Saturday, June 22, 2013
Willard D. Tripp, Former Union Officer in 29th Massachusetts Infantry, circa 1870s.
At first glance this is just a run of the mill Cabinet Photo - a man with mutton chops & a mustache, photographed by Woodward & Son in Taunton, Mass. And not only that, it's pretty faded.
On back, however, written in barely legible hard to read pencil and competing with other random scribbles for your attention is the following: "Capt. Willard D. Tripp", and "State House". I have no idea who may have written this, and I hope someone wasn't using the back of this photo just to jot down a note. My assumption is that the person in the photo is Willard Tripp, and he just became a little less anonymous. I suppose he'd be surprised that 82 years after his death, anybody noticed.
Willard Dean Tripp was born in 1838 & died in 1931, (92 years old) and is buried in Woburn, Massachusetts. (Find-a-grave has him buried in Mayflower Cemetery, Taunton, Mass). He served most of the civil war years as an officer in the 29th Massachusetts Infantry. A regimental history (from 1908) has his rank as Lt. Colonel, other documents refer to his rank as Captain. The 29th Mass was involved in several campaigns during the civil war, and apparently Captain Tripp rose in rank.
I can't find too much about his life after the war, but he was involved in state government. He was employed by the Massachusetts State Board of Lunacy and Charity in the late 1890s, then in the early 1900s, by the Division of Adult Poor, both happy sounding agencies. I'm not sure what positions he held, or what his responsibilities were.
This photo is probably from the 1870s-1880s.