Shelby  County,  Indiana

Blacksmiths  and  Ferriers

The  Shelbyville  Democrat
June 9, 1904
Page 4   column 2
          John Burker,  horse shoeing and general blacksmithing, No. 24 East Jackson street.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

The  Shelbyville  Daily  Democrat
Tuesday, February 27, 1894
Page 1, column 2

Hulsman  and  Creed

Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

This blacksmith shop is supposedly in Shelbyville, Indiana.  It looks like they specialized in horseshoes (ferriers).
The poster says "Bicycle Races Wednesday May 30th Shelbyville, Ind".  A poster at the top-right bears the
name "Frazer Coult..."  Can you help identify the blacksmiths or date the picture?

Contributed by George Young

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Joni Curtis:
My husband is a blacksmith.  I don't really "believe" this picture. A "smitty" shop is a dirt place.  I don't think a real shop would have clean posters on the walls, nor such clean walls.  Also this Smitty doesn't have big enough biceps  to do this for a living.   *LOL*   This looks like a posed picture to me.

Jeanne Surber:
          Yeah I see what you mean ... but the actual work may have been done under the "spreading chestnut tree" outside.  Maybe this was the "showroom."   And the guys are no match for today's muscle men, but they look pretty healthy.
          But I agree that some of it looks like it could have put together from available antiques for maybe a local celebration of some sort of local of state anniversary.  On the other hand, their clothes look like they really have been working in them.  But -- I question whether a working blacksmith in the days when the business was booming would have been interested in giving shop space to such a collection of horseshoes that appear to be historic.  And would a real "smitty" have a display table of "stuff"  to the side?  He'd probably have wanted to use his available space for immediately useful items.  I don't know much about blacksmithing but if that's the anvil they are working on, don't they need a heat source?
          Interesting picture.  Hope somebody sorts it out and identifies the guys and the time period.

Darlene Palmer:
          A perpetual calendar site ( shows these years as having May 30 fall on a Wednesday:  1877,  1883,  1888(leap year),  1894,  1900,  1906,  1917,  1923,  1928(leap year), and  1934.

Rick Leland,
          Samuel K. Walker was a blacksmith on Rushville Rd. In a letter from Margaret Schuler Walker before Paul died she said both she and Paul remembered going there and seeing him make horseshoes.  I don't have pictures of the Walkers to determine if he looks like one, and I am sure there were many blacksmiths around at that time. The shop was in Walkerville, before you got to the baseball field.

Sandra Givan:
        Thomas Smock  was the blacksmith at Pleasant View for many years and is in Chadwick's History of Shelby Co, IN.  I have nothing to compare with the photo, but he also had a son named  Claude  that was a blacksmith.

        There was a  Frazer Coulter  who was a movie actor who appeared in several films between 1913 and 1926.   He was born in 1848 in Ontario and died in 1937 in New York.  Perhaps the upper right photo is this man.

Judi Poertner nee Williamson
          Although I cannot identify the gentlemen in the photo I can toss in another couple of possibilities.  The 1892-93 Shelbyville Directory and Gazetteer lists my grandfather,  L. D. Williamson  and  W. H. Creed  as blacksmiths at 22 west Jackson.  Mr. Creed states his occupation as "scientific horse shoer" which would fit with the displays in the picture. (Maybe a little "attitude"?)  I would venture to guess that this was the front of the shop with the real work taking place in the rear portion.
          Mr. Creed would have been 34 in 1892 and Mr. Williamson about 18. Creed doesn't appear on the Shelbyville census in 1900 nor in Indiana at all. Williamson changed his occupation but continued to live in the state.
This obviously doesn't solve the riddle but does add some fat to the fire.

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