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Like Father Like Daughters

Photographs are all around us. They cover the pages of popular magazines, are included in newscasts, are highlighted on media feeds, and are scattered around our homes. The Minnetrista Heritage Collection contains thousands of photos that document life in East Central Indiana. Some are casual photos taken by everyday citizens showing daily life and events around the area. Others document schools and businesses. Many were taken by professional photographers who called East Central Indiana home.

This photo portrait of Winifred Smith Johnson was taken by Marquis D. Goodlander in his Muncie studio in the 1890s. Minnetrista Heritage Collection

The name Goodlander is one that for many years was associated with professional photography in Muncie. Born in 1845, Marquis D. Goodlander grew up in Wabash, Indiana. By 1870 he was working as a photographer in Anderson and within the decade he had moved to Muncie, where he and his wife had two daughters. In Muncie he set up a home photography studio where he specialized in portraits.

With his photography studio at home, Goodlander’s daughters, Maude and Maybelle, were no doubt familiar with the work of a photographer from an early age. They may have even assisted with developing negatives, making and mounting prints, hand-coloring photos, or assisting customers, as was common among wives and children of photographers. Whether they lent a hand or not, the photography bug definitely bit both girls.

This photograph of Helen Ball (daughter of Lucius L. Ball) was taken by the Goodlander Sisters in the Ball’s home on Minnetrista Boulevard at the time of Helen’s marriage in 1924. Minnetrista Heritage Collection

Around 1899 Marquis’s oldest daughter, Maude, joined her father in his business. Younger daughter Maybelle came on board a few years later. Like their father, the two sisters specialized in portrait photography. By 1908 Maude and Maybelle were taking and producing photographs under the name Goodlander Sisters. When Marquis retired in the 1910s Maude and Maybelle took over the business. They continued to run the studio for several decades.

Besides doing a brisk photography business in Muncie, the Goodlander sisters also saw their work published in national publications, exhibited at photography conventions, and in 1914 one of their photos graced the cover of the November issue of American Photography magazine. Both Maude and Maybelle’s names were regularly mentioned in photography journals throughout the 1910s. And each were active members of the Woman’s Federation of the Photographer Association of America.

In addition to photography, the Goodlander Sisters also produced paintings. This oil portrait of William C. Ball was painted by the Goodlander Sisters in 1917. Minnetrista Heritage Collection

During their 50+ years of business, the Goodlander Sisters produced countless photographs; all beautiful works of art. At the time they entered the family business, photography was one the few professions deemed acceptable for women. When their studio closed after Maude’s death in 1962 (Maybelle had passed away in 1959), the options for women in the workforce had grown significantly. Like their father, the long careers of the Goodlander sisters speak to their love of photography, and their photographs remain as beautiful reminders of the past.

Photographed by the Goodlander Sisters around 1911, Edmund F. Ball can been seen on the right end of the middle row in this group of children. Minnetrista Heritage Collection