Louise Cosby

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Portrait photograph of Louise Cosby in formal attire, taken by Rufus W. Holsinger at an unknown date. Reproduced from Vinegar Hill Magazine.

Louise "Lula" Fawcett Cosby (1875 - 1945) was a Black woman who lived in Charlottesville during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her portrait photograph, along with that of her husband John Cosby, forms a part of the Holsinger Studio Collection.


Cosby was born in Virginia in 1875. She was able to read and write from a young age and worked as a seamstress and dressmaker in Charlottesville for over two decades, eventually opening her own shop there. She married her husband John, a local hotel waiter, in 1893, remaining married to him until his death in 1930. As of 1929, they were both still living in Charlottesville.

At an unknown date, Cosby had a portrait photograph of her in formal attire taken by Rufus W. Holsinger, with this photograph forming a part of the Holsinger Studio Collection. This photograph was featured in the “Visions of Progress: Portraits of Dignity, Style and Racial Uplift” exhibit of Holsinger's photographs that was on display at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library from 2022-2023.

Cosby died in 1945.[1]