name change.

What’s the most unusual detail you’ve found in a Civil War pension file? Add it to the Comments section below. I discovered that my great-grandfather had red hair. No one in the family since has had red hair.


Caleb was born in Washington County, Ohio, in 1846. He died in 1927 in Vernon, Mo. His wife, Eliza, was born in Gallia County, Ohio, in 1847, and she died in Vernon in 1929.

Caleb’s family moved to Gallia County and their farm adjoined Eliza’s family farm. Caleb didn’t farm; he worked in coal mining.

Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album