James Marston

1852                Rooms over L. D. Smith’s Store, Ottawa, Illinois.

1853-1854       Opposite the court house, west side of the square, Ottawa, Illinois.

1854-1857 Nattinger’s Block, south side of the public square, Ottawa, Illinois.

1857-1859       Gallery, over the Bank of Eames, Allen & Co., Ottawa, Illinois.

James Marston was recorded in six announcements and nine advertisements (mentioned in two) advertisement in The Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Illinois).  The first announcement appeared on October 16.  Daguerreotype Likenesses.—We would call attention to the Card of Mr. James Marston in todays paper.  Mr. M. is an experienced hand at his business and his likenesses in every respect are perfect.  He has permanently located himself at this place and will be ever happy to receive the visits of such as are desirous to examine his specimens, at his rooms over L. D. Smith’s store.

The first advertisement ran from October 16, 1853 to May 21, 1853.  Daguerreotypist, James Marston especially informs the citizens of Ottawa and vicinity that he has permanently located himself in this place, and fitted up rooms over L. D. Smith’s store, opposite the Mansion house, where he is prepared to take miniatures of unsurpassed beauty and warranted never to fade.  Prices–$1.50 and upwards.

Mr. J. M.’s experience in the business is of many years standing.  He will guarantee every likeness taken in his gallery to be equal in finish and truthfulness to any taken in the world.

Time for children between the hours of 10 A. M. and 2 P. M.

Invalids waited upon at their residences.  Also likenesses of deceased persons taken.

Secure the shadow ere the substance fade,

Let nature copy that which Nature made. 

The second advertisement ran from May 21, 1853 to July 15, 1854.  Daguerreotypist, James Marston especially informs the citizens of Ottawa and vicinity that he has removed into his new sky light gallery, opposite the court house, west side of the square, where he is prepared to take miniatures in the most improved style of the art.

Mr. J. M.’s experience in the art is of many years standing.  He will guarantee every likeness taken in his gallery to be equal in finish and truthfulness to any taken in the world.

Time for children between the hours of 10 A. M. and 2 P. M.

The subscriber would here beg leave to state that he repudiates entirely, the jockeying system, so common among daguerreans.  His prices are fixed and although not so low as those of some artists, are no higher than will enable him to do justice to himself and patrons.  He will not take pictures unless he can put them up in a system worthy of the art and its professors.  J. Marston.

Miniatures set in lockets, breast-pins, finger rings, and medallions.  Also, likenesses of corpses or deceased persons taken. 

The third advertisement ran from October 28 to December 16, 1854.   Daguerrean Gallery!  James Marston respectfully informs the citizens of Ottawa and all the rest of mankind, that he has spared no expense or pains in fitting a new and splendid sky light gallery in Nattinger’s block, south side of the public square, where he is prepared to take miniatures in the latest and most approved styles of the art.  A good assortment of plain and fancy cases on hand.

Time for taking children under three years of age, from 10 A. M. to 2 P. M., on clear days; all over three years taken in any kind of weather.  Dark dresses always preferable.

Ladies and gentlemen please call; he will be glad to see you whether you want pictures or not. 

The fourth advertisement (first that he was mentioned in) ran from December 16, 1854 to March 17, 1855. Daguerrean Gallery! Miss A. Shedd would take this opportunity of informing her friends and the community at large, that she has bought out the daguerrean rooms formerly occupied by J. Marston, and would say that she is now prepared to take miniatures in the latest and most approved style of the art, having the advantage of a large sky light, and one of C. C. Harrison’s best cameras.

Always a good supply of plain and fancy cases on hand, from $1.50 to $10.

Hours for operation, from 8 A. M. to 4 P. M.  Dark dresses always preferable. 

The fifth advertisement ran from March 31, 1855 to April 5, 1856.  Daguerreotypes.  The subscriber would respectfully inform his old friends and the rest of mankind that he is at his post again, and is prepared to execute likenesses in a superior style to any ever taken in this city before, for I have made a new discovery in the arrangement of light which enables me to give a more truthful and life-like expression to the likeness than is otherwise obtained.  Call in any weather at my new daguerreotype rooms, and you may have your miniatures in a plain case for only $1.50; finer cases at small extra costs.  Extra heads on same plate fifty cents each.  Always come in dark dress, as red, orange, green, or black. 

N. B.  My pictures cannot be excelled anywhere—can be equalled at but few places in the west.  Come in and see, as I will be glad to show faces whether you want anything or not.  James Marston.

The second announcement appeared on October 20, 1855.  The County Fair.  We give to-day as full a report as our limits will permit, of the annual exhibition of the La Salle County Agricultural, Mechanical, and Horticultural Society, held in this city on Tuesday and Wednesday…Domestic Manufactures…The committee awarded premiums as follows:…

Mr. Marston, daguerreotypes, 1st pr. 

