J. F. Frazier’s Studio, Audubon, Iowa

1907 Audubon

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I knew this was Leora Goff but had no idea how old she was. Then I noticed this very faint mark in the lower right. I could make out that it was from Audubon!

According to Leora’s memoirs, they moved “in March of 1906 to farm eight miles east and a little north of Audubon.” They “walked to school one and a quarter mile north, and to Sunday School at Melville Center south.”

Leora is the dark-haired girl next to the teacher. Her sister Georgia, I think, is third from left in the back row. Row 2: Ruby Goff, 10 years younger than Leora. Front row: Rolla Goff is on the right, Jennings Goff is third from right. Missing: The two oldest Goff boys, probably kept home from school to do field work.

She completed 8th grade while there. Her father wouldn’t let his oldest children go on to high school, instead expecting them to work hard on the farm with their folks.

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I finally made out the name Frazier’s Studio, and asked on the Historic Audubon County Facebook page whether anyone knew any history of the man.

From Jackie King: “Joseph Franklin Frazier was apparently well traveled. He was born in Ohio in 1866, married in Kansas. Not sure when he showed up in Audubon but he was still there in 1910. By 1920 he was a photographer in Kansas City, and he died on March 30, 1940 in Independence, Missouri where he is buried. He had two daughters, Ethel and Frances, who spent at least some of their youth in Audubon.”

It looks like Frazier did Leora Goff’s 8th grade photo, he probably took this precious portrait of her entire family on Independence Day, 1907. The only one of the Sherd and Laura Goff family.

July 4, 1907, Audubon, Iowa. The only family portrait of all of the M.S. Goff family. Back: Jennings (11), Georgia (13), Merl (15), Leora (16), Wayne (14), Rolla (almost 9). Front: Ruby (almost 7), Milton Sheridan “Sherd” (about 42), Perry (almost 4), Clarence (almost 2), Laura (about 39 and pregnant with Virgil), Willis (5).



    • She was cute when she was little, but not a handsome woman most of her life. She was attractive as an older woman, but her spark, her personality, the way she could relate to anyone, made her such a delight.

      • I know just what you mean. Our perception of someone’s phyical appearance really does change once we get to know the person.

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