Hammonds-Morton Family Photograph Collection, ca. 1880-2018

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  The Hammonds and Morton families

Title:  Hammonds-Morton Family Photograph Collection, ca. 1880-2018

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these photographs, contact the Collections Department.

Size of Collection:  2 record center boxes

Location Number:  022PC21

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of 46 folders of various photographic formats, and 5 photograph albums. Several photograph albums were dismantled for preservation and are notated. The collection documents the lives of the Hammonds and Morton families from the late 19th and early 20th century, to after the lines joined in the 1950s. Most of the late 19th century images are of the Morton family. The collection heavily features Thelma Morton Hammonds, her husband Elmer Johnson Hammonds, Sr., and Thelma’s sister Hattie Marie Morton. There is also a run of photographs of the Evans family, and photographs taken in the Evans Photography Studio.

Folders 1-4 contain late 19th and early 20th century photographs, varying in format, of the Hammonds family.

Folders 5-17 contain mid to late 20th century photographs of the Morton family, specifically Clifford Ivanhoe Morton, Sr., Clifford Ivanhoe Morton, Jr., and Hattie Morton.

Folders 18-26 contain 20th century photographs of the Hammonds family, with particular reference to Elmer J. Hammonds, his wife Thelma Morton-Hammonds, and his daughter Elmer Lucille Allen.

Folders 27- 28 contain 20th century photographs of the Evans family, as well as photographs of unidentified individuals which were taken in the Evans family photography studio. These folders prominently feature Arthur P. Evans, Sr., and his son Arthur P. Evans, Jr.

Folders 29- 34 contain photographs from miscellaneous events and locations. This series features the church of the Morton, Hammonds, and Evans family, Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. There are also two folders which cover the time Hattie and Thelma spent living at the Treyton Oaks apartments.

Folders 35-36 comprise the deconstructed Album 1. This album mainly features the Hammond’s family, and dates to the 1970s.

Folders 37-39 comprise the deconstructed Album 2. This album mainly features the Hammond’s family, and dates from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Folders 40-42 comprise the deconstructed Album 3. This album mainly depicts the Hammond’s family, but it also heavily features Hattie Morton’s life in Richmond, VA. It dates from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Folders 43-44 comprise the deconstructed Album 4. This album mainly depicts the Hammond’s family, but it also heavily features Hattie Morton’s life in Richmond, VA. It dates from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Folders 45-46 comprise the deconstructed Album 5. This album mainly depicts the Evans family, and dates to the 1970s.

One oversized reproduction photograph was removed and placed in Oversized Boxed Collection. Photograph of Ophelia Helen Hammonds and Ella Edelen Guinn standing in front of 611 East Finzer Street, Louisville, KY, September 1955.


Biographical Note

Mattie Jones (b. 1845) and Franklin Hampton wed on October 26, 1871. Franklin worked as a plasterer and fought in the 109th United States Colored Infantry in the Civil War. At some point before his passing in November of 1899, Franklin and Mattie had a daughter named Hattie Ann Hampton. Their daughter Hattie married Charles E. Morton, a cook, in Bowling Green, KY around 1903. Charles had one previous marriage to an Emma McCutchen, the couple had two children: Joanna Morton and Charles Morton, Jr. Charles and Emma’s daughter Joanna married Arthur Pickett Evans, Sr., connecting the Morton and Evans families.

Arthur P. Evans, Sr. ran a photography studio which was located at 819 West Chestnut Street. At some point he wed a woman named Mattie Wright, and in 1945 Evans Sr. retired and passed the business on to his son, Arthur Pickett Evans, Jr.

Charles E. Morton and Hattie Ann Hampton moved during the early 1920s to Louisville, KY. The couple had three children: Thelma Morton Hammonds (1904-2008), Clifford Ivanhoe Morton (1912-1977) and Hattie Marie Morton (1919-2018). Clifford moved to Washington D.C., in 1940, and he married Christine Hawkins a year later, on August 8, 1941. They had one son, Clifford I. Morton, Jr. Morton, Sr. worked for the U.S. government in the Veteran’s Administration and the United States Postal Service until his retirement in December 1973.

The youngest child, Hattie Marie Morton, graduated from Central High School in 1936, and got her BA in Sociology from Louisville Municipal College in 1940. She was an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and even served as the President of the Richmond, VA chapter later in life. She earned a master’s degree in social work from Atlanta University, and worked as a social worker for the Department of Public Welfare in Richmond, VA. She began her career as a Case Worker and retired in 1985 as Senior Supervisor in the Service Department. After retirement, Hattie volunteered for both the American Red Cross and the Board of Education in Richmond, before moving back to Louisville to live with her older sister, Thelma.

