Genealogy Mystery #1: Fayette, Howard County, Missouri – 24 May 1887

I was browsing an antique store on July 29, 2015, in Waynesville, Missouri, and found this original photograph from 24 May 1887, taken in Fayette, Howard County, Missouri, by Stowe Photo Studio from 518 Broadway in Hannibal, Missouri.


Fayette - 1887 - watermarks


There are 22 people in this photograph and 22 names written in pencil on the back. I haven’t been able to read all of the names, but some surnames are Armstrong, Baily, Ferguson, Holson, Howard, Long, Maupin, McGraw, McMurray, Rosenbaum, Smith, Thurman.

I bought the picture and am researching the names on the back in hopes of: 1.) learning the identities of the individuals and the group pictured; 2.) getting the original photograph to a verified descendant of someone in the picture. If you know anyone with one of the surnames above who had ancestors in Fayette, Howard County, Missouri, around 1887, have them contact me at raburdjr at gmail dot com or respond in the comments. I am not asking for information on living individuals, I am asking that they be given the opportunity to contact me if you know them.

In the meantime, let’s try to figure out the names on the back and some background information on these likely citizens of Fayette.  The post will be updated as we discover more about the subjects through research.

1.  Rosenbaum

2.  Marshall


4.  Armstrong



7.  Ed Long

8.  Oliver _____

9.  James Howard

10.  McGraw

11.  Louis Holson

12.  “Warren Baily” / Possible Match: Warren Bailey (22 Oct 1858 – 16 May 1938); married Rena Morrison (19 Jan 1869 – 15 Apr 1959), daughter of James Prior Morrison and Caroline Stewart; Warren and his wife are buried in Fayette City Cemetery.


14.  “James Ferguson” / Possible Match: James Crews Ferguson (18 Jul 1862 – 25 Apr 1923); son of Julius Caesar Ferguson and Margaret Ward Crews; married Laura Belle Elkin; had at least five children: Margaret (b. 1888), Vaughan E. (b.1890), Felix (b.1892), Julius C. (b. 1894), Elizabeth (b. 1896), and Catherine (b. 1902); James and his wife are buried in the Fayette City Cemetery.

15.  Bruer

16.  Jake Rosenbaum

17.  McMurray

18.  Arthur Thurman

19.  Smith

20.  “George Smith” / Possible Match: George Wilcoxson Smith (20 Apr 1869 – 26 Oct 1939); son of James and Josephine Smith; brother of Willard and Elliot; George is buried in Fayette City Cemetery.

21.  “Joe Maupin” / Possible Match: Joseph Cleveland Maupin (28 Jul 1853 – 1 Nov 1932); married Alice T. Major in Fayette, Howard County, Missouri, on 13 November 1889. They had the following children: Margaret (b.1891), Major (b. 1893), Dorsey (b. 1894), Ione (b. 1896), Docas (b. 1905). Joseph and his wife are buried in Fayette City Cemetery.

22.  Armstrong


Col. Randal A. Burd, Jr., PDC has over 18 years of experience doing genealogical and historical research. He is a Past Commander of the Department of Missouri, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, former Chapter President of the Ozarks Patriots Chapter, Missouri Society, Sons of the American Revolution, a lifetime member of the Pulaski County (Missouri) Historical Society, a Kentucky Colonel, and a freelance writer for Follow him on Twitter @colonelrandal.

5 Replies to “Genealogy Mystery #1: Fayette, Missouri, 1887”

  1. My husband belongs to the Long family.. We live in Fayette, Missouri. I have reposted this to a Fayette site. I would love to see a picture of the names on the back.
    Kathy Jo Biswell Brady

    1. I would love to reimburse you for this photo. I would scan it front and back and donate it to the genealogy department in Fayette, Missouri

    2. It is nice of you to offer, but I am not holding out for money/reimbursement. It wasn’t that expensive. I will find the original and scan the back, but there is nothing special about the back other than the names I have included in this post. I originally posted this more than five years ago, so I’ll have to find the photo again.

      I’ve been in contact with the Howard County Missouri Genealogical Society, and I will happily donate it to them for free at some point, if a definitive descendant doesn’t come forward. The original intent was to encourage some collaboration on a genealogical puzzle among researchers, but I usually find people more interested in taking the photo off my hands than trying to solve the puzzle. Thus the inclusion of the watermark, otherwise no one responds to the challenge and the photo ends up lifted off my site and posted with someone else’s credit on FindAGrave or Ancestry. Not saying that you don’t have the best intentions…

      1. Thank you. With that many people in the picture, I’m sure there are going to be a lot of families that would want a copy.

Comments are closed.