Guide to the James Crockwell photograph collection,

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Crockwell, James H., 1855-1940.
Title: James Crockwell photograph collection
Dates: 1860-1920 ( inclusive )
1870-1890 ( bulk )
Quantity: 1 box (.25 linear ft. )
Collection Number: USU_P0102
Summary: The James H. Crockwell Collection consists of twenty one studio portraits of the Crockwell and Bassett families (most taken either by C.W. Carter or Crockwell himself), and "The Comstock Illustrated," a printed 1890 souvenir album with Albertypes of the Comstock mining region. The 1890 album includes views of Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City, Sutro, mills, hoisting works, miners, trains, and Paiutes (includes four negatives).
Repository: Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives Division
Contact Information: Special Collections and Archives
Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
Logan, UT
Telephone: 435-797-2663
Fax: 435-797-2880
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Biographical Note

James Hezekiah Crockwell was born on March 21, 1855 in Woodbury, Iowa. In 1863 or 1864 young James moved to Salt Lake City after his father, Dr. John D.M. Crockwell, converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. James and his brother George started a small business coloring photographs. After George left the business, Crockwell spent nearly a year as an apprentice to C.W. Carter in 1883. Shortly thereafter he formed a partnership with William Ottinger. For the next two years Crockwell and Ottinger used Salt Lake City as a home base and worked as traveling photographers in southern Utah and Southeast Nevada. In 1886 Crockwell bought out Ottinger and spent the next two years as an itinerant photographer for the mining towns of Nevada. In 1888 he settled in Virginia City, but moved back to Salt Lake City after business there tapered off. In Utah he photographed the mining towns of Park City and Eureka before becoming Utah's official photographer at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. Afterwards Crockwell returned to Salt Lake City, but business was not good and there were expensive medical bills to pay. By 1900 he quit photography to become a traveling salesman.

In 1877 James Crockwell and Millie Bassett were married. They would have five children, Earl, Ada, Lula, Lawrence, and Clara Nevada (nicknamed Polly Wampus). In the spring of 1889 daughter Ada was fatally burned in a fire set by an angry former employee. Lulu was also badly burned. In 1915 Millie died. By 1930 Crockwell was living with a daughter in Alameda, California. He died on September 16, 1940.

Content Description

The James H. Crockwell Collection consists of twenty one studio portraits of the Crockwell and Bassett families (most taken either by C.W. Carter or Crockwell himself), and a printed 1890 souvenir album with albertypes of the Comstock mining region.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  Restrictions

Open to public research.

Restrictions on Use :  Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the James Crockwell photograph collection must be obtained from the Special Collections Photograph Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

James Crockwell photograph collection, 1860-1920. (P0102). Utah State University. Special Collections & Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Arrangement: Topical.

Acquisition Information :  

This collection was transferred to Special Collections & Archives by former USU professor Nelson Wadsworth (who obtained them from a family descendant) in 1995.

Processing Note :  

Register completed by Rebecca Ruelle, August 2002.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1 1:01: Crockwell, Ada. 11 year old Ada the day before she was brutally burned
Jas. H. Crockwell (Virginia City, NV).
ca 1889,
1 1:02: Crockwell, James H.
Crockwell & Ottinger (SLC).
ca. 1870s.
1 1:03: Crockwell, James H.
Jas. H. Crockwell (SLC).
ca. 1882
1 1:04: Crockwell, James H.
1 1:05: Crockwell, James H.
J.H. Crockwell (SLC).
1 1:06: Crockwell, James H.
Hower (Baker City).
1 1:07: Crockwell, James H.
Souvenir photo posed on a studio prop, of an early airplane.
ca. 1920
1 1:08: Crockwell, Millie.
Crockwell and Ottinger (SLC).
1 1:09: Crockwell, Millie
Jas. H. Crockwell, Traveling Photographer.
1 1:10: Crockwell, Millie
J.H. Crockwell (Virginia City).
1 1:11: Crockwell, Millie
Crockwell used a mirror to photograph his wife during the Chicago World's Fair, 1893, J. H. Crockwell (Virginia City).
1 1:12: Crockwell, Millie
J.H. Crockwell.
ca. 1887
1 1:13: Crockwell, Millie
1 1:14: Crockwell, Millie
J. H. Crockwell (Virginia City).
ca. 1887
1 1:15: Crockwell, Millie
1 1:16: Crockwell, Millie. Millie Crockwell with her children (Earl, Ada, & Lula)
Jas. H. Crockwell, Traveling Photographer.
1 1:17: Bassett, Millie. Bassett family
C. W. Carter (SLC).
1 1:18: Crockwell, Millie
1 1:19: Crockwell, James H. Postcard portrait with unidentified person
Portland Studio (Portland, Oregon).
ca. 1915
1 1:20: Dr. John D.M. Crockwell. Crockwell's father at age 38
C. W. Carter (SLC).
ca. 1867
1 1:21: Bassett, Millie. Bassett and sisters Minnie, Annie, and Purdie
C. W. Carter (SLC).
ca. 1870s.
1 1:22: "The Comstock Illustrated"
Includes views of Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City, Sutro, mills, hoisting works, miners, trains, and Piutes


    • Personal Names :
    • Crockwell, James H., 1855-1940--Photographs.
    • Crockwell, John D. M., 1820-1885--Photographs.
    • Crockwell, Millie Bassett, 1857-1915--Photographs.
    • Family Names :
    • Crockwell family--Photographs.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Miners--Nevada--Photographs.
    • Mines and mineral resources--Nevada--Photographs.
    • Mining machinery--Nevada--History--Photographs.
    • Paiute Indians--Nevada--Photographs.
    • Geographical Names :
    • Nevada -- History--19th century--Photographs.
    • Virginia City (Nev.)--History--19th century--Photographs.

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