He is listed as "Josef Tolotschko." He was 21 years old, was a photographer, and had been living in Bialystock "Russia". His father's name was David Tolotschko. New York was his final destination. He had paid for his own passage. He had never been in the US before. He was going to his cousin Itzel Levin's who lived at 12 Jefferson Street in New York. He swore that he was not a polygamist nor an anarchist, and that both his physical and mental health was good. He could both read and write. He was single. He had $12.00 with him. He had never been in prison or an almshouse. He was not crippled or deformed. He had a fair complexion, was 5 feet 7 inches tall with black hair and brown eyes. His body had no identifying marks.
The 1910 Census shows him as "Joseph Toloff" living in Philadelphia and working at his craft of photography. He said his occupation was photographer in a "Picture Parlor". His native tongue was Yiddish, but he was also fluent in English. He said that he had emigrated in 1900 and that he was a naturalized citizen (neither of which was true). He was living as a boarder at 410 South Ninth Street, in Philadelphia. He said years later that his big break came when he began working for "Mr. (Elias) Goldensky of Philadelphia who is without question one of the most able and versatile photographers in America."
|616 Hinman Avenue, Evanston|
and his studio was at 1623 Orrington (where the State National Bank Plaza is today).
He mentioned on his registration form that he was the sole support of both his mother and his father, but war was war, and that did not keep him out of the Service. He enlisted in the United States naval reserves as chief instructor of a school of serial photography to be established at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station.
|516-520 Davis Street, Evanston|
Studio Light Magazine, the Eastman Kodak magazine for professional photographers from May, 1925 featured Toloff and his new studio.
Although Toloff's only living relative was still back in Evanston, he was buried in the military graveyard in Andersonville, Georgia. It is amazing that, after all these years, Toloff's sister, Helen Toloff Ray was still living at 616 Hinman in Evanston. Here is a photo of Joseph Toloff's grave:
Thanks also to Feliks Woroszylski for his help with the original family name.