This post researches William Henry Jackson’s employees between 1884 and 1890 when Jackson partnered with booksellers and publishers, Chain & Hardy. James Albert Chain and S. B. Hardy opened their Denver bookstore in 1871. (Jackson’s first studio was across the street from the bookstore.)
Jackson and Chain became friends. They traveled together in a private Pullman train car, visiting the Southwest and Mexico. Jackson photographed the scenery, while Chain’s wife, Helen, made paintings along the route. This new partnership brought Jackson in direct contact with a publisher and distributor, so he could continue to concentrate on his photography while Chain & Hardy produced his books and sold his photographs.
The list below provides Jackson’s entries from the Denver city directories, followed by a list of his employees and their roles in the firm, with the dates of their employment. I have included all the names associated with Jackson’s photo studio.
1884 W. H. Jackson & Co. (W. H. Jackson and Chain, Hardy & Co.) landscape photographers, 414 Larimer
Miss Helen Curtis, mounter, (1884) In 1884, Helen Curtis lived in Denver with the John Louville Curtis family. Her relationship to this family is unknown. As a mounter, Miss Curtis would adhere the photographs to a stiff backing board.
Miss M. E. Maynard, clerk (1884-86) No biographical information found.
1885 W. H. Jackson & Co. (W. H. Jackson and Chain, Hardy & Co.) landscape photographers, 414 Larimer
Louis C. McClure, printer, photographer (1885-89, 1895-97) McClure (1867-1957) excelled at architectural photography. After William Henry Jackson left Denver, McClure ran his own photographic business. His clients included the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad and his work was published frequently in newspapers. I plan to feature him in a future post.
1886 W. H. Jackson & Co., (W. H. Jackson, J. A. Chain and S. B. Hardy), landscape photographers, 414 Larimer
Orrin C. Painter, assistant photographer Painter (1864-1915) was Jackson’s nephew. (Historically he has been identified as Jackson’s brother-in-law). See The Baltimore Sun, September 9, 1915, p. 7, c.4.
1887 W. H. Jackson & Co., (W. H. Jackson, J. A. Chain and S. B. Hardy), landscape photographers, 1609, 1611, 1613, and 1615 Arapahoe
Joseph A. Gilpin, photographer No biographical information found.
Miss Kate M. Moran, clerk, colorist (1887-89, 1894-95) Moran moved to Colorado from Nebraska in 1881. She worked for William Henry Jackson, as well as the Chain & Hardy Bookshop. In the spring of 1898, she accepted a position with the Nonpareil Portrait and Publishing Company in Colorado Springs. The Weekly Gazette (Colorado Springs) on May 17, 1898, referred to Moran as “one of the most skillful colorists in the country.” Her whereabouts after this date are unknown; although the Rocky Mountain News on October 5, 1898, reported the death of a Kate Moran from heart disease. Perhaps this is the same person.
1888 W. H. Jackson & Co., (W. H. Jackson J. A. Chain and S. B. Hardy), landscape photographers, 1615 Arapahoe
George Reitze, photographer Reitze (c. 1868-1920) worked about one year with Jackson. In 1890 Reitze and his brothers formed L. C. Reitze & Bros. Wall Paper & Decorating Company in Denver.
1889 W. H. Jackson & Co., (W. H. Jackson, J. A. Chain and S. B. Hardy), landscape photographers, 1615 Arapahoe
John Masonheimer, photographer, 1889-90 Possibly John K. Masonheimer (1871-1908).John K. Masonheimer came to Colorado in 1888. He was employed as a civil engineer for the railroads.
George E. Mellen, photographer, operator, 1889-90, 1892-93 Mellen (b. c1852-1915?) was an established photographer in Colorado before working for Jackson. In 1888, Jackson had even considered purchasing Mellen’s Colorado Spring’s business. Mellen authored two photography books and spent the latter part of his career in Chicago. A blog post devoted to Mellen will appear in the future.
1890 W. H. Jackson & Co., (W. H. Jackson, J. A. Chain and S. B. Hardy), landscape photographers, 1615 Arapahoe
Frederick Caseman, photographer After working for Jackson, Caseman (b. c1857) worked as a cigar maker and photographer in Rochester, NY.
Gilbert Hassell, photographer printer, finisher, 1890-1897 Hassell( 1871-1957) was born in Illinois, but grew up in Colorado Springs. At the age of 19, he began his photographic career with Jackson. After leaving Jackson’s employ, Hassell formed The Smith – Hassell Company. They were the official photographers to the C & S (Colorado & Southern) and Colo & Northwestern Ry. By 1901, Hassell had moved to California, where he became known for his large panoramic views.
Lewis E. Imes, printer Imes (1860-1932) learned photography in Chicago from Edward F. Hartley in 1880. He was hired as a photographer in several western towns, including his time with Jackson, until settling in Lansing, Michigan in 1899, where he would remain working in the photography field until his death.
Fred. D. Judson, photographer No biographical information found.
Thank you to Bill Else for sharing information about Gilbert Hassell’s post Jackson career. Thank you to Beverly Brannan, recently retired curator of photography, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, for her editorial assistance.