Mystery Monday: Who is Mr Basler?

Geiszler FAN Club Mystery
Mystery Man in Maggie Hoppe Geiszler's photo album

Who is this man?

That's the question I want to have answered.  This photo resides in a photo collection that once belonged to Magdalena Marguerita Geiszler (nee Hoppe).

Maggie Geiszler was born in 1861 in Columbus, Ohio to Christoph Hoppe and Anna Margaretha Karlsberger. She married Henry Joseph Geiszler in 1882, who was the son of Joseph Gei├čler and Caroline Mack, in the Zion German Methodist Episcopal church. Maggie died in 1921 in Columbus.

Many of the photos have been associated with Geiszler, Hoppe, and Karlsberger family members and friends, but this one is a complete mystery.

The first question is, what is written below the photo?

Need help deciphering bad handwriting
What does this really say?

I thought his name was Sam Basler. But that might because I have had a neighbor with that name. But in looking once again at the writing below the name, The last word looks like something scribbled on the capital letter B and then the word Basler.   The first word could be 'love' as in "Love? Basler"

Photographer L M Baker South High Street Columbus
Back of the photo provides L M Baker as the photographer at 227 & 232 South High Street in Columbus

The back of the card provides the photographer's information. L M Baker of 228 & 232 South High Street in Columbus, Ohio. I researched him very quickly and discovered that he was a photographer in the Columbus area. I suspected that this photograph was in the 1880s, but I could be wrong. In any case, that guess led me to his census and city directory records suggesting that he was indeed a photographer in this location. A Find A Grave Memorial page has some details about the man actually named Lorenzo Marvin Baker (b 1834 in New York - d 1924 in Columbus, Ohio).

So, the earliest I believe the Basler photograph was taken is 1880 and the latest certainly was 1924.

There is a Rudolph Basler living at 779 S High Street and has a gardener's market at Wood Avenue and Parson's Avenue which is under 2 miles from the S High Street photography studio. Being that Rudolph is the only Basler listed in the City Directories in the 1880s, he could be the right one.

I still need to do more digging.

Thus far, I don't have any established connections to this gentleman.  It's possible that this man was a family friend or a Godfather, as another photograph in the collection says he's a Godfather. If that's the case, then Basler would possibly be involved in the Zion German M&E church. Sadly, the family members who would know why this picture is in the album have passed away.

So, if anyone else has the ability to read the handwriting, narrow down the likely age of the person in the photograph and the time the photograph was taken, perhaps that would help me determine if Rudolph is the man in this photogram.


  1. It looks like "lue" to me, but if that's a nickname, I would expect a capital "L." The letter that is attached to the "B" looks like a "T" or "F" but I wouldn't rule out "L" - I'm trying to trace how the person might have formed that "B."

    I had a little chuckle about "digging" for more information about the gardener.

  2. I think the letter attached to Basler might be a W. The first word or wahtever it is does look like "lue."

  3. Thanks Wendy and Linda. Now that y'all have taken a peek, I'm so baffled. I think I have the wrong name entirely but no true way to figure it out. Thanks Wendy for pointing out my unintended pun.


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