Although wearing a dress, the haircut suggests a little boy. Given the time frame of the photo it would not be unusual for a boy to be attired in dresses, more for the ease of “potty training,” up until the ages between five and as late as age eight. Breeching was a rite of passage for a little boy, who would have moved up to wearing breeches once he was able to deal with the complicated fastenings associated with breeches or trousers of the day. Usually accompanied by a small celebration, breeching marked the time when fathers would normally begin to take a more active role in the lives of their small boys.
This photo is part of a large collection of photos with the surnames Flansburg and McAfee. View more from this collection here.