Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Becker's Millinery Store

In 1866, Nicholas Becker opened a millinery store on Second Street in Ripley, Ohio.  He, his wife, Catherine, and son, Nicholas, Jr. had settled in the small town just two years earlier.

Catherine, whose maiden name was Thill, had come from a family of hat makers.  Her father, Nicholas, and her brothers, George and Joseph, owned and operated hat stores in Cincinnati.  In 1876, a men's hat and cap department was added to the Second Street store.  Nicholas, Jr. conducted that aspect of the business along side his mother who still operated the millinery shop.

Located on Second Street, the store served as both business and home.  Nicholas, Catherine, and their son's family all lived upstairs above the store.  It must have been tight quarters as Nicholas, Jr. and his wife, Anna Beyersdoerfer, were the parents of three children, Louis, Edith, and Ethel.

I do not know the date of this photograph, but I am fairly sure that the older lady on the sidewalk is Catherine.  I believe the man standing next to her is her son, Nicholas.  The other ladies were possibly employees of the store and I do not know who the young men are.  I am very curious as to who is looking out of the second story window.  I would assume it is a family member or housekeeper.  The 1900 census lists a housekeeper named Anna Fauth.  Or maybe it is Anna Beyersdoerfer Becker.  I will have to read up on techniques for dating photographs and then maybe I will have more of an educated guess.

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