Friday, April 17, 2020

Jennie Hoag, Glens Falls, New York 1890s

At some point during her teenage years, Jennie Hoag had her photograph taken as she perched upon a paper moon in Glens Falls, New York, not far from her home in Amsterdam.

Jennie, born Jane E. Hoag, had a difficult start in life. She was born on December 17th, 1884 in Amsterdam, New York to Grace Arabella Fronk and William H. Hoag. William and Grace had been married just over a year when Jennie arrived; William was 36, and Grace was 27. A few days after giving birth to Jennie, Grace began to suffer from puerperal fever. She died on December 29th, 1884, leaving behind William and their newborn daughter. She was buried in Green Hill Cemetery in Amsterdam.

Two years later, William remarried. His new wife was 32-year-old Helen Catherine Day, who went by Ella. To Jennie, Ella was the only mother she knew. As noted in her obituary, Ella was an active member of the First Baptist Church, as well an ardent supporter of the temperance movement and member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. William, meanwhile, worked as a stove supply salesman.

In October 1907, 23-year-old Jennie married photographer Henry A. Marcellus- or "Ham" as he was often called. Their wedding announcement in the Fulton County Republican described Henry as "a popular and enterprising young man," and Jennie as "well and favorably known in her home city." After the wedding, the couple settled in Johnstown, New York, where Henry operated his photography studio. In an advertisement for the studio in Johnstown's Morning Herald, Henry referred to himself as a "photo craftsman." Jennie and Henry had only one child, a daughter named Grace. She was born on October 28th, 1914. Just days later, Jennie lost her step-mother Ella at age 58.

Sometime after 1930, Henry and Jennie relocated to nearby Gloversville. From their studio apartment, Henry continued to operate his photography business. Jennie, meanwhile, discovered a love of dress-making and decided to start a business of her own, which she called Judy's Alteration Shop. It, too, was operated out of their apartment. Henry's failing eye-sight and a leg injury eventually caused him to give up photography. He decided to take up painting instead, describing his work as "self-expressionism." According to an article on the couple's golden wedding anniversary in 1957,  Jennie was "just as enthused in her husband's work as the artist himself." After years of declining health, Henry died in 1968 at the age of 88.

Jennie Hoag Marcellus lived to be 94. She died at home in Gloversville in 1979.

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