Over the summer the Print Department hosted a half-day orientation for teachers attending a Library of Congress “Teaching with Primary Sources” seminar about the history of photography in relation to identity. In preparing for the presentation, I had the opportunity to revisit material I had researched and cataloged several years ago. One such item was a photograph album compiled 1892-1893 by Ida F. Drew, a student in her last year at the Ogontz School for Girls in Elkins Park, Pa. Having not had access to Ancestry.com during my initial work with the album, I thought I would take advantage of it now to find out a little bit more about Miss Drew. What had become of the girl who had compiled a volume of formal class photographs and views of her school in the early 1890s, as well as numerous snapshots of her school chums and family friends during outings and vacations?
It turns out that Miss Drew was still Miss Drew and living with her parents, prominent lawyer and general Charles W. Drew and Anna Fleetwood, in Chicago in 1900. By the 1910 census, she was the wife of Chicago lawyer Bertrand Walker whom she wed on September 14, 1901. From the census data, it appears that she had no children, though servants were regularly listed as part of the household. She died on September 2, 1946, outlived by her husband, and was buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago. Much still remains a mystery about Ida Drew Walker—including which of the young ladies in the photographs is she! Nonetheless a little more about her life has come to light.
Associate Curator, Prints and Photographs