Sunday, May 6, 2012

1880s Photograph of J. W. Bragg by a Leadville, Colorado studio

1880s photograph of a man identified on reverse as J. M. Bragg. The photographer was F. W. Grove of Leadville, Colorado.  I believe the faint handwriting indicates that Mr. Bragg was age 48 at the time the photograph was identified and that the date was May 16, 1884.

I don't know for sure who J. M. Bragg was, but it would be nice to think he might have been James Warren Bragg, who was born in 1836 in Old Town, Maine, and died in Calais, Maine, on 22 July 1910.

His parents were James and Patience (Estes) Bragg of Maine.  Because his father's name was also James, I believe James Warren Bragg was known as Warren, at least for part of his life.

James Warren Bragg survived service in the Navy during the Civil War and married Mary A. Cousins about 1870.  She was the daughter of Samuel and Eunice (Estes) Cousins.  I didn't find children of the couple but may have missed them.

Interestingly, there's a Warren Bragg listed in early 1880s directories of Leadville, Colorado, but I have no idea of his origins or home state.  He was, I think, at least for part of the time, in a business known as Leighow & Bragg.

By the time of the photograph, Leadville had become one of the largest silver mines in the world and had a population of about 40,000 drawn from all corners of the United States and beyond.

If this was indeed the James Warren Bragg of Maine, he would have returned home by the time of enumeration of the 1880 Census of Calais, Maine.

Hopefully a reader will come forward with knowledge that the James Warren Bragg of Maine did or did not spend part of his life in Colorado, or that the photograph is of another J. W. Bragg recognized from family albums or research.

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