Joseph Slocum Bibbins (J.S. Bibbins) was born in 1821 and is verified to be living in Newark, Illinois in 1840. He stays in Newark for most of his life, dying in Plano, Illinois in 1891. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, from 1866–1881 had their headquarters in Plano, Illinois, which is in Kendall County, ten miles apart. The man who sold this photograph to me claimed to have a “Smith Family Photo Album” with many Smith’s descendants from places that Joseph Smith lived before his death, Illinois and Missouri. I bought one other image, possibly could be another member of the family, but is being analyzed before I want to state who that is. Most of the images from the Smith Family album, the seller said were sold almost a decade before I contacted him, or knew him.
History of the RLDS Church in Plano link:
Bibbins gravestone: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/28174326/joseph-bibbins
J.S. Bibbin's family history is very fascinating. He and his brothers and sisters all grew up in Pennsylvania, born in various towns, as his father, Elisha Bibbins, was a Methodist Circuit Rider. They came to Kendall County (Newark, Illinois) in 1838. A detailed on description of the Bibbins lineage found here website: www.coltechpub.com/hartgen/htm/bibbins.htm
and here: kendallkin.org/databases/1390/A,showall/6.html
Emma Smith possibly Knew the Photographer's Father? Possibly.
I was googling J.S. Bibbins and found an article by Mark Staker, which details how an Elisha Bibbins was a circuit rider in Pennsylvania in 1812. Staker details Emma Smith, as a little girl, praying in the woods with Methodists of her time, Elisha Bibbins is mentioned as being her mentor, of sorts, who was the circuit rider in Pennsylvania around the same time, leading me to wonder if they are the same man and that there is a family connection between this "photographic artist" and Emma Smith. Emma Smith visited her sons in Plano, in the late 1860s, she possibly may have ran into the Bibbins Family and decided to have her husband's image reprinted onto a paper CDV, by someone she trusted.
I found most of sources Staker references, online and linked below. According to Coltechpub website, linked above, Elisha Bibbins married in 1814, which is when there was a new methodist circuit rider in Harmony. J.S. Bibbin’s father becomes a circuit rider for Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, near Scranton PA, where all ancestry records show Elisha died in 1859, visiting “friends”. Now I understand that state from the article below, as Scranton area was where Bibbins started to settle down, get married and started having a large family. The records show that there was only one Methodist Circuit rider named Elisha Bibbins and the whereabouts mentioned in the historical records of the great influential teacher of Emma Smith, is the same Elisha that fathered my photographic artist Joseph Slocum Bibbins.
Scholarly article, by Mark Staker: http://mormonhistoricsites.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Isaac-andElizabeth-Hale.pdf
Elisha Bibbins was the Methodist Circuit Rider, in Harmony Pennsylvania, when a young Emma Smith (1812), a devout attendee and knew him personally:
Elisha is listed as the circuit rider in Luzerne County, eastern PA in 1814:
Mormon Presence in Newark, Illinois, during Joseph Smith's lifetime
The Joseph Smith Journals mention Newark, Illinois, before Joseph Smith's death. May 1844- there was a Political Meeting in Newark Illinois.
May 18th, 1844:
"Newark, Kendall Co., Ill., May 18th. 1844.
"Conference convened... several branches was called for, when the following branches were represented as follows:
"Newark branch, 35 members..." [first meeting with the Saints in Newark, then with the public for the political meeting].
“...20th. We have appointed a political meeting in Newark, this evening, and one at Juliet tomorrow evening; where we expect to present to the citizens, General Smith’s views of the powers and policy of the government, and discuss the subject of politics..." www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838-1856-volume-f-1-1-may-1844-8-august-1844/58
Newark was a place where there were quite a few LDS Members. In 1844, Joseph Slocum Bibbins was in his early 20s, he could have taken Joseph Smith Junior's photograph or he could have done a reprint for a family member, such as was done with Emma Smith's 1845 photograph (reprinted, see below)... Eventually ending up in a “Smith Family Photo Album”.
I found a few other 1800s photographs done by J.S. Bibbins where he doesn't state "photograph artist" again, the backgrounds and lighting don't match my 1840s Illinois Man's, the quality is drastically different... Images below, all state: "photographer"- which gives me the opinion the change from "photographer" to "photographic artist" might be because he didn't want to stamp "photographer" on 1840s Illinois Man's Image because he was not the actual "photographer" but the "photographic artist"- or someone who reprinted an older image from a negative/daguerreotype.