Photographs. We take them for granted today. They're everywhere - and considering the many sources for them - digital cameras, cell phones, computers, 'spycams', security cameras, old fashioned film cameras - we're in danger of being overwhelmed with images. But in generations past, they were something special.
When I asked my husband, what he would consider a 'treasure', his first response was this portrait of Dudley Emerson Jones, his Great-great Grandfather.
I admit - I like this photo too. I see the picture of the man who joined the Third Regiment Iowa Volunteer Calvary September 20th, 1861 in Keokuk, Iowa, leaving his wife and two children, one of them less than a year old. I see a man who served his time honorably, appointed First Battalion Quartermaster on entrance to service, promoted First Lieutenant of Company L, May 2, 1862, and mustered out August 9th, 1865.
The war changed Dudley and his family, as it was during their Company's occupation of Little Rock, Arkansas, that showed him the opportunities for business, and convinced him to move there after the war.
This picture is a copy of the original that now is stored in the University of Arkansas Special Collections. Many other pictures and personal papers, were donated in 1995 for the purpose of preservation and research. Now anyone studying a relevant topic, can, with permission, access those papers. [This picture is David in 1995 at the University of Arkansas, behind the portrait of Dudley E. Jones, surrounded by the other pictures and papers.]
Unlike a lot of family members, Dudley wrote a lot about his life. And though I didn't come along in time to look through those papers and pictures before they were donated to the University, I'm still glad they're there, being preserved for future generations.