Come to Colorado, photographs by William Henry Jackson, William G. Chamberlain, C. W. Erdlen, and many other photographers, is on view at the Amon Carter Museum (Fort Worth, TX) through January 7, 2024. The collection is drawn from the Fred and Jo Mazzulla collection. In 1976, the Amon Carter Museum acquired the collection of more than 6,000 photographs, postcards and memorabilia relating to the history of Colorado.
On Wednesday, November 1, 2023 at 5:30pm, Eric Paddock, curator of photography at the Denver Art Museum and Colorado native will join the Amon Carter’s retired Senior Curator of Photographs John Rohrbach to discuss photography’s role in shaping Colorado’s image as an economic resource and outdoor playground.
I haven’t posted in a while because I have been down the research “rabbit hole.” The life of a history detective is both time consuming and rewarding. The careers of many of the photographers I profile have never been fully documented. I thought I would share my research path for Charles E. Emery. A fuller post of his life will appear once I tie up a few loose ends.
A few weeks ago, a genealogist contacted me for assistance in identifying the photographer of a cabinet card made in Canon City, Colorado. I can certainly understand why she was unsure of the photographer’s last name (Emery) due to the flowery script. Having the photographer’s name allowed her to narrow down the date of her photograph to between 1885 and 1892.
After this correspondence, I thought, “Maybe I should do a post about Emery. Are there interesting photographs I could use for my blog?”
I looked at the Denver Public Library’s website and found a photograph showing the exterior of Emery’s studio. You don’t always find photographs showing photo studios, so having that photo sealed the deal–a blog post was in the works.
The cataloging notes for this image suggest that the photograph was made on Main Street, Manitou Springs, Colorado in 1884. Emery never had a studio in Manitou Springs, but he did work for decades in the neighboring community of Colorado Springs. However, that studio didn’t open until 1892.
In 1884, Emery’s studio was located in Silver Cliff, Colorado. Could I prove that this photograph was made in Silver Cliff? Emery’s Silver Cliff studio was located above Tomkins hardware store, at the corner of Main and Mill Streets. The New York Public Library owns a stereoview of Tomkins hardware store. I believe this view was made before Emery’s studio took over the second floor of the building.
The left side of the building provides clues that confirm the location as Emery’s studio. While the siding has been updated, the balustrade is the same design. Also, the attorneys sign appears in both photographs.
What else could I find out about Emery? The website cabinetcardphotographers mentioned that Charles Emery was listed in “Who’s Who in Professional Portraiture in America,” published in 1927. Only nine libraries hold this title, including the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, where I worked for 30+ years. My former co-worker and now volunteer, Elisabeth Parker, offered to track down the book and scan the relevant pages. The entry for Emery provided essential information about his early life.
The blog post on Emery is still a work in progress. I need to make a trip to the Stephen H. Hart Research Center at History Colorado to fact check a couple of details. I look forward to publishing a fuller account of Emery’s life in the near future.
Last year at the Denver Post Card Show, I found a carte de visite of an unremarkable woman taken by Pierce from Greeley, Colorado. I checked my database of more than 1,200 Colorado photographers and noticed that Pierce was not on my list. My database is compiled chiefly from the seminal (but now outdated) book on Colorado photography, Colorado on Glass by Terry Wm. Mangan, 1975, Biographies of Western Photographers by Carl Mautz, 2018, and keyword searching the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection database.
To find out more about Pierce, I began my research at the Hazel E. Johnson Research Center at the Greeley History Museum in Greeley, Colorado. Years ago, museum volunteers combed through their old newspaper collections and noted any mention of photographers working in the city. They prepared a card file arranged by photographers’ names, providing a goldmine for researchers, as the indexed newspapers have not been digitized.
In September 1883, E. W. Pierce arrived in Greeley to take charge of Benjamin F. Marsh’s gallery while Marsh traveled east to visit relatives. According to the April 23, 1884 Greeley Tribune, Pierce “began his artistic career in New York City, elaborated it in Chicago, polished it up in Denver…” He used the new instantaneous dry plate process that allowed Pierce to “take your head off in a second.” While he did not necessarily need sunlight for the exposure, he did need the sun for making the prints. Without it, the prints would be delayed. He was skilled in artistic lighting, retouching, and finishing.
