|Use the following “evidence” to write a two page historical argument about the Solomon Butcher photo here: http://www.nebraskahistory.org/images/lib-arch/research/photos/47fs.jpg of the farm family with their organ. What kind of narrative can you write? Be creative… no additional research is required.|
1. This is the Oliver Russell White family and homestead in Custer County, Nebraska.
2. Oliver Russell White came to Nebraska from London, England as a single man in 1882.
3. White’s upper middle class family in England consisted of nine brothers and three sisters.
4. Oliver Russell White’s wife was born in Poland in 1865 and came to Nebraska with her parents in 1880.
5. The two youngest children in the photo belong to Oliver and his wife; the older children are siblings of the wife. Their parents had died in 1888 from cholera.
6. Solomon Butcher took this photograph so that Oliver White could send a copy home to his family.
THE HOMESTEAD- NEBRASKA
Oliver Russel was born in 1857 to his parents David and Diana White. The family resided in a small town called Hereford. Oliver was loved by his parents so much, and he spent a lot of time with his father who taught him how to herd cattle in and also how to play the piano. David White was the bread winner of the family and used to work in railway construction.
When Oliver Russel was ten years old, his mother informed him that they were expecting a new bundle of joy in their small family. This was very great news for the family because they had been receiving pressure from the parents to expand their family. Oliver did not understand much happening at this point, but he knew that he would have a playmate, and this was exciting.
Sadly months later the father had a fatal accident when an explosive went off while he was working to build a railway, this led to his premature death. When the news of his father’s death got home, his mother was traumatized by this which resulted in her having a premature delivery that took both her life and that of the unborn baby. Oliver had to struggle from here to survive.
Oliver Russel White background was middle-class, but everyone even relatives fought to get what his parents had worked for depriving Oliver of his rightful inheritance.
Thirteen years later, after struggling to survive, Oliver heard that there was a job where young men were being given duties to work in a farm in Nebraska (Arthur, 1890). The farm belonged to an old man who was very wealthy and needed a right-hand man to help him run his farm for him. Oliver did not expect to get this job, but he decided to give it a shot, after all, he had nothing to lose.
He got to the farm in tatted clothes and looking filthy after a long trip. He was started off with the lowest responsibilities but unlike others, he did his best. Little did he know that his determination would repay. He kept on being promoted to the level of right-hand man. It was then that Oliver Russel met his beloved wife. She was a maidservant who was always sad and seemed to care about other people. She mainly tended to the horse stables to ensure that the horses had everything they needed.
During events, Oliver would entertain the guests by playing the piano which always impressed everyone and also made his wife like him. When Oliver Russel got married to his wife, they vowed to make a family that would be different and a family of values. They took in the siblings of his wife as their own. They always made sure that at the end of every day they would have food on the table.
Oliver always stood up for his family and always made decisions that seemed too impossible. Many admired him; a young man with a great heart, this enabled him to buy his land where he made it into their fortress. Since birds of a feather flock together, when Oliver met Solomon Butcher, and they became close friends. They both had an interest in music. No matter how far you are from home it will always be the best. This made Oliver to request Solomon to take this priceless picture and be able to send it home to his family in London.
Arthur, J. (1890). The Flora of Nebraska The Grasses and Forage Plants of Nebraska. Charles E. Bessey Catalogue of the Flora of Nebraska. Herbert J. Webber. The American Naturalist, 24(287), 1057-1058. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/275228