Charles Butt and Mary Van Stone Portraits

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Van Stone
Goderich, Huron, Ontario, Canada
Bay City, Bay, Michigan, United States

These two portraits (see Mary Van Stone portrait) are obviously a set. The originals were framed in the same backing material. They are unidentified. The pictures were received from descendants of Charles Butt and Mary Van Stone, so they are certainly Butt family pictures.

The man bears a strong resemblance to the man identified as John Butt in the “Charles Butt Sr. Family” potrait. The man also bears a strong resemblance to the man in the mysterious “Pfeffer Family Portrait" photo.

The woman in the portrait seems to be the same woman as the portrait "Mary Van Stone 1". That portrait has a photographers mark on it. It was taken by "Brophy, Goderich Ont". The Butts lived in Goderich, Ontario until 1890. Son Charles listed 1890 as the date he entered the United States (see the 1920 census for Charles). The woman in the portrait above seems to be younger than in the other portrait. Mary was 32 in 1890, Charles was 41.

From the fact that the portraits are a set, you can assume they are husband and wife. Since the man seems to be related to John Butt it could certainly be Charles Butt. It could also be John at a later age. John’s hair was parted in the middle (in the family photo) and this man has his part on the side. John lived in Bay City from the time he was four, so it seems unlikely he or his wife would take photos in Goderich. It therefore seems most likely these photos are Charles Butt and Mary Van Stone.

But from when? Mary died in 1903 at age 45, from Huntington’s chorea. Huntington’s is a very debilitating disease. It would be sensible to assume that the pictures were taken before they left Goderich in 1890, but that would mean Mary was 30 or younger when these pictures were taken. However debilitating the disease is, the woman in these pictures seems older than that. Perhaps they traveled back to Ontario on occasion and sat for photos then.