1896 Photo of Edward J. Sitler Cigar Factory Employees in East Prospect, York County, PA
This photo shows the employees of the Edward J. Sitler Cigar Factory in East Prospect, York County, PA. This post explains how I’ve used a combination of personal family history, late 1800s history of East Prospect, and late 1800s Factory Inspection Reports to date the photo and to research the identity of the cigar factory. The other posts in this series and related posts include:
- Late 1800s History of East Prospect Assists in Identification of a Period Photo
- Late 1800s Factory Inspection Reports Assist in Identification of an East Prospect Photo
- Love blossoms between Iva Gilbert and Luther Smith
- The mystery of Haines Home Made Ice Cream
- Gilbert Sisters in Big Hats
- The tale of Gilbert Bridge over Yellow Breeches Creek
This photo shows the employees of the cigar factory in East Prospect where my Grandmother Iva Gilbert worked prior to moving to the City of York in 1898. The photo is from the collection of Shirley Keeports. Shirley’s Grandmother Minerva Gilbert is also in the photo; Iva and Minerva are sisters. Minerva’s first child Harry W. Knisely was born December 4, 1897. These family history facts pretty much set the year of the photo; most likely 1896, although possibly early 1897.
In the cigar factory employees photo Minerva Gilbert is in the back row, fourth from the right. Minerva R. Gilbert was born December 26, 1877; therefore she was 18-years-old during the majority of 1896. Minerva married William A. Knisely November 1, 1896 and her first child was born December 4, 1897. Minerva does not appear to be pregnant with child in this photo; therefore the photo is possibly early 1897 or most likely 1896. William Knisely died at a young age; thereafter Minerva married Edward H. May and continued to live the rest of her life in East Prospect.
In the cigar factory employees photo Iva Gilbert is in the back row, first from the left. Iva M. Gilbert was born February 2, 1880; therefore she was 16-years-old during the majority of 1896. Iva moved with her parents to the City of York in 1898. Iva continued working as a cigarmaker in York prior to her marriage to Luther S. Smith on April 15, 1900.
Late 1800s History of East Prospect noted L. E. Oleweiler owned a large cigar factory and was succeeded by Edward J. Sitler in the same business. The 1897 and 1898 Factory Inspection Reports indicate E. J. Sitler owned East Prospect’s largest cigar factory by a substantial factor. These reports noted that in 1897 he employed 20 workers (11 male & 9 female) and in 1898 he employed 20 workers (10 male & 10 female).
The photo includes 10 male and 8 female employees in 1896; all in all consistent numbers with the Edward J. Sitler Cigar Factory in 1897 and 1898. Post a comment if you can identify any other employees in this photo.
This is my 124th post. An inventory of the general topics and locations that have been the subjects of my first 100 posts are presented in a 100-tile mosaic that breaks down these posts into seven general categories.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts