Contributing Photographers in the Digital Collections

While the vast majority of photographs in the Sonoma County Digital Collections were created by unknown photographers, a few photographers and studios are well represented. This growing list provides brief profiles of photographers from our collections. Entries also include links to the New York Public Library's Photographers’ Identities Catalog when available.

 

A

Anderson, Hugh, 1826-1900

Born in Scotland in 1826, Hugh made his way to California by 1850 where he tried his hand in the gold fields. By 1858 he was working at the Daguerrean Gallery in Eureka, Humboldt County, California. He was naturalized a US citizen on March 9, 1860 in Humboldt County. He soon opened his Anderson’s Gallery on G Street in Eureka. In 1866, the business name was changed to the Eureka Photographic Gallery. He married Amanda J. Connor (1838-1919) on June 10, 1867, when he was 42 years of age. The 1869 San Francisco Directory placed him in San Francisco where he operated the Sunbeam Gallery at 649 Clay Street. The 1871 Voter Registration of Sonoma County listed him as residing in the Mendocino Township under the occupation of artist. By 1875 he was established as the proprietor and photographer of the Sunbeam Gallery located on Main Street in Petaluma, California. Two years later, he returned to San Francisco where he maintained a gallery at 506 Valencia Street between 1879 and 1891. He also did photography across the San Francisco Bay in the city of Alameda, Alameda County, California. In 1891 he turned to the manufacturing of photographic cameras at 225 Bush Street in San Francisco. He finally retired from photography about 1896 and dabbled in real estate. He died on February 1, 1900 in San Francisco and was buried in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo County, California.

 

PIC #312859 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/312859)

B

Borba, William S. "Bill"

 

William S. "Bill" Borba (1886-1971) was the son of Portuguese immigrant parents who moved from Alameda to Sebastopol in 1893 with their family of eleven children. As a boy, he earned money through a variety of jobs ranging from picking blackberries to walking cows. By age 22, he'd earned enough money to start his own business--a stationery store. He became a dealer for Victor Talking Machines in 1923, later adding radios to his stock (and earning his nickname "Radio Bill"). He further added Kodak cameras to his offerings when they were introduced. After he sold his business in 1944, he pursued his hobby as an amateur historian active in the local Native Sons of the Golden West parlor and built an archive of historical photos of Sebastopol. He later passed his archive on to fellow Native Son Ed Trigiero, whose collection forms the core of the Western Sonoma County Historical Society's West County Museum.

 

 

 

C

Camhi, Morrie

 

He was known for intense, probing portraits and he was also a teacher and businessman.

Morrie Camhi (1928-1999) was a Petaluma photographer who documented Jewish communities around the world as well as the people and places of his hometown. He was known for intense, probing portraits and he was also a teacher and businessman.

 

 

 

 

Carpenter, Aurelius O. (Aurelius Ormando), 1836-1919

Aurelius O. Carpenter was one of the most talented early photographers to set up shop in Mendocino County. Carpenter's adventurous spirit, work ethic, and artistic abilities provide important visual documentation of the region's development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His large panoramic views chronicle the logging, tanbark, and shipping industries, which dominated the coast as well as the inland regions bounty of natural attractions and agricultural endeavors. He also produced an important body of photographs depicting Pomo Indian individuals and communities, as well as portraits of Carpenter-Hudson family members and other early white residents.

Cole, Walter Keith

Walter Keith Cole founded Keith Cole Studios, Inc. in California in 1953. He first located his photography studio in Redwood City, San Mateo County, California in 1946. After incorporation, he owned studios in San Carlos, Redwood City, and San Mateo, California, as well as, studios in Minneapolis and Baltimore for 40 years. He was born on June 3, 1918 to Walter Ellis Cole and Gladys McCoy Cole in Lanesboro, Carroll County, Iowa. In the 1930’s he lived in Minneapolis, but by the 1940 had relocated to Berkeley, California where he as a photography salesman. During World War II he served as a US Marine Corp photographer in China. After the war, He married Geraldine Evans. The couple were Bay Area residents for over 60 years and active in community affairs. He died at his home in Redwood City October 9, 2000 at the age of 82.

 

PIC #358122 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/358122)

 

Colvin, Thomas Floyd

Thomas Floyd Colvin operated Cee Jay Photo at his home at 412 Bodega Avenue, Petaluma, California.

Cummings, O. G.

Very little information could be found for photographer O. G. Cummings. The 1906 Directory of Berkeley, Alameda County, California listed him as a photographer located at 2124 Shattuck Avenue. By 1911 he had moved to Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California conducting business out of his home at 507 Tucker Street. He move his photography business to 1119 10th Street, Sacramento, California by 1914. In 1920 he was employed by the Department of Sacramento Schools. He was the supervisor of visual instruction at the Bret Harte Elementary School in 1921 and was listed that same year as Sacramento Teaching Personnel. He retired on June 30, 1940, at age 65, from Sacramento Junior College where he was a visual aide. On this information he was born about 1875. When he died is unknown, however, his widow Anna M. Cummings was living in Sacramento in 1968.

 

Sources: City Directories of Berkeley, Santa Rosa, and Sacramento, California
Sacramento Union, October 29, 1920, p 8
Sacramento Union, March 22, 1921, P 6 and August 29, 1921 p 1
The Express, April 24, 1940, p 2

D

Davidson, Norvell Rice, 1838-1921

Born in Iowa in July of 1838, Norvell traveled with his parents Jacob Ellis Davidson (1801-1884) and Mary Bowles Winn Davidson (1804-1883) across the plains from Jackson County, Missouri to California. The Davidsons settled in Sonoma County, California in 1852. Norvell lived with his parents in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. About 1870 he began his career as a traveling photographer. He maintained a studio on Powell Street, Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California in 1874, but shortly moved to Eureka, Humboldt County, California by 1876. He was listed as a photographer in Ferndale, Humboldt County in 1877. He married Mary Isabelle Mills (1856-1914) in 1879 and settled in Douglas Township, San Joaquin County, California by 1880 with their only child Norvella Davidson who was 10 months old. Norvell and family returned to Santa Rosa by 1886 and he established a studio at 219 Fourth Street in that city. Norvall and Mary remained in Santa Rosa until about 1908 when he was listed as retired in Berkeley, Alameda County, California. Norvell was described as a capitalist, living at 2519 College Avenue, Berkeley. Norvell died in Alameda County on December 3, 1921. His obituary stated he had amassed competent finances due to good investments. His wife Mary Isabelle preceded him, dying on July 10, 1914. They are buried together in Sunset View Cemetery, El Cerrito, Contra Costa County, California.

 

Sources: US Census Records
California Voter Registrations
California Death Index
Find a Grave.com
Obituary-Santa Rosa Democrat, December 10, 1921, p 3
Biographies of Western Photographers, Carl Mautz, Carl Mautz Publishing, Nevada City, California, 1997

Decker, George, 1888-1943

George A. Decker was an expert photographer and owned one of the largest studio in the North Bay. He was assisted by his photographer wife, Shirley Decker at the Decker & Decker Studio. Between 1926 and 1940 the studio was located at 170 Main Street, Petaluma. In 1942 the studio was moved to 129 Kentucky Street, Petaluma. George was born in New York City and educated as a pharmacist. This profession was not to his liking. Moving to Los Angeles, George began his career in photography. After Los Angeles he settled in Bakersfield, and finally in Petaluma where he and Shirley were highly regarded for their work. George died in 1943 from a heart condition. Shirley capably ran the studio after his death until it was sold to Kenneth and Anna Grimm in 1954. The Decker & Decker Studio served the Petaluma area for 35 years.

Decker, Shirley, 1895-

George A. Decker was an expert photographer and owned one of the largest studio in the North Bay. He was assisted by his photographer wife, Shirley Decker at the Decker & Decker Studio. Between 1926 and 1940 the studio was located at 170 Main Street, Petaluma. In 1942 the studio was moved to 129 Kentucky Street, Petaluma. George was born in New York City and educated as a pharmacist. This profession was not to his liking. Moving to Los Angeles, George began his career in photography. After Los Angeles he settled in Bakersfield, and finally in Petaluma where he and Shirley were highly regarded for their work. George died in 1943 from a heart condition. Shirley capably ran the studio after his death until it was sold to Kenneth and Anna Grimm in 1954. The Decker & Decker Studio served the Petaluma area for 35 years.

Doly, Jason

Jason Doly was a photographer for the Petaluma Argus-Courier newspaper.

Doss, Merton W., 1920-2010

Merton Doss was born in Petaluma on Nov. 21, 1920. He grew up and went to school in Petaluma before serving in the Army Air Corps during WW II. He married Nan V. Carlson (1921-1993) and worked at Dunaway Auto Parts for over 38 years. He was a long time member of the Petaluma Camera Club, United Church of Christ of Petaluma, Petaluma Ecumenical Projects, American Legion #28, Petaluma Historical Museum, and the DAV.

Dowe, Lewis, 1838-1919

Lewis Dowe (February 22, 1838 – November 28, 1919) was a musician and a photographer. Born in Hanover, Grafton County, New Hampshire to Agrippa Dowe and Polly Storrs Dowe in 1838, he traveled with his parents to DeKalb County, Illinois. In the early 1860s he was living in Chicago, Illinois, but returned to Sycamore, DeKalb County by 1863 where he registered for the Civil War Draft, described as age 25 and an artist. He served in the 13th and 52nd Infantry of Illinois, a Union unit, as a musician. His units saw combat during the war fighting at Shiloh, etc. At the end of the war he married Mattie (Martha) H. Morse in Concord, New Hampshire on December 25, 1865. Mattie was a music teacher. The couple settled in DeKalb County by 1870 and Lewis continued his photographic trade there until about 1877 when he joined Skelton Noble in a photography studio located on Main Street, Petaluma, Sonoma County, California until about 1879. By 1883 he had opened a gallery on Eddy Street in San Francisco, California. In 1887 he was located on Ellis Street in San Francisco. From 1888 until 1892 he owned a photographic studio at 410 Kearney Street in San Francisco. During that time on January 7, 1891 he applied for a Civil War pension, which he received. From 1896 to at least 1901 he operated a music store at 1521 Market Street, San Francisco, selling and repairing musical instruments. In 1904 he was repairing instruments at 6 Eddy Street. He remained in San Francisco until about 1905. The 1910 Census enumerated him as retired and living with his sister in Portland, Oregon. He remained in Portland until his death in 1919. He was buried in River View Cemetery, Portland, Oregon. One of his photographs in included in the NYPL Photography Collection.

 


Sources: US Census
New Hampshire Marriage Records
Civil War Draft Records
California Voter Registrations
San Francisco Directories
Civil War Pension Applications
Portland Directories
Oregon Death Records
Biographies of Western Photographers, Carl Mautz, Carl Mautz Publishing, Nevada City, California, 1997

 

PIC #7751 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/7751)

Downing, J. H. (Joseph Henry)

 

J. H. Downing was born in Bristol, N.H. Nov. 28, 1842. He settled in Healdsburg, Calif., where he established a photography studio and chronicled the early development of Healdsburg and the surrounding areas of northern Sonoma County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downing, Joseph Henry

Joseph H. Downing (1840-1914) was born in Grafton County, New Hampshire to John C. and Mary Jane Downing. The Downing family arrived in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California in 1857. Father, John Downing, was a cabinet maker and undertaker in town and Joseph worked with him until 1869 when at the age of 28, he went to the east coast to study the art of photography. He returned to Healdsburg in 1871 and opened his photographic studio on Center Street. He specialized in portraits taken in his “Operating Room” which contained the latest equipment and a large skylight. In 1874 he was partnered with Thomas L. Rea in Healdsburg and between 1875 and 1878 was associated with him and Henry Rauscher in the Third Street Gallery located in Santa Rosa, California. In addition to his portrait work, Downing traveled the countryside with his wagon load of equipment and his darkroom tent. He photographed towns, townspeople, and their activities. He often traveled to Fitch Mountain near Healdsburg to photograph the lands around the town.
On December 3, 1873, Joseph married a widow, Matilda Prince Burlingame. The couple moved to Seattle, King County, Washington by 1880 where Joseph continued to work as a photographer. By 1884, however, the Downings returned to California and settled in Alameda County where they remained until about 1905. Whether living in the cities of Oakland or Berkeley in Alameda County, Joseph’s occupation was always listed as photographer. During these years, Joseph traveled throughout California, often with fellow photographer, Elon D. Ormsby going from one location to another bringing their equipment with them. In 1894 he was a partner with Ormsby in Ormsby & Downing Photographers. When first living in Oakland, Joseph for a time was hired as a draftsman of blueprints for ships built by the Ridson Iron Works in San Francisco. In 1905, Joseph and Matilda returned to Healdsburg where he died in 1914. He was buried with the Downing family in Oak Mound Cemetery, Healdsburg, California. Joseph Henry Downing left the legacy of the Downing Collection, a two book collection of photographs and stereographs which were donated to the city of Healdsburg. The collection is now in the Langhart Museum in Healdsburg.

 

 

Sources: Russian River Recorder, Autumn 1998, No. 69, p. 6
Russian River Recorder, Winter 2005, No. 91, p. 6-9
Press Democrat, Gaye LeBaron Column, October 19, 1980, p. 8B
Washington State & Territorial Census of 1880
US Census of Sonoma County California for 1900 and 1910
California Voter Registration Records of Alameda County, California
City Directories of Oakland and Berkeley, Alameda County, California
Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Sonoma County Directory 1911
Biographies of Western Photographers, Carl Mautz, Carl Mautz Publishing, 228 Commercial Street, No. 522, Nevada City, California, 1997

E

Easterly, George Bascombe, 1859-1906 (Easterly and Co., Petaluma, Calif.)

George Easterly was born in 1859 in Russell County, Virginia, the son of John Emory C. and Margaret A. Easterly. In 1880 George was still living in Virginia, but by 1890 the Sonoma County Voter Registration listed him as a photographer in Santa Rosa. He opened a studio in Petaluma in 1892. He decided to move to Lake County, California about 1895 where he worked as a photographer in the town of Lakeport. Eventually, George opened a studio in Glenbrook, Cobb Valley, Lake County, California, where he resided until his death on November 8, 1906 at the age of 47.

F

Friend, Arnold Oscar, 1840-

Arnold O. Friend was born in Prussia in 1840 to Charles E. and Amelia Friend. Charles immigrated to California and the family was enumerated in the 1852 Census of Placer County, California. He established the A. O. Friend’s Photographic Gallery in the McCamley’s Building on Sutter Street in Folsom, Sacramento County, California by October of 1865. He advertised, “Photographs, Ambrotypes, and Melaintypes in every style of the art.” He was registered to vote in 1867 and 1868 in Granite Township, Sacramento County and described as photographer. By 1871 he was a photographer in Sacramento, California.

 

PIC #377450 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/377450)

H

Hanks, V. M., 1921-1997

V. M. Hanks, Jr. was a well-known press and commercial photographer in San Francisco for nearly 40 years. A descendant of Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Hanks was born in Decatur, Ill., in 1921. He attended Eureka College in Eureka, Ill., before joining the U.S. Marine Corps as a combat photographer in 1943. He moved with his wife to San Francisco in 1947 and during the next four decades, he served as a visual diarist for the city, photographing heads of state, visiting dignitaries and numerous other celebrities. served as a visual diarist for the city, photographing heads of state, visiting dignitaries and numerous other celebrities.

Harris, Dennis E.

Dennis E. Harris (1939-2009) was Professor of History at Sonoma State University for 38 years and cultural resources specialist. He was honored by the California State Assembly for his life's work. The Sonoma County Library Photograph Collection includes numerous photographs taken as part of the culture resource reports conducted by Harris and students.

 

Hartsock, Fred, 1885-1942

Freedom “Fred” Hartsock (1885-1942) of Santa Rosa, California started his photographic career about 1910. In 1911 he was listed as Fred Hartsock, Photographer in the 1911 Booster List of the Santa Rosa High School Yearbook. That same year he provided photographs for the St. Helena High School Yearbook in St. Helena, California. According to the 1918 Santa Rosa Directory, Fred maintained a photographic studio at 523 Fourth Street in Santa Rosa. He operated this studio until 1930 when he was succeeded by J. G. Thompson. He retired to his farm on East Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg, California with his wife Grace Enid Stone, who he married on December 6, 1917 in Sonoma County, California. This farm had been owned by his parents Adolphus Hartsock (1834-1885) and Isabell Freeman Hartsock (1845-1890) Fred’s father died the year Fred was born on March 6, 1885. His mother died when he was five years old. He was raised on the farm by his sisters, Susan, Adelia Florence, and Bonnie. He and Grace had three children, Mildred Hartsock Kech, Robert E. and Frederick E. Hartsock. Several months before his death, he was gravely injured in an automobile accident and suffered from ill health until his death on February 22, 1942. Unable to function as he wished, he hung himself from a rafter in the barn. He was 57 years old.

 

PIC #9738 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/9738)

Healy, E. R. (Edwin R.), 1856-1923

Edwin R. Healy (1856-1923) was born in the month of April 1856 to Hezekiah Healy and Amy Bagley Healy in Moscow, Muscatine County, Iowa. By 1870 the family had moved to Moline, Rock Island, Illinois. By 1879, Edwin had reached Petaluma, Sonoma County, California were his employment was listed as painter. In 1880 he worked as a salesman in Alameda, Alameda County, California. He soon returned to Petaluma and married Ada “Addie” Gossage, a native of Petaluma, on September 20, 1881. He was listed as an artist in the Alameda County Voter Registration of 1884, but by 1890 was established as a photographer in St. Helena, Napa County, California. After a short residence in Hanford, Tulare County, California, Edwin returned to Petaluma by 1896 and opened the Ground Floor Photography Studio at 816 Main Street. He was firmly established as a photographer in Petaluma by 1900 and continued his craft in that town until 1905, when he went into mining. The family left Petaluma about 1908 and relocated to Berkeley, Alameda County, California where Edwin was described as president of a mining company. The newspaper, the Oakland Tribune of February 13, 1918, listed him as a Deputy Collector with the Internal Revenue Service. Edwin died January 28, 1923 in Marin County. Ada died the on March 6, 1923 in Berkeley. They were both buried in Cypress Hill Memorial Park, Petaluma, California.

J

Johnson, Byron R., 1834?-

B. R. Johnson was born in the state New York about 1835. Byron and his brother, George H. Johnson, were partners in photography firm in San Francisco in 1856 to 1857. After a short stay in Benicia, California, he moved on to Petaluma, California by May 1863. There he was described as an unmarried man with the occupation of artist. He established a photography gallery on Main Street in Petaluma. In San Francisco, on Dec, 6, 1865 he married Annie M. McDonald, a native of Brooklyn, New York. The Langley Business Directory of 1867 listed B. R. Johnson, photographic artist, Main Street, Petaluma, CA. On May 17, 1869 a handwritten passport was notarized for a B. R. Johnson leaving California. By 1870, Byron and Annie were living in Louisa County, VA with three children, the eldest having been born in California. Byron died sometime before June 1880, as Annie was enumerated as a widow in the 1880 Census.

 

Source: Pioneer Photographers of the Far West, Peter E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 2000

 

PIC #306626 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/306626)

Joslin, A. J. T. (Amon James Tift), 1839-1913

Amon James Tuft Joslin (1839-1913) worked as a photographer in Petaluma, California by 1894. He was located opposite the American Hotel on Main Street in the former studio of George Ross, photographer, who died in 1893. Amon was born on January 16, 1839 in Rockwood, Fulton County, New York. His parents, John B. Joslin and Eloise Sweet Joslin moved to Mitchell County, Iowa before 1860. At age 21 in the 1860 Census and in the 1863 Civil War Registration of Mitchell County, Amon was described as a painter. He married Amelia Goodwin in Mitchell County, Iowa on August 5, 1866. By 1880 Amon was established as a photographer in Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois where he had the opportunity to make an ambrotype of Abraham Lincoln. An ambrotype was a positive photograph on glass. It seems Lincoln was a friend of the Vermilion County Sheriff, Thomas J. Hilyard. While working as a circuit lawyer, Lincoln and the Sheriff passed the photography studio of Amon T. Joslin in Danville and decided to have their portraits taken so that they could exchange them. A discrepancy exists, however, for the photograph has been dated as May 27, 1857 and Amon was not a photographer in Danville at that time. The ambrotype photograph of Lincoln, supposedly taken by Amon Joslin still exists. It was auctioned by Bonhams on November 23, 2004 and sold for $8,812. In 1910, Joslin owned a photography studio in Yreka, Siskiyou County, California. He was 70 years of age. He died at age 74 on June 3, 1913 in San Benito County, California.

 

PIC #308577 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/308577)

K

Kemp Van Ee, H. (Henry), 1853-1934

A native of New Jersey, Henry was born to John Charles Kemp Van EE (1814-1884) and Henrietta Anna Maria Clara (Smit Roeters ) Kemp Van EE (1817-1901) in June of 1853. Both of his parents were born in Holland. Henry may have arrived in California around 1867 with his brother John Charles Kemp Van EE, Jr., who was a mine owner, mine engineer and rail line builder. The first reference to Henry’s photographic work in California is a photograph taken at the Great Celebrated Centennial Flying Photograph Gallery in Virginia City, Nevada, which was operated by his brother, John, in 1875 and 1876. Henry was active in Bodie, Mono County, California around 1880, where his brother was a mine owner. By 1884 he had established a studio in Modesto, Stanislaus County, California located at the corner of Tenth and I Streets. Sometime before 1888, Henry came to Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, where his parents resided. He opened a studio in the Gunnar’s Block at 410 Fourth Street and began advertising in local newspapers, specializing in portraits. He married Nancy Isabelle Culbertson on November 29, 1892, continued his photography business in Santa Rosa and had three children, Clarence in 1894, Fred in 1896 and Charles in 1899. The marriage did not end happily. In 1901, Nancy sued for divorce under the charges of desertion and lack of child support, which was granted in 1902. No records could be found for Henry in Sonoma County after 1902. In fact no records could be found about him until 1930, when he was listed in the directory as living in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California. He died there on February 4, 1934 and was buried in Stockton Woodland Mausoleum.

 

Sources: US Census
Press Democrat , April 9, 1901; October 19, 1901; November 10, 1901; June 25, 1902
Daily Alta California, July 31, 1884
Stockton Directories
Find a Grave.com
Who’s Who on the Pacific Coast, 1913
Biographies of Western Photographers, Carl Mautz, Carl Mautz Publishing, Nevada City, California, 1997

Khan, Lakin

Photographer Lakin Khan was located at 712 Keokuk Street, Petaluma, California.

Kipps, Alfred Kemble, 1833-1902

Alfred Kemble Kipps was a photographic restorer, a landscape and portrait painter, and a photographer. He was born in England on February 2, 1833 to Samuel Martin and Harriet Kipps in Marylebone, Middlesex, England. His father, Samuel, was a painter by trade. Kipps resided in Boston, Massachusetts in 1860. He made his way to California by at least 1863 where he was listed in the San Francisco Directory as a portrait painter at 622 Kearney Street. Alfred was located at 615 Sacramento Street and 415 Montgomery Street, San Francisco by 1869 specializing in photographic retouching and portrait painting. He was a member of the California Art Union in 1865 and the San Francisco Artists’ Union in 1868. By 1870 he had established his Palace Gallery on the corner of Broadway and Ninth Street in Oakland, California. He served as a member of the executive committee of the Photographic Art Society of the Pacific in 1875. The 1880 Census of San Francisco provided the information that Alfred was married to Elizabeth E. Kipps, born about 1834 in Ireland and the father of Robert Henry Kipps, born about 1858 and a member of the US Army. From 1880 to 1882 Alfred was a partner in the Universal Copying Company, a firm dedicated to copy work and India ink, oil, and water color pictures. He continued to be listed in San Francisco as an artist and portrait artist until his death, in that city, on November 10, 1902. Burial was in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in San Francisco. The remains in this cemetery were moved to Green Lawn Cemetery.

Kraft, Edward P.

Edward P. Kraft or Philip Edward Kraft (1845?-1902?) was born in New York City to Prussian immigrants John F. and Mary Catherine Kraft. In 1870, at age 24, he and his brother, John were photographers in New York City. By 1868 Kraft had made his way to Sonoma County where he established the first photography studio in the county on Third Street in Santa Rosa, later known as the Third Street Gallery. About 1873 he married Rosemond Booth (1856-1887). He described himself as an artist and for a brief time had a studio in San Francisco. By 1880, however, he was no longer a photographer, but was employed as a variety store keeper. Kraft seems to have left Sonoma County after the death of his wife and seems to have abandon his three children. He reappears in Portland, Oregon by 1899, where his photography studio was located at 225 First Street from 1899 to 1902. A record exists for an Edward Kraft who died at the insane asylum in Salem, Oregon on March 25, 1902 of paresis, a paralysis and dementia condition caused by syphilis. He was buried in St. Barbara’s Catholic Cemetery, Salem Oregon.

Kuykendall, Frank, 1855-1920

Frank Kuykendall (Apr. 12, 1855-Feb. 29, 1920) owned a photography studio in Santa Rosa, California. Born in Oregon, Kuykendall, his father, George Kuykendall, and brothers James Orvall and William S., all lived in Santa Rosa in 1888. Kuykendall is buried in the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery.

L

Lanier, Charles, 1857-1904

Charles Lanier was born in Austria in 1857 where he studied art. After his arrival in the United States, he spent some time in Philadelphia and Cincinnati before coming to San Francisco in 1882. In 1884 he opened art rooms at 715 Market Street. He later opened an additional gallery at 31 Third Street in San Francisco. While doing all types of art photography, he specialized in fine crayon portraits. His high standard of work gained him an excellent reputation and he received seven first prizes at competitive exhibitions. He married Minna D. Wulzen in 1886 in Alameda County, California. He also opened at third location in Oakland, California on Kings Avenue by 1889. He died in 1904 and his body was cremated. His ashes abide at the San Francisco Columbarium.

 

PIC #18260 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/18260)

Lark, Newton A., 1882-1970

Newton Lark was born in San Francisco on April 30, 1882. His mother Ella Purkerson lived in Analy Township in Sonoma County, California as a child. In 1882, the year of Newton’s birth, she was single and employed as a forewoman for The Standard Shirt Factory in San Francisco. She later married Andrew Frieze. The 1900 Census of San Francisco enumerated Newton as age 17 and a stepson of Andrew Frieze. According to the Registry of Pharmacists Newton was issued a California pharmacist license on March 20, 1905 and a Sonoma County pharmacist license on December 14, 1907. In 1910 he was employed as a druggist for the Lutrell store in Santa Rosa. Shortly after he established a drug store in Guerneville, California. Later he joined in a partnership with his uncle Fred L. Warne. He operated the drug store for 50 years until his retirement in 1947. Newton was married twice, first to Bernice Irene Rich on March 11, 1918 in Santa Rosa, CA. The marriage produced four children: Marion Helen, Newton Warne, Donald Francis, and Rose. All the children would later be involved in the operation of the drugstore in various capacities. This marriage was ended by a divorce suit, brought by Newton, in 1921. He remained single and maintained custody of his children. By 1940 he was married to a divorcee named Virginia M. Youse Bradshaw. Newton remained in Sonoma County, California for 70 years. At one time he was the fire chief of Guerneville. He was active in several community organizations, including the Elks, Masons and the Eastern Star. He died in Guerneville at his home at Third and Mill Streets on December 24, 1970. He was buried in Santa Rosa Memorial Park Cemetery, Santa Rosa, California.


