Title: Uncle Ben Wiley, The Oldest Citizen in Chattanooga, William Stokes, 1890

Catalog Number: 2017.034.0001

Date (Years): 1890


An older African American man, Ben Wiley, has parked his donkey and cart in front of 520 Market Street. A merchant looks out of the entrance of a darkened storefront. A sign in the window says “Secondhand Watches & Jewelry Bought & Sold.” Another storefront window contains a banjo, violin, a guitar, and various other small items. Directly behind Mr. Wiley is a sandwich sign promoting Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth. The word “FRIDAY” is barely legible at the bottom of the poster. Beyond is a sign that reads, “Boots & Shoes Made to Order, Repairing Neatly & Promptly Done, J. M. Odonald.” Signs on the power poll promote tobacco and cologne.

“”Uncle” Ben Wiley, The oldest citizen of Chattanooga. W. H. Stokes, 1890″ written on image.

An attribution for non-commerce use is required when utilizing images in this collection.  Please use the  “Courtesy of Picnooga” and link to this website whenever possible.  Members of the media or inquiries about commercial use, please contact us directly by using the “Ask a question” button in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

You are free to:

Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format

Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material

The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

Under the following terms:

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.


You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.

No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.

URL for this statement: