Libby Rapp Brooks

Wayne County, NY

Libby Rapp Brooks

This ca. 1869/70 carte de visite photo taken by "O.S. Goff, Photographer, William Street, Lyons" is identified on the back by an unknown grandchild as "Your great grandmother Libby Rapp before married to Fred Brooks (my mother's parents)." Orlando Scott Goff was in business for several years in Lyons and became an important photographer of the Old West.

Libby Rapp Brooks

Libby Rapp was born in Germany about 1852, and first appears in the 1860 census of Lyons with her parents:

Peter Rapp, 38, master baker, personal estate $200, b. Bavaria
Catherine Rapp, 40, b. Bavaria
Elizabeth Rapp, 8, b. Bavaria

1867 -1868
Rapp, Peter, baker and confectioner

Rapp, Peter, baker, Canal

Libby might have been an only child, and was residing at home with her parents in 1870. One can only imagine the European delicacies her father baked for the citizens of Lyons!

Peter Rapp, 48, baker b. Bavaria / Bayern
Kate Rapp, 50, keeping house b. Bavaria / Bayern
Elizabeth Rapp, 18, no occupation b. Bavaria / Bayern

Rapp Peter, baker, Canal

Libby married Fred Brooks by 1880 and the couple resided in Lyons:

Fred M. Brooks 29, laborer, b. NY, fa. b. Brian? (that would be Bayern), mo. b. alss (probably Alsace)
Libbie Brooks 28, wife, keeping house, b. alss, parents place of birth not stated

Libby's parents continued their successful Canal St., village of Lyons bakery, but by at least 1886 her father kept a saloon on Canal St.

Peter Rapp, 58, baker, b. Rine Biran
Kathrena Rapp, 66, b. Rine Biran

Directory of the Village of Lyons 1886-87
Rapp Peter, saloon, 29 Canal, h do

From an unknown issue of the Arcadian Weekly Gazette, Newark NY, late 1890
Peter Rapp, an old resident of Lyons, died last Wednesday.

Libby passed away by 1900 but had one identifiable child as determined from the 1900 census, Fred Brooks Jr. As the unknown person who wrote on the back of this photo specifically states that their mother was Libby's daughter, Libby must have had a daughter born after 1880 who had married by 1900 or was not residing in her father's household.

Fred Brooks Sr. remarried and resided in the village of Lyons in 1900. The census page distinctly reads duration of marriage as 3 years and the mother of the three youngest children is said to have been born in Washington, D.C.

Fred Brooks, 48, b. Mar 1852, married 3 years, b. New York parents b. Germany, RR Laborer
Mary Brooks, 34, b. Nov. 1865, married 3 years, 3 children, 3 living, b. Washington DC, parents b. Ireland
George Brooks, 5, b. Mar 1895, son, b. NY, fa. b. NY, mo. b. Washington D.C., at school
Mamie Brooks, 3, b. Mar 1897, fa. b. NY, mo. b. Washington D.C.
Edna Brooks, 6/12, b. Nov. 1899, 6/12, fa. b. NY, mo. b. Washington D.C.
Fred Brooks Jr. 16, son, b. Jan 1884, single, fa. b. NY, mo. b. Germany, day laborer

In the 1910 Lyons census, Mary Brooks stated that she had also been married twice.

Fredrick Brooks, 59, no occupation stated, owns mortgaged home, parents b. Germany, married twice
Mary Brooks, 45, married 14/17(?) years, 4 children, 4 living, b. District of Columbia/Virginia, married twice, parents b. Ireland
George Brooks, 15, laborer, automobile works
Mammie Brooks, 12
Edna Brooks, 9
Edward Brooks, 8

In 1920 Fred and Mary Brooks resided at 72 Montezuma St., Lyons.

Fredrick Brooks, 68, no occupation, b. NY, parents b. Germany, mo. b. Germany (Alsace)
Mary Brooks, 54, laborer, canning factory, b. Washington D.C., parents b. Ireland
Edward Brooks, 17, laborer, canning factory, b. NY, fa. b. NY, mo. b. Washington D.C.

Fred Brooks passed away in 1928, and appears in the Elmwood Cemetery listings with his second wife.

BROOKS ? 1851-1928
BROOKS Mary A. 1865-1938 Mother

When did Libby Rapp Brooks pass away? Where are she and her parents buried? What happened to Fred Brooks, Jr. and his half-siblings? If you have any information, please contact the site coordinators!

There's much information about photographer Orlando Scott Goff's career available on line; about his personal life, not so much as of yet. Although he doesn't appear in any Lyons census, he's said to have learned photography in Lyons after serving in the 10th Connecticut Infantry during the Civil War. Although Goff is the only photographer listed in Lyons in the 1869-70 Boyd's Business directory,

Goff Orlando S. photographer, William n. Church

by process of elimination his instruction in the trade was probably received from Charles H. Ravell, who for several decades operated the only photographic business in Lyons. [see note below]

Orlando S. Goff (Sept. 20, 1843 Connecticut - Oct. 17, 1916 Boise, Idaho) left Lyons not long after this photo was taken and went West. Did he meet his future wife Anne "Annie" Eaton while working in Lyons? Anne, daughter of Hiram Eaton & Julia Holley of Warren County, NY, is listed in the 1870 Lyons census as 22 years old and boarding while attending school. She was a pupil at Rev. Lyman H. Sherwood's School of Music at Lyons (aka Lyons Musical Academy).

Said to have briefly worked as an itinerant photographer in Portage, Wisconsin, Goff established the first photographic studio in Yankton, Dakota Territory in 1871, and not long after established a studio in Bismarck, D.T. According to the 1900 and 1910 censuses, Orlando and Annie married ca. 1875/76 and had one daughter, Bessie Goff Oldson, born ca. 1879 in North Dakota. Orlando and Annie eventually settled in Idaho, after residing some years in Montana, where he was elected to the Montana state legislature. A May 1877 Bismarck news article regarding Annie Goff's singing club and teaching activities suggests that she might have studied voice at the Lyons music school. Click here to go off-site to read this short news article and a biography of Goff, and view his portrait and several of his well-known photos.

Goff is noted by photography and Western studies historians for having taken the last photos of Custer and his men before the Battle of Little Bighorn, the striking photograph of Chief Sitting Bull taken at Ft. Buford in 1881, and his extensive documentation of Native Americans of the Great Plains.

English-born Charles Ravell was listed as a photographer on an 1864 Lyons tax assessment list, in the 1867-68 Hamilton Child Directory listings for Lyons, in the 1872 Boyd's Directory for Lyons, and in the 1870 & 1880 Lyons census. He was working as a "daguerreatypist" in Wolcott NY in 1860, residing with his wife Cornelia and her parents Horace & Melinda Dudley. Ravell and his family relocated to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he opened a short-lived portrait studio by 1889, and later moved to Minneapolis, where he retired from his long-time profession. Charles and Cornelia rest in Glenside Cemetery, Wolcott, in the Dudley family plot.

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Created: 6/19/09
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