Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Boy and His Dog

For Sepia Saturday this week I am posting this photo of Daniel "Eddie" Purdy and his dog from c.1896.  Eddie (the brother of my great grandmother Blanche) was born on March 5, 1886 in Minnesota to Jennie (Cole) and Jonathan Edward Purdy. His father tragically died in 1893 and in 1904 Eddie and his family moved to Everett, Washington. I had heard stories that he had died young, but it took me quite a long time to finally find his death certificate, on which he is incorrectly listed as Edward Purdy. From it I learned that on January 17, 1907 his body was found on Getchell Hill in Marysville, WA. He had apparently suffered a fatal heart attack at the young age of 20. Strangely, his death record lists his deceased father's name, but his mother is listed as unknown. Since he was living with her at the time of his death this is surprising. My best guess is that Jennie could not afford to bury him, so she was not able to claim the body. What a sad ending to a once promising young life.
P.S. Check out the size of his feet!


  1. The dog appears to be looking at the camera as intently as Eddie! I wonder if the shoes are his own or if they are an older brother's, borrowed for the photograph. If they are his own they are indeed long - and he would have been very tall as an adult! Great photograph!

  2. this is such a great photo. and you have amazing detail from all your research.

  3. Wonderful photo (and yes very large feet) but sad that he died so young and that his mother couldn't claim his body.

  4. What a sad tale. Imagine not being able to claim your son's body. Those shoes do look big..maybe they were bought large for him to grow into!!

  5. I agree with Joan; those shoes must have been too big, rather than his feet being so.

    What a hang-dog look on the dog!

    There are so many tragic stories in families from our ancestry. I think every family has something desperately sad in its past. This one is no less sorrowful by any means.


  6. It's an adorable photo! And good for you doing all the research and finding out some of the facts!

  7. i agree that those are hand-me-down shoes, too big for him. what a sad thing to die so young.
    let's hope he had lived the life he wanted nonetheless...

  8. I agree hand me down shoes..probably just for the photograph! You don't see many old photos professionally done that include animals.
    Great detective work to find out the info that you did. :)