Pierce stayed in Greeley after Marsh returned from his trip, even improving the studio by purchasing new photographic instruments from the east. During his stay, he claimed to have made nearly 10,000 negatives. This is probably an exaggeration, as Greeley’s population was only 1,500 in the mid-1880s. All negatives were numbered and booked, but neither the negatives nor the inventory are known to exist today. Pierce left Greeley in April 1884 for a viewing trip to Southern Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
In the summer of 1884, Marsh returned to Greeley with the goal of producing a souvenir view book of the city. The Tribune reported, “His plans[sic] is to make 12 or 24 negatives, and show proofs, and select 12 of the most interesting views, bind them in an elegant album cover, and supply them to subscribers at the low rate of $3.00 each, provided a sufficient number can be obtained.” By late August 1884, the accordian-style book had been produced, measuring roughly 5″ x 8″ consisting of nine photographs of Greeley. The book’s cover includes Pierce’s middle name, Warren, which should help identify the photographer, but only led to a dead end in my research.
Pierce remained off and on in Greeley until the fall of 1885. Then he went to California, running the Elite Studio in Los Angeles. And there the trail of Pierce’s life ends.
My theory is that E. W. Pierce is the same photographer who worked in Galena, Illinois in the 1860s and 1870s. His name was variously spelled as E. W. Peirce, E. W. Pierce, E. W. K. Pierce and Edward Woodbine Peirce.
Pierce was born circa 1836 in Troy, New York. As a teen, he in lived in Brooklyn, New York, where he father was a merchant. By 1864, Pierce was working as a photographer in Galena, Illinois. Before December 1, 1876, Pierce sold his gallery to John H. Pooley. Pierce then traveled around the Midwest setting up temporary galleries before acquiring the Railroad Palace Photographing Car. The coach measured fifty feet long, ten feet wide and eight feet high, containing a reception room and operating department. The car followed the line of the Illinois Central.
A brief mention in the March 15, 1880 issue of the Galena Daily Gazette provides a Colorado connection: “E. W. K. Pierce, the artist, has sold out his Des Moines establishment, and has started a general store in Gunnison City, Col.” He could have then resided in Greeley between 1883 and 1885, and then moved on to Los Angeles. Edward W. Pierce died on September 4, 1888 in California and is buried at Napa County’s Tulocay Cemetery.
What do you think of this theory?
Miranda Todd, Archives Assistant, City of Greeley Museums scanned the two images from the Greeley Museums and provided research assistance. Beverly W. Brannan, former curator of photography at the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, proofread this post.
Fred L. Garrison was born on April 9, 1867 in Ohio.He became interested in photography in his twenties.By 1891, he subscribed to The St. Louis and Canadian Photographer while living in Edon, Ohio.The following year, he worked in New Iberia, Louisiana, photographing outdoor views, such as sugars mills, churches and private residences.Garrison met photographer, James C. Handley, in Louisiana and they would work together both in that state and later in Colorado.
In 1897, Garrison rode the Denver & Rio Grande railroad to the end of the line in Red Cliff, Colorado.He traveled by stage to Carbondale and joined the D. & R. G. surveying party.The following year Garrison opened a photo studio in Rifle, Colorado and later that year expanded his operations to Glenwood Springs. He went on to set up his tent gallery across from the court house in Meeker, Colorado in 1899 and 1900.
While the studio was known for years as the Garrison Bros., Fred’s brother Orson, was only active between 1900 and 1902.
Garrison won a prize, offered by Leslie’s Weekly, for his photograph of a railway collision at Rifle.The photo was published in the December 25, 1902, issue of the magazine.
Fred traveled to patron’s homes, making views of stores, home interiors, livestock, ditches and farms.He also visited communities, like Hayden, Collbran and Steamboat Springs, that were too small to support a photographer, making his services available to those who might not travel to Rifle.
In the 1910s he added novelty photo buttons to his inventory and also made a specialty of developing negatives and finishing prints for amateurs.Garrison provided many of the photographs used in the April 7, 1916 issue of The Rifle Telegram, a 28 page commemorative issue profiling local businessmen, educators, religious institutions and fraternal and social organizations.
Believed to be a confirmed bachelor, Garrison surprised the local community when he married Ola Sarah Anfenson on October 30, 1915 in Glenwood Springs.Prior to her marriage, Ola operated a photo studio in Debeque, Colorado.She worked in the Rifle studio alongside her husband, continuing the business into the 1940s.
Thanks to Cecil and Betty Waldron, volunteers at the Rifle Heritage Center for sharing their knowledge of the Garrison family. Keegan Martin, Digital Imaging Assistant, History Colorado, provided the scan of Hayden, Colorado. Jori Johnson, Collections Access Coordinator, Stephen H. Hart Research Center at History Colorado, provided assistance with ordering the scan. The Peter E. Palmquist Memorial Fund for Historical Photographic Research provided travel funds for this research.
