Itinerant artist Ferdinand A. Brader (1833-1901) gained commissions via referrals and often created drawings in exchange for room and board. He began his career in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and later traveled to Ohio; this work was created in Stark County, Ohio, a community where the artist frequently worked. The Heisa farm is documented in an 1896 map of the region, and Brader drawings have also been connected with several of the adjacent farms, showing that he was a well-known documenter of the area (per research conducted by Kathleen Wieschaus-Voss for Ohio's Canton Museum of Art, The Legacy of Ferdinand A. Brader, 4 December 2014 - 15 March 2015).
Henry (1847-1916) and Priscilla Tritt (1852-1928) Heisa had four children, all of whom would have been born at the time this drawing was created, though none appears to be pictured. However, Brader’s work was quite faithful to reality, so the male and female figures depicted through the piece would have been true to the age of the proprietors and frequent visitors. By the same token, the numbers and types of animals likely would have reflected those actually on the farm. The two men, rendered in the lower left of the drawing, are seen frequently in Brader’s pieces, and scholars believe they represent the artist and the owner of the farm discussing the terms around the artist’s commission. A dog accompanies these figures only in the works made in 1888 and 1889. Brader carefully numbered his drawings, and the highest number recorded is 980. This is one of 216 known extant works. For more information about the artist, see Kathleen Wieschaus-Voss, ed., The Legacy of Ferdinand A. Brader (Ohio, 2015).