Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Rare Historical Find in the Overson Negative Collection

Note: This is a reposting of my recent article in for those of you who do not yet read that blog. I will only do this on the rare occasion that the material is particularly interesting to me and has some greater historical value. Since I posted this yesterday, I have added some additional thoughts.

The scanning and digitizing of the collection of negatives and printed photos from my Great-grandmother Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson is proceeding slowly. I have scanned all of the negatives, but there are hundreds of photographic prints still to be scanned. In each case, I have to spend considerable time working with the scanned images to name, add metadata and backup the files. 

Recently, I discovered a remarkable set of photographs taken in front of the home of Stake President Andrew Kimball in Thatcher, Arizona. There is a copy of the photograph in the Arizona Collection. Arizona State University Libraries, Department of Archives and Special Collections. The description of the photo is as follows from the ASU Arizona Collection:
St. Joseph's Stake High Council Members of Thatcher, Arizona. Photograph Taken in Front of Stake President Andrew Kimball's Home. Kimball is Seated Fourth from the Left. From the Ryder Ridgway Photograph Collection. The finding aid to this collection may be accessed electronically from Arizona Archives Online:
If you are not aware, Andrew Kimball was the father of LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball.

Here is a copy of the original photograph. If Grandmother Overson had this photo in her collection, she likely had the original negative from which this print was made. Since there were limite ways to duplicate an existing photo, it appears that Grandmother Overson made numerous photographic copies of previous photographs from a variety of sources. The St. Joseph Stake photo does not appear to be a copy of a pre-existing photograph. Speculating, the photograph could have been taken by her father, Charles Godfrey (De Friez) Jarvis.

The photo in the ASU Arizona Collection appears to be slightly damaged and printed on yellowing paper. It also appears to have crop marks. See link above. For a biography of Andrew Kimball click here. However, the photo above, from Grandmother Overson, has a notation "11x" in white which would have been on the negative when the photo was printed. The copy of the photo in the Arizona Memory Project does have the same "11x" mark. but it is very faint causing me to believe that the print online is a copy of a copy rather than a print from the negative. 

The big news is not the necessarily this historic photo of the men, but the one that accompanies it. Here is the photo of the men's wives taken at the same time in 1910 at the same place:

The existence of this second photo, taken at the same time and place, argues for the fact that the photos were taken either by Charles Jarvis or his daughter, Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson. I am sure both photos warrant additional research as well as identification of each of the individuals in the photos. 

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