A Family History Newsletter

Volume 4, Number 1

1st Quarter 2005


The Tullis-Smith Photo Album
of Danville, Illinois

by Thomas S. Tullis, with additional information and photographs provided by Ann Tullis Nolan


Editor’s Note: Some months ago I ran across a reference (through PERSI) to an article in the October, 1981, issue of the “Jacksonville, Illinois, Genealogical Journal” about a photo album from Illinois containing photos of a number of Tullises. Since I’m always interested in old Tullis photos, I wrote to the Jacksonville Historical Society to get a copy of that issue. The article included information about an old photo album that had been inscribed to “Miss Jennie Tullis” of Danville, IL, in 1865. The article included a list of some of the people pictured, but the photos were not included. Then I learned from the Historical Society that the album had been in the possession of Mrs. E. R. Secrest of Springdale, Arkansas, when she provided the information in 1981. Luckily, I found through an online phone directory that Mrs. Secrest still lives in Springdale. After a very enjoyable phone conversation with her, she agreed to send me the album so that I could share the photos and information in this newsletter. After quite a bit of research, I finally figured out who most of the Tullises in the album were, and some of their descendants. That’s when I got in touch with Ann Tullis Nolan, who is a great-grand-daughter of Samuel B. Tullis pictured in the album. Ann was able to fill in many holes for me and provide some additional photos for this article. Many thanks both to Mrs. Nolan and to Mrs. Secrest for their help.


The album itself is not in the greatest condition. It measures about 5 1/2” x 71/2” and is about 3” thick. The binding has broken and some of the pages are separated. But each page is made of very heavy card stock, so the photos were well protected. In addition to the photos mounted on the pages, six photos were loose in the album. Many, but not all, of the photos are identified with inscriptions. All of the photos are either tintypes or carte-de-visite’s (CDVs).

Though a bit difficult to read, the inscription inside the cover of the album says “To Miss Jennie Tullis, From Her Friend, Danville, Ill., Janry 1st, 1865.” In a different hand is also noted “got acquainted, Fall 1864.” Although the friend is not named, I subsequently came to the conclusion that it was probably Martin L. Smith. Martin and Jennie subsequently married. The album contains photos of both of them, most of Jennie’s siblings and their spouses, some of Martin’s relatives, and some of their friends.

This is an example of what most of the facing pages in the album look like. These are the first two facing pages, showing “M. L. Smith” (full-size image) and “Jennie Tullis” (full-size image). In the rest of this article, the photos will be shown by themselves for clarity.

All of the photos can be seen in their original context on the Tullis Trees website.


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