Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Following Paul Hadley's Footsteps, Part Dix

Another Paul Hadley painting on display at my Library is "Portrait of Young Man."

Click Photos to Bigify


This watercolor was donated to MPL by long-time Morgan County historian Becky Hardin (1908-1995).  In her biography of Paul Hadley, Hardin identified the subject of the painting as "A. M. Sayler," a law student:

  • "[Paul Hadley's] portrait of a young law student, A. M. Sayler, won sweepstakes at the Indiana State Fair.  It was judged 'for excellence in technique in medium used.'  (It is difficult to paint portraits with water color.)"  [Hardin, Becky, The Indiana State Flag: Its Designer (Biography of Paul Hadley with Anthology of his Paintings), p. 22 (1976). Click here to find links to read a digital copy of this fine biography.]

Try as we might, we have been unable to locate A. M. Sayler in the historical record.  Hadley probably painted the portrait between 1920-1940, so, given his appearance in the painting, A. M. Sayler was probably born no earlier than 1890 and no later than 1920.  No matches were found in the Indiana Roll of Attorneys or alumni records for Indiana University's law schools.

We found several persons named A. M. Sayler (under various first names--mostly Arthur) in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), U.S. Censuses, and other information available through Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest Online (see links on our website), but they were unlikely candidates, because of age (born too soon or too late), education (e.g., 8th grade or less), occupation (not lawyers, although, admittedly, A. M. Sayler might not have been practicing law when the 1920-1940 censuses were taken), or other discrepant details.

We did, however, discover an attorney named Sayler who would have been the correct age and location, although his middle name doesn't begin with M.

Arthur Daily Sayler (1894-1955)
Attorney at Law

Arthur D. Sayler was born and lived much of his life in Huntington, Indiana, taking over his father's law practice there when his father passed in 1920.  In 1917 he received his bachelor of laws (Ll.B.) degree (equivalent to a modern American doctor of jurisprudence [J.D.] degree) from the Indiana University Law School in Indianapolis.  That would have placed him in the vicinity of Paul Hadley, who operated a studio on the fifth floor of the Union Trust Building, East Market Street, Indianapolis (1921-1939) and worked at Herron Art Institute during the late 1920's to mid-1930's.

There is, of course, only one supreme obstacle to this theory.  Well, two obstacles, really:

  • Hardin identified Hadley's portrait subject as "A. M. Sayler." This could have been an error, but knowing how thoroughly Hardin researched history, I doubt it.
  • The photo of Arthur D. Sayler does not much resemble the painting of A. M. Sayler.  That one's a deal-breaker, I'm afraid.

Frankly, we're stumped.  We haven't come close to exhausting historical and genealogical information, but we have invested enough time to know when it's time to move along.

Wherever you may be, A. M. Sayler, we raise our paws in salute to you. Hadley's portrait is fantastic.  He really captured the essential A. M.  Too bad we didn't get to know you better.

In our next Hadley adventure, we'll journey along the East Fork of White Lick Creek to find another landscape Paul Hadley captured in watercolor.




Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

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