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The Hurtt Family

Identifier: RH-A-3349

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of one sepia-toned cabinet card, 4 ¼”x6 ½” of three children, two girls and one boy, and one adult male, all holding musical instruments. The photograph is identified as "The Hurtt Family." Local photographer C.C. Packard took the photograph and his name is at the bottom of the photograph.


  • Creation: ca. 1886


Biographical / Historical

A search for information on this photograph led to a series of message postings on In February of 2005 someone named "Laura" discussed a similar photograph which had the same individuals. Through her descriptions, the individuals in this photograph have been identified as (left to right) Pearl Hurtt, Abel Z. Hurtt, May Hurtt and Frank Hurtt. Abel was born in Ohio about 1832. His first marriage ended in divorce although he had three daughters from that union. He later married Mary S. Meeker Lynch Hurtt and had four children: Zedder, May, Pearl and Frank. In the 1870 and 1880 censuses, the family was living in Indiana. In the 1880 census Abel (who was listed as "Edward") is identified as a "vocal teacher." In this census he is 48 so was born about 1832). In the 1880 census, Zedder is 9 (born about 1872), May 7 (born about 1873), Pearl 5 (born about 1875) and Frank 4 (born about 1876). C.C. Packard operated as a photographer in Kalamazoo from 1869-1872, 1878-1889. Unfortunately just his name is on the photograph, not an address which would help the dating of the photograph. Based on these facts found in the census and city directories, and giving the children an approximate age, a date of c.1886 is given to this photograph.


0.05 Cubic Feet : One cabinet card

Language of Materials


Physical Description

The collection amounts to .05 cubic feet and is one cabinet card. The image for the most part is in good shape although there is a hole at the top more likely made by a pin or thumbtack of some type. There is a little discoloration at the hole on the back side of the photograph. There also are some marks on the back side and a few small marks on the front. The photograph shows four people, three children and their father. One of the girls is holding one drum mallet and leaning on a bass drum, the father is holding a type of flute, another girl is holding two cymbals and a young boy has a snare drum suspended from his waist and is holding two drum sticks. The photograph is identified as "The Hurtt Family" and the name of the photographer, "Packard" and "Kalamazoo" at the bottom.

Hurtt Family Collection Finding Aid
Lynn Houghton
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490