Sources: Old Memories Out of the River Mist, Charles R. Clar, 1973
Registry of Pharmacists Vol. 1
Healdsburg Tribune, August 18, 1921
Sebastopol Times, December 30, 1970, p. 7
Sonoma County, CA Directories
Press Democrat, December 25, 1970
Sonoma County, CA Marriage Records
Sonoma County, CA Cemetery Records
Sonoma Heritage Collection at the Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, California
US Census Records
Michigan Marriage Records
Press Democrat, February 23, 1928
San Francisco Funeral Home Records
Branch County, Michigan Cemetery Records

LeBaron, John

John LeBaron (1924-2014) worked as a photographer for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat from 1948 to 1968 and was chief photographer by the time he left to teach photography at the Santa Rosa Junior College. He taught at the SRJC until retiring in 1997, but remained an active photographer. He was married to prominent Sonoma County historian Gaye LeBaron.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lee, Jeff Kan

Jeff Kan Lee was a photojournalist for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Lothers, Hayden, 1894-1938

Hayden D. Lothers (1894-1938) was born in San Francisco on January 9, 1894 to John Lothers and Mary Simmons Lothers. His parents divorced and Hayden spent his childhood living with his grandfather, Samuel D. Simmons. At the age of 15 he was employed with an electrician. The World War I Registration of 1917 gave his occupation as a photographer, working for the Arthur Spalding Company in San Francisco. He enlisted in the Army on December 15, 1917 and was honorable discharged on June 27, 1919 as a Sergeant First Class of the 55th Service Company, Signal Corp. By 1919 Hayden was married to Mina Twedt (1892-1940) and working as a photographer in San Francisco. In 1920 he formed a partnership with Ralph W. Young and open a studio at 165 Post Street, San Francisco and later at 419 Sutter, San Francisco. Lothers & Young Studios became successful commercial photographers in the San Francisco Bay Area throughout the 1920’s. By 1930, the partnership was dissolved and Hayden worked as a salesman until his death on May 1, 1938. He was buried in San Francisco National Cemetery, 1 Lincoln Blvd., the Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

M

MacLean, Dabirma (Birma) Still

Dabirma (Birma) Still Maclean was born March 20, 1875, in San Luis Obispo County, Calif. She became known as the "First Lady of Photography"and was the most prominent woman photographer in California in the early 20th century. Still married La Panza rancher John McLean in 1904 and the couple moved to Petaluma, Calif. in 1908.

 

While her husband worked as a certified public accountant for the cities of Petaluma and Santa Rosa, she continued work as a photographer, with a special interest in public buildings and local scenes of interest. She also produced many real-photo postcards and portraits for local residents. The couple returned to La Panza in 1920, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Birma McLean died in 1968.

 

Maggetti, C. B. (Clarence Bloom), 1931-1983

Clarence B. Maggetti was a photographer for the Press Democrat located in Santa Rosa, California.

Mannion, Chris

Chris Mannion was a photojournalist for the Petaluma Argus Courier.

McClearie, William, 1878-1969

Joseph William Talbert McClearie was born in York County, Pennsylvania on January 7, 1878. Little is known about Joseph’s early life. McClearie came to California about 1889. By 1892 he had settled in Sonoma County. In 1905 he was living with John Patterson McClearie, his father, in Santa Rosa. John Patterson McClearie was born about 1838 in York County, Pennsylvania. Joseph William Talbert Mcclearie, known as William, worked as a clerk for the grocery firm Cnopius & Company, owned by John Cnopius. During his years with the grocery firm, William began the study of photography. He remained employed there until 1911, when he joined the photographic establishment of Julius F. Scholz located 323 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa, California. By 1913 the partnership had ended and William became the proprietor of Elite Studio at 359 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa, California, where he was known as a leading artist in color photography, which he made a special study. In his gallery he did personal and commercial photography, doing work for the Burbank Press and the Burbank Company. On October 17, 1913, William married Anna C. Cnopius (1872-1963) daughter of John Cnopius. Anna with her brothers Lewis and John, Jr. were involved as proprietors of Camp Vacation and other Russian River resorts. William continued with his photography studio until about 1918 when he relocated to Camp Vacation and became its manager. He continued in this work until he became the owner of the resort by 1930. Long retired as a resort owner, he died in Santa Rosa on December 8, 1969 at the age of 91. He had no children. He was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Santa Rosa, California alongside his wife.

 

McClearie and Julius F. Scholz were partners, for a short time, in a photographic gallery located at 323 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa, California. This partnership lasted from 1911 to 1912.

 

Sources: United States Census Records
Santa Rosa City Directories
California Voter Registrations
WWI Registration of 1918
California Death Index
Sonoma county Cemetery Records
Santa Rosa Republican, October 17. 1913, page 8, col. 1
Press Democrat, October 19, 1906, Page 3, col. 1
Press Democrat, December 9, 1969, page 8, col. 2
Press Democrat, December 10, 1969, page 8 col. 4
Press Democrat, August 25, 1946, page 2, col. 3

Meacham, Don

 

 

Don Meacham (May 30, 1916-Feb. 28, 2010) was born in Cowell, Contra Costa County in 1916. He lived most of his life in Sonoma County where he retired as a freelance commercial photographer after 50 years in the profession.

 

He worked as a photographer in the Navy during WWII; was the flagship photographer on the U.S.S. Augusta during the North African invasion; and was Chief Photographer of the Naval Air Station in Santa Rosa until the war ended. Meacham was a charter member and chairman of the Santa Rosa Civic Art Commission and was instrumental in establishing Arttrium, the county's first visual and performing arts festival.

 

 

 

 

Miltz, Theodore, approximately 1848-

Theodore Miltz was born about 1848 in Germany. On October 8, 1872 he was naturalized in the Probate Court of Lucas County, Ohio. In Toledo, Ohio he partnered with John H. Swart in the operation of a photography gallery at 31 Summit Street, Toledo, Ohio. In 1873, Theodore was still at that location, but John Swart had moved on. In 1874, Theodore was living in San Francisco, California, where he worked at the St. Louis Art and Photography Gallery located at 315 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, California. Shortly after, in that same year of 1875, Theodore and John H. Swart again formed a photography partnership at 106 Kearney Street, San Francisco. The partnership did not last long as Theodore was listed as a photographer in Napa, Napa County, California in 1875. By 1879 he was described as an artist in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. There he formed a partnership with Nicholas Ragan Overton in 1880. He and Overton conducted a photographic business in Grass Valley and Nevada City, Nevada County, California in 1882 and 1883. By 1884 he and Overton made their way to Mexico.

 

Theodore Miltz and N. R. Overton formed a photographic partnership about 1880 when they operated an artists and photographers in an establishment located at 186 Fourth Street Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. They relocated to Grass Valley and Nevada City, Nevada County, California during the years 1882 and 1883. After their Grass Valley sojourn, the partners made their way to Mexico.

 

Sources: Toledo Ohio Directories of 1872 and 1873
San Francisco Directories of 1874 and 1875
1875 Napa County, California Voter Registration
1879 Sonoma County, California Voter Registration
1880 US Census of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California
1882 Nevada County, California Voter Registration
Sonoma Democrat, January 10, 1885, page 1, column 6
Biographies of Western Photographers, Carl Mautz, Carl Mautz Publishing, 228 Commercial Street, No. 522, Nevada
City, California, 95959, 1997

PIC #376529 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/376529)

PIC #327445 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/327445)

Muybridge, Eadweard, 1830-1904

Eadweard J. Muybridge (April 9, 1830-May 8, 1904) was an English photographer who spent much of his life in the United States. He is known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion which used multiple cameras to capture motion, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip.

N

Nelson, Theodore J. (Theodore Julius), 1882-1974

Born in Racine, Wisconsin on July 4, 1882, Theodore was the son of Lars Peter and Nicoline Nielsen, Danish immigrants. The family named was changed to Nelson when the family moved to Hastings, Adams County, Nebraska by 1900. Theodore married Edith M. Sterling (1880-1969) in 1908 in Hastings, Nebraska. By 1910, he had opened a photography studio in Hastings located at 222 N. Lincoln Avenue. Theodore moved to Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California before 1918 where he lived in the same house at 900 Spring Street until his death at 92. Throughout his photographic career of 46 years in Santa Rosa, his Nelson Studio was located at 611 and 312 Mendocino Avenue, 438 Fourth Street and 539 Fifth Street. Besides being very popular with the local population, Theodore was the official photographer of horticulturist Luther Burbank. He was active in various clubs and organizations in Sonoma County. He retired in 1954 and lived with his second wife, Shirley, until his death on August 12, 1974. He was buried in the Chapel of the Chimes Cemetery, Santa Rosa, California.

