|Jim Grandy, Everett, WA - c.1909|
Upon reexamining the back of the photo, I believe what I originally thought was an "S" is, in fact, a "G," which fits perfectly with the theory that it was James Grandy. I held the cardboard backing of the photo up to the sunlight and it looks like it may have even said, "Grandy" at one time, but has been rubbed away over the last 100 years. The writing goes at an angle and holding it upright, it looked like "Jim S," but if you turn it slightly with the angle of the writing, it looks like "Jim G!" Since Jim was the half-brother of Gladys' mother Jennie Cole Kint Purdy Phelps, it makes sense that she would have his photo. From the beginning, we all agreed that the man in this photo resembled the Cole family. Also, finding that he was living in the area and working with pipes in 1909-1910 further clinched it for me.
Working together I am confident that my cousins and I have successfully identified this mystery photo!
*James Frederick Grandy was the son of Amanda Cole and John Ira Grandy. He married Ida and had a daughter named Mabel.