Thelma Morton Hammonds, the eldest daughter, also graduated from Central High School and the Louisville Municipal College (1937), but she pursued a Master of Science degree from Indiana University-Bloomington School of Education. Thelma went on to teach at Madison Junior High, a Louisville public school, until her retirement in 1971. In 1959, she married Elmer Johnson Hammonds, Sr. She was a faithful member of the Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, located at 1901 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., for over 80 years, and aided in the church’s historic preservation. After the death of her husband, she lived with her sister Hattie Marie at the Treyton Oaks Towers.

Elmer Johnson Hammonds, Sr. was born in Bardstown, Nelson County, KY on February 27, 1903, to William Hammonds, a coal-yard laborer, and Emma Hammonds, a cook for a private household. He had one older brother, Charles Henry Hammonds (1897-1961), and a sister named Martha Williams. By the 1920s, Elmer was working as a Pullman Porter in Louisville.  At some point, he met and married Ophelia Doyle Guinn (December 8, 1899 – September 16th, 1964). The couple had three children, Elmer Lucille (later known as Elmer Lucille Allen), Elmer Johnson “Bud”, and Mary Elizabeth. Elmer, Sr. divorced Ophelia in 1951, and remarried once more to a woman named Minnie May Gibson, who passed in 1958. Elmer married his third and final wife, Thelma Morton, in 1959. He was a member of the Adelphi Club and worked as a porter for 39 years until his retirement in 1968. He passed away in Louisville on December 26, 1987.

Elmer’s daughter Elmer Lucille Allen had a close relationship with her stepmother and step-aunt, Thelma and Hattie, and frequently visited them at their home, even after the passing of her father. Elmer Lucille was born in 1931 in a highly segregated Louisville. She attended Madison Street Junior High School, Central High School, and graduated in 1953 from Nazareth College (now Spalding University). She became the first African American chemist at Brown-Forman in 1966. It was at her job that she met her future husband, Ray Allen. In 1997 Elmer Lucille retired from the company and began studying art at the University of Louisville. She had always had an interest in crafting, and in 2002 she received her Master of Creative Arts, with a focus on ceramics and fiber. Since the early 2000s, she has been a large figure in the Louisville art scene, both as a creator herself, and as a supporter of other local artists.



1900, 1910, 1920, 1950 United States Federal Census

Courier Journal Obituaries


Folder List

Series 1: Early Family Photographs, ca. 1880-1910s

This folder series contains late 19th and early 20th century photographs of members of the Morton family, and possibly the Hammonds. These photographs begin with the Morton family matriarch, Mattie Jones (b. 1845), and depict her children, Hattie Ann Hampton and Charles E. Morton, as well as other individuals. It is possible that some of these photographs depict early members of the Hammonds family, but no one is identified.

These images have all been grouped together exclusively based on their early dating. They are mixed in format, and include tintypes, cartes de visite, cabinet cards, photos printed on a button, and a framed photograph.

Folder 1: Early Morton photos 1, ca. 1870-1910

This folder contains one unidentified tintype. There are two photos of men in chef’s wear, one of the men is possibly Charles E. Morton. Most of these images are from studios in Bowling Green, KY.

Folder 2: Early Morton photos 2, ca. 1870-1910

This folder contains several large portraits. One large card photo is identified as “Mattie,” possibly be Mattie Jones.

Folder 3: Photo under glass, ca. 1900s

Unidentified photograph of a woman in a white muslin dress. The photo is in an oval mat window, and rests underneath a large square pane of glass.

Folder 4: Framed photo, ca. 1900s

Unidentified photo of a Black man with a flower pinned to his double-breasted jacket. The photo, possibly a button, is set in a circular frame. The same photo, but printed on paper, is in folder 2.


Series 2: Morton Family Photographs, ca. 1940s-1980s

This folder series contains mid to late 20th century photographs of members of the Morton family. Clifford Ivanhoe Morton, Sr. was the middle child of Hattie Hampton and Charles Morton. He spent most of his adult life, from 1940 on, living in Washington D.C., and working in various positions for the U.S. government. The photographs in Folder 5 document his early days working for the Post Office, as well as the family he built in his new city.

Clifford had one son, Clifford Ivanhoe Morton, Jr. He was colloquially referred to by his family as “Tippy,” his childhood (1943-1953) from infancy to adolescence is documented in Folder 5. The folder also contains a few photographs of him as an adult with his own family.