Noble, Skelton Sanford, 1833-

Skelton S. Noble was born in Missouri circa 1833. As a young man he travel west to the gold fields of California where in 1850 and 1852 he was trying his luck as a miner. By 1865 he and Oliver Denny advertised their photographic gallery located on Main Street in Grass Valley, California. Noble owned several galleries in California including in 1867, Gold Run, Placer County, and Nevada City. He also had galleries in Eureka from 1867 to 1870, and in Truckee from 1868 to 1872. He established a gallery opposite the courthouse in San Rafael in February 1871. By 1874 he had moved to Petaluma, California and partnered with A. W. Fell on Main Street, where in 1875 he owned the Sunbeam Gallery. How long he resided in Petaluma is unknown, but the 1880 Census enumerated him and his wife, Martha E., as living in San Simeon, San Luis Obispo County, California. He was described as an artist. The Voter Registration of 1884 in that county, listed him as a photographer with a studio in Cambria, California. According to researchers he lived pass the age of 90. No California death record could be found.

 

PIC #345085 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/345085)

O

Osborne, Harlan, 1947-

Harlan Osborne is a longtime Petaluma Argus-Courier writer and Petaluma resident. Osborne was awarded the 2010 Good Egg award for his work in keeping Petaluma's history alive.

Overton, Nicholas Ragan, 1860-1885

Nicholas Ragan Overton was born in 1860 to Judge Albert P. Overton and Helen America Talbot Overton in Petaluma, Sonoma County, California and moved to Santa Rosa in 1866. He was a member of the first graduating class of Santa Rosa High School in 1878 and then attended Pacific Methodist College where he pursued the art of photography. He learned more about photography from Theodore Miltz and John H. Swart. In 1880, though still living with his parents in Santa Rosa, he formed a partnership with photographer Theodore Miltz and opened a gallery at 186 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa. Shortly after, he and Theodore relocated to Grass Valley and Nevada City, Nevada County, California where he plied his trade in the years 1882 and 1883. A trip to Mexico occurred before he returned home to Santa Rosa in 1884. During a hunting trip on his grandfather’s ranch in Sonoma County, he tripped and fell causing his rifle to discharge. He was killed on January 2, 1885 by a gunshot wound to the heart. The death was ruled as accidental by the County Coroner. He was 24 years of age. He was buried in Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery, Santa Rosa, California.

 

Theodore Miltz and N. R. Overton formed a photographic partnership about 1880 when they operated an artists and photographers in an establishment located at 186 Fourth Street Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. They relocated to Grass Valley and Nevada City, Nevada County, California during the years 1882 and 1883. After their Grass Valley sojourn, the partners made their way to Mexico.

 

Sources: A Nineteenth Century Town, Gayle LeBaron, Historia LTD, 1985
1880 US Census of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California
1882 Nevada County, California Voter Registration
Biographies of Western Photographers, Carl Mautz, Carl Mautz Publishing, 228 Commerical Street, No. 522, Nevada
City, California, 95959, 1997
Sonoma Democrat January 10, 1885, page 1, column 6
Sonoma County Cemetery Records

PIC #327445 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/327445)

P

Percival, Richard R.

Richard Percival immigrated to the US from England, with his parents Thomas and Sarah Reece Percival, in 1841. The family settled in Rhode Island. In 1860, at the young age of 24, Richard fancied himself an artist. He arrived in Petaluma, Sonoma County, CA about 1870 and took up residence at the American Hotel. In 1871 he purchased a gallery in Petaluma from photographers Clement and James K. Sutterley. However, by 1874 he had relocated to San Jose, Santa Clara County, CA where he continued to work as a photographer. He visited Rhode Island in 1880, but returned to Santa Clara County and took up fruit growing. He married Louise V. in 1890. He remained in Santa Clara until about 1908, at which time he and his wife moved to Sonoma County where he farmed as a fruit grower in Analy Township. After the tragic death of his wife by suicide in 1914, he again returned to Rhode Island where he died on Nov. 17, 1917 at age 82.

 

PIC #369192 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/369192)

Piggott, James K., 1859-1941

James Kenneth Piggott was the son of Alexander Kenneth Piggott, MD and Sarah Mayfield Piggott. He was born in Bodega, Sonoma County, California. He served three years in the California State Militia as a member of the Fifth Regiment, Infantry. On November 26, 1885 he married Mary A. Keenan (1868-1960) in Santa Rosa, California. By 1879 he was employed as a photographer in Santa Rosa. He was the proprietor of the Souvenir Photography Studio, located on Third Street in Santa Rosa, which was also known as the Third Street Gallery. He sold his interest in the studio to his partner William Shaw in July of 1888. Previous to the sale. Piggott was partnered with photographers John Ross and Thomas L. Rea & Shepherd at the same location. Piggott spent time in San Francisco learning his craft. He was listed as a member of the Santa Rosa Masons Lodge in 1903, as well as a member of the Odd Fellows. No early 1900 directory listings for Piggott photography can be found until the year 1914 when he was listed in the San Francisco Directory as a photographer. He spent the remainder of his life as a photographer and printer in his studio at 86 Third Street, San Francisco. He died March 13, 1941 and was buried in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo County, CA.

Price, Andrew, approximately 1843-

Andrew Price (born about 1843) was an early Healdsburg photographer. Price specialized in portraits and real-photo postcards.

Price, Joe M. (Joseph M.), 1933-

Joe Price was a photojournalist for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

R

Rauscher, Henry

Henry Rauscher (1849-1927) was born to George and Caroline Rauscher in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. He worked as a merchant in Stewart County, Tennessee, until he arrived in Sonoma County, California. From 1875 until 1884 he was partnered with Joseph H. Downing and Thomas L. Rea in the Third Street Gallery located in Santa Rosa, California. He sold out his interest in the gallery to J. K. Piggott and moved to Fresno, California by 1884. In 1886 he established a photographic parlor on J Street in Fresno. He remained in Fresno County until his death on May 21, 1927. At some point, he gave up photography and worked as a miner and as a proprietor of a cigar store.

 


Sources: California Voter Registrations of Sonoma and Fresno Counties
US Census Records
Santa Rosa and Fresno Directories
The California Death Index
Biographies of Western Photographers, Carl Mautz, Carl Mautz Publishing, 228 Commercial Street, No. 522, Nevada
City, California, 95959, 1997

Rea, Thomas L.

Thomas L. Rea was born On June 28, 1845 in Pennsylvania. By 1875 Thomas was living in Sonoma County. He gave his occupation as artist. On October 21, 1877, he married Martha Ann Wheeler in Sonoma County. In the 1880 Census of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, he was employed as a photographer. His photography studio, called Rea T.L. & Co. was located on Third Street, south of the Plaza. For a time he was partnered with photographer James K. Piggott. By 1886 he had relocated to Liberty, Fresno County, CA where he was a farmer and rancher. He died there on February 14, 1890 at the age of 44. His body was brought by train from Fresno County and after a funeral held in Santa Rosa, he was buried in the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery.

 

PIC #375670 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/375670)

Reed, J. Q. (John Quincy), 1841-1902

John Q. Reed was one of the early photographers in the West. He was born in Abington, Plymouth County, Massachusetts to Noah and Mary Shaw Reed on Ct. 6, 1841 along with his twin brother, James Austin Reed. By 1870 he had made his way west to San Joaquin County, California. There he worked as a photographer in the town of Stockton. He also worked as a salesman to supplement his income . By 1880 he was established in Petaluma, Sonoma County, California as a photographer located on Main Street. He maintained his photo gallery for many years in Petaluma. Twenty years later, John was still single and living at the Continental Hotel, in Petaluma, though he was now employed as a liquor salesman. He returned to Abington, MA where he died of a stomach hemorrhage on April 14, 1902. He was buried in Mount Vernon Cemetery, Abington, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

 

PIC #322615 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/322615)

Rendall, Stephen Arnold, 1812-1905

Stephen Arnold Rendall (1832-1905) was born in England and after his arrival in the United States he operated as a daguerreotype artist in Chicago about 1856. 1860 found him in Victoria County, Texas employed as an artist. He arrived in California about 1861. By 1862 he opened a photographic gallery in Napa, Napa County, California specializing in ambrotypes, daguerreotypes , photographs and card pictures. In January of 1864 he registered for the Civil War Draft in Napa, giving his age as 27 and his occupation as speculator. In 1864 he partnered with William L. Avery in a photography studio based in Portland, Oregon, but by 1867 he was in Los Angeles, California where he produced a large panorama of that city. He was naturalized in Los Angeles County, California on December 20, 1869. He returned to northern California and registered to vote in Sonoma County in 1869. Again, he gave his occupation as artist. In 1870 he married Cecilia Barnes (1844-1927) and joined the Church of the Incarnation of Santa Rosa in 1871. In September of 1870 he formed a partnership with James K. Sutterly and established the Rendall and Sutterly Gallery in Petaluma, Sonoma County, California, which was sold the following year. On January 6, 1872, he placed an ad in the Sonoma Democrat newspaper concerning the sale of cashmere goats. For particulars the ad said, “…call at Rendall’s New Photograph Gallery, Santa Rosa. He had established a gallery at the corner of Fourth and B streets in Santa Rosa by January of 1872. The 1880 Sonoma County Census enumerated Stephen and Cecilia as living on B Street with their four children. By 1884 he was back, working as a photographer, in Los Angeles. He retired in 1888 and from that time until his death he was described variously as a broker and capitalist located on Alvarado Street, Los Angeles. He was credited has being very active in the building of the city of Los Angeles. He died at age 73 in Phoenix, Arizona on December 15, 1905. Cause of death was given as asthma and old age. He was buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California.