Thank you to Elisabeth Parker, former assistant chief, Prints & Photographs Division, Washington, D.C., for proof-reading this post.
Wellington O. Luke was born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania on February 9, 1847.He married Nancy “Nellie” E. Russell on September 7, 1869.In the early 1870s, he operated a photography studio in Meshoppen, Pennsylvania.In 1874, the Luke family moved to Colorado Springs.He partnered with another Pennsylvanian, possibly his brother-in law, Bentley B. Russell.They specialized in scenic stereoviews.After his young wife’s death of consumption in 1874 and his brother-in-law’s passing a few months later, W. O. Luke departed Colorado and set up a photo studio in Abilene, Kansas.
In Abilene, Luke managed a portrait studio and occasionally took his outfit on the road to neighboring communities. In 186, he married Laura V. Chronister. In 1879, Luke moved his studio into Putnam’s new block, outfitting his rooms with new furniture and backdrops. However, a few months later, the Luke family, encouraged by Leadville, Colorado’s silver boom, moved west where Luke would continue his photo business.
In July 1879, Luke worked together with Danforth N. Wheeler as Luke & Wheeler, producing cabinet cards and stereoviews.Their work included scenic views and local events, including former president U. S. Grant’s 1880 visit to Leadville, the hanging of two men, showing a large crowd of spectators, street scenes of Leadville, and miners and mining operations.Luke and Wheeler maintained their partnership until December 1881.
In 1888, Luke and one of Colorado’s earliest photographers, Frank W. Grove, joined forces as Grove & Luke. Their studio resided at 425 Harrison Street.
Luke worked in Leadville for more than twelve years. Virginia Luke filed for divorce in November 1894, alleging non-support. After their divorce, Luke left Leadville for New Castle, Colorado and later Arizona, where it has been reported that he made identification cards for Chinese people living in the U. S., as required by the Geary Act.After a brief time in Auburn, California, Luke returned to Pennsylvania.He spent the remainder of his photographic career in Wilkes-Barre, calling his business the San Francisco Studio.Located in the Weitzenkorn building on Main Street, it was the only photo studio in the city with an elevator.
Wellington O. Luke suffered a stroke and died on January 8, 1907.
Thank you to Beverly W. Brannan, former curator of photography at the Library of Congress for proof reading this post.
A native of Oxford County, Maine, Charles Henry Clark’s parents Thomas Green Clark and Martha Bumpus Clark worked as farmers. Born in October 1847, Charles Clark was the youngest of five children. By 1860, the Clark family had settled in Eagle, Illinois.In June 1864, C.H. Clark mustered into the 138th Illinois Infantry, Company I, serving 100 days on garrison duty at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
After the war, Clark worked as an artist in Streator, Illinois.In 1880, he took charge of Albert Barker’s photography gallery in Ottawa, Kansas.
His exact arrival in Colorado is disputed, but in December 1881 he purchasedL.K. Oldroyd’s gallery in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He published oversized stereoviewsof Denver, Colorado Springs, and scenes along the Denver & Rio Grande Railway. In 1883, Clark worked out of Gunnison. He published and was the general trade agent for George Mellen’s photographic views.
In June 1884, he set up a studio in Salida, where his life-size, hand-colored portraits were consistently praised in the press. A display of his views and portraits was included at the 1887 Saguache County Fair. In January 1888, a devastating fire broke out in Salida, just as Clark was moving his studio to new quarters.The studio sustained $1300 in damages, and all of Clark’s early negatives of Salida were ruined.
In the fall of 1888, Clark formed a partnership with C. W. Erdlen.Clark & Erdlen worked as partners until April 1889 when Clark left Salida, and Erdlen took over the gallery. Clark’s departure followed the death of his young daughter, Ada. The Clark family practiced the Christian Science religion and were criticized in the local press for not providing adequate care of Ada during her illness. The Clark’s settled in Manitou, Colorado.His future whereabout are unknown until 1919 when Civil War records indicate he was living in a home for disabled soldiers in Los Angeles.He died in 1925 in San Diego.
Thank you to Elisabeth Parker, former assistant chief, Prints & Photographs Division, Washington, D.C., for proof-reading this post.
Kathy Gibson wrote this blog post about her great-grandfather, Frank Xavier Gonner.
