Libby Rapp Brooks
Wayne County, NY
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.
Peter Rapp, 38, master baker, personal estate $200, b. Bavaria
DIRECTORY OF THE TOWN OF LYONS
LYONS BUSINESS DIRECTORY
Peter Rapp, 48, baker b. Bavaria / Bayern
WAYNE COUNTY NY BUSINESS LISTINGS
Fred M. Brooks 29, laborer, b. NY, fa. b. Brian? (that would be Bayern), mo. b. alss (probably Alsace)
Peter Rapp, 58, baker, b. Rine Biran
Directory of the Village of Lyons 1886-87
From an unknown issue of the Arcadian Weekly Gazette, Newark NY, late 1890
Fred Brooks, 48, b. Mar 1852, married 3 years, b. New York parents b. Germany, RR Laborer
Fredrick Brooks, 59, no occupation stated, owns mortgaged home, parents b. Germany, married twice
Fredrick Brooks, 68, no occupation, b. NY, parents b. Germany, mo. b. Germany (Alsace)
ELMWOOD CEMETERY, Part 1
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,
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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