Sources: United States Census Records
Handbook and Directory of Napa, Lake, and Sonoma Counties, 1874
Sonoma Democrat, January 6, 1872, p 5, col 2
Sonoma Searcher, Spring 2009, Vol. 36, No. 3, p 12
California Voter Registrations
United States Naturalization Indexes
Civil War Draft Registration
Sonoma County and Los Angeles County Directories
Arizona County Coroner and Death Records
Los Angeles County Cemetery Records
Biographies of Western Photographer, Carl Mautz, Carl Mautz Publishing, 1997
Pioneer Photographers of the Far West, Peter E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn, Stanford University Press, 2000

PIC #323453 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/323453)

Rhea, J. B.

 

J. B. Rhea (1872-1946) was a Guerneville-area photographer who specialized in portraits and real-photo postcards

 

Ricci, Frank G., 1916-1997

Frank Ricci was a photojournalist for the Petaluma Argus-Courier.

Rider, Thomas A., 1945-

Tom Rider is a photographer based in Petaluma, California specializing in architectural exteriors and interiors.

Rinehart, Katherine J.

 

Katherine J. Rinehart is a Petaluma, Calif. historian and writer. She served as as Sonoma County Archivist and manager of the Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library for a number of years. She specializes in architectural history.

 

 

 

 

 

Roberts, H. F.

Very little is known about photographer Harry Roberts. He was active in Seattle, Washington in 1890, when he was partnered with Ira A. Kautz. In January of 1893 he was advertised as a new photographer in Petaluma, Sonoma County, California, in which he stated he offered his patrons proofs of their photos from which they could choose their best sitting. Roberts Studio was located on Main Street, across from the American Hotel in Petaluma. He continued to advertise in the newspaper about his new equipment and his ability to photograph residences, scenes, groups, and animals, as well as, portraiture. Roberts left Petaluma in late 1895 to pursue a career in dentistry. In March of 1896, Roberts stated he would relocate to the southern part of California. He would often return to Petaluma for a visit. A 1904 newspaper item stated that Harry Roberts was now a dentist and had visited Petaluma from San Francisco.


Sources: 
Petaluma Daily Morning Courier, January 27, 1893, p 1
Petaluma Daily Morning Courier, May 17, 1893, p 3
Petaluma Courier, March 25, 1896, p 6
Petaluma Daily Morning Courier, February 23, 1904, p 3

 

PIC #356829 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/356829)

Ross, George W., approximately 1852-1926

George Ross was a painter, ambrotypist, and photographer. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on February 12, 1832 but grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. He made his way west during the gold rush and in October of 1855 he settled in Petaluma, California. He operated a painting business in Petaluma until 1862 when he started his career as a photographer. He advertised his gallery in the old post office opposite the Phoenix Block on Main Street. The gallery offered ambrotypes, cartes de visite, and melainotypes. In 1864 he moved his gallery to the Maynard Building, also on Main Street and between 1868 and 1874 he created the partnership of Ross & Ormsby. During the 1870's, George's business was doing well at a new location above Chapman's Furniture Store , opposite the American Hotel. He employed one person, sold 5,000 photographs and the business was capitalized for $2,000. The 1870 Census revealed that George owned real estate valued at $5,000, but he resided at the City Hotel. In 1880 his prosperous gallery was located at 36 Main Street, Petaluma , where he continued to take pictures until his death on January 23,1893. He never married. He was buried in Cypress Hill Memorial Park in Petaluma.

 

PIC #272782 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/272782)

S

Scholz, Julius F., 1864-1946

Julius F. Scholz was born in Germany on November 10, 1864. He immigrated to the United States in 1869. The 1870 Census lists a Julius Scholz, age 5, living in New York City with his parents Mortiz and Dorothea Scholz, natives of Prussia. Little can be found of Julius’s early years and where he learned the trade of photography. Julius is first listed in the 1903 Santa Rosa Directory. From that year until 1905 he worked as a photographer at 410 Fourth St. in Santa Rosa. By 1908 he had moved to 323 Fifth Street, where in 1911 through 1913 he partnered with William McClearie in a photographic studio. In 1915 and through 1920 he owned and operated a photo gallery in Santa Rosa. He married Belle J. Brown (1877-1920) and had three children, Harvey C. born 1895, Hazel L. born 1914 and Edward C. born 1916. He stopped working as a photographer not long after the death of his wife in 1920. He became a watch maker and for years engaged in that occupation in Santa Rosa. He died of a fractured skull, sustained by a fall on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa on August 24, 1946. He was 81 years of age. After an autopsy and funeral services he was buried in the Chapel of the Chimes Cemetery in Santa Rosa.

 

Scholz and Joseph William Talbert McClearie were partners, for a short time, in a photographic gallery located at 323 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa, California. This partnership lasted from 1911 to 1912.

 

Sources: United States Census Records
Santa Rosa City Directories
California Voter Registrations
WWI Registration of 1918
California Death Index
Sonoma county Cemetery Records
Santa Rosa Republican, October 17. 1913, page 8, col. 1
Press Democrat, October 19, 1906, Page 3, col. 1
Press Democrat, December 9, 1969, page 8, col. 2
Press Democrat, December 10, 1969, page 8 col. 4
Press Democrat, August 25, 1946, page 2, col. 3

Schramm, Mathieu, 1847-1899

Heinrich Joseph Mathieu Schramm was born June 23, 1847 in Vital, Aachen Stadt, Rheinland, Prussia to Johannes Joseph Mathias Schramm and Elizabeth Bemburg Schramm. After immigrating to the US, he traveled to San Francisco and was naturalized there on Nov. 4, 1876. In 1877 he was employed as a photographer in San Francisco. By 1878 he was listed in the Oakland, Alameda County, CA Directory as the proprietor of the Pacific Gallery located at Market and West Streets. In 1880 Schramm and his wife, Emma A., were still in Oakland where he worked as a photographer. By 1882, he had settled in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA were he opened a photography studio at 186 Fourth Street. He helped publish a German language newspaper, the Weekly Sonoma Journal in 1888. After short forays into San Diego and Nevada Counties, California, he returned to Oakland by 1890. He remained there until his death in 1899 at age 52. He was buried in Mt. View Cemetery, Oakland, CA.

 

PIC #282144 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/282144)

Schroll, Kenneth E., 1918-2009

Kenneth E. Schroll (1918-2009) was born on July 15, 1918 to Stanton Keith Schroll and Jessie Gertrude Nuckles Schroll in Syracuse Township, Hamilton County, Kansas. He remain there through the 1930’s. In 1940, at age 21, he was living in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California where he was employed as a motion picture theater manager. He enlisted in Army in Los Angeles on February 3, 1941 and served during World War II. Following his discharge from the Army, he moved to Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. By 1949 he had established Ken Schroll Studio at 509 Mendocino Avenue. His wife, Jeane Gerow Schroll, worked as a colorist in the studio. Ken Schroll Studio did the yearbook photography for various high schools in Santa Rosa and enjoyed popular success through the years. The studio address changed to 520 Mendocino Avenue in 1957. Harry W. Johnson joined the studio in 1961 when it maintained its own color photo laboratory and specialized in color portraits. By 1967 Kenneth Schroll closed his studio after 18 years, but remained in Santa Rosa working in sales. In 1972 he left Santa Rosa, after divorcing Jeane. He married Audrey Bradshaw on April 21, 1972 in San Francisco. They settled in San Mateo County, California in the towns of San Bruno and Pescadero. Kenneth E. Schroll died at the age of 90 on June 6, 2009 in San Bruno. He was survived by his wife Audrey and a daughter, Ann Marie Schroll.

Sewell, Daniel, 1836-

Daniel Sewell was a well-known portrait photographer in Sonora and San Francisco. Sewell was born June 12, 1836 in Staleybridge, Lancashire, England. He immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1847, first settling Wappinger's Falls, Duchess County, New York. He arrived in San Francisco, California September 29, 1859. Sewell established a photo studio in Sonora and married Lucie Elvira Worden of Sonora. He moved to San Francisco in 1879 or 1880 and bought into the gallery of J. H. Peters and Company at 25 Third Street. This partnership was in effect until 1884 when the gallery became Sewell and Company, New York Photograph Gallery. By 1886, he was operating as D. Sewell's Photographic Parlors on 1025 Market Street, San Francisco. He was active at that location until at least 1904.

