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C. E. Johnson photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3677
Steroviews of Great Salt Lake, Saltair, the grave of Brigham Young, Tabernacle, Salt Palace, War of 1898 memorial, interior of tabernacle, advertising trade card for Valley - Tan Remedies, and photograph of the City and County Building of Salt Lake City, Utah.


  • approximately 1884-1926


Conditions Governing Access

Open to public access; Kept in cold storage; access requires 24 hours advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from C. E. Johnson photographs must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.


3 folders (0.24 linear ft.)

Biographical / Historical

"Charles Ellis Johnson was born on March 21, 1857 to Joseph and Eliza Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1860 young Charles and his mother moved to Salt Lake City. In 1861 Joseph and his two other wives joined them, but Joseph did not like city life and soon thereafter the family moved to Utah Valley. In 1866 they moved even further south to St. George. As a boy Charles had a variety of interests including printing, botany, Indians, and the theater. In St. George he met Ruth Young, a daughter of Brigham Young, and the two were married in 1878. The couple had three children, but would eventually live separate lives. In 1882 they moved to Salt Lake City where Charles worked as a druggist for ZCMI. In 1889 he and Parley P. Pratt went into business operating a drug store. Charles began to dabble in photography and in 1893 he took over the photo studio of Hyrum Sainsbury. Johnson quickly became known as the unofficial photographer of the Salt Lake City theater. He took many glamour photographs of actresses and even artistic nudes and risqué stereoviews. In 1897 he met and became friends with the actress Lydia Manreouv Montford who was performing in Salt Lake City. In 1903 Montford returned to Utah and the two left to photograph the Holy Land with the intention of selling the views at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Johnson apparently made little money and he returned to Utah where his business was languishing. Johnson remained a studio photographer and druggist in Salt Lake City for many years. He moved to California in 1917 and died on February 21, 1926."

Physical Location

L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602.

Custodial History

The photographs, stero views, and advertisement was purchased from Ken Sanders Books in 1994.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased; Ken Sanders Books; 1994.


Photographs (Photograph Archives).

Related Materials

These materials are part of the Photograph Archives.
Register of C. E. Johnson photographs
Abe Austin
2012 March 28
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States