The sixth advertisement ran from April 5 to May 10, 1856.  Daguerrean Gallery, Front Rooms, Third Story, in Nattinger’s Block.  James Marston Respectfully informs his friends and the rest of mankind, that he is still at his post, prepared to execute likenesses in a style superior to any ever taken in this city before, for I have made a new discovery in the arrangement of light which enables me to give a more truthful and life-like expression to the likeness than is otherwise obtained.  Call in any weather, at my daguerreotype rooms, and you may have your miniature in a plain case for $1.50; finer cases at small extra cost.  Extra heads on same plate, 50 cents each.  Always come in dark dress, such as red, orange, green, or black.

N. B. My pictures cannot be excelled anywhere, and can be equelled at but a few places in the west.  Come in and see, as I will be glad to show faces whether you want anything or not. 

The third announcement appeared on August 1, 1857.  In the Grammar School Department there is a range of studies which it was supposed would require two years to accomplish, but by dint of much effort on the part of the Assistant and pupils, at the end of four terms, a large class presented themselves for examination as candidates for the High School Department, who sustained their examination remarkably well.  A few have been promoted from this department before, but this is the first class that has passed prepared for promotion, and their preparation reflects much credit upon the Assistant in charge.  And, as they were about to leave her, under whose tuition they had been for a year or more, a number of them left with her their ambrotypes, taken in a group by J. Marston, or the master of the art in the city.

The seventh advertisement ran from August 19, 1857 to October 3, 1857.  New Daguerrian Gallery.  The subscriber having sold out his Daguerrian Gallery, in Nattinger’s Block, with the intention of quitting the business, but through the solicitation of many friends, he has concluded to open another Gallery, over the Bank of Eames, Allen & Co., where he will be ready to receive all who may favor him with a call, on Saturday the 26th inst.  Having an improved sky and side light, he flatters himself that he ca take better pictures than you can get this side of New York.  Thankful for past patronage, I would invite one and all to the new Gallery of James Marston. 

The eighth advertisement ran from October 6, 1857 to October 2, 1858.  New Picture Gallery.  The lovers of fine arts, and the public generally, are invited to examine specimens now on exhibition at the new Rooms just opened over the City Bank of Eames, Allen & Co., north of the Court House, under the supervision of James Marston.

The undersigned having purchased the interest of Mr. Marston, in the above business, is now prepared to furnish Ambrotypes in the highest style of the art, warranted in every instance to give satisfaction or no charge made.  The services of Mr. Marston have been secured for a short time, and those acquainted with his skill will need no further assurance for getting truthful pictures.  A share of the public patronage is solicited.  Ottawa, October 3, 1857.  C. M. Van Doren.

The fourth announcement appeared on May 7, 1859.  Marston is again in the picture business, at the rooms over City Bank.  See advertisement next week.

The fifth announcement appeared on October 1, 1859. The County Fair…2.–Paintings and Drawings. the display was not large–probably a dozen of entries. We scarcely saw them and the committee make no comment. The pictures by Mr. Voegtlin, we are told, however, possessed considerable merit, while the daguerrean pictures, both by Mr. Marston and by Mr. Porter, were as good as they get up anywhere.

Ambrotypes, Jas. Marston.

Oil colored photographs, Jas. Marston.

Uncolored photographs, J. E. Porter.

Ambrotypes and Melainotypes, J. E. Porter.

If there is an inconsistency in this last award, the committee must explain it, for we can’t.

The sixth announcement appeared on October 8, 1859. Premium List.  Full List of Premiums awarded at the Fair of the La Salle Co. Agricultural Society, held at Ottawa, Sept. 28, 29, 30…

19—Paintings and Drawings….

Ambrotypes, 2 entries. Jas. Marston.

Photographs in oil, 1 entry.  Jas. Marston.

Uncolored Photographs, 1 entry.  J. E. Porter.

Ambrotypes & Melainotypes, 1 entry.  J. E. Porter.

The committee have apparently awarded the same premium to Porter and to Marston.  They probably meant, in the last case, the “collection.”

The ninth advertisement (second that he was mentioned in) appeared on May 19, 1860.  Ambrotypes, Melainotypes, And Photographs.  Miss F. J. Webber Would respectfully inform the citizens of Ottawa and vicinity, that she has recently purchased the rooms formerly occupied by Jas. Marston, over the Citizens Bank, north side of the square on Madison st.

Miss W. having the advantage of much experience and superior facilities, feels confident that she can produce as good a picture as can be obtained elsewhere.  Her rooms are pleasantly situated and elegantly furnished for the accommodation of customers, and her stock of cases is very large, comprising all sizes and qualities, varying from 50 cents to $10. and she has also gold lockets and breastpins, which be sold at the lowest prices.

James Marston is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in Ottawa, Illinois in 1854-1855 and in 1860.

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