Shaw, William, 1843-1929

William Shaw was born in Canada in 1843 to James W. and Marion Shaw. He immigrated to Michigan in 1850 where he married Alice McCollum (1846-1924) in 1864. William came to Santa Rosa in May of 1875. In 1885 he purchased a half interest in the Third Street Photograph Gallery partnering with James K. Piggott. In 1888, William bought out Piggott. The Third Street Gallery was the oldest photographic studio in Sonoma County having been established in 1868 and located at 532A Third Street. Shaw specialized in portraits, photographic and in crayons and water colors. He was assisted in his studio by his wife and his daughter Clara Shaw, who was skilled in retouching. By 1908, Shaw moved his studio to his residence at 647 Cherry Street, Santa Rosa where he continued to work until the 1920’s. He died in Sonoma County on July 24, 1923.

Sheppard, Lafayette, 1852-1940

LaFayette Sheppard was born January 26, 1852 in Ohio. He arrived in California by 1880 and was employed in various occupation in various cities and towns of California. In 1880 he was employed as a lawyer in Mendocino County. In 1879 he married Maggie M. and had two sons, Raymond, born 1882 and Harry, born 1886. The 1888 Voter Registration of Sonoma County, he was listed as a photographer in Petaluma. He did not linger long in Petaluma, for in 1900 he lived with his family in San Francisco employed as an electrician. Subsequent moves placed the family in Oakland, Stockton, and finally Los Angeles. He died at age 87 in Inglewood, Los Angeles County on June 29, 1940.

Silberstein, Mervyn D., 1885-1956

Born in San Francisco to Jacob and Hannah Silberstein, Mervyn grew up in Healdsburg, CA, where his father owned a successful dry goods and men’s clothing business. He purchased his first camera while in High School and eventually opened his own camera store. Many of his photos and postcards show the still rural town of Healdsburg at the beginning of the 19th century, his friends, and informal snapshots of local children which were quite rare at the time. Silberstein founded the Sotoyoman, a monthly publication created by Healdsburg High School students, and later worked as a writer for the Sotoyome Sun and the Healdsburg Enterprise.
In 1911 the whole family relocated to San Francisco, where Silberstein worked in advertising and as a newspaper correspondent. He pursued his photographic work on the side and developed a passion for documenting life and customs in San Francisco’s Chinatown. He married Lillian Ruth Swanson in 1926, and both worked in the travel agency business until his retirement in 1956, conducting personal guided tours to national parks, including Yosemite and Yellowstone. Silberstein died in 1957, seventy years of age, in San Francisco. The Russian River Recorder 2018 Winter issue pays tribute to Silberstein’s remarkable life and work: “Mervyn David Silberstein: Through One Man’s Lens”. The Silberstein collection in the Healdsburg Museum was donated by his daughter Gloria Silberstein Brown (1928-2014), and consists of approximately 623 photographs and postcards that were taken in Healdsburg from 1903-1913, and several of his cameras.

Skinner, Geoffrey, 1963-

 

Geoffrey Skinner serves as Digital Collections Coordniator and as theCataloging and Metadata Supervising Librarian for the Sonoma County Library. He specializes in local history.

 

 

 

 

 

Skinner, Hal, 1925-2004

 

Harold R."Hal" Skinner (1925-2004) moved to Sonoma County from Indiana in 1965 to serve as the first director of the Audio-Visual Department (later Instructional Resources Department) at Sonoma State College (later University).

 

He later taught in the School of Education until retiring in 1988. He took up artist blacksmithing in retirement and was a featured exhibitor at the Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sebastopol and Sturgeon's Sawmill in Occidental until his death at age 79.

 

 

 

 

 

Smith, James Girard

James Girard Smith was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England to John and Mary Smith on January 28, 1836. In 1857, at age 21, he immigrated to the US. He stayed in New York state for a short time and then made his way to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where he joined a cattle drive going overland to Salt Lake City, Utah. He then walked from Salt Lake to Sacramento, arriving in November of 1858. James first tried farming on the Feather River and then mining near Nevada City, California. The Civil War Draft Registry listed him living in Sutter County, California in October of 1863. In 1864, James decided to pursue a career in photography. By 1864 he was working as a photographer in Vallejo, Solano County, CA. He opened the Solano Art Gallery, as its proprietor, first on Virginia Street and then at 164 Georgia Street, Vallejo, CA by February 1874. For a short period of time he operated as Smith and Perkins, with Alfred Judson Perkins, Sr. He produced portraits and views of Vallejo and Mare Island. His photography won a prize at the Napa County Fair of 1872. James maintained his gallery until at least 1896. From about 1899 to about 1903, James was a photographer in San Francisco at 990 Filbert Street. He retired to Vallejo about 1904. James married Adelaide Augusta Ingalls or Ingols on March 11, 1865 in Solano County. She was born on July 13, 1837 in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts. He and Adelaide had seven children, all born in Vallejo. James was naturalized a US citizen on August 21, 1871 in Solano County. After his retirement, James and Adelaide lived quietly in Vallejo on York Street. James died on November 6, 1918 at age 82. He was buried in Sunrise Memorial Cemetery, Vallejo, California. Adelaide lived to be 89 and died on January 3, 1927 in Solano County.


Sources: US Census
California Voter Registration
Civil Was Draft Registration
California Death Index
Find a Grave.com
Pioneer Photographers of the Far West, Peter E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 2000
Biographies of Western Photographers, Carl Mautz, Carl Mautz Publishing, Nevada City, California, 1997

PIC #7386 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/7386)

Stark, Alexander J. "Zan"

 

Alexander J. "Zan" Stark (Apr. 10, 1889-Mar. 17, 1967) was born in Michigan moving to California in his early 20's. He first lived in San Francisco moving to Mill Valley in Marin County in the mid 1920's, where he established a studio at 324 Miller Avenue and worked as a postcard photographer. He worked from the 1920's into the early 1950's under the name Zan of Tamalpais. He was the official photographer of the Redwood Empire Association from 1936. Zan photographed the California coast from Monterey Co., Big Sur, the Redwood Highway and most of Northern California and southern Oregon. Zan moved to Sonoma around 1952 and died on March 17th, 1967 in a Sonoma rest home.

 

Sutterly, James Kimball, 1834?-1883

James Kimball Sutterly was born in Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey about 1834. At age 16, in 1850, he was working as a clerk in Trenton. He became a traveling photographer. From 1857 to 1860 he operated a daguerreian gallery in Chicago, Illinois. By 1862 he and his brother, Clement Sutterly were active in photography on the west coast. In 1864, they partnered in a photographic gallery in Virginia City, Nevada and James opened a branch gallery in Carson City, Nevada in 1865. After a short period in Boise, Idaho, James moved to Salt Lake City, Utah by 1866. He married Louisa F. Seymour, there, on July 4, 1866. This gallery was equipped to take not only portraits, but photographs of all kinds including views of buildings, machinery and other exterior views, etc. The gallery was sold by 1867 and James and Louisa settled in Winnemucca, Nevada where their daughter, Maude, was born. James Sutterly, photographer, was registered to vote in town of Calistoga, Napa County, California in 1867. In 1870 he was living in San Francisco with Louisa and daughter Maude. He was described as an inventor. In September of that year he entered into a partnership with Stephen A. Rendall, photographer. They opened the Rendall and Sutterly Gallery located on Main Street, Petaluma, Sonoma County, California. The partnership was short lived and the gallery was sold in 1871. According to the 1871 Directory of Napa County, California, James and his brother Clement Sutterly were reunited as the Sutterly Brothers, and established a photography studio on Main Street in Napa, Napa County with other locations in the towns of St. Helena and Calistoga, Napa County, California. Records show James again opened a gallery in Virginia City, Nevada in 1873 and a branch gallery in Carson City, Nevada, that same year. In 1875 Sutterly and Company, a partnership between James and Charles Noe advertised a gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah. James was also active in San Jose, California in the 1870s. By 1880 the brothers had moved on, Clement to Amador County, California and James to Wilmington, Delaware. He was employed in Delaware as a photographer until his death of blood poisoning at age fifty. He died in New Castle, Delaware on August 2, 1883. His estate was probated in April of 1884 with Louisa the sole heir.

 

Sources: US Census of New Jersey, California, and Delaware
Territorial Enterprise, Virginia City, Nevada, July 12, 1866
California Voter Registrations
Delaware Death Records
Delaware Wills and Probate Records
Pioneer Photographers of the Far West, Peter E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Karlbourn, Stanford University Press,
Stanford, California, 2000
Biographies of Western Photographers, Carl Mautz, Carl Mautz Publishing, Nevada City, California, 1997

PIC #300880 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/300880)

PIC #370112 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/370112)

Swart, John Simeon

John S. Swart was born in Hanover, Germany in August of 1848 and immigrated to the United States in 1859. By 1870 he had established a studio at 35 Main Street in Peoria, Illinois and in 1871 at 41 S. Washington Street in Peoria. He was working at 31 Summit Street in Toledo, Ohio in 1872. He was naturalized on February 12, 1873 in the Cook County, Ohio Probate Court. He traveled to San Francisco by 1874 and entered into a partnership with Theodore Miltz. Together they operated the St. Louis Art and Photographic Gallery at 315 Montgomery Street in San Francisco in 1875. In the summer of 1875 they visited Healdsburg, Sonoma County for a short time and advertised in the local newspaper, stating their photographs are finished in San Francisco.

