Studio shots, no. 222: Simeon Haskins.

Simeon Haskins (1895-?).

We recently met Simeon Haskins at the beach. Above, he sits for a formal portrait at O.V. Foust’s downtown Wilson studio, using with what appears to be Howell G. Whitehead III’s dog. The photo is intriguing. What is the small round button on Haskins’ lapel? What was his relationship to the dog? Also, in this period, most African-Americans seeking such services went to George W. “Picture-Takin'” Barnes, an African-American photographer who likely was more economical. Foust, however, was the studio photographer of choice for Haskins’ employers, and they may have influenced his decision or even paid for the sitting. The image has been preserved among Whitehead family pictures.

Haskins appears in the 1910 census of Wilson in the household of his grandparents Damp and Stella Haskins, but is otherwise frustratingly elusive in records.

Thank you to Jane Cooke Hawthorne for sharing.

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