could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

John Stryker

Photographers in The Early Days

Solomon Butcher – Had studio in Kearney with his son for a couple of years shortly after 1900

A. T. Anderson – Born in Sweden, father had wagon & carriage manufacturing business in Kearney (freight wagons). Apprenticed at 16 to J. A. Stridborg (1881). 5 years later he started his own studio. Commissioned to take pictures of houses and industries during the Boom Period

John Stryker – Born in 1883 in Rockford, Ill, 2nd of 4 boys.
Came to McCook area 1889.
Little schooling but mother was a former teacher.
Tall, robust, thick red hair, believed in daily exercise even into 80’s.
Went to an Academy (like high school) at about 19. Introduced to Penmanship.
Attended Zaner Art College (Zanerian School of Penmanship) in Ohio.
Zaner said he was one of his best students.

Elementary teachers couldn’t get certificate without certificate in Palmer method of handwriting. Stryker hired as penmanship instructor at Kearney Normal School in 1909

Philosophy – students work better if their work is pleasant – told stories in class, noted homesick students.

Started taking pictures in 1916. Annual improved in 1917

1919 – Married Elsie Johnson, penmanship supervisor in North Platte public schools
Built house across from campus – gray stucco with white trim.
Resigned – replaced by wife – to take pictures, no studio, preferred action photos

Bird’s eye views – 1923 souvenir booklet – houses and views in Kearney

Rodeos (Roundups) Holdrege 1921 announcing. Hear him ¾ mile away without mike
Ringling Bros. Circus – Madison Square Gardens

1940 settled in Fort Worth. Took pictures to promote the area. Placemats in hotel. Framable pictures for hotels & motels.

1969 – Elsie died. Sold business but soon back.
1970 at age 87 on Fort Worth Fire Department snorkel truck to get right angle to photograph the
Tarrant County Convention Center.


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Revised: 05/03/2018