I like a lot of solid evidence, any historian does, so this makes me nervous. Prof. S. N. Christie, of the 1888 Eastman Business College, pictured here, is probably the man I will describe below. His identity hinges on one census record that describes the man in my hypothesis. He is also the only man that comes up – there were not a plethora of S. N. Christies in Poughkeepsie. So, assuming my hypothesis is right, this is likely your guy.
S. N. is Samuel N. Christie. Born in 1849 in Maine – although his birthplace appears as PA once and NY once, other than than ME it is! The census record I’m placing all my hope on is the 1880 Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, New York federal census. This is the closest federal census to the date of the class photo and unfortunately the 1892 NY census records don’t extend to Dutchess county. In 1880 Mr. Christie is about 30 living with his wife Rosella and two small children Mabel and Frederick. And here’s the real hinge, he’s listed as a teacher. Ok, good possibility!
Unfortunately “Professor” Christie had a change of heart at some point and became an insurance salesman. EVERY OTHER document he appears in have his occupation listed as Insurance agent or salesman – son Harvey went into the biz too. Samuel died in 1923 in Connecticut, as did much of his family, daughter Mabel, son-in-law Henry, wife Rosella, probably his son’s but I couldn’t confirm that.
So there it is, my weak argument – I’m hopeful a family member can shed light on him and confirm the identity.