What a Picture Can Tell You…

Horse-drawn dairy wagon, with young teenage male standing in wagon door  Reverse of dairy wagon photograph

E.N. Kirby Dairy was owned by Eugene N. Kirby. He was born in Edwardsville, IL in 1871. By the late 1890s, according to the city directories, he was working for Charles A. Haines a dairyman in Champaign. In 1903, Kirby married Haines’ daughter Carrie Amelia Haines, and eventually opened a diary under his own name. Both the Haines farm and the Kirby residence were on the border of sections 13 and 24 in Champaign Township the current location of Kirby Avenue by Hessel Park.

Harold Reddick, the young man in the photograph, helps us date the photograph as pre-1912. Harold died at the age of 15 while undergoing surgery to have his left eye removed. An article recounting his death was published in the Champaign Daily News on October 22, 1912.
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If you are interested in the history of early diaries in Champaign-Urbana, The Urbana Free Library Local History Roundtable recorded a conversation about dairies in 1979. You can listen to their conversation through our catalog Local History Online.

Want tips on how-to preserve your digital photographs? Check out our How-To blog post.

Sherrie, Archives Librarian