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.
This post examines William Henry Jackson’s employees between 1891 and 1896. Jackson’s business travels took him away from Denver, so he needed a solid management team. He bought out his former partners, the booksellers and publishers, Chain & Hardy and moved to a modern studio on Colfax Avenue. In 1897, Jackson left Denver to join the Detroit Publishing Company.
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, if cited, and the dates of their employment. I have included all the names associated with Jackson’s photo studio.
For earlier employees see the links at the end of this post.
1891 W. H. Jackson Photograph and Publishing Company, 1615 Arapahoe Street
Horace A. Bird secretary and treasurer, W H Jackson Photograph and Publishing Co. 1891-93 Bird (b. circa 1859) started his career as a newspaper reporter.Later he joined the Colorado Midland Railroad, where he most likely met William Henry Jackson. In 1889, Bird authored History of a Line (Colorado Midland Railway): A Handbook for Tourists and Sportsmen in the Rocky Mountains. He joined Jackson’s firm at a critical moment, after Jackson bought out Chain & Hardy and planned to increase photo sales across the country.
Walter S. Cross Probably Walter Shaumburg Cross (1869-1951), a Baltimore photographer, who spent a brief time in Denver in the early 1890s, working with photographer Horace E. Hunt before his employment with Jackson.
Joseph Edelmann No biographical information found.
George A. Ferguson (1891-1893) toner, printer After four years with Jackson, Ferguson (b. 1871), worked as a photographer in Chicago (1897) and Detroit (1899-1901).
Miss Florence L. Hoopes, often incorrectly spelled Hooper (1891, 1893) colorer Hoopes (b. circa 1862-1944) attended Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, graduating in 1886. In 1891, Hoopes and Emma Jackson (see below) lived at the same Denver address. After working for Jackson, Hoopes relocated to the Baltimore area.
Miss Emma K. Jackson (1891, 1895) artist Emma Jackson (1858-1927) was William Henry Jackson’s sister. She remained friends with her co-worker, Florence L. Hoopes, for many years. They traveled together and attended art lectures in Santa Fe and Detroit, where Emma Jackson later made her home. Emma Jackson continued to color photographs after she left her brother’s firm. Most notably, she hand-colored twelve photographic transparencies from various projects undertaken by the United States Geological Survey that were exhibited at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis and other sets that were exhibited in 1909 at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and the 1911 International Exposition in Turin, Italy.
1892 W. H. Jackson Photograph and Publishing Company, 1615 Arapahoe Street
E. Cameron Hunter After one year with Jackson, Elijah Cameron Hunter (b. circa 1862-1928), worked for Denver photographers Max Kalischer (1893) and Alvah B. Thompson (1895). He remained active in Denver’s photographic community through 1902.
Miss Sadie E. Potter, clk Potter is listed as a photographer in the 1891 Denver City Directory, one year before working for Jackson.
1893 W. H. Jackson Photograph and Publishing Company, Industrial Bldg, Colfax Avenue, bet 12th and 13th
Paul Balsiger, toner
Paul Balsiger (1862-1943) moved to Colorado from Highland, Illinois, around 1891 with his sister, Marguerite. He worked for Denver photographer, Frederick E. Post, before taking a position with William Henry Jackson. Around 1900 Balsiger and his sister opened their own studio which they operated for about a decade. The Denver Post frequently published his work. The Denver Public Library’s collection includes many of his architectural views and street scenes focusing on the Denver City Tramway Company. In 1912 Balsiger sold his studio and relocated to a farm in southwestern Colorado. Paul and his sister moved to Redlands, California in 1923.
Miss Daisy Burchfield, colorer Daisy Burchfield (b. circa 1863-1939) briefly worked for W.H. Jackson, but she had a long career as a Denver artist. She specialized in hand coloring photographs and lantern slides. Photographers Howard F. Peirson and Paul Balsiger, a former employee of Jackson, both hired Burchfield as a colorist.
Arthur C. Burnham, operator No biographical information found.
Kensel P. Howe, clerk, finisher (1893, 1895-97) Kensel P. Howe (1875-1957) spent decades as a photographer in Denver. In the 1910s Howe made photographs for the Colorado State Highway Commission. His landscape views appeared in several issues of Denver Municipal Facts. Around 1925 Howe moved to Los Angeles where he continued his photographic career.
Miss Mills, printer No biographical information found.
Mrs. Mary Donaldson Wetherwax, stenographer, bkkpr, 1893-1897 Around 1913, Mrs. Wetherwax (1861-1936) moved to Colorado Springs with her husband George E. Wetherwax where they remained until their deaths.
Miss Minnie Wilder, finisher Wilder (b. 1873) lived in Denver throughout the 1890s. She married Harry Lander Price in Texas on June 5, 1900.
A. Woodward, printer No Biographical information found.
1894 W. H. Jackson Photograph and Publishing Co., Industrial Bldg, 433 Colfax Avenue W.
Walter F. Crosby, secretary, vice-president (1894-95) Photography enthusiast, Walter F. Crosby (1857-1915), managed Jackson’s business for two years. Through his efforts, the business moved into a sophisticated studio in the Industrial Building at 433 Colfax Avenue. Crosby maintained mining claims in the Cripple Creek area and was later treasurer of the Union Pacific Railroad.
Clarence S. Jackson Clarence S. Jackson (1876-1961) was William Henry Jackson’s son.
1895 W. H. Jackson Photograph and Publishing Company, Industrial Bldg, 13th and Tremont Street
William M. Rhoads, sec. 1895-96 Son of Philadelphia photographer, William H. Rhoads (1835-1885), William M. Rhoads returned to Philadelphia where he continued his photographic career.
William H. Walker, photographer Walker worked only one year with Jackson, but was active as a photographer in Denver (1887-90, 1892-99, 1910-17) and Idaho Springs (1891-92).
1896 W. H. Jackson Photograph and Publishing Company, Industrial Bldg, 13th and Tremont Street
Miss Mary S. Cassedy, colorist 1896-1897 Cassedy (1867-1898) moved with her parents and siblings to Denver in the mid 1890s. She died in 1898 at the young age of 31. Her younger sister, May L. Cassedy also worked as a colorist in Denver.
Louis J. Schiermeyer, printer Probably Louis C. Schiermeyer (1872-1899). Louis was born in Germany, but his family moved to the United States shortly after his birth. The Schiermeyer’s operated a grocery store in Denver, with Louis working as a clerk before his employment with Jackson.
Thank you to Beverly Brannan, recently retired photography curator, Library of Congress, for editorial assistance and to Breahna Beecher for bringing Daisy Burchfield’s work in the Amon Carter Museum’s collection to my attention.
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.