Friday, May 21, 2010

Photo Number 201

This one I call three sisters. I believe they are the Niska girls.  This is a photo taken by J. Tessman in Wadena, Minnesota.  I emailed the historical society over there about the photographer..this is what they said.

The J Tessman Photo business started in 1899 and Tessman Studio owner #2 in 1909.  It was terminated in 1910.     We do have Isaacson's buried in the cemeteries in our data base.  We show that Amanda N. Niska married Charles S. Isaacson in Menahga 1900/1-17 by H. J. Haarala Justice of Peace. 

So I can probably date this photo at right around 1900. Amanda is probably the oldest sister on the right. 
Thanks for stopping by, do come again:)  


  1. I looked up Amanda Niska & came up with two, one born in 1883 (living in Newton, Otter Tail Co. in 1895), and the other not born until 1892 in Crow Wing, so the Amanda married in 1900 must be the first. HOWEVER, she did not have any sisters! There are several Niska families in the Wadena County area, but from what I've found, there are no families with three girls listed in a census, which means it is open for speculation and possibly more in-depth research. Perhaps these are cousins? They could be half sisters, so I will try to search a little further back in the census. Maybe an older sister had moved on between censuses. If this is Amanda, then I would say your dating is correct. If it is not, then I would say this photo could cover any of the years the photographer was there, as those clothes seem to represent that whole decade.

    I will try to revisit this later. ~Abra

  2. Very pretty girls Connie ~ thanks for sharing the photo.

  3. Well, you know I can't stand to leave a name unresearched, heh! This is interesting and there are living relatives!

    Henry Niska came to the US from Sweden, and was born in 1853. Amanda Niska, born in 1862 and from Finland also came to the US. The two married and I can only identify three children, only one of them a girl. ??

    Amanda, born abt 1883
    Arvid John, born abt 1876
    Axel August, born abt 1881

    In 1900, Amanda Niska the older, age 42, was listed as the mother of 2 and a patient of some kind. The census must be of some type of hospital because there are pages and pages of people who are not related.

    We know from the historical society that Amanda and Charles Issacson married in 1900. In 1905 they were living in Otto, where Charles listed himself as a farmer. Also in the household at that time were Henry (54), Arvita-poss Arvid (28), Axel (25), Walter (7), and Weldala (4).

    In 1910, Amanda and Charles are still living in Otto - they don't appear to have left. Charles is 39 and doing odd jobs. Amanda is 26. Living a house or so away are Axel, Lydia and August who was born in 1908.

    In 1915, Amanda Niska passed away. I assume this is Amanda the mother.

    In 1920 and 1930, Charles and Amanda are still childless. However, I was able to trace Axel Niska for a little bit.

    In 1918, Axel registered for the Great War draft at the age of 38. His wife is Lydia (also listed as Lyndi and Syudi). In 1920 they are living in Newton Township. They have Leuno A (maybe August) (11), Tyrini Viola (10), Melvin H (8), Wendla E (7), Edie W a son (5), Elmer R (3) and Martha A a newborn. Living next door are Hendrick Niska (70) and his wife Sanna (36). My guess is this is Henry the father.

    By 1930, Axel is 50 and lists himself as a servant/farm laborer and is not living with his family. This is the beginning of the Depression and I wonder if he went looking for work. At this point, what I can guess from the family trees is that Axel, Lydia, Leuno, Tyrini and Wendla have passed away, leaving Melvin, Edie, Elmer and Martha living. Martha, the youngest would be 90, so there is possibly some missing information here.

    That's it for now. I can email the person to try to get more info if desired.

  4. Just out of curiosity Connie, how did you come up with Amanda's name?

  5. Hi Everyone, I guess you are both having fun with this one! The back of the photo is marked Amanda Isackson.. I gave that info to the Historical Society in Wadena County where I was looking for J Tessman the Photographer..I wanted to find out when he did businessin Wadena, so I could date the photo..the gal there researched her records for Amanda. :)

  6. It looks like Axel's daughter Wendla has a child who is still living. I sent a message to the woman who owns the tree and hopefully she will get back to me. That person would be Amanda's niece/nephew, and their children would be her great nieces/nephews. Crossed fingers!

    Interesting, I recall a number of results for Amanda Isackson but didn't look because they either didn't have the same spouse name as Charles, or didn't seem to match up. Now I wonder...

  7. Norkio, Great investigation..!! You and Abra are so good at this stuff!! :)

  8. Bravo Norkio and Abra!

    They are very beautiful women. The one in the center reminds me of someone.


Hi, Thanks for the comments, your input on these old photos is appreciated! English only please! All comments will be moderated! Connie