Portrait of old woman in patterned dress.

Mrs. Elizabeth Elliott taken October 1937.  Photo Source: Willamette Heritage Center 0082.029.0002.004.

This photograph, inscribed “Mrs. Elizabeth Elliott taken October 1937. Born Jan. 9, 1851. To Mr. & Mrs. W.C. Elliott. Wishing you a Merry Xmas” has caused me quite a bit of frustration today. It was found in a group of several photographs, all but two of which are unlabelled and unidentified. To add insult to injury, these materials were transferred from the Mission Mill Museum to the Marion County Historical Society in 1982, and the transfer document neglects to mention who the original donor was. Throughout the collections life here, it has been whittled down. Three images appear to have been transferred to the Lane County Historical Society (82.029.0002.008, 82.029.0002.015, 82.029.0019) in 2000 and 2003.  The reasoning behind the 2000 transfer was that the photograph had been taken by a Eugene photographer.

The only other identified image (and the identification is a little sketchy) is that of 0082.029.0002.013, which the catalog record states is Stanley David Elliott at 15 months.  It is unclear where this information came from as the photograph itself is not labelled.

The first question was, who was this Mrs. Elizabeth Elliott.  After much scrutiny, the most likely candidate appears to be Elizabeth Emily Verhine Elliott (9 Jan 1851- 24 Mar 1940), the wife of Thaddeus David Elliott (1849-1920) also known as just David Elliott.  This educated guess comes from the fact that:

  1. several of the photos in this collection had a Eugene connection (strengthening the likelihood
Inscription on back of 0082.029.0002.004

Inscription on back of 0082.029.0002.004

that this woman had a connection to Eugene — she is buried there)

  • that the birth date inscribed on the photo matches that of this Elizabeth Elliott – at least that which was published in her obituary, if not her tombstone.  See the discrepancy here.
  • This Elizabeth Elliott had a son named William Charles Elliott who would have been alive in 1937 to receive this image as a Christmas present from his mother.
  • The only other identified photo in this collection is of Stanley David Elliott (1907-1995) who just happened to be this Elizabeth Elliott’s grandson (son of her son Samuel Everett Elliott (1878-1942).
  • All that combined is pretty convincing evidence.  Now the only other challenge is identifying who the other family photos might be of.  Do you recognize someone?  Please let us know!

    Grouping of unidentified photos from Accession 0082.029.0002.

    Grouping of  photos found with the picture of Elizabeth Elliott in accession MCHS 0082.029.0002.  All these images are unidentified.