The final member of the Morton family to be documented in this series is Hattie Marie Morton, the younger sister of Clifford Sr. Folders 7-17 documents Hattie’s life from her own adolescent years, up to her time spent traveling as a retiree in the 1980s. There are photographs of her time in Louisville in her youth, as well as the decades which she spent living in Richmond, VA, up until her move back to Louisville in 2002. Hattie was an extremely active and social individual. From her time spent with her sorority sisters (Delta Sigma Theta) and fellow churchgoers, to her multitude of adult friendships and travel companions, she valued her relationships and hobbies. Folders 10-16 document her travels exclusively, which were often achieved by taking multi-day bus tours, sometimes organized through her church groups. Folders 12-16 are specific trips which have been culled from dismantled albums.

These folders group together everyone in the Morton line, excepting the oldest sibling of Clifford Sr. and Hattie, Thelma Hammonds. The last folder in this series documents Hattie and her sister Thelma together, but Thelma’s individual folder is grouped together with her husband’s family, the Hammonds, in Series 3.

Folder 5: Clifford Ivanhoe Morton, Sr., ca. 1940-1960

This folder contains a small group of photographs of Clifford Ivanhoe Morton, Sr. There are two photos of Clifford, Sr. in his role as a postman in 1948, and one photo of him later in life with his wife and son.

Folder 6: Clifford Ivanhoe Morton, Jr., ca. 1943-1989

This folder contains photographs of Clifford, Jr. from his infancy to adulthood. In many of the photographs, he is posing alongside his father, Clifford, Sr., and his mother, Christina. There is also a short series of photos of an adult Clifford, Jr. with his wife.

Folder 7: Hattie Marie Morton, ca. 1940s-1960s

Folder 8: Hattie Marie Morton, ca. 1970s-1990s

Folder 9: Hattie Marie Morton, ca. 1990s-2010s

There are several photographs of the Class Reunion of the Central High School Classes of 1935.5 and 1936.

Folder 10: Hattie Marie Morton’s Travels, ca. 1973-1986

This folder contains photographs, mainly taken aboard cruise ships, of Hattie Marie Morton while traveling. Some of the photos are still in their original booklets. The destinations include New Orleans, Norfolk, San Juan, St. Thomas, and Nassau.

Folder 11: Hattie on the MS Skyward, ca.1975-1980

Folder 12: Trailways Tours New England, ca. July 1971

Sampling removed from album. This tour ran from July 19-25, 1971.

Folder 13: Missionary Circle Nova Scotia Trip, ca. July 1975

Sampling removed from album.

Folder 14: North/South Carolina and Disney Trip, ca. 1977

Sampling removed from album.

Folder 15: Tennessee Travels, ca. 1980s

Sampling removed from album. This folder contains photographs of Hattie Morton, Thelma Hammonds, and Elmer Lucille Allen all on a trip to Gatlinburg Tennessee. During the visit, they attended a pottery class.

Folder 16: Richmond Church Picnic and Hattie’s Move to Louisville, ca. 2002

Sampling removed from album. This folder contains photographs of an outdoor picnic which Hattie attended with her fellow churchgoers in Richmond, possibly as a goodbye.

Folder 17: Hattie and Thelma, ca. 1960-2000s


Series 3: Hammonds Family Photographs, ca. 1910s-2010s

This series documents the Hammonds family, beginning with Thelma, the wife of Elmer J. Hammonds, and ending with his daughter Elmer Lucille Allen. The first folder in the series, Folder 18, documents members of the family who do not have enough photographs to qualify for an entire folder for themselves. This includes the parents of Elmer J. Hammonds, as well as his aunt, uncle, and cousins. This folder contains the oldest photographs of the Hammonds family which we have in this collection.

Thelma Morton married Elmer J. Hammonds, Sr., in 1959. The two never had children, but they spent much of their life surrounded by family, including Elmer’s daughter from his first marriage to Ophelia Guinn, Elmer Lucille Allen, and Thelma’s younger sister, Hattie Morton. Thelma and Elmer, Sr., remained together until he passed in December of 1987. Elmer left behind two daughters, Elmer Lucille and Mary Elizabeth, as well as a son, Elmer J. Hammonds, Jr. After Elmer’s passing, Thelma moved into the Treyton Oak Apartments in Old Louisville, where she lived out the rest of her life with her sister Hattie.

Elmer Lucille Allen is featured more heavily in the collection than her siblings and is especially present in photographs dating from the 1990s-2020s. She frequently appears beside her stepmother and step-aunt.

