Delilah (Rich) Waychoff [1827-1882]



Delilah (Rich) Waychoff [1827-1882]


Circa 1880. Charcoal enlargement from photograph, believed to be of Delilah (Rich) Waychoff [1827-1882] - wife of Johnson Waychoff.

This identification has been made based on the following research analysis and provenance:

In 2016, Mary Ann Nixon McPherson sent to Courtney Dennis, Associate Director of the Waynesburg University Paul R. Stewart Museum, a framed portrait from the Waychoff family. Ms. McPherson's grandmother Anna Mae (Waychoff) Nixon had shared fond memories of a family connection to the school. Collaborative research between Ms. Dennis and Waychoff family historian Howard Hickman, confirmed that Anna Mae (Waychoff) Nixon was a daughter of William Franklin Waychoff, and furthermore a niece of Andrew Jackson Waychoff who had in fact been an early graduate (Class of 1873) and a professor at Waynesburg College (now Waynesburg University).

The family ties increase as one continues to study the family tree. These boys had a sister, Lana Margaret (Waychoff) Stewart, whose husband Ezra DeGarmo Stewart was also a graduate and professor at Waynesburg. The Stewarts' son, Paul Rich Stewart, also was a graduate, professor, and ultimately long-time president at Waynesburg. The school's museum is named in his honor.

However, based on photo comparisons, and analysis of the subject's age at the approximate date the portrait was made, none of these relatives were determined to be the man in the portrait. Alternatively, through a positive photo comparison and appropriate age/date match to the portrait, Howard Hickman was able to suggest that the portrait subject is actually the father of the Waychoff siblings, Johnson Waychoff [1823-1893]. This identity is appropriate since Johnson would be a direct line ancestor of Ms. McPherson.

Since this identification eliminated a direct tie to Waynesburg University, the portrait did not fit into the museum's collection policy due to limited space and resources. As a result, Ms. Dennis offered to help Ms. McPherson find it another home. The portrait was transferred to Candice Lynn Buchanan for the Greene Connections: Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project by Waynesburg University Paul R. Stewart Museum Associate Director Courtney Dennis, on behalf of Mary Ann Nixon McPherson, 1 August 2016.

In order to scan the Johnson Waychoff image for Greene Connections, the frame was carefully taken apart for temporary access to the picture. Upon doing so, it was discovered that a second portrait, that of a woman, now believed to be Johnson's wife, Delilah (Rich) Waychoff [1827-1882], was found behind Johnson's portrait. The two images being stored together in this way, provide context that obviously serves as a first clue for consideration when determining the woman's identity, nevertheless, each image has still been evaluated independently to assure the identifications seem accurate. Delilah's portrait has likewise been studied against a photo comparison and age/date analysis, and through both of these tests has been found to be a very appropriate match.

Neither portrait notes a photographer, though directions for the enlargements are scribbled on the backs.

Both portraits are now in the possession of Candice Lynn Buchanan who shared them with the Greene Connections: Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project in 2016.


Candice Lynn Buchanan (collection)
Miscellaneous (series)




Candice Lynn Buchanan (collection) and Miscellaneous (series), “Delilah (Rich) Waychoff [1827-1882],” Greene Connections, accessed September 19, 2018,

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