We finally have a date confimed by a city historian! This amazing picture of the original house was taken in 1867!! The historian said that date has to be within one 1 year!
This was confirmed through census reports and death records. The little boy in the picture (in a dress) is about 3 years old. In the 1870 census he was 5 years old. The death records were used to find the true ages of the family in the census report. The historian said they could be off, but according to records, they are correct. I also learned that the Marter family was considered well to do because they had $1887 in property and $525 in assets. According to the historian this was really good at that time. Unfortunately there were virtually no records kept outside the city limits, so the "official" date of the new house is still 1890 until we can find a builder, tax record, or some other kind of documentation showing otherwise. The house that we live in is not the house in the picture. But the house in the picture may be part of the house we live in. If that makes any sense.