Folder 18: Hammonds Family, ca. 1910s- 1930s

This folder contains photographs of members of the Hammonds family, including Elmer Hammonds, Sr. and his parents Emma and Will, as well as his Uncle Charles and Aunt Martha. Another identified family member is A. C. Sissel, the son of Martha Hammonds.

Folder 19: Thelma Hammonds, ca. 1930s – 1990s

This folder contains photographs of Thelma Hammonds and documents her life from young adulthood into middle age. There is one photograph of Thelma in a graduation cap, and multiple Evans Studio portraits of her. Also included are images of her with her siblings Hattie and Clifford.

Folder 20: Thelma Hammonds, ca. 1990s-2010s

Many of the photographs of Thelma in her later years are taken at Treyton Oaks. She is often pictured alongside friends and family, and in particular her sister Hattie Marie.

Folder 21: Thelma’s 100th Birthday Party, ca. 2004

Sampling removed from album. This folder contains photographs of Thelma’s 100th birthday party, which was thrown for her at Treyton Oaks. It was attended by Hattie Morton and Elmer Lucille Allen, as well as other unidentified family and friends.

Folder 22: Elmer Hammonds, Sr., ca. 1930s – 1980s

This folder contains photographs of Elmer Hammonds, Sr. There are solo photographs of Elmer, Sr., from his young adulthood up into his elder years. There are three large photographs of the Epicurean Club, a men’s club which Elmer Sr. belonged to.

Folder 23: Elmer, Sr. and Thelma Hammonds, ca. 1959-1985

This folder contains photographs of Elmer Hammonds, Sr. and his wife Thelma. There are two copies of a photograph depicting the couple cutting the cake at their 1959 wedding and one with Elmer, Sr. daughter Elmer Lucille.

Folder 24: Elmer Lucille Allen, ca. 1960s-2010s

This folder contains photographs of Elmer Lucille Allen, the daughter of Elmer Hammonds, Sr. She is pictured both alone and with family members and friends. Elmer Lucille was close with her stepmother Thelma, and her step-aunt Hattie Marie. There is a small run of photographs of Elmer Lucille attending a craft show with an unidentified friend.

Folder 25: Elmer Lucille Allen’s 82nd Birthday, ca. 2003

Sampling removed from album. Elmer poses with family and friends. Several unidentified people could be her adult children.

Folder 26: Hammond’s Family, ca. 1960-1980

Sampling removed from album. Photos feature Thelma and Elmer Hammonds, Hattie Morton, and Elmer Lucille Allen.


Series 4: Evans Family Photographs, ca. 1910s-2000s

This series contains photographs of identified members of the Evans family, as well as photographs of unidentified African Americans who had their photographs taken in the Evans Photography Studio.

Arthur P. Evans Sr. was a pioneer photographer in the first half of the 20th century in Louisville. He graduated from Fisk University and was a charter member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He was also a devout member of the Quinn Chapel AME Church, which he attended alongside his Aunt Thelma. He owned and operated the Evans Studio from at least the early 1920s until his retirement in 1945, when he passed it along to his only child, Arthur P. Evans Jr.

Evans Jr. ran the photography studio until 1970. He was simultaneously the executive director of the City-County Youth Commission (1965-1970). In 1970, he became an administrator of the Louisville office of the Kentucky Department of Economic Security. Most of the photographs of Evans Sr. and Evans Jr. are taken in a studio setting.

There are more personal, day-to-day photographs of the Evans Family in the dismantled album 5 folders 45-46.

Folder 27: Evans Family, ca. 1940-1970

This folder contains photographs of Arthur Evans Sr., Arthur Evans Jr., Joanna Evans, and other relatives and grandchildren.

Folder 28: Unidentified Evans Studio photos, ca. 1910-1940s


Series 5: Miscellaneous Events and Locations

This series contains miscellaneous photographs, some of which have been grouped together if they are from the same event and/or location.

Quinn Chapel AME is a historic institution in the city of Louisville. The original building was built in the 1860s, and as the congregation grew it was moved to a newer and larger location on 1901 West Muhammad Ali Blvd in the early 2000s. Both the Evan family and the Hammond-Morton’s attended this church.

The Treyton Oak Towers were built in 1982 at 211 West Oak Street. They provide both independent living and assisted living. These photographs document the time which Hattie Morton and Thelma Hammonds spent living at the Treyton Oak Apartments. They attended many holiday parties, birthday celebrations, and other social events while living there.