A twenty-year old man from Luxembourg arrived at New York’s Castle Garden September 2, 1880, speaking French, German, Luxembourgish, and Latin. He was a well-educated gardener like his father, who intended his only son’s future to be the priesthood or the German Army. Frank Xavier Gonner did not want either occupation. He sought out one uncle in Dubuque, Iowa who published a magazine for Luxembourgers in America and wrote a book titled Luxembourgers in the New World. Frank traveled west to Denver, Colorado, where his other uncles Jean-Pierre and Matthias-Prosper, had a nursery business, offering flowers and winter vegetables.
Frank left them in about 1883 and followed the railroad south to Santa Fe, New Mexico; he became a vegetable grocer. He spent a few years there with several partners but by 1887 he followed the railroad northwest to Durango, Colorado. He roomed with the A. J. Faris family from Clinton, Missouri. His whole world changed in 1888 when he met the family’s half-sister, Hattie Estelle Roberts, and her father, William Henry Roberts.
Durango in the early days resembled Luxembourg, with farmlands, rolling high hills, and a river running through it. But it was a growing frontier town, filled with people from all over the world: miners, railroad men, bankers, farmers, families, and Civil War veterans. William Henry Roberts and his partner Anson Corey, both photographers from Missouri, trained Gonner in portraiture in 1889.
Gonner married Robert’s daughter in June 1891. They spent their honeymoon in Silverton. The couple had three children and the third died after birth and his wife died ten days later in June 1897.
After a large section of Durango burned in July 1889, Gonner & Leeka created a photographic collection of new buildings and homes to promote the rebuilt town. Their second collection consisted of 69 views of artifacts excavated from the 1891 Grand Gulch expedition, but these photographs have been lost to history. Grand Gulch is in southeast Utah with many canyons filled with small communities of the Ancestral Puebloans.
In July 1891 Gonner took his well-known portrait of Gustaf Nordenskiold, the Swedish archaeologist. He also photographed artifacts from a second Utah expedition in 1892. In the years 1889 and 1893 Gonner suffered two personal fire losses.
The Denver Camera Club awarded Gonner first prize in 1897 for a portrait of William Wallace, called “Navajo Bill”. Wallace was a pharmacist from Oregon who, at the insistence of his brother in Animas City, moved to theDurango/Farmington area in 1883 to heal from tuberculosis. He became a trader of Navajo goods.
Gonner produced important historical photographs, many portraits of the townspeople, the fire department, the local brass band, of which he was a member, the Durango Wheel Club, miners’ groups, school children, graduation classes, the local Southern Ute chiefs, the railroad, smelters, and his family.
David Day, editor of the Durango Democrat, published several special newspaper editions using Gonner’s photographs. The largest, published in 1901, featured Durango and her business residents. Together these men also displayed a photographic collection of those original San Juan County Pioneers, displayed at the Democrat office and the Gonner gallery. He sold Kodak cameras at his gallery and offered photo-processing. After purchasing a music store in 1907, he sold pianos, sheet music, and musical instruments.
He played the B-flat baritone in the Woodman Band. He had membership in benevolent fraternal groups: the Durango Elks (he was the Exalted Ruler in 1909-10), the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Ancient Order of the Pyramids, the Fraternal Mystic Circle, and Woodmen of the World.
Several factors may have contributed to his decision to end his life in a box car on a cold February night in Silverton in 1912. He was deeply in debt. His music store partner, a piano salesman, left their business in 1911. In January 1912 the building he had rented for almost 20 years, along with lots owned by the Elks on one block on Main, were sold to the federal government for the new Durango federal building and post office. After his death his entire gallery inventory was sold to pay his debts. His nearly adult children, under guardianship, received only the benefits from his W.O.W. and Mystic Circle life insurance. He is buried with his family at Greenmount Cemetery, Durango. The post office wasn’t completed until 1929.
Frank Gonner is best remembered for his photograph of the Durango Wheel Club picnic dated June 16, 1895. The members stand with their bicycles on Baker’s Bridge north of Durango, which spans the Animas River. In 1995 the Animas Museum in Durango printed a commemorative poster for the 100th anniversary of the Bicycle Club. It is still available for purchase.
Kathy Gibson was born in CA but raised in Colorado, not knowing much about her heritage. She received an old trunk full of family memorabilia, obituaries, and photographs in 1986 and has been researching ever since. She now lives in Michigan with her daughter and husband, a fellow genealogist, and they return to Durango each year for more research. She is the family genealogist and writes about her great-grandfather and his photography, his friends in Durango, and her family’s history for the years 1881-1912. The Animas Museum in Durango invited Kathy to give a zoom talk on Frank Gonner in 2022.
