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Bluffton pioneer photographer, Will A. Triplett, had an interesting sense of humor. This photo is a photographer's "set up."
There are several items to check.
For example, the colt on the ground is playing dead, the boy in the chair holds the horse harness, but so does the dog - also sitting in a chair - behind the boy.
There are probably other set ups in this photo and unfortunately the joke is on us, because people of 2012 may not see what else is going on in the photo.
For example, the man on the right. What's going on with him...his pose, his outfit. I think the photograph and people and animals in this scene have the last laugh, and it's on us.
I also believe that Will's grandson, Ropp Triplett, could probably pull off a joke like this today and we may all be gullible enough to believe it.