Agnew Historical and Non-Portrait Photos

This page shows various photos taken by Caleb or his brother Joseph that are not typical portrait-type photographs. These photos are of two types: Photos of Creston architecture and portraits of large groups. The photos were contributed by various people.

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First National Bank

First National Bank on ______ and ________.
Date: Early 1900s(?)

This building still stands today. Note the motor car in the right corner part of the image. Also note the crude hand lettering on this image. Typical of Caleb's architectural photos, it stands in start contrast to the much more elegant imprints he placed on his portraits and suggests that he did not consider these photos to be of the same artistic caliber as the portraits.

Photo contributed by Steve Francis.

John Agnew - Snow Scene



Snow Scene
Date: 1911

Caleb took this shot of his son John during the winter of 1911-12, when John was between eight and nine years old. With John is the family dog, Bubbles, who is also visible in several other photos on this website.

Undoubtedly, this photo was used as promotion for the Agnew Studio, and I have seen several copies of it floating around. Since it also depicts a newsworthy item---the great blizzard of 1911---the photo may have made it into the local newspaper as well. It has since appeared in at least one etrsopectives run by Creston's daily newspaper, the Creston News Advertiser.

On the reverse side is handwriting which appears to be that of John's mother (and Caleb's wife) Daisy. She may have distributed dozens of these photos over the years as publicity for the studio.

Photo contributed by Steve Francis

City Champs - 1912

The team in this photo would appear to be for Franklin High School, since I believe there was no other school starting with "F" at that time. I don't know how many other teams these lads would've had to beat out to be the "city champs" of Creston, but it can't have been very many.

The photo is interesting for two reasons: First, because of the wide variety of ages represented on the team; Second, because of the black student in the back, who seems to be on equal footing with his white counterparts.

It's also interesting to note that the team is coached by a woman. The Agnew Studio imprint is on the back of this photo, which was donated by Steve Francis.

World War I - Third Infantry, Company C

This photo was probably taken by Caleb in June or July of 1917. It shows Company C of the Iowa National Guard (now mustered into federal service) as it prepares to ship out for Europe. Note that the men are already in uniform here. As Guard troops, they would also have already been trained for combat. Moreover, since the Iowa National Guard had recently seen active duty in Texas along the Mexican border (guarding the border from incursions by Poncho Villa's forces) some of the men pictured here may even have seen combat by this time.

In the Creston archives are dozens of similar "troop train" photos from the Spanish-American War / World War I era. These photos, taken by a number of different photographers employed by the local papers, record the pride with which Creston sent its native sons off in defense of their country.

Since Caleb sold his studio in 1917, this would have been one of the very last photos he ever took. It's possible that this photo was taken by his successor at the Agnew Studio, Bert Brown. However, I have not seen any similar outdoor shots taken by the studio under Brown's ownership, and I assume that Brown wasn't interested in doing such photos. Thefore, I believe that this photo was taken while Caleb still owned the studio.

Some additional background info on this photo provided by the Iowa Genealogical Web Project:

On August 5, 1917 all men who had been mustered into National Guard service were drafted into U. S. service. This took the Guard entirely from under the control of the state. By the latter part of August all Iowa units had left the state. Iowa Guard units sent into the service were all efficient, but it so happened that only one of them, the Third Iowa Infantry (168th U.S. Infantry) experienced any battle field service.

This regiment was a part of the 42nd or Rainbow, division, and was a composite organization, composed of the third and parts of the First and Second Infantry regiments. Three-fifths of the enlisted men of the Third, when it left Iowa, had been for some time in the ranks of this regiment. Two-fifths were Guardsmen, transferred from the First and Second Regiments. As a result it was truly a representative Iowa National Guard unit, and its brilliant achievements on the battle fields reflects credit upon the National Guard as a whole.

More info can be found on the subject of this photo at the following web page, where you can even find a roster of names of the men shown in the photo:

Photo donated by Steve Francis.



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