"FAY J." HISCOCK
Fay J. Hiscock, also known as "The Picture Man" took many photographs of Cody Wyoming in the early days when Buffalo Bill rode into town on his horse, or stepped off the veranda of the Irma Hotel to greet his Indian friends or a Royal hunting party.
Several of Hiscock's historic photographs are publicly exhibited at the Irma Hotel, the Park County Library and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Most tourists glance at them with curiosity and some note the signature, "F.J. Hiscock." But few know that Fay Jesse Hiscock was a distant cousin of Buffalo Bill, or that Fay was part Indian.
Hiscock's portfolio includes vignettes of Cody, Buffalo Bill's TE Ranch, scenic views of the Cody Road to Yellowstone and Pahaska Tepee, the doomed village of Marquette, the construction of the Shoshone Dam as well as studio portraits. He also photographed the Cody Stampede, hunting parties and their trophies, high school yearbooks and taught the art of photography. The studio sold equipment, supplies and prints.
HIscock was an artist seeking to capture the restless romantic spirit of the West, as personified in this 1907 portrait of Caroline Lockhart, publisher of the Cody Enterprise and President of the Cody Stampede.
Before we tell F.J. Hiscock's own story, we'll trace his lineage and show evidence of his relationship to our Cody family. We find his Hiscock pedigree to be;
On the chart above, we see that Joseph Jesse "Fay" Hiscock is a son of Levitus, who was a son of Alanson, who was a son of Isaac, who was a son of James Hiscock Sr. Among his other children, this James had another son, who was the James Hiscock Jr. who married our Anna 85. Together, Anna and James account for the 227 - 230 branches of our Family Tree.
A quick look at our records reveals that Anna 85's sister, Mary 82 also married a Hiscock boy, namely Thomas, a 1st cousin of James Jr. by James Sr.'s brother Samuel Jr. and his wife, Sarah Kimball. It seems that Samuel Jr. and his brother James Sr. married the Kimball sisters. Mary 82 and Thomas' descendants form the 207 - 209 branches of our Family Tree.
Further investigation finds that Anna 85's sister, Sarah 84 married another Hiscock boy, Thomas' brother Richard, also a 1st cousin of James Jr. by James Sr.'s brother Samuel Jr. Sarah 84 and Richard Hiscock's descendants form the 219 - 226 branches of our Family Tree.
Therefore, Joseph Jesse Faver Hiscock aka "Fay J." is a great-grandnephew of our Anna 85 through her husband James Jr., and he is a 1st cousin 3 times removed from Mary 82 and Sarah 85 through their husbands, Thomas and Richard; all grandsons of Samuel Hiscock Sr. as shown by the chart below;
According to our records, Mary 82, Sarah 84 and Anna 85 are all William F. Cody 145/4's 2nd cousin twice removed because he's their grandparent's sibling's 2x great-grandchild. We figure that Anna 85’s great-grandnephew, F.J. Hiscock is like, William F. Cody's 4th cousin once removed, not a very close relation, but still not one to be denied.
Returning to the story of F.J. Hiscock himself, his birth record shows that Fay J. Hiscock was born Joseph Jesse Faver Hiscock September 19, 1873 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a child of Levitus and Minerva Jane (Barney) Hiscock.
Before she married Levitus in 1863, Minerva Jane Barney attended Kalamazoo College in 1858-59 to prepare herself as a schoolteacher. Later, we'll see that her Hiscock grandaughters also attended college.
Young "Jessie" Hiscock appears with his family in the 1880 Federal Census record here;
Here we see Jessie, age 6, the 4th child of Levitus and Minerva Hiscock living in Kalamazoo with his parents and siblings. In the image of the census page, we notice that Jessie's Uncle Charles and Grandma Bettsy Hiscock live next door.
Due to a fire, the 1890 census records were mostly lost and we find nothing there. In the 1900 Federal Census, it's now some twenty years later, things have changed and we find he's the last to leave home. Twenty-six year-old Fay J. Hiscock is working his aged parents’ farm in southwestern Michigan.
