Atkinsons Railroad Gallery Photo

Tried photoshopping a little to bring out the woman’s face, but didn’t do much good

Original courtesy of Nancy Benton.

UPDATE: I believe this is thought that it could possibly be Emma Viola Noyes, sister of our ancestor, Ray Noyes. I believe Nancy Benton suggested this. If not, I wonder if it could be Cora Rachel Noyes who married Frank Greene, as it’s known that she traveled with Frank whose work took him on the road.

This is Cora Rachel Noyes.

The backmark on the top image shows it as an Atkinson’s Railroad Gallery (or Atkinsons Railroad Gallery) photo. Because it was in the Caroline Atwell Noyes collection of photos, it was thought it may be an Atwell related image.

I’ve seen a couple of other images on the web from the same gallery, one was identified as being from Moline (which is in Rock Island County, Illinois) and another from Orion, in Henry County, Illinois. The one from Moline is only referenced on an auction site, not shown. Below is the one stated to be from Orion and shows the same background as ours.

Found on the web

Obviously, these photos were from the same place and in the same time period of the 1880s.

Orion, Illinois is only about 17 miles from Moline. I am wondering if both images were from the same place and one was simply placed as a certain city as that was the city in which the person lived? Or was this a gallery associated with a railroad in located in several different cities on its line? I’ve tried looking up an Atkinsons Railroad in Illinois and have come up dry. I read, however, that Charles Atkinson was a founder of Moline, so perhaps this photo is from Moline. I find also that there was a post-village of Henry County Illinois, on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, 30 miles east of Rock Island.

I have no relatives of the family in either Henry County or Rock Island County. However, I do have one, only one, possible person in the database in a Rock Island County, Illinois census, and that happens to be James Allen Noyes, Caroline’s husband.

There is a James NOYS in the 1850 Rock Island Illinois census aged 23. Given as born Ohio however. But this James NOYS is in a household with a group of men of different professions. Nearby was a well-known Swedish utopian community, so I do wonder if this is James Allen Noyes. The community was the Bishop Hill Colony founded by Erik Jansoon, which disbanded in 1861 but descendants lived there until recently.

James NOYES is given as James NOYS in the 1860 census,which may also lend support to the Rock Island NOYS being James Allen NOYES.

24 October, R.I. Cty Lower Ward
Roll: M432_126 Page: 220 Image: 74
29 1177/1177 John LITTIG 50 Laborer $400 Germany
30 Mary 50 Germany
31 Mary 19 Germany
32 Nicholas 16 France
33 John 8 France
34 Amelia 4 Illinois
35 Andrew 2 Illinois
36 Morriah 1 Illinois
37 John LITTLE 84 Laborer Germany
38 Lewis RUBIDEAU 38 Laborer Canada
39 Mary 24 France
40 Lenora 5 Illinois
41 John L. 3 Illinois
42 Amanda 1 Illinois
1 Frederick RATCLIFF 29 m baker $300 England
2 A. D. GIBBONS 25 m wagonworks $300 Ohio
3 James NOYS 23 Laborer Ohio
4 William HOLLOWAY 33 Assesor Ohio
5 R. H? ANDREWS 24 Lawyer D.C.
6 William NEWBY 25 Sadler $1000 Ohio
7 A. H. MCCULLY 26 laborer Ireland

I had 2 jpg files of this photo, one was titled “Emma” and I don’t recollect if Nancy Benton later wrote and identified the woman as at least an “Emma”. I don’t have this in my database file of notes on the photo.

The woman will likely remain ever unidentified, but the image may place James Allen Noyes, when he was wandering from utopian commune to utopian commune, as having visited Bishop Hill and perhaps initiated friendships with persons of that area which were maintained into the 1880s.

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