Collection of portraits of early Provo residents
Scope and Contents
Materials include 19 photographs of early residents of Provo, Utah, dating from between approximately 1850 and 1900. The photographs are individual portraits from a variety of photographic studios, including those of George Edward Anderson, C. R. Savage, Fox & Symons, and T. E. Daniels.
- approximately 1850-1900
- Fox & Symons (Firm) (contributor, Organization)
- Daniels, T. E., Jr., (Thomas Edward), 1856-1926 (contributor, Person)
- Savage, C. R. (Charles Roscoe), 1832-1909 (contributor, Person)
- Anderson, George Edward, 1860-1928 (contributor, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Open for public research.
Conditions Governing Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Collection of portraits of early Provo residents must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
George Edward Anderson (1860-1928) was a Mormon photographer.
George Edward Anderson (Ed, as he was called) was born October 28, 1860 in Salt Lake City to George A. Anderson and Mary Ann Thorn, and was the oldest of nine children. He was apprenticed as a teenager under the renowned photographer, Charles R. Savage. It was at Savage's Temple Bazaar that he became friends with fellow apprentices John Hafen and John F. Bennett. Hafen was later to become an accomplished artist and Bennett was to become instrumental in preserving Anderson's collection of glass plate negatives.
At the age of seventeen, Anderson established his own photography studio in Salt Lake City with his brothers, Stanley and Adam. He subsequently established a studio in Manti, Utah in 1886. In the fall of 1888 he moved his studio to Springville, Utah, with his bride, Olive Lowry. He is perhaps best known for his traveling tent studio, set up in small towns throughout central, eastern, and southern Utah, where he captured the lives of the residents. These studios thrived throughout the years 1884-1907.
Although today we might think of Ed Anderson as a portrait photographer, his clear and artistic studio portraits are complemented by thousands of documentary portraits taken near homes, barns, and businesses. They document not only families but also small town Utah history. He documented, among other things, railroad history, mining history including the Scofield mine disaster, and the building of temples by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Pure landscape photographs were never his interest, but to many Church members, his 1907-1908 photographs of Church history sites are their only acquaintance with Anderson's photography. He photographed these sites while traveling across the country to begin his LDS Church mission in England from 1909-1911. The Deseret Sunday School Union of the Church published some of the views, as Anderson called them, in a booklet entitled The Birth of Mormonism in Picture.
Upon the completion of his mission, Anderson returned to South Royalton, Vermont, and set up a photography studio near the birthplace of the prophet Joseph Smith. He added a number of Church history site photographs, as well as portraits of Church members and local residents to his growing collection. Finally, in November 1913 he returned to his family and home in Springville, Utah.
After a seven year absence his photographic business was unhealthy and his family life was strained. But business and money were never the motivating forces of Ed Anderson's life—art and religion were his driving forces. Continuing to experience financial and marital strains, Anderson tried to revive his traveling tent studio but was met with little success. He was, however, able to earn some money from the sale of The Birth of Mormonism booklet.
The later years of Ed Anderson's life were spent in documenting families and life in Utah Valley and traveling to newly constructed temples. In 1923, he traveled to Cardston, Alberta, Canada with Church authorities for the dedication of that city's temple. He was to spend two years in Canada, thus returning to Springville in 1925. Though ill in the fall of 1927 and despite his wife's urging not to go, Anderson went once again with Church officials to document the dedication of another temple, this time in Mesa, Arizona. It was to be his last trip. He died of heart failure on May 9, 1928 after being brought home to Springville.
Essentially unsung as a photographer during his lifetime, only in the last thirty years has Anderson been recognized for the consummate photographic artist that he was. Primarily, the work of Rell G. Francis along with the work of Nelson Wadsworth and Richard Holzapfel, has brought Anderson's exquisite work to the attention of this generation.
Charles Reynolds, picture editor of the magazine Popular Photography, commented at a Brigham Young University photo seminar on December 11, 1973 about his introduction to Anderson's photographs. After attending an exhibition at the Springville Museum of Art, arranged by Rell Francis, he had this to say: "I go to shows several times a week in New York City ... and I have rarely seen anything as impressive as those photographs. ... it is awfully hard to astonish me. ... the George Anderson pictures that I saw today weren't sensationalized pictures in any way. They were very sweet, beautiful, lovely pictures ... "
Fox & Symons (1874-1883) was an art and photography business founded by Alexander Fox and Charles W. Symons.
Fox & Symons was a photograph gallery and studio established in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1874. The proprietors of the gallery were photographers Alexander Fox (1828-1882) and Charles W. Symons (1845-1934). The gallery closed in 1883, following the death of Fox.
C.R. Savage (1832-1909) was a photographer of the American West in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Charles Roscoe Savage, born August 16, 1832, in England, became one of the foremost 19th century landscape photographers of the western United States, as well as a renowned studio portrait photographer, with his studio in Salt Lake City, Utah. The idea to emigrate from England to Utah undoubtedly began shortly after his 1848 baptism and membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
Savage's immigration in 1856 to New York marked the beginning of his known interest in establishing a photography business. On assignment from the LDS Church he traveled to Florence, Nebraska. His family subsequently joined him in 1860 and Savage established a primitive studio in Council Bluffs, Nebraska. Finally, the family made their way across the country arriving in Salt Lake City on August 29, 1860. The next day he made business arrangements with Marsena Cannon, a daguerreotype photographer and owner of a studio on East Temple. In 1862, with Cannon's departure to St. George, Utah, Savage formed a partnership with George Martin Ottinger. Savage & Ottinger legally dissolved their firm in 1870, and that same year Savage formed the Pioneer Art Gallery, and in 1875, needing more space, he replaced it with the Art Bazaar.
On June 26, 1883, his Art Bazaar burned to the ground, with all of his negatives. After his death on February 3, 1909, another fire in 1911 destroyed all of the negatives from the last twenty-five years of his career. Although h
T. E. Daniels (1856-1926) was a photographer and electrician in Utah.
T. E. (Thomas Edward) Daniels was born in 1856 in Payson, Utah to Thomas English Daniels and Jane Ann Sheffield Daniels. He married Annie Eliza Hickman in December 1876 and they went on to have 13 children. He was a partner in the Daniels & Conkling photograph studio in Provo, Utah from 1874 to 1883. He also worked as an electrician for a time. He died September 19, 1926 in Payson, Utah.
1 folder (0.2 linear ft.)
Language of Materials
Maintained in original order.
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
Kept in cold storage; access requires 24 hours advance notice.
Materials were passed down through the family from John Peter Johnson to his daughter Maritta Johnson, who passed them to her sister Hanna Johnson Smith, who passed them to her daughter Hannah Naomi Smith Beardall, who passed them to her daughter Bonnie B. Decker. Bonnie B. Decker donated the materials to the repository in April 2014.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated; Bonnie B. Decker; 2014.
Photographs (Photograph Archives).
Processed; Anne Ashton, student photograph processor; 2014.
- Register of Collection of portraits of early Provo residents
- Anne Ashton
- 2014 May 28
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English in Latin script.