Captain Smith Cannon HERBERT

This photo card was found in Ionia County, Michigan.  The card features on its face the photographer mark “Wybrant” in Louisville, Kentucky.  On the card’s reverse is “Wybrant, 418 West Market St., Louisville, Kentucky”.  Written in pencil is “Lucy P. Herbert 1886”.


A search of the Louisville, Kentucky city directories reveals that the Wybrant photo studio was on 418 Market St. during the years 1883 and 1889.  Thus the date 1886 fits perfectly.

There was not a Lucy P. Herbert living in Louisville, Kentucky during the period; however, direct across the river from Louisville is New Albany, Jeffersonville, Indiana.  Living in New Albany in 1888 was a Lucy P. Herbert who taught at the Chestnut Street School.  Lucy appears in the New Albany directory as far as 1923.  Lucy’s death certificate Lucy died on 26 March 1933 in Detroit and was born on 15 April 1860 in Portsmouth, Ohio.  Lucy’s father was Smith Herbert and mother is unknown.  Lucy’s body was taken to Portsmouth, Ohio

On the 1910 Federal census Lucy P. Herbert lives at 223 Chestnut in Jeffersonville City, Clark County, Indiana, district 0010.  Lucy did not supply the erroneous information found on that census.  Lucy’s age is marked as 32 and she is said to have been born in Indiana.  Other persons on this census include: Mary W. Hays, age 34, born in Kentucky, also a teacher – elocution at home; Fanny Trumb(0), age 22, single, born in Indiana, a stenographer; and Laura Thompson, 31, single, born in Indiana, the keeper of the boarding house.

We know the information for Lucy to be erroneous based on additional facts.

On the 1900 Federal census, same rental address, Lucy P. Herbert is listed as head of the household.  Lucy is 39, born in April of 1861 in Ohio; Virginia Herbert, Lucy’s sister, is 36, single, a stenographer, also born in Ohio; and Fannie Toumbs, Lucy’s niece, is 14, attends school, born November 1885 in Ohio.

Lucy’s father allegedly is born in Virginia, mother in Maryland.

Going back to the 1880 Federal census in Globe School House, Greenup, Kentucky, Lucy P. Herbert is found living under the Smith C. Herbert household where Lucy is 18.  Members of this household include: Smith, 61, a boat builder; Susanah, 26, his wife; Smith, 29, his son; Susan, 26, a daughter; Eliza, 22, a daughter; Lucy, 18; and Virginia, 16, a daughter.

In 1870 the family lives in Precinct No. 2, Greenup, Kentucky.  Lucy is 9.

In 1930 Lucy P. Herbert is found in Detroit, Michigan.  Lucy is a retired schoolteacher.  This is perhaps how the photo came to be found in Michigan.

According to Lucy’s Michigan death certificate Lucy was a retired schoolteacher.  Lucy was born 15 April 1860 in Portsmouth, Ohio and died 26 March 1933 in Detroit.  Lucy’s father was Smith Herbert and mother was unknown by the informant, Frances Halsted.  Lucy’s body was transported to Portsmouth, Ohio.

Problem with all the above is that the photo in question can’t possibly be Lucy P. Herbert because Lucy was a woman.  And given the facts Lucy would have been only in her 20s in time for the photo in 1886.

So who could the photo possibly be?  The answer may lie in an obituary found in the Portsmouth Times of 20 March 1895.  It reads:

LAID TO REST.  The Remains of Captain S. C. Herbert Brought Here for Burial on the Steamer Bonanza.  The remains of the late Captain S. C. Herbert, who died recently in Jeffersonville, Ind., arrived in this city this morning on the steamer Bonanza and were taken directly to Greenlaw cemetery and interred.  Captain Herbert was formerly a well known citizen of this city coming here in 1861, or 1863 from Virginia.  After being here some months he engaged in the boat building business, building several boats, among others, we believe, the Rob Roy.  He left here some fifteen or sixteen years ago locating at Jeffersonville, Ind., that being quite a steamboat center.  One of his daughters married W. H. Montgomery.

Smith Herbert was in Jeffersonville, Indiana around 1880 to 1881 according to the above obituary.  This would put him there in time for his 1886 photograph.  Smith would be 67 for that photo.

This photo card is available for sale. Just $9.99 plus $1.50 shipping (in USA). Other Countries please call for custom quote.

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