The man gazing out in this old studio portrait is completely unknown to us. And he is not the reason why this image is important. Rather, the photograph is of great interest because of the rare imprint of the photographer in the lower left-hand corner -- Harry G. Bowman (1863-1891) of Hartford City, Indiana. Harry is one of a handful of professional photographers in our family who briefly operated their own firms in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Several have been featured before as a "Photo of the Month," in November 2006 and November 2005.
The son of Jonas and Lucy (Danison) Bowman, owners of the buggy manufacturing firm of Bowman & Company in Hartford City, Harry had his own entrepreneurial bent. His studio was in business in Hartford City in 1889 and perhaps until 1891, at which time he secured a position as messenger-clerk of the newly formed Indiana Appellate Court. He moved to Indianapolis, with the intention of becoming a lawyer. The Indianapolis Journal said he became "universally popular with all the State officials and every one who knew him."
But the cruel hand of fate intervened when ... >>> [more]