Friday, August 6, 2010

The DIRT on Robert Noah: Caught With Nude Model!

Runyan & Rogers - Richmond, Indiana

Studio name on damaged photo taken of Robert's youngest son, my grandfather

My maternal great grandfather Robert Noah Runyan was a photographer and the family story is that he was "caught" with a nude female model. The story is unclear about whether he was doing anything beyond artistic activities. The incident, and likely others as well, infuriated my great grandmother Mary Elizabeth (Darling) Runyan who divorced Robert in 1896 just 3 years after my grandfather Lawrence was born. She actively discouraged the children from having any contact with their father. Another family story is that Robert appeared some years later at the door of his daughter Bessie and she refused to speak to him and sent him away. I believe it was Bessie who'd been given the task of taking lunch to her father at the studio and she was the one who saw the model and ran home to tell.

Now, I've heard a few snips here and there that came from the older children about how Robert was a pretty fun dad. He like to take the kids down by the river to fish and play along the bank. But Mary was a rather stern and sober type who wanted her children to stay clean. can only ponder these things! I wonder, with our amazing technology, if that time machine will be developed in my lifetime?



  1. It sure make for an interesting story. Anybody go to his funeral?

  2. Hum, after thinking about this some more, perhaps your mother has his artistic genes, do you think>

  3. I don't think they knew when he died Barbara. On his my grandfather's marriage records of 1917, Robert was listed as living in Indianapolis, Indiana, whereas Robert's death certificate was dated 1915. Perhaps the family did not know he had passed away. And it could be Mom got his genes because according to one cousin he was also a painter.