Louis C. and William D. McFarlan: Stuart Glass Negatives – covering 1901 to possibly 1910 to 1911

By Greg and Alice Luckhardt of Stuart

First notice the surname spelling ‘McFarlan’ is the way the family spelled it for the 1700s and 1800s, was on headstones for family members. Occasionally the “McFarland’ spelling was used, but rarely.

William Dowling McFarlan Jr. was born August 1836 in Chester Co., PA. He was a merchant, like his father, William D. McFarlan Sr., for many years in the late 1800s.

The McFarlan family lived mostly in East Brandywine, Chester Co., PA, but William Jr. also lived at other times in East Darrington, PA and in West Salem, Mercer Co., PA.

His father, William Dowling McFarlan, Sr., was born June 13, 1811 in PA and died Oct. 10, 1905 in PA — which would be the only one winter season that William Jr. missed coming to Stuart since he started in 1897, an early winter visitor. In the early years he stayed at the upstairs rooms operated by Postmaster, Broster Kitching, above the Stuart Post Office.

In 1918 William McFarlan Jr., lived in the Pomeroy’s cottage, south of the Harry Dyer store. He was unmarried and had no children.

After William McFarlan’s death March 19, 1925, a scholarship in his name; William D. McFarlan Jr. (funded by his legacy) was set up at Bucknell University in Lewisville, PA.

McFarlan Collection and Stuart Heritage Museum: Louis McFarlan (second from the right) and friends are pictured admiring their large catch of the day.

The owner of the Stuart glass negatives:
Lewis (Louis) Cass McFarlan, was born Feb. 1850 in Chester Co., PA. His parents were William and Hannah McFarlan – father being a merchant. The two McFarlan families were cousins.

Louis McFarlan had a first wife, Clara Hawkins, whom he married Sept. 27, 1871 in PA. In the 1880s then he was a widower with no children.

He remarried to Lorena Maule in June 17, 1894 in PA. Lorena was born July 8, 1873. They had one child born before 1900 but that infant died. They then had a son, William Maule McFarlan, born Jan. 18, 1905 in Chester Co., PA. – Lorena and William appear in the Stuart glass negatives images. Louis C. McFarlan was a retired merchant and invested in real estate.

The winter house Louis built in April 1906 in Stuart was constructed on Albany Ave. (Ave. D) by ‘contractor’ George W. Thomas (same carpenter who built his home at Albany and 2nd St. and married to Agatha Kickliter). They also had a large home at 356 E. Lancaster Ave. in Downingtown, Chester Co., PA.

Lewis (Louis) C. McFarlan died March 8, 1913. William M. and his mother, Lorenea McFarlan remained in the Lancaster home in Downingtown, PA over the decades. Lorena McFarlan died May 21, 1962 in Downingtown, PA. Buried at Northwood Cemetery in Downingtown, Chester Co., PA
His son, William M. McFarlan lived until June 25, 1982 in Chester Co., PA, unmarried and no children. He had worked as a postal worker for decades and owned and managed rental property. He was an avid railroad enthusiast and model train collector. William M. McFarlan remained in the family home at 356 E. Lancaster Ave. in Downingtown, PA. Up to his death. His estate was sold off in 1982.

Property McFarlan’s owned in Stuart:
William and Louis McFarlan, each purchased lots on March 16, 1904 from Ernest Stypmann.
Potsdam neighborhood:
Louis’ lot was Lot 4 of Block 3 – William’s was Lot 3 of Block 3.
It seems like it is right next to the the George W. Parks General Merchandise Store of Stuart and Thomas Edenfield House.
The lots run from “Avenue D to Avenue E”.
Builder of a house was contractor George W. Thomas for Louis McFarlan.
Louis McFarlan also purchased a lot Dec. 3, 1906 from George B. Elsion in Potsdam and then another lot on April 1, 1907 from Lacy Kickliter in Potsdam.

McFarlan Collection and Stuart Heritage Museum: Louis McFarlan along the river.

2012 Glass Negatives of Stuart:

The Stuart glass negatives were purchased at the Briggs Auction in Boothwyn, PA. by an eBay seller. The negatives had been in the estate of Robert Swayne of West Chester, PA. Swayne was an avid collector of anything related to local history, plus old photos, negatives, GAR items, books, etc. His parents were also collectors, so there was at least 125 years of collected items. The eBay seller, Mike Beatty of Chester, PA, picked up probably 2000+ glass negatives that were part of Swayne’s collection, obtaining most through estate sales. Purchased from the earlier William M. McFarlan estate sale of the early 1980s. Alice Luckhardt “discovered” the listing on eBay and contacted Stuart Heritage Museum, which then acquired the glass plate images to be safely stored and preserved, having returned to the place of origin more than 100 years later!

Three boxes holding the Stuart glass negatives (covering 1901 to possibly 1910 to 1911):
Stanley Dry Plate Co. of Newton, Mass. was in business from 1890 to 1904. Operated by F. E. and F. O. Stanley, twin brothers, who started with the dry plate process in 1883.

They sold the dry plate business to Eastman Kodak Company of Rochester, NY in 1904. The Stanley brothers continued on their main interest, the Stanley Steamer automobile.

Lovell Dry Plate Co. operated by Charles O. Lovell of New Rochelle, NY. The Lovell Dry Plate business folded (closed down) in Nov. 1901.

Eastman – Kodak Plates of Rochester, NY started in 1892. To expand they purchased other dry plate companies in the early 1900s including the Stanley Dry Plate Co.


About Alice L. Luckhardt
A former teacher, Alice has spent the last 20 years researching and writing historical and genealogical articles and books. She is published in numerous national magazines including recently the ‘History Magazine’, April 2012 with a feature article on the RMS Titanic. In 2010 she placed third in the nation for the best genealogical published article, the contest sponsored by the ISFHWE (International Society of Family History Writers and Editors). Since Aug. 2010 Alice has been the researcher and writer for FamilyTree.com (genealogical site). Between Jan. 2012 and May 2014, Alice and her husband, Greg, wrote a weekly historical newspaper column for the Stuart
News. For their massive collection of local historical research and making many local vintage articles and artifacts in a digital format, the county awarded them with the ‘Historical Preservationist of the Year’. Alice works closely with the local museums in Stuart, FL, does public speaking and produces historical videos.

Copies of the “Stuart” book by Alice L. Luckhardt are available at the Stuart Heritage Museum, and all sales benefit the non-profit museum. The book contains over 200 vintage photos of Stuart!

Located in Stuart, Florida, Martin County Lifestyle Magazine - MCLM Media Pro is a full-service social media marketing agency that offers social media content creation and management, social media advertising, and SEO (search engine optimization) services. Since 2012, we have been covering our local businesses and organizations on the Treasure Coast and providing digital marketing services that also include professional photography, video production, graphic design, and website building, aiming to help companies increase their online visibility, website traffic, and sales through social media marketing and content marketing. We are budget-friendly, and we mostly work with small businesses, helping them adapt and grow their brand online.