Monday, April 20, 2009

The Memorial Photograph

In my search for items related to the Massacre I have again and again come across a photo of Elder Gibbs and Elder Berry's memorial stand. It has been sent to be by three different people including an archivist at the Church Archives. The stand was placed in the tabernacle in Salt Lake City for the funeral there.



But this photo has been altered. The stand never included their photographs. At the time, of course everyone knew this. But in the years since, what everyone knew about this photo has been forgotten.

On October 6, 1884 I find this advertisement:
The floral decorations on the Sacramental stand in the Tabernacle, designed and constructed by George Hamlin, for the funeral services of the murdered Elders W. S. Berry and John H. Gibbs appeared so pretty and unique, that I photographed the same, and to perpetuate the memory of the above Elders, I thought that the portraits of these martyrs would be considered in their place enwreathed in this floral emblem. Consequently I applied to Mrs W. S. Berry, of Kanara, Iron County, and Mrs. J. H. Gibbs of Paradise, Cache County, for the portraits of their husbands, which they kindly responded to by sending. The portrait of W. S. Berry that I copied from was found in his pocket at the time of death. That of J. H. Gibbs was photographed with Elder W. H. Jones, the missionary that escaped. These photographs are now on sale at my gallery, corner of Third South Street and Main, or they can be mailed to any address at the following prices, viz.: 8x10, 60 cents; cabinet or stereoscopic, 25 cents; album size, 15 cents; good in postage stamps.

Agents wanted in every settlement. By forming clubs you can get them at a reduced rate.

C. W, Carter, Photographer. Third South, corner of main.
d s&w

I love the details about the photgraphs' origin. It makes it possible to tell so much Elder Berry's photo was obviously a recent one. Though I have not been able to determine when he took it, he had not been on his mission long. Elder Gibbs photo was with Elder Jones, who was apparently cropped out of the version used above. Elder Jones started working with Elder Gibbs in late April 1884, just a few months before the Massacre. So it much be recent too.

2 comments:

Ardis Parshall said...

You continue to astonish me. I've seen this picture so often and never realized it had been altered. Did you happen to tell the archivists about your discovery?

BruceCrow said...

I hadn't thought to, but I will now.