Adis C. Murphy and Josephine Buell: Evergreen Photographers

Adis “A. C.” Murphy and Josephine Buell were two of Evergreen’s earliest photographers.  Examples of their photographic work have eluded me, but I share their stories below in the hopes that this post leads to additional biographical information about the photographers and examples of their work.

Evergreen is located in the foothills less than twenty miles southwest of Denver.  In the 1890s, about two hundred people lived in the area known for its saw mills and ranches.  It was and continues to be a popular a summer resort.

A native of Michigan, A. C. Murphy (b.1845) operated a photography gallery in Fenton, Michigan in 1882, before moving to Evergreen, Colorado. Murphy resided at a rustic residence, Artist’s View, on land he homesteaded.  According to the July 5, 1893, Colorado Transcript, Murphy began photographing the Evergreen area in August 1889 at Bear Creek Canyon.  A later article, in the Jefferson County Graphic (August 3, 1901), mentioned that his views and sketches have been exhibited at the World’s Fair at Chicago and also at Buffalo, New York. Murphy divided his time between Denver and Evergreen during the 1900s.  I can find no info about him after 1912 and surprisingly no obituary.  

Camp Neosho
Unattributed. Camp Neosho, Evergreen, Colorado. Courtesy Evergreen Mountain Area Historical Society.

Josephine Howard Bailey Buell (1853-1930) was also born in Michigan.  She married James Whitcomb Buell, Assistant Surgeon in the military, on October 14, 1875.  Buell retired from the military in 1884 and settled with his family on a 1,000 acre stock farm in Sebastian County, Arkansas. 

After her husband’s death in 1897, Mrs. Buell moved to Evergreen, Colorado.  She joined her sister, Mary Neosho Williams, and niece, Dr. Jo Williams Douglas, prominent residents of the area.  They  lived at Camp Neosho (now called Hiwan), in their custom-built log home situated on 100 acres of land.   

Josephine Buell  worked as a photographer in Evergreen between 1900 and 1901.  Later, she lived in Golden, where her son, Arthur W. Buell, attended the School of Mines.  By 1910 she had made her home in New Jersey and remained there for the rest of her life.  She died on Christmas day, 1930 and is buried next to her husband at Fort Smith National Cemetery, Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Have any of my readers seen work by Murphy or Buell?

More about Hiwan

Thank you to Andrea Keppers, Education Specialist, Hiwan Museum and Beverly Brannan, recently retired curator of photography at the Library of Congress for proofreading.