Thank you to Mack Frost, Rights & Reproductions, McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West for providing the scan of Navajo Bill. Beverly W. Brannan, former photography curator at the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, kindly proof-read this post.
Eliza Ann Whitney was born in Hillsboro, New Hampshire in November 1832. Her first husband, John B. Hammatt, died in 1854.On January 1, 1856 Elizamarried George H. Chandler in Montague, Massachusetts.This union ended in divorce.Her third marriage took place on December 20, 1869 in Johnson County, Iowa to photographer, William H. Masters. Undoubtably, Eliza learned photography from Masters.
The couple resided in Denver, Colorado in 1873, where William Masters operated a photo studio at 372 Larimer Street.Unfortunately, by the spring of 1874, the couple had split up.Mrs. Masters moved to Fort Collins and established one of the city’s first photo studios. Her husband filed for divorce in November 1875, citing willful desertion.
Her decision to live in Fort Collins may have been prompted by plans to establish a telegraph line through the growing city.Masters, an experienced telegraph operator, could combine occupations under one roof, with the likelihood of providing enough income to live on her own.
Right before opening her business, a horse and buggy accident left Mrs. Masters with a badly sprained ankle and several bruises.The mishap occurred between Fort Collins and Denver when the horse was spooked, throwing Mrs. Masters from the carriage.Masters spent two weeks convalescing in Greeley, Colorado.
By August 1874, Mrs. Master’s gallery was up and running.A couple of weeks later, the telegraph office opened in her rooms and Masters offered to teach the telegraphy craft to others.But running the two businesses did not bring financial success.The local newspaper reported that money was tight and that Masters would accept ranch products in exchange for work.
Masters moved to Greeley, Colorado by the summer of 1876, offering portraits, cartes de visite, large photographs and views of residences. She claimed she made a speciality of portraits of babies.A couple of months later, she advertised her photographic work under the surname of her first husband, Mrs. E. A. Hammatt.
After her time in Greeley, Hammatt’s whereabouts are unknown until 1884, yet her close-up head and shoulders portrait of the ethereal-looking baby shown above may forecasther interest in the spirit world.
Hammatt left the photographic field to pursue a decades-long interest in spiritualism.Her family disapproved of this profession, and forced her into a California mental institution for several months.Following her release, Hammatt traveled around the country giving lectures on spiritualism.Her experience in the mental institution understandably left her with an enduring interest in assisting other spirit mediums.She purchased land in San Diego County and planned to open a home for ill and retired mediums and orphaned children.
Based in California, newspaper journalists described Hammatt “as a lady of striking appearance; she has a firm, resolute expression, and possesses high intellectual acquirements and is a very intelligent conversationalist.”In 1886, she participated in Oakland, California’s Spiritualists’ Summer Assembly, occupying Tent No. 41. The Oakland tribune reported that“She has a materializing cabinet inside of a protective rubber string room, which is one of the central attractions in the camp grounds.This lady has a wide reputation in mediumship, and has given satisfaction to those who havetested her powers, and she claims to be giving entire new knowledge from the spirit world, which she is in possession of.Mrs. Hammatt can be consulted at her tent until the close of the camp meetings.”
Eliza Ann Hammatt died in California in 1908. It is unknown if she was successful in opening her home for mediums.
Thank you to Elisabeth Parker, former assistant chief, Prints & Photographs Division, Washington, D.C., for proof-reading this post. Jori Johnson, Collections Access Coordinator, History Colorado provided research assistance. Keegan Martin, Digital Imaging Assistant, History Colorado and Naomi Saito at The Beinecke Library provided the scans.
History lovers, help me solve a mystery! This blog post has been simmering for months because I was fascinated by one photo–the charming group portrait in front of the log cabin. If you look closely, there is a sign above the door that reads “Willa Catha Hotel.” I immediately thought of the author, Willa Cather, but she was a young girl living in Nebraska when this photo was taken. Share your thoughts!
Augustus W. Dennis was born on December 29, 1858 to Selah G. Dennis and Bethiah Thorndike Dennis in Rockland, Maine. The youngest of six boys, he attended school in Hallowell, Maine.In 1869, Selah, now a widower, moved his family to Melrose, Massachusetts, a short ten miles north of Boston.The following year, twelve-year old Augustus was severely injured when he was thrown from a wagon.Unable to find adequate medical care in Massachusetts, Dennis traveled to London’s famous St. Thomas Hospital. Dennis spent five years in London recovering from his injury.He returned to the U. S. in 1876, settling in Austin, Minnesota.
