Skip to main content

L. A. Huffman photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS P 142

Scope and Contents

Contains 49 photographs of cowboys and Native Americans near Mile City, Montana. Photographs were taken by Huffman between the 1870s and the 1920s. Photographs are albumen and gelatin silver prints. Materials dated 1870 to 1920.


  • approximately 1870-1929


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research. Items 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 use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Laton Alton Huffman was born October 31, 1854, in Castalia, Winneshiek, Iowa to Perrin Cuppy Huffman and Chastina Baird Huffman. Huffman learned photography from his father and apprenticed in 1878 at Moorhead, Minnesota. He took photographs of landscapes, animals, early ranches, street scenes and, people doing work. His photos of buffalo hunting taken between 1880-1883 are some of the few that exist from that era. Most of his photos taken in the early 1880's, were taken with crude equipment, yet produced quality images. Most of Huffman's pictures were taken out on the range, where he carried his equipment on horseback, allowing him to capture action photographs. On December 11, 1878, he came to Fort Keogh, Montana Territory and remained there for two years as Post Photographer. In the early eighteen eighties he came to Miles City, where he operated a photograph gallery for many years. In 1882, he traveled to Yellowstone National Park and took a series of stereoscopic images. He was well acquainted with the Northern Plains Indians, in particular the Northern Cheyenne and captured portraits, scenes of family life, and scenes of traditional activities of Native Americans while visiting their villages.

Huffman married Ann Skinner in Miles City on October 18, 1883. Together, they had two daughters, Elizabeth Huffman Felton and Ruth H. Huffman Scott. In 1893 he was elected a member of the Montana House of Representatives from Custer County. After about 1905, he largely concentrated on selling prints made from his stockpile of glass plate negatives. He died on December 28, 1931, in Billings, Yellowstone, Montana.


3 oversize boxes (4.62 linear ft.)

1 folder (0.04 linear ft.)

1 item (0.7 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Collection was purchased at an auction prior to coming into the care of Fred Rosenstock who sold the collection in 1980 and 1981 to the L. Tom Perry Special Collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased; Fred A. Rosenstock; 1980, 1981.


Photographs (Photograph Archives).

Processing Information

Processed; Jamie Wiser; August 2022. Updated finding aid for DACS compliance and accuracy. Rehoused photographs to plastic sleeves for preservation. Found black and white colorized image integrated into collection.

Register of L. A. Huffman photographs
Under Revision
Rose Frank
2011 November 21
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.

Revision Statements

  • 2022 August 2: Photos sleeved and numbered, finding aid updated to DACS compliance; Jamie Wiser.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States