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Elmo Scott Watson photographs

Identifier: Ayer-Photographs-box-71-73, 87

Scope and Content of the Collection

Mainly albumen and gelatin photographic prints, 1875-1936, and five glass plate copy negatives, mainly of Hunkpapa and Blackfeet Indians, but also of Cheyenne, Crow, and Oglala and Brule´ Sioux, removed from the western history subject files of the Elmo Scott Watson papers.

Included are 23 Laton A. Huffman (Miles City, Mont.) portraits of Cheyenne, Crow, and Sioux Indians, taken mainly around Fort Keogh and Miles City, 1878-1890; 20 D.F. Barry (Bismarck, Dakota Territory, and Superior, Wisc.) gelatin prints of Hunkpapa and Blackfeet Sioux originally taken 1880-1897; 6 prints by William R. Cross (South Dakota) of Chief Gall, the Rosebud and Pine Ridge agencies, the 7th cavalry, and Gen. Brooke’s camp; and 39 publicity photographs, many issued in the 1920s and 1930s by Underwood & Underwood and the International Newsreel Corp. of Blackfeet Indians, at the Glacier National Park Reservation and in Washington, D.C. (one with Calvin Coolidge) and New York City (tepees on the roof of the McAlpin Hotel). Other photographers represented include Heyn Photo (Omaha, Neb.), F.A. Rinehart (Omaha, Neb.), Trager and Kuhn (Chadron, Neb.), J.A. Anderson, F.B. Fiske, J.K. Hillers, Hileman, and S.J. Morrow. Indian subjects include American Horse, Big Spotted Horse, Conquering Bear, Crow Feathers, Crow King, Deaf Bull, Eagle, Eagle Child, Fire Wolf, Fish Wolf Robe, Gall, Goose, He Dog, High Bear, John Comes Again, John Grass, Little, Little Hawk, Mad Feathers, Many Tail Feathers, Mountain, Red Cloud, Running Antelope, Scorched Lightning, Short Face, Sitting Bull (one with Buffalo Bill), Standing Holy, Strike With Nose, Tall Red Bird, White Antelope, and Young Spotted Eagle. There are also half and full stereograph views of Charleston, Savannah, St. Augustine, San Francisco, the Green Mountains, a Michigan copper mine, Saratoga, N.Y., and the gold regions of California.


  • Creation: approximately 1860-1936



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Elmo Scott Watson Photographs are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Elmo Scott Watson Photographs are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Elmo Scott Watson

Journalist, teacher and historian.

Elmo Scott Watson was born in Illinois in 1892, and graduated from Colorado College in 1916. He then worked at the Gazette and Telegraph in Colorado Springs until he was appointed instructor of journalism at the University of Illinois in Urbana in 1918. In 1924, Watson joined the faculty at Northwestern, and later taught at both Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Denver. He was particularly interested in the American West, and besides newspaper and magazine articles on the subject, he also wrote a book entitled Stories of Great Indians, a study of Native Americans.

Watson died in 1951, aged fifty-nine.


1.9 Linear Feet (3 boxes and 1 oversize box)


Primarily albumen and gelatin photographic prints plus five glass plate negatives which have been removed from the western history subject files of the Elmo Scott Watson Papers. Consists mainly of nineteenth and twentieth century portraits and images of Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Crow and Sioux Indians, some group photos, and a miscellany of half and full stereographs of non-western locations.


Contents arranged by size and Ayer Photograph Collection numbers.

Collection Stack Location

3 17 16

Ownership and Custodial History

Forms part of the Edward E. Ayer Photograph Collection (Newberry Library)



Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith, 2012

Inventory of the Elmo Scott Watson photographs, approximately 1860-1936
Virginia Hay Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States