 

The partners decided to open a studio at 180 Fourth Street in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County in 1876. They prospered there until March 24, 1880 when the building on Fourth Street caught fire resulting in a loss of $5,000. After the fire and the demise of the partnership, John stay for a short time in Butte, Sierra County, California. In 1881 he married Anna Marie Seith, a native of Denmark, who came to the US in 1879. The couple would have three children, Karen (1882-1961, John B. (1883-1919) and Lino (1886-1948). The family lived in Grass Valley, Nevada County, CA in 1900, but John opened his studio on Broad Street, Nevada City, Nevada County, CA by 1886, where he remained active until 1895. His photographs of various gold mines were published to illustrate articles written in the Pacific Coast News and the San Francisco Call in 1895. No death record or cemetery record was found for John. His widow, Anna, was living in San Francisco with her children in 1910.

 

Sources: US Census Records
California Voter Registration Records
Photographers Indentities Catalog (PIC)
Nevada City Directory
Biographies of Western Photographers, Carl Mautz, Carl Mautz Publishing, Nevada City, California, 1997
Russian River Flag, June 17, 1875
Russian River Flag, July 19, 1877
Daily Alta California, March 24, 1880
Pacific Coast News, San Francisco Call, November 5, 1895

PIC #376530 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/376530)

PIC #376531 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/376531)

PIC #376532 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/376532)

T

Taber, I. W. (Isaiah West), 1830-1912

Isaiah West Taber (Sept. 17, 1830-Feb. 22, 1912) was born in Massachusetts and came to California first in 1850, returning to New Bedford in 1854 for ten years and returning back to California in 1864 working for Bradley and Rulofson till 1871. He opened his own gallery at 12 Montgomery Street in San Francisco in 1872 and in 1876 he acquired C. E. Watkins' negative collection, making prints with his name on them but keeping Watkins' numbers. He was well known for his extensive stock of California images, but he lost his large collection of twenty tons of view and portrait glass negatives and Claus Spreckels images in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire that ended his of his photographic career at age 76.

Turrill & Miller

Turrill & Miller, formed by Charles Beebe Turrill and J. P. Miller, was a San Francisco photography studio located at 4005 17th Street in San Francisco. Charles Beebe Turrill was born March 6, 1854, and died in 1927. He began his work as an amateur photographer in 1886, and started a professional business around 1900 in San Francisco.

W

Walsh, Les, 1908-1987

Photographer Carl Leslie Walsh signed his photographs, Les Walsh. He was born in Marin County, California on December 18, 1908 to John P. Walsh and Martha (McIntosh) Walsh. He was raised in San Rafael and Novato, Marin County with his brother Charles Walsh (1907-2000). As a young man, now known as Leslie C. Walsh, he worked as a salesman for a market in San Rafael. By 1940 he was still living at home, but employed as a photographer in San Rafael. He married Jessie Helen Straight in 1941. He became well established in 1950s and 1960s as a commercial photographer of portraits, wedding photographs and event photos at 246 D Street in San Rafael. By 1980 he and Jessie had moved to Novato, where he died on October 9, 1987.

 

Les was a renowned rodeo photographer from the 1950s to the 1980s. Many of the rodeo photos of from all over northern California were taken by Les. He covered the careers of many great cowboys. He also took many photographs of events at Sonoma-Marin County Fair. In 1941 he joined the Sonoma County Trail Blazers, a riding club, and became their official photographer for several years. He exhibited horse photographs at the State Horsemen Convention in October 1948, as well as, the horse races at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. His work was often published in the local newspapers. The Sausalito Historical Society contributed Walsh photographs for the “Sausalito Story” published in the newspaper Independent Journal. This article was republished, with photographs, in the book, “Designing San Francisco, Art, Land and Urban Renewal in the City by the Bay, Princeton University Press, 2017.

 

Sources: Ancestry.com
California Death Index
San Rafael Directories
Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library
Petaluma Argus-Courier, May 7, 1986, p 26
Sonoma County Trail Blazers

Warne, Fred

Fred Luther Warne was born on July 1, 1872 in Bronson, Branch County, Michigan. He was the son of George Warne and Frances Robinson Warne. On July 21, 1897, he married Emma Snyder in Branch County, Michigan. In 1900 the couple were living in Bronson, Michigan, where Fred was employed as a piano salesman. In 1904 Fred and Emma had one child named Wilbur F., who died in 1913 at age 9. Sometime before 1919, the couple moved to Sonoma County, where Emma died on December 16, 1921 at age 49. Fred entered into a partnership with Newton Lark in the drugstore, which he maintained until his death. By 1926, Fred had married Mae Thorpe, who had been born in England and arrived in the United States in 1910. No children resulted from this marriage. Fred was an accomplished musician who led a municipal band in Bronson, Michigan and organized and headed the Guerneville Municipal Band. He was involved in the Masons, Elks, and Eastern Star clubs in Guerneville and Michigan. Fred died on February 22, 1928, due to stomach cancer, in San Francisco, California. His body was cremated and buried in Bronson Cemetery, Bronson, Branch County, Michigan next to his first wife Emma and child Wilbur.


Sources: Old Memories Out of the River Mist, Charles R. Clar, 1973
Registry of Pharmacists Vol. 1
Healdsburg Tribune, August 18, 1921
Sebastopol Times, December 30, 1970, p. 7
Sonoma County, CA Directories
Press Democrat, December 25, 1970
Sonoma County, CA Marriage Records
Sonoma County, CA Cemetery Records
Sonoma Heritage Collection at the Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, California
US Census Records
Michigan Marriage Records
Press Democrat, February 23, 1928
San Francisco Funeral Home Records
Branch County, Michigan Cemetery Records

Wells, Annie, 1954-

Annie Wells graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a B.A. in 1981. She studied photojournalism at San Francisco State University where she was part of a group that won the RFK service award for photographs of AIDS care givers.
She worked as a photographer for the San Francisco Bureau of the Associated Press, The Greely Tribune in Greeley Colorado, the Herald Journal in Logan, Utah, and the Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California. Annie worked for the Press Democrat for 8 years, starting in 1989. In 1997, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for her photograph which captured a firefighter saving a drowning girl from a swollen creek , published in the newspaper in 1996.
In 1997 she joined the Los Angeles Times and worked there until she was laid off in 2008. Ever resilient, she enrolled in the divinity school at Claremont School of Theology in the fall of 2009 with the goal of becoming a hospital or hospice chaplain. As a breast cancer survivor, she co-produced a documentary film called, “From Arm’s Length,” which is a collection of personal photos of her undergoing treatment. Her photographic work is included in the National Museum for Women in Washington D.C.

 

PIC #266800 (https://pic.nypl.org/constituents/266800)

Wheldon, Rupert H., 1883-1960

Rupert H. Wheldon was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1883 to Henry D. Wheldon and Marianne Wilson Wheldon who had immigrated from England. By 1891, the family had returned to England where Rupert resided until 1908. On April 22, 1908, Rupert H. arrived in New York from Southampton, England. He gave his occupation as a confectioner. Ten years later, Rupert was established as a photographer in Goldendale, Klickitat County, Washington. On June 4, 1915 he married Lillian Gresham in that county. The couple came to California before 1926. Rupert was listed as the proprietor and photographer of Sunset Studios located at 23 Western Avenue, Petaluma, Sonoma County, California in the Petaluma Directory. Rupert maintained his studio until about 1942 when he retired and moved to Santa Barbara, California. He died in in Salinas, Monterey County, California on June 6, 1960.

Williams, Ed A.

Ed. A. Williams was a San Francisco photographer, with a studio at 1140 Market Street.

Y

Young, Ralph, 1882-1943

Ralph E. Young (1892-1938) was born on June 20, 1892 to W. Chester Young and Mary Brown Young in Hamilton, Franklin County, Iowa. In 1900 through 1910, Ralph lived with his parents, where they had relocated in Salem, Marion County, Oregon. By 1917, according to the World War I Registration, he was married to Gladys C. Small (1895-1969) and working as a nurse. Between 1920 and 1929, he and his Partner, Hayden D. Lothers were successful commercial photographers with studios located at 165 Post Street and 419 Sutter Street, San Francisco. When the partnership came to an end, in 1930, Ralph operated the Ralph Young Studio at 443 Sutter Street and at 515 Market Street, San Francisco until his death. He died suddenly of a heart attack on February 6, 1938. He was cremated and his ashes placed at Cypress Lawn Cemetery, Colma, San Mateo County, California.