Folder 29: Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, ca. 1979-1994

There are a series of photographs of a “Healing Group” meeting, as well as a series depicting the painting of the church in 1979. These photos features Thelma and Elmer Hammonds prominently.

Folder 30: Altar Guild Party for Hattie, ca. 2002

Sampling removed from album. Hattie Morton was a member of the Altar Guild at Quinn Chapel AME.

Folder 31: Treyton Oaks, ca. 2003-2011

This folder contains photographs of Thelma and Hattie at Treyton Oaks, many dated.

Folder 32: Treyton Oaks, ca.2000-2020

This folder contains photographs of Thelma and Hattie at Treyton Oaks, which do not have known dates.

Folder 33: Snapshots, ca. 1940s – 1970s

Miscellaneous snapshot format photos of unidentified individuals. There is a series depicting the “Alpha Coffee Hour”. There are also photographs of the Ohio river frozen over in the 1940s.

Folder 34: Miscellaneous, ca. 1930s-2010s

Miscellaneous photos of people and places who have not yet been identified. It is likely that many of these people are family members who sent their photos to the Morton’s or Hammonds families. There are two photographs of an unidentified woman posing with Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou at an unidentified 2001 event.


Series 6: Dismantled Albums

There were six albums in this collection which were made of corrosive materials, and therefore a sampling was removed from each album and divided into the folders below. There is a PDF which has been printed and placed with the materials which document each full album’s pages in order, prior to selection.

The deconstructed albums contain typical family album materials, candid and posed photographs of family events, dinners, holidays, and everyday life. Images of note will be listed below each album.

Albums 1-4 deal mostly with the Hammonds and Morton families. Album 5 represents the Evans family, with the occasional appearance of their Morton relatives.

Album 1 (Folders 35-36): Hammond’s Family, ca. 1970s

Album 2 (Folders 37-39): Hammond’s Family, ca. 1950s -1980s

This album includes interior shots of a family home, possibly that of Thelma and Elmer Hammonds. In particular, the home is featured in folder 39.

Album 3 (Folders 40-42): Hammonds Family/Hattie Morton in Richmond, ca. 1960s-1990s

This album contains photographs of Hattie Morton from her time living in Richmond, VA. There is one photo in Folder 41 of the 1993 “Recognition of Senior Volunteers” ceremony for the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. There is a run of photos of the 1990s wedding of a family member or friend.

Another run of photos in folder 42 depicts the ground-breaking ceremony for an add-on to St. Phillip Episcopal Church on the corner of Hane and West Essex in Richmond, VA. This is likely the church which Hattie Morton attended while living there.

Album 4 (Folders 43-44): Hammonds Family/Hattie Morton in Richmond ca. 1950s-1980s

Album 5 (Folders 45-46): Evans Family, ca. 1970s


Series 7: Photograph Albums

There are five albums in the collection which have been left intact, either due to the high-quality of the entire album, or because the images were fully adhered to in the album. They are in Box 2 of the collection.

Albums 6-9 contain photographs of members of both the Hammonds and Morton family and are put together somewhat randomly. They span multiple decades, and do not have one central theme besides the documentation of family events.

Album 10 follows a trip which Hattie Marie Morton took in the summer of 1967. During this time, she still resided in Richmond, Virginia. The trip left Richmond on August 3rd and returned August 22nd. The group traveled by bus, stopping in hotels each night. The only identifiable person in this album is Hattie, but it can be assumed that she was traveling with friends or perhaps her Church group. Some of the destination cities which the bus stopped in on this trip included Chicago, Omaha, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vagas, and Albuquerque. The original itinerary is on the first page of the album. The front and back covers of the album are decorated with postcards that Hattie purchased during the trip.

Album 6:  Hammonds/Morton Families, ca. 1930s-1970s

This album contains multiple images of a young Elmer Lucille Allen.

Album 7: Hammonds/Morton Families, ca. 1920s-1970s

This album contains one image of Elmer Lucille Allen during her early years working as a chemist at Brown-Forman.

Album 8: Hammonds/Morton, ca. 1940s-1970s

This album contains a newspaper clipping showing Hattie Marie Morton, and celebrating her promotion to “senior social work supervisor”.

Album 9: Hammonds/Morton, ca. 1970s-1980s

Album 10: Hattie Morton’s Trip to the West, ca. 1967


Series 8: Oversized

One oversized reproduction photograph was removed and placed in Oversized Boxed Collection. Photograph of Ophelia Helen Hammonds and Ella Edelen Guinn standing in front of 611 East Finzer Street, Louisville, KY, September 1955.