Mrs. A. S. Addis photograph collection

MS 486
A sepia cabinet card photo of three men with a group of burros or mules posing on a dirt street in Phoenix, Arizona circa 1887.

Miners posing with burros in a Phoenix, Arizona street, 1887. Photo from the studio of Mrs. A.S. Addis, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Collection area: Borderlands

Collection dates: 1875-1890

About this collection

Thirteen cabinet card photographs, ca. 1875-1890, some of which were taken by Sarah Short Addis, widow of photographer, A. S. Addis and others which may have been taken by him and reprinted by her. The photographs are primarily of scenes in Chihuahua, Mexico. Most are images of Tarahumara Indians particularly women cooking outdoors, washing clothes, making tortillas, and at the market. There are also images of matadors, dwarfs; Serrano Indians of southern California, and one photograph of American miners or prospectors in Phoenix, dated 1887, showing a street scene with three men, with pack mules and a dog, outside the French Restaurant.

Historical background

Sarah Short’s father, Thomas Short, owned a photography studio in Kansas. She married one of his photography assistants, Alfred Shea Addis, about 1855. Alfred opened a photography studio in Kansas; then went to Chihuahua, Mexico during the Civil War. They later moved to southern California, then his photography work took him to New Mexico, Nevada, and Tucson, Arizona. About 1879, Addis operated a photography studio in Tucson and was a Territorial Marshal. He was in New Mexico in 1880s; in Las Cruces, Silver City from 1881 to 1882, and Lake Valley in 1882. Alfred died in 1886 and it appears that Sarah carried on the business. The photographs in this collection are imprinted with “ Mrs. S. A. Addis, Chihuahua, Mexico” and while most are undated, some are dated 1887.

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