Found! A Print from The Capewell Glass Negative Collection!

Through some internet detective work, we have uncovered another piece of the puzzle in the mystery of the Capewell Glass Negative Collection. The man seated to the left of the photo next to John B. Capewell on the right is Adolph Tumser.

Tina was doing an Internet search for John B. Capewell  and Westville, NJ when she came across this Unsolved Mysteries page. About halfway down, she saw an image on a postcard she recognized.

Screen shot from Unsolved Mysteries portion of

The text that goes with this postcard image reads:

Adolph Tumser is second from the left. Is this taken in the Olean area? I am guessing at the sender’s surname and the town but the postcard was mailed in August 1908. The front of the photo postcard says “How is things in Pa. How is Alick [Alex] and the rest of the boys. Give my regards to them all. For old memories sake.  John B. Capewell ???  South Westville ???

It asks if anyone out there has information on the photo or the people in the photo and included a contact email address.

Tina asked me if I recognized it, and I did. I went through my digital shots of the negatives, and, sure enough, I had it!

Tumser and CapewellShe had a print and I had the original negative! I fired off an email to the supplied address, and I was soon corresponding with Ann Tumser. She filled me in on some details of Adolph Tumser. She wrote:

The postcard was sent by John B. Capewell to Adolph Tumser, my deceased husband’s great uncle, and Adolph is 2nd from left.  Adolph’s granddaughter (whom I’ve never met) sent me the scanned photo. Two other people have stated that this photo was taken in Rock City, NY, near Olean, NY. The Alick referred to in the message is Alexander Tumser, my husband’s grandfather.

Other details about Mr. Tumser:

  • Adolph Tumser was born in Amaliendorf, Niederoesterreich, Austria 12 Feb 1862, son of Ignatz and Juliana (Draxler) Tumser. He immigrated sometime in the 1870’s.
  • 1880 US census in Olean, NY  farmer
  • 1892 – Adolph Tumser will leave on Monday for New York whence he will set sail June 15 for Costa Rica, Central America, with a colonization company.
  • 1892 – Oct. 17 –  returned from Costa Rica
  • 1893  Oct. 31  married at St Mary’s Catholic Church to Katharine Leighton
  • 1895 bartender
  • 1897  clerk
  • 1900 US census in Olean, NY sales in cigars
  • 1901  cigar maker
  • 1902 clerk
  • 1910 US census in Port Allegany, PA  cigar maker in cigar store
  • 1920 US census in Port Allegany, PA  laborer
  • 1933 obituary says he owned and conducted a union cigar store  later employed by the Allegany Window Glass Plant honorary member of the Star Hose Co. and member of Knights of Pythias and Elks of Olean

I’m not sure what Tumser’s connection was to Capewell although it does say he eventually worked in glass. Many of the Capewells also worked in glass.

Sadly, I don’t know who the other gentlemen are, but maybe these posts will provide somebody with a clue or an image of a relative.
Here’s hoping that there is somebody else out there who can supply another piece to the puzzle!


In my excitement, I failed to notice that Ann Tumser had attached some scanned photographs to her emailed correspondence. Here’s the scan of the postcard which is much better than my sad screen-shot above:

…and here is a picture of Adolph Tumser and a few other gentlemen in front of Lang’s cigar store circa 1900. Tumser is the second from the right.

Thanks, Ann Tumser!!!

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3 Responses to Found! A Print from The Capewell Glass Negative Collection!

  1. JT says:

    is Adolph Tumser.

    The inventor of Tums ?

  2. Angela Kraft says:


    I found that Adolph Tumser is actually living with his parents in McKean in 1880, and then in 1930, he is in Port Allegany and is listed without an occupation, but his son Adolph works in glass.

    I saw the picture on the unsolved mysteries page and was trying to track down info about Lang’s Cigars when I found your page. There is a Louis Lang who ran a shop out of Wilkes Barre. Perhaps Tumser took a ride over to sell his wares to Lang.

    Anyway, late night fun for me. Maybe I will dig into the Capewell-Tumser connection =0)

    Take care,
    Angela Kraft
    Leaves of Heritage Genealogy

  3. Joe Williams says:

    Thanks, Angela!!!

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