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W. P Miller Photo Album, ca. 1861-1865
MSS 300  
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Album contains over 700 photos of individuals and families in Stockton, California collected by William P. Miller. The photographer was I.S. Locke.
The creator of this Stockton photo album was William Payson Miller a well-known and trusted citizen of Stockton, California. W.P. Miller was born October 8th, 1825 in Windsor, Maine. In 1847 Miller married Phebe Y. Roberts. Phebe died September 17, 1849, leaving one son, Edward, than nine months old. In his adulthood, Edward moved to San Diego, California. In 1850 Miller headed for California by the way of the Isthmus of Panama. Miller arrived in San Francisco in on April 6th 1851, where he immediately found work as a carpenter. Miller continued to work in San Francisco until August when he moved to Stockton and began working for J.W. Smith. Miller later rented a corner of Smith’s shop to produce his own work in carriage making. A year later Miller went into partnership with two gentlemen, Skiff and Tucker. Within three years Miller was able to buy out his partners and begin a long and reputable business in carriage manufacturing. Miller married his second wife, Pamela Tilton, in June of 1855. They had one daughter, Millie Louisa. Miller was a member of the Methodist church, follower of temperance, an abolitionist, and a member of Stockton’s city council. The photographer of this collection was Captain I.S. Locke, a native of Kentucky. Locke was an Ambrotypist, photographer, and photographic colorist. He was active in Stockton between 1856-1859, and 1864-1867. Locke was a partner with Thomas Starbuck in the daguerreian firm of Starbuck and Locke, with a gallery on Court House Square, Stockton, California, in 1856. By 1859, Locke had a gallery on Main Street, Stockton. It is unclear if Locke had a continuous business in Stockton during the following five years. Records indicate that Locke did a twenty-five dollar federal tax assessment on his photographic business in May 1864. It was probably late in 1864 when Locke and his former partner revived the partnership of Starbuck and Locke in Stockton. Their business was listed under "Photographers" in an 1864-1865 California-Oregon business directory. On September 4th, 1865 Locke's studio on wheels was destroyed when a terrible fire struck Stockton. By September he was fully employed as a photographic colorist at the gallery of Williams McCorslin Stuart at the corner of Hunter Street and Weber Avenue, Stockton. Stewart drew the public's attention to Locke's photographs in oil colors. Locke continued to operate as a photographer in Stockton until about 1867.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Collection open for research.