Thursday, December 06, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #101

Who is (supposedly) pictured here, and in what city did her husband die?

Becky Wiseman

According to Wikipedia the Indian Head cent was designed by James Barton Longacre. It is rumored that he used his daughter Sarah as his model for the Indian likeness, but, that information has not been authenticated in United States Mint files.

No sources given, but from:

Sarah Longacre married John Foster Keen. He died 12 AUG 1891 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Miriam Robbins

Sarah Longacre, daughter of U.S. Mint engraver James Barton Longacre, was supposedly the model for the Indian Head penny of 1859. Her future husband, John Foster Keen, died in Philadelphia in 1890.


Supposedly the model was:
Sarah Longacre, the daughter of the
engraver, James Barton Longacre.
according to AWT:
Sarah was married to:
John Foster Keen who died
in Philadelphia PA 12 Aug 1891.


Sarah Barton Longacre.

Bio here

Her husband, John Foster Keen, is reported to have died in Philadelphia, PA in 1891.


Sarah Longacre

A biography from the 1909 NY Times can be found here.

Her obituary is here

Her husband, John Foster KEEN, is reported to have died in Philadelphia in 1891.

However, an 1891 obituary in the NY Times here reports death of a John F. Keen, in Saratoga, NY.


James Barton Longacre originally used this design on the 1854 $3 dollar coin, but later reused it on the 1859 Indian Head cent.

He supposedly used his daughter, Sarah Longacre, as the model.

She married John Foster Keen on 6 May 1847.

He is supposed to have died in Philadelphia on 12 Aug 1891.


Supposedly the popular rumor is that Philadelphia Mint engraver, James Barton Longacre used his daughter Sarah as his model for the indian likeness (as Lady Liberty) on the Indian Head Penny.

Sarah married John Foster Keen. All the family trees online showed his death as 12 August 1891 in Philadelphia, but I didn't find a cemetery listing, obituary or death record to substantiate that.

Incidentally, there is also a John F Keen who died 12 Nov 1891 buried in a Keen cemetery in Cumberland County KY.


Craig Manson

The model supposedly was Eliza Longacre, the daughter of James Barton Longacre, Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint. (The US Treasury website says there are no records to verify this). On May 10, 1866, she married Horatio C. Wood, a highly distinguished physician. He died in 1920 in Philadelphia. Sources: Coin Identification Table,; US Treasury Fact Sheet on Indian Head Coin,
indian-head.shtml; US Census, Philadelphia, PA, 1850, 1860, & 1870; National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoir of Horace C. Wood,


Mary got this one. The daughter in question was Sarah, who married John Foster Keen. Though he lived in Philadelphia, his death notice says he died in Saratoga.

Sarah is said to have always had her picture taken in profile, just like her image on the coin.


Since I can't seem to leave well enough alone...

the Bridwell Library Center for Methodist Studies at SMU has a collection entitled the Andrew Longacre Archives

One of the items in the collections notes the following:

Longacre, Andrew, manuscript "Notes for Thought & Study," Vol. IV, September 1883-October 7, 1893 [i.e. June 19, 1894]. Index at back. Notebook with brown cover, 19.5 x 13 cm. Newspaper clippings, obituaries on James Barton Longacre and John F. Keen.

Anyone near SMU?

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