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Photo-set Two [Winsor (Bill) Gieser]

Photo-set Two consists of black and white photos with the given dates ranging from 1890-1929, and 1943. This group/folder depict the following subjects: Clara Waite, Bill Gieser, Adolph Gieser, Roy Parker, Johnny Waiche, Carl Christensen, and Fritz, Kay, Doris, Elise, and Marion Gieser. These photos entail various daily events being captured as the family is established and flourishes. In addition to loose photographs, there are many still stuck to the original black scrapbooking background with the original acidic adhesive. Also of note is Bill Gieser’s report card.

Photo-set Three [Elise and Marion Gieser]

Photo-set Three consists of a combination of black and white photographs focusing on Elise Gieser, from her youth to her 90th birthday celebration at her family’s historic Bonita Vista Estate. The photographs in this collection are not limited to one singular envelope, so I would suggest a means for keeping them filed together whenever they are processed to be in their final housing. While not as prominently featured as her sister, Marion Gieser is also present in many photographs in this group. The dates of these photos range from the 1920-1935, with the newer photographs being dated around 2000. Also included is a printout of her obituary in the Chicago Tribune, and an informational book of the Bonita Vista Estate estimated to be from the 1930’s.

Photo-set Four [Ravinia School]

Photo-set Four is an envelope that contains four artifacts that detail Marion Gieser attending the Ravinia School from grades 1-4 between the years of 1918-1922. Three are black and white class photographs, while the last is comprised of two class photographs glued to black scrap-booking paper.

Photo-set Five [Weisenber, Highland Park]

Photo-set Five is an envelope that contains black and white photographs of the Weisenber family, including Albert, Elise, and Marion Weisenber, in addition to an “Aunty Clara Waite”. These detail various instances in their life, including photographs of Elise at 3 months old, Marion as an infant, and other stages of their growing up. These photographs range from 1910 (Elise’s birth year), to 1938.

Highland Park Historical Society

Photo-Book One

Photo-book one is a faded black/brown photograph book bound by two holes punched through the cover and a braided cord. The pages inside are mostly intact, but are either separated or in the process of separation from their binding. Most pictures are labelled by the original owners and detail the dates and persons of interest in their pictures themselves. Subjects of interests include Bill Gieser, John Claiche, Annie Gieser, Bertha Koller, Bill Christensen, Ruth Rhinesmith, Arthur and Mary Rogers, Mary St. Peter, Mr./Mrs. Baud, Mr./Mrs. Mizen, various unlisted subjects, scenery, house fires, the Gieser house, and others. The provided range of dates are 1913-1921, but probably range up until 1930 due to the age progression of some of the subjects. Tissue paper was placed in between the pages to help delay the deterioration of the pages due to age and the acidity of the paper and adhesives used on the photographs.

Highland Park Historical Society

Photo-Book Two

Photo-book Two is a faded black photograph book bound by rivets that is smaller in size than the previous photograph book. This photograph book belonged to Marion and Elise Weisenber, the latter of which became Elise Gieser through marriage. The stamp on the inside cover states that this book was gifted to the two girls during the summer of 1920, but contains photographs that dates between 1917-1922. Subjects include Elise and Marion Gieser, their mother and father, Aunt Julia, Hilda, a woman by the name of Hester, and various landscape photographs, including many involving the Gardener’s Cottage that they lived in at the Bonita Vista estate.

Photo-Book Three

This photograph book is bound by rivets and is made of leather wrapped paper, which is flaking and fading. Inside are over 30 landscape photographs of scenic properties and flora that were ostensibly taken by Elise’s father. Some of these photographs are of the Bonita Vista estate, and there are no provided dates associated with the photographs. Attached loosely on the inside of the first page there is a small handwritten packet located inside a vanilla colored enveloped that lists some of the properties and gives terse descriptions about the photographs themselves.

Highland Park Historical Society

Deerfield Yearbooks

This group contains copies of The Deerfield that were ostensibly owned by the Gieser family. The various books have signatures and other original marks on them. The dates of the included yearbooks are as follows: 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928 (2), and 1930.

Highland Park Historical Society

Jesse Lowe Smith Image Collection

  • US IlHpHS 1996.5
  • Collection
  • Bulk, 1911-1914

The Jesse Lowe Smith Image Collection was created by Jesse Lowe Smith, who was principal of the Elm Place School and Superintendant of Schools in Highland Park, Illinois for 32 years until his death in 1934. Smith took the bulk of the photographs himself specifically for educational purposes . Smith had a life-long interest in nature, culture and the arts. Smith promoted an innovative and progressive educational style by including nature expeditions and theatrical productions as part of Elm Place School’s curriculum. The collection consists of 3”x4” glass slides and 5”x7” glass photographs and negative plates which either were taken by Jesse Lowe Smith himself, or which he purchased from a Highland Park photographer, E.E. Paratt or from the Nichol’s Slide Company (a provider of educational slides). Some of the slides are hand-colored by Charlotte Pinkerton, an artist who at the time worked in Chicago. The slides collection range from 1907 to 1933 with the bulk being from 1911 to 1914. The bulk of the images are botanical in nature, focusing on plant studies, trees, and flowers and include landscape scenes. There are also images of Elm Place School including classrooms and artwork exhibited in the school, some class photos of students and teachers, the outside of the school, and theatrical productions of a play and operetta. The collection includes travel photographs from trips Smith took to Montana, the Pacific Northwest, and abroad. There are also slides of song lyrics, flags and history lessons. Thus far, the following series are created: Botanical slides; Travel photographs from Smith’s travels abroad, notably India, but also Europe; and a third series for Lincolniana of photographs relating to Abraham Lincoln.

There is a second collection of botanical slides from Elm Place School currently in the possession of the Park District of Highland Park which exhibited them in 1995. There may be overlap between the two collections.

Smith, Jesse Lowe, Superintendent of Schools, Highland Park, Illinois

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