Cousin Wilton D. Phillips remains a mystery to us, born in New York, he could be either parent's kin, but we find no other documents to clarify his relationship to this Hiscock family.
The next year, 1901, Levitus died the day after New Year’s and then Asa, his son, in September. Minerva lived to see Fay marry and leave for Wyoming.
Fay J. Hiscock married Sarah Mae Judson, the daughter of Arthur and Lelia (Allen) Judson on July 1, 1903 in Decatur County, Iowa.
The Judsons appear in the 1900 Federal Census of Lamoni, Fayette Township, Decatur County, Iowa here;
Catherine Bell (Judson) Hiscock is the wife of Fay J.'s brother, Asa J. who died in Alliance, Nebraska on September 22, 1901 at age 25. On the CB&Q railroad line, Alliance was the county seat of Box Butte County; whether it was a farming, railroad or irrigation canal construction accident is unknown.
Hiscock was obviously a lover of nature and the Wild West as witnessed by his many scenic views, portraits and character studies. But paradoxically, maybe it was the construction of that harbinger of progress, the Shoshone Dam, begun in 1905, that particularly drew him to Cody. Construction of the highest dam in the world would bring workers with cash to spend and provide popular subject matter for his camera.
Likely too, is that he and William F. Cody realized their shared kinship, giving Hiscock an introduction to a class of society who valued photography and the art it represented as well as providing Cody with a town photographer to capture the sights of the frontier while they were still fresh. Amber Peabody reports that "No man did more to advertise scenic beauties of Cody Country than Joseph Jesse Faver Hiscock. Known as "The Picture Man," F.J. Hiscock came west to Cody on October 22, 1904. He had been a photographer in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and quickly began using those skills in Cody."
For all its frontier spirit, by 1904 the town of Cody already had electricity, supplied by George Thornton Beck's Shoshoni Electric Light & Power Company. Beck had previously partnered with Cody to found the Shoshone Irrigation Company and dig the Cody Canal, a financial failure that inspired construction of the Shoshone Dam.
Commercial photography requires dependable electrical power for controlling and timing print exposures in the dim red light of a developing room. Arriving October 22, F. J. Hiscock brought his photographic equipment and supplies, and by December, is advertising in Cody's Enterprise newspaper. The following November, he bought a 2-column ad for the 1905 holiday season.
He must have found a market, because on February 8, 1906 this ad appeared on page 5 in the Enterprise, just in time for Valentine's Day. Now he has a store and can be a merchant as well as a photographer.
Hiscock's reference to the "Dam Project" perhaps refects the local view of this engineering marvel that drowned the village of Marquette, disrupted ranchers and closed the Cody Road to Pahaska Tepee.
In 1910, the Hiscocks are living on Rumsey Avenue in Cody and Dorothy is 6. His neighbors include Mark and Agnes Chamberlain with boarder, Caroline Lockhart. Hiscock's in-laws, the Judsons, live nearby.
No "slacker", at age 44 Hiscock registered for the draft during the Great War. This September 12, 1918 Draft Registration Card describes him as tall and slender with blue eyes and light brown hair, living with his wife Sarah M. in Cody. He gave his occupation as "Moving Picture Producer and Operator".
In 1920, the Hiscock family is living on West Rumsey Avenue in Cody and Fay J. describes his occupation as Photographer and place of work as a Gallery. Dorothy is 15 and will soon be joined by a new baby sister.
It's interesting to see that the Hiscock's neighbor is Caroline Lockhart, novelist and publisher of the Enterprise, who lives next to Mark and Agnes Chamberlain. When not keeping house or attending to the hotel, Agnes is a typesetter for the Enterprise.
At the direction of the President of the Stampede, Caroline Lockhart, Hiscock trains his lens on the excitment of the 1921 Cody Stampede as "Bill Pawley Rides On A High One".
In 1930, the family is living on 14th Street in Cody with 2 daughters, Dorothy was joined by Ruth in 1920.