The Rhone Family of Fayette County, Texas

Tower Wordmark

The Rhone Family Papers document aspects of the lives of members of a central Texas black family from 1886 to 1971. Calvin Lindley Rhone (1867-1921) and his wife Lucia J. Knotts Rhone (1866-1941) and their twelve children lived in Round Top and Plum, Fayette County, Texas, for nearly one hundred years. The Rhones were educators and farmers; Calvin and Lucia Rhone were both teachers, as were their daughters Lillian Rhone Jones and Beulah Rhone Thompson and sons Benjamin L., Charles C., and Calvin L. Rhone, Jr. Daughter Urissa Rhone Brown was a teacher and principal in a local high school. In addition to personal and professional documents, the Rhone Family Papers contain more than one hundred photographs. Most, unfortunately, are unidentified as to subject, place, date, or photographer. We assume, however, that these are images of family members or close friends. Among the photographs are several groupings of studio portraits that span a number of generations. Evidence such as the subjects' dress, photographers labels, and the photographic process help date these images. No part of this exhibit may be reproduced in any form without the permission of the Center for American History, the University of Texas at Austin.

Lucia J. Knotts Rhone Image   Image 1: Lucia J. Knotts Rhone as a young woman.
This small image measures only 1 1/2 x 1 1/4 inches.

Group 1: Six melainotypes, ca. 1880.
Rhone Family Tintype One Rhone Family Tintype Two Rhone Family Tintype Three Rhone Family Tintype Four Rhone Family Tintype Five Rhone Family Tintype Image Six

Popularly called tintypes, these images appeared on a thin sheet of lacquered iron. Tintypes were produced by the thousands beginning in the late 1850s, often by itinerant photographers who travelled to small towns. In Texas, they were widely produced well into the 20th century. The heavily fringed furniture shown in five of the six images suggests that the subjects may have been photographed in the same studio.

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