William E. Irwin Photographs of Great Plains Indians: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Michelle Sanchez.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Photo Archives
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2013
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: William E. Irwin Photographs of Great Plains Indians
Dates (inclusive): approximately 1890-1910
Collection Number: photCL 161
Creator: Irwin, William E., 1871-1935
Extent: 50 photographs in 1 box; prints 14 x 10 cm. (5.5 x 4 in.)
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo Archives
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: A disbound album of primarily portrait photographs of Plains Indians, taken by photographer William E. Irwin from the 1890s to early 1900s, in Indian Territory. His images document the Chiricahua Apache, Comanche, and Kiowa Indians who lived near Anadarko and Fort Sill, Oklahoma; some photographs may have been taken at Irwin’s studio at Chickasha, Indian Territory. Besides the studio and field portraits, there are also candid views illustrating late 19th-century Plains Indians in their daily lives; several views of cowboys and cow herding; Fort Sill; tepees; landscapes; and one view of a Wichita Indian grass house or wickiup. Notable portraits include those of Geronimo, seated, posing with headdress and revolver; Appeahtone (Kiowa Chief) and his wife; and Quanah Parker (Comanche Chief) with two of his wives.
Language: English.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

William E. Irwin Photographs of Great Plains Indians. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Purchased from Cherokee Bookstore, January 24, 1967.

Biographical and Historical Note

William E. Irwin was born in 1871 in Red Oak, Missouri. He learned photography around 1893 in either Indian Territory or Texas, and went on to operate galleries in Chickasha, Oklahoma and Silver City, New Mexico. In 1904, along with his brothers John and Marvin, Irwin opened and operated a photography studio in Bisbee, Arizona. In 1913, he renovated the McPhearson Building as a studio, and worked there until 1922. Irwin’s last photography studio was located in Douglas, Arizona, which he managed until his death in 1935.

Scope and Content

A disbound album of primarily portrait photographs of Plains Indians, taken by photographer William E. Irwin from the 1890s to early 1900s, in Indian Territory. His images document the Chiricahua Apache, Comanche, and Kiowa Indians who lived near Anadarko and Fort Sill, Oklahoma; some photographs may have been taken at Irwin’s studio at Chickasha, Indian Territory. Besides the studio and field portraits, there are also candid views illustrating late 19th-century Plains Indians in their daily lives. Notable portraits include those of Geronimo, seated, posing with headdress and revolver; Appeahtone (Kiowa Chief) and his wife; and Quanah Parker (Comanche Chief) with two of his wives.
Many of the photographs focus on Comanche and Kiowa Indians posing for studio portraits. These portraits depict infants and children, young women, mothers, scouts, and warriors, many identified by name. Named individuals include Poor Buffalo, White Buffalo, Lone Wolf, and Little White Shield, among others. Field photographs show Apache, Kiowa, and Comanche encampments; a Wichita grass house; both cowboys and Indians caring for their herds; and views in and around Anadarko and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Item titles in the contents list are transcribed from handwritten captions below photographs; cataloger-supplied information is in brackets.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  
Apache Indians -- Photographs. -- Photographs.
Chickasaw Indians -- Photographs.
Comanche Indians -- Photographs.
Cowboys -- Photographs.
Indian encampments—Oklahoma -- Photographs.
Indians of North America—Dwellings—Great Plains -- Photographs.
Indians of North America—Great Plains -- Photographs.
Indians of North America Indian Territory -- Photographs.
Kiowa Indians -- Photographs.
Medicine-man -- Photographs.
Tipis -- Photographs.
Wichita Indians—Dwellings -- Photographs.
Wikiups -- Photographs.
Geronimo, 1829-1909 -- Photographs.
Parker, Quanah, 1845?-1911 -- Photographs.
Anadarko (Okla.) -- Photographs.
Fort Sill (Okla.) -- Photographs.
Photographs.
Photograph album.
Studio portraits.


Collection Contents

Box 1

Photographs

Box  1 , Item  1

Comanche Indian camp near Fort Sill [Comanche man with two children on horse]

Box  1 , Item  2

Kiowa Indians drawing rations at the Commission, Anadarko [Oklahoma]

Box  1 , Item  3

Comanche Indians butchering a beef

Box  1 , Item  4

Kiowa Indian camp near Anadarko

Box  1 , Item  5

Little Comanche girls

Box  1 , Item  6

Little Kiowa boy

Box  1 , Item  7

Gertrude Threefinger. A Chickasaw belle.

Box  1 , Item  8

Kiowa papoose

Box  1 , Item  9

Little Kiowa boy [Boy with ribbon-wrapped pigtails]

Box  1 , Item  10

A young warrior [Toddler boy dressed in breastplate]

Box  1 , Item  11

Big Tom, Comanche monte [?] dealer

Box  1 , Item  12

Comanche squaw and papoose [Woman sitting outside with infant in lap]

Box  1 , Item  13

Cruis and family. Comanches

Box  1 , Item  14

Kiowa papoose

Box  1 , Item  15

Little Kiowa girls [One girl standing and one girl sitting in animal fur]

Box  1 , Item  16

Comanche Medicine Man

Box  1 , Item  17

Poor Buffalo in War Costume

Box  1 , Item  18

Waterman’s squaw and papoose

Box  1 , Item  19

White Buffalo (Kiowa)

Box  1 , Item  20

Millie Oytant. Dress val. $1000.00

Box  1 , Item  21

Kiowa Annie. Dress val. $500.00

Box  1 , Item  22

White Wolf in war costume. Comanche

Box  1 , Item  23

Apache girls

Box  1 , Item  24

Kokome’s daughters. Kiowa.

Box  1 , Item  25

Appeahtone and squaw. Kiowa chief

Box  1 , Item  26

Atole in his war costume

Box  1 , Item  27

Little Bow’s teepee

Box  1 , Item  28

Kiowa kids [Six Kiowa girls sitting by wagons]

Box  1 , Item  29

Geronimo. Apache chief

Box  1 , Item  30

Geronimo’s interpreter

Box  1 , Item  31

Little White Shield (Kiowa)

Box  1 , Item  32

Lone Wolf’s mother

Box  1 , Item  33

Kiowa squaw and papoose [Kiowa woman facing away from camera with infant on her back]

Box  1 , Item  34

Lone Wolf dancing the war dance

Box  1 , Item  35

Kiowa squaw and papoose [Kiowa woman with child on her back, both facing the camera]

Box  1 , Item  36

Comanche papoose

Box  1 , Item  37

Daisy Waterman. Kiowa

Box  1 , Item  38

Kiowa bride and groom

Box  1 , Item  39

Apache squaw carrying wood

Box  1 , Item  40

Chief Quanah Parker with two of his wives

Box  1 , Item  41

Kiowa squaw and papoose [Woman wrapped in dark blanket holding papoose upright]

Box  1 , Item  42

Ponto and Lone Bear. Kiowa warriors

Box  1 , Item  43

Wichita Indian grass house near Anadarko

Box  1 , Item  44

Indians watering ponies in the Washita Riv. near Anadarko

Box  1 , Item  45

Kiowa Indian scouts of Anadarko

Box  1 , Item  46

Fort Sill as seen from the top of the hospital

Box  1 , Item  47

Cattle grazing near Fort Sill

Box  1 , Item  48

Views around Fort Sill [Cowboys on horseback with cows at watering hole]

Box  1 , Item  49

Apache Indian camp near Anadarko

Box  1 , Item  50

Kiowa Indian camp near Anadarko [Camp with cow hides drying on line]