Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Artworks of Kate Pettis Kerr

(To pause on a particular slide, mouse over the lower edge to make control arrows appear.)

From about 1888-1891, Kate Pettis Kerr lived in Omaha, Nebraska, where she worked as an artist. She was listed in the 1888 city directory as an airbrush artist, while later editions listed her simply as artist. Still single in 1888 and 1889, she was listed as Miss Kate E. Pettis. Her mother, who was living there with her in 1889, was listed as Mrs. Kate E. Pettis. They lived at 706 N. 16th.

Omaha, Nebraska City Directory - 1889
(click to enlarge)

In 1889, Kate was also listed under Art Schools, located at 520 Paxton Block with another artist, Miss Mellona Butterfield.

Listed again under the Artists heading in 1890, Miss Butterfield now had the designation "(china)" after her name, and she had moved to 421 Paxton Block. Kate's business remained at 520 Paxton Block but she had married and was now listed as Mrs. K.E. Kerr. She was boarding at the Esmond Hotel, where she was listed again in 1891.

Rosmer Pettis Kerr ca. 1895 (cabinet card)

I'm sure there must be other examples of Kate's art still in existence. They may or may not be signed. Possible signatures include K.E. Pettis and K.E. Kerr. I think much of her work was airbrushed, but she also worked in oils and may have done sketches as well. I know she sometimes worked from a photograph of her subject, as she did with the oil painting of her son shown above in the slideshow.

If you are able to share any information about her art, or photographs of her work, please use the Comments feature below to contact me. Please include your email address for a personal response. Any comment containing an email address or other personal contact information will not be published to the blog.


Juliane's granddaughter said...

I love the artwork, TK. You are so fortunate to have these pieces passed down to you from your great-grandmother. I hope that more pieces are 'out there' in existence and perhaps they will find their way to you!

T.K. said...

I hope so too, Jul's. I would love to see more of her work.

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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