In Austin, Dennis learned photography from a Mr. Peck.They worked together as Peck & Dennis until January 1879, when Dennis took sole proprietorship of the gallery.In November 1879 he sold the Austin gallery and briefly relocated to Faribault, Minnesota.He left for Colorado in a covered wagon in April 1880.
Dennis arrived in Canon City, Colorado where he took possession of E. G. Morrison’s photo gallery on Main Street, and sold Morrison’s stereos of Colorado scenery.He also maintained the city’s free reading room.The library contained more than 150 books and seventy-five newspaper titles.For ten cents a week, patrons could take books home to read.
In March 1881, Canon City photographer J. A. Boston retired and sold his instruments, negatives and stock to Dennis.Due to an increase in business, Dennis hired several assistants, including Thomas J. Colpas, from Kansas City, to work in his gallery.In June 1881, Dennis set up a temporary studio at Colorado’s first state penitentiary to document convicts, recording their likenesses in the event of their escape.Dennis also made a series of photographs of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad.In addition to photographs, Dennis sold rattan furniture and pianos in the gallery.
In February 1883, Dennis added a partner, William E. Few.They operated as Dennis & Few through 1885.Few would later work with Dennis in Glenwood Springs, where Dennis relocated around 1886.His first Glenwood studio consisted of a tent north of the river.Later he moved to permanent quarters on Blake Avenue. Dennis used the dry instantaneous process to photograph local scenery.In November 1892, Dennis traveled to Mexico on official business to photograph government documents related to the Mexican land grant of 1838. He lived in Glenwood Springs through the early 1900s, serving as the city’s mayor in 1892.
Dennis photographed the development of Glenwood’s hot springs, now the world’s largest hot springs pool. Located along the Colorado River in Glenwood’s downtown area, the hot springs began operation in July 1888.
While Dennis announced in November 1902 that he and his wife were moving to California for his wife’s health, it seems that they relocated to Pueblo, Colorado, naming his business the Rembrandt Studio. In December 1904, Dennis advertised the sale of his Pueblo studio due to his wife’s illness. They removed to Long Beach, California where Mrs. Dennis passed away in August 1905.
Dennis returned to Glenwood Springs in 1906, becoming a cattle rancher. He died on July 24, 1927, Glenwood Springs. He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Canon City, next to his wife.
Thank you to Carolyn Cipperly, Archivist, Glenwood Springs Historical Society, for research help and Beverly W. Brannan for proof reading this post. Roger Genser confirmed the attribution of Dennis’ Canon city street scene. The Peter E. Palmquist Memorial Fund for Historical Photographic Research provided funds for the scans from the Glenwood Historical Society.
Walter Henry Foreman was born in the County of Surry, England in 1865, arriving in the United States in 1884. He settled in Denver with his mother and gained employment with photographer George Stephan in 1886.The following year Foreman opened his own studio on Larimer Street in Denver.He exhibited photographs alongside William Henry Jackson at the 1886 Colorado Manufacturers Exposition in Denver.
Remaining true to his British roots, Foreman helped organize Denver’s first Cricket Club.Later, his studio served as headquarters for the Swift’s foot ball club.Foreman was also active in British social groups, attending picnics and competing in foot races.In 1887, he won first place in a 100 yard scratch race, beating his opponent by eight yards and taking home a black marble clock.
Around 1896, Foreman began working for the Black Sisters in Boulder, Colorado.He purchased their studio in 1898 and added a department that specialized in enlargements.He left Boulder and ran studios in Loveland and Brush, Colorado before returning to Denver in 1911.
In 1913, a long-time Denver business, Turner Moving & Storage, held a contest to design a new sign.Foreman won the contest, which drew hundreds of entries.His illuminated design used 1,800 bulbs, showing a globe with North and South America outlined in green lights. For his efforts, Foreman won $50 in gold.
After a successful career as a photographer, Foreman’s last place of employment was Elitch Gardens, an amusement park in Denver.Walter H. Foreman died at his home in Denver on August 1, 1928 at the age of 62, leaving a widow.His remains rest in Denver’s Fairmount Cemetery.
The Peter E. Palmquist Memorial Fund for Historical Photographic Research provided funds for the scan from the City of Greeley Museum. Miranda Todd, Archives Assistant,City of Greeley Museums scanned the image and provided research assistance.